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Sun Jan 6, 2013, 03:04 PM

The Moral Case for Drones

AVERY PLAW, a political scientist at the University of Massachusetts, put the C.I.A. drone record in Pakistan up against the ratio of combatant deaths to civilian deaths in other settings. Mr. Plaw considered four studies of drone deaths in Pakistan that estimated the proportion of civilian victims at 4 percent, 6 percent, 17 percent and 20 percent respectively.

But even the high-end count of 20 percent was considerably lower than the rate in other settings, he found. When the Pakistani Army went after militants in the tribal area on the ground, civilians were 46 percent of those killed. In Israel’s targeted killings of militants from Hamas and other groups, using a range of weapons from bombs to missile strikes, the collateral death rate was 41 percent, according to an Israeli human rights group.

In conventional military conflicts over the last two decades, he found that estimates of civilian deaths ranged from about 33 percent to more than 80 percent of all deaths.

“Look at the firebombing of Dresden, and compare what we’re doing today,” Mr. Crumpton said. “The public’s expectations have been raised dramatically around the world, and that’s good news.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/15/sunday-review/the-moral-case-for-drones.html?_r=0

56 replies, 3425 views

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Arrow 56 replies Author Time Post
Reply The Moral Case for Drones (Original post)
arely staircase Jan 2013 OP
mike_c Jan 2013 #1
Downwinder Jan 2013 #2
arely staircase Jan 2013 #3
Coyote_Tan Jan 2013 #43
bluestate10 Jan 2013 #8
arely staircase Jan 2013 #10
tabasco Jan 2013 #24
sabrina 1 Jan 2013 #45
Lurks Often Jan 2013 #4
arely staircase Jan 2013 #5
Lurks Often Jan 2013 #9
arely staircase Jan 2013 #12
indepat Jan 2013 #25
arely staircase Jan 2013 #38
SunSeeker Jan 2013 #6
arely staircase Jan 2013 #7
SunSeeker Jan 2013 #26
Egalitarian Thug Jan 2013 #11
arely staircase Jan 2013 #13
Fumesucker Jan 2013 #18
arely staircase Jan 2013 #39
Fumesucker Jan 2013 #41
arely staircase Jan 2013 #55
leftstreet Jan 2013 #19
arely staircase Jan 2013 #35
Hanzip Jan 2013 #49
arely staircase Jan 2013 #56
Egalitarian Thug Jan 2013 #23
woo me with science Jan 2013 #29
Oilwellian Jan 2013 #51
mike_c Jan 2013 #14
arely staircase Jan 2013 #15
mike_c Jan 2013 #17
arely staircase Jan 2013 #36
mike_c Jan 2013 #16
green for victory Jan 2013 #21
whatchamacallit Jan 2013 #20
woo me with science Jan 2013 #31
arely staircase Jan 2013 #40
Tierra_y_Libertad Jan 2013 #22
choie Jan 2013 #27
arely staircase Jan 2013 #37
Romulox Jan 2013 #28
woo me with science Jan 2013 #34
Romulox Jan 2013 #48
EX500rider Jan 2013 #54
RedCappedBandit Jan 2013 #30
woo me with science Jan 2013 #32
woo me with science Jan 2013 #33
cbrer Jan 2013 #42
aandegoons Jan 2013 #44
AgainsttheCrown Jan 2013 #52
woo me with science Jan 2013 #53
sabrina 1 Jan 2013 #46
mmonk Jan 2013 #47
Robb Jan 2013 #50

Response to arely staircase (Original post)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 03:10 PM

1. I think this is utter bullshit....

100 percent of drone victims are civilians. These "studies" accept the false premise that most of the victims are combatants. I do not believe that, if for no other reason than the impossibility of positively identifying targets without observers on the ground. And "militant" does not mean "non-civilian," even in those cases where actual militants are targeted.

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Response to mike_c (Reply #1)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 03:19 PM

2. Too bad we can't have kill ratios like Nagasaki and Hiroshima

If necessary

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Response to mike_c (Reply #1)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 03:24 PM

3. 100 percent of drone victims are civilians?

Source?

