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Wed Feb 6, 2013, 02:13 PM

Repost as OP: All this talk of "right to retaliate" and "insurgents" is just legalistic twaddle

Lawyers are trained to defend their clients, even if the clients are indefensible.

The drones SEEM OK to a lot of people because we're bombing faceless brown people who hate the U.S. and live in a faraway country.

But look at it this way. Suppose the government sent drone strikes against American neighborhoods where Mafia figures or seditious right-wing militia leaders lived.

Would we accept the same excuses?

That they were too dangerous to get at by legal means? That the deaths of their children were just "collateral damage"? That if the targeting wasn't accurate and a neighbor's house was blown up instead, that was just too bad, but perhaps the neighbors shouldn't have agreed to let the Mafia boss or militia leader live in their neighborhood?

Come to think of it, our government has actually used the first two excuses in its attack on David Koresh's followers in Waco, Texas, a few years back. The members of the cult, including Koresh, frequently went into town to buy supplies, and the authorities could have arrested them then and there with a minimum of fuss. Noooo, they had to play cowboy and mount a siege and then an attack, and we were told that the children who were killed were just "collateral damage" and that their parents shouldn't have joined the cult.

We see this again and again on the world stage. There's a certain percentage of the population that has never grown out of childish video game revenge fantasies and loves the idea of watching perceived enemies get blown up at a distance, even if they would not be willing to go in themselves and kill a perceived enemy and his wife and children and neighbors with an axe or even a handgun.

And let's get practical here. Killing (not "taking out"--let's be realistic about what we're saying) ONE or even a DOZEN alleged insurgents will make only a negative difference in the bogus War on Terror, because individuals aren't the problem.

First of all, the people killed have friends and extended families, and their cultural norms will require them to seek revenge. Each drone strike creates more terrorists. (If you want to facilitate further corporate dominance and eroded civil liberties by putting the nation on an endless war footing, make sure that you fight an unwinnable war against a vaguely defined enemy whose numbers will only multiply. Such a deal for the military-industrial complex and so easy to have the mass media persuade the uninformed that anything and everything the MIC dreams up is essential for "national security.")

Second, I'm sorry to break the news to all you "America's the greatest country in the world and we're always on the side of truth and justice" grade school patriots, but the REAL problem is and has always been the behavior of successive Republican and Democratic governments in the Middle East. Oil companies call the shots in our system, and in the interests of ensuring a continued, low-priced flow of "our" (our?) oil from the Middle East, U.S. governments have supported anyone who will play nice with the oil companies, no matter how badly they treat their own people. (Our government loved Saddam Hussein for decades before it hated him.)

I'm afraid that in the realm of international relations, America's morality has deteriorated in the past seventy years.

In 1945, the Allies put the surviving members of the German government on trial at Nuremberg. The conclusion was foregone, but the world heard a full account of their crimes before they were executed or imprisoned. We didn't just send soldiers out to kill the top Nazis and their families. (That's what the Nazis did in the countries they conquered.)

So in 1945, we could formally arrest, imprison, and hold trials for the top Nazis, the men who planned to conquer Europe and wipe out all "non-Aryans," and in 2013, we have to send drones to get ONE GUY who may be aiding Al Qaeda (or may not be--we never see the evidence. What if someone being held for the CIA in a foreign prison gave his name under torture just to make the torture stop?) and risk killing his whole family and several of his neighbors?

The system is rotten, infiltrated with blood lust and money lust, and I do blame Obama for going along with it. He has a history of appeasing his opponents, so if the Experts and Very Serious People and Legal Equivocators say that we need to go after individuals with drones, his natural tendency will be to do what they say.

But he IS Commander-in-Chief. He could say NO. He could say, "You know, about Iran, I bet if we didn't have them surrounded on all sides by U.S. military installations, they wouldn't be so belligerent. You know, there are a lot of people in the Middle East who hate us for very good reasons, and why are we always intervening when we only screw up every time we go in there?"

So once again, I am ashamed to be an American, and I've lost track of how many times in my life I've had to say this.

101 replies, 7087 views

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Arrow 101 replies Author Time Post
Reply Repost as OP: All this talk of "right to retaliate" and "insurgents" is just legalistic twaddle (Original post)
Lydia Leftcoast Feb 2013 OP
KansDem Feb 2013 #1
pasto76 Feb 2013 #38
kardonb Feb 2013 #56
Egalitarian Thug Feb 2013 #2
msongs Feb 2013 #3
Egalitarian Thug Feb 2013 #10
truebluegreen Feb 2013 #29
FredStembottom Feb 2013 #34
Egalitarian Thug Feb 2013 #43
coalition_unwilling Feb 2013 #60
JTFrog Feb 2013 #64
iemitsu Feb 2013 #67
Catherina Feb 2013 #79
woo me with science Feb 2013 #46
idwiyo Feb 2013 #73
leftstreet Feb 2013 #5
Egalitarian Thug Feb 2013 #6
graham4anything Feb 2013 #51
iemitsu Feb 2013 #58
Lydia Leftcoast Feb 2013 #59
iemitsu Feb 2013 #65
graham4anything Feb 2013 #63
iemitsu Feb 2013 #66
Lydia Leftcoast Feb 2013 #68
iemitsu Feb 2013 #70
idwiyo Feb 2013 #74
leftstreet Feb 2013 #4
randome Feb 2013 #7
Tierra_y_Libertad Feb 2013 #9
TheMadMonk Feb 2013 #16
Lydia Leftcoast Feb 2013 #21
idwiyo Feb 2013 #75
Bluenorthwest Feb 2013 #76
DisgustipatedinCA Feb 2013 #99
G_j Feb 2013 #8
whatchamacallit Feb 2013 #11
SkyIsGrey Feb 2013 #12
zeemike Feb 2013 #13
jeff47 Feb 2013 #14
TheMadMonk Feb 2013 #20
jeff47 Feb 2013 #22
TheMadMonk Feb 2013 #25
jeff47 Feb 2013 #26
TheMadMonk Feb 2013 #35
HiPointDem Feb 2013 #61
iemitsu Feb 2013 #69
Benton D Struckcheon Feb 2013 #81
Lydia Leftcoast Feb 2013 #23
idwiyo Feb 2013 #53
OldDem2012 Feb 2013 #37
Thav Feb 2013 #15
NeoConsSuck Feb 2013 #18
woo me with science Feb 2013 #17
Guy Whitey Corngood Feb 2013 #19
marmar Feb 2013 #24
Louisiana1976 Feb 2013 #27
truebluegreen Feb 2013 #28
noiretextatique Feb 2013 #30
woo me with science Feb 2013 #31
bvar22 Feb 2013 #32
KoKo Feb 2013 #33
scarletwoman Feb 2013 #36
blackspade Feb 2013 #39
DearAbby Feb 2013 #40
DearAbby Feb 2013 #41
Lydia Leftcoast Feb 2013 #45
Catherina Feb 2013 #47
DearAbby Feb 2013 #49
Lydia Leftcoast Feb 2013 #52
HiPointDem Feb 2013 #62
Catherina Feb 2013 #80
bullwinkle428 Feb 2013 #48
Catherina Feb 2013 #82
Augiedog Feb 2013 #42
John2 Feb 2013 #50
Lydia Leftcoast Feb 2013 #55
brett_jv Feb 2013 #85
blkmusclmachine Feb 2013 #44
WillyT Feb 2013 #54
Tierra_y_Libertad Feb 2013 #57
hfojvt Feb 2013 #71
Lydia Leftcoast Feb 2013 #72
Skidmore Feb 2013 #77
green for victory Feb 2013 #78
MannyGoldstein Feb 2013 #83
unapatriciated Feb 2013 #84
ConservativeDemocrat Feb 2013 #86
Bonobo Feb 2013 #87
ConservativeDemocrat Feb 2013 #89
Lydia Leftcoast Feb 2013 #88
ConservativeDemocrat Feb 2013 #92
Lydia Leftcoast Feb 2013 #93
ConservativeDemocrat Feb 2013 #94
Lydia Leftcoast Feb 2013 #95
ConservativeDemocrat Feb 2013 #96
Lydia Leftcoast Feb 2013 #97
ConservativeDemocrat Feb 2013 #98
Lydia Leftcoast Feb 2013 #100
ConservativeDemocrat Feb 2013 #101
Taverner Feb 2013 #90
Zorra Feb 2013 #91

Response to Lydia Leftcoast (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 02:17 PM

1. Just curious...

If Bush got the intel "wrong" when he invaded Iraq, killing hundreds of thousands, then how can we be sure Obama got the intel "right" when a drone is launched?


