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

 
 
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Thu 14 Jun, 2012 07:09 pm
@Lustig Andrei,
I never read beyond the 2nd sentence, M.

But should you really be pointing fingers?
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Fri 15 Jun, 2012 02:35 am
@georgeob1,
George, you asked me this question & I responded in quite a bit of depth. Whether you liked my response or not, that's what I sincerely believe in such a tragic situation.

Now I'm asking you to respond to the same question you asked of me.
Given that you have disagreed with everything I wrote, I would really like to hear your thoughts about how "the USA or any other nations" should respond to this situation. And how some alternative approach from them would be a positive development.

Also, what should the UN do now, in your opinion? Particularly for the civilians caught between the battles raging between Assad's forces & the rebel fighters. As much as I thoroughly despise a despotic dictator like Assad, &fully understand the why so many Syrians want to be rid of him & his rule, both sides' are now causing civilian causalities, following the breakdown of the UN's ceasefire agreement..

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?



In response to this question from you, I said:
Quote:
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 ...


Your response was:

Quote:
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.

Sorry, George, but what sort of an answer was that? I say you're talking waffle.
You can do better than that, surely?
It is a fact (whether you choose to acknowledge it or not) that arms were supplied to Qaddafi by the UK, for profit. (while at the same time attacking Qaddafi for his treatment of powerless civilians courtesy of those weapons.)
It is a fact that the US has supplied arms to the Israelis to attack the Palestinians. (say nothing of vetoing UN resolutions in response to those attacks)
It is a fact that the US supplied military "aid" to the Egyptian government for years, which was used against dissenters & protesters in Egypt for years ...

Are you denying that these things actually happened, George?
Then supply us with the evidence that they didn't happen.
Why is the mention of these events "a serious cop out" on my part?

Quote:
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

Let's hear your response to the questions I've asked you, George, before we talk about your claims of "hypocrisy" to someone holding views entirely different to yours.




msolga
 
  1  
Reply Fri 15 Jun, 2012 03:19 am
@Finn dAbuzz,
Quote:
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.

But why should any other nation "do the job" for you, particularly if they don't support "the job" you apparently require of them? (which seems to involve condoning US drone attacks which kill far more innocent civilians in their own countries than the targeted "terrorists". )

They are looking after their own interests, surely, not yours.
Perfectly understandable.
Any government would act in the same way, surely, when outside aggressors are killing their own people?

What I would really like to know is: what immediate, identifiable threats to the US have caused the escalation in drone attacks recently?
What evidence is there of such threats?

As I understand things, the opponents of US aggression in Pakistan, Yemen, etc, are pretty much powerless (though I can fully understand their rage at the attacks on their country) to inflict harm on the US.

I can't help but wonder of the Obama administration sees considerable mileage, in an election year campaign, in demonstrating to voters that it is even tougher than the Republicans on "homeland defence".

Even if no such defence is actually required at the moment.

Of course it is "bullying" of the civilians copping these drone attacks. What else could you call it?



Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Fri 15 Jun, 2012 06:59 am
@msolga,
msolga wrote:

But why should any other nation "do the job" for you, particularly if they don't support "the job" you apparently require of them? (which seems to involve condoning US drone attacks which kill far more innocent civilians in their own countries than the targeted "terrorists". )

They are looking after their own interests, surely, not yours.
Perfectly understandable.
Any government would act in the same way, surely, when outside aggressors are killing their own people?


Apparently you didn't find my analogy persuasive.

A nation should "do the job" for us for several reason

1) If it is a friend and ally of the US or a close facsimile to whom we send hundreds of millions of dollars in aid to essentially buy their cooperation. We hear so much about how important a person's honor is in this region. I would think that might include making good on a deal.

2) If the job is in our mutual interest. In the case of Yemen, the government recognizes al-Qaeda as an existential threat, but also in their case, they are incapable of getting the job done by themselves. There really isn't much pushback to the drone strikes by the Yemeni government.

With terrorists, we are not talking about a plague of hummingbirds. They are particularly lethal hornets and they are likely to sting the owner of the tree in which they nest as they are one of his adjoining neighbors.

There are plenty of countries in the world who are doing the job for us, in large part because they are doing the job for themselves as well.