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Response to arely staircase (Reply #3)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 05:44 AM

43. Maybe you are a civilian until you slap on a uniform with patches...

 

Even if you've been out setting IEDs and running complex ambushes against govt forces.

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Response to mike_c (Reply #1)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 03:34 PM

8. How can you prove that most Drone targets aren't combatants?

How can you say that the composition of targets aren't analyzed before a Drone strike? Do you know the tactics that the military or CIA use to verify a target and who else is with the target? I seriously doubt you do. At least the author of the study used verifiable data, you appear to be going on pure emotion.

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Response to bluestate10 (Reply #8)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 03:39 PM

10. I recommend Mark Bowden's book, The Finish

It goes into great detail as to how targets are analyzed, verified, etc.

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Response to mike_c (Reply #1)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 06:01 PM

24. Just because you say so?

LOL.

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Response to tabasco (Reply #24)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 05:51 AM

45. And how do you know they are not? The American people have no clue what

these drone are for, who they are killing, and sadly they don't seem to care. Can you provide a list of the 'terrorists' (who btw, are not here in this country, WE are in THEIR countries) we supposedly killed so far? Some names please and some proof that they were doing anything that warranted killing them. Airc, this whole program is so 'secret' Govt officials would not even acknowledge it existed. But as the bodies, children and so far at least 168 of them, piled up it was sort of difficult to deny the attacks.

Why are we killing people in foreign countries? I have not seen a single name published with proof that they were anything other than citizens of their own countries.

This article if propaganda, it IS BS and when Bush was doing it no one on the Left would have said otherwise.

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Response to arely staircase (Original post)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 03:26 PM

4. Stop arguing about the method and

start discussing if we should be using military means in the region the nation's goals.

If we are justified in using military means to achieve our goals in the region, then the drone is a more accurate, less expensive option then using artillery, cruise missiles or aircraft dropping bombs or guided missiles.

If we are not justified in using military means to achieve our goals in the region, then it does matter what method we use.

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Response to Lurks Often (Reply #4)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 03:28 PM

5. we are justified in killing terrorists and the means to achieve that goal do matter. eom

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Response to arely staircase (Reply #5)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 03:38 PM

9. I wasn't disagreeing with you,

I was disagreeing with the people who think that the using the drone is more horrible then an artillery shell, cruise missile or a bomb or guided missile dropped from a plane.

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Response to Lurks Often (Reply #9)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 03:40 PM

12. my bad

sorry

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Response to arely staircase (Reply #5)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 06:10 PM

25. Would using drones to kill terrorists include domestic terrorists domiciled in the US?

If so, how much collateral damage would be acceptable when targeting a domestic terrorist on homeland soil? An entire wedding party? Everyone in a church, in a school or in some other public building, or in a private building, such as a retail store or mall? I seem to recall in one his books, Bob Woodward said the target was missed, but 80 were killed as collateral damage; however that incident was on foreign soil rather than in the homeland. Obviously in that incident, the amount of collateral damage didn't rise to a concern

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Response to indepat (Reply #25)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 03:09 AM

38. if they were, say, holding hostages and it could be done without killing said hostages

absolutely. not doing so would be immoral.

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Response to arely staircase (Original post)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 03:31 PM

6. Drones appear to be the least bad of a horrible set of military options.

The real issue is if we should be resorting to military options at all in some of these places.

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Response to SunSeeker (Reply #6)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 03:34 PM

7. yes, that is the legit argument

but for a poster to imply there is no difference in a targeted drone strike and the carpet bombing of a village is absurd.

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Response to arely staircase (Reply #7)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 08:04 PM

26. Agreed. nt

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Response to arely staircase (Original post)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 03:39 PM

11. The relative efficacy of improved technology in an unlawful war is beside the point.

 

Unmanned combat is the inevitable evolution of warfare. Committing crimes against humanity is the only issue of morality here.

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Response to Egalitarian Thug (Reply #11)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 03:47 PM

13. I think killing people who committ crimes against humanity (al qaeda) to be a moral obligation

There are historic situations in which refusal to defend the inheritance of a civilization, however imperfect, against tyranny and aggression may result in consequences even worse than war.