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Response to KansDem (Reply #1)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 07:06 PM

38. you cant, but the ramifications are, really, quite different

Bush committed the entire country to another land war. To our army and marines invading a sovereign nation. And yeah, it killed a couple hundred thousand.

President Obama is not doing that. Compare the two methods, and a drone is in fact, pretty damn surgical.

I like the 'grade school patriots' jab in the OP. Can you imagine how stupid that comment looks to the eyes of this iraq veteran? Seriously, what does the OP know about it unless you've also personally participated in it.

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Response to KansDem (Reply #1)

Fri Feb 8, 2013, 08:59 PM

56. curious

because Obama is a hell of a lot smarter than GWB !

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Response to Lydia Leftcoast (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 02:19 PM

2. You forgot the most important part. President Obama will be President forever and ever

 

and those awful republicans will never again have any power whatsoever, so it's all just fine.

& R

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Response to Egalitarian Thug (Reply #2)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 02:28 PM

3. if obama behaves like "those awful republicans" there's not that much difference on those issues nt

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Response to msongs (Reply #3)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 03:05 PM

10. Yep. It's not that there's no difference between the parties, it's that the differences

 

are so small and in the wrong places.

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Response to Egalitarian Thug (Reply #10)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 06:52 PM

29. Yes.

The differences are confined to social issues. Use of the military, civil liberties, fiscal policy--not so much.

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Response to Egalitarian Thug (Reply #10)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 01:56 PM

34. That is absolutely perfectly stated.

Precisely, ET!

I can't even comment as your statement is the shortest, best summation of where we are at in this country possible.

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Response to FredStembottom (Reply #34)

Fri Feb 8, 2013, 01:21 AM

43. Why TYVM.

 

The number of self-identified Democrats (or Americans for that matter) that apparently can't see how completely wrong and inexcusable this is has been quite depressing.

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Response to Egalitarian Thug (Reply #43)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 02:08 AM

60. The number of DUers who refuse to admit how execrable the policy is has me contemplating on

 

a daily basis leaving DU for good.

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Response to coalition_unwilling (Reply #60)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 10:40 AM

64. No more contemplating.

Someone slammed that door shut for you!



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Response to coalition_unwilling (Reply #60)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 02:12 PM

67. There are many on this board who are not here because they support

democratic politicians or progressive legislation. They have different motives.
Don't let those voices discourage you. We should view their posts as evidence of our own success.
The naysayer on threads like this is here to plant doubt and the appearance of disunity among genuine DUers. It is a propaganda technique that is being supported by your tax dollars and by the endless coffers of the corporate elite.
Cutting the Defense budget and increasing the tax responsibilities of the rich would see an end to many of these voices.

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Response to coalition_unwilling (Reply #60)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 09:23 AM

79. Coalition_unwilling, if you ever read this

Last edited Sun Feb 10, 2013, 03:15 PM - Edit history (1)

goodbye and best of everything to you. I think your PPR was unjustified and will miss you but I'm grateful our paths crossed and grateful that wherever you are, you'll still be raising hell against injustice, no matter who's at the other end of it.

Be well. And keep on standing up. Keep on fighting.

Occupy!

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Response to Egalitarian Thug (Reply #10)

Fri Feb 8, 2013, 03:32 PM

46. Indeed. nt

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Response to Egalitarian Thug (Reply #10)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 05:13 AM

73. K&R

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Response to Egalitarian Thug (Reply #2)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 02:43 PM

5. Next up Hillary. 12 more years of this neo-liberal bullshit

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Response to leftstreet (Reply #5)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 02:52 PM

6. I'm at least somewhat hopeful that she won't run. DU is not nearly as influential as it likes

 

to pretend to be, and she's just way too vulnerable. It's certainly a possibility, but I don't think she wants to go through that again as she'll be over 70 and has spent 40 years in the game.

What will probably depress me the most in 2016 is that there are not enough Democratic Democrats left in power in the party to get the nomination, and we'll get another in a long string of "choices" between terrible and somewhat less terrible.

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Response to Egalitarian Thug (Reply #6)

Fri Feb 8, 2013, 06:28 PM

51. Hillary45. Michelle46. President Obama nominated/becomes SCOTUS in 2018.

 

Only reason Hillary45 didn't win in 2008 was because of Barack Obama's voters.

In 2016, Hillary45 will have 99% of the core President Obama voters(of which I am one, and I was NOT a fan in 2008).

And hopefully Michelle Obama will run for senate in 2018, maybe VP with Hillary45 in 2020
and Michelle will win election as Michelle46 in 2024 and 2028

And in 2018, President Obama will be nominated by Hillary45 for the US Supreme Court,
like President Taft did.

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Response to graham4anything (Reply #51)

Fri Feb 8, 2013, 11:51 PM

58. It is not good for our Democracy to nurture political dynasties.

We need real Americans, with some connections to the working peoples of our land, to run for office and to lead this country in a new direction.
I don't dislike Hillary or Michelle but I am not in favor of pushing for either to be nominated.
We need new blood in the Whitehouse, congress and especially the Supreme Court.

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Response to iemitsu (Reply #58)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 01:57 AM

59. Heavens, yes! Suggesting a Clinton-Obama dynasty gives the impression that

you're indulging in hero worship or are starstruck rather than thinking about what is good for the country.

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Response to Lydia Leftcoast (Reply #59)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 12:18 PM

65. I hate everything about the Bush dynasty.

Last edited Sat Feb 9, 2013, 01:57 PM - Edit history (1)

They are much too powerful (and evil) and having our country subject to one family's agenda has been ruinous to society, economics, and politics.
While I don't consider either the Clintons or the Obamas corrupt, evil, or driven by personal gain, like the Bushs, they are subject to the narrowed focus that all individuals and insular groups manifest.
The economic vigor, the dynamic ingenuity, the inventiveness, and the world wide confidence that our nation once enjoyed were the result of the diverse ideas and perspectives that characterize a nation of immigrants.
Americans need to stop voting for those whose names are recognizable (their families already owe too much to special interests) and vote for individuals who will view the actual voters as their constituents.

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Response to iemitsu (Reply #58)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 04:45 AM

63. Yeah, new SCOTUS will indeed be provided by Jeb Bush to your liking

 

It is the single lie of Ralph Nader that hurt the most.
Nader and his green ites hate the corporate personhood
Bush nominated Alito and Roberts
Alito and Roberts gave us corporate personhood
Without them, no corporate personhood, this is perhaps the one thing everyone knew Alito would be for prior to his being confirmed
Gore would NOT have given us Alito and Roberts
Gore would not have given us corporate personhood
Therefore how in hell was Bush and Gore the same, when Bush gave Nader corprate personhood because Nader gave Bush the election?

BTW, of ALL the Presidents ever winning office, the Clinton's are the ones with the LEAST amount of assets of all of them. They never even owned their own house before that, having both given their entire adult life to public service and NOT ever been part of the corporate world.

Bill & Hillary Clinton and Community Organizer Barack Obama are indeed the singular people most connected with the common person than any of the others.
LBJ comes close with his lower middle class upbringing.

Surely you jest if thinking JFK and FDR were paupers and had no ties to the rich.

Since the revolution was won in 2008 (peacefully), why would anyone want a discontinuation of that and the only way that would happen would be a republican president winning.

Like the lunacy of ditching LBJ for a candidate that was a great guy, had great ideals yet in no way was going to win (Eugene McCarthy and HHH) so we got Nixon instead.
Same in 1972 with McGovern and Eagleton.

A good politician would never have let Eagleton get near the VP position, same as a good politician in 2008 would not have picked Sarah Palin, and thankfully a GREAT politician did NOT let John Edwards get the VP or any position, being that the so called Edwards being a man of the people(ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha,because all men of the people get $400 trims on their ultra greasy personna hair).

Only 44 numbered Presidents(43 men as one is counted twice GC) and zero women in a country that has 52% of the 320 million being women.
If not Hillary would gladly support Michelle, Elizabeth and Janet Napolitano.

However, only Hillary is guaranteed to defeat all the republican nominees including Jeb.
The others probably are guaranteed to defeat some of them, but not Jeb or Christie.

Give the party another McGovern or McCarthy, and the republican will end up wining 300 electoral votes. And i loved the people that McCarthy and McGovern were, but come on,
no one actually thought either would or could win.

Not to mention someone like Bernie Sanders attained office with the help of his friends like
Charles Schumer and Sanders just yesterday said Harry Reid was doing a great job in his words (not exact quote, but parsed out, hell yes, he was backing Harry).

Dreams are nice. But not reality in the world of politics.

IMHO on this beautifully snow-in morning here with the temperatures below freezing.

But any day that I wake up and Barack Obama is still president, is a glorious day indeed.
The world is a much better place for it.
So why anyone would not want that, well, they are free to argue the point on this world wide google searched board.

