To the editor: It is appropriate that the government and the media revive the drone debate. There have been many unintended casualties from drone attacks, and these are always shocking. ("U.S. must explain necessity of drone strikes," editorial, April 24)
But the discussion over drone strikes needs to include the context in which they are used.
Before drones, bombs and military personnel on the ground were the preferred means of waging war. Both of them killed many more innocent bystanders than drones do. No means of waging war spare innocents.
So the debate needs to touch on whether we are too quick to go to war, and that discussion needs to include the rationale of spending vast amounts of our national budget on war personnel and machinery, the availability of which may make a decision to fight too easy.
Donald Schwartz, Los Angeles
To the editor: President Obama offered condolences for the deaths of the American and Italian hostages, but he cruelly ignored the other two Americans, Ahmed Farouq and Adam Gadahn, who were also killed. Are these people not precious human beings, with grieving family and friends?
What about all those other innocent civilians that have been killed in U.S. drone attacks? According to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, in Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia and Afghanistan, confirmed U.S. drone strikes have killed between 488 and 1,063 civilians, including between 180 and 215 children.
Are they not precious human beings, with grieving family and friends?
Stephen F. Rohde, Los Angeles