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Tue Feb 12, 2013, 01:33 PM

An Apache helicopter fires a Hellfire missile. A drone fires a Hellfire missile. (w/ edit)

Last edited Tue Feb 12, 2013, 02:05 PM - Edit history (1)

Both kill civilians.

Explain the difference.

I worry that we on the Left are having a "Forest for the Trees" moment with drones.

The wars we are fighting are wrong, have been wrong, and the tools we use to fight them have to be beside the point.

When you argue against drones, you're arguing for 150,000 troops in theater and saturation bombing. Or you're arguing for snipers. That's the commonly-accepted context.

But you're not arguing for either, are you?

Pitch the debate properly.

(/2 cents)

57 replies, 3288 views

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Arrow 57 replies Author Time Post
Reply An Apache helicopter fires a Hellfire missile. A drone fires a Hellfire missile. (w/ edit) (Original post)
WilliamPitt Feb 2013 OP
Enrique Feb 2013 #1
WilliamPitt Feb 2013 #2
Enrique Feb 2013 #8
EastKYLiberal Feb 2013 #3
Common Sense Party Feb 2013 #55
life long demo Feb 2013 #4
niyad Feb 2013 #5
bullwinkle428 Feb 2013 #16
frylock Feb 2013 #35
Tierra_y_Libertad Feb 2013 #6
tk2kewl Feb 2013 #7
WilliamPitt Feb 2013 #9
Agnosticsherbet Feb 2013 #10
Cali_Democrat Feb 2013 #14
Common Sense Party Feb 2013 #57
leveymg Feb 2013 #11
JoePhilly Feb 2013 #24
leveymg Feb 2013 #49
11 Bravo Feb 2013 #12
Sekhmets Daughter Feb 2013 #13
wandy Feb 2013 #15
niyad Feb 2013 #41
Fumesucker Feb 2013 #17
catnhatnh Feb 2013 #18
rosesaylavee Feb 2013 #19
Uncle Joe Feb 2013 #20
lumberjack_jeff Feb 2013 #21
Jersey Devil Feb 2013 #23
Motown_Johnny Feb 2013 #22
sir pball Feb 2013 #51
joshcryer Feb 2013 #25
niyad Feb 2013 #43
joshcryer Feb 2013 #46
OldDem2012 Feb 2013 #26
Jersey Devil Feb 2013 #28
OldDem2012 Feb 2013 #29
Luminous Animal Feb 2013 #38
quinnox Feb 2013 #27
Luminous Animal Feb 2013 #36
niyad Feb 2013 #45
quinnox Feb 2013 #50
Little Star Feb 2013 #30
mikeytherat Feb 2013 #31
hughee99 Feb 2013 #32
rhett o rick Feb 2013 #33
Union Scribe Feb 2013 #52
whatchamacallit Feb 2013 #34
Luminous Animal Feb 2013 #37
Luminous Animal Feb 2013 #39
WillyT Feb 2013 #40
Union Scribe Feb 2013 #53
arely staircase Feb 2013 #42
DisgustipatedinCA Feb 2013 #44
nadinbrzezinski Feb 2013 #47
Bonobo Feb 2013 #48
stillcool Feb 2013 #54
Common Sense Party Feb 2013 #56

Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 01:36 PM

1. we're not using Apache helicopters for targeted strikes n/t

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Response to Enrique (Reply #1)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 01:36 PM

2. We aren't?

And what's your argument against targeted strikes? I mean versus indiscriminate bombing?

I'm asking, by the way, because I need input and debate on this.

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Response to WilliamPitt (Reply #2)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 01:39 PM

8. actually we might be

I'm looking forward to Jeremy Scahill's movie where he follows JSOC around. Maybe they do use helicopters.

But the point is, that "drones" is a synecdoche for the targeted killing policy, just like Gitmo is for the detainee policy.

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Response to Enrique (Reply #1)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 01:36 PM

3. Uh...

 

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Response to Enrique (Reply #1)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 01:27 AM

55. Yes, we do. All the time.

They can fire missiles and take out targets from miles away, way before the target can even hear the rotor blades. Crazy advanced optics and guidance system.

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 01:37 PM

4. As far as I'm concerned, there is no difference

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 01:38 PM

5. I keep thinking about a scene from MASH-- a pilot is talking to hawkeye, bragging about what

a cushy job he has, drops his bombs, goes back to his house in tokyo for dinner. hawkeye takes him to the ward, where there are some children casualties of a bombing, to show him the face of his activities. he is horrified.

