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View Full Version : Int'l Issues The un-discussed issue this election cycle: drones.


Direckshun
11-06-2012, 06:43 AM
I've written about how much I've really come to hate our unaccountable drone war that goes through no due process, no legislative mandate, and no transparency in how the Pentagon reports its results.

It's already been pointed out that our drone campaign is inefficient and creates more terrorists (http://www.chiefsplanet.com/BB/showthread.php?t=264338). Mitt Romney himself has argued that killing cannot be our answer anymore (http://www.chiefsplanet.com/BB/showthread.php?t=265548) in the Middle East.

Conservatives: do you trust John Edwards with unlimited drone ability?

Liberals: do you trust Sarah Palin with unlimited drone ability?

Because if you can't, and these people could have become President over the past however-many years, then this program needs to change.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-11-05/why-drones-stayed-out-of-sight-in-the-2012-campaign.html

Why Drones Stayed Out of Sight in the 2012 Campaign
By Ramesh Ponnuru
Nov 5, 2012 5:30 PM CT

“Homeland,” Showtime’s series about an al-Qaeda sleeper agent in Congress, is both implausible and addictive. President Barack Obama is a fan (http://www.tvguide.com/News/President-Obama-Favorite-Shows-1055287.aspx). That means he has heard more discussion of the downside of drone strikes in a television drama than he has in the presidential race.

In the foreign-policy debate on Oct. 22, moderator Bob Schieffer of CBS asked (http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/OTUS/presidential-debate-full-transcript/story?id=17538888#.UJPdL7RhHdk) Obama’s opponent, Mitt Romney, about the use of drones. Romney responded, “I support that entirely and feel the president was right to up the usage of that technology and believe that we should continue to use it to continue to go after the people who represent a threat to this nation and to our friends.”

This bouquet in hand, Obama didn’t even have to use the word “drone” when his turn came to speak.

Neither side wants to look softer than the other on terrorists. Hence the bipartisan support for the strikes. Liberal groups that might be inclined to protest the policy have been quiet (http://www.nationaljournal.com/politics/obama-s-drone-program-escapes-liberal-scrutiny-in-campaign-20121101) because Obama put it in place. The lack of debate about our reliance on drones is a shame, because there are both practical and moral objections to it.

Bipartisan Worries

A few conservatives have raised one practical concern: Killing terrorists is justified, they say, but we need to kill fewer and capture more to gain intelligence. You don’t have to support waterboarding, as some of these critics do, to agree with that point.

Another concern, raised by a few liberals, is that the strikes have increased anti-Americanism abroad. (On “Homeland,” one of them turns an American soldier into a terrorist.) The Pew Research Center has found (http://www.pewglobal.org/2012/06/13/global-opinion-of-obama-slips-international-policies-faulted) strong opposition to drone strikes in almost every country. The strikes may also be setting a dangerous precedent (http://peterbergen.com/a-dangerous-new-world-of-drones-cnn/), goes another argument, since “more than 70 countries now own some type of drone.”

But the morality of the policy is what most deserves scrutiny. The tradition of thinking about wartime ethics holds that it is permissible to cause the death of innocent civilians under certain conditions: when the war itself is just, the deaths are unintended and the number of innocents killed is proportional to the good the military action is expected to achieve.

Attacks on terrorists from the air meet the first two criteria even if civilians get killed. Whether they meet the third is harder to determine, largely because we don’t have reliable numbers. In January, Obama said (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/06/world/asia/us-drone-strikes-are-said-to-target-rescuers.html), “I want to make sure that people understand actually drones have not caused a huge number of civilian casualties.” A report by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism found hundreds of civilian casualties in Pakistan, including 176 children.

In May, the New York Times reported (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/29/world/obamas-leadership-in-war-on-al-qaeda.html?pagewanted=all) one possible explanation for the discrepancy in estimates: Obama “in effect counts all military-age males in a strike zone as combatants, according to several administration officials, unless there is explicit intelligence posthumously proving them innocent.” In other words, Obama has not found much evidence of civilian casualties because he’s not looking for any. The Times also reported that former senior intelligence officials doubt the administration’s public line about low casualties.

The alternatives to drone strikes have costs. Ground operations would also cause civilian casualties and could put American troops at risk. Scaling back the drone strikes risks letting some terrorists go to plot more evil. But the costs of killing, injuring, endangering and terrifying civilians have to be entered into the equation.

