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Direckshun
09-27-2012, 07:55 PM
This. Is an absolutely devastating read.

Even if you buy into drones. Even if you don't mind the complete lack of checks and balances on their usage. Even if you don't mind their liberal usage. Even if you think the sacrifices being made are excusable and necessary blowback.

Your tax dollars go into this program that seemingly creates as much antipathy towards us as it extinguishes. It creates terror while pretending to be fighting it. And ths study from NYU shows the tremendous civilian cost that goes into it.

The drone program creates a warfare that America would already be trigger-happy to use. But add into the fact that there's no checks on this power, no conceivable way to exhaust it, and no attempts from either party to even remotely slow it down... and this becomes a practice whose blowback seems tailor made for civilian psychological destruction, if not outright physical destruction.

Death from above, in robot form. The sad thing is, the human fingers on the button turn out to be as indifferent as the drones themselves.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/sep/25/study-obama-drone-deaths

New Stanford/NYU study documents the civilian terror from Obama's drones
New research shows the terrorizing impact of drones in Pakistan, false statements from US officials, and how it increases the terror threat
Glenn Greenwald
Tuesday 25 September 2012 08.18 EDT

A vitally important and thoroughly documented new report (http://livingunderdrones.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/Stanford_NYU_LIVING_UNDER_DRONES.pdf) on the impact of Obama's drone campaign has just been released by researchers at NYU School of Law and Stanford University Law School. Entitled "Living Under Drones: Death, Injury and Trauma to Civilians From US Drone Practices in Pakistan", the report details the terrorizing effects of Obama's drone assaults as well as the numerous, highly misleading public statements from administration officials about that campaign. The study's purpose was to conduct an "independent investigations into whether, and to what extent, drone strikes in Pakistan conformed to international law and caused harm and/or injury to civilians".

The report is "based on over 130 detailed interviews with victims and witnesses of drone activity, their family members, current and former Pakistani government officials, representatives from five major Pakistani political parties, subject matter experts, lawyers, medical professionals, development and humanitarian workers, members of civil society, academics, and journalists." Witnesses "provided first-hand
accounts of drone strikes, and provided testimony about a range of issues, including the missile strikes themselves, the strike sites, the victims' bodies, or a family member or members killed or injured in the strike".

Here is the powerful first three paragraphs of the report, summarizing its main findings:

http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pictures/2012/9/25/1348565309742/drone1.png

Whilte noting that it is difficult to obtain precise information on the number of civilian deaths "because of US efforts to shield the drone program from democratic accountability", the report nonetheless concludes: "while civilian casualties are rarely acknowledged by the US government, there is significant evidence that US drone strikes have injured and killed civilians."

But beyond body counts, there's the fact that "US drone strike policies cause considerable and under-accounted for harm to the daily lives of ordinary civilians, beyond death and physical injury":

http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pictures/2012/9/25/1348565677259/dronereport2.png

In other words, the people in the areas targeted by Obama's drone campaign are being systematically terrorized. There's just no other word for it. It is a campaign of terror - highly effective terror - regardless of what noble progressive sentiments one wishes to believe reside in the heart of the leader ordering it. And that's precisely why the report, to its great credit, uses that term to describe the Obama policy: the drone campaign "terrorizes men, women, and children".

Along the same lines, note that the report confirms what had already been previously documented (http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/aug/20/us-drones-strikes-target-rescuers-pakistan): the Obama campaign's despicable (and likely criminal) targeting of rescuers who arrive to provide aid to the victims of the original strike. Noting that even funerals of drone victims have been targeted under Obama (http://www.salon.com/2012/06/04/obama_again_bombs_mourners/), the report documents that the US has "made family members afraid to attend funerals". The result of this tactic is as predictable as it is heinous:

"Secondary strikes have discouraged average civilians from coming to one another's rescue, and even inhibited the provision of emergency medical assistance from humanitarian workers."

In the hierarchy of war crimes, deliberately targeting rescuers and funerals - so that aid workers are petrified to treat the wounded and family members are intimidated out of mourning their loved ones - ranks rather high, to put that mildly. Indeed, the US itself has long maintained (http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/aug/20/us-drones-strikes-target-rescuers-pakistan) that such "secondary strikes" are a prime hallmark of some of the world's most despised terrorist groups.

Perhaps worst of all, the report details at length that the prime excuse offered by Obama defenders for this continuous killing - it Keeps Us Safe™ by killing The Terrorists™ - is dubious "at best"; indeed, the opposite is more likely true:

http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pictures/2012/9/25/1348567059074/drones3.png

All the way back in 2004, the Rumsfeld Pentagon commissioned a study to determine the causes of anti-US terrorism, and even it concluded (http://www.salon.com/2009/10/20/terrorism_6/): "Muslims do not 'hate our freedom,' but rather, they hate our policies." Running around the world beating your chest, bellowing "we're at war!", and bombing multiple Muslim countries does not keep one safe. It manifestly does the opposite, since it ensures that even the most rational people will calculate that targeting Americans with violence in response is just and necessary to deter further aggression.

A one-day attack on US soil eleven years ago unleashed a never-ending campaign of violence around the world from the target and its allies. Is it really a challenge to understand that continuous bombings and civilian-killing assaults over many years, in many Muslim countries, will generate the same desire for aggression and vengeance against the US?

Time and again, those who have attempted to perpetrate attacks on US soil have cited the Muslim children and other innocent human beings extinguished by Obama's drones. Recall the words (http://www.statesman.com/news/nation/man-charged-in-times-square-plot-pleads-guilty-761251.html?printArticle=y) of the attempted Times Square bomber, Pakistani-American Faisal Shahzad, at his sentencing hearing when the federal judge presiding over his case, Miriam Goldman Cedarbaum, asked incredulously how he could possibly use violence that he knew would result in the deaths even of innocent children -- as though she were literally unaware that her own government continuously does exactly that:

"'Well, the drone hits in Afghanistan and Iraq, they don't see children, they don't see anybody. They kill women, children, they kill everybody. It's a war, and in war, they kill people. They're killing all Muslims' . . . .

"'I am part of the answer to the U.S. terrorizing the Muslim nations and the Muslim people. And, on behalf of that, I'm avenging the attack. Living in the United States, Americans only care about their own people, but they don't care about the people elsewhere in the world when they die.'"

The minute he was apprehended by US authorities, Shahzad, as reported by the Washington Post (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/06/21/AR2010062102468.html?hpid=moreheadlines), "told agents that he was motivated by opposition to U.S. policy in the Muslim world, officials said. 'One of the first things he said was, 'How would you feel if people attacked the United States? You are attacking a sovereign Pakistan.'"

Perhaps most importantly, the report documents the extreme levels of propaganda used by the western press to deceive their citizens into believing pure myths about the drone campaign. As I've argued before (http://www.salon.com/2012/05/29/militants_media_propaganda/), the worst of these myths is the journalistic mimicry of the term "militants" to describe drone victims even when those outlets have no idea who was killed or whether that term is accurate (indeed, the term itself is almost as ill-defined as "terrorist"). This media practice became particularly inexcusable after the New York Times revealed in May (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/29/world/obamas-leadership-in-war-on-al-qaeda.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1) that "Mr. Obama embraced a disputed method for counting civilian casualties that did little to box him in. It in effect counts all military-age males in a strike zone as combatants."

Incredibly, even after that radical redefinition was revealed, and even after the Obama administration got caught red-handed spewing demonstrable falsehoods about the identity of drone victims (http://www.salon.com/2011/07/19/drones/), US media outlets continued to use the term "militant" (http://www.salon.com/2012/06/02/deliberate_media_propaganda/) to describe drone victims. The new report urges that this practice stop:

http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pictures/2012/9/25/1348568226731/drones4.png

Significantly, the report says the prime culprit of these evils is what it calls the "dramatic escalation" of the drone campaign by the 2009 Nobel Peace laureate - escalated not just in sheer numbers (in less than four years, Obama "has reportedly carried out more than five times" the number ordered by Bush in eight years), but more so, the indiscriminate nature of the strikes. As Tuesday's Guardian article (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/sep/25/drone-attacks-pakistan-counterproductive-report) on this report states: it "blames the US president, Barack Obama, for the escalation of 'signature strikes' in which groups are selected merely through remote 'pattern of life' analysis."

The report is equally damning when documenting the attempts of the Obama administration to suppress information about its drone victims, and worse, to actively mislead when they deign selectively to release information. Recognizing the difficulty of determining the number of civilian deaths with exactitude - due to "the opaqueness of the US government about its targeted killing program" as well as the inaccessibility of the region - it nonetheless documents that "the numbers of civilians killed are undoubtedly far higher than the few claimed by US officials." In other words, the administration's public statements are false: "undoubtedly" so. As the LA Times summarizes the study's findings today (http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-drone-study-20120925,0,5793737.story): "Far more civilians have been killed by U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan's tribal areas than U.S. counter-terrorism officials have acknowledged."

(The report is particularly scathing about the patent unreliability of the New America Foundation and its leading drone-and-Obama cheerleader, Peter Bergen, also of CNN, who has been amply rewarded with lucrative access (http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/04/29/peter-bergen-s-manhunt-the-decade-long-hunt-for-osama-bin-laden.html) by the administration he dutifully defends. Echoing a recent article by the Atlantic's Conor Friedersdorf (http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2012/07/flawed-analysis-of-drone-strike-data-is-misleading-americans/259836/) and an analysis from the Bureau of Investigative Journalism (http://www.thebureauinvestigates.com/2012/07/17/analysis-cnn-experts-civilian-drone-death-numbers-dont-add-up/), the report concludes that scrutiny of Bergen's key claims "has since revealed omissions and inconsistencies in
New America Foundation's dataset, calling its widely publicized conclusions into question." It documents "several other glaring omissions from New America Foundation's data" used to depict Obama's drone campaign as far more benign than it actually is.)

Finally, the report notes the threat to democratic accountability posed by the Obama administration's refusal to allow any transparency or judicial oversight regarding who the president orders killed: "The opaque position of the US government on civilian casualties is also emblematic of an accountability and democratic vacuum." In that regard, the report - as its final paragraph - quotes the question I have often asked about this state of affairs, an answer to which I have never heard from Obama's drone defenders:

http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pictures/2012/9/25/1348569617274/dronereport3.png

What has always made that question particularly pressing for me is that American progressives cheered loudly when a similar question was posed by Al Gore in a widely celebrated 2006 speech he gave on the Washington mall (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/01/16/AR2006011600779.html) denouncing the Bush/Cheney assault on civil liberties:

"'If the president has the inherent authority to eavesdrop on American citizens without a warrant, imprison American citizens on his own declaration, kidnap and torture, then what can't he do?'"

