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Sun Feb 10, 2013, 11:48 PM

To those who say drones and B-52's are indistinguishable, a question.

Do you think a president could get away with sending B-52's to bomb targets in any country they want?

If they suddenly sent a B-52 to bomb targets in Niger or Syria, would they be able to "get away with it"?

If you answer no, as I think you must, then ask yourself 2 follow-up questions:

1. Why is that true, and

2. What sort of abuses will that make possible as a result.

Then, re-examine your argument that drones and B-52's are the same.

47 replies, 2496 views

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Arrow 47 replies Author Time Post
Reply To those who say drones and B-52's are indistinguishable, a question. (Original post)
Bonobo Feb 2013 OP
Agnosticsherbet Feb 2013 #1
Bonobo Feb 2013 #2
Agnosticsherbet Feb 2013 #4
Bonobo Feb 2013 #6
Agnosticsherbet Feb 2013 #8
Gman Feb 2013 #3
Bonobo Feb 2013 #5
Gman Feb 2013 #9
TomClash Feb 2013 #10
Bonobo Feb 2013 #11
Fla_Democrat Feb 2013 #7
PeaceNikki Feb 2013 #41
jeff47 Feb 2013 #12
Bonobo Feb 2013 #13
jeff47 Feb 2013 #14
Bonobo Feb 2013 #15
jeff47 Feb 2013 #16
Bonobo Feb 2013 #17
jeff47 Feb 2013 #43
msongs Feb 2013 #18
Egalitarian Thug Feb 2013 #19
alcibiades_mystery Feb 2013 #20
Bonobo Feb 2013 #21
cliffordu Feb 2013 #22
Bonobo Feb 2013 #23
cliffordu Feb 2013 #24
Bonobo Feb 2013 #25
cliffordu Feb 2013 #26
Bonobo Feb 2013 #27
cliffordu Feb 2013 #28
Bonobo Feb 2013 #29
cliffordu Feb 2013 #31
Bonobo Feb 2013 #32
cliffordu Feb 2013 #33
Bonobo Feb 2013 #35
cliffordu Feb 2013 #36
Bonobo Feb 2013 #37
cliffordu Feb 2013 #44
Bonobo Feb 2013 #46
cliffordu Feb 2013 #47
Kolesar Feb 2013 #34
Socal31 Feb 2013 #30
quaker bill Feb 2013 #38
Bonobo Feb 2013 #39
quaker bill Feb 2013 #42
Mr.Bill Feb 2013 #40
Katashi_itto Feb 2013 #45

Response to Bonobo (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 12:05 AM

1. A B-52 has a on-board human crew. It's longest bombing mission was 35 hours.

A Drone's crew sits in an air conditioned room in Nevada, or some other base remote from the battlefield. a b-52's crew is exposed to the hazards of the battlefield.

We bombed Iraq from the United States. Technologically, there would be no difficulty bombing Niger or Syria. it is a much bigger target that your average drone, however, and would be more likely to be shot down by a country.

Diplomatically, there is no difference between using a drone and using a Long Range bomber. Without permission of the governments of those countries, it could be viewed as an act of war.

The real advantage of a drone are their small size, their stealth, their relative low cost, and they don't put a crew in danger of capture or death.

Both would be open to the same sort of abuses.

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Response to Agnosticsherbet (Reply #1)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 12:07 AM

2. So a president could send a B-52 to bomb a target in West Africa and

it would only result in the same amount of complaints as that of a drone strike?

Do you really believe that? That a drone is not easier to use politically?

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Response to Bonobo (Reply #2)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 12:39 AM

4. Diplomatically, there is no difference between a drone and a B-52.

They are U.S. military assets attacking a targets in a foreign country. Use of either could be considered an act of war.

The advantage of the B-52 is that it could be launched from the U.S., hit its target, and return.

The Drone requires a launching site in the area, say the Deck of a Carrier, a base, or an airfield. As I understand it, a drone can loiter around the target area until it finds a suitable target. A drone carries a relatively small payload. A b-52 doesn't loiter, it goes, drops its bombs, and then returns. it carries a heavy payload.

They are very different systems.

The Iraq war, and for most of the Afghan war, Drones were not used. We used carrier based and land based bombers. The Afghan and Iraq wars saw the development of drones as weapons of war.

