Intentional Killing of Strangers Called “Murder” by Rogue Media Person

Jeremy Scahill will surely reap a Chris Hayes style whirlwind of condemnation for his Chris Hayes style stating of the obvious (on Chris Hayes’ show, oddly enough).

Of course ordering the death of strangers on the other side of the world is murder. Intentionally killing people who can’t possibly harm you is what murder *is*. Scahill is willing to cut the administration some slack and keep the strangers that have been secretly “kill listed” out of the murder tally. He’s only counting up the thousands of women and children–the administration considers all males to be combatants–vaporized by presidentially authorized attacks.

President Obama and all those that follow his homicidal orders are murderers. It’s not a wild claim. The declaration requires only a cursory review of the facts and an objective viewpoint.

One might retort that by my definition (not necessarily Scahill’s), every war president–which is all of them, I believe–is a murderer. That’s true, and they are. I understand that most historical narratives carve out special exceptions for rulers because they are working on behalf of God or the motherland or democracy or something. If the mystical bullshit is put aside and we observe the facts of history, 44 American men have taken successive turns sending armed men and machines around the world butchering millions–rivals for power and innocents alike. That, again, is what murder is.

Someone incapable of abandoning the political process can make the claim that a particular murderer is better or worse than another. Perhaps one president murdered more reluctantly than another or helped more or fewer people with his murders and threats of murder. I respect the realistic favoring of a particular murderer on the basis of the perceived alternatives. Though I will continue to advocate for alternatives to murder as a central organizing principle of society; I understand, in many cases, the reasons for pleading one’s case the to the current ruler or trying to replace him with another.

It’s contrary to reality, however, to claim they aren’t murderers. It negates the humanity of their victims, and, frankly, indicates a lack of humanity–or ability to observe the glaringly obvious–on the part of the claimant. If we can’t start the conversation with the understanding presiding over the killing of innocent human beings is murder, we’re not operating in the same moral universe.

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