24
   

Do you agree with Obama's decision to start killing more people? Then why do you support him?

 
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Tue 12 Jun, 2012 03:27 am
@msolga,
More questions of a similar nature from Human Rights Watch.

Should the CIA (which is conducting the drone attacks) be subject to the same international rules of law which apply to military engagement?

Human Rights Watch argues that an intelligence agency (in this case the CIA) should be subject to the same rules of law as those which apply in combat.. and that the CIA's "targeted killings" -the use of "lethal force", as opposed to armed conflict - have created human rights issues which should be addressed as such by appropriate authorities..

Quote:
The CIA is playing an increasing role in drone attacks with no transparency or demonstrated accountability, Human Rights Watch said. Pending transfer of command for drone strikes to the military, the Obama administration should ensure and publicly affirm that the CIA is bound by international law in conducting its drone operations.

While the laws of war do not prohibit intelligence agencies from participating in combat operations, states are obligated to investigate credible allegations of war crimes and provide redress for victims of unlawful attacks. The US government’s refusal to acknowledge the CIA’s international legal obligations or provide information on strikes where there have been credible allegations of laws-of-war violations leaves little basis for determining whether the US is meeting its international legal obligations, Human Rights Watch said.

The lawfulness of a targeted killing hinges in part on the applicable international law, which is determined by the context in which the attack takes place. The laws of war permit attacks during situations of armed conflict only against valid military targets. Attacks causing disproportionate loss of civilian life or property are prohibited.

In situations outside of armed conflict, the use of lethal force is addressed by international human rights law, which permits the use of lethal force only when necessary to save human life. In these law-enforcement situations, individuals cannot be targeted with lethal force merely because of past unlawful behavior, but only for imminent or other grave threats to life when arrest is not reasonably possible.

The US government has downplayed the applicability of international human rights law to drone attacks in situations in which there is no evident armed conflict, Human Rights Watch said.

“The Obama administration seems to have decided that wherever it conducts a targeted killing, it is by definition engaged in armed conflict, even far from any obvious battlefield,” Ross said. “What would the US say if Russia or China took the same approach to attack perceived enemies in the streets of New York or Washington?”


US: Transfer CIA Drone Strikes to Military:
http://www.hrw.org/news/2012/04/20/us-transfer-cia-drone-strikes-military
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Tue 12 Jun, 2012 11:10 am
@msolga,
That begs the question; who's going to enforce those international rules of law against the US government?
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Tue 12 Jun, 2012 11:25 am
@msolga,
msolga wrote:
When you refer to: "a lot of people with viewpoints I thought were long extinct", do you mean expressions of support for further aggressive interference in middle eastern countries (& others) , support of drone attacks, etc ..?

I'd be interested to know in what context these views arise. The coming US election?


yes/yes

general discussion

I think A2k exists in a very rarefied space.


go visit freeper.com
Lustig Andrei
 
  1  
Reply Tue 12 Jun, 2012 04:01 pm
@ehBeth,
ehBeth wrote:
I think A2k exists in a very rarefied space.


Truer words have seldom been spoken. If we think that A2k is somehow representative of a cross-section of the voting public, we're deluding ourselves. There are far more OmSigs and Finns out there than teir opposite numbers.
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Tue 12 Jun, 2012 04:09 pm
@Lustig Andrei,
Surely there aren't many Davids!?
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Tue 12 Jun, 2012 04:13 pm
@ehBeth,
I WENT to freeper . com.....it seemed to be some sort of freebies site with lots of dating ads?

Edit......you meant free republic, did you?

Lustig Andrei
 
  1  
Reply Tue 12 Jun, 2012 04:14 pm
@dlowan,
Far more than you'd like to believe, Deb. Sometimes even some otherwise apparently intelligent people suddenly reveal themselves as Libertarians.
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Tue 12 Jun, 2012 04:21 pm
@dlowan,
yup - didn't want to type that at work ( I should have figured out a better arrow )


another spot I go for an occasional reality check ...

http://www.gopusa.com/
0 Replies
 
georgeob1
 
  1  
Reply Tue 12 Jun, 2012 04:39 pm
@Lustig Andrei,
Lustig Andrei wrote:

Far more than you'd like to believe, Deb. Sometimes even some otherwise apparently intelligent people suddenly reveal themselves as Libertarians.