Reinhold Niebuhr

http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/r/reinhold_niebuhr.html#bVxXSbQK3a7WFH8R.99

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Response to arely staircase (Reply #13)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 04:08 PM

18. Would you consider killing half a million children to be a "crime against humanity"? n/t

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Response to Fumesucker (Reply #18)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 03:12 AM

39. yes

the atomic bombs were crimes against humanity. if you are suggesting we have killed a half million children with drones youn eed to back that up with some evidence, or look silly.

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Response to arely staircase (Reply #39)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 05:30 AM

41. "We think the price was worth it."

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Response to Fumesucker (Reply #41)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 06:28 PM

55. you are making my point

drones targetting bad guys are more humane than an economic blockade that kills children.

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Response to arely staircase (Reply #13)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 04:08 PM

19. Your bloodlust makes DU look creepy

Civilized people investigate, charge and try criminals




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Response to leftstreet (Reply #19)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 02:58 AM

35. they are members of a military orgnization that has declared war on and attacked the united states

to refer to them as criminals (and they are that too) is like refering to henry lee lucas as an unpleasant man. the fact that their acts of war are also in violation of us law doesn't mean we can't use our military to fight back.

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Response to arely staircase (Reply #35)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 09:42 AM

49. Seems to me that most al qaeda combatants are declared after the fact.

 

With vague provenance such as "linked to al qaeda" or "al qaeda associated" If they are al qaeda just say it. George W. Bush had "links to al qaeda" But we all now the war on terrorism is bull shit.

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Response to Hanzip (Reply #49)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 06:36 PM

56. Well maybe, just maybe, what "seems to you" isn't always the case

anything is possible. and yes bush's "war on terror" was bullshit - basically an excuse to invade any country he didn't like. i applaud obama for realizing the enemy is a specific group of armed, violent cult members and doing every thing he can to terminate their commands while minimizing the loss of innocent life.

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Response to arely staircase (Reply #13)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 05:59 PM

23. Because it so much better to be the aggressive tyrant? The dissonance is

 

impressive.

We have truly surpassed even the wildest dreams of despots only a century ago. We create the enemy, we arm the enemy, we declare the enemy, and then we are justified in killing the enemy.

Who was it that said "We will become your greatest nightmare by removing ourselves as your enemy"?

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Response to arely staircase (Reply #13)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 01:37 AM

29. Of course "militant" has now been redefined by Obama

to include *any* male within a certain age range who happens to have been murdered by our bombs.

To avoid counting civilian deaths, Obama re-defined "militant" to mean "all military-age males...
http://www.democraticunderground.com/1002741255


Congratulations. This is probably the most offensive, morally bankrupt OP argument I have seen at DU yet. Certainly on a par with the one that tried to justify our government's policy of deliberately aiming bombs at children:

Some Afghan kids aren’t bystanders
http://www.democraticunderground.com/10021931789

(in reference to: Purposely aiming bombs at children: "It kind of opens our aperture."
http://www.democraticunderground.com/10021931748)


Good god, the hypocrisy and neocon swill this place tolerates now. It's like reading FreeRepublic in 2004.


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Response to woo me with science (Reply #29)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 11:46 AM

51. It's so obvious...

and sickening, really.

Civilians are being "terrorised" 24 hours a day by CIA drone attacks that target mainly low-level militants in north-west Pakistan, a US report says.

Rescuers treating the casualties are also being killed and wounded by follow-up strikes, says the report by Stanford and New York Universities.

(snip)

A controversial aspect of the US policy is that drone attacks are carried out not by the military but by the Central Intelligence Agency. Pakistan is not a zone of armed conflict, unlike neighbouring Afghanistan.

(snip)

The report also details hundreds of civilian casualties and the effects of drone strikes on the local population. It cites data from the Bureau of Investigative Journalism estimating that between 474 and 881 civilians have been killed in strikes between 2004 and 2012.

(snip)

"Publicly available evidence that the strikes have made the US safer overall is ambiguous at best," it says, adding that targeted killings and drone attacks undermine respect for international law.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-19704981


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Response to arely staircase (Original post)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 03:51 PM

14. drone victims speak....

http://livingunderdrones.org/victim-stories/

Dawood Ishaq is a father of four young children who works as a vegetable merchant in North Waziristan.