3) If we have made it clear that if they will not do the job, we will. You may consider this bullying, but I don't. Returning to my analogy, if I exhaust good faith efforts to have my neighbor deal with the problem of the hornets, I don't consider it bullying if I do the job myself if he refuses. Weighing the risk of upsetting him for doing so, and continued hornet attacks, I'll accept the former.

Doing the job is neutralizing the terrorists, it is not condoning drone attacks. It doesn't really matter to us if they don't condone the attacks, although it means a lot to them if they do. If the Pakistani government doesn't condemn the attacks, or , even worse, condone them, it will enrage a large segment of its population.

Thanks to the billions of dollars given to Pakistan, they have a fairly well equipped military, and yet we have seen no attempt by that military to prevent the attacks.

At the same time, they have a very powerful intelligence force and could do a far better job of rounding up terrorist than they do, and with less collateral deaths then is the case with drone attacks.

The government is, for better or worse, operating according to its perceived best interests. How well those interests are aligned with those of the people of Pakistan is a question for Pakistanis to answer and deal with.

There are quite a few Pakistani as well as Egyptians who would like to see an end to the huge subsidies provided by the US. They realize that there are strings attached to this money and they don't want them. Generally speaking, these folks are more honorable than the autocrats who accept the money and then try a slip the strings.

If they elected a government that told the US to keep its money (an almost impossible turn of events), we would. We can't shove it down their collective throats, but it wouldn't absolve them from being good neighbors and dealing with the hornets’ nest in their yard, and if they not only ignored the hornets but helped them build more, larger nests, they would be inviting the intervention of their neighbors.

In terms of collateral deaths, "far more" is a relative term. Considering that there is usually only one (maybe) two actual targets, if the target is travelling with eight other people when the hellfire hits him, then yes, there will be "far more" people killed who may or may not be deemed "innocent."

Contrast this with dropping bombs on a town where terrorists are known to be headquartered or invading a country to root out camps and installations throughout the land.

The death of even one innocent may be unjustifiable. If you believe that, I respect it, but I expect you to have a realistic view of what the consequence are of allowing the targets to live for fear of killing innocents. I don't respect the view that glosses over the other side of the equation and argues that the threat is imagined and there is absolutely no calculus where the deaths of innocents in Yemen or the Pakistani badlands would prevent the deaths of far more innocents elsewhere.

Quote:
What I would really like to know is: what immediate, identifiable threats to the US have caused the escalation in drone attacks recently?
What evidence is there of such threats?


Well, you'll need a US security clearance for that. Oh wait, actually you probably just need to keep reading the New York Times as all of our intelligence secrets seem to be leaked to it.

Quote:
As I understand things, the opponents of US aggression in Pakistan, Yemen, etc, are pretty much powerless (though I can fully understand their rage at the attacks on their country) to inflict harm on the US.


If by "opponents of US aggression" you mean Islamist terrorists, any diminution of their power has been largely the result of the drone attacks, but as their power dwindles it is likely that they will even more desperately seek to inflict a major attack on the US, if possible, or another Western nation if they have to settle.

Quote:
I can't help but wonder of the Obama administration sees considerable mileage, in an election year campaign, in demonstrating to voters that it is even tougher than the Republicans on "homeland defense".


This is something a lot of Americans are wondering, although they tend not to be Democrats.

Quote:
Even if no such defense is actually required at the moment.


Let me turn the tables on you here. You seem to want to see evidence that there is a threat. Why do you think defense against terrorists isn't necessary? Because there have been no major attacks for a while? Because the recent attempts have been foiled or, luckily, bungled by the terrorists?

You say that violence is acceptable when used in defense, but I get the sense that you mean when it is used in the immediate defense of a violent attack. The nature of terrorist attacks rarely provides such opportunities and in cases where the attacker fully intends his death to serve as an important component of the attack, immediate violent defense doesn't seem to be of much value.

To be fully rid of the hornets in my neighbor's yard, I will need to eliminate the hive's queen. The terrorists' queens are scurrying about the deserts of Yemen and the hill country of Pakistan and the long distance killing insecticide is in the form of a Predator drone.