What has always amazed me about that is that, there, Gore was merely decrying Bush's mere eavesdropping on Americans and his detention of them without judicial review. Yet here Obama is claiming the power to decide who should be killed without a shred of transparency, oversight, or due process - a power that is being continuously used to kill civilians, including children - and many of these same (http://www.salon.com/2011/11/13/gop_and_tp_on_obamas_foreign_policy_successes/) progressives (http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/political-animal/2011_09/al_qaeda_leader_killed_in_yeme032528.php) now actually cheer (http://www.salon.com/2012/02/08/repulsive_progressive_hypocrisy/) for that.

Democrats spent several days at their convention two weeks ago wildly cheering and chanting (http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/sep/07/democrats-parade-osama-bin-laden-corpse) whenever President Obama's use of violence and force was heralded. They're celebrating a leader who is terrorizing several parts of the Muslim world, repeatedly killing children, targeting rescuers and mourners, and entrenching the authority to exert the most extreme powers in full secrecy and without any accountability -- all while he increases, not decreases, the likelihood of future attacks. This new Stanford/NYU report is but the latest in a long line of evidence proving all of that.

Direckshun
09-27-2012, 07:58 PM
The study: http://livingunderdrones.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/Stanford_NYU_LIVING_UNDER_DRONES.pdf

It is 182 pages long, and again, simply devastating.

petegz28
09-27-2012, 07:59 PM
:facepalm:

LOCOChief
09-27-2012, 10:49 PM
Yellow for direckshun.

http://http://www.google.com/imgres?q=cheech+and+chong+urine+sample&um=1&hl=en&sa=N&biw=1366&bih=650&tbm=isch&tbnid=NN4_Hbv5MiSDHM:&imgrefurl=http://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle/693/fulltext&docid=ez3tbvA8Tx4ocM&imgurl=http://stopthedrugwar.org/files/imagecache/300px/800px-Urine_sample_4.jpg&w=300&h=225&ei=fh9lUOylBISm8ASp24DICw&zoom=1&iact=hc&vpx=176&vpy=2&dur=6800&hovh=180&hovw=240&tx=92&ty=205&sig=114319078151669398658&page=3&tbnh=133&tbnw=156&start=42&ndsp=25&ved=1t:429,r:0,s:42,i:212

HonestChieffan
09-27-2012, 11:09 PM
Im devastated.

mikey23545
09-27-2012, 11:14 PM
Just wait till Hussein starts using them on us....

AustinChief
09-27-2012, 11:25 PM
Haven't had time to read this yet, but I can see how the premise could be valid. The only part I might take issue with is the idea that it "creates" more terrorists. That is a pretty big leap to take without some serious justification. I can definitely see how one could think or feel that to be true... but it still relies on a shit ton of assumptions. Again, I'll revisit this after I have read it more fully.

Just off the cuff, it sounds like it sucks, but what ya gonna do? I'm ALL ABOUT blaming Obama for shit, but this seems like a damned if you do, damned and vulnerable if you don't.

KILLER_CLOWN
09-27-2012, 11:27 PM
Pretty Much.

Fishpicker
09-28-2012, 12:03 AM
well, as shitty as this may sound, drone strikes don't create terrorists nor do they aid recruitment by terrorist organizations. Agoraphobes aren't going to attack anything.

Pawnmower
09-28-2012, 12:15 AM
Well dude, they are efficient in the ONE way that matters most to ANY leader.

They do not cost lives of OUR men.

Sadly, that is the only efficiency that truly matters when you have to send men into harm's way.

DaneMcCloud
09-28-2012, 01:21 AM
Haven't had time to read this yet, but I can see how the premise could be valid. The only part I might take issue with is the idea that it "creates" more terrorists. That is a pretty big leap to take without some serious justification. I can definitely see how one could think or feel that to be true... but it still relies on a shit ton of assumptions. Again, I'll revisit this after I have read it more fully.

Just off the cuff, it sounds like it sucks, but what ya gonna do? I'm ALL ABOUT blaming Obama for shit, but this seems like a damned if you do, damned and vulnerable if you don't.

I'm with you.

If countries actually aided our efforts, more than half of these actions wouldn't be necessary.

So IMO, their governments are equally to blame, if not more, for any civilian losses.

qabbaan
09-28-2012, 06:22 AM
Tldr

patteeu
09-28-2012, 06:50 AM
So are you going to cast a vote for a war criminal this November, Direckshun?

Amnorix
09-28-2012, 07:45 AM
Haven't had time to read this yet, but I can see how the premise could be valid. The only part I might take issue with is the idea that it "creates" more terrorists. That is a pretty big leap to take without some serious justification. I can definitely see how one could think or feel that to be true... but it still relies on a shit ton of assumptions. Again, I'll revisit this after I have read it more fully.

Just off the cuff, it sounds like it sucks, but what ya gonna do? I'm ALL ABOUT blaming Obama for shit, but this seems like a damned if you do, damned and vulnerable if you don't.


Frankly, any strategy that is mindlessly and exclusively built around shooting bad guys isn't going to win this type of war. It really is about "hearts and minds". The Russians learned that in Afghanistan, and we learned it in Vietnam.

That said, everything I've read about the drones indicates that they are a devastatingly effective component of the "shoot the bad guys" part of the strategy. NOTE that I said it can't be EXCLUSIVELY built around shooting bad guys. That is a PART of the methods we must employ, however.

Coyote
09-28-2012, 08:01 AM
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/15/books/review/confront-and-conceal-by-david-sanger.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0
Sanger discusses the "Obama doctrine" as a "light foorprint" that involves UASs and cyber attacks principally begun as a political and dollar cost savings method.

cosmo20002
09-28-2012, 09:13 AM
There's no perfect method. It is unfortunate for the innocents caught up in this type of thing, but maybe it will encourage them to weed out the bad guys and on their own and not support or allow terrorists to live and work among them.

KILLER_CLOWN
09-28-2012, 09:43 AM
There's no perfect method. It is unfortunate for the innocents caught up in this type of thing, but maybe it will encourage them to weed out the bad guys and on their own and not support or allow terrorists to live and work among them.

Herp Dee Derp.

FishingRod
09-28-2012, 12:25 PM
Props to you for posting something that isn’t cherry picked to pat “your” guy on the back.
I have no issue with the use of Drones. It makes no difference to me if the people are killed using conventional aircraft, missiles of clubbed to death with the Jaw of an ass.

The issue comes from the question of how sure do we need to be before we assassinate people and also what is the difference between a suspected terrorist that is Palestinian, Saudi, British or American? Does it matter where they happen to be?. We have already determined that a suspected terrorist who is a citizen of the United States, in our country can be picked up by the military and shipped out of the country for interrogation with no representation, no charges filed, no comment to their family of their whereabouts and no timeframe of how long a person of interest can be held . Does the seriousness of the accusation outweigh our own constitutional rights?

Donger
09-28-2012, 12:38 PM
How are "civilians" defined by this article?

Direckshun
09-30-2012, 03:12 AM
Haven't had time to read this yet, but I can see how the premise could be valid. The only part I might take issue with is the idea that it "creates" more terrorists. That is a pretty big leap to take without some serious justification. I can definitely see how one could think or feel that to be true... but it still relies on a shit ton of assumptions. Again, I'll revisit this after I have read it more fully.

Just off the cuff, it sounds like it sucks, but what ya gonna do? I'm ALL ABOUT blaming Obama for shit, but this seems like a damned if you do, damned and vulnerable if you don't.

well, as shitty as this may sound, drone strikes don't create terrorists nor do they aid recruitment by terrorist organizations. Agoraphobes aren't going to attack anything.

Well dude, they are efficient in the ONE way that matters most to ANY leader.

They do not cost lives of OUR men.

Sadly, that is the only efficiency that truly matters when you have to send men into harm's way.

I'm with you.

If countries actually aided our efforts, more than half of these actions wouldn't be necessary.

So IMO, their governments are equally to blame, if not more, for any civilian losses.

Honestly, then, you need to take a hard look then at how you view the Muslim world's complete disapproval of America.

In the off chance that any of you, or any of the people reading this thread that agree with you, genuinely believed that the Middle East hates us because of free speech, freedom of religion, we're infidels, we're free, we let women drive etc. etc...

The reason the Muslim world hates us is driven by our policies in the Middle East. That's why they hate us. If any of you genuinely knew this already, my apologies -- I just hear a casual dismissal of that hate as "it's just Muslims being Muslims" as if being Muslim came with a built-in disdain of America.

Some of those policies are defensible, such as our support of Israel.

But a lot of it comes from policy that literally rains death from above.

Direckshun
09-30-2012, 03:13 AM
So are you going to cast a vote for a war criminal this November, Direckshun?

Unfortunately I do not see any light between the Democratic and Republican parties on this issue.

It is, sadly, one of the few areas of bipartisan consensus.

mlyonsd
09-30-2012, 07:00 AM
Honestly, then, you need to take a hard look then at how you view the Muslim world's complete disapproval of America.

In the off chance that any of you, or any of the people reading this thread that agree with you, genuinely believed that the Middle East hates us because of free speech, freedom of religion, we're infidels, we're free, we let women drive etc. etc...

The reason the Muslim world hates us is driven by our policies in the Middle East. That's why they hate us. If any of you genuinely knew this already, my apologies -- I just hear a casual dismissal of that hate as "it's just Muslims being Muslims" as if being Muslim came with a built-in disdain of America.

Some of those policies are defensible, such as our support of Israel.

But a lot of it comes from policy that literally rains death from above.

I've always said until Muslims control their own barbaric factions we will continue to have this problem. Using drones doesn't seem to be helping. It's a double edged sword. We want the terrorists dead and don't really seem to have a true commitment from ME governments.

patteeu
09-30-2012, 07:37 AM
Honestly, then, you need to take a hard look then at how you view the Muslim world's complete disapproval of America.

In the off chance that any of you, or any of the people reading this thread that agree with you, genuinely believed that the Middle East hates us because of free speech, freedom of religion, we're infidels, we're free, we let women drive etc. etc...

The reason the Muslim world hates us is driven by our policies in the Middle East. That's why they hate us. If any of you genuinely knew this already, my apologies -- I just hear a casual dismissal of that hate as "it's just Muslims being Muslims" as if being Muslim came with a built-in disdain of America.

