U.S. Drone Policy Would Have Targeted Jesus Himself

  Last week the Obama administration admitted publicly for the first time what the entire world has long known. Through its spokesperson, John Brennan and then personally, the President disclosed that the United States has been using remotely controlled drone technology to carry out targeted extra-judicial executions in various countries in the Middle East, Africa, and elsewhere. Such capital sentences were, the President assured, careful, deliberate, responsible, and in full accord with the law.

                Apart from questions international lawyers have about that latter claim, and despite the President’s assurances, the criteria for targeting foreign nationals – and now U.S. citizens – remain extremely loose. Code Pink’s Medea Benjamin and others have shown that their application inevitably results in the killing of civilians. In fact, hundreds of such instances of “collateral damage” have been recorded in Pakistan alone. Faulty intelligence, misidentifications of targets and failure to understand local cultures are among the reasons for such slaughter of innocents by remote control.

                According to Benjamin in her book, Drone Warfare, the criteria for drone attacks on suspected terrorists are basically two. The targeted are first of all known leaders and members of terrorist organizations such as al-Qaeda. Those falling under a second criterion fit a profile of suspicious activity such as keeping company with known terrorists, lending them support, or carrying weapons in a suspicious manner.

                These, of course, are the same rules of engagement empires have always supplied their death squads to justify their murders of insurgents and the rebels-against-occupation whom empires routinely label “terrorists.” As a matter of fact, they were the same ones used by the Roman Empire two thousand years ago to justify the assassination of Jesus of Nazareth. In Rome’s eyes, he not only associated with insurgents and terrorists, Jesus was directly guilty of stirring up the people and of threatening institutions including the Jewish Temple system and the Roman Empire itself. His incendiary statements and messianic claims also made him a prime target for elimination.

If there were drone technology in Jesus’ day, a first-century equivalent of Wikileaks might well have published the following memo from Pontius Pilate to Caesar Augustus about the well-known insurgent and terrorist, Jesus of Nazareth. (Biblical references have been anachronistically added to document sources for the memo’s accusations):     

Your Majesty Exalted Son of God:

You have advised that we here at the Jerusalem Praetorium should identify targets for Rome’s careful, deliberate, responsible, and entirely legal drone operations. I write to inform you of one such target. This one goes by the name “Yeshua ben Miryam,” though his nom de guerre is “Son of Man” (more about that below). The memo which follows is of unusual length, I concede. However its detail is a measure of my desire to assure you that the evidence against ben Miryam is so overwhelming that no mistake is possible in my designating him for elimination. In fact, of all the terrorist subjects recently reported by this office, this one most clearly fulfills the protocols for our very precise remotely controlled operations. This Yeshua is not only a terrorist himself, he runs a gang of terrorists, and is armed and dangerous.

To begin with, Yeshua (aka the Master) comes from the town of Nazareth in the Galilee. As you know from our country’s experience about 20 years ago with the Jewish rebellion in Sephoris (just 5 miles from Nazareth) this has always been a hotbed of insurgents against our entirely peaceful purposes. You remember too that our policy in Sephoris was to presume that everyone in the area was somehow involved in the insurrection. That justified our death squads and scorched-earth policy. Somehow, this Yeshua escaped. I mean he should have been killed then, because no doubt he was some kind of message- runner (all the child-soldiers in his age cohort did that).

In any case, they say that his mother, Miryam, was some kind of insurgent poet. One of her pieces of cheap doggerel identifies a “mighty” jihadist God “who put down the powerful from their seat,” and who “fills the hungry with good things, while the rich he has sent away empty” (Lk.1:46-55). What I’m saying is that this character Yeshua was fed insurgent doctrine with his mother’s milk, if you will.

Besides, they report that this Yeshua of Nazareth has taken on your title “Son of God” (Mk.l:1). He apparently adopted this imperial pretension after he took over the “Baptizer Gang” run by that nationalist cult leader called John Baptizer. (Remember, he was a highly suspect character finally arrested and executed by our man in Galilee, Herod.)

Since then, our subject has not only been called “Son of God,” he’s been speaking everywhere about establishing an alternative to the Roman Empire. He calls it the “Kingdom of God.” When questioned about his intentions, he speaks vaguely in code (they call it “parables”) – an evasive technique commonly used, as you well know, by insurgents everywhere. “Kingdom of God” seems to refer to what our Palestinian Province would be like if Yeshua’s God rather than you, our august Emperor, were king. In any case, story has it that following a ritual baptism by John, this Yeshua had a vision informing him that he, not you august Caesar, is God’s son (Mk.1:9-11). Here we clearly have a rival who must be eliminated.