“I was going to chromite mine for work. On the way, as the car was going there, a drone targeted the car. . . . All I remember is a blast, and that I saw a bit of fire in the car before I lost consciousness. The people in the back completely burned up, and the car caught fire.” Dawood was taken to several locations for treatment, before he awoke in Peshawar. “ driver and I lost our legs . . .”


Khalid Raheem is an elder member of his community.

“We did not know that America existed. We did not know what its geographical location was, how its government operated, what its government was like, until America invaded Iraq and Afghanistan. We do know that Americans supported the Taliban in our area, North Waziristan, to fight off the Soviets. But the Soviets divided and broken . . . we have become victims of Americans. We don’t know how they treat their citizens or anything about them. All we know is that they used to support us, and now they don’t. . . . e didn’t know how they treated a common man. Now we know how they treat a common man, what they’re doing to us.”

“We know that the consequences of drone strikes are extremely harsh. Our children, our wives know that our breadwinners, when they go out to earn a livelihood, they might not come back, and life may become very miserable for them in the years to come.” Khalid further explained, “Now we are always awaiting a drone attack and we know it’s certain and it’s eventual and it will strike us, and we’re just waiting to hear whose house it will strike, our relatives’, our neighbors’, or us. We do not know. We’re just always in fear.”

Much more @ link.

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Response to mike_c (Reply #14)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 03:57 PM

15. very bad but better than

Mr. Hiroshi Sawachika was 28 years old when the bomb was
dropped. He was an army doctor stationed at the army
headquarters in Ujina. When he was exposed, he was inside the
building at the headquarters, 4.1 km from the hypocenter. Being
rather far from the hypocenter, he was not seriously injured.
Afterwards, he was very busy getting medical treatment to the
survivors.

MR. SAWACHIKA : I was in my office. I had just entered the room
and said "Good morning." to colleagues and I was about to
approach my desk when outside it suddenly turned bright red. I
felt very hot on my cheeks. Being the chief of the room, I
shouted to the young men and women in the room that they should
evacuate. As soon as I cried, I felt weightless as if I were an
astronaut. I was then unconscious for 20 or 30 seconds. When I
came to, I realized that everybody including myself was lying at
one side of the room. Nobody was standing. The desks and chairs
had also blown off to one side. At the windows, there was no
window glass and the window frames had been blown out as well. I
went to the windows to find out where the bombing had taken
place. And I saw the mushroom cloud over the gas company. The
sound and shock somehow suggested that the bomb had been dropped
right over the gas company. I still had no idea what had
happened. And I kept looking towards the gas company. After a
while, I realized that my white shirt was red all over. I
thought it was funny because I was not injured at all. I looked
around and then realized that the girl lying near by was heavily
injured, with lots of broken glass stuck all over her body. Her
blood had splashed and made stains on my shirt. In a few
minutes, I heard my name called. I was told to go to the
headquarters where there were lots of injured persons waiting. I
went there and I started to give treatment with the help of
nurses and medical course men. We first treated the office
personnel for their injuries. Most of them had broken glass and
pieces of wood stuck into them. We treated them one after
another. Afterwards, we heard the strange noise. It sounded as
if a large flock of mosquitoes were coming from a distance. We
looked out of the window to find out what was happening. We saw
that citizens from the town were marching towards us. They
looked unusual. We understood that the injured citizens were
coming towards us for treatment. But while, we thought that
there should be Red Cross Hospitals and another big hospitals in
the center of the town. So why should they come here, I
wondered, instead of going there. At that time, I did not know
that the center of the town had been so heavily damaged. After a
while, with the guide of the hospital personnel, the injured
persons reached our headquarters. With lots of injured people
arriving, we realized just how serious the matter was. We
decided that we should treat them also. Soon afterwards, we
learned that many of them had badly burned. As they came to us,
they held their hands aloft. They looked like they were ghosts.
We made the tincture for that treatment by mixing edible peanut
oil and something. We had to work in a mechanical manner in
order to treat so many patients. We provided one room for the
heavily injured and another for the slightly injured. A
treatment was limited to the first aid because there were no
facilities for the patients to be hospitalized. Later on, when I
felt that I could leave the work to other staff for a moment, I
walked out of the treatment room and went into the another room
to see what had happened. When I stepped inside, I found the
room filled with the smell that was quite similar to the smell of
dried squid when it has been grilled. The smell was quite
strong. It's a sad reality that the smell human beings produce
when they are burned is the same as that of the dried squid when
it is grilled. The squid - we like so much to eat. It was a
strange feeling, a feeling that I had never had before. I can
still remember that smell quite clearly. Afterwards, I came back
to the treatment room and walked through the roads of people who
were either seriously injured or waiting to be treated. When I
felt someone touch my leg, it was a pregnant woman. She said
that she was about to die in a few hours. She said, "I know that
I am going to die. But I can feel that my baby is moving inside.
It wants to get out of the room. I don't mind if I had died.
But if the baby is delivered now, it does not have to die with
me. Please help my baby live." There were no obstetricians
there. There was no delivery room. There was no time to take
care of her baby. All I could do was to tell her that I would
come back later when everything was ready for her and her baby.
Thus I cheered her up and she looks so happy. But I have to
return to the treatment work. So I resumed to work taking care
of the injured one by one. There were so many patients. I felt
as if I was fighting against the limited time. It was late in
the afternoon towards the evening. And image of that pregnant
woman never left my mind. Later, I went to the place where I had
found her before, she was still there lying in the same place. I
patted her on the shoulder, but she said nothing. The person
lying next to her said that a short while ago, she had become
silent. I still recalled this incident partly because I was not
able to fulfill the last wish of this dying young woman. I also
remember her because I had a chance to talk with her however
short it was.