Robert P. George, a professor of politics at Princeton University and a leading social conservative, argues (http://www.firstthings.com/blogs/firstthoughts/2012/06/18/catholics-should-criticize-indiscriminate-drone-use/) that “considerations of justice to noncombatants” sometimes forbid drone strikes “even if that means grave risks must be endured by our own forces in the prosecution of a war.”

Rule of Thumb

If we wouldn’t be willing to expose our troops to those risks, then maybe the mission isn’t so compelling that it justifies exposing civilians to them either. That’s the conclusion that Kurt Volker, the head of the McCain Institute for International Leadership and a former ambassador, has reached. He writes (http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/we-need-a-rule-book-for-drones/2012/10/26/957312ae-1f8d-11e2-9cd5-b55c38388962_story.html) that “a good rule of thumb might be that we should authorize drone strikes only if we would be willing to send in a pilot or soldier to do the job if a drone were not available.”

Rules of thumb are probably the best we can hope for on this question, since we need a policy that makes use of drone strikes while drawing the line when the risks to civilians become too high. The danger is that using them is so convenient for policy makers that we will use them too much.

The president’s aides told the Times that he is a “student of writings on war by Augustine and Thomas Aquinas” and can be trusted to make the right judgments. His practical definition of combatants as anyone we happened to kill suggests otherwise, although too much of the program is secret to say for sure. The fact that we have barely debated this issue makes it hard to believe that our political system is getting it right, either.

Donger
11-06-2012, 06:47 AM
Collateral damage and mistakes have always been a part of combat and always will. And, I'd much rather have Reapers loosing Hellfires than boots on the ground.

BucEyedPea
11-06-2012, 06:55 AM
Drones are coming to the skies of America as well. For law enforcement and even private companies. It's going to clash with the Bill of Rights. This is something that John Whitehead of the Rutherford Institute is tackling with some new legislation. Most people don't know how fast this technology is growing and how it will affect privacy.

Direckshun
11-06-2012, 06:55 AM
Collateral damage and mistakes have always been a part of combat and always will. And, I'd much rather have Reapers loosing Hellfires than boots on the ground.

The problem is twofold:

1. We are fighting a problem, in the case of Islamist terrorism, which feeds off the collateral damage of our strikes. The same cannot be said in traditional warfare, where the mission is to simply dismantle and destroy as much of your opposing military as possible until they cry uncle.

2. Is there a conceivable person on a presidential ticket since the turn of the century that you could not trust with this power?

George Bush
Dick Cheney
Al Gore
Joe Lieberman
John Kerry
John Edwards
John McCain
Sarah Palin
Barack Obama
Joe Biden
Mitt Romney
Paul Ryan

You'd trust every single one of these people with unlimited, unaccountable drone power?

banyon
11-06-2012, 06:59 AM
Drones? Yes, I always suspected romney was a drone.

Donger
11-06-2012, 06:59 AM
The problem is twofold:

1. We are fighting a problem, in the case of Islamist terrorism, which feeds off the collateral damage of our strikes. The same cannot be said in traditional warfare, where the mission is to simply dismantle and destroy as much of your opposing military as possible until they cry uncle.

Like I said, there is collateral damage in warfare, drone or not. Soldiers make mistakes or go a little crazy. There really isn't any difference.

2. Is there a conceivable person on a presidential ticket since the turn of the century that you could not trust with this power?

George Bush
Dick Cheney
Al Gore
Joe Lieberman
John Kerry
John Edwards
John McCain
Sarah Palin
Barack Obama
Joe Biden
Mitt Romney
Paul Ryan

You'd trust every single one of these people with unlimited, unaccountable drone power?

Just as much as I would trust them with using "real" people, yes. You do realize that drones aren't fully autonomous, right?

Direckshun
11-06-2012, 07:03 AM
Like I said, there is collateral damage in warfare, drone or not. Soldiers make mistakes or go a little crazy. There really isn't any difference.

That they both create collateral damage is not enough to consider them equivalent.

The collateral damage is far more damaging in what is clearly an effort to stem the tide of Islamist extremism.

Just as much as I would trust them with using "real" people, yes. You do realize that drones aren't fully autonomous, right?

There is far more accountability in place when the President sends people into battle.

There is zero accountability for drones.

You aren't grasping the difference here.

Donger
11-06-2012, 07:08 AM
That they both create collateral damage is not enough to consider them equivalent.

The collateral damage is far more damaging in what is clearly an effort to stem the tide of Islamist extremism.

