The war on terror is not being fought amongst "officers and gentlemen." There are no rules of engagement that demand that innocent lives not be put into jeopardy by using civilians as human shields or suicide bombers. The terrorism must be stopped. Drones are the West's best ethical defense against terrorism. They save the lives of our soldiers and reduce the killing of innocents. Amnesty International reported "unlawful killings in Pakistan through drone attacks, some of which could even amount to war crimes," on October 22, 2013. If these are "war crimes" what do we call the damage caused by suicide/homicide bombs and bombers in countries all over the world?
How would you feel if someone told you that every one of your paycheques was being used to support war crimes and keep the companies accused of these atrocities rolling in lucrative business? And how would you feel if you lived off the avails of torture and bloodshed through the Canada Pension Plan (CPP), upon your long-awaited retirement after paying into it? This appears to be our dirty little secret, that Canadians enjoy prosperity at the unethical demise of others.
The U.S. Department of Defense wants to enlarge the U.S. military's reliance on autonomous (i.e. self-directed) weapons in conflict. But a mission is not a person, it is a thing, and things cannot be held morally responsible. It is like saying that you want to hold your car responsible for breaking down on the way to work. You wouldn't say that your car "wronged" you, and you wouldn't seek to punish your car. Such a position on the ethics of autonomous systems reduces any questions of morality or responsibility.
With the victory that is known as Obamacare under his belt, a strong national security platform, and an opponent with a personality that has alienated the American public, Obama remains a strong incumbent president. While I hesitate to make any predictions, the odds are in favor of a second term for President Barack Obama.