Washington–In a recent interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, US Secretary of State Colin Powell defended the targeted killing of al-Qaeda operatives in Yemen as a morally justified act of self-defense. “This was a case of clearly somebody in a direct conflict with the United States,” Powell explained. True enough.
But Mr. Blitzer was understandably confused by Powell’s response. “What’s the difference between that targeted killing and the targeted killings the Israelis engage in–which the State Department has criticized?” Powell’s answer: Blank-out.
“But what you’re saying,” Blitzer continued, “is the Israelis should stop doing what they did, but the US, theoretically, can continue?” Yup. That’s what he’s saying alright, Wolf. One would think that after years of interviewing politicians Mr. Blitzer would stop expecting principled behavior from unprincipled people, but it’s an admirable mistake.
“We will do what we have to do to defend ourselves with respect to terrorist activities,” Powell added. So would the Israelis, General…if you’d let them.