The commentators 09-09-15
...on the drone strikes
These short cuts do not bolster the fight against terrorism but undermine it, because they violate the very principles of a liberal democratic state that David Cameron claims he’s trying to protect. Britain can now add extrajudicial killings to torture, rendition and occupation as tools in defence of “Enlightenment values”. Cameron insists that these men were “seeking to orchestrate specific and barbaric attacks against the west”. We’ll have to take his word. They will never be found guilty; they will only be found dead.
- Gary Younge, The Guardian
David Cameron used the word “clear” four times in his short but foggy statement to the Commons about the legality of using drones to kill British jihadists in Syria. You don’t have to be a Vienna-trained psychoanalyst to see he was trying to deflect from the utter lack of clarity in what could be a new phase of war
- Roger Boyes, The Times
The precedent hinges not on punishment for an act, but on credible intent to commit the act. That intention is substantially contained in the decision to relinquish loyalty to Britain and swear allegiance to the most bloodthirsty, fanatical cult available. This is where the dilemma becomes acute: where and when is the offence committed, not just in terms of geography but of psychology?
- Rafael Behr, The Guardian
The first duty of the new incumbent will be to persuade his or her party to temper the PM’s military ambitions and press for a diplomatic and humanitarian response. Should the favourite win, Labour will undergo no Damascene conversion to Corbynism. But where Mr Corbyn is right, as he may well be on Syria, his party should back him to the hilt.
- Mary Riddell, Daily Telegraph
What would have happened had the shootings taken place not in America, but in Norwich? What if the victims had been a local TV crew known to two or three hundred thousand people? Would our London-based newspaper executives have thought "We've never heard of them, so we'll use lots of gory pictures" or "They're British. We'll show some restraint"?
What if the victims had been a Newsnight reporter and cameraman, people we were used to seeing in our living rooms, people known all over the country?
Would the photographic coverage have been muted - in deference to our familiarity and their families - or even more excessive?
Editor's blog: Murder on camera
Comment archive, 2015
Virginia TV shootings
Boris Johnson, Greece
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