INTERVIEWER : How many patients did you treat on August 6?

ANSWER : Well, at least 2 or 3 thousands on that very day if you
include those patients whom I gave all directions to. I felt
that as if once that day started, it never ended. I had to keep
on and on treating the patients forever. It was the longest day
of my life. Later on, when I had time to reflect on that day, I
came to realize that we, doctors learned a lot through the
experience, through the suffering of all those people. It's true
that the lack of medical knowledge, medical facilities,
integrated organization and so on prevented us from giving
sufficient medical treatment. Still there was a lot for us,
medical doctors to learn on that day. I learned that the nuclear
weapons which gnaw the minds and bodies of human beings should
never be used. Even the slightest idea using nuclear arms should
be completely exterminated the minds of human beings. Otherwise,
we will repeat the same tragedy. And we will never stop being
ashamed of ourselves.

http://nuclearweaponarchive.org/Japan/Testimon

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Response to arely staircase (Reply #15)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 04:07 PM

17. are you suggesting that it's better to murder non-combatants with drone strikes...

...than with atomic weapons, so we've fulfilled our moral obligations to them? REALLY?

(Self deleted this reply when I mistakenly replied to the wrong post.)

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Response to mike_c (Reply #17)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 03:02 AM

36. no i am saying that killing our enemies in a way that meets the three main necessities of the lawful

use of force is better than incinerating cities.

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Response to mike_c (Reply #14)


Response to mike_c (Reply #14)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 04:20 PM

21. and a drone killer speaks

 

hey that's what he is...

'Did We Just Kill A Kid?' — Six Words That Ended A US Drone Pilot's Career
"Yeah, I guess that was a kid," the pilot replied.

"Was that a kid?" they wrote into a chat window on the monitor.

Then, someone they didn't know answered, someone sitting in a military command center somewhere in the world who had observed their attack. "No. That was a dog," the person wrote.

Bryant describes the incredible toll taken on U.S. troops required to obey orders producing such dire results.

From his mother's couch in Missoula, Montana Bryant talks of his 6,000 Air Force flight hours and says he used to dream in infrared. "I saw men, women and children die during that time," he says. "I never thought I would kill that many people. In fact, I thought I couldn't kill anyone at all."

http://www.businessinsider.com/did-we-just-kill-a-kid-nicola-abe-der-spiegel-brandon-bryant-2012-12

http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/pain-continues-after-war-for-american-drone-pilot-a-872726.html



Some Afghan kids aren’t bystanders
http://www.marinecorpstimes.com/news/2012/12/marine-taliban-kids-120312w/

CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan — When Marines in Helmand province sized up shadowy figures that appeared to be emplacing an improvised explosive device, it looked like a straightforward mission. They got clearance for an airstrike, a Marine official said, and took out the targets.