Quote:
Of course it is "bullying" of the civilians copping these drone attacks. What else could you call it?


Cold-blooded discounting of their individual rights and lives in an effort calculated to produce a greater good.

I appreciate that bullying has become the sin du jour of liberals; threatening to displace intolerance and hypocrisy from the top of the deadliest list, but these folks aren't being bullied. Killed and maimed perhaps, but not bullied.
georgeob1
 
  0  
Reply Fri 15 Jun, 2012 06:55 pm
@msolga,
You aere merely evading the central moral issues involved here. That appears to be hypocritica,l given that you are so quick to fault, on a moral basis, the actions of others,whether well-indended or merely merely for self-interest.

There are always adverse side effects involved in the intervention in the affairs of others, even for those whose central intentions might be to prevent or limit worse evils. There are often risks as well. Sometimes good Samaritans get hurt. My question had to do with the moral issues attending one who chooses instead to do nothing. Is the choice to do nothing, to look the other way in the presence of evil actions by others always the right moral approach?
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Fri 15 Jun, 2012 07:22 pm
@Finn dAbuzz,
Thank you, Finn, for clearly outlining your position without resorting to name-calling or derision ...
I appreciate that.
But I don't agree with the way you see things. Not surprises there, I'm certain. We are at opposite ends of the spectrum in our views on this subject. That's very clear, yes?

I'll respond to some of your points as briefly as I can. (I really don't want to sit at this computer for hours today! Wink )

Quote:
There are plenty of countries in the world who are doing the job for us, in large part because they are doing the job for themselves as well.

And there are also plenty of countries who became involved in post 9/11 invasions ("the war on terror") in Iraq & Afghanistan as allies who now regret their part in "doing the job". Quite a few which withdrew their forces from from Afghanistan before the "job" was completed (if you believe it ever can or will be successfully completed. I don't, do you?)

While the Tony Blairs & John Howards may not have any regrets about taking their countries to war (that they are likely to admit to, anyway) , the citizens of their countries overwhelming do have regrets. I seriously doubt there is much stomach for further participation in such ventures.
I also think you'd be hard-pressed to convincingly argue that those debacles have made the world a safer place from "terrorism" .... if anything, they have achieved more, not less, hostility towards the US & its allies, especially from the countries which have been targeted & attacked.

Quote:
Doing the job is neutralizing the terrorists, it is not condoning drone attacks. It doesn't really matter to us if they don't condone the attacks, although it means a lot to them if they do. If the Pakistani government doesn't condemn the attacks, or , even worse, condone them, it will enrage a large segment of its population.

I don't see how you can "neutralize the terrorists" in Pakistan, or elsewhere, while not condoning drone attacks at the same time. The two have gone hand in hand, surely?
Also, it appears that civilian "collateral damage" is gaining Al Qaeda support amongst the people living in the drone-targeted areas, where there was little support before. Which seems to me to be counter-productive if the objective is to neutralize support. Does it mean that these civilians who are now sympathetic toward Al Qaeda, following the drone attacks, could be considered "suspected terrorists", too?
Should they be "neutralized" as well?
Where does it all end?

Quote:
In terms of collateral deaths, "far more" is a relative term. Considering that there is usually only one (maybe) two actual targets, if the target is travelling with eight other people when the hellfire hits him, then yes, there will be "far more" people killed who may or may not be deemed "innocent."

Contrast this with dropping bombs on a town where terrorists are known to be headquartered or invading a country to root out camps and installations throughout the land.

The death of even one innocent may be unjustifiable. If you believe that, I respect it, but I expect you to have a realistic view of what the consequence are of allowing the targets to live for fear of killing innocents. I don't respect the view that glosses over the other side of the equation and argues that the threat is imagined and there is absolutely no calculus where the deaths of innocents in Yemen or the Pakistani badlands would prevent the deaths of far more innocents elsewhere.

Yes, I do believe that the unnecessary killing of innocent people, some of them the poorest & most oppressed the world (already, prior to the drone attacks ) in is any way justifiable .... particularly when the definition of "terrorist suspect" is so unclear & there has been so much secrecy about the details & the extent of the attacks.
The victims of these drone attacks (& any in the future) are mostly civilians, most of whom do not have the luxury nor the education to participate politics. Same as casualties of the Iraq & Afghanistan invasions were overwhelmingly civilians. Same as almost any war you can name.