I care about killing our enemies in the most effective way without putting our troops in harm's way. Islamic extremists will always find something to be extreme about. I don't really worry about upsetting them.

There is far more accountability in place when the President sends people into battle.

There is zero accountability for drones.

You aren't grasping the difference here.

No, I do get it. When some POTUS starts using these for some other purpose than going after our enemies, you'll see me concerned. Have you seen that yet?

dirk digler
11-06-2012, 07:12 AM
I care about killing our enemies in the most effective way without putting our troops in harm's way. Islamic extremists will always find something to be extreme about. I don't really worry about upsetting them.


Definitely this.

Direckshun
11-06-2012, 07:14 AM
I care about killing our enemies in the most effective way without putting our troops in harm's way. Islamic extremists will always find something to be extreme about. I don't really worry about upsetting them.

That's the difference between us.

I want to defeat our enemies. You merely want to kill them.

That's the difference.

The war should be focused entirely on shallowing the pool of recruits organizations like Al Qaeda get to fish in. Ever since 9/11, we've been involved in a series of radical warfare policies that have definitively deepened it.

No, I do get it. When some POTUS starts using these for some other purpose than going after our enemies, you'll see me concerned. Have you seen that yet?

So, accountability: not important to you. Only killing who we're told is totally, definitely, don't-worry-about-it the enemy.

dirk digler
11-06-2012, 07:17 AM
How else do you defeat your enemy in war? By Showing them naked pictures of yourself?

Direckshun
11-06-2012, 07:24 AM
How else do you defeat your enemy in war? By Showing them naked pictures of yourself?

By defanging them.

These terrorist organizations get more recruits and better recruits when we're inciting an entire subcontinent to hate us. We also give them rhetorical ammunition with Guantanamo Bay, Abu Ghraib, and Bagram, by burning the Koran in hate, by terrorizing entire countries, by speaking in "war of civilization" terms and treating terrorists as Glorious Warriors rather than as mere criminals, and by backing the unnecessary settlements expansion on the West Bank. So on and so forth.

Of course, even if you embraced drone warfare, the complete lack of accountability should make one nervous.

Donger
11-06-2012, 07:34 AM
That's the difference between us.

I want to defeat our enemies. You merely want to kill them.

That's the difference.

The war should be focused entirely on shallowing the pool of recruits organizations like Al Qaeda get to fish in. Ever since 9/11, we've been involved in a series of radical warfare policies that have definitively deepened it.

I hate to clue you in, but killing our enemies is a rather crucial part of defeating them.

How exactly would Direckshun go about making the extremists not hate us any more?

So, accountability: not important to you. Only killing who we're told is totally, definitely, don't-worry-about-it the enemy.

I didn't say that. I said that I don't see where the drones are being used other than to kill our enemies. I take it you don't either...

dirk digler
11-06-2012, 07:35 AM
By defanging them.

These terrorist organizations get more recruits and better recruits when we're inciting an entire subcontinent to hate us. We also give them rhetorical ammunition with Guantanamo Bay, Abu Ghraib, and Bagram, by burning the Koran in hate, by terrorizing entire countries, by speaking in "war of civilization" terms and treating terrorists as Glorious Warriors rather than as mere criminals, and by backing the unnecessary settlements expansion on the West Bank. So on and so forth.

Of course, even if you embraced drone warfare, the complete lack of accountability should make one nervous.

I don't disagree with your statement about Gitmo and abuse but in the end you either try to win them over somehow or you kill them.

For example in Iraq, we really didn't destroy the enemy we paid them off, but some people can't be paid off so you do what you have to do to make sure they don't kill Americans.

patteeu
11-06-2012, 07:35 AM
Mitt Romney didn't say that killing can't be our answer anymore.

Donger
11-06-2012, 07:36 AM
By defanging them.

LMAO

So, in your fantasy world, if we are nice-nice to the radicals, they'll stop wanting to kill us?

BucEyedPea
11-06-2012, 07:58 AM
How else do you defeat your enemy in war? By Showing them naked pictures of yourself?

We don't use them on our enemies though. When it's just a handful of terrorists and you have this much collateral damage...then it's just being a criminal murderous sociopath.

Brainiac
11-06-2012, 07:59 AM
If we wouldn’t be willing to expose our troops to those risks, then maybe the mission isn’t so compelling that it justifies exposing civilians to them either.



This is pretty much how I see it.