I don't see any other person in the nation more in tune with the common person than President Obama. Especially not one who could actually win office with a separate agenda opposite the Presidents.

The President has rebuilt the solid foundation of a home and say the basement and first floor.
You don't eight years later building a new foundation.
What you do is work on the second floor and then the attic and roof.
As there is nothing wrong with the new foundation in place since 1/20/2009

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Response to graham4anything (Reply #63)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 01:55 PM

66. All of your points are good. I don't take issue with any of them,

however, that does not mean that political dynasties are good for the country or for democracy.
Barack Obama is, of course, way preferable to any republican, as are both Hillary and Michelle, but don't mistake any of them for being friends of the people.
The evidence does not indicate that that is the case. If it were, we would not have bailed out the rich at the expense of the many, we would not have educational policy that vilifies teachers and promoted privatization of the public schools, we would not have leaked memos that attempt to justify the targeted murder of untried Americans, we would not have a president whose cabinet is made up of republicans, and we would have single-payer, universal health care (or at least we would have a President who promoted that instead of taking it off the table), we would see corrupt bankers in prison, we would have a re-instituted "fairness doctrine", and we would not have to inundate the whitehouse and our congress people every time Obama suggests that Social Security should take a hit rather than the rich paying taxes.
It is silly to believe that only the spouses of ex-Presidents, or other family members, stand a realistic chance of winning an election.
The bad shape our country finds itself in is due to too few having too much and too many with nothing. This applies to political power as well as money.

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Response to iemitsu (Reply #66)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 02:31 PM

68. Yes, as I said, failure of imagination

The Clintons and Obamas are not the only Democratic politicians in the world or even the best. Jeb Bush is NOT the only alternative.

You're obviously a big fan of Obama. Remember that HE was "new talent," not a member of an existing dynasty.

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Response to Lydia Leftcoast (Reply #68)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 03:37 PM

70. Yep, I suspect that some of the support that Obama enjoyed in 2008

was a direct result of his "new talent" status.
At least that is partly why he had my support. That and my fantasy that Obama was part MLK.
Of course, no real revolutionary will ever be a contender for the office of the President in America.
Revolutionaries teach poetry at state colleges.

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Response to graham4anything (Reply #51)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 05:16 AM

74. But what is your opinion on torture as practiced by CIA? Do you think president was right when he

Last edited Sun Feb 10, 2013, 10:03 AM - Edit history (1)

said he will have torturer's backs?

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Response to Lydia Leftcoast (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 02:29 PM

4. DURec

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Response to Lydia Leftcoast (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 02:54 PM

7. Not all the terrorists hate the U.S.

We are also fighting those who behead women and chop the hands off unbelievers. We are in these countries at the behest of their governments. In all the 'fog of war' stuff, we lose sight that, at least in some cases, we are doing what many would consider noble things in stopping those who kill and mutilate their own people and keep women as virtual slaves.

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Response to randome (Reply #7)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 03:02 PM

9. We are also allies of countries who do those very things.

How does that work?

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Response to randome (Reply #7)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 05:05 PM

16. And the US was friends with EXACTLY those people...

 

...before they were enemies. And STILL IS FRIENDS with Saudi Arabia.

Maimed women and children are their cynical (and all to often successful) attempt to get good people to stand foursquare for the indefensible.

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Response to TheMadMonk (Reply #16)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 05:55 PM

21. Yes, and if we had stood by and let the Soviets help the Marxist Afghan government suppress the

Islamic insurgents, there would be no Taliban, because while I have no use for the Soviets, they did three good things in all their territories: 1) Required all children to attend secular, co-ed schools, 2) Set up literacy programs for adults, 3) Enforced women's rights and banned things like the burqa, forced marriage, honor killings, etc.

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Response to Lydia Leftcoast (Reply #21)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 05:36 AM

75. That's the problem - government of Afganistan was a socialist government and just like Chiliean

Government of Salvador Allende it had to be destroyed. By any means possible. And screw the "collateral damage".

Never mind that US and UK were sponsoring fascist hunta and radical Islamic militants. Never mind that Soviet Union was in Afganistan on an invitation of legitimate Government of Afganistan. Never mind that US trained and sponsored Osama Bin Laden and a good number of other radical Islamists, same ones US is fighting with now.

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Response to randome (Reply #7)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 07:16 AM

76. What a load of bull that is. Our Saudi 'allies' chop off hands and behead women.

That is not why we are there, we hold hands and do business with those who behead gay people and women in public. Do you want links?

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Response to randome (Reply #7)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 09:24 PM

99. How are those drone strikes working out in Saudi Arabia?

We engage when it's in our own self-interest. Period.

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Response to Lydia Leftcoast (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 02:58 PM

8. K&R

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Response to Lydia Leftcoast (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 03:08 PM

11. K&R

So sad to see how easy it's been to turn proud americans into craven fools. We're there.

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Response to Lydia Leftcoast (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 03:17 PM

12. "loves the idea of watching perceived enemies get blown up at a distance"

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Response to Lydia Leftcoast (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 03:18 PM

13. K&R.

All of that needs to be said.

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Response to Lydia Leftcoast (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 03:23 PM

14. There's several problems with your arguments

Now, let me say up front this doesn't mean I'm thrilled by these drone strikes. I see it as the least-awful of only awful options.

Suppose the government sent drone strikes against American neighborhoods where Mafia figures or seditious right-wing militia leaders lived.

The Constitution applies within US jurisdiction. Thus they can't do the same drone strikes inside the US because all the due process rights that people are now complaining about actually apply.

The current strikes are legal because they're outside US jurisdiction, where the president has near-absolute power.

Noooo, they had to play cowboy and mount a siege and then an attack, and we were told that the children who were killed were just "collateral damage" and that their parents shouldn't have joined the cult.

Yeah, your timeline's missing several steps. Such as the initial attempt to arrest them at the compound, which was met with gunfire, and lead to the siege.

And let's get practical here. Killing (not "taking out"--let's be realistic about what we're saying) ONE or even a DOZEN alleged insurgents will make only a negative difference in the bogus War on Terror, because individuals aren't the problem.

Killing the individuals won't stop the movement. Nor will not killing the individuals. The movement is based on how we fucked up starting in the 1950s and continued fucking up for decades. Disengaging in the past has not weakened their movement, and there's little reason to believe it would today. The movement is based on history, and the need to blame someone else for the poor economic performance of their countries.

Killing the individuals reduces the danger to the US of the movement - they can't plan and prepare for a large-scale attack on the US because they keep having key people get blown up by drones.

First of all, the people killed have friends and extended families, and their cultural norms will require them to seek revenge.

Yep. Too bad we didn't think of this when we overthrew the Shah. If you happen to have a time machine, we might be able to undo that damage.

Such a deal for the military-industrial complex and so easy to have the mass media persuade the uninformed that anything and everything the MIC dreams up is essential for "national security."

Actually, the 'war on terror' isn't terribly good for the MIC. The MIC thrives on very large projects like the F-35 and missile defense. Those systems don't work well against terrorists. Instead, we're using drones and other cheap, small systems. The MIC would prefer we move on from this bargain-basement war and start worrying about China so that they can push for more large projects that are way more profitable.

Second, I'm sorry to break the news to all you "America's the greatest country in the world and we're always on the side of truth and justice" grade school patriots, but the REAL problem is and has always been the behavior of successive Republican and Democratic governments in the Middle East.

Yep. But unfortunately turning our back now has been shown to not be an effective way to stop the radicals motivated by our historical fuckups.

So in 1945, we could formally arrest, imprison, and hold trials for the top Nazis, the men who planned to conquer Europe and wipe out all "non-Aryans," and in 2013, we have to send drones to get ONE GUY who may be aiding Al Qaeda (or may not be--we never see the evidence.

You seem to be forgetting that the trials in 1945 were proceeded by the most destructive and deadly war that has ever been fought. The Nuremburg trials did not appear out of nowhere.

If you'd like us to invade Yemen, Pakistan and Somalia, we could put these terrorists on trial too. But there could be just a few negative repercussions of those invasions.

But he IS Commander-in-Chief. He could say NO. He could say, "You know, about Iran, I bet if we didn't have them surrounded on all sides by U.S. military installations, they wouldn't be so belligerent.

Yeah, the'd immediately forget how we re-installed the Shah leading to 20 years of horrific repression. They'd also forget about us supplying Iraq with weapons to wipe out an entire generation of Iranians in the decade-long Iran-Iraq war. They're only upset because our troops at one time had them surrounded - remember, we pulled out of Iraq.

You know, there are a lot of people in the Middle East who hate us for very good reasons, and why are we always intervening when we only screw up every time we go in there?

