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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 [View all]

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.

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Reply Repost as OP: All this talk of "right to retaliate" and "insurgents" is just legalistic twaddle [View all]
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
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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
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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
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green for victory Feb 2013 #78
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ConservativeDemocrat Feb 2013 #86
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Lydia Leftcoast Feb 2013 #88
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Lydia Leftcoast Feb 2013 #93
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Lydia Leftcoast Feb 2013 #95
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Lydia Leftcoast Feb 2013 #97
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Lydia Leftcoast Feb 2013 #100
ConservativeDemocrat Feb 2013 #101
Taverner Feb 2013 #90
Zorra Feb 2013 #91