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(Salon)   Why doesn't the media pay attention to how much liberals hate Obama droning people to death?   (salon.com) divider line 155
    More: Obvious, President Obama, Portuguese Water Dog, George Zimmerman, Michael Isikoff, white privilege, Office of Legal Counsel, imminent threat  
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1012 clicks; posted to Politics » on 06 Feb 2013 at 9:31 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-02-06 06:47:01 AM
Because the Republicans wouldn't have used less drones. Our two party system is in favor of drone use.
 
2013-02-06 07:00:04 AM
When people gripe about the use of armed UAVs, what I hear is, "I want to go back to the good old days of saturation bombing."
 
2013-02-06 07:53:33 AM

Bontesla: Because the Republicans wouldn't have used less drones. Our two party system is in favor of drone use.


While true, I still find our use of flying killer robots to be very disturbing. Part of that is because war should be hard; it should be a decision that carries significant risk, yet with our drone program, we can kill indiscriminately, depersonalizing the whole process. It has become way too easy to simply fly a drone into Yemen and blow up some wedding party because we simply don't like one or two people in it.
 
2013-02-06 08:02:37 AM
Why isn't there more outrage about the president's unilateral targeted assassination program on the left?
I'm by no means a war monger; having said that, the leap from fighting an enemy that hides in caves, wears no uniform and acts like a citizen in order to perpetrate mass killings of the innocent, to quietly bombing their car or house is not a big one.

I think using UAVs, in the grand spectrum of unconventional warfare, is simply palatable to Americans given the type of enemy we are fighting.
 
2013-02-06 08:04:29 AM
Maybe that's because the liberals aren't hating the drones that much?
 
2013-02-06 08:08:28 AM
Why do conservatives try so hard to paint Obama as more liberal than he is?
 
2013-02-06 08:38:46 AM
A lot of people - whether liberal or conservative - should be alarmed at extrajudicial executions being carried out at the decision of one man without any due process or oversight.
 
2013-02-06 08:55:49 AM
As a Liberal, I view these drone attacks as nothing more than an extension of the whole idiotic 'war on terror'. The minute we decided to declare war on a tactic we lost all reason. And while I wish Obama had the cajones to bring us back from this madness, I also know that there is a huge amount of inertia and political calculation driving it. We have become trapped in a reality that says you must do something... anything... everything to show the punditry and war faction in Washington that you are serious about stopping a threat that barely exists. Because God forbid another serious attack occurs and you don't have a whole slew of programs you can point to to say you have been proactive.
 
vpb [TotalFark]
2013-02-06 09:00:24 AM
It's been front page news on this planet.   Liberals have been complaining about it for years.

The funny thing is that we've been doing this for decades, it's just that we used manned aircraft instead of drones and 2000lb bombs instead of hellfire anti-tank missiles.

The neat thing about the old fashioned way is that you just kill everyone on the whole block, say you were targeting the building and call the rest collateral damage.  No pesky legal justifications needed, and people were cool with it because it didn't have the word "drone" in it.
 
2013-02-06 09:04:21 AM

rumpelstiltskin: Why do conservatives try so hard to paint Obama as more liberal than he is?


He does remain the Great Progressive Hope when it suits their delusions.

Lockstep party-line chumps don't mind being abused by their own team.
 
2013-02-06 09:10:00 AM

vpb: It's been front page news on this planet.   Liberals have been complaining about it for years.

The funny thing is that we've been doing this for decades, it's just that we used manned aircraft instead of drones and 2000lb bombs instead of hellfire anti-tank missiles.

The neat thing about the old fashioned way is that you just kill everyone on the whole block, say you were targeting the building and call the rest collateral damage.  No pesky legal justifications needed, and people were cool with it because it didn't have the word "drone" in it.


There is *ONE* significant difference between the two:  If you put a manned aircraft in the area, you at least theoretically have some skin in the game:  That pilot could be shot down, captured, or killed.

When you use aircraft that are remotely piloted by a some dweeb in a trailer hundreds or thousands of miles away, you really don't have any risk at all, except for the cost of the drone if something happens to it.  Then it's just a mere accounting entry.

Because of this, it becomes much easier to commit to using force in areas and situations where you might not otherwise use it.
 