And if his friends are killed in the process, don’t worry; they’re all terrorists as well. The name of one, Simon the Zealot, says it all (Mt.10:4). He’s obviously a member of the Zealot insurgency that played such a destructive role against us in Sephoris and elsewhere. As for the others (there are 12 in the gang), it’s difficult to identify them, because they all carry noms de guerre. Two of them are called “Sons of Thunder” (Mk.3:17). Another is “Rocky” (Mt.16:18). Still another is probably a Sicarius (one of those knife fighters responsible for assassinations of Roman soldiers). His code name is Iscariot — note the “sicarius” reference (Jn.6:71).

As I indicated earlier, ben Miryam’s own nom de guerre is “Son of Man” (e.g. Mk8:27-38).  Our temple informants tell us that this name bears high significance in the Jewish resistance. Apparently, it comes from some “Book of Daniel” these people hold as “sacred.” In that book, the Son of Man is a Jewish hero responsible for the destruction of imperial enemies, past, present, and future. Needless to say, anyone assuming that title is a sworn enemy of Rome and its most peaceful benevolent order.

Yeshua’s own hatred for Rome and vendetta against us is unmistakable. At one point he openly identified our young servicemen as demons. He is said to have used magical powers to symbolically drown them in the sea. But first he drove them into a herd of pigs, the filthiest animals these Jews can imagine (Mk.5:1-20). Not only was that insulting to our heroic young servicemen, they say it reminded many of Yeshua’s compatriots of the first such drowning in their legendary history. Apparently, that was when Egyptian “legions” were drowned in the sea more than a thousand years ago. Once again, all of this was unambiguous code for Yeshua’s intention to overthrow our empire.  

Not only that, he has promised to bring down to rubble the Jews’ Temple in Jerusalem (Mk.13). How he’d achieve this is unclear. True, his men are armed – reason enough to eliminate them (Lk.22:36-38). It must be that he is part of the insurgency planning vengeful attack on those they see as collaborators among the Jewish clergy, especially the high priesthood. And a central target of their retribution is the temple. In fact, recently Yeshua took part in (and probably led) a demonstration there aimed at the merchants who make their living selling religious items (Mk.11:15-19). He and his violent demonstrators used whips against the peaceful temple entrepreneurs, overturned stalls and tables – no doubt a preview of the more extensive destruction this violent man has promised. And don’t mistake the depth of his violence. He makes no pretensions to be a man of peace. I have it on the best authority that he has said “Do not think that I have come to bring peace upon the earth. I have come to bring not peace but the sword” (Mt.10:34-36).

As you can see, august Emperor and Son of God, Yeshua ben Miryam unmistakably meets both of our cautious criteria for the use of our new drone technology. If not a member of the Zealot insurgency, he has close associates in the organization, and is probably an important adviser of theirs. His connection with the Sicarius assassins has already been noted. On top of this, he travels with an armed gang, and has targeted both our troops and temple property for destruction. More than that, his “Son of Man” and “Son of God” pretentions have designated the very empire itself for annihilation. (It must be that he hates our freedom.)

My advice is to stop him now before he can do further damage. Do not worry that any of the information contained in this memo might be inaccurate. It has been supplied by Jewish “holy men” whose Commandments forbid “false witness” of any type. They have been working with us for years, and can be trusted implicitly.

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Mike Rivage-Seul's Blog

Emeritus professor of Peace & Social Justice Studies. Liberation theologian. Activist. Former R.C. priest. Married for 40 years. Three grown children. Four grandchildren.

7 thoughts on “U.S. Drone Policy Would Have Targeted Jesus Himself”

  1. Mike…

    I appreciate your points here.