Because disengaging has resulted in attacks in the US. And in the aftermath of those attacks, we have done truly terrible things as Republicans over-react to them. We almost got King George I after 9/11, and we fucked over the middle east AGAIN.

Drone strikes are terrible. But they are less terrible than our other options.

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Response to jeff47 (Reply #14)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 05:45 PM

20. Bigger problems with yours. Drones already in use...

 

...to conduct questionable searches behind gates that require a warrant to be bypassed on the ground.

And on the morning of the seige David Koresh drank coffee in town, two seats down from the feds.

50's? Try again. Go back to the colonial era, and boundaries deliberately drawn to maximise internal ethnic conflict.

Yeah too bad. Not us. Who cares? Shah was done over, because a Middle East not at war with itself might just have made Merkins pay realistic prices for oil. We made sure of the poor ecconomic performance of their countries' populaces by backing the most corrupt and self serving within them.


Go on, keep believing that. You'll at least sleep well. There is NO NEED to attack America today. Just make some vague noises. Point the finger at a local trouble maker (key people my arse) and wait for America to attack itself.


BULLSHIT! WOT is great for MIC: The amount of equipment that chews itself to pieces with sand or is simply abandoned on the side of the road over a minor fault is phenomenal. Boondoggles are dowm but spending is up, up, way up.


And business as usual will only continue to exacerbate the problem. (Oh, and of course keep the cheap oil flowing a few more years.)


So instead, we'll just keep bombing kids in the vague hope that there's a terrorist in the next room, no matter how often the intel proves not just to be wrong, but deliberately fabricated to get the US to shoot itself in the foot.

SO instead, the US will keep on with the WAR CRIMES.


So having screwed the pooch so fucking royally WRT Iraq and Iran, the only SANE response is to pop a blue pill and keep humping away?


Again and again, your argument is, that having fucked up so royally, the US has no choice but to continue with exactly those policies which created the mess.


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Response to TheMadMonk (Reply #20)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 06:02 PM

22. You might wanna fix your post so the quotes are in place. (nt)

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Response to jeff47 (Reply #22)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 06:13 PM

25. Your words don't bear repeating.

 

All boil down to "If we stop being bullies, we'll get our comeupance."

Guess what mate? It's due, and long past.

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Response to TheMadMonk (Reply #25)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 06:19 PM

26. So you'd like people to guess at what you are replying to?

Your answers must be truly important if you don't want anyone to bother figuring them out.

All boil down to "If we stop being bullies, we'll get our comeupance."

Yeah, doesn't history suck? It would be so much nicer if history happened the way we wished it did.

But it didn't.

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Response to jeff47 (Reply #26)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 05:05 PM

35. More or less the same break up of points as yours.

 

Easy enough to figure out if you're interested. Not worth wasting my time over, when the usual response is to attack at a point of irrelevance and ignore the rest, or to repeat the same bloody laundry list with no reference to my responses.


You mean, the US rattles it's weapons and the rest of the world goes weak at the knees and capitulates. After all it had worked for decades in South America. A nudge here, a push there, and resources were there for the taking by good ole American as Apple Pie corporations.

And now: Are you flat out saying that the US has NO CHOICE but to keep KICKING HEADS, because if it doesn't the owners of those heads will explode in the US's face if given a chance anda moment's breathing space to gather themselves?

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Response to TheMadMonk (Reply #20)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 02:49 AM

61. "Go back to the colonial era...boundaries deliberately drawn to maximise internal ethnic conflict."

 

Indeed. And I believe the same kind of tactics are used internally.

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Response to TheMadMonk (Reply #20)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 03:28 PM

69. Drones targeting kids is problematic but maybe that issue will soon be solved.

If we keep wiping out whole wedding parties there will soon be no children being born to "take out" with our drones.
Our country has become monstrous. With a "too big to fail" attitude we are throwing away common sense, decency, and fair play because we have the weight to force our will on others and we want their stuff.
Our foreign policy is criminal and if any other nation tried to behave as we do we would immediately identify them as criminals and would build a "coalition" to destroy them.
The post-apocalyptic, nightmare government, portrayed in so many Hollywood productions, is reality for those who dare to thwart our desires.
We have paid dearly so the war-lords, who dictate our policy, could have the ability to target anyone on earth with drones. The cost is at the expense of decent health care, education, infrastructure, living-wage pay-checks, and future opportunity for working Americans.
Those who defend our current policies, with respect to the use of drones, need to spend some time being introspective. They need to ask themselves what they are really supporting. Defenders of drone strikes should start by imagining themselves to be German citizens during the 1930s and throughout WWII. Few Americans, in that fantasy, would picture themselves actively supporting Nazi policy or justifying Nazi policies to their objecting neighbors.
We find it easy to condemn Germans who supported Hitler and his goals. The Nuremberg Trials demonstrate that we expected Germans to be better than that. We expected Germans to examine, for themselves, what their government's policies promoted and to stand up and stop practices that were illegal or immoral. We expected this from German soldiers too.
If our investments in the world were positive we would reap the benefits of those investments, instead we build walls and weapons to protect us from our victims abroad.
Apologists for drone strikes need to think back to high school, when reading Fahrenheit 451, and ask, did I root for the mechanical dog, who chased down the offending book owners or did I hope the readers would survive? They need to ask that question too about our cultural role models/heros. Did/do they support expedience over doing what is right and do their efforts work to enhance obscene corporate profits at the expense of working men and women around the world?
We all need to take time to remember what is really important in life, to examine who we are and who we want to be. Our daily actions will determine our legacy. Do we want to leave the earth a better place or do we want to damage what we touch? Is it right to pay for the cost of your own life or should others pay that cost? The world is what we make it.
The "Golden Rule" is a strategy for protecting the little guy, for giving average people, women, children a fighting chance. Using force to bend the will of others is almost always inappropriate. If your ideas are fair and your policies promote improved lives for all others will gladly support your efforts, it is only when your ideas are unfair and cost others that one has to resort to force to gain support.

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Response to iemitsu (Reply #69)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 09:37 AM

81. Obviously, you never heard of Godwin's Law.

As to the rest: drones are used mostly in Pakistan. I hate to break it to all of you, but Pakistan has been the problem all along. Pakistan knows, and we know, that we are at war with Pakistan; remember, bin Laden was found practically in walking distance of their version of West Point. If we really thought the Pakistani military was on our side, why would we send in the Seals when we could have just asked the Pakistanis to get him?
To ask that question is to answer it.
We know they harbor these guys. They know we know. Everyone pretends they're actually our allies, and the Pakistanis have, either when Al Qaeda oversteps their bounds, or when it's needed for PR, sent out soldiers to fight them. But the ISI and the Pakistani military establishment was known, right from 9/11 on, to be the real problem.
This has to do with the politics of the place: the Taliban was Pakistan's ally. The tribes fighting the Taliban were and are allied with India. That's all there is to that.
In the real world, the US <> Nazi Germany. But the US has real enemies, Pakistan among them. This is the least bloody way to fight them and Al Qaeda.

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Response to jeff47 (Reply #14)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 06:11 PM

23. Problems with your arguments, Mr. Conventional Wisdom

The Constitution applies within US jurisdiction. Thus they can't do the same drone strikes inside the US because all the due process rights that people are now complaining about actually apply.

Of all the evil policies that the Bush administration instituted, one of the little noticed but potentially most dangerous ones is that due process doesn't apply outside the U.S. (not even for U.S. citizens) and that the president can therefore do whatever he wants.

Does this mean that if you were a dissident American who decided to go live in a foreign country and kept criticizing the U.S., then some future president would be within his rights to target you for assassination? We were horrified when the Rumanians did that to one of their dissidents in London in the infamous umbrella murder a few decades ago.

Does this mean that we can do anything we damned please to foreigners, just because, fuck yeah, we're Americans and we RULE and those foreigners better bow down and worship us or else?

First of all, the people killed have friends and extended families, and their cultural norms will require them to seek revenge.

Yep. Too bad we didn't think of this when we overthrew the Shah. If you happen to have a time machine, we might be able to undo that damage.


Ever hear the saying, "If you find yourself in a hole, stop digging"? Since we can't undo the past, we're supposed to keep on the same immoral path?

Killing the individuals reduces the danger to the US of the movement - they can't plan and prepare for a large-scale attack on the US because they keep having key people get blown up by drones.

Large-scale attack on the U.S.? You mean one that could actually hurt us? (9/11, shocking as it was, was a bee sting compared to what the U.S. has done to both Iraq and Afghanistan.)

Yep. But unfortunately turning our back now has been shown to not be an effective way to stop the radicals motivated by our historical fuckups.