Some of those policies are defensible, such as our support of Israel.

But a lot of it comes from policy that literally rains death from above.

Your theory is destroyed by recent, high profile calls from the Muslim world for the West to curb free speech rights in favor of sensitivity to Islamic blasphemy concerns.

patteeu
09-30-2012, 07:41 AM
Unfortunately I do not see any light between the Democratic and Republican parties on this issue.

It is, sadly, one of the few areas of bipartisan consensus.

You didn't answer the question. There is only one person running for POTUS who qualifies as a war criminal if you accept the premise here. Mitt Romney has committed none of these so-called war crimes. Are you going to vote for the fully actualized war criminal?

Even if you believe that Romney would become a war criminal if elected, you still have the option to vote third party or stay home. Are you going to vote for a war criminal?

RedNeckRaider
09-30-2012, 08:05 AM
Honestly, then, you need to take a hard look then at how you view the Muslim world's complete disapproval of America.

In the off chance that any of you, or any of the people reading this thread that agree with you, genuinely believed that the Middle East hates us because of free speech, freedom of religion, we're infidels, we're free, we let women drive etc. etc...

The reason the Muslim world hates us is driven by our policies in the Middle East. That's why they hate us. If any of you genuinely knew this already, my apologies -- I just hear a casual dismissal of that hate as "it's just Muslims being Muslims" as if being Muslim came with a built-in disdain of America.

Some of those policies are defensible, such as our support of Israel.

But a lot of it comes from policy that literally rains death from above.

I view the Muslim world for what it is. It is a shit stain on the world. Simple minded idiots who demand the rest of the world follows their beliefs. They hate us and will continue to hate us unless we follow their beliefs~

BigRedChief
09-30-2012, 09:17 AM
Just off the cuff, it sounds like it sucks, but what ya gonna do? I'm ALL ABOUT blaming Obama for shit, but this seems like a damned if you do, damned and vulnerable if you don't.I agree, it horrible that we are killing innocent people. It lowers us from the moral high ground. But, it is war and if the enemy is hiding in the civilian populace, they are endangering their own people.

What are we suppose to do? Let them attack us and then allow them to retreat to their homes and neighborhoods, and we are suppose to do nothing until the emerge to attack us again?

It's a rock and a hard place moment.

BigRedChief
09-30-2012, 09:20 AM
I view the Muslim world for what it is. It is a shit stain on the world. Simple minded idiots who demand the rest of the world follows their beliefs. They hate us and will continue to hate us unless we follow their beliefs~Lets not go there. We have uneducated stupid ass people here in the USA also. They are not all in the Al-Quaeda column.

The need to be educated by their own leaders on how Democracy works.

Direckshun
09-30-2012, 03:56 PM
I've always said until Muslims control their own barbaric factions we will continue to have this problem. Using drones doesn't seem to be helping. It's a double edged sword. We want the terrorists dead and don't really seem to have a true commitment from ME governments.

One wonders: what if we just stopped drone-bombing countries in the ME, and committed those massive resources to just protecting ourselves?

I'm no expert. But that seems relatively rational.

Direckshun
09-30-2012, 03:58 PM
Your theory is destroyed by recent, high profile calls from the Muslim world for the West to curb free speech rights in favor of sensitivity to Islamic blasphemy concerns.

Not... really. It just proves a lot of the free speech we allow can piss them off.

But if you look at what actual terrorists say, and what drives terrorist recruiting, it's less "garrr Americans are free" and more "America murders our women, children, terrorizing us all the while."

Direckshun
09-30-2012, 04:00 PM
You didn't answer the question. There is only one person running for POTUS who qualifies as a war criminal if you accept the premise here. Mitt Romney has committed none of these so-called war crimes. Are you going to vote for the fully actualized war criminal?

Even if you believe that Romney would become a war criminal if elected, you still have the option to vote third party or stay home. Are you going to vote for a war criminal?

I have little doubt Romney and the GOP would continue Obama's expansive drone campaign. Neither should you.

I'm going to continue to leverage my vote where I can, the Democratic Party is the only one of the two with any sort of disdain for the drone campaign. My vote isn't dictated by any one issue, but they're my lone hope on the issue.

Direckshun
09-30-2012, 04:01 PM
I view the Muslim world for what it is. It is a shit stain on the world. Simple minded idiots who demand the rest of the world follows their beliefs. They hate us and will continue to hate us unless we follow their beliefs~

They hate us because we're sending missiles into their hillsides, murdering innocents, and terrorizing them.

That's why they hate us. Stop deluding yourself into "they hate us for our freedoms."

Direckshun
09-30-2012, 04:03 PM
I agree, it horrible that we are killing innocent people. It lowers us from the moral high ground. But, it is war and if the enemy is hiding in the civilian populace, they are endangering their own people.

Jihadist terrorist networks rely on rhetoric and the impression of a civilizational struggle.

If we fought terrorism as a criminal matter rather than a civilizational struggle matter, we could go a long way to deflating the effectiveness of that rhetoric.

Chocolate Hog
09-30-2012, 04:14 PM
Good thing the 2 parties have produced a candidate that opposes this.

qabbaan
09-30-2012, 04:23 PM
They hate us because we're sending missiles into their hillsides, murdering innocents, and terrorizing them.

That's why they hate us. Stop deluding yourself into "they hate us for our freedoms."

Like our approval ratings were any higher with them in 2001. See: the cheering of 9/11.

Fishpicker
09-30-2012, 04:43 PM
The reason the Muslim world hates us is driven by our policies in the Middle East. That's why they hate us. If any of you genuinely knew this already, my apologies -- I just hear a casual dismissal of that hate as "it's just Muslims being Muslims" as if being Muslim came with a built-in disdain of America.


yes I agree with your statement but, it doesn't matter. The Government is running amok and there's absolutely nothing anyone can do about it. The Pentagon is calling the shots and it's only going to get worse. Eventually the same policies will be used for domestic rule.

Direckshun
09-30-2012, 05:15 PM
yes I agree with your statement but, it doesn't matter. The Government is running amok and there's absolutely nothing anyone can do about it. The Pentagon is calling the shots and it's only going to get worse. Eventually the same policies will be used for domestic rule.

Ugh. You are depressing the shit out of me.

It'd be better if I could actually refute anything you said. Blah.

Fishpicker
09-30-2012, 06:09 PM
Ugh. You are depressing the shit out of me.

It'd be better if I could actually refute anything you said. Blah.

You are depressing the shit out of you. don't dwell on it, it'll drive you crazy. let it go and work on improving things that you can actually control and/or influence.

How to make a difference
<object width="640" height="360"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/kp-5rvtSpak?version=3&amp;hl=en_US"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/kp-5rvtSpak?version=3&amp;hl=en_US" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="640" height="360" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true"></embed></object>

RedNeckRaider
09-30-2012, 06:33 PM
Like our approval ratings were any higher with them in 2001. See: the cheering of 9/11.

Anyone who follows these wackjobs and there asinine beliefs knows the reality of the situation. When countries are ruled by relligious loonies who enforce old testament type laws on people you cannot reason with them or please them~

Direckshun
09-30-2012, 06:44 PM
You are depressing the shit out of you. don't dwell on it, it'll drive you crazy. let it go and work on improving things that you can actually control and/or influence.

How to make a difference
<object width="640" height="360"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/kp-5rvtSpak?version=3&amp;hl=en_US"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/kp-5rvtSpak?version=3&amp;hl=en_US" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="640" height="360" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true"></embed></object>

Good call.

I'm going to start by saving myself the indignity of a Stanhope routine. :p

Pawnmower
09-30-2012, 06:48 PM
If we stopped using drones to target Jihadis do you think that they would start to deal with us on a peaceful level? Would they all of a sudden stop hating us and trying to kill us? Would terrorist attacks on US targets lessen significantly?

All serious questions by the way...

Direckshun
09-30-2012, 06:53 PM
If we stopped using drones to target Jihadis do you think that they would start to deal with us on a peaceful level? Would they all of a sudden stop hating us and trying to kill us? Would terrorist attacks on US targets lessen significantly?

All serious questions by the way...

There would have to be significant changes to our foreign policy in the Middle East for those things to occur.

Ending the drone campaign would be one of those significant changes.

mnchiefsguy
09-30-2012, 06:54 PM
If we stopped using drones to target Jihadis do you think that they would start to deal with us on a peaceful level? Would they all of a sudden stop hating us and trying to kill us? Would terrorist attacks on US targets lessen significantly?

All serious questions by the way...

Another valid question. If the United States was to completely change its policy in the middle east, would they stop hating us? I don't think it would stop the hate for the USA, despite Direckshun's assertion that it is the only reason they hate the USA.

Direckshun
09-30-2012, 07:05 PM
If the United States was to completely change its policy in the middle east, would they stop hating us? I don't think it would stop the hate for the USA, despite Direckshun's assertion that it is the only reason they hate the USA.

Swing and a miss.

It depends what you mean by your question. It's too vague.

What do you mean by stopping the hatred towards the United States?

mnchiefsguy
09-30-2012, 09:26 PM
Swing and a miss.

It depends what you mean by your question. It's too vague.

What do you mean by stopping the hatred towards the United States?

You said the Muslims hatred for the USA is "driven by our policies in the middle east". My question is simple...if the United States were to change its policies in the middle east, would that stop the Muslim hatred?

I know you are not going to venture to answer that question, you will avoiding by claiming it is too complex or some other BS...but I would venture to say that if the United States were to do everything the Muslims wanted...they would still hate us anyway.

Direckshun
09-30-2012, 09:37 PM
You said the Muslims hatred for the USA is "driven by our policies in the middle east". My question is simple...if the United States were to change its policies in the middle east, would that stop the Muslim hatred?

I know you are not going to venture to answer that question, you will avoiding by claiming it is too complex or some other BS...but I would venture to say that if the United States were to do everything the Muslims wanted...they would still hate us anyway.

I'm claiming it's too simple.

What do you mean "stop Muslim hatred" -- prevent every Muslim from hating the United States?

Chocolate Hog
09-30-2012, 10:57 PM
There would have to be significant changes to our foreign policy in the Middle East for those things to occur.

Ending the drone campaign would be one of those significant changes.

And funding Israel.

J Diddy
09-30-2012, 10:57 PM
I'm claiming it's too simple.

What do you mean "stop Muslim hatred" -- prevent every Muslim from hating the United States?