Quote:
Quote:
Of course it is "bullying" of the civilians copping these drone attacks. What else could you call it?


Cold-blooded discounting of their individual rights and lives in an effort calculated to produce a greater good.

I appreciate that bullying has become the sin du jour of liberals; threatening to displace intolerance and hypocrisy from the top of the deadliest list, but these folks aren't being bullied. Killed and maimed perhaps, but not bullied.

This is what I don't understand or accept about your argument, Finn.
If you can see the victims of 9/11 in NYC as innocent casualties of an extreme, unjustified & aggressive attack (as I do) how can you not also see the civilians in Yemen or Pakistan in the same way?
It is almost as though you consider their lives have less value, somehow, than American lives.
We would never dream of referring to the casualties of 9/11 as "collateral damage". You'd find that deeply offensive, I'm sure.
Why then can you not get that the innocent victims in other countries are human casualties, too?
The way I see it, the casualties of 9/11 died at the hands of extremist fundamentalists. There was no justification for their deaths. They were not combatants in a war.
The innocent casualties of the drone attacks are dying at the hands of a very powerful aggressor using advanced technology in countries they are not even at war with. And they have no effective way of responding or defending themselves.
I can't justify the totally unnecessary loss of civilian lives in either.

ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Fri 15 Jun, 2012 07:40 pm
@msolga,
Great post,msolga.
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Fri 15 Jun, 2012 08:59 pm
@georgeob1,
Quote:
You aere merely evading the central moral issues involved here. That appears to be hypocritica,l given that you are so quick to fault, on a moral basis, the actions of others,whether well-indended or merely merely for self-interest.

If anyone is evading the "central moral issues" here, George, it isn't me. Wink
Nor am I "so quick to fault", either.
I have held the same position on the futility of war as a means of resolving conflict for years now.
You won't find too much different in my posts on this thread than you'll find in any of the others I've participated in here.

Quote:
My question had to do with the moral issues attending one who chooses instead to do nothing.

Sometimes, George, what you call "doing nothing" (in the combative sense) seems to me to be a far preferable alternative to aggressive David & Goliath military reprisals, aimed at those who object to nations which persist with endless wars with perceived "enemies". What actual serious threat is the US actually under right now, from these perceived enemies?


If you could clearly explain (minus the personal attacks) how the drone attacks on Yemen & Pakistan, etc, are making the world a safer & saner place, say nothing of protecting the safety of the civilians affected by the attacks, I'd be grateful.

And while you're at it, could you also respond to the question you asked of me (which I responded to, then asked you to do likewise. Fair enough?) About the Russians supplying helicopters to Assad's regime. What should be done in response to that unfortunate development, in your opinion?



msolga
 
  1  
Reply Sat 16 Jun, 2012 04:57 am
@msolga,
So much for the discussion then.
A page full of thumbs down & naught else. Wink
Oh well .... Neutral
cicerone imposter
 
  2  
Reply Sat 16 Jun, 2012 08:37 am
@msolga,
I'm not sure why somebody is giving you a thumbs down, so I put it back up to where it belongs. Your discussions are always polite and clear; nothing wrong with that! Even when I don't agree with your opinions.
0 Replies
 
JTT
 
  0  
Reply Sat 16 Jun, 2012 10:46 am
@Finn dAbuzz,
Quote:
We hear so much about how important a person's honor is in this region. I would think that might include making good on a deal.


You sound exactly like a member of the Mafia, Finn. What's truly amazing and disappointing is that you, and so many others actually believe that people naturally should commit all manner of crime, engage in all sorts of heinous behavior just to keep up with the US.

You admit, with pretty much your every posting, that the US so frequently acts in a depraved fashion but that it is as natural as breathing. Your posts and your positions scream "the US is a terrorist nation, the US and its people verily delight in committing crimes against humanity".
0 Replies
 
JTT
 
  0  
Reply Sat 16 Jun, 2012 10:51 am
@Finn dAbuzz,
Quote:
1) If it is a friend and ally of the US or a close facsimile to whom we send hundreds of millions of dollars in aid to essentially buy their cooperation.