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Response to niyad (Reply #5)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 01:54 PM

16. I remember that episode. Made an impression for sure!

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Response to niyad (Reply #5)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 04:43 PM

35. this sums it up right here

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 01:38 PM

6. No difference. And, those that fire the missiles should be held accountable in a court of law.

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 01:39 PM

7. an apache helicopter flying over LA would raise some eyebrows

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Response to tk2kewl (Reply #7)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 01:42 PM

9. Really?

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Response to tk2kewl (Reply #7)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 01:47 PM

10. You-tube video of apache helicopters flying over LA...

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Response to Agnosticsherbet (Reply #10)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 01:52 PM

14. Actually that did raise a lot of eyebrows at the time

I live in LA. I remember it quite well.

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Response to Agnosticsherbet (Reply #10)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 01:55 AM

57. Technically those aren't Apache helicopters.

They're AH-1 Super Cobras. Marines.

But yes, they did fly over. I guess they didn't want to take the long way around.

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 01:49 PM

11. The drone is cheaper and more expendable, and all the more likely to be overused and abused.

Last edited Wed Feb 13, 2013, 12:00 AM - Edit history (1)

That's the main difference, Bill. Cost/benefit ratio as calculated by some bean counter in the Pentagon or at Langley.

Also, for some strange reason, foreign countries apparently don't complain as much about drone incursions than about having their airspace violated by U.S. manned aircraft.

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Response to leveymg (Reply #11)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 03:07 PM

24. The same could be said of every weapon advance.

An arrow has a longer range than a rock thrown by hand. I can kill you from further away than you can kill me.

A rifle has a longer range than a bow an arrow. I can kill you from further away than you can kill me.

A Cannon can kill lots of you guys with rifles.

I'll use an airplane to bomb your cannon.

War is all about cost / benefit analysis. Nothing new.

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Response to JoePhilly (Reply #24)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 11:59 PM

49. I would argue that never before has assassination been so cheap, easy and seemingly safe.

Drones are no doubt a technological step, rather than a giant leap. The rifle shot from a concealed position a thousand yards away is no doubt much easier than the assassin's dagger, but the sniper still puts himself in some jeopardy. The anonymous drone operator - faces no personal hazard at all, even less than the politician who signs the kill list drawn up by the intel bureaucrat.

It's become too easy to kill enemies to have any honor as an act of war, and that will also have its own blowback. I've always thought that the party that can claim the moral high-ground and the judgment of history wins the war, no matter who wins the battles.

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 01:49 PM

12. The only thing I can think of is that no US pilot is placed in harm's way when ...

a drone fires it's missile.
I would also assume that a drone operator is more easily able to accurately target their objective than would be a chopper jockey who was taking fire.

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 01:50 PM

13. One of the criticisms of modern warfare,

particularly air warfare, is the detachment a bomber pilot can have from the carnage caused by the bombs dropping from his plane. That applies to Apache helicopters and drones as well. However, when you can kill from the skies, without risking even a pilot, yet alone an entire flight crew (as in WW II) you've unleashed a monster. We dropped the bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki without careful consideration of what would happen when numerous countries had their own atomic weapons. Now, the dogs of war we've let loose are weapons that can much more easily be turned against us. What happens, when a cargo ship headed for Boston Harbor lets loose a drone or two on your fair city from a few miles out at sea?

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 01:53 PM

15. Not that it matters their may be one difference......

The person firing the missile from a helicopter has other things to worry about. Possible enemy fire not to mention keeping the dam thing in the air to begin with.

The person firing a missile from a drone does so from something probably more comfortable than my office. They know they are safe and no matter what happens to the drone no harm will come to them.
Human nature may make them less prone to mistakes.

Sure and heck, were their not drones it would be being done from helicopters. Or worse, mass indiscriminate carpet bombings employing B-52s.

Be nice if their were no need to do it by any means. I'll keep that on my wish list.



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Response to wandy (Reply #15)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 08:52 PM

41. and they never, EVER, have to come face to face with the carnage they have engendered.

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 01:56 PM

17. Our enemies (and we are making more by the day) can far more easily duplicate drones than Apaches

A drone can also be a cruise missile accurate to mere feet after crossing an intercontinental distance and can be put together these days for the cost of a high end bicycle or a decent used car.