2013-02-06 09:19:56 AM

dr_blasto: Bontesla: Because the Republicans wouldn't have used less drones. Our two party system is in favor of drone use.

While true, I still find our use of flying killer robots to be very disturbing. Part of that is because war should be hard; it should be a decision that carries significant risk, yet with our drone program, we can kill indiscriminately, depersonalizing the whole process. It has become way too easy to simply fly a drone into Yemen and blow up some wedding party because we simply don't like one or two people in it.


Agreed. I'm against the frequency in which our drones are used. And to that extent - there are some news coverage and political shows that do question our policies regarding suspected and confirmed drone use. But it isn't an mainstream issue and I do think it has something to do with our two party system largely being supportive of drone use.
 
2013-02-06 09:35:37 AM
Because if they did, conservatives and "news" organizations wouldn't be able to fall on the tired lie that both sides are exactly the same. Fark the facts, little people, there's a highly profitable narrative to push here!
 
2013-02-06 09:38:07 AM

Dinki: As a Liberal, I view these drone attacks as nothing more than an extension of the whole idiotic 'war on terror'. The minute we decided to declare war on a tactic we lost all reason. And while I wish Obama had the cajones to bring us back from this madness, I also know that there is a huge amount of inertia and political calculation driving it. We have become trapped in a reality that says you must do something... anything... everything to show the punditry and war faction in Washington that you are serious about stopping a threat that barely exists. Because God forbid another serious attack occurs and you don't have a whole slew of programs you can point to to say you have been proactive.


QFT...
 
2013-02-06 09:38:25 AM
Drones were the top story all weekend on msnbc.com and cnn.com.  Damn those liberal sites for hiding it!
 
2013-02-06 09:39:00 AM
As a liberal, I sure am glad to have all these boot-strappy Fark Independents tell me what I'm thinking.
 
vpb [TotalFark]
2013-02-06 09:40:32 AM
dittybopper:

There is *ONE* significant difference between the two:  If you put a manned aircraft in the area, you at least theoretically have some skin in the game:  That pilot could be shot down, captured, or killed.

When you use aircraft that are remotely piloted by a some dweeb in a trailer hundreds or thousands of miles away, you really don't have any risk at all, except for the cost of the drone if something happens to it.  Then it's just a mere accounting entry.

Because of this, it becomes much easier to commit to using force in areas and situations where you might not otherwise use it.


That is a good point if you are attacking someone with an air force or at least some surface to air missiles.  I should have used cruise missiles as my example.

Clinton ordered a number of strikes using cruise missiles in Afghanistan and Sudan, but they targeted the bases, not people by name.  Same result, but it sounds like you are just bombing a building or a camp so in people's minds it's totally different.

The funny thing is that this is a result of an effort to reduce controversy by minimizing collateral damage that has backfired because no one anticipated that it would be perceived as extra-judicial executions instead of the same old thing with fewer bystanders killed.

It's an example of how you can influence people's thinking by framing it in a particular way.
 
2013-02-06 09:41:16 AM
I'm certainly against it... And I'm also under no illusions that Obama is some kind of bleeding heart liberal. If there is one big issue I have with the Obama Adminstration, this is it. It's another black mark on our country. right up there with, if not surpassing, Bush's "enhanced interrogations".

But that Pandora's Box was opened a while ago and neither of the big parties is really interested in closing it up, apparently.
 
2013-02-06 09:45:38 AM

Satanic_Hamster: Drones were the top story all weekend on msnbc.com and cnn.com.  Damn those liberal sites for hiding it!


Michael Isikoff revealed the drone documents on arch conservative Rachel Maddow's show.

I SMELL A LIBERAL COVERUP!!!
 
2013-02-06 09:46:10 AM
Wasn't this story broken by the "liberal" media?

Maybe most ppl realize it would be a hundred times worse under some fundamentalist Jesusy, GOP dickhole. They would be sending out drones to bomb atheists and other non Christians. Drones to disrupt gay weddings and soldier funerals. Drones to surveil abortion clinics and get photos of targets for their followers to murder. Drones to stop birth control pills. Drones to explode electric car factories.

When the only ppl you consider "Real Americans" are a tiny minority of white fundamentalist elitists, the rest of us justifiably live in terror of you jack booted terrorists. God help the world if you assholes had the reigns right now.