Odd, but telling notion of what you think a friend is, Finn.

Finn: Hey, everyone, look at me. I sometimes put on a decent show but really, I'm as morally bankrupt as OmSig or Gob1.
0 Replies
 
Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Sat 16 Jun, 2012 11:40 am
@msolga,
msolga wrote:

And there are also plenty of countries who became involved in post 9/11 invasions ("the war on terror") in Iraq & Afghanistan as allies who now regret their part in "doing the job". Quite a few which withdrew their forces from from Afghanistan before the "job" was completed (if you believe it ever can or will be successfully completed. I don't, do you?)

While the Tony Blairs & John Howards may not have any regrets about taking their countries to war (that they are likely to admit to, anyway) , the citizens of their countries overwhelming do have regrets. I seriously doubt there is much stomach for further participation in such ventures.
I also think you'd be hard-pressed to convincingly argue that those debacles have made the world a safer place from "terrorism" .... if anything, they have achieved more, not less, hostility towards the US & its allies, especially from the countries which have been targeted & attacked.


You are conflating the issue of nations dealing with terrorists within their own borders and nations dealing with those that reside within the borders of other nations.

The "job" that I contend we can expect our neighbors "get done" (if they don't want us to do it) is to eliminate the threat to us posed by terrorists within their borders. After all, this, and not participating with us in invading countries, is what determines whether or not we send Predators into their skies.

I'm happy to address your comments concerning these invasions, but for now prefer that we remain on topic.

Quote:
I don't see how you can "neutralize the terrorists" in Pakistan, or elsewhere, while not condoning drone attacks at the same time. The two have gone hand in hand, surely?


No they have not and they do not have to going forward.

You made the argument that condoning drone attacks is part of what I contend the US should expect from these nations; what we have referred to, during this discussion, as "getting the job done." That is simply not the case.

What the US should expect from these nations is the elimination of the threat these terrorists pose to the US. How they do it is immaterial, as long as it is effective. If they do this, there will be no drone attacks for them to condone or condemn.

If they (and by "they" I mean the governing leaders) are unable or unwilling to eliminate the threat then the US, in my opinion, is justified in sending in the drones. Whether or not they condone this action will depend largely upon the internal politics of their countries and the degree to which they are, themselves, aligned with the terrorists. Regardless, it is not an expectation of the US that they condone the attacks and it certainly isn't necessary to "get the job done." In fact, their being faced with the decision to condone or condemn drone attacks, is proof that they cannot or will not "get the job" done on their own.

Quote:
Also, it appears that civilian "collateral damage" is gaining Al Qaeda support amongst the people living in the drone-targeted areas, where there was little support before. Which seems to me to be counter-productive if the objective is to neutralize support. Does it mean that these civilians who are now sympathetic toward Al Qaeda, following the drone attacks, could be considered "suspected terrorists", too?
Should they be "neutralized" as well?
Where does it all end?


First of all, you have misstated the goal I've addressed or created a new one for the sake of your argument. The goal is not to neutralize support of terrorists, it is to neutralize the terrorists.

Conventional wisdom tells us that eliminating support for terrorists among the general population is a means by which the threat posed by the terrorists can be neutralized, but this is far too often seen as a simple matter of "live and let live."

Often, a considerable share of the general population is quite sympathetic to the violent anti-Western goals of the terrorists. This doesn't make them terrorists (unless they join the extremist groups) nor even our enemies (unless they provide material support to the terrorists), but it does make any goal of eliminating general support quite difficult if not impossible.

In other situations the support of the locals is based on the good deeds the terrorist do for them: providing food, medical supplies and schools. The US supplies these nations with billions of dollars in aid; with great amounts specifically earmarked for humanitarian needs. Unfortunately, we cannot control what is done with all of this money and, obviously, a lot of it isn't making its way to the locals who support the terrorists who they see as benefactors

In any case, eliminating the threat is the goal. If the governments of these nations choose to so, in part, by neutralizing local support for the terrorists then they are not only free to try, the US provides them financial aid to support them in their attempt.

