Marvel at what's missing from his casual appraisal of President Obama's drone policy.
Says Charles Krauthammer, commenting on the recent New York Times article that detailed President Obama's role assembling America's global kill list (emphasis added):
A rather strange ethics. You go around the world preening about how America has turned a new moral page by electing a president profoundly offended by George W. Bush's belligerence and prisoner maltreatment, and now you're ostentatiously telling the world that you personally play judge, jury, and executioner to unseen combatants of your choosing, and whatever innocents happen to be in their company.
This is not to argue against drone attacks. In principle, they are fully justified. No quarter need be given to terrorists* who wear civilian clothes, hide among civilians, and target civilians indiscriminately. But it is to question the moral amnesia of those who were offended by the Bush methods that kept America -- and who now embrace Obama's campaign of assassination by remote control.
What kind of moral argument is that? The column is phrased as if the question America confronts is, "Must we give quarter to terrorists or not?" To which the answer is obvious: "They're terrorists! Of course we need give them no quarter." Therefore killer drones are justified!
With reasoning like that it's no wonder he's such a hawk.
The problem with his casual defense of drones is that it elides all of the actual moral questions with which drone enthusiasts seldom grapple. The biggest of them all: Are drone attacks justified even though they frequently kill innocents, including women and children? Krauthammer thinks so. After all, he favors drone attacks, even knowing their track record of "collateral damage," as he'd probably put it. That he writes around the reason these attacks are so controversial, even as he purports to offer a moral justification for them, suggests that he's less comfortable defending the full implications of the policy - that is, the dead children - than he lets on.