It wasn’t that simple, however. Three individuals hit were 12, 10 and 8 years old, leading the International Security Assistance Force in Kabul to say it may have “accidentally killed three innocent Afghan civilians.”
Related Reading

But a Marine official here raised questions about whether the children were “innocent.” Before calling for the M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System mission in mid-October, Marines observed the children digging a hole in a dirt road in Nawa district, the official said, and the Taliban may have recruited the children to carry out the mission...

***

We can all hope the air conditioning doesn't go out on those poor drone bombers in the desert...they might get uppity.


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Response to arely staircase (Original post)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 04:10 PM

20. Awesome, The Moral Case for Murder!

Just when you think this place couldn't go further into the dumper...

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Response to whatchamacallit (Reply #20)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 01:46 AM

31. "War is Peace."


Good god, you can't even parody it anymore. How sick can the propaganda get?

Orwell didn't know how right he had it.

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Response to whatchamacallit (Reply #20)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 03:15 AM

40. no not murder

killing the enemy in a way that limits civilian casualties to the extent that no nation or weapon has ever bee capable of.

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Response to arely staircase (Original post)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 04:50 PM

22. "Sacrifice few to save many." is perfectly logical...unless you or your family are the "few".

It is a logic much in favor by the military when it murders civilians.

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Response to arely staircase (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 01:15 AM

27. were you advocates of drones

advocating their use during GW Bush's presidency?

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Response to choie (Reply #27)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 03:06 AM

37. yes

i thought it made infinitely more sense to take out a specific group of assholes with sophisticated equipment than say invading iraq. so yeah, he should have done more of it and less faluja type horrors.

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Response to arely staircase (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 01:33 AM

28. What an utterly repellent argument: "Look at the firebombing of Dresden and compare..."

The firebombing of Dresden was a singular event in an existential crisis; the ongoing drone murderings are just part of the background noise to our foreverwar.

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Response to Romulox (Reply #28)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 01:51 AM

34. "We have always been at war with Eurasia."

How right you are.


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Response to woo me with science (Reply #34)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 09:34 AM

48. "by becoming continuous war has ceased to exist..."

My god it is chilling in a way only a warning for the past can be:

The war, therefore, if we judge it by the standards of previous wars, is merely an imposture. It is like the battles between certain ruminant animals whose horns are set at such an angle that they are incapable of hurting one another. But though it is unreal it is not meaningless. It eats up the surplus of consumable goods, and it helps to preserve the special mental atmosphere that a hierarchical society needs. War, it will be seen, is now a purely internal affair. In the past, the ruling groups of all countries, although they might recognize their common interest and therefore limit the destructiveness of war, did fight against one another, and the victor always plundered the vanquished. In our own day they are not fighting against one another at all. The war is waged by each ruling group against its own subjects, and the object of the war is not to make or prevent conquests of territory, but to keep the structure of society intact. The very word 'war', therefore, has become misleading. It would probably be accurate to say that by becoming continuous war has ceased to exist. The peculiar pressure that it exerted on human beings between the Neolithic Age and the early twentieth century has disappeared and been replaced by something quite different. The effect would be much the same if the three super-states, instead of fighting one another, should agree to live in perpetual peace, each inviolate within its own boundaries. For in that case each would still be a self-contained universe, freed for ever from the sobering influence of external danger. A peace that was truly permanent would be the same as a permanent war. This -- although the vast majority of Party members understand it only in a shallower sense -- is the inner meaning of the Party slogan: War is Peace.

http://msxnet.org/orwell/1984

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Response to Romulox (Reply #28)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 06:35 PM

54. "The firebombing of Dresden was a singular event"...not

Hamburg and Berlin and Tokyo and many others would argue otherwise..