It's been fifteen years since the first Atlantic crossing by a privately owned drone, today the technology is readily available right off the shelf.

Instead of promoting and encouraging drone warfare a truly farsighted government would be trying to limit the application scope of something that can get out of hand very easily.



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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 02:12 PM

18. Will, I think it is the human reaction to "no skin in the game"....

And no, it won't stand up to logical examination but it is there. Think of a red light camera vs a cop in the patrol car- you will grudgingly accept the ticket from a cop but the stinking camera just screams "UNFAIR" to that very real part of us that consists of emotion rather than logic. The entire "Terminator" movie franchise is based on our fear of relentless machines....

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 02:25 PM

19. I don't like that these are targeted assassinations.

Either we are ruled by Law or we are not. If we are ruled by law, then we bring the suspects in and have the courts deal with them either there or here.

Secret assassination lists are not exactly the transparency I thought we would get from this administration.

I voted for President Obama 2x. Would vote for him again as I think overall he's one of our best Presidents ever. But this is his Achilles heel and when you have Dickus Cheney agreeing with you, time to reconsider your actions if reconsideration is not already occurring.

I think it is immoral in every sense of the word.

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 02:31 PM

20. A quote by Robert E. Lee captures the gist of my opposition.




"It is well that war is so terrible. We should grow too fond of it."

Robert E. Lee


Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/r/robertele125498.html#PluZ1jfTyGgi8VJR.99



With humans increasingly being taken away from war's equation and killing anyone becomes a video game, waging war will become all the easier as the personal/national stakes for doing so are infinitely decreased.

Furthermore I believe much of what you see happening overseas at some point will with increasing ease be transferred home to the domestic scene, you can see it in the police force as they become ever more militarized and disconnected from the people.

Thanks for the thread, William Pitt.

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 03:02 PM

21. A sport is something that cannot be done while smoking.

Combat is something that cannot be done while eating skittles and drinking a mountain dew.

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Response to lumberjack_jeff (Reply #21)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 03:05 PM

23. OK, you made me spit my coffee

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 03:05 PM

22. Part of the problem may be that the Hellfire is overkill.


If we are just trying to take out one target then we don't need something that can blow up a tank.

I would like to see a smaller munition on the Predator. Possibly more than one per drone.

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Response to Motown_Johnny (Reply #22)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 12:43 AM

51. The smaller one just came online.

The Griffin is about half the size and has an even smaller warhead; it was specifically developed to reduce collateral damage from target strikes. It's only been around for a few years (2007 I think), so it isn't by any means universal yet...but it's a start. Me, I'd just as soon use snipers if we're going to do it, but the political costs of risking our guys is a non-starter.

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 03:16 PM

25. The moral choice would be to send strike teams to capture enemies.

And give them a trial with the evidence we have gathered. (Enemies that fight back of course can be shot at and killed.)

There are several reasons this is not done.

1) Strike teams put Americans in harms way. It is politically intractable to do this if you can avoid it (see Somalia).

2) Knowing that your enemy does not get a trial (you're executing them) you lower the bar for evidence, and then we see 16 year old kids get blown up for associating with the wrong people. At the rate that the strikes happen it's very possible the CIA has nothing solid at all on most strike victims. This is the reason a tribunal process at the minimum is necessary if we're going to have any sort of accountability.

3) Drones poll very high with the American population. Very high. Ridiculously high.

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Response to joshcryer (Reply #25)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 09:03 PM

43. maybe if we actually had to send real people, we would be a damned sight more careful about

making sure we have the facts, and the right people--you know, real evidence that might actually stand up in an open court of law.

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Response to niyad (Reply #43)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 09:06 PM

46. Absolutely.

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 03:18 PM

26. The only difference between the two weapon systems is that one is operated remotely....

....without any fear that the operator will be killed, wounded, or taken prisoner. The other places the pilot in some degree of very real danger. If you have a choice about which to use, I'm going to pick the one that doesn't endanger US lives.

But, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have been wrong, and they've been wrong from the beginning. So many lives lost on all sides, and for what? The fight against Al Qaeda could have been waged in a much different manner, but that opportunity was lost years ago.

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Response to OldDem2012 (Reply #26)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 03:22 PM

28. I would think a drone "pilot" could see a lot more than a pilot flying a plane

Drones are operated remotely and have cameras that probably can see a lot more of what is going on on the ground than a pilot can see from a cockpit, even if he also has cameras, with all the movement and other distractions going on as he flies a plane. From a point of view of protecting innocents I think the drone would be more likely to identify them.