As imperfect as Obama is, he isn't Romney or McCain, either of which would burn the world to the ground for fun, never caring.
 
2013-02-06 09:48:31 AM
Media in the US has never really paid that much attention to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq beyond the first few weeks. The fact that only Glen Greenwald and maybe a few other lefties in media have asked any hard questions about America's secret(ish) war is not that hard to understand.

While I understand a lot of the concerns here at the end of the day there wasn't a lot of choice here.

AQ was flaunting AAA basically saying "Ha! We got us a US citizen to be one of our mouthpieces, what are you gonna do about it?"

Short answer: Boom.

Long answer: BOOOOOM!!!

That noted, the increased frequency of the UAV attacks and the de-personalization inherent in that type of warfare *are* troubling.
 
2013-02-06 09:50:49 AM

Prank Call of Cthulhu: When people gripe about the use of armed UAVs, what I hear is, "I want to go back to the good old days of saturation bombing."


Welllllll... there's a much higher threshold for justification if you want to go carpet a village in explosions. A precisely targeted drone strike has both less risk to the operator and less risk of collateral civilian deaths, so it has a lower threshold and rightfully so... but a lot of people think it's now TOO low. So the complaint isn't so much that we shouldn't be using armed UAVs, but that we shouldn't be using armed UAVs to wage war where we otherwise wouldn't if it wasn't so dang easy, or where we would otherwise attempt to arrest or capture the subject as a police action.

So, no, I don't think we should return to saturation, nor should we completely eliminate the use of armed drones... but we do need to curb our enthusiasm a bit about being able to vaporize people practically risk free. And that's before we even get into the issue of whether or not we should be vaporizing US citizens via drone.
 
2013-02-06 09:51:35 AM

dittybopper: There is *ONE* significant difference between the two: If you put a manned aircraft in the area, you at least theoretically have some skin in the game: That pilot could be shot down, captured, or killed.


So the possibility that an American pilot could die makes it better. That makes perfect sense.

...and no, BillCo, I and most of the people who voted for Obama twice don't think he can do no wrong. He hasn't un-farked everything Bush has farked up to my satisfaction. A lot of it due to obstruction, some not. Bush was the President with the unconditional love from the republicans, not Obama. But projection is what republicans do best.
 
2013-02-06 09:53:27 AM

keylock71: It's another black mark on our country.


:O
 
2013-02-06 09:53:32 AM

Grand_Moff_Joseph: Maybe that's because the liberals aren't hating the drones that much?


THis lib hates the use of drones.  That said, I don't think Romney would have changed the policies on drone usage so I am not hating on Obama about drones.
 
2013-02-06 09:57:11 AM

Jackson Herring: keylock71: It's another black mark on our country.

:O


Black mark, not blah, socialist mark... : )
 
2013-02-06 09:58:52 AM

Grand_Moff_Joseph: Maybe that's because the liberals aren't hating the drones that much?


I gave money and volunteered to the first Obama campaign.  I told them I wouldn't this time around because of drones, GITMO, and the NDAA and Obama's silence on all of them.  I told them they had my vote, but not my help.
 
2013-02-06 10:00:44 AM
What? A UAV is the easiest scorestreak to get. What do you want from us?
 
2013-02-06 10:02:31 AM
Not sure which "Liberal Media" they are referring to; I listen to NPR and have heard about the objections every day for the last three days.
 
vpb [TotalFark]
2013-02-06 10:04:51 AM
quatchi:

That noted, the increased frequency of the UAV attacks and the de-personalization inherent in that type of warfare *are* troubling.

The funny thing is that if a Republican was president, we would still be on the "kill whoever you think needs killing" plan and hardly anyone would have a problem with it because the issue would be framed as bombing a place or thing instead of executing a person.

That's the ironic thing.  Obama's administration "re-personalized" it by making strikes about a person instead of a location or object.  By trying to create some rules and standards he made strikes against terrorists more controversial instead of less.
 
2013-02-06 10:06:07 AM

Mugato: So the possibility that an American pilot could die makes it better. That makes perfect sense.



Well, it doesn't make it better. But it does indicate the (former) minimum threshold for entering another country's airspace and killing people: possible loss of a lot of money's worth of equipment and a human life. Now, with drones, the threshold is further reduced just to possible loss of some money's worth of equipment.