I suppose there might be some small successes in terms of US propaganda efforts ("Uncensored" radio broadcasts for example) but I doubt they do much to win the hearts and minds of folks who see us a nation of infidels or who are impoverished and oppressed by their own government).

We can't make these governments use the money we give them to improve the living conditions of their people.

(Ironically enough, with our military actions in both Afghanistan and Iraq, providing the locals with food, medical supplies, schools and infra-structure has been a major part of the mission. The strategy has had varying levels of success, but it required an invasion to implement it)

Complying with the amorphous demands of the terrorists is not a rational option. It is not in our best interests to entirely withdraw, both physically and politically, from this region, and millions of people living in the region do not want us to, and if we did millions more would change their minds and seek for us to return.

In any case, the demands of the terrorists are not finite. They can never be satisfied.

Yes, I do believe that the unnecessary killing of innocent people, some of them the poorest & most oppressed the world (already, prior to the drone attacks ) in is any way justifiable .... particularly when the definition of "terrorist suspect" is so unclear & there has been so much secrecy about the details & the extent of the attacks.

Who doesn't believe that unnecessary killing of anyone is unjustifiable? Certainly not me.

The rub, of course, is with the term unnecessary, and the issue of what is necessary.

If it is necessary for an individual to be killed and it cannot be accomplished without also killing true innocents, then their deaths can become necessary.

If you believe that the proclaimed necessity for killing the individual is based on his or her ability to embarrass a government or even threaten its power, then it's quite easy to make the case that not only are the collateral deaths unjustified, so is the killing of the individual.

If, on the other hand, if you believe the individual is not only bound and determined to kill you and as many of your friends and neighbors as possible, but is capable of making good on the threat and in the process of doing so, then violence in the service of defense is justified. To save thousands of innocents the death of a handful can be perceived as necessary.

I don't hope to persuade you to my thinking about this, but to point out that this is a morally complex issue upon which people of good faith can disagree about and which only absolutists will find simple.

Quote:
The victims of these drone attacks (& any in the future) are mostly civilians, most of whom do not have the luxury nor the education to participate politics. Same as casualties of the Iraq & Afghanistan invasions were overwhelmingly civilians. Same as almost any war you can name.


"Mostly" only in the sense that the targets are usually accompanied by their families when they are hit. The retainers that may be killed are not the targets, but they are not innocent civilians either.

A major reason for Obama's increase in the use of drone attacks is, I believe, is the fact that they are so relatively surgical and keep collateral deaths at a minimum. Obviously, he has decided that leaving the targets alone is not an option, and that the deaths of a small number of innocents is a necessity.


Quote:
This is what I don't understand or accept about your argument, Finn.
If you can see the victims of 9/11 in NYC as innocent casualties of an extreme, unjustified & aggressive attack (as I do) how can you not also see the civilians in Yemen or Pakistan in the same way?
It is almost as though you consider their lives have less value, somehow, than American lives.
We would never dream of referring to the casualties of 9/11 as "collateral damage". You'd find that deeply offensive, I'm sure.
Why then can you not get that the innocent victims in other countries are human casualties, too?
The way I see it, the casualties of 9/11 died at the hands of extremist fundamentalists. There was no justification for their deaths. They were not combatants in a war.
The innocent casualties of the drone attacks are dying at the hands of a very powerful aggressor using advanced technology in countries they are not even at war with. And they have no effective way of responding or defending themselves.
I can't justify the totally unnecessary loss of civilian lives in either.

The drone attacks are intended to prevent future 9/11's. They constitute violence in the service of defense; a concept with which you've stated you agree.

I do view Pakistanis and Yemenis, in general, in the same light that I view Americans, in general. As a people they are no less human than Americans. There are some that I consider to be evil (in whatever way you want to define that term) as there are some Americans who I consider to be evil.

I agree, at least in this regard with Obama, that it is necessary to kill the people (whether or not they meet the definition of evil) who are actively plotting to attack our country.

If we had a means of picking them out of a crowded street and killing them and only them, this would, obviously be the best method of eliminating them.
Unfortunately we don't, and so the best method is the one that reliably limits the number of collateral deaths to something like 10 or less, and to people who, for the most part, choose to be around the target.

Admittedly this is a cruel calculus. It shouldn't make anyone feel good. Doing what is necessary often doesn't feel good.