A Drone is easier because it doesn't endanger the pilot and it is much cheaper than a B-52 to operate.

It is also important to remember that in Yemen we operated drones with the permission of the government. Pakistan has not given formal permission and has complained about their use. Iran captured a drone.

However, a B-52 and a drone would be used for very different missions. Now, in Libya it should be remembered that we used Carrier and Land based bombers in support of the Libyan rebels. The Libyan government considered those attacks acts of war. We were using close air support and bombing military units. Drones just don't have the payload to do that.

I think the mission would be the determining factor on what the President uses. If we are looking for Al Qaida number three's and number 2's using cell phones, a drone makes a lot more sense. If we want stealth, a drone makes sense. If we are giving close air support to rebels, or attacking organized military units, bombers make sense because drones don't pack enough ordnance.

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Response to Agnosticsherbet (Reply #4)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 12:43 AM

6. All true, but respectfully, I feel you are dodging the point I am trying to make. nt

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Response to Bonobo (Reply #6)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 12:53 AM

8. If the President determines we need to bomb smething...

he will use the weapon system that makes sense.

In Libya, we used Carrier and land based bombers. In Pakistan and Yemen, we have used drones.

He suffered some trouble politically in the U.S. from Republicans who weren't crazy about his war in Libya. He has suffered almost no repercussions for Drone Warfare in Pakistan, Yemen, or the Horn of Africa. (Well, except for Pakistan where the people there are up in arms about attacks. It would no difference if we used B-52's to bomb those targets to the population, though the death toll would be much higher.)

If, say, we should get involved in Syria, he would use Carrier and Land based bombers to attack organized military units.

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Response to Bonobo (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 12:37 AM

3. Seriously? They're saying there's no difference between a B52 and a drone?

Drones can carpet bomb? Has DU descended that far on this issue? Hysteria runs rampant.

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Response to Gman (Reply #3)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 12:41 AM

5. Well their argument is that a drone is "preferable" because it is more "surgical"

and they further go on to say that there is no difference between killing with a drone or with a B-52.

My point is that argument ignores the political ease with which drones can be used without running to far afoul of arguments about "sovereignty" or claims of heavy-handed boots on the ground style warfare.

In that sense, it is a kinder, gentler warfare that is much harder to stop a President from abusing IMO.

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Response to Bonobo (Reply #5)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 01:22 AM

9. I pretty much agree with your points

No president should abuse it. It is a much kinder and gentler warfare and would be much more preferable to B-52 carpet bombing.

The pacifist purists will insist that no one be killed. While that is a highly noble ethos and should be what we strive for, in this evil ridden f*****g world we live in, either we die, or those who wish to kill us will die. I wish we didn't need a military. And having a military, I wish it were not for protecting and advancing the interests of the rich, but that's what we have and it's an evil f*****g world. So in this evil world, the least amount of killing necessary is a desirable goal, although it is not the ideal.

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Response to Bonobo (Reply #5)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 01:26 AM

10. We might see your argument tested soon enough!

And it appears you will probably be right.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jan/08/china-japan-drone-race

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Response to TomClash (Reply #10)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 01:30 AM

11. I live in Japan.

It is a great concern.

On the one hand, I am glad it may just be drones, but on the other hand, I think the ease with which people feel they can escalate to that step is opening the door to a broader escalation.

That is true in Asia as well as in the ME or anywhere they are used.

it is just TOO damned easy.

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Response to Bonobo (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 12:44 AM

7. Are they still together?









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Response to Fla_Democrat (Reply #7)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 07:19 AM

41. Hell yes! And touring!!

I finally got to see them this past summer. They spoke against Walker's attacks on unions here in WI and I think they performed at Obama election events as well.

They're amazing...

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Response to Bonobo (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 02:05 AM

12. Ask Laos and Cambodia

Seriously, why do people insist this is new, uncharted ground?

We blew up a whole lot of Laos and Cambodia during the Vietnam war. With B-52s. We weren't at war with either country. And the relevant presidents sure as hell got away with it.

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Response to jeff47 (Reply #12)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 02:12 AM

13. But this is not the 60's.

Those military actions were not wars, true, but it isn't so easy to say the Presidents got away with it. They all paid the political cost that we MUST make our presidents pay if they choose to use drones.