    Thinking about the so-called terrorists of our time, have you found them (or some of them) to share a message that is compelling/insightful like that of Jesus in his time? I struggle to take much of their thinking seriously. I appreciate their broad resistance to an imperial power like the U.S…but beyond that, I can’t find much insight in their movements. That said, however, I don’t support droning them…

    Trevor

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  2. Trevor…
    It is so difficult to know what “terrorists” vs. U.S. policies of occupation and state terror really think. The media in our country would never print anything even vaguely sympathetic. For instance in Palestine Hamas is painted simply as a terrorist group. However several years ago they were elected overwhelmingly by the Palestinians as their government — in elections credibly certified as free and fair by international observers. The U.S. and Israel immediately punished Palestinians for their democratic choice. Turns out Hamas runs programs of education, nutrition for children, public safety, health care, etc. Hardly anyone in the U.S. knows that. We are so handicapped by our lack of information. I find myself relying increasingly on sources on-line. Information Clearing House, OpEdNews, and Citizens for Legitimate Government are far more helpful than the New York Times or CNN. It’s the way the Sandinistas were treated by “our” media in the 1980s == very difficult to find a good word about them then or today for that matter.

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  3. As I was reading my Kentuckians for the Commonwealth Voter Guide in an effort to find someone I could support as a candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives from the 5th District, I thought that Michael Ackerman was a possibility until I came to the last sentences of his interview in response to the question “What is your stand on immigration and undocumented workers?” Ackerman supports a path to legal residency for undocumented immigrants already here, but his response ended with these shocking sentences: “I think many of our war veterans would make excellent border patrol agents. I would also support increased use of unmanned drones once the cost of purchasing and operating them decreases.” UNBELIEVABLE! I DEFINITELY can’t vote for someone to represent me in Congress who proposes drones on our borders!

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    1. Dear Pat, So good to hear from you. Thanks for reading the posting. Of course, I completely agree with what you say in your comment. It’s amazing how we are expected to simply accept the position that the U.S. government can execute people all over the world without trial. My point in my own posting was that in doing so they probably have less evidence than the “irrefutable” case Pilate makes in his memo.

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  4. Mike, the point you make is dead on. The whole idea of crucifixion as punishment was reserved for the worst of the worst. It was a public assassination; a message to those that might come after who may try the same thing. If Jesus was simply a religious dissident, would he really incur that level of wrath from the Roman empire? His assassination was “state-sponsored” in reaction to his threat to the empire. In other words, his silence could not be bought,

    Another activist defending Jesus’ ideas was dealt with the same way in 1968. Dr. King was “gotten rid of ” in a similar fashion. When he championed the end of the Jim Crow south, most people outside of the south (and many in the south) believed the destruction legislated segregation was right. He was an honorable man and church leader who enforced the best christian beliefs.

    It was only when he condemned the Viet Nam war, and even worse – supported unions – that he received a target painted on his heart. It is always underplayed that he was assassinated the day before a major strike in Memphis in support of garbage workers. This was the final straw. Something clicked in the shadowy “anti-commie” underworld. Despite his devout and non-violent convictions, he was a “threat”. The trail of his killer is so complex and filled with shadowy characters, his family publicly acquitted James Earl Ray. hundreds of pages of documents point to the same group that was in Dealy Plaza in 1963 were in Memphis in 1968.

    The whole “Terrorist” concept is played in North America as an US vs.THEM narrative. This drone technology is horrible, illegal and immoral in its use in Pakistan and Yemen. If you search Google and find news results for Yemen + Al-Qaeda + Drones, you will discover that these targeted drone assassinations are strengthening militant Islamic groups. The simple math is adolescent kids want revenge for their friends and family members unjustly murdered by death from above. Al-Qaeda and other groups feed off these strong emotions and step in to promote these kids’ personal revenge as a part of their wider political goals.

    And unfortunately, drones are here already. I live in Manitoba, Canada and we had a drone incident a few months ago. In western North Dakota, an (allegedly) unarmed drone was used to apprehend – get this – cattle rustlers. Fighting terrorism in the middle-east is extremely expensive, fighting it in North Dakota is relatively cheap. This isn’t a Democrat vs. Republican issue. The people that make enormous profits off the development of this equipment are embedded in both parties. A good number of them loudly proclaim they are evangelicals and patriots. I think there’s a strong correlation between weapon development and the the fact that ninety per cent of sitting congressman have net worth’s over five million dollars.

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    1. Dear Jason, Thanks for the perceptive comment. I too am distressed by the introduction of drone use against U.S. citizens — as well as against targets world-wide. They’re now talking about using drones on the U.S.- Mexico border. — As for Jesus. . . Somehow progressives must reclaim the power of that tradition. We’ve too easily surrendered “Christianity” to the right, so that the two have become identical in public perception. Again, I appreciate your thoughtful sharing of information and perspective.

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