Apparently you believe that libertatians aren't intelligent people in the ordinary sense of the word. I think that's an opinion you would have a great trouble defending in an objective argument. You might also wish to consider all the trouble the otherwise "intelligent" leaders of efforts to organize perfect societies and "new" versions of mankind caused during the unlamented 20th century. Were they "intelligent people"??
Lustig Andrei
 
  1  
Reply Tue 12 Jun, 2012 04:42 pm
@georgeob1,
The expression, George, was made tongue-in-cheek. I hold no pre-conceived notions about the relative average intelligence of Libertarians vs the general population. Some of my best friends...[etc.]
0 Replies
 
georgeob1
 
  1  
Reply Tue 12 Jun, 2012 05:16 pm
@msolga,
Msolga,

News reports today suggest that Russia is sending some attack helicopters to Syria. I don't know the authenticity of these reports, or how imminent the reported delivery may be, but, as this is reportedly based on statements made bo our Secretary of State, it should be treated with some credibility.

If these reports are verified, do you believe the USA or any other nations should take actions to prevent the delivery of these aircraft which could be devastatingly effective in suppressing all public activity throughout Syria?
Foofie
 
  1  
Reply Tue 12 Jun, 2012 06:04 pm
@georgeob1,
georgeob1 wrote:

Msolga,

News reports today suggest that Russia is sending some attack helicopters to Syria. I don't know the authenticity of these reports, or how imminent the reported delivery may be, but, as this is reportedly based on statements made bo our Secretary of State, it should be treated with some credibility.

If these reports are verified, do you believe the USA or any other nations should take actions to prevent the delivery of these aircraft which could be devastatingly effective in suppressing all public activity throughout Syria?


Excuse my instrusion. The question is interesting. It might be better, from the standpoint of ending the innocent loss of civilian life, if attack helicopters can eliminate the "armed" resistance.

Also, as regimes fall, and religious zealotry wins elections, throughout the Middle East possibly, how long would it be before there is a new round of wars against Israel?

0 Replies
 
Irishk
 
  0  
Reply Tue 12 Jun, 2012 10:51 pm
@georgeob1,
georgeob1 wrote:
News reports today suggest that Russia is sending some attack helicopters to Syria.
And the plot thickens! Wonder if they'll also supply the pilots to go along with those attack helicopters.

BTW, the dead al Quaeda #2 did indeed show up (as promised) in a video today, but since there wasn't a date stamp or anything, he's probably still dead. Good try, though.
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  0  
Reply Wed 13 Jun, 2012 05:50 am
@georgeob1,
Quote:
Msolga,

News reports today suggest that Russia is sending some attack helicopters to Syria. I don't know the authenticity of these reports, or how imminent the reported delivery may be, but, as this is reportedly based on statements made bo our Secretary of State, it should be treated with some credibility.

If these reports are verified, do you believe the USA or any other nations should take actions to prevent the delivery of these aircraft which could be devastatingly effective in suppressing all public activity throughout Syria?

It depends on what you mean by taking action, George.
If you're talking but some form of sanctions in the UN under its current charter, all that Russia has to do is veto any such move as a permanent member of the Security Council. (that's why I've argued on the Syria thread for UN reform). Same as the other four permanent members when the same could, or has applied to them.

And if you're suggesting that other countries arm the Syrian rebel fighters ... what would that achieve but a full scale civil war? ... which some observers believe is already underway.

So we could have Russia, Iran & co supplying arms to the Assad government, while the "good guys" do the same for the rebel forces.
What would that achieve but escalate the scale of the conflict which already exists?
What would that do but make life even more hazardous for the ordinary civilians who are the meat in the sandwich between the two?

I wish I had the answer, George, but I don't.
What about you? What would you suggest should be done?
It is like asking what action should have been taken against the UK for supplying arms to Gaddifi which he used against his own people in Libya.
Or what action should be taken against the US for supplying the Israeli government with the arms to attack Palestinian residents of Gaza.
Or what action could have been taken against those countries which financed the military in Egypt for so long, leading to years of repression for ordinary Egyptians.
So many other examples ....