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Response to Jersey Devil (Reply #28)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 03:29 PM

29. Oh, I agree, but....

....you know that line of thinking poses a problem for those who believe drones are the worst possible weapon system we've ever produced.


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Response to Jersey Devil (Reply #28)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 05:13 PM

38. The pilot doesn't shoot based on witnessing "crimes" in progress. The pilot shoots

based on who the target she/he is told to shoot. There is a slim chance that the pilot knows whether or not she/he has killed an innocent. The pilot definitely does not know who is being killed when the target is a house, a store, a funeral, a wedding, a car or truck consisting of multiple human beings.

Also, there have been many innocents imprisoned in Afghanistan & Iraq based on "intelligence". I view drone targets as possible victims of the same quality of "intelligence".

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 03:18 PM

27. Some objections and reasons against drones

 

It is hard for us living in relative luxury in the West to understand what it is like to have drones flying around and not knowing when they will strike. The psychological toll must be considerable, you can hear an Apache helicopter from a long ways away, you can't hear a drone.

Here is a good explanation I found on a web site:

In the United States, the dominant narrative about the use of drones in Pakistan is of a surgically precise and effective tool that makes the US safer by enabling “targeted killing” of terrorists, with minimal downsides or collateral impacts.

This narrative is false.

Following nine months of intensive research—including two investigations in Pakistan, more than 130 interviews with victims, witnesses, and experts, and review of thousands of pages of documentation and media reporting—this report presents evidence of the damaging and counterproductive effects of current US drone strike policies. Based on extensive interviews with Pakistanis living in the regions directly affected, as well as humanitarian and medical workers, this report provides new and firsthand testimony about the negative impacts US policies are having on the civilians living under drones.

First, while civilian casualties are rarely acknowledged by the US government, there is significant evidence that US drone strikes have injured and killed civilians.

Second, US drone strike policies cause considerable and under-accounted-for harm to the daily lives of ordinary civilians, beyond death and physical injury. Drones hover twenty-four hours a day over communities in northwest Pakistan, striking homes, vehicles, and public spaces without warning. Their presence terrorizes men, women, and children, giving rise to anxiety and psychological trauma among civilian communities. Those living under drones have to face the constant worry that a deadly strike may be fired at any moment, and the knowledge that they are powerless to protect themselves. These fears have affected behavior. The US practice of striking one area multiple times, and evidence that it has killed rescuers, makes both community members and humanitarian workers afraid or unwilling to assist injured victims. Some community members shy away from gathering in groups, including important tribal dispute-resolution bodies, out of fear that they may attract the attention of drone operators. Some parents choose to keep their children home, and children injured or traumatized by strikes have dropped out of school. Waziris told our researchers that the strikes have undermined cultural and religious practices related to burial, and made family members afraid to attend funerals. In addition, families who lost loved ones or their homes in drone strikes now struggle to support themselves.

Third, publicly available evidence that the strikes have made the US safer overall is ambiguous at best.

Fourth, current US targeted killings and drone strike practices undermine respect for the rule of law and international legal protections and may set dangerous precedents. This report casts doubt on the legality of strikes on individuals or groups not linked to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and who do not pose imminent threats to the US. The US government’s failure to ensure basic transparency and accountability in its targeted killing policies, to provide necessary details about its targeted killing program, or adequately to set out the legal factors involved in decisions to strike hinders necessary democratic debate about a key aspect of US foreign and national security policy. US practices may also facilitate recourse to lethal force around the globe by establishing dangerous precedents for other governments. As drone manufacturers and officials successfully reduce export control barriers, and as more countries develop lethal drone technologies, these risks increase.

In light of these concerns, this report recommends that the US conduct a fundamental re-evaluation of current targeted killing practices, taking into account all available evidence, the concerns of various stakeholders, and the short and long-term costs and benefits. A significant rethinking of current US targeted killing and drone strike policies is long overdue. US policy-makers, and the American public, cannot continue to ignore evidence of the civilian harm and counter-productive impacts of US targeted killings and drone strikes in Pakistan.

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

I shortened it up, so for more detail check out the full report > http://livingunderdrones.org/

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Response to quinnox (Reply #27)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 04:52 PM

36. Thank you, I was going to look for this but you already posted....

I don't think most people consider this part (or if they do, let it truly sink in).