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Response to Bonobo (Reply #13)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 02:17 AM

14. What political cost?

What, exactly, was the political cost?

Nixon was overwhelmingly re-elected. He was impeached over a 3rd-rate burglary.
Johnson was also overwhelmingly re-elected. His popularity tanked because of the overall arc of the war, and his civil rights efforts pissed of white southerners. The bombings weren't a campaign issue.

Again, your post treats drone strikes as somehow a new diplomatic problem.

They're not. They're exactly the same as these B-52 bombings during Vietnam. Or Reagan's bombing of Libya. Or Israel's many bombing of it's neighbors.

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Response to jeff47 (Reply #14)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 02:21 AM

15. Let me restate for you.

Obama can get away with drone attacks in Middle East nations or African nations.

If he tried to do it with boots on the grounds, gunships or bombers, he would have to face the music.

Can we truly not even agree on that?

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Response to Bonobo (Reply #15)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 02:23 AM

16. Yes, but he could also "get away with" strikes launched by manned aircraft. (nt)

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Response to jeff47 (Reply #16)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 02:26 AM

17. Much less so.

And that is why drones are seductive and dangerous.

They "fly under the radar" in more ways than one.

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Response to Bonobo (Reply #17)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 09:02 AM

43. And as I keep pointing out, history does not agree with you.

Again, we bombed the shit out of Laos, and to a lesser extent Cambodia. The president at the time didn't suffer any penalty.

We've bombed Libya and Serbia since then without declaring war. Again, no penalty.

Israel's done a lot of bombing of it's neighbors, and again no penalty.

We've bombed and invaded Panama without declaring war and again no penalty.

So once again, why would there would be a penalty now when there's never been a penalty before?

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Response to Bonobo (Reply #15)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 02:28 AM

18. Americans love war, so both gwbush and obama will get away with it nt

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Response to Bonobo (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 02:41 AM

19. I think I see your point. The difference is that sooner of later, Pakistan or somebody will shoot

 

down a B-52 and the inevitable DoD cover-up will fail and there would be consequences. With a drone or a missile, what are they going to do? Invade Floriduh?

Unmanned, remote strikes have no downside. There's no risk whatsoever, and they know it. The political people that hate them will still hate them and the chuckleheads that worship them will forgive and excuse anything.

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Response to Bonobo (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 02:43 AM

20. I seem to remember President Clinton shooting cruise missiles all over the goddamn place

Since we're on the use of various weapons.

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Response to alcibiades_mystery (Reply #20)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 02:47 AM

21. Yes, true. Also enforcing a no-fly policy over Iraq.

500,000 children under the age of 5 died under Clinton's Iraq embargo and during his entire 8 years, he fired a shitload of missiles into there any time the Iraqis illuminated an aircraft with radar or the like.

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Response to Bonobo (Reply #21)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 02:52 AM

22. Citations, please.

Facts and figgers are your friend.

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Response to cliffordu (Reply #22)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 02:54 AM

23. Although it is Wikipedia, it is well sourced as you will see if you read.

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Response to Bonobo (Reply #23)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 02:57 AM

24. Why, thanks, I will read.

Although I gotta say, your reliance on the WIKI exclusively is consistent and kinda alarming.

Just sayin'

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Response to cliffordu (Reply #24)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 03:03 AM

25. Wikipedia is nothing more than a central locus for info from other sources.

It really has nothing to do with Wikipedia at all.

The figure of 500,000 is from UNICEF.

Surely you understand why I cannot furnish you with the original UNICEF study, right?

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Response to Bonobo (Reply #25)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 03:07 AM

26. Kool, but you DO know that the WIKI has been a source

of complete bullshit at times, right?

I mean edited by hysterics and propagandists, right?

I stopped reading it a couple of years ago except for word history as a result.

Easier than packing the OED around.

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Response to cliffordu (Reply #26)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 03:10 AM

27. I'm rather more shocked that you lived through the Clinton Admin and are so ignorant

of the Iraqi Sanctions and what they did to the country.

Now THAT is disturbing from a person that claims to have a grasp on the realities of the world.

As for Wiki being a source for complete bullshit, I sort of doubt it. It would't work for long because of the process of checks they use. Editors there can cancel each other out and unless something is well-sourced, it is quickly challenged and removed.