Here's the thing. The only way that we coexist is for us to make major concessions. I'm pretty sure that is never going to happen.

Direckshun
09-30-2012, 11:05 PM
Here's the thing. The only way that we coexist is for us to make major concessions. I'm pretty sure that is never going to happen.

I wouldn't bet on it, either.

But I agree, that would have to happen. The drone program would be one of the easiest sacrifices we could make.

mnchiefsguy
09-30-2012, 11:17 PM
Here's the thing. The only way that we coexist is for us to make major concessions. I'm pretty sure that is never going to happen.

Here's the thing. The only way we "coexist" is for us to concede everything. The radical Muslims have shown time and time again that they are not willing to negotiate or compromise....the day they stop hating America is the day America becomes a Muslim state.

Direckshun
09-30-2012, 11:20 PM
Here's the thing. The only way we "coexist" is for us to concede everything. The radical Muslims have shown time and time again that they are not willing to negotiate or compromise....the day they stop hating America is the day America becomes a Muslim state.

Who exactly are you talking about?

All Muslims everywhere? Specific Muslim countries? Specific Muslim organizations?

J Diddy
09-30-2012, 11:23 PM
Who exactly are you talking about?

All Muslims everywhere? Specific Muslim countries? Specific Muslim organizations?

I think he basicly restated what I said with an emphasis on us giving everything up and being subservient.

I don't think it's that extreme, however, I think they would want us to let them do their evil bidding unchecked. Never going to happen.

mnchiefsguy
09-30-2012, 11:26 PM
Honestly, then, you need to take a hard look then at how you view the Muslim world's complete disapproval of America.

In the off chance that any of you, or any of the people reading this thread that agree with you, genuinely believed that the Middle East hates us because of free speech, freedom of religion, we're infidels, we're free, we let women drive etc. etc...

The reason the Muslim world hates us is driven by our policies in the Middle East. That's why they hate us. If any of you genuinely knew this already, my apologies -- I just hear a casual dismissal of that hate as "it's just Muslims being Muslims" as if being Muslim came with a built-in disdain of America.

Some of those policies are defensible, such as our support of Israel.

But a lot of it comes from policy that literally rains death from above.

I am talking about the Muslims you specifically talked about in the quoted post above, when you state your belief that the Muslim world hates us because of our policies in the middle east.

My question is...Would those Muslims stop hating America if America were to completely reverse its current policies in the Middle East? Since you state that this is the cause of their hatred, then reversing those policies should lead to less, or no, Muslim hatred for America, correct?

mnchiefsguy
09-30-2012, 11:28 PM
I think he basicly restated what I said with an emphasis on us giving everything up and being subservient.

I don't think it's that extreme, however, I think they would want us to let them do their evil bidding unchecked. Never going to happen.

What happens when they do their evil bidding unchecked around the rest of the world successfully? You think they are going to just stop and not come after America? (I agree it is never going to happen, just to be clear.)

J Diddy
09-30-2012, 11:29 PM
I am talking about the Muslims you specifically talked about in the quoted post above, when you state your belief that the Muslim world hates us because of our policies in the middle east.

My question is...Would those Muslims stop hating America if America were to completely reverse its current policies in the Middle East? Since you state that this is the cause of their hatred, then reversing those policies should lead to less, or no, Muslim hatred for America, correct?

Reversing our middle east policies won't do much, unfortunately. It would take us reversing our ideas that our country was founded on. Freedom of speech, religion, etc.

J Diddy
09-30-2012, 11:31 PM
What happens when they do their evil bidding unchecked around the rest of the world successfully? You think they are going to just stop and not come after America? (I agree it is never going to happen, just to be clear.)

Not at all.

mnchiefsguy
09-30-2012, 11:31 PM
Reversing our middle east policies won't do much, unfortunately. It would take us reversing our ideas that our country was founded on. Freedom of speech, religion, etc.

I agree that is what it would take. And those ideas are who we are. So I guess you would have to count me among those who think that the Muslim world hates America for what America is, not because of a specific Middle East policy.

Direckshun
09-30-2012, 11:31 PM
I am talking about the Muslims you specifically talked about in the quoted post above, when you state your belief that the Muslim world hates us because of our policies in the middle east.

My question is...Would those Muslims stop hating America if America were to completely reverse its current policies in the Middle East? Since you state that this is the cause of their hatred, then reversing those policies should lead to less, or no, Muslim hatred for America, correct?

The Middle East would likely still despise us for a generation or so, even if we took radical steps to reverse our policies there. Deep wounds heal, but they take time.

I think you'd eventually see a sharp drop in the Middle East's disapproval of the United States if that were the case. We simply offer the world too much, and our messages of democracy and self-determination are too attractive.

J Diddy
09-30-2012, 11:34 PM
I agree that is what it would take. And those ideas are who we are. So I guess you would have to count me among those who think that the Muslim world hates America for what America is, not because of a specific Middle East policy.

and I would have to agree with that, as long as by your definition of muslims are extremists.

Call it a warm, fuzzy, happy go lucky feeling but I refuse to believe that they are all bad people.

J Diddy
09-30-2012, 11:35 PM
The Middle East would likely still despise us for a generation or so, even if we took radical steps to reverse our policies there. Deep wounds heal, but they take time.

I think you'd eventually see a sharp drop in the Middle East's disapproval of the United States if that were the case. We simply offer the world too much, and our messages of democracy and self-determination are too attractive.

Here's my problem with that theory. They last went bat shit at us because of our refusal to dictate what is acceptable speech. That had nothing to do with a middle east policy.

mnchiefsguy
09-30-2012, 11:39 PM
and I would have to agree with that, as long as by your definition of muslims are extremists.

Call it a warm, fuzzy, happy go lucky feeling but I refuse to believe that they are all bad people.

I refuse to believe they are all bad people as well, but I definitely think there are more extremists than I used to think there were.

Direckshun
09-30-2012, 11:40 PM
Here's my problem with that theory. They last went bat shit at us because of our refusal to dictate what is acceptable speech. That had nothing to do with a middle east policy.

Virtually none of them have even seen the video. But when some asshole on a radio has just told you a country you already absolutely despise has done something you absolutely hate, you don't feel the need to wait around for verification.

But that's a fair point. The thing is, however, is that nearly all of the terrorists and attempted terrorists aren't citing our freedoms when they attack us. They cite our policies, most notably our drone programs. Even Osama Bin Laden himself said our policies were what drove his marketing of Al Qaeda.

J Diddy
09-30-2012, 11:47 PM
Virtually none of them have even seen the video. But when some asshole on a radio has just told you a country you already absolutely despise has done something you absolutely hate, you don't feel the need to wait around for verification.

But that's a fair point. The thing is, however, is that nearly all of the terrorists and attempted terrorists aren't citing our freedoms when they attack us. They cite our policies, most notably our drone programs. Even Osama Bin Laden himself said our policies were what drove his marketing of Al Qaeda.

So what's going to stop that asshole from doing the same thing over anything else we do?

It's easy to say it's our middle east policies, one of which being Israel, but what if that's a huge talking point.

I am having a hard time taking them for their word. I think a reasonable case can be made that it's our policies, but I truly believe it is our beliefs they find objectionable.

Direckshun
09-30-2012, 11:57 PM
So what's going to stop that asshole from doing the same thing over anything else we do?

It's easy to say it's our middle east policies, one of which being Israel, but what if that's a huge talking point.

I am having a hard time taking them for their word. I think a reasonable case can be made that it's our policies, but I truly believe it is our beliefs they find objectionable.

Osama Bin Laden himself dispelled those notions years ago. Despite all Fox News' claims to the contrary, we are not the free-est country on earth. We are not the most tolerant of blasphemy. We are not the most welcoming of free speech and religious freedom.

And yet we're targeted far more than everybody else.

It is our policies.

mlyonsd
10-01-2012, 07:01 AM
and I would have to agree with that, as long as by your definition of muslims are extremists.

Call it a warm, fuzzy, happy go lucky feeling but I refuse to believe that they are all bad people.
They aren't all bad people but there also doesn't appear to be enough good Muslims to stand up to the bad ones.

patteeu
10-01-2012, 09:35 AM
Not... really. It just proves a lot of the free speech we allow can piss them off.

But if you look at what actual terrorists say, and what drives terrorist recruiting, it's less "garrr Americans are free" and more "America murders our women, children, terrorizing us all the while."

No, it definitely proves you wrong. They don't like our policies but they ALSO don't like our modern, infidel ways. When Sayyid Qutb breathed life into the Islamist movement that ultimately spawned both today's Muslim Brotherhood and al Qaeda, he wasn't critical of America just because we supported Israel. Nor was he critical of our relationship with Egypt (at the time we didn't have much of a relationship with the Egyptian government) or the presence of our military (there was none). He was complaining about what he considered the decadence he witnessed as a student here. Things like girls dancing with boys and going about without proper covering.

Nothing has changed since then. They still hate us for our freedoms (as well as our policies that bring our civilizations into contact), not in an intellectual way but in the same way that people like you like to say that the religious right hate gays, although I suspect that there's more real hatred among street rabble Islamists than the typical pro-life American.

patteeu
10-01-2012, 09:37 AM
I have little doubt Romney and the GOP would continue Obama's expansive drone campaign. Neither should you.

I'm going to continue to leverage my vote where I can, the Democratic Party is the only one of the two with any sort of disdain for the drone campaign. My vote isn't dictated by any one issue, but they're my lone hope on the issue.

If you can't bring yourself to clearly answer the question, let me boil it down for you. Are you going to vote for Barack Obama even though he's a war criminal by your standards? Yes or no.

patteeu
10-01-2012, 09:39 AM
They hate us because we're sending missiles into their hillsides, murdering innocents, and terrorizing them.

That's why they hate us. Stop deluding yourself into "they hate us for our freedoms."

Is that why they killed Theo Van Gogh? Did he launch an airstrike or were they targeting him in response to some kind of drone attack?

patteeu
10-01-2012, 09:40 AM
Jihadist terrorist networks rely on rhetoric and the impression of a civilizational struggle.

If we fought terrorism as a criminal matter rather than a civilizational struggle matter, we could go a long way to deflating the effectiveness of that rhetoric.

What could go wrong with that approach?

http://chandrakantha.com/articles/indian_music/filmi_sangeet/media/2001_9112.jpg

KILLER_CLOWN
10-01-2012, 09:41 AM
I view the Muslim world for what it is. It is a shit stain on the world. Simple minded idiots who demand the rest of the world follows their beliefs. They hate us and will continue to hate us unless we follow their beliefs~

Same for us, who is over there killing people without much regard for human life?

