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(The Atlantic)   "If a drone strike hit an American wedding, we would ground the fleet"   (theatlantic.com) divider line 159
    More: Stupid, Americans, American Wedding, Hellfire missile, San Clemente  
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2017 clicks; posted to Politics » on 16 Dec 2013 at 9:36 AM (31 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-12-16 11:37:01 AM

bigsteve3OOO: Lord_Baull: bigsteve3OOO: Obama could stop drone attacks, he does not want to.  He increased them.  Right or wrong he is responsible for them.  Anyone who says otherwise is a liar.


Credit for killing OBL, on the other hand, goes directly to Seal Team Six.

Nope.  Obama.  Good or bad he is my president and he is the commander in chief.  The buck stops with him.  NSA = Obama.  Killing OBL = Obama.



That's refreshing to hear.
 
2013-12-16 11:37:46 AM

bigsteve3OOO: When you are in charge everything is on you.  He picked the department heads.  What they do is a result of that pick.  He is supposed to monitor them and guide them.  If he does not monitor effectivly then their actions are his fault.  You cant be in charge and not be responsible.


The President of the USA is a role, like James Bond.  You'll get different actors but they play the same basic role.  The key is consistency.

They just read the scripts, they take orders from the director and the producers.  If they can't do that, they're replaced by the next film.

Oh, and they can NEVER criticise the Bond actors who came before them.
 
2013-12-16 11:38:15 AM

RanDomino: qorkfiend
You would prefer the pre-ACA status quo to an ACA without a public option?

If Obama had wanted it, there was support for public option at the very least. Not having it means millions of people without insurance, and thousands of them will die for it. Yes, I think the deaths of thousands counts as "atrocious".


I think "atrocious" would be a word to describe the pre-ACA status quo, which had even more people without insurance, and more people dying because of it, and "frankly evil" to describe people who supported that system. Apparently, you would use the same words to describe both the ACA and pre-ACA, from which one might infer that you place them on the same level. Why is that?
 
2013-12-16 11:39:15 AM
jso2897
If we want our foreign policy to change we need to elect some VERY different leaders.

"If voting changed anything, it would be made illegal."
 
2013-12-16 11:40:16 AM

jakomo002: bigsteve3OOO: When you are in charge everything is on you.  He picked the department heads.  What they do is a result of that pick.  He is supposed to monitor them and guide them.  If he does not monitor effectivly then their actions are his fault.  You cant be in charge and not be responsible.

The President of the USA is a role, like James Bond.  You'll get different actors but they play the same basic role.  The key is consistency.

They just read the scripts, they take orders from the director and the producers.  If they can't do that, they're replaced by the next film.

Oh, and they can NEVER criticise the Bond actors who came before them.


I believe this is true.  It is also not how it is supposed to be..
 
2013-12-16 11:41:32 AM

Nabb1: Lord_Baull: Nabb1: Lord_Baull: Nabb1: Lord_Baull: If a democratic president rains missles on the enemy, it's wag the dog or war-mongering dictator.
If a republican president spends 1 trillion dollars and kills 4000 Americans, it's sound foreign policy and protecting our borders.

So we can mark you down as in favor of this as well?


Only if I can mark you down as both fiscally conservative and in favor of invading and occupying Iraq.

You can mark me down whatever you want if it helps you avoid actually discussing the policy being discussed in the article.


And you can mark me down for being continually amazed of your cognitive dissonance when the other team does it.

Still don't want to discuss the issue, do you? That's fine. Not everyone has the capacity to discuss actual policy issues. These things can get complicated sometimes.


Is that why instead of you, Nabb1, discussing the issue you made such a trollingly disingenuous response?

Is there anywhere in the thread you discuss the issue? I'll admit I may have missed it.

/farking threadshiatters ruin this site.
 
2013-12-16 11:42:16 AM

RanDomino: Somacandra
A lot of people forget Obama's openly stated policy goals. Some of us voted for him because of his openly stated policy goals.

The Obama campaign won the marketing industry award for 2008. Yes, you're right that "some" people voted for Obama because of what he actually stands for- the rest voted for him because of what it was suggested he stands for. Words are cheap. He could have, and, as you just said, actually did, come right out and said that he was going to keep up the drone strikes, in addition to other programs that a large swath of his base finds abhorrent like ACA without single-payer or even public option, letting the banksters off the hook for looting the economy, supporting Keystone XL and continuing the facilitation of other environmentally-destructive extraction, being open to cutting Social Security... but it doesn't matter because they had a psychologically-manipulative ad campaign that, like all good marketing, made people's higher cognitive functions shut down.