Amnorix
11-06-2012, 08:17 AM
Drones are coming to the skies of America as well. For law enforcement and even private companies. It's going to clash with the Bill of Rights. This is something that John Whitehead of the Rutherford Institute is tackling with some new legislation. Most people don't know how fast this technology is growing and how it will affect privacy.


This is more of a concern to me than use of drones in foreign skies, which, btw, is going to be the new warfare. Drones are already proliferating worldwide. Something like 80 countries alreaedy have at least some version of drones in their armament supply.

Amnorix
11-06-2012, 08:18 AM
Mitt Romney didn't say that killing can't be our answer anymore.


You don't win the war by killing your way out of it, was the gist of what he said I believe, and it's obviously true.

Chiefshrink
11-06-2012, 08:20 AM
Drones are coming to the skies of America as well.

They are already here and in use I assure you:thumb:

patteeu
11-06-2012, 08:24 AM
You don't win the war by killing your way out of it, was the gist of what he said I believe, and it's obviously true.

I agree. It's so obvious that it was also the view of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney and almost every high profile neocon I can think of. It was the "anymore" part of Direckshun's paraphrase that made it wrong. There was nothing particularly remarkable about Romney's statement.

Direckshun
11-06-2012, 09:15 AM
I hate to clue you in, but killing our enemies is a rather crucial part of defeating them.

How exactly would Direckshun go about making the extremists not hate us any more?

The extremists are extremists, and little we can do will make a difference.

But their mission depends on new recruits.

New recruits we are flooding to them with our current policy. My solution? Reverse much of our current policy. Post 12.

I didn't say that.

Ah, so the lack of accountability is troublesome to you?

Direckshun
11-06-2012, 09:15 AM
I don't disagree with your statement about Gitmo and abuse but in the end you either try to win them over somehow or you kill them.

For example in Iraq, we really didn't destroy the enemy we paid them off, but some people can't be paid off so you do what you have to do to make sure they don't kill Americans.

You're not entirely wrong.

Again, I'm not interested in winning over the extremists. Their entire mission depends on new recruits.

We can embrace policies that shallows out that pool, or deepens it.

The deeper it is, the more effective their mission can be.

Direckshun
11-06-2012, 09:16 AM
Mitt Romney didn't say that killing can't be our answer anymore.

He said we can't kill ourselves out of this mess.

The smartest thing he's said this entire campaign.

Direckshun
11-06-2012, 09:17 AM
LMAO

So, in your fantasy world, if we are nice-nice to the radicals, they'll stop wanting to kill us?

Swing and a miss.

It's mind-boggling to me that after ten years you still have no idea what my argument is.

Direckshun
11-06-2012, 09:17 AM
This is pretty much how I see it.

Amen.

Donger
11-06-2012, 09:18 AM
The extremists are extremists, and little we can do will make a difference.

But their mission depends on new recruits.

New recruits we are flooding to them with our current policy. My solution? Reverse much of our current policy. Post 12.

And you really think that closing Gitmo, etc. is going to lead to fewer recruits for the extremists? You ARE aware that Al Qaeda began BEFORE we had all these meanie type things, right?

Ah, so the lack of accountability is troublesome to you?

No, it really isn't, because I don't see the drones being used in any other way than to kill our enemies. Now, for the third time, I take it you aren't either, right?

Direckshun
11-06-2012, 09:18 AM
There was nothing particularly remarkable about Romney's statement.

I think Donger would disagree.

Donger
11-06-2012, 09:19 AM
I think Donger would disagree.

And you'd be wrong.

Direckshun
11-06-2012, 09:21 AM
And you really think that closing Gitmo, etc. is going to lead to fewer recruits for the extremists? You ARE aware that Al Qaeda began BEFORE we had all these meanie type things, right?

I don't think it's a simple equation, closing Gitmo = less recruits. That's too simplistic.

But it's pretty obvious if you listen to the terrorists and detainees themselves, maintaining Gitmo = more recruits.

It's a lot easier to create hate than to create good will.

No, it really isn't, because I don't see the drones being used in any other way than to kill our enemies.

That doesn't make any sense.

That's like saying you weren't concerned about Cassel in 2010 because he wasn't totally shitting his pants yet.

If you create the capability for abuse, then that is a problem. I would rather make this an issue before blatant abuse than afterwards. (Though I would argue we're already there.)

Direckshun
11-06-2012, 09:22 AM
And you'd be wrong.

