Kevin Drum points to a poll showing that 2/3 of Americans, and a majority of liberal Democrats, support drone strikes, even if the targets are Americans. Like me, he finds these numbers disturbing, though in a later post he hypothesizes that people may mean they like drones in comparison to using and risking live troops, rather than simply supporting willy nilly drone strikes per se.
It is odd that the children of the sixties -- who grew up protesting push button war and American pilots who bombed Cambodians with impunity and were home for dinner -- now seem to be OK with drone attacks, even on Americans. (I am reminded of the Al Franken skit on SNL where he editorializes that now that he has assets to protect and is older, he has changed his mind and supports the draft). While I am happy with the idea of technologies that keep American soldiers safer, I am not happy with something that makes it easier for the President to, without accountability and often in secret, use force against, well, whatever target catches his whim.
Consider drones from the receiving end. For a Pakistani, American drones resemble nothing so much as alien invaders from a Niven/Pournelle novel dropping meteors on cities. The Americans might as well be Zeus on Mt Olympus hurling thunderbolts at them for all that they can fight back or retaliate. It's a lot of responsibility to play God -- and there has been no one in either party over the last several decades I would trust to do it.