I don't expect Yemenis and Pakistanis to welcome or celebrate these attacks, but I do believe that the recruiting effect is far less powerful than it is with the bombing of villages or the invasion of a country. In any case, at this point I am not overly concerned with the recruiting effect. I don't think it's a wise tradeoff to accept a few more 9/11's without retaliation in order to get on the good side of the Arab Street.

I deliberately do not refer to those who are not the target but who die as a result of these attacks as "collateral damage." Your argument in this regard is directed at a straw man.

Some contend that an argument for defensive or even retributional violence applies equally to the terrorists as it does to America; that the past sins of the US led to 9/11.

I don't believe it does, but even assuming it does, we are not required to pay for the sins of our government any more than ordinary Yemenis, Pakistanis and Afghanis are required to pay for the sins of the terrorists. Fortunately, in this conflict we have the greater means of eliminating a threat to us and it would be a betrayal of their oaths if our government did make use of them.

Apparently President Obama sees it the same way.
JTT
 
  2  
Reply Sat 16 Jun, 2012 11:50 am
@Finn dAbuzz,
Quote:
If they (and by "they" I mean the governing leaders) are unable or unwilling to eliminate the threat then the US, in my opinion, is justified in sending in the drones.


It naturally follows that the numerous other nations that have been/are constantly barraged by US terrorism have that same right.

Since the US is so big on hiring mercenaries to do THEIR work, then it stands to reason that these other people should be able to hire mercenaries for the needed attacks on the US.

You know as well as I do, Finn, that the US is by far the worst terrorist actor on the planet. Yet you dishonestly keep taking this false tack.

I guess my use of "dishonestly" was highly redundant, wasn't it?
hawkeye10
 
  2  
Reply Sat 16 Jun, 2012 12:01 pm
@JTT,
Quote:
Since the US is so big on hiring mercenaries to do THEIR work, then it stands to reason that these other people should be able to hire mercenaries for the needed attacks on the US.


And since America thinks it is OK to use torture on others it is OK to torture Americans

And since America believes it is OK to militarize space it is OK to militarize space

And since America believes it is OK to unleash cyber attacks on computers which are responsible for keeping us safe (Stuxnet) it is OK to scramble computer brains and thus take the risk that a lot of innocent people die.

I could keep going, but you'll take my point. America trying to claim the moral high ground is an increasingly ludicrous exercise.
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Sat 16 Jun, 2012 12:04 pm
@hawkeye10,
Quote:
I could keep going, but you'll take my point.


I do, Hawk. If the US acted as a mature nation, not a rogue nation, the world would be much better off.

Maybe you should address these points to those with a Finnian frame of mind.
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Sat 16 Jun, 2012 12:09 pm
@JTT,
Quote:
I do, Hawk. If the US acted as a mature nation, not a rogue nation, the world would be much better off.


I am more concerned about me and mine....the main problem is looking at ourselves in the mirror every morning.

We want what we want, and we want it now, regardless of the long term cost (which increasingly we are too stupid to figure out even if we were to get a wild hair and decide to care about).......immature is a good word for this. Ignorant increasingly fits as well.
RABEL222
 
  1  
Reply Sat 16 Jun, 2012 12:37 pm
@hawkeye10,
A much smaller military would help us stay out of stupid wars. Our military should be large enough to protect our borders. Not change the world or protect american business outside our borders.
hawkeye10
 
  2  
Reply Sat 16 Jun, 2012 12:40 pm
@RABEL222,
RABEL222 wrote:

A much smaller military would help us stay out of stupid wars. Our military should be large enough to protect our borders. Not change the world or protect american business outside our borders.


Who takes over as global police? China? The UN? You have heard of the Somali pirates right?......they are just a taste of the lawless barbarity that will ensue if no one does the job.
BillRM
 
  1  
Reply Sat 16 Jun, 2012 01:03 pm
@hawkeye10,
Speaking of the Somali pirates that was the reason we first found ourself projecting military forces half way around the world under our third president Jefferson.

Protecting borders is the least of the duties of a military as even in Jefferson days of 13 states we have national interests that needed protecting far far far from our shores.
0 Replies
 
 

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