I think he's a product of his times. He's the first black president and followed one of the most unpopular presidents in the last 100 years.  Furthermore, he's well-timed to fill a void on the left.  People evolved to be religious, the so-called "God gene" that many people have.  We, especially on the left, have now identified religion as something we don't need, yet we still need something to focus those religious behaviors toward.  Some people go for brand loyalties, many go for political parties.  Obama gained quite the following by plugging into that need.  His marketing team is brilliant.  While the GOP throws out cringe-inducing rants that seem to be tailored for Homer Simpson's father, Obama's team is doing in-depth data analytics to craft the perfect message.
 
2013-12-16 11:42:20 AM

odinsposse: Lost Thought 00: There are an awful lot of "wedding parties" which conveniently contain a large gathering of known terrorists.

5 of the 17 people killed were suspected of ties to Al-Qaeda. Even if you're really gun ho about killing terrorists "Almost a third of the people we killed were bad guys" is ridiculous.


Wouldn't it be almost a third of the people we killed were suspected bad guys?
 
2013-12-16 11:42:50 AM

Nabb1: Lord_Baull: Nabb1: Lord_Baull: Nabb1: Lord_Baull: If a democratic president rains missles on the enemy, it's wag the dog or war-mongering dictator.
If a republican president spends 1 trillion dollars and kills 4000 Americans, it's sound foreign policy and protecting our borders.

So we can mark you down as in favor of this as well?


Only if I can mark you down as both fiscally conservative and in favor of invading and occupying Iraq.

You can mark me down whatever you want if it helps you avoid actually discussing the policy being discussed in the article.


And you can mark me down for being continually amazed of your cognitive dissonance when the other team does it.

Still don't want to discuss the issue, do you? That's fine. Not everyone has the capacity to discuss actual policy issues. These things can get complicated sometimes.



Fine. I think drone strikes against terrorists targets are a better, more efficient method than tens of thousands of troops on the ground for years at a time. I also believe that the killing of innocent civilians is a terrible, unnecessary waste and extremely regrettable. I also believe that a dozen innocent deaths is more acceptable to me than the 174,000 caused by Bush's invasion of Iraq. Happy?
 
2013-12-16 11:43:31 AM

RanDomino: qorkfiend
You would prefer the pre-ACA status quo to an ACA without a public option?

If Obama had wanted it, there was support for public option at the very least. Not having it means millions of people without insurance, and thousands of them will die for it. Yes, I think the deaths of thousands counts as "atrocious".


There was nowhere near enough support for a public option.
 
2013-12-16 11:46:31 AM

jso2897: bigsteve3OOO: jso2897: bigsteve3OOO: Obama could stop drone attacks, he does not want to.  He increased them.  Right or wrong he is responsible for them.  Anyone who says otherwise is a liar.

Any President  in my lifetime since Truman could have stopped policies that kill and injure innocent civilians. None have.
I'm curious as to what has made you come to perceive this at this point in time.

I will continue to point out that Obama is in charge and responsible for things that liberals hate.  They seem incapable of making that connection without my help.

Well, fine, but having achieved the education of liberals, perhaps we could move on to the issue of what is so fundamentally wrong with our foreign policy. Neither Obama nor any other President should get a pass for continuing these bad policies. But Obama is a lame duck no one will ever have another chance to vote against, and in 2017 he'll be replaced by some other guy (or gal) who will enact some version of the exact same policies - unless somebody (like us) demands that something change.
From the end of WWII to today, we have crafted a foreign policy that consists of interfering in the affairs of other nations in order to achieve our own policy ends. That has brought some good things to be (arguably, anyway), but it has had a terrible cost, and there will also be a point of sharply diminishing returns - one I think we are reaching now.
More paranoia, more expense, more risk - and less real; security seems to be what we're actually getting.
Nobody  (with any brains) expected Obama to change this - he's a Reagan Democrat, FFS.
If we want our foreign policy to change we need to elect some VERY different leaders.


So Jeb Bush for president? Mabey Hillary Clinton instead?
 
2013-12-16 11:46:35 AM

bigsteve3OOO: I believe this is true.  It is also not how it is supposed to be..


It's why I hope Elizabeth Warren never runs.  She can enact far more change in a lesser role, and the Presidency would inevitably quash that.

I had high hopes for Obama, but he's just the first black actor to play Bond, that's all.  And the movie has the same plot, same villains, and same setting.
 
2013-12-16 11:48:17 AM
RanDomino: "If voting changed anything, it would be made illegal."  -Rand Paul

sorry, pet peeve
 
2013-12-16 11:49:09 AM

qorkfiend: RanDomino: qorkfiend
You would prefer the pre-ACA status quo to an ACA without a public option?