So we keep giving them motivation?

If you'd like us to invade Yemen, Pakistan and Somalia, we could put these terrorists on trial too. But there could be just a few negative repercussions of those invasions.

How about putting the guys in Guantanamo on trial with real civilian trials? That would be a good start.

I just have to shake my head when I consider that Ted Bundy, John Wayne Gacy, Aileen Wuornos, and Jeffery Dahmer, all known to be sociopathic serial killers were given standard civilian trials, and yet the guys in Guantanamo are said to be "too dangerous" to allow on American soil.

Because disengaging has resulted in attacks in the US.
I'm wracking my brain trying to think of a time when the U.S. wasn't meddling in the Middle East.

Your arguments are standard Beltway bullshit, the same kind of nonsense we were given during the Vietnam War. "We can't back down now. The Communists will take that as a sign of weakness. I don't want to be the first president to lose a war." And so on and so on.

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Response to Lydia Leftcoast (Reply #23)

Fri Feb 8, 2013, 07:21 PM

53. K&R wish I could do it for real though.

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Response to jeff47 (Reply #14)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 06:53 PM

37. Hey, don't you know inconvenient facts get in the way of a good rant? nt.

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Response to Lydia Leftcoast (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 04:21 PM

15. The most disturbing part of all of this

is that the PATRIOT act has the possibility of labeling any criminal a terrorist. So someone who has committed a crime could be labeled a terrorist and taken out by a drone.

On NPR there was some commentary, and one person mentioned a very slippery slope. Indeed. War is Peace, Slavery is Freedom, yadda yadda.

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Response to Thav (Reply #15)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 05:11 PM

18. You got that right...

could Greenpeace be labeled a terrorist organization? Could Sea Shepard?

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Response to Lydia Leftcoast (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 06:12 PM

24. k/r

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Response to Lydia Leftcoast (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 06:24 PM

27. Well said. K&R

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Response to Lydia Leftcoast (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 06:47 PM

28. + a million

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Response to Lydia Leftcoast (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 07:01 PM

30. thanks, Lydia

i am disturbed by all those bending over backwards to put lipstick on this pig.

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Response to Lydia Leftcoast (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 11:49 PM

32. DURec!

Stand and be counted.
There is NO justification for supporting this abuse of power.


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Response to Lydia Leftcoast (Original post)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 12:14 PM

33. An incredible post "LL".....can't recommend enough.

Cut's to the heart of the matter without all the legalize parsing back and forth and the "I'm not a Terrorist...so they won't come after me" crap.

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Response to Lydia Leftcoast (Original post)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 06:43 PM

36. Brilliant and spot on - as you always are, LL.

The shame of living behind the sword hand is only exceeded by the suffering of those at whom the sword is pointed. They lose their lives, while we lose our claim on humanity.

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Response to Lydia Leftcoast (Original post)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 07:37 PM

39. +1000

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Response to Lydia Leftcoast (Original post)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 07:40 PM

40. I sure wished Bush had a Drone at TORA BORA

A Drone is but the weapon, An Air craft. Is it the weapon You are fighting against, or the fact the targets don't have due process?

Remember there is only one crime listed in U.S. Constitution - Article 3 Section 3: Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.

When millions see it played out in public, in daylight, right before their eyes, I believe that takes care of the confession problem. Anyone take up arms against this country, don't expect a lawyer. A confessed traitor, encamped with the enemy.

I suppose I am more moderate than most people on the board. I believe the world is still dangerous. We haven't yet learned the language of Peace. Drones as horrible as they are, at least they are more precise, less Human loss. Drones instead of invasion, better than our children's life blood.

Weaponry of war evolves faster than we do, that is the horror of it. Drones are here to stay, its like protesting the Stealth Bomber.

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Response to DearAbby (Reply #40)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 07:50 PM

41. This is a debate we should be having

too bad its only within our party.

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Response to DearAbby (Reply #40)

Fri Feb 8, 2013, 11:10 AM

45. What's this I see here?

Drones as horrible as they are, at least they are more precise, less Human loss. Drones instead of invasion, better than our children's life blood.

In other words, let's risk killing THEIR children to dissuade them from killing OUR children?

Do you realize how tribal that sounds? As if only OUR children are precious.

You have fallen for the bullshit "anything to protect the children" meme that's all over the MSM.

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Response to Lydia Leftcoast (Reply #45)

Fri Feb 8, 2013, 03:34 PM

47. Thank you n/t

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Response to Lydia Leftcoast (Reply #45)

Fri Feb 8, 2013, 05:38 PM

49. Yeah

that is about it. Same dilemma Truman had. Not an easy decision. We don't live in a Utopian world yet. Drones are just a tactical weapon, you have about as good of luck getting rid of them then you do a stealth bomber. If they had a sniper in place they would have issued the same order.

You're not going to end war overnight, and countries will not disarm over night. Drones being more precise can get the bad guys with minimal human lives lost. The weapon isn't going to disappear.

I still believe we have to defend ourselves. I am a bit more hawkish than you are. Not going to throw down our defenses to sing kum by ya.

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Response to DearAbby (Reply #49)

Fri Feb 8, 2013, 06:59 PM

52. I don't agree that these are all necessarily bad guys

For example, many of the so-called "insurgents" in Iraq were simply ordinary people who resented foreigners invading their country. A film clip that ran ONCE after U.S. troops entered Baghdad showed huge crowds of people standing beside the streets with their thumbs up as U.S. convoys rolled by. The news commentator gushed that the crowds of people with their thumbs up showed that the Iraqi people approved of the invasion. I knew better, because a friend who had traveled in the Middle East once told me that the "thumbs up" sign there means "fuck you." I guess someone must have clued the newscasters, because that clip was never shown again.

There's an article in Harper's from about September 2005 detailing what the Bush administration did to civilians in Iraq once it had control. If that had happened to you, you would have become an insurgent, too.

A lot of the "insurgents" in Afghanistan were ordinary uneducated shlubs from the back country who were susceptible to propaganda about "infidels" come to "destroy Islam," just like the Russians.

Being SENSIBLE and HUMANE is not "singing kumbaya."

These "enemies" are enemies that successive U.S. governments CREATED beginning in the 1950s by meddling in countries it didn't understand (or chose not to understand) just so that they could control the oil (instead of thinking that maybe such abject dependence on oil wasn't a good idea).

Overthrowing Mossadegh in Iran and treating the Shah as some kind of hero of Western democracy was stupid and greedy. He wiped out all his moderate opponents till only Khomeini was left. (It's like some American president wiping out all his sensible political opponents until only Pat Robertson is left.)

Arming and encouraging the Afghan rebels, even BEFORE the Soviets went in, was stupid and counterproductive. The Afghans might be under Communism! Oh noes! Look what they did in the neighboring Central Asian regions! Universal secular education and women's rights and no opium trade! The horror!

Encouraging Saddam Hussein in the Iraq-Iran war of the 1980s and treating him as if he was some hero just because he was against Iran was stupid.

The Gulf War was unnecessary. (Kuwait was no democracy and still isn't and is ruled by one of the nastiest, most arrogant families on the planet. I've met some of them. Two sets of creeps fighting each other is no reason to intervene.)

The CIA actively encouraged the Taliban to take over after the Soviets left. No one in the U.S. government cared about women's rights or other repression, despite the pleas of feminists and leftists, until the Taliban failed to allow an oil pipeline through their country. Then all of a sudden, they were evil.

(This is why I see cries of "remember the women of Afghanistan!" to be pure hypocrisy when uttered by a Beltway type.)

Then there's the way the U.S. supports Israel no matter what, even when it does something stupid (Begin's move to put Jewish settlements in one of the most crowded places on earth among a hostile population was mind-bogglingly stupid unless he was deliberately trying to stir up trouble, which in retrospect, I think he was).

The whole region is built around a revenge ethic. If someone does something to you, you are duty bound to seek revenge or your family honor is besmirched. That's one reason the Israel-Palestine situation is so intractable: both sides keep going for revenge for the previous attack. Every "terrorist" killed by U.S. drones or combat rifles or grenades or aerial bombing or under torture has a huge extended family, and every member of that family will see it as his or her duty to kill Americans.

I've spent a lot of time in Japan. I highly recommend living in a foreign country, not on a military base or in a diplomatic compound or in a golden businessperson's ghetto, but among ordinary people. You learn stuff you could never learn in books, and one of these is how the U.S. looks from the outside. Basically, it looks like a bratty bully. Really, and a very conspicuous minority of U.S. military personnel in Japan personify the bratty bully when they're off their bases.