So you agree that some winning of hearts and minds is a necessity.

Donger
11-06-2012, 09:25 AM
I don't think it's a simple equation, closing Gitmo = less recruits. That's too simplistic.

But it's pretty obvious if you listen to the terrorists and detainees themselves, maintaining Gitmo = more recruits.

It's a lot easier to create hate than to create good will.

You are basing this on the word of terrorists?

I'd argue that wasting terrorists is a really good method of actually preventing more terrorists. Would you want to join AQ now with Reapers prowling around?

That doesn't make any sense.

That's like saying you weren't concerned about Cassel in 2010 because he wasn't totally shitting his pants yet.

If you create the capability for abuse, then that is a problem. I would rather make this an issue before blatant abuse than afterwards. (Though I would argue we're already there.)

You have the capability of being a child molester, but since I see no evidence of it, no, it really doesn't concern me.

Donger
11-06-2012, 09:26 AM
So you agree that some winning of hearts and minds is a necessity.

No, it isn't a necessity. It may be beneficial in certain ways, however.

patteeu
11-06-2012, 10:10 AM
He said we can't kill ourselves out of this mess.

The smartest thing he's said this entire campaign.

Yes, that's what he said and that's been the position of the leading voices of the Republican Party since we were attacked on Sept. 11, 2001.

Direckshun
11-06-2012, 11:43 AM
No, it isn't a necessity. It may be beneficial in certain ways, however.

Then I'm confused, other than killing people, what you'd have us do to "win" our struggle against Islamist extremism.

Donger
11-06-2012, 11:45 AM
Then I'm confused, other than killing people, what you'd have us do to "win" our struggle against Islamist extremism.

Are you familiar with how our SF operate in Afghanistan?

Direckshun
11-06-2012, 11:47 AM
You are basing this on the word of terrorists?

I'm taking the word of the people who know, which include interrogators, detainees, Al Qaeda themselves, the top brass in the military, and to a lesser degree our political leadership.

You have the capability of being a child molester, but since I see no evidence of it, no, it really doesn't concern me.

Funny how your position changes from issue to issue.

No evidence that in-person voter fraud is a huge issue -- let's introduce voter ID, says Donger, because we know it could become a huge issue.

No evidence that drone warfare has yet been abused -- well, let's wait for it to become abused first, before we act.

Direckshun
11-06-2012, 11:48 AM
Yes, that's what he said and that's been the position of the leading voices of the Republican Party since we were attacked on Sept. 11, 2001.

I'm familiar with the GOP's lip service. Thanks.

Direckshun
11-06-2012, 11:48 AM
Are you familiar with how our SF operate in Afghanistan?

Very.

Donger
11-06-2012, 11:50 AM
I'm taking the word of the people who know, which include interrogators, detainees, Al Qaeda themselves, the top brass in the military, and to a lesser degree our political leadership.

k

Funny how your position changes from issue to issue.

No evidence that in-person voter fraud is a huge issue -- let's introduce voter ID, says Donger, because we know it could become a huge issue.

No evidence that drone warfare has yet been abused -- well, let's wait for it to become abused first, before we act.

Funny how you are incorrectly may position. I never claimed that voter fraud was a huge issue.

Donger
11-06-2012, 11:50 AM
Very.

Please detail it.

Direckshun
11-06-2012, 11:54 AM
k

Are you disagreeing? That Gitmo has served as a terrorist recruiting tool?

I never claimed that voter fraud was a huge issue.

You claim we should take preventative measures before it could become one.

But not when it comes to unaccountable drone power...

Your priorities only make one bit of sense when viewed through the lens of a hyperpartisan complex.

Direckshun
11-06-2012, 11:54 AM
Please detail it.

I'll save myself the usual song and dance and ask what point you're remotely attempting to make.

patteeu
11-06-2012, 11:54 AM
I'm familiar with the GOP's lip service. Thanks.

If that's true, I don't know why what Mitt Romney said in the debate seems remarkable to you.

Donger
11-06-2012, 11:56 AM
Are you disagreeing? That Gitmo has served as a terrorist recruiting tool?

Oh, it probably has. Then again, cartoons about Mohamed fucking a goat probably have. See, they're extremists, sugar.

You claim we should take preventative measures before it could become one.

But not when it comes to unaccountable drone power...

Your priorities only make one bit of sense when viewed through the lens of a hyperpartisan complex.

There's huge again. It's still wrong.