If Obama had wanted it, there was support for public option at the very least. Not having it means millions of people without insurance, and thousands of them will die for it. Yes, I think the deaths of thousands counts as "atrocious".

I think "atrocious" would be a word to describe the pre-ACA status quo, which had even more people without insurance, and more people dying because of it, and "frankly evil" to describe people who supported that system. Apparently, you would use the same words to describe both the ACA and pre-ACA, from which one might infer that you place them on the same level. Why is that?


If people were starving and I fed half of them, RanDomino would call be a murderer.
 
2013-12-16 11:49:13 AM
I don't think we'd ground them, that's kind of harsh.

Maybe a 5 minute time-out and a stern talking too.
 
2013-12-16 11:50:29 AM

Lord_Baull: Nabb1: Lord_Baull: Nabb1: Lord_Baull: Nabb1: Lord_Baull: If a democratic president rains missles on the enemy, it's wag the dog or war-mongering dictator.
If a republican president spends 1 trillion dollars and kills 4000 Americans, it's sound foreign policy and protecting our borders.

So we can mark you down as in favor of this as well?


Only if I can mark you down as both fiscally conservative and in favor of invading and occupying Iraq.

You can mark me down whatever you want if it helps you avoid actually discussing the policy being discussed in the article.


And you can mark me down for being continually amazed of your cognitive dissonance when the other team does it.

Still don't want to discuss the issue, do you? That's fine. Not everyone has the capacity to discuss actual policy issues. These things can get complicated sometimes.


Fine. I think drone strikes against terrorists targets are a better, more efficient method than tens of thousands of troops on the ground for years at a time. I also believe that the killing of innocent civilians is a terrible, unnecessary waste and extremely regrettable. I also believe that a dozen innocent deaths is more acceptable to me than the 174,000 caused by Bush's invasion of Iraq. Happy?


So, you are okay with the President unilaterally executing people in countries with whom we are not at war, a determination made without oversight, due process or judicial review, and one that kills many innocent civilians and has drawn condemnation from human rights groups?
 
2013-12-16 11:51:14 AM

Lord_Baull: Fine. I think drone strikes against terrorists targets are a better, more efficient method than tens of thousands of troops on the ground for years at a time.


SUSPECTED terrorists whose names and alleged crimes are rarely if ever released and whose execution is often unreported, ESPECIALLY by those who determine the guilt and the time and manner of execution.
 
2013-12-16 11:53:34 AM
qorkfiend
I think "atrocious" would be a word to describe the pre-ACA status quo

You're attempting to say that the only choices were ACA or the previous situation, and I don't accept that.

Apparently, you would use the same words to describe both the ACA and pre-ACA, from which one might infer that you place them on the same level. Why is that?

Putting a band-aid on an arterial wound might be "better" but that doesn't make it sufficient.
Democrats keep trying to tell me that ACA somehow lays the groundwork for public option or single-payer, but never flesh out that argument or provide a road map, and the framing of ACA (such as calling people who use it "consumers" rather than something more like "citizens") doesn't seem to be leading into the New Deal/Great Society program I've been assured it is, rather than the product of a conservative think tank that it actually is.  It seems rather to be a proof-of-concept of integrating privatization into government programs in a way that could just as easily be applied to medicare, social security, and education ("If you like your school, you can keep it!").
 
2013-12-16 11:55:01 AM

Nabb1: So, you are okay with the President unilaterally executing people in countries with whom we are not at war, a determination made without oversight, due process or judicial review, and one that kills many innocent civilians and has drawn condemnation from human rights groups?



Once again, I'm okay with it to the degree that you were okay with the President unilaterally executing people in countries with whom we are not at war, a determination made without oversight, due process or judicial review, and one that kills many innocent civilians and has drawn condemnation from human rights groups in Iraq.
 
2013-12-16 11:57:57 AM

jakomo002: Lord_Baull: Fine. I think drone strikes against terrorists targets are a better, more efficient method than tens of thousands of troops on the ground for years at a time.

SUSPECTED terrorists whose names and alleged crimes are rarely if ever released and whose execution is often unreported, ESPECIALLY by those who determine the guilt and the time and manner of execution.



Like the suspected terrorists here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RCim6TgiPBo
 
2013-12-16 11:59:00 AM
FLMountainMan
I think he's a product

x1000


Lord_Baull
sorry, pet peeve

You're a terrible person.


Smackledorfer
If people were starving and I fed half of them, RanDomino would call be a murderer.

If you're not asking why they have no food, you're not really solving the problem.
 
2013-12-16 12:02:20 PM
Remember the good old days when we'd use bombs and cruise missiles.
 