I think it OUGHT to be a big deal to enter another country's airspace and kill people, but with the reduced loss potential, we've become too relaxed in our standard for what sort of situation we'll do that for. That doesn't mean not ever using drones, but the natural disincentive isn't sufficient any more. We've developed a pretty severe case of "might makes right" ever since 9/11, and while there's not many people strong enough to tell us "no", that doesn't make it a good thing.

Now, I'm not exactly sure what we need to do about the situation, but electing Romney wasn't it.
 
2013-02-06 10:07:33 AM

Muta: THis lib hates the use of drones.  That said, I don't think Romney would have changed the policies on drone usage so I am not hating on Obama about drones.


I think this is where the problem is.  Most liberals seem to be on the side of: "Oh, I don't agree with the drone strikes, but so-and-so would have been much worse, so Obama gets a pass."  Well, Romney isn't the president, and we'll never know (thankfully) how he would have operated.  It's an intellectually dishonest argument, at the very least.  Either the drone strikes are bad, or they're not.  You csn't (or shouldn't) judge what the Obama administration is doing based on what the alternative MIGHT have been.
 
2013-02-06 10:09:08 AM
Why is the drone part of this equation the part that sticks out? The targeted killing of American citizens that are on a list created by a single branch of the government, with no oversight, isn't the scary part? Sure right now it's easy for us all to say "well, they're bad guys in a bad group, so I'm ok with this". But what happens if the next group is domestic. And the self imposed rules change a little to lighten the standards to what it takes to make the list?
 
2013-02-06 10:09:48 AM

incendi: Now, I'm not exactly sure what we need to do about the situation, but electing Romney wasn't it.


That was the thing, right? Yeah, I have some issues with the Obama Administration, but there was absolutely nothing I supported about Romney's platform (or the GOP's platform, for that matter).
 
2013-02-06 10:12:15 AM

Edward Rooney Dean of Students: Muta: THis lib hates the use of drones.  That said, I don't think Romney would have changed the policies on drone usage so I am not hating on Obama about drones.

I think this is where the problem is.  Most liberals seem to be on the side of: "Oh, I don't agree with the drone strikes, but so-and-so would have been much worse, so Obama gets a pass."  Well, Romney isn't the president, and we'll never know (thankfully) how he would have operated.  It's an intellectually dishonest argument, at the very least.  Either the drone strikes are bad, or they're not.  You csn't (or shouldn't) judge what the Obama administration is doing based on what the alternative MIGHT have been.


You also have to separate the "legality" and "effectiveness" arguments to a degree or the whole issue gets quickly muddled.  It will be waterboarding redux.
 
2013-02-06 10:12:23 AM

OHDUDENESS: The targeted killing of American citizens that are on a list created by a single branch of the government, with no oversight, isn't the scary part? Sure right now it's easy for us all to say "well, they're bad guys in a bad group, so I'm ok with this". But what happens if the next group is domestic. And the self imposed rules change a little to lighten the standards to what it takes to make the list?


Yuuup.  That's the scary part.  Especially with Holder's "they're entitled to due process, just not judicial process" comments.  What a douche.
 
vpb [TotalFark]
2013-02-06 10:13:02 AM
incendi:

Now, I'm not exactly sure what we need to do about the situation, but electing Romney wasn't it.

I think you over-estimate how much the average chicken hawk cares about the life of a pilot or soldier.
 
2013-02-06 10:15:15 AM

OHDUDENESS: Why is the drone part of this equation the part that sticks out? The targeted killing of American citizens that are on a list created by a single branch of the government, with no oversight, isn't the scary part? Sure right now it's easy for us all to say "well, they're bad guys in a bad group, so I'm ok with this". But what happens if the next group is domestic. And the self imposed rules change a little to lighten the standards to what it takes to make the list?


I agree. Certainly open to abuse.
 
2013-02-06 10:17:39 AM

incendi: Well, it doesn't make it better. But it does indicate the (former) minimum threshold for entering another country's airspace and killing people: possible loss of a lot of money's worth of equipment and a human life


You're speaking as though there would be less attacks if there were humans in planes doing the attacking. There's nothing to indicate that anyone giving the orders cares that much about the lives of anyone in the military.
 