Direckshun
11-06-2012, 11:56 AM
If that's true, I don't know why what Mitt Romney said in the debate seems remarkable to you.

Hope, and change.

patteeu
11-06-2012, 11:57 AM
Hope, and change.

I don't know what that means in this context.

Direckshun
11-06-2012, 11:58 AM
Oh, it probably has.

Then what are we arguing about?

If you agree with me -- what are we arguing about?

There's huge again. It's still wrong.

Right.

Preventative measures to prevent the lesser problem of in person voter fraud: Donger says go.

Preventative measures to make sure we hold the President accountable for the people he kills: Donger says hold on there, I'm going to need to see evidence of wrongdoing first.

Hyperpartisan complex, you're doing it right.

Direckshun
11-06-2012, 11:59 AM
I don't know what that means in this context.

Romney's statement was the clearest statement I'd heard in years that measures other than killing would be necessary to get the upperhand in our struggles in the Middle East. By a member of either party.

Donger
11-06-2012, 12:02 PM
Then what are we arguing about?

If you agree with me -- what are we arguing about?

I'm arguing that you don't close Gitmo because it helps recruit other nuts.

Right.

Preventative measures to prevent the lesser problem of in person voter fraud: Donger says go.

Preventative measures to make sure we hold the President accountable for the people he kills: Donger says hold on there, I'm going to need to see evidence of wrongdoing first.

Hyperpartisan complex, you're doing it right.

Considering that I'm actually backing Obama on his drone policy (he's a Democrat, BTW), I find your rather feeble attempt to frame me as hyper-partisan to be highly amusing. But, I understand that you're a littel wound up today, so I forgive you.

Direckshun
11-06-2012, 12:11 PM
I'm arguing that you don't close Gitmo because it helps recruit other nuts.

Partially agreed -- you close Gitmo because you don't need it.

But it would deflate what has certainly been a critical selling point for Islamists for the past however many years.

Considering that I'm actually backing Obama on his drone policy (he's a Democrat, BTW), I find your rather feeble attempt to frame me as hyper-partisan to be highly amusing.

Partisanship doesn't have to be Republican or Democratic.

Partisanship can also come in the form of hawkish militarism, of which you've had next to no problem embracing.

Donger
11-06-2012, 12:18 PM
Partially agreed -- you close Gitmo because you don't need it.

But it would deflate what has certainly been a critical selling point for Islamists for the past however many years.

What would you do with the prisoners?

Partisanship doesn't have to be Republican or Democratic.

Partisanship can also come in the form of hawkish militarism, of which you've had next to no problem embracing.

Yes, I'm sure you were referring to my hawkish militarism before. LMAO

It must burn you up to vote for such a blood-thirsty, hawkish militarist. But, I suppose your morals don't always trump your hyper-partisanship, eh?

patteeu
11-06-2012, 12:18 PM
Romney's statement was the clearest statement I'd heard in years that measures other than killing would be necessary to get the upperhand in our struggles in the Middle East. By a member of either party.

You said in post 40 that you're very familiar with how SF operate in Afghanistan. Can I assume that you're also familiar with counterinsurgency approaches and the underlying theory practiced by the US more broadly? And if so, you already know that counterinsurgency is not just military but also includes political and economic/social aspects as well. It's a multi-faceted approach that acknowledges that killing alone is unlikely to win a war like this. What I fear that you may not understand, though, is that killing can still be a valuable tool in this multi-faceted toolbox.

patteeu
11-06-2012, 12:20 PM
It must burn you up to vote for such a blood-thirsty, hawkish militarist. But, I suppose your morals don't always trump your hyper-partisanship, eh?

He seems strangely gung ho in his support for a guy he believes has committed war crimes.

Direckshun
11-06-2012, 12:22 PM
What would you do with the prisoners?

Put them in prison.

It must burn you up to vote for such a blood-thirsty, hawkish militarist. But, I suppose your morals don't always trump your hyper-partisanship, eh?

I acknowledge both parties disagree with me on the issue. That doesn't detract from my argument's validity.

Direckshun
11-06-2012, 12:23 PM
You said in post 40 that you're very familiar with how SF operate in Afghanistan. Can I assume that you're also familiar with counterinsurgency approaches and the underlying theory practiced by the US more broadly? And if so, you already know that counterinsurgency is not just military but also includes political and economic/social aspects as well. It's a multi-faceted approach that acknowledges that killing alone is unlikely to win a war like this. What I fear that you may not understand, though, is that killing can still be a valuable tool in this multi-faceted toolbox.

