Professor Pam Cross Pam’s sample
14 September 2012 I made the type tiny to fit on one
Drone Strikes in the War on Terror: page—yours should be in 12 pt.
I Got a Bad Feeling About This
We all know these words: “I pledge allegiance to the flag . . .” I recited them with pride all my life and wiped a tear away yesterday
on the 11th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11. America is the best country in the world. We all say this, and I think we all
believe it. One of the things that makes us so great is our Constitution and the rights we bestow on our citizens. When I read the New York
Times article about the “secret kill list” and the drone attacks, even on American citizens abroad, I felt uneasy. I am torn—we need to prevent
another 9/11 attack, but these targeted killings by unmanned drones seem un-American to me.
Here’s how the drone strikes work. Top-level representatives from the CIA and military meet with President Obama and his
counterterrorism experts by videoconference to decide which al Qaeda suspects put our nation most at risk. An article in the New York Times
from May 2012, described the process as “the strangest of bureaucratic rituals” (Becker and Shane). The President and his advisors receive a
PowerPoint presentation of possible targets with “mug shots and brief biographies that resembled a high school yearbook layout” ((Becker and
Shane). These men (and a few women) are not being invited to any proms; they are on a list of suspects that might be chosen to be killed in a
drone attack, far away from the White House in Pakistan, Yemen, or Somalia. The President listens to the threat each individual poses to the
U.S. and makes decisions on whom to target. One high-profile al Qaeda leader who was selected was American citizen turned internet
propagandist Anwar al-Awlaki, who was killed in Yemen along with another American in September 2011. According to the NY Times, Awlaki
“had taunted the president by name in some of his online screeds” (Becker and Shane). While the killing of American citizens abroad may
seem morally problematic, President Obama was quoted as considering the decision to go after al-Awlaki “an easy one” (Becker and Shane).
I’m glad the President can sleep at night, but the whole business of targeting Americans—even American bad guys—makes me a
little nervous. Awlaki was considered especially dangerous because he is fluent in English and knows American culture and can appeal to
young, disaffected young Muslims living in America, a new generation of home-grown terrorists. I agree that he is a dangerous fellow, and I
admit I am not sorry to see him gone, but I am still uneasy. I agree with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that “there should be more attention
paid to the root causes of radicalization” (Becker and Shane). We need to look at why extremists like al-Awlaki have an eager audience for their
message of hate. Only when we win over the hearts and minds of potential terrorists will we defeat alQaeda.
After thinking and writing about this issue I still remain torn. I understand the need for homeland security, and I remember the
anguish of 9/11 vividly. I just wish there were a better way—a more American way—to end this madness. I pray for peace every day.
Becker, Jo, and Scott Shane. "Secret 'Kill List' Proves a Test Of Obama's Principles and Will." The New
York Times. The New York Times, 29 May 2012. Web. 13 Sept. 2012.
Note: the format for how to cite an online newspaper article is on page 507 in your Rules for Writers. What
a great book!