KILLER_CLOWN
10-01-2012, 09:41 AM
What could go wrong with that approach?

http://chandrakantha.com/articles/indian_music/filmi_sangeet/media/2001_9112.jpg

Dick Cheney/George Bush???

Direckshun
10-01-2012, 01:42 PM
They don't like our policies but they ALSO don't like our modern, infidel ways. When Sayyid Qutb breathed life into the Islamist movement that ultimately spawned both today's Muslim Brotherhood and al Qaeda, he wasn't critical of America just because we supported Israel. Nor was he critical of our relationship with Egypt (at the time we didn't have much of a relationship with the Egyptian government) or the presence of our military (there was none). He was complaining about what he considered the decadence he witnessed as a student here. Things like girls dancing with boys and going about without proper covering.

Nothing has changed since then. They still hate us for our freedoms (as well as our policies that bring our civilizations into contact), not in an intellectual way but in the same way that people like you like to say that the religious right hate gays, although I suspect that there's more real hatred among street rabble Islamists than the typical pro-life American.

Right, there will always be extremists and radicals. But extremist radicals don't compose 90% of the Middle East's population, and yet that's roughly the percentage that has an unfavorable view of the United States.

Something that pervasive and negative from such a diverse, heterogenous region goes far beyond who wears what, and who dances with whom. It goes right into America's shit policies for the entire region, from propping up dictators to both directly and indirectly terrorizing them to, yes, our no-questions-asked support of Israel.

Which is why extremist assholes figured out that was their best sales angle if they wanted new recruits. You need look no further than Osama Bin Laden or Anwar Al-Awlaki, two of the most gifted recruiters for Al Qaeda.

Direckshun
10-01-2012, 01:45 PM
If you can't bring yourself to clearly answer the question, let me boil it down for you. Are you going to vote for Barack Obama even though he's a war criminal by your standards? Yes or no.

I will be voting for Barack Obama, yes.

Direckshun
10-01-2012, 01:48 PM
What could go wrong with that approach?

The gaping holes in our defense can be and should have been repaired as a criminal matter.

Instead, American dialed up the "War on Terror" rhetoric, went big on the Battle for Our Very Civilization.

Which attracted Muslim jihadists like flies to a purple light.

patteeu
10-01-2012, 02:15 PM
Right, there will always be extremists and radicals. But extremist radicals don't compose 90% of the Middle East's population, and yet that's roughly the percentage that has an unfavorable view of the United States.

Something that pervasive and negative from such a diverse, heterogenous region goes far beyond who wears what, and who dances with whom. It goes right into America's shit policies for the entire region, from propping up dictators to both directly and indirectly terrorizing them to, yes, our no-questions-asked support of Israel.

Which is why extremist assholes figured out that was their best sales angle if they wanted new recruits. You need look no further than Osama Bin Laden or Anwar Al-Awlaki, two of the most gifted recruiters for Al Qaeda.

So we agree that anyone who claims they don't hate us for our freedoms (ie our modern western culture) is wrong, right?

patteeu
10-01-2012, 02:16 PM
I will be voting for Barack Obama, yes.

Shame on you. I can't imagine the level of cynicism it must take to vote for a war criminal.

patteeu
10-01-2012, 02:24 PM
The gaping holes in our defense can be and should have been repaired as a criminal matter.

Instead, American dialed up the "War on Terror" rhetoric, went big on the Battle for Our Very Civilization.

Which attracted Muslim jihadists like flies to a purple light.

I disagree. A defense and law enforcement only approach leaves us vulnerable unless you're willing to go full police state and I'm not.

Direckshun
10-01-2012, 03:28 PM
So we agree that anyone who claims they don't hate us for our freedoms (ie our modern western culture) is wrong, right?

I'm not sure I understand the question?

patteeu
10-01-2012, 03:33 PM
I'm not sure I understand the question?

Interesting.

Direckshun
10-01-2012, 03:36 PM
Shame on you. I can't imagine the level of cynicism it must take to vote for a war criminal.

Something tells me you can.

Bill Parcells
10-01-2012, 03:36 PM
What could go wrong with that approach?

http://chandrakantha.com/articles/indian_music/filmi_sangeet/media/2001_9112.jpg

I dont think Direckshun has educated himself on the thousands upon thousands of madrassas in Pakistan training/brainwashing all the young children about killing Americans and hundreds of virgins in paradise after doing so. these are there long before all these drone attacks and will be there no matter what we do.

Direckshun = FAIL

Direckshun
10-01-2012, 03:41 PM
I disagree. A defense and law enforcement only approach leaves us vulnerable unless you're willing to go full police state and I'm not.

Because...?

See this is what I mean about stating conclusions without supporting premises.

Direckshun
10-01-2012, 03:42 PM
Interesting.

Are you asking me if it's wrong to "hate" our first amendment rights?

Is that what you're asking me?

mnchiefsguy
10-01-2012, 03:44 PM
Osama Bin Laden himself dispelled those notions years ago. Despite all Fox News' claims to the contrary, we are not the free-est country on earth. We are not the most tolerant of blasphemy. We are not the most welcoming of free speech and religious freedom.

And yet we're targeted far more than everybody else.

It is our policies.

May I ask...what country is more free? What country is more tolerant? What country allows more free speech and more religious freedom than the United States?

patteeu
10-01-2012, 04:04 PM
Are you asking me if it's wrong to "hate" our first amendment rights?

Is that what you're asking me?

I'm asking you if you agree that they hate us for having and exercising them.

patteeu
10-01-2012, 04:12 PM
Because...?

See this is what I mean about stating conclusions without supporting premises.

Without adequate intelligence police can only investigate crimes after they occur. Without adequate laws, police can't detain future terrorists to prevent their attacks. One of the most important results of our military operations over the past decade is the improvement of our intelcapabilities. We should want interdiction to take place as far from a planned ground zero and as long in advance as possible.

Direckshun
10-01-2012, 04:18 PM
May I ask...what country is more free? What country is more tolerant? What country allows more free speech and more religious freedom than the United States?

For starters, a series of counterterrorism measures over the past decade have hamstrung our freedoms of speech, privacy, and due process. We have created a big brother system with a government that is more capable than ever of domestic espionage. There are "free speech zones" for political conventions. We imprison people by the millions for smoking pot. Only in 2009 did we come up with effective equal pay legislation for women. Only in the past couple years have gay people received equal rights on domestic partnerships. Only in the past year have gay people been allowed to serve openly. Only during the Reagan administration did we add American Indians to civil rights legislation. For the vast majority of our country's history we have fought against rights for African Americans, women, and undocumented immigrants brought here against their will.

America is a beautiful place, constantly striving for a more perfect union. And we do have freedoms carved out against the government's power that are to be cherished an in some circumstances celebrated.

But to pretend like we're this oasis of flawless freedom that inspires the instant ire of freedom-haters everywhere is really, really silly.

Iowanian
10-01-2012, 04:20 PM
You didn't answer his question, artful dodger.

RedNeckRaider
10-01-2012, 04:32 PM
You didn't answer his question, artful dodger.

It is a rather simple question. That is quite a bit of typing to avoid a simple answer~

Iowanian
10-01-2012, 04:33 PM
When your direction arrow has no true north, it's easy to get lost.

Direckshun
10-01-2012, 04:34 PM
I'm asking you if you agree that they hate us for having and exercising them.

Ah. Okay.

No, the Middle East does not hate us for our freedoms. Some zealots and extremists do, but the Middle East has been witnessing a popular revolution over the past three years for many of the freedoms we have here in this country. So it wouldn't make sense that by and large, the Middle East hates our freedoms.

What does make sense is an invasive policy we've embraced for that region, which any populace would despise.

RedNeckRaider
10-01-2012, 04:35 PM
Ah. Okay.

No, the Middle East does not hate us for our freedoms. Some zealots and extremists do, but the Middle East has been witnessing a popular revolution over the past three years for many of the freedoms we have here in this country. So it wouldn't make sense that by and large, the Middle East hates our freedoms.

What does make sense is an invasive policy we've embraced for that region, which any populace would despise.

Are you going to answer the question?

Direckshun
10-01-2012, 04:45 PM
You didn't answer his question, artful dodger.

It is a rather simple question. That is quite a bit of typing to avoid a simple answer~

I just went straight to the point I was making. There's any number of organizations out there that try to quantify freedom and order countries out based on those metrics, and the United States is never at #1.

To avoid the needless squabbling over which lists are legitimate, here's one (http://www.heritage.org/index/ranking) from the GOP's own thinktank, that has the United States at 10th.

Iowanian
10-01-2012, 04:50 PM
No, you ducked the question.


Just say "Black for Palestine" and then we'll know what you mean.

Direckshun
10-01-2012, 04:55 PM
Are you going to answer the question?

No, you ducked the question.

Welp, I just answered it, which must please you to no end. :p

So now you get to answer the same question: is America the most free country on earth?

Iowanian
10-01-2012, 05:04 PM
The United States is the best nation on this planet with the most overall personal freedoms.

Direckshun
10-01-2012, 05:08 PM
The United States is the best nation on this planet with the most overall personal freedoms.

So I can take this as meaning we are the most free country on earth.

Goddamn, Hannity would be proud.

Direckshun
10-01-2012, 05:16 PM
Not a good sign of efficient, accountable warfare.

Ask yourself: if the warfare we wage is not efficient or accountable in any way, what do we need for it to be just?

http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2012/09/drone-body-count/

Not Even the White House Knows the Drones’ Body Count
By Noah Shachtman
September 29, 2012 | 8:00 am

Government officials claim they’re ultra-precise killing machines (http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2012/09/obama-drone/) that never, ever miss their targets. Outside groups say they’re covered in children’s blood (http://livingunderdrones.org/). The fact is no one has a clue exactly how many militants and how many innocents have been slain in the U.S. drone war that spans from Pakistan to Somalia. Remember that before you start your next Twitter feud about the drone war.

Neither the American government nor the independent agencies have the consistent presence on the ground needed to put together true assessments of the damage drone strikes do. Most of the evidence is third-hand, whispered from a local soldier to a far-off reporter. The death toll claims, which vary wildly, are all educated guesswork.

