Ta-Nehisi Coates on our perpetual state of war:
The president is anti-torture — which is to say he thinks the water-boarding of actual confirmed terrorist Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was wrong. He thinks it was wrong, no matter the goal — which is to say the president would not countenance the torture of an actual terrorist to foil a plot against the country he’s sworn to protect. But the president would countenance the collateral killing of innocent men, women and children by drone in pursuit of an actual terrorist. What is the morality that holds the body of a captured enemy inviolable, but not the body of those who happen to be in the way?
Good question. Is it the idea that unbearable pain is more immoral than a quick death-from-the-skies? Is it because the calculations for potential blowback work out a certain way? Post-Bush, I think these kinds of issues are far more nuanced than progressives have allowed themselves to believe. I hope our consciences are limbered up, because there’s still a lot more wrestling to do.