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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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2024 clicks; posted to Politics » on 16 Dec 2013 at 9:36 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-12-16 07:13:49 PM  

trippdogg: [assets4.designsponge.com image 624x420]

Bridal Tip #17:
Don't invite known terrorists to your wedding


Based on the standards used to judge who is or isn't an enemy combatant, that could also end up written as:

Bridal Tip #17:
Don't invite any adult males aged over 15 to your wedding.
 
2013-12-16 07:22:36 PM  

neaorin: Easy to say that when it's not your own country getting bombed.


I'm a Pakistani citizen, so it is my "own country getting bombed" - I've been outside the country for a while, but most of my family's still there. But even if that wasn't the case, it wouldn't be relevant; appeals to emotion don't really contribute anything to the conversation.

neaorin: 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 Pakistani government never had any real authority over the areas in question, so "return the rule of law" isn't quite right - there never was any to begin with. There have been some US military actions in some of Pakistan's more settled areas (a few drone strikes, and of course the killing of bin Laden), but these are very rare exceptions. The bulk of the drone strikes are more analogous to that incident when a bunch of Somali pirates were shot dead by SEALs - it was an action necessitated by the fact that there simply was no other authority capable or willing to deal with them.

neaorin: 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?


Actually, the opposite is true, at least in terms of the last paragraph. The Pakistani military has increasingly retreated from politics - this trend started with the previous Chief of Army Staff and is expected to continue with his successor. As for a negative view of the US, it's kind of like Americans who have a "negative view" of Congress - it perhaps speaks to the person's basic emotional state, but it's not clear what (if any) the tangible implications actually are. Keep in mind also that the US still gives Pakistan massive amounts of aid (including nonmilitary aid), and I can assure you that the Pakistani government's desire to keep that aid flowing is far greater than their feigned outrage over the US hitting military targets in regions that they don't even control.
 
2013-12-16 07:44:39 PM  
Well, if you insist upon describing terrorist attacks as "weddings" and the suicide bomber as the "groom" ('cause he's going to meet his seventy-two incompetent women), or tolerate people who do this crap, you can expect all sorts of big ba-da-boom in your neighborhood.

Duh.
 
2013-12-16 08:28:36 PM  
It's like dro-o-ones
On your wedding day...
 
2013-12-16 09:11:13 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?


*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!"


Strawman much?
 
2013-12-17 02:24:23 AM  

Biological Ali:  The bulk of the drone strikes are more analogous to that incident when a bunch of Somali pirates were shot dead by SEALs - it was an action necessitated by the fact that there simply was no other authority capable or willing to deal with them.

Your opinion regarding the use of drones in Pakistan seems to be in the minority. Actually the whole sections dealing with terrorism and US attitudes are an instructive read. 

Biological Ali: Actually, the opposite is true, at least in terms of the last paragraph. The Pakistani military has increasingly retreated from politics - this trend started with the previous Chief of Army Staff and is expected to continue with his successor. As for a negative view of the US, it's kind of like Americans who have a "negative view" of Congress - it perhaps speaks to the person's basic emotional state, but it's not clear what (if any) the tangible implications actually are. Keep in mind also that the US still gives Pakistan massive amounts of aid (including nonmilitary aid), and I can assure you that the Pakistani government's desire to keep that aid flowing is far greater than their feigned outrage over the US hitting military targets in regions that they don't even control.


I don't believe anyone raised an issue with the US giving aid to Pakistan - that's one of the few things the US can realistically do which may have positive long-term effects on the situation. But they should do it with the right goals in mind, not as a "blood price" of sorts for the US hunting down its enemies in Afghanistan without being bothered. As much as I'd like to believe that to be true, it's hard to argue with the evidence.

The "yeah they don't like us much so what they gonna do about it?" attitude seems to have served the US very poorly in the Middle East so far. I wonder how many people do remember a non-belligerent Iran for instance. At some point people grow tired of your shiat and look elsewhere.

Again - the price the US in particular is paying for carrying out drone attacks might have been worth it, if the attacks worked long term. Unfortunately, that's not the case. I'm sure they are preferable to sending kids out there to get killed, but that's about it.
 
2013-12-17 04:25:21 AM  
www.mtv.com
 
2013-12-17 07:56:14 AM  

Nabb1: Lost Thought 00: machoprogrammer: Lost Thought 00: There are an awful lot of "wedding parties" which conveniently contain a large gathering of known terrorists.

Considering after we launch a missile and kill people, any male aged 15 or older is automatically considered a militant, I wouldn't put too much stock into the claims of the administration

So you really believe that we just randomly launch missiles at large groups of civilians just because that's what the terrorists' press release says?

I don't. I just think we give zero farks about collateral damage because there appear to be no repercussions for it. I mean, Amnesty International has labeled our drone strikes as "war crimes," but you have to pay attention to foreign media sources to find out about that.


I'm willing to call them war crimes too.  As long as we all accept that every adminstration in the US for the last 40 - 50 years is guilty of war crimes and try to work together to fix it.

Instead, what I see, is a bunch of people calling for impeachment over *these* war crimes, but who get all defensive when you suggest we've been up to this since before 2009. -_-

/Hurray extended family...
 
2013-12-17 02:40:48 PM  

neaorin: Again - the price the US in particular is paying for carrying out drone attacks might have been worth it, if the attacks worked long term. Unfortunately, that's not the case. I'm sure they are preferable to sending kids out there to get killed, but that's about it.


I guess I'm just not clear about what this "price" is that you're talking about. Or are you just talking about the literal price - i.e. the cost of fuel, missiles and maintenance etc.? The argument I'm making is basically that the perception a lot of people have about the supposedly profound negative effects of drone strikes (i.e. that they kill a significant number of civilians, that they're a major recruiting tool for terrorists, etc.) is just outright false.

Beyond that, even the government doesn't really care about drone strikes that much - certainly not enough that it would actually affect diplomacy between the two countries. There are only two incidents in recent years that have strained US-Pakistan relationships - one was the killing of bin Laden; the other was an incident at the border where 20-odd Pakistani soldiers were killed by NATO forces after a miscommunication. Every single drone strike that's ever occurred, even taken together, hasn't come close.

There's just no credible evidence to suggest that things would be better off, for either Pakistan or the US, if drone strikes weren't occurring - and a good bit of evidence to suggest that they would in fact be worse.
 
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