It’s one of many conclusions in a new report on the covert, robotic air war (http://civiliansinconflict.org/resources/pub/the-civilian-impact-of-drones) that doesn’t fit neatly into the dominant narratives about the drone campaign, pro or con. (The report is due to publish at midnight GMT on Sunday.) Using interviews with dozens of people in northwest Pakistan — one of the epicenters of the unmanned air assaults (http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2011/12/photos-pakistan-drone-war/) — The Center for Civilians in Conflict and Columbia Law School’s human rights clinic have crafted a nuanced view of the civilian impact of this most controversial component of the Obama administration’s counterterror efforts. Table your preconceived notions about the drone war before you read — starting with the notions about who the drones are actually taking out.

In May, an administration official told The New York Times that civilian casualties from the Pakistan drone war were in the “single digits (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/29/world/obamas-leadership-in-war-on-al-qaeda.html?pagewanted=all).” Perhaps that official only meant for one year. Meanwhile, the Bureau of Investigative Journalism estimates the minimum civilian death toll to be 447 during the campaign. One of the many costs of secret wars is that ”nobody knows how many civilians have been killed by covert drone strikes. Nobody — that means the Obama Administration, the Pakistan government, and the media,” emails Sarah Holewinski (http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2008/11/an-out-of-the-b/), the executive director of the Center for Civilians in Conflict.

“There are few boots on the ground to do an investigation after a strike, aerial surveillance is through a soda straw so can miss a lot and — unlike the military which has relatively transparent assessments and investigations in Afghanistan — the CIA and Special Forces are a black hole,” she adds. “The Obama administration says civilian casualties are ‘not a huge number (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-16804247).’ If that’s true, evidence could put the debate to rest, but we haven’t seen any.”

The drone campaign’s impact can be measured in more than just body counts, however. There’s the psychological impact of drones constantly buzzing overhead. An investigator at the UK charity Reprieve met a man, Tariq Aziz, shortly before he was killed in a March 17, 2011 strike. “I asked him, ‘Have you seen a drone,’ and I expected him to say, ‘Yes, I see one a week.’ But he said they saw 10 or 15 every day,” the investigator notes. “And he was saying at nighttime, it was making him crazy, because he couldn’t sleep.” (One reason why, perhaps, is that the Obama administration considers every military-aged male (http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2012/09/yemen-drone-war/) in a hostile region to be legitimate targets.)

The CIA relies on local informants to help guide the strikes; that sows suspicion in these communities, pitting one neighbor against the next. The fear and backbiting sometimes causes villages to largely empty out — which creates its own cascade of problems. “Drone-related displacement disrupts long-term stability by decreasing the capacity of local people to respond through civil society initiatives that foster stability, democracy and moderation and increase displaced people’s vulnerability to insurgent recruitment,” Lisa Schirch of 3P Human Security explains in the report.

The covert nature of the drone campaign produces strange imbalances in the ways civilians are treated from warzone to warzone. If an American aircraft drops a bomb on your house in Afghanistan, U.S. officers will usually offer some kind of financial compensation (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/25/afghanistan-shooting-victims-us-paid-compensation_n_1377950.html) for your loss. It may not be much, but at least it’s a recognition of the harm done. If an American aircraft drops a bomb on your house in neighboring Pakistan, however, you get nothing. There are no American officers in the vicinity — at least not officially. There’s no one to provide that financial or psychological recompense.

The report relates the tale of Usman Wazir, who “was at his job selling fruits when a drone hit his house, killing his younger brother, his wife, their 15-year-old son, and 13-year-old daughter.” He wanted some kind of payback. But there is “no known process in Pakistan, Yemen, or Somalia by which they can apply for compensation…. The secrecy surrounding the drone program, combined with its operation in many areas that are inaccessible, has meant that civilians harmed by drones have no recourse and no point of contact to hold accountable for the sudden devastation they face. This vacuum of accountability can lead to anger, despair, and even hatred, directed at their own government or at the U.S.”

Sometimes, innocents caught in the robotic crossfire get punished a second time. The drones are believed to be beyond-precise, which naturally leads to the conclusion that whoever has been targeted must be bad. “Victims face the double burden of dealing with the physical attack and also clearing their name,” according to the report. Meanwhile, the rest of us take our best guesses about the toll of these shadow wars.

And that’s its own problem. The drone strikes, the centerpiece of the Obama administration’s counterterrorism efforts, inspire heated opinions in the United States. That’s as it should be: Wars ought to be debated. But by keeping the drone war, and especially its consequences, wrapped in secrecy, the Obama administration and its foreign enablers shut off the basis for that debate. Second-order questions (Would other tactics be more or less brutal? Do the drones breed more radicalization than dead radicals?) that are necessary to intelligently assess the wisdom of the drone war can’t be answered. And so various factions yell at each other, each convinced they’ve grasped the truth of a war that has practically none to offer.

patteeu
10-01-2012, 05:20 PM
Ah. Okay.

No, the Middle East does not hate us for our freedoms. Some zealots and extremists do, but the Middle East has been witnessing a popular revolution over the past three years for many of the freedoms we have here in this country. So it wouldn't make sense that by and large, the Middle East hates our freedoms.

What does make sense is an invasive policy we've embraced for that region, which any populace would despise.

Ok, well then you're wrong. We've been told that the Cairo mobs were motivated by a movie trailer. They weren't protesting drone strikes or boots on the ground in Iraq.

Direckshun
10-01-2012, 05:26 PM
Ok, well then you're wrong. To the extent that the Cairo mobs that we're told were motivated by a movie trailer weren't protesting drone strikes or boots on the ground in Iraq.

Virtually none of them have even seen the video. But when some asshole on a radio has just told you a country you already absolutely despise has done something you absolutely hate, you don't feel the need to wait around for verification.

But that's a fair point. The thing is, however, is that nearly all of the terrorists and attempted terrorists aren't citing our freedoms when they attack us. They cite our policies, most notably our drone programs. Even Osama Bin Laden himself said our policies were what drove his marketing of Al Qaeda.

patteeu
10-01-2012, 05:32 PM
Virtually none of them have even seen the video. But when some asshole on a radio has just told you a country you already absolutely despise has done something you absolutely hate, you don't feel the need to wait around for verification.

But that's a fair point. The thing is, however, is that nearly all of the terrorists and attempted terrorists aren't citing our freedoms when they attack us. They cite our policies, most notably our drone programs. Even Osama Bin Laden himself said our policies were what drove his marketing of Al Qaeda.

It's good psychological warfare to point to drone strikes or interrogation techniques as a motivator rather than hatred of all infidels for their way of life. The former is a message that divides and weakens Americans and potentially gets useful policies reversed while the latter would unify us. Do you think al Qaeda are too dumb to figure this out?

Direckshun
10-01-2012, 05:46 PM
It's good psychological warfare to point to drone strikes or interrogation techniques as a motivator rather than hatred of all infidels for their way of life. The former is a message that divides and weakens Americans and potentially gets useful policies reversed while the latter would unify us. Do you think al Qaeda are too dumb to figure this out?

If it were coming purely from al Qaeda's PR, you might have a point. But our policies are frequently cited across virtually all jihadists as the source of not just terrorist attacks, but of the Middle East's contempt towards America in general.

patteeu
10-01-2012, 05:53 PM
If it were coming purely from al Qaeda's PR, you might have a point. But our policies are frequently cited across virtually all jihadists as the source of not just terrorist attacks, but of the Middle East's contempt towards America in general.

Correction: I definitely have a point unless none of it is coming from al Qaeda.

I'm unaware of any comprehensive study on the subject, but if it exists, I'm confident that policies aren't the exclusive motivator and that terror detainees claim they aren't motivated by their antipathy toward our blasphemous and infidel way of life. I suspect that you've just been reading too much left wing propaganda or you just haven't stopped to think about how ridiculously unlikely your position is.

Direckshun
10-01-2012, 05:59 PM
Correction: I definitely have a point unless none of it is coming from al Qaeda.

Come again? You lost me.

patteeu
10-01-2012, 06:07 PM
Come again? You lost me.

You seemed to agree that al Qaeda trained terrorists might indeed be trained to point at US policies as motivators in a sophisticated effort to undermine our war effort, but you concluded that I don't have a point because some terrorists aren't al Qaeda trained. I'm correcting you by pointing out that to be right, I only need some of the terrorists to be using this tactic, not all of them.

I've agreed that some terrorists may well hate us for our policies. My position is that hatred of our culture/freedoms is also a major motivator. Therefore, to prove me wrong you'd have to make the case that most terrorists have to hate us almost exclusively for our policies.

mnchiefsguy
10-01-2012, 07:09 PM
So I can take this as meaning we are the most free country on earth.

Goddamn, Hannity would be proud.

At least he has the courage to answer the question.

What is your answer? What country on earth is the most free?

patteeu
10-01-2012, 07:21 PM
At least he has the courage to answer the question.

What is your answer? What country on earth is the most free?

I think it's likely that there's a small, culturally homogenous country here and there that are freer than the US although it would be hard to settle on criteria.

The frontier territories of Pakistan are almost completely free from control of the central government, but of course they have some pretty strict rules imposed by their local tribes.

Singapore is one that is frequently cited due to their economic freedoms, but don't get caught with drugs or spray painting some graffiti.

Iowanian
10-01-2012, 07:22 PM
First of all I haven't heard more than 10 minutes of anything Hannity in a couple of years total, so please perform an act upon yourself that most men would find uncomfortable.

Second, I believe exactly what I said and I think a lot of Americans have spilled blood for very same thought process. Laugh if you must, but at least I have the stones to actually answer a question.

You're a nutless cunt.

RedNeckRaider
10-01-2012, 08:20 PM
First of all I haven't heard more than 10 minutes of anything Hannity in a couple of years total, so please perform an act upon yourself that most men would find uncomfortable.

Second, I believe exactly what I said and I think a lot of Americans have spilled blood for very same thought process. Laugh if you must, but at least I have the stones to actually answer a question.

You're a nutless ****.

I honestly think he just throws out most of this bullshit for reaction. That or he is a lost cause and a part of the downfall of this great nation~

Direckshun
10-01-2012, 11:00 PM
At least he has the courage to answer the question.

What is your answer? What country on earth is the most free?

God.

I answered the question.

You are wearing me out.

Direckshun
10-01-2012, 11:02 PM
You seemed to agree that al Qaeda trained terrorists might indeed be trained to point at US policies as motivators in a sophisticated effort to undermine our war effort, but you concluded that I don't have a point because some terrorists aren't al Qaeda trained. I'm correcting you by pointing out that to be right, I only need some of the terrorists to be using this tactic, not all of them.