2013-12-16 12:07:01 PM

Nabb1: Lord_Baull: Nabb1: Lord_Baull: Nabb1: Lord_Baull: Nabb1: Lord_Baull: If a democratic president rains missles on the enemy, it's wag the dog or war-mongering dictator.
If a republican president spends 1 trillion dollars and kills 4000 Americans, it's sound foreign policy and protecting our borders.

So we can mark you down as in favor of this as well?


Only if I can mark you down as both fiscally conservative and in favor of invading and occupying Iraq.

You can mark me down whatever you want if it helps you avoid actually discussing the policy being discussed in the article.


And you can mark me down for being continually amazed of your cognitive dissonance when the other team does it.

Still don't want to discuss the issue, do you? That's fine. Not everyone has the capacity to discuss actual policy issues. These things can get complicated sometimes.


Fine. I think drone strikes against terrorists targets are a better, more efficient method than tens of thousands of troops on the ground for years at a time. I also believe that the killing of innocent civilians is a terrible, unnecessary waste and extremely regrettable. I also believe that a dozen innocent deaths is more acceptable to me than the 174,000 caused by Bush's invasion of Iraq. Happy?

So, you are okay with the President unilaterally executing people in countries with whom we are not at war, a determination made without oversight, due process or judicial review, and one that kills many innocent civilians and has drawn condemnation from human rights groups?


Being at war with the country makes no difference. Killing innocent bystanders is bad either way, while killing 'bad guys' is generally considered acceptable either way. Those killings are always made unilaterally in wartime scenarios.

Further, expecting interpol to handle terrorism via international trials and guilt beyond a reasonable doubt is not an option. There is no functional way to do this.

It is kind of dishonest of you to focus on those aspects.

If you want to discuss reality, then discussing realistic alternatives is a good thing. Which means that for any one drone strike you can what-if a claim of 'we could maybe have gotten more proof and caught them elsewhere'. You cannot reasonably use that logic for all of Al Queda. If you want zero drone strikes that is fine. What do you want instead?

I think we use them too much. I admit I lack the intell to say exactly what that too much is.

Fwiw I wish no man ever had to kill another in the history of the world. But I would be a complete tool to go around proclaiming moral superiority to everyone around me who deals with reality. Well, if I did that from my comfy safety in America anyways. If ghandi avoided all conflict while preaching pacifism, nobody would remember him.
 
2013-12-16 12:08:44 PM

Lord_Baull: Like the suspected terrorists here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RCim6TgiPBo


I saw the title but not the video (don't want to subject myself to any possible terrible things that can't be unseen).

Blackwater were less terrorists and more "hired mercenary murderers" who could do heinous things that were expressly forbidden by the Military Code, giving cover to the US military personnel who ordered them to do said acts.

A Plausible Deniability Division.
 
2013-12-16 12:10:22 PM

RanDomino: FLMountainMan
I think he's a product

x1000


Lord_Baull
sorry, pet peeve

You're a terrible person.


Smackledorfer
If people were starving and I fed half of them, RanDomino would call be a murderer.

If you're not asking why they have no food, you're not really solving the problem.


I didn't claim to solve the problem. I implied that helping some, but not all, would be stupid to label as an atrocity. I guess that wasn't obvious enough. My apologies.
 
2013-12-16 12:16:46 PM

Smackledorfer: Further, expecting interpol to handle terrorism via international trials and guilt beyond a reasonable doubt is not an option. There is no functional way to do this.


So you find one, instead of trying to justify ZERO trials, ZERO evidence and ZERO accountability followed by assassination.  The ICC exists for a reason.

Those killed are given NO CHANCE to even defend themselves whatsoever.  Anywhere.  Just eliminated.  That's frightening, no?
 
2013-12-16 12:19:04 PM
I didn't read the entire thread, but frankly I doubt it. What happens if a police officer hits a car, injuring or killing its occupants, in pursuit of a a felon? I'm guessing the same, "sorry eggs, omelettes" argument gets thrown out. Wedding party family gets weak settlement. Most of the rest of the county tunes back in to American Idol.
 
2013-12-16 12:28:31 PM

jakomo002: Lord_Baull: Like the suspected terrorists here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RCim6TgiPBo

I saw the title but not the video (don't want to subject myself to any possible terrible things that can't be unseen).

Blackwater were less terrorists and more "hired mercenary murderers" who could do heinous things that were expressly forbidden by the Military Code, giving cover to the US military personnel who ordered them to do said acts.

A Plausible Deniability Division.



That was my point.
 