Can you link me to some of these WIKI untruths you refer to? It would seem fair for you, also, to put your money where your mouth is when you make a claim. Right?

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Response to Bonobo (Reply #27)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 03:31 AM

28. Meh.

We are empire and empire will kill whomever it needs to kill to stay in power.

Make no mistake, OUR - yours and my, opulent lifestyle depends on cheap minerals and oil to maintain the status quo.

All the rest of this - stuff- this political posturing is bullshit.

The multinationals run the world.

I back the Prez because I believe he will at least TRY to ameliorate the damage.


Soon, another empire will emerge and we will fade into irrelevance and our legacy will be 'Financial tools' and the Ponzi schemes that the world's banks learned from us.

As for the WIKI bullshit - I have no concrete citations that I can provide - but I specifically fought the shit that Microsoft employees used to post about LINUX on a regular basis - They were busted all over the place for it....FUD......

For about a year the idea that LINUX was a Socialist plot and unstable and weak was actually the first claim on the WIKI page.

And then there was a series of pages devoted to the idea that the Holocaust never occurred....

Wish I'd kept the screenshots, they were epic.

It's a PERFECT platform for propaganda.

As usual, YMMV.





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Response to cliffordu (Reply #28)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 03:41 AM

29. 500,000 dead children under 5 is "meh"? Just posturing bullshit? Maybe to you.

You asked for a source, seeming to know nothing about the mini-holocaust perpetrated against Iraq during the Clinton years. I gave you UNICEF study via Wikipedia.

You took a cheap shot at me by insinuating I didn't know my sources and only use Wikipedia which you tried to paint as somehow being propaganda only.

But when I ask you to provide sources to back up YOUR claim that Wikipedia is unreliable, you cannot back it up and spout some nonsense about holocaust denial that is not true.

Why don't you reset your auro-defense mechanism and admit that it was a terrible thing he did. Try NOT to rationalize it by pretending to be some kind of a real politic whizkid and admit you didn't know something that I just informed you about.

THAT would be refreshing AND honest and I would have more respect for you (which yes, I know you do not seek or desire)

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Response to Bonobo (Reply #29)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 03:53 AM

31. Again,

Meh.

I can cut and paste from the WIKI anytime I want to.

The WIKI has been a source of bad info for over a decade and you well know it.

Like the (since removed) 'recovered memories' pages about adults that claimed ritual slayings of infants and cannibal rituals all over the US.

Tell us all how Clinton killed half a million children. Please.

Might as well claim a brazillion.

Just because you can cut and paste from the innernets, you are NOT an expert.

I'm just a guy who wants to know what's really going on.
WIKI ain't it.


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Response to cliffordu (Reply #31)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 03:59 AM

32. Not about Wikipedia. Argue with UNICEF.

You do NOT want to know what's really going on or you would be prepared to learn new facts as they are presented to you.

You have confirmed my opinion of you...oh, and the reason things get REMOVED from Wikipedia is the same reason they can generally be trusted -which is to say that they demand sources and citations that are verifiable.

---------------------------
Iraqis blame sanctions for child deaths
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/418625.stm
At least she is surviving. Unicef estimates that at least 500,000 children have died, who ordinarily would have lived.

Iraq surveys show 'humanitarian emergency'
http://www.unicef.org/newsline/99pr29.htm

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Response to Bonobo (Reply #32)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 05:45 AM

33. SO: Saddam's Iraq claimed 500,000 deaths

And, an Iraqi survey claimed 'humanitarian emergency'.

Ignore of course the fact that Saddam was diverting the aid for the kids to his starving idiotic military.

Weak sauce -

Do you think UNICEF was given free reign to gather and collate the data??

I think as long as it smears Clinton or Obama you are all for it.

And that isn't opinion, Bonobo, that's just a reading of your WIKI copies.

And your opinion of me matters as much as.....well...nothing.

Your insistence on sliming Democrats at every possible turn does.

Makes me wonder.

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Response to cliffordu (Reply #33)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 06:25 AM

35. You could be the poster child for willfully blind and ignorant apologetics.

30 minutes ago you didn't even KNOW about the Iraqi sanctions and all of a sudden you have whipped up your own version of reality where they don't even exist and YOU know better than an entire UNICEF report.

Fucking hilariously sad.