2013-02-06 10:17:43 AM

incendi: I think it OUGHT to be a big deal to enter another country's airspace and kill people


It really is a big deal, and as a general principle a lot of us liberals oppose it. But speaking for myself, I think Pakistan's a special case, because those sons-of-b*tches are actively supporting terrorists while taking piles of dough from the US to supposedly do the opposite. It's called the "double game" and they've been playing it for a long time. I say f*ck'em, but I respect different opinions on that.
 
2013-02-06 10:20:39 AM
Perhaps letting the previous cabal of war criminals skate should have been your first red flag. Oh, but right, we were the "wacko far left" at that time. You know, just like those nutty congressmen who said wars in Afghanistan and Iraq would be unjustifiable clusterf*cks. Not the electable sorts at all, like that dreamy John Edwards!!!
 
2013-02-06 10:21:25 AM

dr_blasto: Bontesla: Because the Republicans wouldn't have used less drones. Our two party system is in favor of drone use.

While true, I still find our use of flying killer robots to be very disturbing. Part of that is because war should be hard; it should be a decision that carries significant risk, yet with our drone program, we can kill indiscriminately, depersonalizing the whole process. It has become way too easy to simply fly a drone into Yemen and blow up some wedding party because we simply don't like one or two people in it.


Pretty much this.
 
2013-02-06 10:22:17 AM

vpb: I think you over-estimate how much the average chicken hawk cares about the life of a pilot or soldier.


A drone costs about 4 million. A pilot costs about a million to train, plus the cost of whatever he's flying (even an A-10 is 12 million). The value proposition is still there whether you're an inhuman bastard or a bleeding heart.
 
2013-02-06 10:22:58 AM
Hey republicans, give me an option as a presidential candidate in the general election that will absolutely shut down the program and I'll vote for him, until then

In the immortal words of Whitney Houston,

"Kiss my a$$"
 
2013-02-06 10:23:18 AM

Muta: hat said, I don't think Romney would have changed the policies on drone usage so I am not hating on Obama about drones.


How does this even make sense?  If something terrible is done, excusing the person because someone else would have done it anyway doesn't make it any less of a terrible thing.
 
2013-02-06 10:25:45 AM

JolobinSmokin: Hey republicans, give me an option as a presidential candidate in the general election that will absolutely shut down the program and I'll vote for him, until then

In the immortal words of Whitney Houston,

"Kiss my a$$"


Wait.  So it's the republicans fault that Obama is using drone strikes?  He can't shut down his own program?  Is he responsible for ANYTHING?  Jeez-a-loo...
 
2013-02-06 10:27:40 AM
Because our news media sucks and out populace doesn't care or even want to know. We've been at war in Afghanistan for years now and it is almost never even mentioned in the news. We're are at war, it should be in the news every single night until our troops are home.
 
2013-02-06 10:29:13 AM

BraveNewCheneyWorld: How does this even make sense?  If something terrible is done, excusing the person because someone else would have done it anyway doesn't make it any less of a terrible thing.


Well, given that our options for the executive would not have changed anything, we have to look towards Congress (useless) or the Courts (slow) for change on this until the next presidential election, which will probably also not present an option that is actually opposed to the use of drones once they're elected and have to actually make the decision. So we're left in the same position as most people opposed to something the government is doing: griping about it on the internet.
 
2013-02-06 10:33:17 AM
I'd heard his speeches could be boring, but I didn't realize people were dying during them.
 
2013-02-06 10:33:59 AM

Mugato: incendi: Well, it doesn't make it better. But it does indicate the (former) minimum threshold for entering another country's airspace and killing people: possible loss of a lot of money's worth of equipment and a human life

You're speaking as though there would be less attacks if there were humans in planes doing the attacking. There's nothing to indicate that anyone giving the orders cares that much about the lives of anyone in the military.


The people giving those order may not care, they may well have given little thought about them at any time in any war, but the greater society has the capacity to make it difficult for them to make those decisions. It is society that determines where the line is for any action in the end; whether they can support it or not does play in the decision making process.

If there are no bodybags, it appears that blowing shiat up overseas has relative little impact on our population. Hide the bodybags that everybody knows are out there, you get some resistance and a bunch of "support the troops" magnets on cars. Show those bodybags on TV every night and people might take to the streets or you end up with Kent State.
 
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