2013-12-16 12:32:21 PM

jakomo002: Smackledorfer: Further, expecting interpol to handle terrorism via international trials and guilt beyond a reasonable doubt is not an option. There is no functional way to do this.

So you find one, instead of trying to justify ZERO trials, ZERO evidence and ZERO accountability followed by assassination.  The ICC exists for a reason.

Those killed are given NO CHANCE to even defend themselves whatsoever.  Anywhere.  Just eliminated.  That's frightening, no?


I don't think there is any way to do it.

If you can find one, I will support it.

Telling me I am wrong about a way not existing while insisting I need to find that way is silly.


What kind of international CSI team do you think is going to keep a lid on Al Qaida? Can you walk me through the investigation process and the amount of evidence they should need to lock away/kill a terrorist?
 
2013-12-16 12:33:47 PM
If a drone harms someone at an American wedding, I'm suing Jeff Bezos.
 
2013-12-16 12:34:39 PM

Lord_Baull: jakomo002: Lord_Baull: Like the suspected terrorists here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RCim6TgiPBo

I saw the title but not the video (don't want to subject myself to any possible terrible things that can't be unseen).

Blackwater were less terrorists and more "hired mercenary murderers" who could do heinous things that were expressly forbidden by the Military Code, giving cover to the US military personnel who ordered them to do said acts.

A Plausible Deniability Division.


That was my point.


A point well made then.
 
2013-12-16 12:40:27 PM

Lord_Baull: Nabb1: So, you are okay with the President unilaterally executing people in countries with whom we are not at war, a determination made without oversight, due process or judicial review, and one that kills many innocent civilians and has drawn condemnation from human rights groups?


Once again, I'm okay with it to the degree that you were okay with the President unilaterally executing people in countries with whom we are not at war, a determination made without oversight, due process or judicial review, and one that kills many innocent civilians and has drawn condemnation from human rights groups in Iraq.


My opinions on Iraq (which you misstate) are of no relevance to this policy. Why are you so fixated on that?
 
2013-12-16 12:40:51 PM

jakomo002: Smackledorfer: Further, expecting interpol to handle terrorism via international trials and guilt beyond a reasonable doubt is not an option. There is no functional way to do this.

So you find one, instead of trying to justify ZERO trials, ZERO evidence and ZERO accountability followed by assassination.  The ICC exists for a reason.

Those killed are given NO CHANCE to even defend themselves whatsoever.  Anywhere.  Just eliminated.  That's frightening, no?


Only if you discount the fact that a random schmuck with the right chemicals, tools, a little stealth, planning and training can quite literally take out thousands of non-combatants with no warning, no chance to defend themselves....Just eliminated...

It's a difficult philosophical problem, and one that unfortunately really has no 'answer' in the classic sense.  It all boils down to what you value more highly and what you value more.  Would you save the life of a dying child at the expense of 10 old people?  Perhaps a hundred?

Would you agree to being at least passively monitored if it meant that the guy planning to blow up a building was being at least 'passively monitored' as well?  Some people would, others wouldn't.  Some value individual 'freedom' more highly than the safety and well being of others.  Some value the 'greater good' than a given individual's 'freedom'.

It's largely a value question, not a right/wrong one.
 
2013-12-16 12:47:04 PM
Lord_Baull:
Fine. I think drone strikes against terrorists targets are a better, more efficient method than tens of thousands of troops on the ground for years at a time.

Efficient? Hardly. On the whole, drone strikes manage to create more enemies than they are taking out.
As surprising as this may sound, killing innocent people makes the survivors extremely pissed with you, and more likely to take arms against you or support those who do - and that's before bringing any of the sovereignty business into the equation.
The new president of Pakistan has said it publicly, but if you paid any attention to what was going on, that should have been painfully obvious a long time ago.
 
2013-12-16 12:47:31 PM

Smackledorfer: I don't think there is any way to do it.

If you can find one, I will support it.

Telling me I am wrong about a way not existing while insisting I need to find that way is silly.


What kind of international CSI team do you think is going to keep a lid on Al Qaida? Can you walk me through the investigation process and the amount of evidence they should need to lock away/kill a terrorist?


There's some middle ground between full on CSI teams and summary executions.  The ICC is one, Interpol another.

If there is proof enough to execute someone for a crime, then there's AT LEAST some proof to submit to the ICC,no?

Putting terrorists in PRISON is far more effective than giving them their desired martyrdom.  Then you have leverage ("Tell us everything and you can have your favorite ice cream twice a week.  No?  I'll ask again in June.  Bye for now!").

People give better info when dealt with civilly then tortured and treated like dogs.
 
2013-12-16 12:50:23 PM
HAHA OOPS!