Second, US drone strike policies cause considerable and under-accounted-for harm to the daily lives of ordinary civilians, beyond death and physical injury. Drones hover twenty-four hours a day over communities in northwest Pakistan, striking homes, vehicles, and public spaces without warning. Their presence terrorizes men, women, and children, giving rise to anxiety and psychological trauma among civilian communities. Those living under drones have to face the constant worry that a deadly strike may be fired at any moment, and the knowledge that they are powerless to protect themselves. These fears have affected behavior. The US practice of striking one area multiple times, and evidence that it has killed rescuers, makes both community members and humanitarian workers afraid or unwilling to assist injured victims. Some community members shy away from gathering in groups, including important tribal dispute-resolution bodies, out of fear that they may attract the attention of drone operators. Some parents choose to keep their children home, and children injured or traumatized by strikes have dropped out of school. Waziris told our researchers that the strikes have undermined cultural and religious practices related to burial, and made family members afraid to attend funerals. In addition, families who lost loved ones or their homes in drone strikes now struggle to support themselves.

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Response to quinnox (Reply #27)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 09:05 PM

45. thank you. would you consider reposting this as its own thread so it can be rec'd?

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Response to niyad (Reply #45)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 12:15 AM

50. you can, it isn't my work

 

I found the website using google, and everyone can go to it. I am definitely going to repost this info in future drone threads when I think it is appropriate though.

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 03:51 PM

30. Rachel Maddow had a great episode regarding this on...

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 03:56 PM

31. I refuse to accept the necessity of The War on Terror, so I am for neither.

mikey_the_rat

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 04:01 PM

32. Is the problem truly the drones?

Or is it really that the US government is issuing death warrants, based largely on just some people's word that "yup, that's a bad guy" without any real due process, and in the process also killing those around them.

Drone strike, Apache or saturation bombing, if the we're sanctioning the assassination of people without due process and resigning ourselves to the collateral damage as long as we "get our guy", isn't that the real issue?

At least a sniper may have a shot at taking out the one and only person in question, but it doesn't get to the root of the problem either.

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 04:20 PM

33. I dont buy your logic. The choice isnt either drones or 150 k troops.

And I am not against drones in a real war, in the battle field. But my concern is that the president wants the power to unilaterally kill people in any country in the world based on his decision and his decision alone and with complete disregard to innocent bystanders. I dont think he would send 150k troops into the countries where he might be tempted to send drones.

I want restrictions, safe-guards. Call me crazy but I am going kicking and screaming into a fascist state.

By the way, Cheney and Bolton both are loving killer drones.

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Response to rhett o rick (Reply #33)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 12:48 AM

52. +1

The OP paints an enormous false dilemma, and one that isn't even true in his own scenario for the reason you described.

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 04:27 PM

34. It's about secret kill lists and turning the entire planet into a battlefield

Arguing the relative effectiveness of the method (drones) is a distraction.

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 05:07 PM

37. A 24/7 terror campaign.

"Their presence terrorizes men, women, and children, giving rise to anxiety and psychological trauma among civilian communities.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/10022358123#post27

Just in case you missed it.

Second, US drone strike policies cause considerable and under-accounted-for harm to the daily lives of ordinary civilians, beyond death and physical injury. Drones hover twenty-four hours a day over communities in northwest Pakistan, striking homes, vehicles, and public spaces without warning. Their presence terrorizes men, women, and children, giving rise to anxiety and psychological trauma among civilian communities. Those living under drones have to face the constant worry that a deadly strike may be fired at any moment, and the knowledge that they are powerless to protect themselves. These fears have affected behavior. The US practice of striking one area multiple times, and evidence that it has killed rescuers, makes both community members and humanitarian workers afraid or unwilling to assist injured victims. Some community members shy away from gathering in groups, including important tribal dispute-resolution bodies, out of fear that they may attract the attention of drone operators. Some parents choose to keep their children home, and children injured or traumatized by strikes have dropped out of school. Waziris told our researchers that the strikes have undermined cultural and religious practices related to burial, and made family members afraid to attend funerals. In addition, families who lost loved ones or their homes in drone strikes now struggle to support themselves.


I once visited Humboldt county during the Feds annual 8 week Campaign Against Marijuana Planting (CAMP). The constant surveillance and noise (day and night) from helicopters was nerve wracking. I know quite a few people who live up in Humboldt and none of them are connected to the marijuana business so even though they weren't officially a target, they, by default, became a target anyway. It is extremely upsetting to feel as though you have a target on your back and some of my friends would spend the duration medically sedated... just enough to make it through the day and a little more to get a decent night's sleep.

