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Wed Feb 6, 2013, 10:23 AM

My 2 cents on drones

War is messy. There is nothing "moral" about killing other people and inevitably innocent people sometimes get killed or injured during the course of wars. Sometimes these casualties are purely accidental and sometimes they are intentional, like when cities are bombed, especially with incendiary weapons like the London Blitz, the firebombing of Dresden, the napalming of Viet Nam. Intentional killing of civilians is sometimes part of an effort to change public opinion - which, ironically, is the whole reason why al qaida commits its acts of terror. As long as we have war we will have casualties that seem grossly unfair even in a conflagration.

So does anyone think that Obama wants to kill innocent people? Or, do they think like I do, that in order to quickly take out terrorist leaders there will always be casualties that are not intended but which will inevitably occur in any kind of war action?

Would it be more "moral" if we sent in F-18s with pilots, shot off Tomahawk missiles from sea or sent in ground troops with heavy duty weapons to do the job? If we knew Hitler would be at a specific place at a specific time during WWII when we could kill him would we have hesitated because that place might contain innocents as well?

War is a dirty deed and there is no "moral" way to fight one in my opinion. But I trust Obama to try to minimize the casualties among innocents as much as possible.

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Arrow 24 replies Author Time Post
Reply My 2 cents on drones (Original post)
Jersey Devil Feb 2013 OP
Robb Feb 2013 #1
Jersey Devil Feb 2013 #4
Robb Feb 2013 #5
Jersey Devil Feb 2013 #14
Bonobo Feb 2013 #2
The Straight Story Feb 2013 #3
Jersey Devil Feb 2013 #6
Bonobo Feb 2013 #7
Jersey Devil Feb 2013 #12
politicaljunkie41910 Feb 2013 #16
Jersey Devil Feb 2013 #20
JaneyVee Feb 2013 #13
The Straight Story Feb 2013 #9
Jersey Devil Feb 2013 #8
The Straight Story Feb 2013 #11
randome Feb 2013 #18
sellitman Feb 2013 #10
Dreamer Tatum Feb 2013 #15
Jersey Devil Feb 2013 #17
Dreamer Tatum Feb 2013 #19
Jersey Devil Feb 2013 #21
Dreamer Tatum Feb 2013 #23
Jersey Devil Feb 2013 #24
HereSince1628 Feb 2013 #22

Response to Jersey Devil (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 10:28 AM

1. Our nation has a terrifying capacity for destruction.

We have elections to pick people we hope will manage that capacity responsibly.

That said, there's nothing wrong with continually asking for better.

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Response to Robb (Reply #1)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 10:32 AM

4. What is "better"?

Is there such a thing as a "clean" war? Is there some way to kill other people that everyone can tip their hats to and say, "Well done, and so thoughtfully executed"?

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Response to Jersey Devil (Reply #4)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 10:34 AM

5. Refusing to believe all options necessarily include war, for one.

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Response to Robb (Reply #5)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 10:44 AM

14. Well yes, and I thought that was part of what I said

The answer is to end wars, not to try to find some way of fighting them that somehow makes them acceptable.

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Response to Jersey Devil (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 10:28 AM

2. Missing the point.

It isn't about the method of assassination itself.

It is about the POTUS claiming the power to make the determination of what individuals are targeted and what the limits of that authority are.

Do people have a right to know they are about to be assassinated (no)? Do they have a right to defend themselves (no), proclaim innocence (no)?

Does evidence need to be shown (no)? Can the assassinations be done anywhere in the world (yes).

Will the next president inherit these powers? (yes)

"But I trust Obama to try to minimize the casualties among innocents as much as possible."

Great. What about George Bush?

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Response to Bonobo (Reply #2)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 10:31 AM

3. Wonder how this all pans out with the geneva convention? (nt)

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Response to The Straight Story (Reply #3)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 10:34 AM

6. Let's see - grade the "morality" of drones vs flying planes into buildings under Geneva

Which is more "moral"?

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Response to Jersey Devil (Reply #6)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 10:36 AM

7. Congratulations.

You have succeeded in comparing the morality of the "greatest Democracy on Earth" to the morality of crazed religious extremist terrorist guerillas.

I don't think I can give you full points for that answer.

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Response to Bonobo (Reply #7)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 10:41 AM

12. The point is that the Geneva Convention is fiction

A group of well meaning but misguided individuals gets together and decides what methods of killing other people are "moral". It's like reading a newspaper story about another "senseless" killing. Are any killings "sensible"?

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Response to Jersey Devil (Reply #12)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 10:52 AM

16. The Geneva Convention was entered into by participants who had conventional warfare in mind and how

the wars would be conducted and leadership held accountable for their actions. The war on terror is anything but conventional. Not that that relieves us from our duties to honor it, but we are not fighting a conventional war. Al Qaeda has shown us that we must be willing to adapt, or our nation, our citizens, our assets, and our allies around the world are at risk every day. This type of warfare waged against us must be defeated.