People give better info when dealt with civilly then tortured and treated like dogs.

THAN tortured, not then.
 
2013-12-16 01:20:43 PM

Ned Stark: Insaniteus: So, this is where people rage about drones again, despite them dramatically reducing civilian casualties over jet airstrikes, ground troops, and all other "conventional" warfare tactics.  W and Rumsfeld's "Light and Fast" military strategy killed double-digit civilians every single day of its use, and they often blew up entire apartment buildings to hit one guy.

Dropping the bombs at all is just a fact of life. Can't be helped. We're America and America drops bombs. Its what's done.


You go with what you do best.
 
2013-12-16 01:34:18 PM
It's become SOP in US drone bombing--particularly in Yemen--to kill a man then go find his son and kill him too.  It sends a message to all those terrorists that not only will we kill you, old man, but we'll kill your beloved son, too.  We're becoming no better than high-tech Mongols.
 
2013-12-16 02:37:11 PM

neaorin: Efficient? Hardly. On the whole, drone strikes manage to create more enemies than they are taking out.
As surprising as this may sound, killing innocent people makes the survivors extremely pissed with you, and more likely to take arms against you or support those who do - and that's before bringing any of the sovereignty business into the equation.


That's actually a myth, though a fairly persistent one. Relatives of people killed in drone strike don't just up and join the Taliban, just relatives of suicide bombing victims (which outnumber the civilian casualties of drone strikes by several orders of magnitude) don't just up and join the army.

There are a few reasons why this doesn't work the way a lot of people imagine it does. First of all, "joining the Taliban" isn't a particularly easy thing to do due to the nature of the organization (joining the army, for instance, would be a much easier and more straightforward prospect). But more importantly, the militant recruitment process exists primarily due to the sociopolitical and economic conditions of the tribal areas - conditions that existed well before drone strikes ever became a popular talking point.

This report summarizes the issue relatively well (see pages 23 onwards for their discussion on this specific topic).
 
2013-12-16 03:05:16 PM

TheShavingofOccam123: It's become SOP in US drone bombing--particularly in Yemen--to kill a man then go find his son and kill him too.  It sends a message to all those terrorists that not only will we kill you, old man, but we'll kill your beloved son, too.  We're becoming no better than high-tech Mongols.


Familial-based culture.

If your father fights the hated Americans, and then gets killed, it's a great insult to the clan, and you should go fight the hated Americans.   And the Americans are hated, less for anything we've done than for being the latest example of Western Crusaders, (Not to say we've been saints.  We haven't, not by a long shot).  However, if we kill the son, maybe the father doesn't fight the Americans in the name of protecting his family/clan, and either way, we know for a fact that the son(s) won't be fighting us.  It's the way their culture works.

In fact, we should be cheering this.  The USA is becoming multi-culturalist instead of enforcing its own racist cultural paradigms.  It's just that the multiculture is nasty and farked up in this particular case.
 
2013-12-16 03:18:12 PM

Biological Ali: That's actually a myth, though a fairly persistent one. Relatives of people killed in drone strike don't just up and join the Taliban, just like relatives of suicide bombing victims (which outnumber the civilian casualties of drone strikes by several orders of magnitude) don't just up and join the army.


FTFM
 
2013-12-16 03:55:17 PM

Lost Thought 00: There are an awful lot of "wedding parties" which conveniently contain a large gathering of known terrorists.



Just think of how much crime could have been prevented in "The Godfather" if there had been a drone strike on Michael Corleone's second wedding.
 
2013-12-16 04:13:35 PM

Target Builder: Somacandra: FTFA: Can you imagine the wall-to-wall press coverage, the outrage, and the empathy for the victims that would follow if an American wedding were attacked in this fashion? Or how you'd feel about a foreign power that attacked your wedding in this fashion?

Except that 1) Yemenis don't vote in U.S. Presidential elections, and 2) if anyone cared about blowing up innocent brown people we wouldn't have recently invaded and overthrown Iraq in the first place. So that ship has sailed a long-ass time ago.

I think the point was more that if another country did this to people at an American wedding (or anywhere in America for that matter) even on the justification that the target was an enemy of their nation who was actively engaged in military plots to cause their nation harm that people in the US would be pretty farking upset and demand some sort of retaliation actively going to war.


FTFY.

Lost Thought 00: MindStalker: Lost Thought 00: There are an awful lot of "wedding parties" which conveniently contain a large gathering of known terrorists.

Think of it as the 50s, your in Chicago and these terrorist are Mob Gangsters.

We routinely killed the wives and children of Mob men and not a single tear was shed


...wat. Jeebus f*ck our country's f*cked up.
 
