By Stephen Zunes
For a number of years now, prominent Democrats have also been advocating very dangerous ideas, with Democratic leaders also defending the large-scale killing of civilians in the name of “fighting terrorism.”
There has been a lot of consternation expressed in the media at a series of statements by Republican presidential candidates during their most recent debate and elsewhere in which a number of them appeared to be advocating the large-scale killing of civilians through aerial bombardment as a legitimate means of defeating the so-called “Islamic State.” (IS)
These statements did not simply rationalize military operations that result in large numbers of civilian deaths, which politicians in both parties have supported for decades, but actually advocate the killing of civilians as a legitimate tactic in counter-terrorism warfare.
Let’s put aside for a moment the irony of killing innocent people as a means of fighting a terrorist group that kills innocent people and the fact that it would result in blowback that would almost certainly increase the threat of terrorist attacks against the United States. Such operations would constitute a flagrant violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention and other principles of international law to which the United States, like all governments and armed groups, is legally bound.
Michael Chester is retired from his career in industrial technology. After graduating from college, he taught this subject until deciding that he preferred doing the job himself more than teaching it. At various times during his career, he has designed, built, installed, and repaired industrial manufacturing machinery. His specialty was in electrical and electronic controls.
After retiring, he concentrated more on his hobby of cooking and attended one of the top culinary schools in the US. Mike competed in bass fishing tournaments for several years but had to leave the sport due to an injury. As a certified barbecue judge, he gets to taste some of the best BBQs in the country and help select the winner. It is a tough job, but someone has to do it. He lives with his wife of over 30 years, and has 3 adult children and 2 grandchildren.