I totally understand.

That's a key problem with drone warfare -- it extends that militaristic aspect while muffles the economic, political, and social aspects as well.

Donger
11-06-2012, 12:25 PM
Put them in prison.

They are in prison now.

I acknowledge both parties disagree with me on the issue. That doesn't detract from my argument's validity.

Your argument is that you want to hold Obama accountable for any collateral deaths he causes by authorizing the drone kills, yes?

KILLER_CLOWN
11-06-2012, 12:26 PM
Drones kill 20 innocents for every 1 SUSPECTED terrorist, and if that suspected terrorist is akin to getting on the terror watch list or the no fly list that means we're killing a helluva lot of innocents with no regard for human life. FUCK DRONES!

patteeu
11-06-2012, 12:26 PM
I totally understand.

That's a key problem with drone warfare -- it extends that militaristic aspect while muffles the economic, political, and social aspects as well.

Drone warfare as we're using it in places like Pakistan, might not be optimal from the counterinsurgency pov, but it's better than leaving a safe haven for your enemies to regroup and plan in comfort.

Direckshun
11-06-2012, 12:28 PM
They are in prison now.

Put them in a prison here. We don't need one in Cuba.

Your argument is that you want to hold Obama accountable for any collateral deaths he causes by authorizing the drone kills, yes?

Absolutely.

At the very least, there needs to be a checks and balances system in place, along with some built-in mechanism established (should the civilian toll become even worse) that would halt the drone system or at least temporarily suspend it while we recalibrate how it is exactly we target who it is we're targeting.

Ideally, we'd just halt it altogether.

Donger
11-06-2012, 12:28 PM
Drones kill 20 innocents for every 1 SUSPECTED terrorist, and if that suspected terrorist is akin to getting on the terror watch list or the no fly list that means we're killing a helluva lot of innocents with no regard for human life. **** DRONES!

Source?

Donger
11-06-2012, 12:30 PM
Put them in a prison here. We don't need one in Cuba.

Why would having the prisoners on the mainland stop the terrorists from recruiting?

Absolutely.

At the very least, there needs to be a checks and balances system in place, along with some built-in mechanism established (should the civilian toll become even worse) that would halt the drone system or at least temporarily suspend it while we recalibrate how it is exactly we target who it is we're targeting.

Ideally, we'd just halt it altogether.

How about non-drone collateral kills? Same thing?

KILLER_CLOWN
11-06-2012, 12:31 PM
Source?

I've seen many throughout the years but here's one.

America's deadly double tap drone attacks are 'killing 49 people for every known terrorist in Pakistan'

Just one in 50 victims of America’s deadly drone strikes in Pakistan are terrorists – while the rest are innocent civilians, a new report claimed today.

The authoritative joint study, by Stanford and New York Universities, concludes that men, women and children are being terrorised by the operations ’24 hours-a-day’.

And the authors lay much of the blame on the use of the ‘double-tap’ strike where a drone fires one missile – and then a second as rescuers try to drag victims from the rubble. One aid agency said they had a six-hour delay before going to the scene.

The tactic has cast such a shadow of fear over strike zones that people often wait for hours before daring to visit the scene of an attack. Investigators also discovered that communities living in fear of the drones were suffering severe stress and related illnesses. Many parents had taken their children out of school because they were so afraid of a missile-strike.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2208307/Americas-deadly-double-tap-drone-attacks-killing-49-people-known-terrorist-Pakistan.html#ixzz2BTMlzk00
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Direckshun
11-06-2012, 12:33 PM
Why would having the prisoners on the mainland stop the terrorists from recruiting?

Gitmo's a lightning rod that we do not need. Close it down.

Bring them mainland, treat them as criminals rather than warriors, get the legal process going.

That's how you defuse a once-popular draw of Islamist recruiting.

How about non-drone collateral kills? Same thing?

The answer is "of course."

But I think we do have that in place, do we not? Do Congressional leaders not regularly confer with the commander-in-chief on wartime progress?

Donger
11-06-2012, 12:37 PM
Gitmo's a lightning rod that we do not need. Close it down.

Bring them mainland, treat them as criminals rather than warriors, get the legal process going.

That's how you defuse a once-popular draw of Islamist recruiting.

You're kidding, right? You can't actually think that because they are in a military prison not on our mainland is the reason why extremists hate us and that perhaps some nuts join extremist groups. You are far too bright to believe that.

