Demand Columnist Joe Klein Apologize for Defending Drone Killings of Muslim Children

Target: Joe Klein, political columnist, Time Magazine

Goal: Apologize for the dangerous rhetoric used to justify the drone killings of children in the Middle East

Joe Klein, political columnist for Time Magazine, dismissed the intrinsic value of human life in his defense of President Obama’s drone strikes in the Middle East. Regardless of his intentions, Mr. Klein only promulgated the dangerous attitude of American superiority, essentially claiming that the lives of American children are worth more than the lives of Muslim children in the Middle East.

In his response to the condemnation of American drone strikes killing four-year-old Muslim girls, Klein posed the question, “The bottom line in the end is – whose four year old gets killed? What we’re doing is limiting the possibility that 4-year-olds here will get killed by indiscriminate acts of terror.” According to Joe Klein, the ends justify the means. The problem is, however, that the end goal of protecting Americans will not be accomplished with the indiscriminate killings of our adversaries’ children.

Mr. Klein’s comments were a direct response to the critique made by MSNBC television host Joe Scarborough, who lamented the ongoing deaths caused by the use of drones, or unmanned combat air vehicles, in our military tactics in the Middle East. Their entire exchange can be viewed on MSNBC’s Morning Joe program.

As if his statements were not alarming enough on their own, when applied to similar justifications made for terrorist attacks against the United States, the extreme danger of his position becomes apparent. When Faisal Shahzad, the Pakistani American who attempted the 2010 Times Square car bombing, was asked how he could justify the innocent killing of women and children, he responded by saying that U.S. drone strikes “don’t see children, they don’t see anybody. They kill women, children, they kill everybody.”

If we as a nation share Mr. Klein’s dismissive attitude toward the tragic deaths of innocent children, we will only fuel hatred and animosity. Please acknowledge the need for human compassion in our foreign policy rhetoric. Tell Joe Klein to apologize for his harmful and unfeeling remarks regarding the drone killings of Muslim children overseas.


Dear Mr. Klein,

Your callous justification of civilian deaths in U.S. drone attacks is alarming and dangerous. It is shameful to suggest that one human life has more inherent value than another. While it is only natural that Americans want to protect their children, you preyed upon this instinct to instill a fearful and retaliatory mentality among the American people.

It is absolutely unacceptable that children of any race, creed, or religion should pay the ultimate price for the conflicts created by a former generation. It may well be that your defense of the U.S. drone program came from a patriotic desire to protect your fellow citizens. There is a clear distinction, however, between patriotism and egotism. The death of a four-year-old American girl is no more or less tragic than that of a four-year-old Muslim in Pakistan or Iran.

It is important that you apologize for propagating an uncaring and dangerous attitude that will only perpetuate hate and violence across the globe.


[Your Name Here]

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  1. disgusting. Maybe I should reconsider being a customer of theirs

  2. The killing of children is never justified. They are innocent, defenseless victims, especially of all wars.

  3. The best way to stop drone attacks is to end war.

    The only way to end war is to remove its utility as a “jobs program” by the governmet (

    And the only way to do that is to create more jobs in the private sector. Which is what this petition is about:

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