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Drone Assassinations Hurt the U.S. More Than They Help Us

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n2doc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-03-11 07:09 PM
Original message
Drone Assassinations Hurt the U.S. More Than They Help Us

By John Horgan | October 3, 2011 |


A lot of my liberal friends are bitterly disappointed with President Barack Obamas performance in the past three years. They complain that via action and inaction, he is perpetuating many of the policies of his predecessor. In one key area related to military policy, equating Obama to President George W. Bush is unfairto Bush. Obama has proved to be far more willing than Bush to launch drone attacks in countries with which we are not at war. Just last week, a CIA-directed drone attack killed two jihadists who happened to be American citizensAnwar al-Awlaki and Samir Khanin Yemen. Obama hailed the killing as a major blow to al Qaedas most active operational affiliate.

The U.S. military has deployed more than 7,000 unmanned airborne vehicles, or drones, security analyst P.W. Singer of the Brookings Institution reported in Scientific American last year. Drones such as the Predator, originally designed for reconnaissance, are increasingly used to kill as well as spy on targets. The Obama administration has carried out far more drone attacks than the Bush administration. The number of U.S. attacks in Pakistan alone in 2010 was 117, more than all such attacks in previous years combined, according to a report by Eric Schmitt in The New York Times last April.

A 2009 Brookings Institution report estimated that U.S. drone attacks in Pakistan had killed 10 civilians on average for every militant. The security analyst Daniel Bynam noted that civilian deaths create dangerous political problems. Pakistans new democratic government is already unpopular for its corruption, favoritism, and poor governance. U.S. strikes that take a civilian toll are a further blow to its legitimacyand to U.S. efforts to build goodwill there. Drones are a double-edged sword, former CIA official Bruce Riedel told USA Today. It really doesnt matter how clean the strikes are, Riedel explained. It is very hard for us to persuade Yemenis or Pakistanis that only bad guys get killed.

A 2010 United Nations report by Philip Alston, the U.N. special representative on extrajudicial executions, warned that drone attacks are doing grave damage to the rules designed to protect the right to life and prevent extrajudicial executions. Alston added: It is an essential requirement of international law that States using targeted killings demonstrate that they are complying with the various rules governing their use in situations of armed conflict. The greatest challenge to this principle today comes from the program operated by the U.S. Central Intelligence AgencyThe international community does not know when and where the CIA is authorized to kill, the criteria for individuals who may be killed, how it ensures killings are legal, and what follow-up there is when civilians are illegally killed.


more

http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/cross-check/2011/10...
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Vanje Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-03-11 07:12 PM
Response to Original message
1. Did you criticize Bill Clinton?
No?

Then you must be a racist!
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ixion Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-03-11 07:18 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. why, yes, yes I did.
And I criticized Bush, too.

I'm not a party zealot, you see, but one who actually cares about the truth.
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Rageneau Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-03-11 07:36 PM
Response to Reply #1
6. The drones weren't armed under Clinton.
Predators didn't kill anybody until 2001. Prior to that (including during the Clinton Administration when they were first developed and put into use as spy-planes), our country had too much honor and too much of a sense of fair play to employ such cowardly, hellish devices. The very fact that we so frequently use these anonymous, hidden, despicable war machines -- when just 12 years ago we wouldn't -- demonstrates how far we have sunk and how quickly we are sinking.

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DirkGently Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-11 10:35 AM
Response to Reply #6
17. We walked away from any viable claim of moral security years ago. Not looking back, apparently.
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xchrom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-03-11 07:12 PM
Response to Original message
2. What we would hate w/ Bush we love w/ Obama. Nt
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Tierra_y_Libertad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-03-11 07:24 PM
Response to Original message
4. K&R
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indepat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-03-11 07:30 PM
Response to Original message
5. While ten civilians killed for each bad guy killed might not be all that bad and even
quite acceptable, hopefully our government will never tolerate such collateral damage in attacks carried out in the US by any foreign nation, friend or foe. :patriot:
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ixion Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-03-11 08:17 PM
Response to Reply #5
7. seriously? Killing 10:1 is acceptable?
Wow. I don't even recognize this board anymore.
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GReedDiamond Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-03-11 08:30 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. I'm pretty sure the poster is being sarcastic...
...on the way to pointing out how such attacks on/within the U.S. would not be tolerated.