Cliff's step-by-step intellectual progress:

1. Sanctions? What 500,000 dead! Sources please! Put up or shut up!

2. Oh, well err, umm... I don't believe Wikipedia

3. Okay, UNICEF, fine, but they probably just wrote down what Saddam told 'em. Oh, and you just want to slime Dems... I gotta, err, keep an eye on you! Ayup! Durp!

4. Sanctions? Yeah, I know all about that Wiki story. Totally made up!

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Response to Bonobo (Reply #35)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 06:32 AM

36. I Just read the links.

I knew about the Iraqi sanctions.

What I didn't know is that the WIKI pages you posted were based on Saddam era Iraqi propaganda.

But I do now.


Your personal attacks can continue, just like your cut'n paste expertise.

Another day, another fake in depth analysis. Such is life.



Maybe I should make your latest personal attack another sig line. Mebbe you can have that one removed, too.

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Response to cliffordu (Reply #36)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 07:09 AM

37. I have no idea what your sig line was, I never reported on it and I don't care. nt

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Response to Bonobo (Reply #37)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 09:48 AM

44. Well, OK then!!

Last edited Mon Feb 11, 2013, 05:39 PM - Edit history (1)



By the way - the photo is copyrighted by ME.

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Response to Bonobo (Reply #46)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 03:33 AM

47. Yet another link to someone else's work,

surprised you didn't cut'n paste some of the text, too.

You know, like you usually do.

Derp derp, indeed.

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Response to alcibiades_mystery (Reply #20)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 06:02 AM

34. My English Comp teacher would laud your use of terse language


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Response to Bonobo (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 03:44 AM

30. I don't think we have attacked or based drones anywhere that we did not have permission too.

Now, if that is wrong or right, there is not a black and white answer. The problem is the "normalization" of drones, which means at some point, it will spiral out of control.

And yes, the ISI feeds us the intelligence when we strike inside of Pakistan. The Yemeni government supports our new war there. We actually have/had bases that there are pictures of inside Pakistan that their government allowed, and then played to their people that they had no idea what was going on.

As far as I know, a done strike is preferred over a B-52. The problem is oversight. Who gets to draw up these death-lists? Who is watching the person who is drawing them up? Who is watching that person?



We have created a drone-race with China, Russia, and Iran, all copying our designs. We are 10+ years ahead, and now testing drones that can land on carriers. Who knows what we have at Groom Lake right now?

I am not worried about the NOW as much as I am about the future. Obama is not going to drone you for downloading S2E3 of Dexter. But as well all know, once the Genie is out of the bottle........

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Response to Bonobo (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 07:15 AM

38. Who is "getting away" with what?

I would not say they are the same as a B-52. They are more like an F-16 (just slower).

Have Presidents "gotten away" with sending in a sortie of F-16s? It depends on what you mean by "getting away". They certainly have done it and were not impeached for it.

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Response to quaker bill (Reply #38)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 07:17 AM

39. I mean it is relative.

Obama can send drones without causing much of a fuss COMPARED to what he would suffer with a bomber attack for example.

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Response to Bonobo (Reply #39)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 07:52 AM

42. Well, they are smaller and blow up less stuff

So, relatively speaking, perhaps the relative size of the reaction is related to the relative size of the boom?

One off cruise missle shots and quick in and out sorties like we flew over Iraq pretty much daily for a decade never got much of a reaction either.

Just say'n.

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Response to Bonobo (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 07:19 AM

40. Drones don't result in POWs

No shot down pilots to capture and hold prisoner.

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Response to Bonobo (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 10:46 AM

45. The Difference is....

The Boeing B-52 Stratofortress is a long-range, subsonic, manned, jet-powered strategic bomber. The B-52 was designed and built by Boeing, which has continued to provide support and upgrades. It has been operated by the United States Air Force (USAF) since the 1950s. The bomber carries up to 70,000 pounds (32,000 kg) of weapons.

Good for destroying cities, strategic targets, ending the world.

General Atomics MQ-1 PredatorThe longest declassified Predator flight to date lasted for 40 hours, 5 minutes.
All later Predators are equipped with a laser designator that allows the pilot to identify targets for other aircraft and even provide the laser-guidance for manned aircraft. This laser is also the designator for the AGM-114 Hellfire that are carried on the MQ-1.

Good for destroying/assasinating/killing ground personnel.

Major difference in scale and politics.

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