2013-12-16 04:31:15 PM

Biological Ali: neaorin: Efficient? Hardly. On the whole, drone strikes manage to create more enemies than they are taking out.
As surprising as this may sound, killing innocent people makes the survivors extremely pissed with you, and more likely to take arms against you or support those who do - and that's before bringing any of the sovereignty business into the equation.

That's actually a myth, though a fairly persistent one. Relatives of people killed in drone strike don't just up and join the Taliban, just relatives of suicide bombing victims (which outnumber the civilian casualties of drone strikes by several orders of magnitude) don't just up and join the army.

There are a few reasons why this doesn't work the way a lot of people imagine it does. First of all, "joining the Taliban" isn't a particularly easy thing to do due to the nature of the organization (joining the army, for instance, would be a much easier and more straightforward prospect). But more importantly, the militant recruitment process exists primarily due to the sociopolitical and economic conditions of the tribal areas - conditions that existed well before drone strikes ever became a popular talking point.

This report summarizes the issue relatively well (see pages 23 onwards for their discussion on this specific topic).


That report was actually discussed on Fark as I remember. It does make some good points but also misses some important ones, though its general conclusion is correct - that drone strikes in a lawless area don't help things much if at all.
For one thing it focuses too much on FATA while the Taliban have received critical support from other areas of Pakistan as well (covert support from the ISI is one example).
The report is correct in that more people actually join the "taliban" (whatever subgroup) because of domestic factors than drone strikes. But those same domestic factors also work to make sure that the drone program has very limited long-term impact on the Taliban. As the report itself states "These factors underscore the limitations of the drone program in degrading the long-term operational capabilities and ability of violent extremists to regroup, rearm and recruit.".

The report quotes a source claiming that the loss of Baitullah Mehsud (which the video I linked to also quotes indirectly) is much more damaging to the taliban than the recruitment of a few dozen foot soldiers. Well, Mehsud's been dead for four years now and the Taliban's overall position is even stronger. It could be because taking out the "leadership" of such a heavily fragmented group doesn't really have the positive impact we think it should. It could be because just as important as the dozen new recruits, are the dozens more who now give them material support - though they may not do it overtly because they are afraid of the army.

And then you have the urban population of Pakistan, and the higher-ups in Islamabad (army people, intelligence people, people with money) who for some reason aren't too thrilled about their country's sovereignty being so blatantly ignored, and civilians killed in the name of "fighting terror" (at least Obama had the common sense to commute this idiotic goal into the somewhat more palpable "figthing al-Qaeda and their allies" since 2009).

TL;DR:
1) you can't kill terror with drones
2) one doesn't need to pick up a weapon and shoot at you in order to become your enemy. In fact those who don't are sometimes more dangerous.

In the long run, drone attacks in Pakistan will show a net loss for the US.
 
2013-12-16 05:08:12 PM

neaorin: In the long run, drone attacks in Pakistan will show a net loss for the US.


That doesn't look to be the case. The report's position (and my own, and that of most serious analysts) is that a policy that focused on drone strikes while ignoring the deep structural issues in the tribal areas (with the onus lying more on the Pakistani state than the US, at least in terms of direct action) will likely go nowhere in the long term. A similar policy that didn't include any drone strikes at all would also fail, for the same reasons. In other words, the drones themselves are a red herring.

The drones themselves, moreover, have been extremely useful and accurate as far as military tools go. The most recent numbers from Pakistan's Defence Ministry have placed the total civilian death toll over five years at 67, compared to several thousand suspected terrorists. The terrorists have been hit hard by this, especially when their leaders die - the recent death of Hakimullah Mehsud was a particularly big deal, and the Taliban haven't really done much since then, despite vowing revenge on basically the entire world. Eventually they'll be able to consolidate and five or ten years from now they may or may not be in a stronger position, but they've been hurt quite badly by drone strikes in the short term.

And with regards to those numbers - they were given in response to a query from the Pakistani legislature, and as far as I know, nobody has seriously challenged these numbers since they came out. The fact that militants and their propagandists will lie about civilian casualties and tell people stories about women and children being killed in attempt to brainwash and radicalize them is a separate issue, but again, this is something that will happen regardless of whether the US is conducting any military operations at all.
 
2013-12-16 05:47:45 PM

Lost Thought 00: MindStalker: Lost Thought 00: There are an awful lot of "wedding parties" which conveniently contain a large gathering of known terrorists.

Think of it as the 50s, your in Chicago and these terrorist are Mob Gangsters.

We routinely killed the wives and children of Mob men and not a single tear was shed


Really?

(And "we" didn't, btw.)
 