Now having spent time in Japan, I'm aware that a certain percentage of the Japanese population still thinks of World War II in terms of the world ganging up on Japan for no reason. It's always "how much we suffered"--and Japanese civilians did suffer tremendously-- but among that group of people, there seems to be no awareness that Japan started the war in the Pacific.

That's the kind of attitude I find among Beltway types, people who've been indoctrinated into the military mindset, and people who believe everything the MSM tell them: "We have all these enemies, we poor innocent little Americans, who hate us just because they're evil."

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Response to Lydia Leftcoast (Reply #52)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 02:51 AM

62. +1

 

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Response to Lydia Leftcoast (Reply #45)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 09:25 AM

80. Thanks Lydia. n/t

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Response to DearAbby (Reply #40)

Fri Feb 8, 2013, 03:36 PM

48. Unfortunately, we all KNOW why Bush would never had used a drone (or any other weaponry)

against Bin Laden at Tora Bora. Recall that the raid took place BEFORE the invasion of Iraq.

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Response to DearAbby (Reply #40)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 09:39 AM

82. Drones are here to stay because people buy into the fear racket and condone them and support them

Until the attitudes change, that value the lives of your children over the lives of everyone else's children, then yeah they'll be here to stay.

Propaganda works. They don't even need to do it well anymore.

Define treason.

Define this nebulous *enemy*. Who is it? The little guys all over the world who don't appreciate being pushed around by North Americans just because we put all our money into weapons to push them around with.

Wake up because pretty soon they'll be coming for your children based "on the Testimony of two Witnesses" in some Secret Court because this is one thing that's guaranteed to trickle down. Homeland Security will have little "secret courts" all over the place and when they come for one of your children who stepped out of line, it will be too late to be concerned all of a sudden and get any support from the rest of a population that's cowering in fear.

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Response to Lydia Leftcoast (Original post)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 07:58 PM

42. The real problem

If we can justify drone strikes through some veiled legal process, then other countries, never mind our own government. The United States prides itself on being the sanctuary for oppressed and hunted refugees from around the world. Now we have provided other nations with the legal justification to do as we do. How will you feel when china or North Korea uses a drone on us and you or your family are "collateral damage"? Not gonna happen? OK. Never mind.

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Response to Augiedog (Reply #42)

Fri Feb 8, 2013, 06:19 PM

50. China or North Korea

 

have every right to defend themselves. We only have a truce with North Korea. We still have troops facing each other, infact I was stationed on the border with North Korea. A terrorist organization attacked the U.S. and killed her citizens. It bought down major buildings in our most populous city and it affected our economy. It was similar to the attack on Pearl Harbor.
Congress gave the President authorization to go after the individuals that did it with any means.

The only thing we agree with is the attack on Iraq but the Taliban refused to turn over Ben Laden. So we attacked. He fled Afghanistan and was later killed in Pakistan. They claimed they didn't know where he was, but it didn't fool me. They didn't believe their Government or their citizens. So the President took him out. They were harboring a Terrorist. If the American citizen in the U.S. was innocent of charges, then he should have remained in the U.S. and faced charges but he fled to a country where he thought that he would be safe. That is how it goes when you have the most powerful military in the world. That is reality. I don't think any country except fanatics would be stupid enough to go to War and give the U.S. an excuse to send their country back to the Stone Age!

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Response to John2 (Reply #50)

Fri Feb 8, 2013, 08:55 PM

55. So would you actually tell a Chinese dissident to go back to China and

"face the charges"?

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Response to John2 (Reply #50)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 04:28 PM

85. Actually, the Taliban OFFERED to turn over Bin Laden ...

They just asked us to provide the evidence that he was guilty, and that upon our doing so to their satisfaction, they would send him to a 'neutral' third-party country for trial.

Now they might've been full of shit of course, but we didn't even give 'em a chance to make good. The plans to invade Afghanistan were on Bush's desk on Sept 9, 2001. And the Iraq war plans were also in the draft phase at that point, I'm quite sure. The best evidence for this is the leaks of Cheney's early 2001 meeting to draft the (secret) US Energy Policy ... the one where they had out maps of Iraq, deciding which big oil company was going to get which of Iraq's prized oil fields.

'So We Attacked' ... as if that was the ONLY option available to us. Not only were there OTHER options, there were also BETTER options, clearly ... given that he ended up fleeing and staying on the lamb for 11 years or so after we chose this option, it's pretty clear it wasn't a very good one. That's not to mention the co$t in lives and treasure, and the long-term obligations we've created for ourselves as a result.

Reality is that BushCo and his MiC cohorts WANTED OBL alive ... he was the gift that kept giving for him and his cronies. In fact, it's said he worked for the CIA at one point, and I'd not be surprised to discover that he did so until the day of his death (although I'm frankly not entirely convinced that his death actually occurred the way we were told it did, but that's a debate for another time and place).

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Response to Lydia Leftcoast (Original post)

Fri Feb 8, 2013, 02:06 AM

44. Dones, Coming To The Skies Near You.

It's The Serious, Adult, Tough-Decisions, Bipartisan Thing To Do

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Response to Lydia Leftcoast (Original post)

Fri Feb 8, 2013, 07:40 PM

54. HUGE K & R !!! - Thank You !!!




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Response to Lydia Leftcoast (Original post)

Fri Feb 8, 2013, 09:17 PM

57. But..but..seeing as we can't win an actual war we must seem to be doing something.

However ineffective, short sighted, and ineffective. Drones are perfect PR weapons. They accomplish almost nothing but make more terrorists but give the Pentagon and the politicians a chance to crow about super weapons that will somehow bring about victory in an already lost war.

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Response to Lydia Leftcoast (Original post)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 03:38 PM

71. I find your argument absurd and your last line rather disgraceful

Putting the Nazis on trial cost the lives of something like 600,000 Americans and how many German children were collateral damage?

And you think drones are more shameful than war?

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Response to hfojvt (Reply #71)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 06:49 PM

72. Sending drones into another country IS an act of war

and a war we have no business fighting.

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Response to Lydia Leftcoast (Original post)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 08:56 AM

77. Funny how WWII always gets a pass as

being wholly noble when war crimes, unpunished, were committed by Allied troops too. It's historical fact which gets ignored.

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Response to Lydia Leftcoast (Original post)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 09:02 AM

78. Thanks for a brilliant rant- copied to read whenever the BS overflows

 

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Response to Lydia Leftcoast (Original post)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 09:40 AM

83. Well said.

Thank you.

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Response to Lydia Leftcoast (Original post)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 04:06 PM

84. Thank You

K&R and a special rec for post 52

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Response to Lydia Leftcoast (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 04:35 AM

86. Point by point deconstruction...

The drones SEEM OK to a lot of people because we're bombing faceless brown people who hate the U.S. and live in a faraway country.

No, the drones seem okay because we're bombing people who we absolutely know are foreign enemy terrorists. The use of guided munitions is nearly the exact opposite of "faceless".

Facts: 1
This article: 0

But look at it this way. Suppose the government sent drone strikes against American neighborhoods where Mafia figures or seditious right-wing militia leaders lived. Would we accept the same excuses?

We did during the civil war, except it was naval bombardment of southern cities.

Facts: 2
This article: 0

That they were too dangerous to get at by legal means? That the deaths of their children were just "collateral damage"? That if the targeting wasn't accurate and a neighbor's house was blown up instead, that was just too bad, but perhaps the neighbors shouldn't have agreed to let the Mafia boss or militia leader live in their neighborhood?

Of all acts of war, drone strikes have the absolutely lowest percentage of injury and death to bystanders... ever.

Facts: 3
This article: 0

Come to think of it, our government has actually used the first two excuses in its attack on David Koresh's followers in Waco, Texas, a few years back. The members of the cult, including Koresh, frequently went into town to buy supplies, and the authorities could have arrested them then and there with a minimum of fuss. Noooo, they had to play cowboy and mount a siege and then an attack, and we were told that the children who were killed were just "collateral damage" and that their parents shouldn't have joined the cult.

First, they didn't "mount a siege". That happened after the initial failed attempt to simply arrest him. Second, while there are Republican conspiracy theorists who spew all kinds of B.S. on this, there is indisputable evidence that at least five of the children who died in the compound were shot execution style by a weapon wielded by Steve Schneider (Koresh's right hand man). And third, besides seriously using the same arguments that Timothy McVeigh used to justify bomb the Federal Building in Oklahoma City, this has nothing to do with drones.

Facts: 4, 5 (could be 6 and 7 too - but I'll be nice)
This article: 0

We see this again and again on the world stage. There's a certain percentage of the population that has never grown out of childish video game revenge fantasies and loves the idea of watching perceived enemies get blown up at a distance, even if they would not be willing to go in themselves and kill a perceived enemy and his wife and children and neighbors with an axe or even a handgun.