A minimum 305,000 were killed in German cities due to bombing and estimated a minimum of 780,000 wounded. Roughly 7,500,000 German civilians were also rendered homeless....and firebombing resulted in great destruction of 67 Japanese cities, as many as 500,000 Japanese deaths and some 5 million more were made homeless.

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Response to arely staircase (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 01:43 AM

30. I don't trust our government to select 'terrorists'

We shouldn't be in that corner of the world, period.

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Response to RedCappedBandit (Reply #30)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 01:48 AM

32. As well you shouldn't.

None of us can:

To avoid counting civilian deaths, Obama re-defined "militant" to mean "all military-age males...
http://www.democraticunderground.com/1002741255

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Response to arely staircase (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 01:50 AM

33. The most disgusting OP on DU

right now.

Good god.

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Response to arely staircase (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 05:42 AM

42. Moral use of war machines...

 

I guess we could approach the issue from a sense of TRUE morality. That would require a paradigm shift.

How about stopping American Imperialism before we kill more innocents? Or perhaps from a more personal point of view, before the now-refined technology is used on (more) American citizens?

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Response to arely staircase (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 05:46 AM

44. It is terrorism.

The reason you need people in harms way is to make a population think of the consequences before going to war. This is utter and complete lack of any consequences which is about an immoral a decision as could be made.

When you and others value the life of a soldier over the life of a little brown child you have no firm ground to stand on and point at others about any type of moral decisions at all. The president and a whole lot of you better hope that your religions are not true.

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Response to aandegoons (Reply #44)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 06:14 PM

52. +1

Every innovation in warfare has made killing easier and increased the engagement distance...making it more clinical and less deadly for the technologically superior side. I think this outweighs the benefits of any change in societal ethics.

As a former troop I see the benefit of drone use to decrease troop deaths and casualties. But policy makers wll arrive at the logical conclusion that if we can further divorce American blood from the application of force, then the American people will tolerate the use of force on a more regular basis.

I see this in policing. Use of force incidents increase with the introduction of Tasers because it gives officers more options in situations that they probably would have de-escalated verbally.

Give a man hammer (insert Taser/Drone) and everything looks like a nail (insert threat you may have used more costly methods to engage)

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Response to aandegoons (Reply #44)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 06:21 PM

53. Thank you.

Crossing borders of sovereign countries with which we are not at war, bombing repeatedly, designating anyone male and of a certain age to have been a "militant" after the fact based only on his sex and age, and aiming bombs deliberately at children.

If it were happening to us, in Philadelphia or San Diego or Minneapolis, we would have no hesitation whatsoever in calling it terrorism. And we would be screaming for vengeance.

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Response to arely staircase (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 05:54 AM

46. There is no 'moral case' for slaughtering people. None whatsoever.

This country truly has lost its way. How come China and Russia are not drone killing people all over the world? Surely they have enemies who need killing, or are we the only country in the world that has these endless enemies? And if killing people for over 12 years hasn't made us safer, then why are we still doing it? Obviously it isn't working. We have killed at least 168 children so far according to reports with drones, blown them to smithereens to the point where their family members have to pick up pieces, feet, hands to bury because there is not much left of a child who has been killed by a drone.

Otoh, they are brown people, so maybe that's why there is no outcry here in the US over these killings.

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Response to arely staircase (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 07:09 AM

47. The "moral" case disappears when one is just outside your window.

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Response to arely staircase (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 09:46 AM

50. Perfectly sound argument. However it requires grading morality on a curve.

If things are only "moral" or "immoral," the argument falls apart. Hence the unpopularity of the notion on DU, where we have the luxury of black-and-white thinking.

Under the grim rubric of global conflict, it makes a great deal of sense and is perhaps some salve to the players. But the public generally -- and DU specifically -- are less interested in measures that slow horror, and vastly prefer envisioning some fanciful end to it.

The wounded Marine is bleeding out; the medic drops to his knees and digs into the bloody body, clamping off bleeding with slippery hemostats and dousing everything with clotting agent. He knows he must do this before any healing can possibly take place -- and he knows it just as likely won't help, but he's doing it anyhow.

Alternately, we stand before the dying man, bend to his ear and scream "GET BETTER!!"

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