2013-12-16 05:55:47 PM
Smackledorfer
I didn't claim to solve the problem. I implied that helping some, but not all, would be stupid to label as an atrocity. I guess that wasn't obvious enough. My apologies.

I could have been clearer. To match the analogy to reality better, yes, the message being pushed is that ACA is The Answer. Maybe not in those words, but it's being pushed as SO GREAT, OH MY GOSH YOU GUYS, THIS IS GOING TO MAKE EVERYTHING SO MUCH BETTER FOR EVERYONE I CAN'T EVEN okay but what about the tens of millions of people who NEVER MIND THAT, IT'S SO GREAT, WE'RE DOING THIS AND IT'S AWESOME also the horrible crushing bureaucracy and acceptance of the commodification of healthca YAAAAY ACA YAAAAY but it's not perfect or even good enou WE'RE GOING TO KEEP WORKING TO MAKE IT MORE PERFECT, WHICH BY THE WAY IT ALREADY IS but that doesn't LOOK JUST SHUT UP AND CHEER OKAY
Maybe it's not being called The Answer, but those cheerleading for it are critical of every position but that of agreeing that it's The Answer- it's saying such by omission and implication*.
So, yes, they're calling a half-solution a full solution, which impairs efforts for an actual full solution, which will result in the deaths of thousands, which is atrocious. What were we even talking about?


*Which is a lot of how the Democratic Party seems to communicate these days now that I think about it.
"Is the administration in favor of using drone strikes against American citizens?"
"The administration will use any means available to keep Americans safe while adhering to the Constitution."
"So... I'm just going to put that down as 'yes,' okay?"
"WOAH WOAH WOAH BUDDY, I never SAID that!"
 
2013-12-16 06:08:07 PM
assets4.designsponge.com

Bridal Tip #17:
Don't invite known terrorists to your wedding
 
2013-12-16 06:35:25 PM

RanDomino: Smackledorfer
I didn't claim to solve the problem. I implied that helping some, but not all, would be stupid to label as an atrocity. I guess that wasn't obvious enough. My apologies.

I could have been clearer. To match the analogy to reality better, yes, the message being pushed is that ACA is The Answer. Maybe not in those words, but it's being pushed as SO GREAT, OH MY GOSH YOU GUYS, THIS IS GOING TO MAKE EVERYTHING SO MUCH BETTER FOR EVERYONE I CAN'T EVEN okay but what about the tens of millions of people who NEVER MIND THAT, IT'S SO GREAT, WE'RE DOING THIS AND IT'S AWESOME also the horrible crushing bureaucracy and acceptance of the commodification of healthca YAAAAY ACA YAAAAY but it's not perfect or even good enou WE'RE GOING TO KEEP WORKING TO MAKE IT MORE PERFECT, WHICH BY THE WAY IT ALREADY IS but that doesn't LOOK JUST SHUT UP AND CHEER OKAY
Maybe it's not being called The Answer, but those cheerleading for it are critical of every position but that of agreeing that it's The Answer- it's saying such by omission and implication*.
So, yes, they're calling a half-solution a full solution, which impairs efforts for an actual full solution, which will result in the deaths of thousands, which is atrocious. What were we even talking about?


Yeah, this. The ACA might have been a step toward single-payer structurally, but it came at the expense of several steps back politically. To argue in favor of a move to single-payer essentially now requires arguing against the ACA, highlighting the reasons why it doesn't work and isn't good enough, and as we can clearly see, that's a position totally dominated by the people least likely to push for single-payer.

I think this reality will become clearer once the partisan shouting match starts to subside.
 
2013-12-16 06:55:48 PM

Biological Ali: In other words, the drones themselves are a red herring.


Easy to say that when it's not your own country getting bombed.
Pakistan is a country of 180 million who are supposed to support a government return the rule of law to all its territories. And the US does their best to undermine its authority by carrying out extrajudicial killings inside their country while the government watches on.

The number of casualties varies depending on source, and even the ICG report underlines why the Pakistani Army might be inclined to count people as militants. Regardless, we went through this. The drone strikes have had some tactical impact but the strategic result just isn't there. If it were, then maybe whatever goodwill price the US had paid might have been worth it. But it's not.

My impression is that the current US administration doesn't know what to do to help Pakistan solve its terrorism problem, so they have resigned to doing what they do best. A game of whack-a-mole with the Taliban in which they are both assisted and opposed by the army.

When the US eventually gets out of Pakistan, it will leave behind an even more politically powerful Pakistani Army, a weaker government, a Taliban force that's still fighting, and a more negative view of the US inside Pakistan (and incidentally the world). Mission accomplished?
 
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