I've agreed that some terrorists may well hate us for our policies. My position is that hatred of our culture/freedoms is also a major motivator. Therefore, to prove me wrong you'd have to make the case that most terrorists have to hate us almost exclusively for our policies.

Ah. Good to hear.

Regarding your last sentence there -- what would you need to see as proof to the contrary?

Direckshun
10-01-2012, 11:04 PM
First of all I haven't heard more than 10 minutes of anything Hannity in a couple of years total, so please perform an act upon yourself that most men would find uncomfortable.

Second, I believe exactly what I said and I think a lot of Americans have spilled blood for very same thought process. Laugh if you must, but at least I have the stones to actually answer a question.

You're a nutless ****.

Good for you if you believe it. Hurrah. Whatever you need to tell yourself to feel the fuzzy patriotic pride.

Others can feel it while being realistic. But some people need their world to be simpler. Have at.

Direckshun
10-01-2012, 11:07 PM
I honestly think he just throws out most of this bullshit for reaction. That or he is a lost cause and a part of the downfall of this great nation~

Oh cry me a goddamn river. Please.

The very idea that our country could be threatened because people dare to disagree with the vaunted RedNeckRaider is the most chickenshit vision of our country that you could possibly have, it is totally steeped in ideological and psychological insecurity.

Oh noes, libruls, they will be the downfall of us all.

You are adorable.

Direckshun
10-01-2012, 11:13 PM
By the way, RNR, while you're complaining about the downfall of America, answer my question.

Don't puss out on me now. We've come too far.

patteeu
10-01-2012, 11:40 PM
Ah. Good to hear.

Regarding your last sentence there -- what would you need to see as proof to the contrary?

An end of the use of the word "infidel" by Islamists would be a start.

J Diddy
10-01-2012, 11:41 PM
An end of the use of the word "infidel" by Islamists would be a start.

So a word hurts your feelings? But yet you are a champion of free speech are you not?

mnchiefsguy
10-01-2012, 11:49 PM
God.

I answered the question.

You are wearing me out.

Must have missed your answer...what country was that again?

mnchiefsguy
10-01-2012, 11:53 PM
By the way, RNR, while you're complaining about the downfall of America, answer my question.

Don't puss out on me now. We've come too far.

Perhaps if you answered simple, direct questions posed to you, others might pay you the same courtesy.

patteeu
10-02-2012, 12:07 AM
So a word hurts your feelings? But yet you are a champion of free speech are you not?

No, it has nothing to do with my feelings or the particular word. It has to do with what they mean when they use it to express their hatred of our non-islamic culture. To prove to me that they don't hate us for our way of life they're going to have to stop telling us they hate us at a minimum.

mnchiefsguy
10-02-2012, 08:37 AM
Bump...still waiting for Direckshun to tell us that magic country which has more freedom than the USA.

Direckshun
10-02-2012, 08:50 AM
An end of the use of the word "infidel" by Islamists would be a start.

So in otherwords, you would need me to demonstrate that the word infidel is never said and never will be said ever again.

Direckshun
10-02-2012, 08:51 AM
Must have missed your answer...what country was that again?

Perhaps if you answered simple, direct questions posed to you, others might pay you the same courtesy.

Bump...still waiting for Direckshun to tell us that magic country which has more freedom than the USA.

Aaaaaaaaaaaand I'm spent.

mnchiefsguy
10-02-2012, 08:54 AM
Aaaaaaaaaaaand I'm spent.

Well, you made the claim that America was not the most free country in the world. Spent multiple posts expounding upon it....even called those who believed it name, and yet when you are asked to present your list of countries that have more freedoms than the USA, you clam up and run like a coward. Sound about right?

Direckshun
10-02-2012, 08:58 AM
Well, you made the claim that America was not the most free country in the world. Spent multiple posts expounding upon it....even called those who believed it name, and yet when you are asked to present your list of countries that have more freedoms than the USA, you clam up and run like a coward. Sound about right?

Yes, sure. Whatever. Christ.

patteeu
10-02-2012, 09:08 AM
So in otherwords, you would need me to demonstrate that the word infidel is never said and never will be said ever again.

It's really more about the concept than the word itself, but that would be a start.

mnchiefsguy
10-02-2012, 10:23 AM
Yes, sure. Whatever. Christ.

My point stands.

patteeu
10-02-2012, 10:33 AM
My point stands.

I'm not sure why he didn't just give you an answer, but since he won't, I'll give you at least one take on the subject from the Heritage Foundation (http://www.heritage.org/index/ranking). It's based on the following (mainly economic and financial) criteria:

Rule of Law: Property Rights
Rule of Law: Freedom from Corruption
Limited Government: Government Spending
Limited Government: Fiscal Freedom
Regulatory Efficiency: Business Freedom
Regulatory Efficiency: Labor Freedom
Regulatory Efficiency: Monetary Freedom
Open Markets: Trade Freedom
Open Markets: Investment Freedom
Open Markets: Financial Freedom

It puts the top 5 in the "free" category:

1. Hong Kong
2. Singapore
3. Australia
4. New Zealand
5. Switzerland

And the next 23 countries in the "mostly free" category:

6. Canada
7. Chile
8. Mauritius
9. Ireland
10. United States
...

Of course, this doesn't account for freedoms like free speech, freedom of religion or freedom from unreasonable search/seizure.

Direckshun
10-02-2012, 11:09 AM
I'm not sure why he didn't just give you an answer, but since he won't, I'll give you at least one take on the subject from the Heritage Foundation (http://www.heritage.org/index/ranking). It's based on the following (mainly economic and financial) criteria:

Rule of Law: Property Rights
Rule of Law: Freedom from Corruption
Limited Government: Government Spending
Limited Government: Fiscal Freedom
Regulatory Efficiency: Business Freedom
Regulatory Efficiency: Labor Freedom
Regulatory Efficiency: Monetary Freedom
Open Markets: Trade Freedom
Open Markets: Investment Freedom
Open Markets: Financial Freedom

It puts the top 5 in the "free" category:

1. Hong Kong
2. Singapore
3. Australia
4. New Zealand
5. Switzerland

And the next 23 countries in the "mostly free" category:

6. Canada
7. Chile
8. Mauritius
9. Ireland
10. United States
...

Of course, this doesn't account for freedoms like free speech, freedom of religion or freedom from unreasonable search/seizure.

His point stands? Er...

patteeu
10-02-2012, 11:12 AM
His point stands? Er...

I think it's debatable as to whether that list is definitive given the flaws I already pointed out.

DJ's left nut
10-02-2012, 11:16 AM
Honestly, then, you need to take a hard look then at how you view the Muslim world's complete disapproval of America.

In the off chance that any of you, or any of the people reading this thread that agree with you, genuinely believed that the Middle East hates us because of free speech, freedom of religion, we're infidels, we're free, we let women drive etc. etc...

The reason the Muslim world hates us is driven by our policies in the Middle East. That's why they hate us. If any of you genuinely knew this already, my apologies -- I just hear a casual dismissal of that hate as "it's just Muslims being Muslims" as if being Muslim came with a built-in disdain of America.

Some of those policies are defensible, such as our support of Israel.

But a lot of it comes from policy that literally rains death from above.

You just slipped by the major reason America is hated by the Muslim community as 'reasonable'.

They hate us because of our support of Israel - period. They didn't hate us before we were open military allies for Israel, hated us almost immediately once we were.

That's it. If we roll back every other policy that they find offensive but continue an open and militarily backed support of Israel, the Muslim community will continue to hate the United States.

But for the record, I also find the premise of the article pretty believable. In the end though, I just can't bring myself to care. We have to protect ourselves and the governments of these 'wronged' nations aren't doing anything to help us in that regard. In fact, in many instances they encourage things that are disruptive to our security. As a consequence, we need to protect ourselves at the lowest risk to American lives possible. The drones, right this minute, are that solution.

The only real alternative to the drones or assistance from the opposing governments is to withdraw support of Israel and eventually I think the middle-east will simply cease to care about the US (to the degree necessary for large-scale terrorist action, anyway). I don't see how we can morally take that step, though.

mnchiefsguy
10-02-2012, 11:25 AM
I'm not sure why he didn't just give you an answer, but since he won't, I'll give you at least one take on the subject from the Heritage Foundation (http://www.heritage.org/index/ranking). It's based on the following (mainly economic and financial) criteria:

Rule of Law: Property Rights
Rule of Law: Freedom from Corruption
Limited Government: Government Spending
Limited Government: Fiscal Freedom
Regulatory Efficiency: Business Freedom
Regulatory Efficiency: Labor Freedom
Regulatory Efficiency: Monetary Freedom
Open Markets: Trade Freedom
Open Markets: Investment Freedom
Open Markets: Financial Freedom

It puts the top 5 in the "free" category:

1. Hong Kong
2. Singapore
3. Australia
4. New Zealand
5. Switzerland

And the next 23 countries in the "mostly free" category:

6. Canada
7. Chile
8. Mauritius
9. Ireland
10. United States
...

Of course, this doesn't account for freedoms like free speech, freedom of religion or freedom from unreasonable search/seizure.

Surprised to see Hong Kong top the list, given that it is no longer under British control. Communist China must have a different set of rules for how things work there versus the rest of the country.

It is interesting that the list in question does not include some of the most important freedoms , as pat noted, and that certainly puts the list up for some serious debate.

patteeu
10-02-2012, 11:31 AM
Surprised to see Hong Kong top the list, given that it is no longer under British control. Communist China must have a different set of rules for how things work there versus the rest of the country.



Yes, they definitely have their own set of rules, although I couldn't begin to tell you what they are.

Direckshun
10-02-2012, 11:38 AM
I think it's debatable as to whether that list is definitive given the flaws I already pointed out.

Sure.

There are a hundred lists out there, many by reputable organizations. And they all have different criteria because "freedom" is a nebulous term that can be defined many different ways.

You typically don't, or really never, see the United States topping those lists.

We do well generally, but we're almost never #1.

That's nothing to be ashamed of, but the idea that we're the free-est bestest most holy country is a pretty silly notion.

mnchiefsguy
10-02-2012, 11:40 AM
Sure.

There are a hundred lists out there, many by reputable organizations. And they all have different criteria because "freedom" is a nebulous term that can be defined many different ways.

You typically don't, or really never, see the United States topping those lists.

We do well generally, but we're almost never #1.