This policy is being pursued under the direct direction of the President of the United States, who has shown no propensity to engage in "video game revenge fantasies".

Facts: 6
This article: 0

And let's get practical here. Killing (not "taking out"--let's be realistic about what we're saying) ONE or even a DOZEN alleged insurgents will make only a negative difference in the bogus War on Terror, because individuals aren't the problem.

First of all, the people killed have friends and extended families, and their cultural norms will require them to seek revenge. Each drone strike creates more terrorists. (If you want to facilitate further corporate dominance and eroded civil liberties by putting the nation on an endless war footing, make sure that you fight an unwinnable war against a vaguely defined enemy whose numbers will only multiply. Such a deal for the military-industrial complex and so easy to have the mass media persuade the uninformed that anything and everything the MIC dreams up is essential for "national security.")

Discounting the fact that the number of terrorist attacks against civilians has declined dramatically since the start of this program, arguably as a result of bringing consequence to the leaders of these theocratic drug-financed gangsters (i.e. 'order the murder of a 14 year old schoolgirl who dares to say women should be able to get an education? get a missile through your window'), this article's thesis doesn't account for 9/11. We were not using drones, yet were still attacked anyway.

It must be very comforting to believe that all the worlds security problems are entirely the fault of the U.S., because then by golly, all we need to do to make everyone sing in peace and harmony is to just stop doing bad things! The only problem with this worldview is that it is entirely false. The number of worldwide deaths through war has absolutely plunged under America's leadership, which lead most people to think that we're the solution, not the problem.

Facts: 7
This article: 0

Second, I'm sorry to break the news to all you "America's the greatest country in the world and we're always on the side of truth and justice" grade school patriots, but the REAL problem is and has always been the behavior of successive Republican and Democratic governments in the Middle East. Oil companies call the shots in our system, and in the interests of ensuring a continued, low-priced flow of "our" (our?) oil from the Middle East, U.S. governments have supported anyone who will play nice with the oil companies, no matter how badly they treat their own people. (Our government loved Saddam Hussein for decades before it hated him.)

The U.S. gets nearly NO oil from the Middle East. We are largely supplied by ourselves, Venezuela, and Canada.

Facts: 8
This article: 0

I'm afraid that in the realm of international relations, America's morality has deteriorated in the past seventy years.

In 1945, the Allies put the surviving members of the German government on trial at Nuremberg. The conclusion was foregone, but the world heard a full account of their crimes before they were executed or imprisoned. We didn't just send soldiers out to kill the top Nazis and their families. (That's what the Nazis did in the countries they conquered.)

So in 1945, we could formally arrest, imprison, and hold trials for the top Nazis, the men who planned to conquer Europe and wipe out all "non-Aryans," and in 2013, we have to send drones to get ONE GUY who may be aiding Al Qaeda (or may not be--we never see the evidence. What if someone being held for the CIA in a foreign prison gave his name under torture just to make the torture stop?) and risk killing his whole family and several of his neighbors?

Oh wait, you're serious! Let me laugh even harder!

In WW2, we bombed the fuck out of Germany and Japan. Here, whoever agrees with with this hackneyed POS article, have a look at this. One hundred times more civilians died in a single air raid on Toyko than everybody who has ever been killed in this entire drone campaign, terrorist and bystander, combined.

The fact is that we had those NAZI leaders in custody. That's entirely different from a combatant out in the field.

Facts: 9
This article: 0 (a bonus, though, for making me laugh at it's sheer stupidity)

The system is rotten, infiltrated with blood lust and money lust, and I do blame Obama for going along with it. He has a history of appeasing his opponents, so if the Experts and Very Serious People and Legal Equivocators say that we need to go after individuals with drones, his natural tendency will be to do what they say.

But he IS Commander-in-Chief. He could say NO. He could say, "You know, about Iran, I bet if we didn't have them surrounded on all sides by U.S. military installations, they wouldn't be so belligerent. You know, there are a lot of people in the Middle East who hate us for very good reasons, and why are we always intervening when we only screw up every time we go in there?"

For the record, while we are spying on Iran with drones, there has not been a single drone strike against Iran. We've even rescued their sailors from Somali pirates. Twice. And the truth is that this article gets the cause and effect precisely wrong. The reason why Iraq is surrounded by military installations is because they have a history of bad behavior, including promoting terrorism, not the reverse.

Facts: 10
This article: 0

So once again, I am ashamed to be an American, and I've lost track of how many times in my life I've had to say this.

Of course you are, dear. Of course you are.

- C.D. Proud Member of the Reality Based Community

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Response to ConservativeDemocrat (Reply #86)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 04:40 AM

87. Stopped reading after you graded your own baseless statement as a fact.

Your very first statement was completely baseless and you labeled it as a fact.

There was no reason to read any more because that made it clear you cannot discern fact from opinion.

Glad I didn't waste any further time once I glanced at the bottom and saw the sexist condescension and the ridiculous tag line of

- C.D. Proud Member of the Reality Based Community

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Response to Bonobo (Reply #87)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 02:51 PM

89. Of course you did: facts are "baseless" when you don't want them to be true.

From LL's original screed:
The drones SEEM OK to a lot of people because we're bombing faceless brown people who hate the U.S. and live in a faraway country.


From an article published in the New York Times Secret ‘Kill List’ Proves a Test of Obama’s Principles and Will (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/29/world/obamas-leadership-in-war-on-al-qaeda.html?_r=2&hp&pagewanted=all)
President Obama, overseeing the regular Tuesday counterterrorism meeting of two dozen security officials in the White House Situation Room, took a moment to study the faces.

- C.D. Proud Member of the Reality Based Community


p.s. "Reality Based" is a slam on Karl Rove, who rather famously claimed that Bush administration would "make its own reality" in Iraq. And in truth, that kind of mentality fairly describes many Republicans. It is rather personally embarrassing to me to find people on my side of the fence also take that kind of attitude to truth, which is the reason why I'm actually bothering to introduce you to them.

Mr. Bonobo? Please meet facts. Facts? Please meet Mr. Bobono.

p.p.s. Please admit it, when you used the smiley, you weren't actually laughing. I interpret that smiley as more of a "La-la-la-la-I-can't-heeeeear-you" sort of thing. That's how it's typically used.

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Response to ConservativeDemocrat (Reply #86)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 11:10 AM

88. You mean "proud member of the rationalization community," don't you?

Behind all your high-flown rhetoric is the jingoistic mindset that has been steadily destroying America's reputation for my entire life.

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Response to Lydia Leftcoast (Reply #88)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 03:43 PM

92. Characterizations are fair...

If you want to disagree with me on purely moral terms, I have no problem with that. In truth, it would be a happier world where we didn't have any war, including this low-intensity warfare between these Islamic knuckle-draggers who want to keep women in their "place" by bombing civilians, and our deliberate, individual, targeting of them by drones.

All I ask is that you check your facts before you write a screed.

We are winning the war on war (http://www.amazon.com/Winning-War-Decline-Conflict-Worldwide/dp/0452298598). And yes, the U.S. usually is relegated in this to being the "bad cop" to the UN's "good cop". But don't you ever forget that one of President Clinton's greatest regrets is that he didn't intervene in Rwanda earlier. And people the world over were angry at us for our lack of timely intervention.

I'd love for us to not have to be the world's policeman. Among other things, it's damned expensive. But the unfortunate truth is that the world needs a policeman. And the majority of not only Americans, but liberal Democrats, recognize this.

- C.D. Proud Member of the Reality Based Community


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Response to ConservativeDemocrat (Reply #92)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 05:34 PM

93. Who says the world needs a policeman?

I can't think of a situation in my lifetime that the U.S. hasn't made WORSE by intervening (Iraq) or where "policing" isn't just the cover for economic exploitation (Central America).

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Response to Lydia Leftcoast (Reply #93)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 10:25 PM

94. Not to put too fine a point on it...

...but given the facts, or lack of them, in the OP, let me humbly suggest that perhaps you've just been looking hard enough. Or your filters are so high that you just won't acknowledge certain things.

One of the problems of being a policeman is that it isn't the 1000 calls that are handled without incident, it's the one screwup by the idiot in force (GW. Bush) that gets all the publicity. In fact, when ideally handled, police power doesn't end in arrest or (in the case of world-policing) war. Right now, as we speak, the U.S. presence in the Japan/China island disputes is helping to prevent things from spinning out of control.

But even when it does get to outright war, absolutely beneficial events like saving Kosovo did not happen due to all those sternly worded U.N. letters to Slobodan Milošević. It happened when President Clinton said "enough is enough" and brought a halt to their "ethnic cleansing" through a targeted bombing campaign. And the Serbians were, it turned out, more than happy to rid themselves of that tinpot dictator, once they were given a chance. No oil involved.