I was only there for 5 days and it drove me crazy. 8 weeks must be awful. 24/7 for months and years is unimaginable.

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 05:16 PM

39. Chris Hayes on the "no-alternative" fallacy for justifying drones

http://ggsidedocs.blogspot.com.br/2013/02/chris-hayes-on-no-alternative-fallacy.html

Chris Hayes monologue on drones - 2/10/13:

And besides: it’s war, would you rather, I am often asked by supporters of the kill list, that we have boots on the ground, big expensive, destructive deadly disastrous land invasions of countries like the Iraq war? Isn’t the move from wars like Iraq to “surgical strikes” in Yemen precisely the kind of change we were promised?

This narrow choice between big violence and smaller violence shows, I think, just how fully we have all implicitly adopted the conceptual framework of the War on Terror, how much George W. Bush’s advisers continue to set the terms of our thinking years after they’d been dispatched from office. Because that argument presupposes that we are at war and must continue to be at war until an ill-defined enemy is vanquished.

What, people ask, is the alternative to small war, if not big war? And the answer no one ever seems to even consider is: no war .If the existence of people out in the world who are actively working to kill Americans means we are still at war, then it seems to me we will be at war forever, and will surrender control over whether that is the state we do in fact want to be in. There’s another alternative: we can be a nation that declares its war over, that declares itself at peace and goes about rigorously and energetically using intelligence and diplomacy and well-resourced police work to protect us from future attacks.

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Response to Luminous Animal (Reply #39)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 05:49 PM

40. + 1,000,000,000... What You And Chris Hayes Said !!!

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Response to Luminous Animal (Reply #39)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 12:49 AM

53. Brilliant. Thanks for posting that. nt

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 08:55 PM

42. they were both used to murder dorner?

before he keyed the nation in on the secret that the LAPD is currupt and racist because nobody knew that and it would spoil everyone's impression of the LAPD and he is a hero?

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 09:04 PM

44. The latest argument r.e. drones doesn't center on drones v. helicopters

It's about the leaked memo that the Administration is using as a legal justification for targeting American citizens. The rub seems to be that international law permits preemptive engagement of someone who is putting the US or its assets in imminent danger. The Administration seems to be saying that "imminence" can be defined as someone wishing to do harm to the US--they don't have to be at the point of pulling the trigger, or setting the fuse on the roadside bomb, etc. This is the point of contention with the recently leaked memo.

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 09:07 PM

47. For the civilians none.

Here s the danger with drones. Drone has no human crew, cheap to operate and all that. Apache has a two man crew. Drone loss, ok...whatever. Apache lost, two crew members killed. Which do you think makes war easier to pursue?

You are right, but not completely for the reasons you are thinking.

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 09:11 PM

48. Yawn, it's not REALLY about drones.

But drones DO make it easier to do a politically risk-free attack and make the entire business of perpetual war easier.

They also have less accountability since the program is run by the CIA.

So, no, saying it is ABOUT drones is a bit of a red herring.

What it IS about is the ease with which we practice war and killing --and it is getting easier and easier and easier.

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 01:22 AM

54. I don't like either..

But, I also can't argue the usefulness of a drone. It eliminates some of the collateral damage, protects military personnel from capture, and I'm sure it's cost effective as well. I understand how 'wrong' it is, in so far as legal philosophies, but I don't think the reality has much to do with that.

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 01:30 AM

56. Theme song for this discussion: "Send in the Drones"

Everyone sing along. You know the words:


Aren't we rich?
Are we quite fair?
You there below me on the ground,
Me in mid-air..
Where are the drones?

Isn't it strange?
Why don't you agree?
I keep taking them out
With total impunity
Where are the drones?
Send in the drones.

Just when I'd stopped obeying laws,
Finally knowing the life that I wanted was yours.
Making my entrance again with my usual flair
Sort of sure of my sight lines...
Then no one is there.

Don't you love force?
My farce, your fear.
I thought that you'd want what I dropped...
Sorry, my dear!
And where are the drones
Send in the drones
Don't bother, they're here.

Ain't life a bitch?
Then a red smear...
Buffing my peace prize sure feels rather weird.
And where are the drones?
There ought to be more drones...
Well, maybe next appropriation year.

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