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Response to politicaljunkie41910 (Reply #16)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 11:00 AM

20. Is "conventional" necessarily moral?

Yes, certainly al qaida must be defeated, which is part of the reason I am defending the use of drones.

My argument is with those who think that somehow you can fight a war in a "moral" way. It just cannot be done because war itself is immoral and any act taken to further war must be, by definition, part of that immorality. Unfortunately, in this war it sometimes is necessary to be immoral, in fact barbaric in some cases or we would not survive as a nation.

The object of war is to kill the enemy. I can't think of a single way that can be done "morally".

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Response to Bonobo (Reply #7)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 10:42 AM

13. When have we ever been the greatest democracy on Earth? Our history is filled with a long list

of shameful acts. I'm not saying we're the worst, but maybe no better?

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Response to Jersey Devil (Reply #6)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 10:37 AM

9. So we need to be more like them. Got it. (nt)

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Response to Bonobo (Reply #2)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 10:36 AM

8. The point is not missed. There can be no morality in immorality

That was my point. War is immoral for any reason. To expect that you can somehow have moral solutions to an immoral practice is not logical.

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Response to Jersey Devil (Reply #8)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 10:38 AM

11. My point was though

There can be trials after actions for those who signed a treaty.

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Response to Bonobo (Reply #2)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 10:55 AM

18. Someone pointed out that the Alabama nutbag, Dykes, was executed without a trial.

When there is a life or death situation, a trial should be the furthest thing from anyone's mind.

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Response to Jersey Devil (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 10:37 AM

10. To place trust in Obama to make the right decisions is to do the same with his predecessors

I don't necessarily trust who comes next.

I'm against drones and will vote that way whenever possible.

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Response to Jersey Devil (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 10:47 AM

15. Your argument is conditioned on liking who is pulling the trigger.

You should assume you have no idea is pulling the trigger.

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Response to Dreamer Tatum (Reply #15)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 10:53 AM

17. Why would using drones be any different than any other way of fighting?

In war you see the other guy and you shoot him. Whether you do it with a bow and arrow, mace, ax, rifle, missile, bomb or a drone should make no difference. If a Marine was on the battle field and saw a white guy speaking English dressed up in the uniform of the other side would you expect him to call "timeout" and arrange a trial for the other guy before shooting him?

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Response to Jersey Devil (Reply #17)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 10:56 AM

19. The issue is that the POTUS has appointed himself judge, jury, and executioner

Are you REALLY OK with that?

If your answer is, "I'm fine with it when Obama does it, but not Bush, because I like Obama," then that reasoning is not robust.

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Response to Dreamer Tatum (Reply #19)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 11:04 AM

21. No, that's not what Obama has done

He has simply said that if you place yourself in the middle of a pack of wolves (assuming you are referring to Americans targeted among terrorists) then you shouldn't be surprised if you are mistaken for one. It's a fair warning in my opinion, unless you think there are Americans that for some strange and unexplainable reasons can suddenly find themselves in the hills of Afghanistan bearing an AK-47 shoulder to shoulder with Taliban and/or al qaida. Maybe someone lost on their way home from school?

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Response to Jersey Devil (Reply #21)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 12:00 PM

23. That "pack of wolves" has sometimes been a wedding.

That kind of thing (which was called MURDER and a WAR CRIME under Bush) happens when things like
due process are wiped away.

Are you REALLY ok with that? REALLY?

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Response to Dreamer Tatum (Reply #23)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 05:16 PM

24. that had to do with bad intel, not drones

So if an F-18 flew in and bombed the building with the wedding it would have been different? You think Bush, as bad as he was, intended to bomb a wedding?

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Response to Jersey Devil (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 11:13 AM

22. The CIA would like you to believe this is all about the technical problems of assymetrical warfare

Last edited Wed Feb 6, 2013, 12:04 PM - Edit history (1)

They can address that with silly statements about laser-precision that mock the collateral damage they cause. Perhaps purposefully because it distracts from the real issue.

The trouble is greater and greater acceptance of assassination, broadly, as an international means of policy. And narrowly as the willingness to apply assassination as capital punishment for threatening American interests...even unto assassination of American citizens without constitutional guarantees.

It's a lie and an immoral use of rhetoric for the government to employ the excuse that 'war is a messy business' when the issue is drones used outside of war. War is fought to bring about submission/subjugation of one adversary to the political will of another adversary. War fighting is about reducing the adversary's desire to resist to the point of surrender or utter defeat.

The purpose of the 'Drone War' is NOT to reduce the interest and capacity of an enemy to the point of surrender. There is no leadership that can surrender to the US on behalf of our 'enemy'. We are not trying to bring an enemy to a peace table.

We are simply determined to kill those who can be cloaked with the phrase "terrorist threat", and we are increasingly willing to do that more and more often with less and less information to support looser and looser definitions of threat and with less and less consideration for innocents collaterally killed or injured

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