To me, the key lies in making the arms suppliers much more accountable.
They are profiting from a trade that is making the lives of ordinary, defenseless people in some of the poorest countries in the world intolerable.
But how do we achieve that when the arms trade is making obscene amounts of profit for so many who choose not to acknowledge the consequences of it?
All I know is that we ordinary people of good will just have to keep plugging away at making our own governments much more accountable for their actions .... & demand transparency, not accept secrecy ... in democracies we have every right to that.





Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Wed 13 Jun, 2012 07:16 am
@ehBeth,
ehBeth wrote:
go visit freeper.com

Huh? I get a cell-phone-advertizing website when I go there. Did you mean some other website?
0 Replies
 
georgeob1
 
  1  
Reply Wed 13 Jun, 2012 09:01 am
@msolga,
msolga wrote:

Quote:
Msolga,

News reports today suggest that Russia is sending some attack helicopters to Syria. I don't know the authenticity of these reports, or how imminent the reported delivery may be, but, as this is reportedly based on statements made bo our Secretary of State, it should be treated with some credibility.

If these reports are verified, do you believe the USA or any other nations should take actions to prevent the delivery of these aircraft which could be devastatingly effective in suppressing all public activity throughout Syria?

It depends on what you mean by taking action, George.
If you're talking but some form of sanctions in the UN under its current charter, all that Russia has to do is veto any such move as a permanent member of the Security Council. (that's why I've argued on the Syria thread for UN reform). Same as the other four permanent members when the same could, or has applied to them.
"Reforming" the UN is likely to be enormously more difficult than avoiding a Russian veto in the Security Council. If what you are referring to is some device for giving the UN some real sovereign power to ajudidate such actions, I believe that is flatly impossible. No major nation, not even Australia, is likely to yield its sovereignty to such a body. (Consider the current problems in the EU which involves a far more advanced political body in a community of nations with many shared interests, and contemplate that on a world-wide scale.)

msolga wrote:

And if you're suggesting that other countries arm the Syrian rebel fighters ... what would that achieve but a full scale civil war? ... which some observers believe is already underway.

So we could have Russia, Iran & co supplying arms to the Assad government, while the "good guys" do the same for the rebel forces.
What would that achieve but escalate the scale of the conflict which already exists?
What would that do but make life even more hazardous for the ordinary civilians who are the meat in the sandwich between the two?
It does appear that many of the ordinary citizens are fighting the regime -- or at least that the regime beolieves they are doing so, given it's wholesale shelling of cities.

Do you believe the people of Syria should simply supinely accept another generation of tyranny under the Assad regime? Do you think that inaction in the face of such a prospect could ever involve its own moral responsibilities?

msolga wrote:

I wish I had the answer, George, but I don't.
What about you? What would you suggest should be done?
It is like asking what action should have been taken against the UK for supplying arms to Gaddifi which he used against his own people in Libya.
Or what action should be taken against the US for supplying the Israeli government with the arms to attack Palestinian residents of Gaza.
Or what action could have been taken against those countries which financed the military in Egypt for so long, leading to years of repression for ordinary Egyptians.
So many other examples ...
Forgive me but that appears to be a serious cop-out. If you wish to be free to make rather sweeping moral judgments about those who take well-intended actions in such cases, it seems to me that you yourself should take some equivalent moral responsibility for willfully asllowing the continued existence of a tyrannical regime in Syria that has been behaving this way for decades.

msolga wrote:

To me, the key lies in making the arms suppliers much more accountable.
They are profiting from a trade that is making the lives of ordinary, defenseless people in some of the poorest countries in the world intolerable.
But how do we achieve that when the arms trade is making obscene amounts of profit for so many who choose not to acknowledge the consequences of it?
All I know is that we ordinary people of good will just have to keep plugging away at making our own governments much more accountable for their actions .... & demand transparency, not accept secrecy ... in democracies we have every right to that.
In this case the arms suppliers are the government of Russia. To whom would you make these and other "arms suppliers" "accountable" ? They are today accountable to their respective sovereign governments.

It appears to me that you are merely arguing for the continuation of a known evil regime which has repeatedly demonstrated its willingness to slaughter its own people in large numbers. At what point do "ordinary people of good will" have a moral responsibility to act to protect others? Theis is a real and meaningful question. Consider for a moment the "ordinary people of good will" in Germany and the occupied countries of Europe who witnessed the wholesale seziure of the property of Jews; their assembly for transportation (in cattle cars) to death and labor camps by a regime that was openly committed to removing them from the scene. We have all read of actions ranging from complicity to heroic resistence on the part of such people. Just where would you put the moral divide there? Is it enough for them to merely keep their mouths shut and hope for "reform" of the tyranny doing all this? Do those who opt for safe and hopeful silence have the moral right to pass judgment on the errors and side effects of the actions of those who choose to resist?

