In The Sky”
OK, it's a long quote, but the dynamics are very similar to
those in the movie.
A consortium of British and American intelligence has been
tracking a terrorist cell for years, trying to find the principals
together in one place so they can launch an attack.
Finally, the opportunity arises, and the military is eager to
launch the drone strike. The
problem is, the camera technology is so incredibly precise that we
clearly see a little girl, maybe 9 years old, selling bread in front
of the house. And the
American “pilot” (who actually just sits at a remote console with
a joystick) hesitates, because he sees the little girl, and is
convinced that she would be an innocent victim, and asks for a
re-assessment of “collateral damage.”
What follows would be almost comical if it weren't so deadly
serious. The principals
involved all want to do the responsible thing; the trouble is, the
moral and ethical dilemma of deadly drone strikes weighs heavily upon
all of them. The British
colonel (Helen Mirren) wants authorization, because it's her job to
eliminate terrorist cells when she has the opportunity.
A planned ground assault with hope of capturing, instead of
eliminating, is off the table because the approach is too
well-guarded. The British
general (Alan Rickman) sits at a table with the Attorney General,
who's supposed to rule on the legality of the strike, but he wants to
kick it upstairs to the Foreign Secretary, who wants to kick it
upstairs to the Prime Minister. On
the American side, the lieutenant colonel in charge of the pilot at
the controls wants authorization from the Secretary of Defense.
In the meantime, a little spy drone cleverly disgused as a
flying beetle manages to see inside the house that the terrorists are
actually arming two operatives for a suicide bombing mission.
If left alone, they stand to do much more slaughtering of
innocents than would surround this one house.
And yet we're still seeing this innocent little girl, selling
her mother's bread, and we would spare her from the impending
disaster, if only we could......
By the way, Abraham's pleas, though poignant and eloquent,
didn't stop the firebombing from the skies, either.
So despite his hard bargaining and personal anguish, there just
wasn't enough righteousness to go around.
Perhaps there still isn't.