The answer is "of course."

But I think we do have that in place, do we not? Do Congressional leaders not regularly confer with the commander-in-chief on wartime progress?

Okay, that's fine. And what should "we" do to the POTUS when he accidentally wastes Lil Mohamed instead of his daddy? Impeachment? Accidents happen, you know.

Direckshun
11-06-2012, 12:42 PM
You're kidding, right? You can't actually think that because they are in a military prison not on our mainland is the reason why extremists hate us and that perhaps some nuts join extremist groups.

Gitmo became a lightning rod to our enemies thanks to the torture we embraced there. Same with Abu Ghraib. We wisely shut down Abu Ghraib.

Gitmo is a lightning rod domestically because it's extralegal detention on foreign soil that we don't need.

Okay, that's fine. And what should "we" do to the POTUS when he accidentally wastes Lil Mohamed instead of his daddy? Impeachment? Accidents happen, you know.

Agreed, and I'm not in favor of overreacting to earnest, diligently-researched assessments that happen to be wrong.

I am in favor of having mechanisms in law that trigger to automatically restrict the actions of the President in the event that he/she flies off the deep end and creates a cluster**** out of malice or negligence.

Politically unlikely? Yes, because both parties disagree with me.

But that's not what guides my point of view.

stevieray
11-06-2012, 12:45 PM
ya, bring them up here, give them rights like citizens, and make the cities targets...

:clap:

Direckshun
11-06-2012, 12:46 PM
Well we wouldn't want the cities to be targets, now would we?

http://images.nationalgeographic.com/wpf/media-live/photos/000/399/cache/september-9-11-attacks-anniversary-ground-zero-world-trade-center-pentagon-flight-93-second-airplane-wtc_39997_600x450.jpg

Donger
11-06-2012, 12:49 PM
Gitmo became a lightning rod to our enemies thanks to the torture we embraced there. Same with Abu Ghraib. We wisely shut down Abu Ghraib.

Gitmo is a lightning rod domestically because it's extralegal detention on foreign soil that we don't need.

I can see the "torture" aspect a little, but not the geography. That's just a silly argument, Direckshun.

Agreed, and I'm not in favor of overreacting to earnest, diligently-researched assessments that happen to be wrong.

I am in favor of having mechanisms in law that trigger to automatically restrict the actions of the President in the event that he/she flies off the deep end and creates a cluster**** out of malice or negligence.

Politically unlikely? Yes, because both parties disagree with me.

But that's not what guides my point of view.

Well, we have one. It's called impeachment and removal from office. Also, if Obama goes nuts, and starts wasting people indiscriminately, I would think that congress would act (or our military would start refusing to follow his orders). Honestly, I don't believe that you are thinking clearly about this subject.

stevieray
11-06-2012, 12:51 PM
Well we wouldn't want the cities to be targets, now would we?

]

excellent point, they've already attacked a major city, what's a couple more?

Direckshun
11-06-2012, 01:42 PM
I can see the "torture" aspect a little, but not the geography. That's just a silly argument, Direckshun.

To be fair, I've really broached two subjects with that one. That's on me.

I think Gitmo should be closed, because of its geography.

I think it's a lightning rod for Islamist recruiting, because of its torture.

Well, we have one. It's called impeachment and removal from office. Also, if Obama goes nuts, and starts wasting people indiscriminately, I would think that congress would act (or our military would start refusing to follow his orders).

That is an option, yes.

patteeu
11-06-2012, 02:31 PM
To be fair, I've really broached two subjects with that one. That's on me.

I think Gitmo should be closed, because of its geography.

I think it's a lightning rod for Islamist recruiting, because of its torture.

:facepalm:

NewChief
11-06-2012, 02:35 PM
Drones are very similar to the debate surrounding tools of non-deadly force being employed by law enforcement. They seem like a GREAT idea on the surface. As you start digging deeper, though, the implications are disturbing.

KILLER_CLOWN
11-06-2012, 02:50 PM
Drones are very similar to the debate surrounding tools of non-deadly force being employed by law enforcement. They seem like a GREAT idea on the surface. As you start digging deeper, though, the implications are disturbing.

Nonsense it's just like a video game. Herp Derp, I killed me some pixels!

Reaper16
11-06-2012, 02:51 PM
And, I'd much rather have Reapers loosing Hellfires than boots on the ground.

Trust me, I'm not qualified for that.