Aesop wrote a wonderful fable about the "ordinary, decent" mice who proposed to solve their cat problem by having"someone" put a bell around the cat's neck. In the real world we know that such fatuous "solutions" are at best illusions and at worst serious moral evasions.

I'm not sugesting that you should necessarily have an answer for these questions - rather that you tone down your moral indignation for the imperfect actions others (also often as well intentioned as you proclaim yourself to be) who do take action. Hypocrisy is a subtle but destructive thing.






cicerone imposter
 
  0  
Reply Thu 14 Jun, 2012 10:42 am
@georgeob1,
Well stated; no one individual or organization is able to correct the atrocities of foreign governments. They must come from within; trying to find solutions from without is a waste of time and effort - as has been proven enough times in history. Look at the current situation in Iraq; they still have tribal warfare going on after we spent our military and treasure there from 2003 to 2010. For what purpose?

Egypt is the only country I know of in contemporary times that the citizens themselves are trying to make change. They are demonstrating how it should be done.
0 Replies
 
Finn dAbuzz
 
  0  
Reply Thu 14 Jun, 2012 05:05 pm
@msolga,
No I don't see the use of drones in Yemen and Pakistan as the US bullying those nations.

Is see it as the US protecting it's people and it's interests from the avowed threat of a group of extremists in lands that cannot or will not do the job for us.

Clearly Pakistan has made it clear that they do not appreciate US drone attacks from their air-space. This is understandable, but as an erstwhile ally, if not just a good neighbor in the community of nations, they have a responsibility to eliminate this threat to the US. It is just as clear that they are not inclined to do with the exception of a sporadic strikes intended to keep the flow of US aid open.

If there is a hornet's nest hanging from the limb of a tree in my neighbor's yard which grows close to my mine, and my family is being plagued by the stinging
insects, my first action would be to ask my neighbor to take care of the problem while offering to help with either labor or funding.

If he indicated that he was afraid to take on the hornets or couldn't afford any part of the cost to hire an exterminator, I would offer to bear the full responsibility.

If he refused to do anything and wouldn't allow me to, I wouldn't allow my family to continue suffering stings and I wouldn't surrender my yard to the hornets, I would get the job done.

I wouldn't consider this bullying my neighbor. Would you?

The targets of the drone attacks are, by their own admission, threats to the US. This not a matter of opinion with which Yemen or Pakistan can honestly argue.

In the absence of drone attacks the solution to this problem would be bombing or invasion, both of which leave a much bigger footprint than the Predator.

The terrorists being target are self-declared enemies of the US, with violent intentions toward it's people and property. If killing them gives rise to more self- declared violent enemies then, so be it. We'll have to kill them too.

If I knew I was being targeted by an enemy with Predator drones, I would not travel anywhere with my family. That these folks still do is either because they think using their families as human shields will dissuade the US from striking them, or, since this has been proven not to work, they hope that if their families die when they do it can be used to recruit new members. If someone in these regions is so addled as to be outraged by the killing of the family of a terrorist he'll bent on killing innocents to make a point, I don't think they ever possessed a heart or mine we could win.

It's ironic that the methods of war least likely to result in "collateral" damage: drone attacks and assassination are perceived by generally anti-war folks as so reprehensible.

JTT
 
  2  
Reply Thu 14 Jun, 2012 06:52 pm
@Finn dAbuzz,
Quote:
Is see it as the US protecting it's people and it's interests from the avowed threat of a group of extremists in lands that cannot or will not do the job for us.


That puts you in the position of agreeing and supporting those who flew the planes into the twin towers and the Pentagon, right, Finn? And you despise those cowards that made the 4th jet crash short of its mission.

Or the alternative - you're the world leader in hypocrisy.
Lustig Andrei
 
  1  
Reply Thu 14 Jun, 2012 07:00 pm
@JTT,
And you didn't eeven mention the fact that he misused the word "erstwhile" and put a needless apostrophe in "it's" [sic], all in the same peagraph, I think. Tsk tsk.
Smile
 

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