That is the assessment of the choice voters will face on Nov. 6, by six-time presidential candidate Ralph Nader.
"We have a Bush/Obama continuity in a foreign policy that is overwhelmingingly unconstitutional, so that’s no choice for the voter," he explained. "Pick your drone. Maybe the Republican’s will colour theirs silver and the Democrats will colour theirs something else."
Mr. Nader was interviewed by Al Jazeera's Dahr Jamail for an article asking the important question "Where is the Green Party?" I highly recommend reading the article, as it goes into the important question of why and how the Green Party is suppressed in the United States.
The bipartisan counter-terrorism policy of assassination and murder by remote control, better known as the US "drone policy", is one of the most obvious examples that there is little to no difference between the major parties. While it is true that the administration of George W. Bush used drones with much less frequency than his successor, that was not due to some compassionate concern for the lives of innocents. Mr. Bush simply preferred to concentrate his killing in the Iraqi theater of war, rather than in South Asia. Since the United States occupied Iraq and had many forces on the ground, there was less need for drone warfare to accomplish the goal of killing "militants".
Whoever wins next Tuesday's general election, the current drone policy looks to be here to stay. In the final Presidential Debate, when asked if he supported the President's drone policy, Mr. Romney said:
"I believe we should use any and all means necessary. I support that entirely and feel the president was right to up the usage of that policy."
To be fair, Mr. Romney was not asked about the Obama Administration policy of targeting and killing US citizens abroad using drones, nor was he asked about the "disposition matrix", the Administrations quaint title for the list of human beings approved by the President of the United States for assassination without due process of law, regardless of citizenship. And, also to be fair, he added that he didn't believe that killing terrorists made a complete counter-terrorism policy; that other things had to be done to reduce the number of people turning to terrorism. And that is true.
But the fact remains that, except for possibly adding some additional facets to US counter-terrorism policy to supplement our drone policy, Mr. Romney makes clear he intends to continue said policy unabated. Who said there was no bipartisanship in Washington?
Congress has no power of oversight over general military policy in a theater of war, and it is generally accepted that the AUMF makes Afghanistan a theater of war. However, Congress does have oversight over US policy regarding US citizens abroad, especially in nations with which we are not at war. Congress needs to exercise that power to immediately curtail the excessive power grabbed by President Obama to be judge, jury and executioner of American citizens without recognition of inherent rights possessed by all such citizens.
We cannot, and Congress will not, stop the drone war in Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia (among other, more covert locations). But we can, and Congress should, stop the addition of American citizens to the "disposition matrix", and insist that whatever Administration takes office on January 20, 2013 abides by the Constitution of the United States.