That's nothing to be ashamed of, but the idea that we're the free-est bestest most holy country is a pretty silly notion.

Again I will ask...what country do YOU believe has more freedom than the USA?

Direckshun
10-02-2012, 11:44 AM
You just slipped by the major reason America is hated by the Muslim community as 'reasonable'.

They hate us because of our support of Israel - period. They didn't hate us before we were open military allies for Israel, hated us almost immediately once we were.

That's it. If we roll back every other policy that they find offensive but continue an open and militarily backed support of Israel, the Muslim community will continue to hate the United States.

But for the record, I also find the premise of the article pretty believable. In the end though, I just can't bring myself to care. We have to protect ourselves and the governments of these 'wronged' nations aren't doing anything to help us in that regard. In fact, in many instances they encourage things that are disruptive to our security. As a consequence, we need to protect ourselves at the lowest risk to American lives possible. The drones, right this minute, are that solution.

The only real alternative to the drones or assistance from the opposing governments is to withdraw support of Israel and eventually I think the middle-east will simply cease to care about the US (to the degree necessary for large-scale terrorist action, anyway). I don't see how we can morally take that step, though.

Our support of Israel's a big part of it, especially given what the Muslim world has observed as Israel's movement away from the two-state solution in recent years. Another big part of it is our soldiers that we keep stationed all over the subcontinent, in particular in Saudi Arabia. Another big part of it is our propping up and doing financial dealings with numerous dictators in the region, in some cases empowering those very dictators to slaughter democratic protesters.

But to pretend like firing missiles and dropping bombs on Muslim populations for the near-entirety of the 21st century isn't a serious, serious influence is, well, misguided.

You're creating a false dichotomy when you say the only options America has in the Middle East are (a.) a complete reversal of everything we're doing in the Middle East, and (b.) what we're doing now. You're leaving out a ton of middle ground.

At the end of the day, I would say we need to protect ourselves at the lowest risk of losing American lives while still being respectful of losing other lives as well. The children we've killed in our drone campaign did nothing wrong, at the very, very least.

patteeu
10-02-2012, 11:47 AM
Sure.

There are a hundred lists out there, many by reputable organizations. And they all have different criteria because "freedom" is a nebulous term that can be defined many different ways.

You typically don't, or really never, see the United States topping those lists.

We do well generally, but we're almost never #1.

That's nothing to be ashamed of, but the idea that we're the free-est bestest most holy country is a pretty silly notion.

There's no doubt in my mind that we're the best country. Any shortfall in the freedom area will eventually be rectified when we stop electing people like Barack Obama.

Dallas Chief
10-02-2012, 02:01 PM
Our support of Israel's a big part of it, especially given what the Muslim world has observed as Israel's movement away from the two-state solution in recent years. Another big part of it is our soldiers that we keep stationed all over the subcontinent, in particular in Saudi Arabia. Another big part of it is our propping up and doing financial dealings with numerous dictators in the region, in some cases empowering those very dictators to slaughter democratic protesters.

But to pretend like firing missiles and dropping bombs on Muslim populations for the near-entirety of the 21st century isn't a serious, serious influence is, well, misguided.

You're creating a false dichotomy when you say the only options America has in the Middle East are (a.) a complete reversal of everything we're doing in the Middle East, and (b.) what we're doing now. You're leaving out a ton of middle ground.

At the end of the day, I would say we need to protect ourselves at the lowest risk of losing American lives while still being respectful of losing other lives as well. The children we've killed in our drone campaign did nothing wrong, at the very, very least.

Another big part of it is that you have no concept of national security and keeping a strong presence in the hot spots globally. Shit spirals out of control too fast when it involves your Palestinian jingle balled boyfriends. Another big part of it is that there will never be a two state solution so why keep trying. Yessir Suckacat made that loud and clear. Another big part of it is the lunatic fringe has control of much of the ME and until the "good" religion of peace types rise up and take back control, bad shit will continue to happen to them. i.e drone attacks and our presence there. Another big part is outside of that happening they can all take their medicine and deal with the consequences that their prophet has bestowed upon them. See I watch Homeland and I know a lot and can make up silly shit too. Fun fun!!!

Direckshun
02-09-2013, 04:27 PM
God, this is such a great read on the subject.

http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/comment/2013/02/john-brennan-and-the-truth-about-drones.html

What We Don’t Know About Drones
Posted by Dexter Filkins
February 7, 2013

When I read the news that John Brennan was set to appear before the Senate in hopes of becoming of the C.I.A. director, I thought of the group of villagers I met at a seaside hotel in Yemen two years ago. They had driven many miles to see me, coming from the Yemen countryside in a pair of battered taxis, and they were waiting in the hotel parking lot. There were about a dozen of them in all. It was a beautiful hotel, called the Mercure, with panoramic views of Aden harbor. The villagers, dressed in robes and rags, looked out of place, but they’d come to talk.

I had flown to Yemen to report on the popular uprising that was unfolding against the regime of Ali Abdullah Saleh, but I was also trying to find out about the secret war that the United States was waging there. In December, 2009, the Yemeni government had announced that its Air Force had bombed an Al Qaeda training camp in the village of Al Majalah, in a remote corner of the country, killing thirty-four fighters, and that the U.S. had provided the intelligence for the strike. The reality, as I discovered, was different.

For starters, as American officials confirmed, the attack was not carried out by the Yemeni Air Force but, rather, by the United States. The U.S. had launched a volley of Tomahawk cruise missiles from a ship off the coast. (As far as we know, most of the attacks in Yemen since then have been carried out with drones.) As was later revealed in documents released by Wikileaks, American and Yemeni officials had reached a secret agreement that allowed the U.S. to take action against suspected terrorists. The Yemeni President told General David Petraeus (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/dec/03/wikileaks-yemen-us-attack-al-qaida), then the head of CENTCOM, “We’ll continue saying the bombs are ours, not yours.”

As I wrote in a Letter from Yemen (http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2011/04/11/110411fa_fact_filkins?currentPage=all), in 2011, the villagers from Al Majalah had come to the hotel parking lot tell me their story:

Hussein Abdullah, a herdsman, told me that he had been tending a herd of goats and camels when Al Majalah was hit. He recalled lying in his tent at sunrise, half-awake, when there was an enormous flash. “The sky turned white,” Abdullah said. “Everything suddenly disappeared.” He was knocked unconscious, and when he came to, he told me, he saw his wife running toward him. “And when she threw her arms around me I felt blood all over me,” he said. She died, as did his daughter; only his infant son survived.

That same evening, I met a fifteen-year-old girl named Fatima Ali, who, when she rolled up the sleeves of her chador, showed me terrible burns. Another girl was missing a finger. Her mother, she said, had been killed by the strike.

Some months after the attack in Al Majalah, Amnesty International released photos showing an American cluster bomb and a propulsion unit from a Tomahawk cruise missile. A subsequent inquiry by the Yemeni parliament found that fourteen Al Qaeda fighters had been killed—along with forty-one civilians, including twenty-three children.

Later, when I spoke to American officials, they seemed genuinely perplexed. They didn’t deny that a large number of civilians had been killed. They felt bad about it. But the aerial surveillance, they said, had clearly showed that a training camp for militants was operating there. “It was a terrible outcome,” an American official told me. “Nobody wanted that.”

None of the above is intended as an attack on Brennan, who has spent the past four years as President Obama’s counterterrorism advisor. He has a hard job. He is almost always forced to act on the basis of incomplete information. His job is to keep Americans safe, and he’s done that. Al Qaeda’s leadership, particularly in the tribal areas of Pakistan, has been decimated. Operating in Yemen, where vast tracts of the country lie beyond anyone’s control, cannot be easy.

But, as the details from the Al Majalah show, even the best-intentioned public servants operating with what appears to be decent intelligence can get things horribly wrong. Maybe Al Majalah was indeed an Al Qaeda training camp—maybe those aerial surveillance images were spot on. But, in retrospect, we know that the cameras missed the women and children.

Indeed, if there is one overriding factor in America’s secret wars—especially in its drone campaign—it’s that the U.S. is operating in an information black hole. Our ignorance is not total, but our information is nowhere near adequate. When an employee of the C.I.A. fires a missile from an unmanned drone into a compound along the Afghan-Pakistani border, he almost certainly doesn’t know for sure whom he’s shooting at. Most drone strikes in Pakistan, as an American official explained to me during my visit there in 2011, are what are known as “signature strikes.” That is, the C.I.A. is shooting at a target that matches a pattern of behavior that they’ve deemed suspicious. Often, they get it right and they kill the bad guys. Sometimes, they get it wrong. When Brennan claimed, as he did in 2011 (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/12/world/asia/12drones.html)—clearly referring to the drone campaign—that “there hasn’t been a single collateral death,” he was most certainly wrong.

The same is true of opponents of the drone war, who sometimes lay claim to much more knowledge than they actually possess. And so, when a Pakistani newspaper reports that twenty civilians were killed in an attack, it is often taken as gospel truth, even though, as is often the case, the reporting is done over the telephone. For Americans—who are, after all, the ones whose country is firing the drones—it’s more or less impossible to independently verify many details of a drone strike. The reason is obvious: for a Western diplomat or reporter to go to the area where most of the drone strikes have taken place would be reckless in the extreme. (I’ve been to the tribal areas twice on my own. The first time, I was arrested and expelled by the Pakistani government; the second time, I was invited by a Taliban warlord who was killed six weeks later. Each trip took days of preparation and negotiation to arrange.)

The best and most painstaking attempts to get at the truth of the drone war—like one by the New America foundation (http://counterterrorism.newamerica.net/drones/methodology)—acknowledge the difficulty of the enterprise. The New America study found that between 2004 and 2010, the U.S. carried out a hundred and fourteen strikes, which the study’s authors estimated killed between eight hundred and thirty and twelve hundred and ten people. Of those, the study found, between five hundred and fifty and eight hundred and fifty—roughly two-thirds—were probably militants. Included in the dead were many militant leaders. That means that roughly a third of the dead—several hundred—were probably civilians. That’s a lot of bodies. These may be the best estimates we have, but they are still approximations.

Brennan is likely to face sharp questioning in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee, as well he should. You will hear a lot of claims about militants killed and civilians killed and civilians spared. Most likely, neither side will be entitled to its shrillness. If the Al Majalah strike has any value now, it should be to remind us not just of our knowledge but also of our ignorance.

HonestChieffan
02-09-2013, 06:02 PM
What part was "a great read"?