I could go on for a lot longer, but instead let me bring you back to the basic facts. War is in precipitous decline. There is a reason for that. And it's little to do with sudden outbreak of goodness and niceness among the corrupt world elites. It more has to do with much higher personal risk to those elites who call for war. Suddenly it isn't just the grunts who do all the dying.

I will say that Republicans who push for belligerence in nearly everything can often make things worse. But even in terms of your named example of "making things worse" Iraq - the senior George H.W. Bush, did a fine job kicking Iraq out of Kuwait without any serious trouble. Indeed, other nations *paid* for us to do so. So we certainly didn't make it worse, as you posit.

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Response to ConservativeDemocrat (Reply #94)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 11:08 PM

95. The Europeans did most of the work in Kosovo

the U.S. was there only because of NATO obligations.

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Response to Lydia Leftcoast (Reply #95)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 12:49 PM

96. Please, before you just say things like this, do some research

The U.S. has more military firepower than the next five nations world wide combined.

Also, please review the following, an accounting of this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NATO_bombing_of_Yugoslavia

A large element of the operation was the air forces of NATO, relying heavily on the American Air Force and Navy. The French Navy and Air Force operated the Super Etendard and the Mirage 2000. The Italian Air Force operated with 34 Tornado, 12 F-104, 12 AMX, 2 B-707, the Italian Navy operated with Harrier II. The British Royal Air Force operated the Harrier GR7 and Tornado ground attack jets as well as an array of support aircraft. Belgian, Danish, Dutch and Turkish Air Forces operated F-16s. The Spanish Air Force deployed F-18s and KC-130s. The Canadian Air Force deployed a total of 18 CF-18s, enabling them to be responsible for 10% of all bombs dropped in the operation. The fighters were armed with both guided and unguided "dumb" munitions, including the Paveway series of laser-guided bombs. The bombing campaign marked the first time the German Air Force actively participated in combat operations since the end of World War II.

However, NATO forces relied mostly upon the Americans and the proven effectiveness of its air power by using the F-16, F-15, F-117, F-14, F-18, EA-6B, B-52, KC-135, KC-10, AWACS, and JSTARS from bases throughout Europe and from aircraft carriers in the region. The American B-2 Spirit stealth bomber also saw its first successful combat role in Operation Allied Force, all while striking from its home base in the continental United States.


Lydia, you can't just make something true by saying it's true. That's what FOX news, Glenn Beck, and Rush Limbaugh do. Democrats are better than that.

-C.D. Proud Member of the Reality Based Community

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Response to ConservativeDemocrat (Reply #96)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 04:44 PM

97. "The U.S. has more military firepower than the next five nations world wide combined. "

And THAT is exactly the problem. Using it in situations where we have no business intervening is an overwhelming temptation.

The U.S. was there because Clinton wanted to be there, not because Britain and France, two of the other nations with a military out of proportion to their size, couldn't have overcome Serbia (Serbia!) on their own. How many fighter jets does Serbia have? How many do Britain and France have?

I think the world as a whole would be better off if the U.S. military (and every other overgrown military) were cut back to strictly defensive needs.

You may disagree. So what? The entire Washington Establishment (most of whose children will never go to war) agrees with YOU. The U.S. government will keep launching global military interventions while our domestic infrastructure rots and an unconscionably large percentage of our population lives below the poverty line.

But what's it to the Beltway Establishment? They don't care.

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Response to Lydia Leftcoast (Reply #97)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 09:16 PM

98. Lydia, again, your perceptions run contrary to the facts...

Britain and France couldn't even sustain a bombing campaign in Libya without our help (which by the way, is another example of successful military intervention - that one man decided on: President Obama). And unlike Serbia, Libya had absolutely no airforce, and was in a desert, which made hiding equipment much more difficult.

The Serbian strategy was simple. They expected to be able to weather the bombing campaign, largely by camouflaging their military, continuing to empty the country of ethnic Albanians, and daring anyone to invade (for which there would be clear military casualties). Slobodan believed that for all their words, Europeans didn't really care enough about the Kosovarians to care if he treated them like Hitler treated the jews. At least not enough for their own kids to be killed over saving them. All bark, no bite.

Further, he had a bunch of pretty sophisticated anti-air defenses. Several aircraft were shot down in that campaign, including one of our vaunted "stealth" bombers, which didn't turn out to be all that stealthy when subjected to multiple radar sources (the so-called radar "invisibility" is uni-directional).

Had we taken more casualties, and the Serbians had more success, Slobodon might have been right. And he would have effectively won the war. And that means that if the U.S. wasn't in the war, we would have lost.

I won't even go into his incredible diplomatic coup of getting the Greeks to agree to overflights of their country, which was crucial. If you understand how Greeks and Albanians get along, you'd realize just what a master of communication he was.


Finally, my thesis is much different than the Washington Establishment. I largely agree with you that having a large amount of power gives you the temptation to use it. I simply note that Democrats seem to use U.S. military power as it should be: a subtle prod, used only as a last resort. While Republicans are (with the sole exception of Bush 1 in Kuwait), jingoistic idiots. The Washington Establishment instead believes that Republicans are tough (which is good) and Democrats are weak (which is bad). And never seems to notice that near all our military and foreign policy successes happen under Democratic presidents.

I will also note that the phrase "strictly defensive needs" is basically what we hang our hat on for just about anything. NATO is a defensive organization, except when preventing massacres. So is ANZUS. And SEATO. And CENTO. And the Mutual Defense Treaty with the Philippines. And the U.S. and Japan Mutual Defense Assistance Agreement. All of these call for the U.S. to have military to hold up its end of the bargain.

In fact, it's pretty clear looking at this that if the U.S. wasn't doing this, there would be a lot more military around the globe, under the command of a lot more unstable actors. I'm pretty sure you would consider that a bad thing.

- C.D. Proud Member of the Reality Based Community

p.s. None of this has to do with the lack of funding for domestic infrastructure, which we could pay for incredibly easily through eliminating tax-loopholes for the mega-wealthy.

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Response to ConservativeDemocrat (Reply #98)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 09:50 PM

100. Conflicts like Libya and Syria are treated like Evil vs. Good in the U.S. media, but

the truth is a lot more nuanced. The government opponents are no angels. Recall that after Qaddafi was overthrown, the rebels started massacring black Africans.

The Serbian government was the aggressor in Kosovo, no doubt, but the breakup of Yugoslavia set all sorts of bad stuff loose on all sides. My church in Portland sponsored refugees from Bosnia and Kosovo, so we heard stories about atrocities from all quarters.

Again, a more nuanced situation than Serbs bad, other groups good.

There are ethnic conflicts going on all over the world all the time: Tamils vs. Sinhalese, Lao vs. Hmong, Darfur, Somalia, Pakistanis vs. Indians in Kashmir, Russians vs. Chechens, Chinese vs. Tibetans, general chaos in the Congo, government vs. Indians in the Andean countries of South America, Fijians vs. East Indians, Israelis vs. Palestinians. We can't intervene in all of them. They are a sad fact of life.



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Response to Lydia Leftcoast (Reply #100)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 04:29 AM

101. I agree that things are nuanced...

...and I know that the Serbians, as a people, were not bad. Heck, they threw out their leadership after the war.

And it is certainly true that just because a group is presently a victim, that doesn't mean that they're angels themselves. That's obvious. (Although most of the attacks in Libya against Africans were reprisal killings on the mercenaries that Qaddafi hired; and while there was clearly also extra-judicial murders of black migrant workers who were not mercenaries, this seems to be only a handful of relatively isolated incidents that were quickly brought to an end.)

Still, I think you're proving my point. There are ethnic conflicts going on all over the the world, and yet they seem to be getting less and less severe with each passing decade. This isn't because people are now angels. It's because of U.S. soft-power (a.k.a. "western" power), significantly better communications that make it so that leaders don't become fooled into thinking they are stronger than they are, institutions that have been built up largely under U.S. influence which act as a negative economic consequences, and... when all else fails... the ability to point to the U.S. military and say "talk to us or deal with them".

That's what really pissed the world off about Iraq. The unstated understanding developed during Bush 1's and Clinton's terms, which was that the U.S. would apply its military only when its ally's diplomats failed, was all thrown out the window by Dubya. These days though, we're quickly returning to the ways things used to be. And the world is safer for it.

- C.D. Proud Member of the Reality Based Community

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Response to Lydia Leftcoast (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 03:17 PM

90. Agree 100%. This should be front and center on the 'Greatest' page

 

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Response to Lydia Leftcoast (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 03:23 PM

91. Well said, Lydia. Thanks. nt

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