If I'm wrong, then I suppose the poster will step up and explain/own it, right?
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ixion Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-03-11 08:32 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. maybe so
but with some of the posts I've seen around here lately it's hard to tell anymore. :(
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GReedDiamond Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-03-11 08:34 PM
Response to Reply #9
11. I absolutely know what you mean...
...sometimes I need to check the url I'm on to make sure I did not accidentally click on a link to FReeperland.
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indepat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-11 11:51 AM
Response to Reply #7
18. The 10:1 ratio must be acceptable if the inevitable results are a 10:1
ratio and the strikes continue. The intent of the OP was to poke consternation at the acceptability of a 10:1 ratio, not to endorse it. ;) :patriot:
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-03-11 08:33 PM
Response to Original message
10. K&R
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scarletwoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-03-11 08:36 PM
Response to Original message
12. K&R.
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frylock Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-03-11 09:48 PM
Response to Original message
13. r2z
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The Northerner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-11 02:36 AM
Response to Original message
14. K&R
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AverageJoe90 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-11 03:59 AM
Response to Original message
15. Problem is.
Apparently, this guy could've been arrested in Denver, back in June of 2002............why wasn't he?!?!?
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DirkGently Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-11 09:08 AM
Response to Original message
16. Of course. It's a formula for endless hatred & endless war. Hundreds of dead civilians doesn't help.


This is, again, Bush Doctrine. Shooting Hellfire missiles into populated areas to target supposed "militants" bolsters their argument that the U.S. is the enemy.

The fantasy of a borderless, full-time, video-game war, where you can swoop all over the world with your murder drones, taking out anyone who doesn't like you, is insane.

If we actually wanted to reduce terrorism, we'd pull the troops out of the Middle East, and treat terrorist organizations as the criminals they are. These wars and these attacks, GURANTEE future violence aimed at America, by people in the Middle East.

How would we react, if a foreign power killed hundreds of children and innocents, claiming they were after the "bad guys" among us.

You'd have to be willfully stupid to tell yourself you're going to achieve peace by adopting a policy of constant assassination and bombing.
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chill_wind Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-11 02:13 PM
Response to Original message
19. K & R.
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Major Hogwash Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-11 02:35 PM
Response to Original message
20. None of these authors are veterans. And evidently not too many of them even remember 9/11.
Edited on Tue Oct-04-11 02:36 PM by Major Hogwash
And evidently they live in some kind of la-la fantasyland where terrorists don't exist.

You know what doesn't help?
Authors who write this kind of crap from a point of view of naivety.
Too bad we don't all live in an "over the rainbow" kind of world.

Do they want to send troops in, and get "boots on the ground" in those countries where drones are being used?
What's the alternative, to let the terrorists stay unmolested while hiding out in countries that aren't equipped or who can't deal with them?

It isn't like this isn't the situation we have been living with for over a decade now and is something new to us.
Yet the authors always seemed surprised to state they found out that we are using drones these days.

When the Twin Towers in New York were attacked the first time in 1993, didn't that tip any of them off that maybe there were people in other parts of the world that didn't like us an awful lot?
That was in 1993.
Almost 20 years ago.
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n2doc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-11 06:19 PM
Response to Reply #20
23. Rudy, is that you? n/t
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Brooklyns_Finest Donating Member (747 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-11 03:31 PM
Response to Original message
21. Drones
Are a wave of the future. Why send in squishy meets sacks in to do a job a cold hard machine can do?
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Rex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-11 03:33 PM
Response to Original message
22. It shows our inhuman side and is a statement that we are as cold
as the people we are at war with imo. And with those ratios, it can only get worse.
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