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

 
 
Cycloptichorn
 
  2  
Reply Fri 9 Dec, 2011 08:22 pm
@gungasnake,
Why don't you comment on the sources Wikipedia cites in that claim? Yaknow, denoted by the little numbers in brackets after each paragraph.

Cycloptichorn
failures art
 
  1  
Reply Fri 9 Dec, 2011 11:51 pm
I think the title is misleading. Obama is certainly choosing to kill people. His method of choice kills fewer than the "shock and awe" variety. Instead of talking about which is "less evil," why not discuss which actually ended up working.

For instance, I could drop a bomb in Iraq and kill zero people, but if that bomb just happened to destroy a water treatment plant (that Halliburton would later gladly rebuild), the moral math with it versus a targeted drone attack is not as cut and dry.

I am worried about Obama's policy on killing. Not that killing is involved, but that no clear process or standard (other than opportunity) has been established. So while I may trust (for now) his discretion on a use of force protocol like this, what I really worry about is this being a green light for future admins. I think it will be problematic later on for those admins to look back and cite Obama's use of assassination to justify their own. This is why process and standards are not just a good idea, they are a means to keep this from evolving into a tool for political assassination in the future.

Ideally, I think there are a few things that should happen to strengthen the war powers act and give congress a better leash on foreign military actions.

1) Create a formal war warrant for engagements. If no warrant was in place (a means to define a formal declaration of war essentially), it would place a limit on the size and spending of the standing armed forces.

2) On extension of a war warrant, the congress is forced to vote every 30 days. Cloture is skipped entirely. This is one of the problems with the current War powers act, the congress will simply not vote, and the President will not remove troops. A clear "yea" or "nea" vote forces the hand of the executive branch, and at the same time doesn't provide political shelter for chickenhawks or big-game talk in congress. This would be a major advancement in accountability if voters had to see not just what their reps say about conflicts, but how they vote on them.

3) Similar to (1), create a "kill or capture" warrant for non-state actors. This way, if a person was to be assassinated, the public would know that it was the explicit objective to assassinate them. This would criminalize the opportunity type measures. The timeline for renewal of such a warrant, or pardon I have no real idea of what would be best.

4) Possibly unpopular, but I'd reinstate the draft. If we're going to engage in war, it shouldn't be a poor man's army where the horrors of it are out of sight of comfortable Americans. Each one of us should know that war means the real possibility of your own life ending, not just Luis's nephew down the street that needs money for college.

A
R
T
Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Sat 10 Dec, 2011 12:21 am
@Robert Gentel,
Great question!
0 Replies
 
Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Sat 10 Dec, 2011 12:24 am
@parados,
And I'm sure you expressed a similar opinion when Bush was killing Islamists.
Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Sat 10 Dec, 2011 12:24 am
@Robert Gentel,
Yes
0 Replies
 
Finn dAbuzz
 
  0  
Reply Sat 10 Dec, 2011 12:35 am
The answer, as you know, is tribal partisanship.

The only thing I'm happy with, in terms of the Obama presidency, is how savage he is in killing Islamists. Drones-a-plenty I say!

But, if you are truly a pacifist, and/or you condemneded Bush for all these deaths in Western Asia, then you are a hypocritical hack if you can find a reason to excuse The Expected One.

Robert is absolutely correct, and he illustrates how so many of Obama's supporters are, in reality, supporters of The Democrat, or (more likely) The Anti-Conservative.

When it comes to 'The War on Terror," Obama is a damned strong hawk.

Why do you think that might be?

Could it possibly be that as president he knows more than the rest of us and he takes seriously his responsibilty to keep us safe?

There's no political gain for his expressed path. Folks like me who agree with him on this issue will not vote for him and he is risking the support of left-wing Peaceniks.

This (killing Islamists) is his finest moment.
gungasnake
 
  -1  
Reply Sat 10 Dec, 2011 06:54 am
@Finn dAbuzz,
Another thing Robert is overlooking is that Obunga appears to be having nothing to do with the US military at this juncture. Based on what actually happened wrt Osama bin laden, I'd assume that Hillary Clinton and Leon Panetta are running the pentagon and our military and simply informing Bork of their decisions and activities when they feel it is appropriate to do so. At least if that wasn't the case prior to the hit on bin Laden, it appears to be the case afterwards.

In other words, Bork Obunga's concept of putting off procrastination for another day must have finally gotten old after watching bin Laden for six or eight months until Hillary and Panetta finally just said "**** Bork, let's just get this **** done!!", and however hard that was to do the first time, it has to be a whole lot easier afterwards.
0 Replies
 
parados
 
  1  
Reply Sat 10 Dec, 2011 09:35 am
@Robert Gentel,
The premise of the law is that something that appears on it's face to follow the law is legal until the particular act is declared illegal. You are certainly free to claim it isn't legal, but it doesn't make it illegal simply because it hasn't been declared legal.
parados
 
  1  
Reply Sat 10 Dec, 2011 09:39 am
@Finn dAbuzz,
Finn dAbuzz wrote:

And I'm sure you expressed a similar opinion when Bush was killing Islamists.

As usual, you are sure about something that never occurred. I don't recall ever being opposed to Bush's use of drones.
RABEL222
 
  1  
Reply Sat 10 Dec, 2011 09:58 am
@parados,
Bush started useing drones, went after the Talaban in Afghanistan because of 9/11 and Ben Laden, decided that this war wasent important and started a war with Iraq because ? and he is a hero and Obama is a war monger because he was forced to continue Bushes policies. Two unfunded wars that have as much to do with our financial problems as anything else that was done. What kind of stupid thinking is this. Bush was a **** up that the rest of us will be paying for for the next 20 years and he was a republican of the same kind running for office right now. You want to bury the U.S. than elect another Bush clone.
0 Replies
 
Robert Gentel
 
  3  
Reply Sat 10 Dec, 2011 10:01 am
@Finn dAbuzz,
Finn dAbuzz wrote:
When it comes to 'The War on Terror," Obama is a damned strong hawk.

Why do you think that might be?


Because he's terrified of being seen as a wimp or soft on Islamic extremism. I think Obama's #1 priority is getting Obama reelected and that he accurately noted that being perceived as soft on terror was going to be the best way for the Republicans to attack him.

Quote:
There's no political gain for his expressed path. Folks like me who agree with him on this issue will not vote for him and he is risking the support of left-wing Peaceniks.


Yes there is. If he had de-escalated and America had been attacked he would have been blamed for it. Now if America is attacked he won't be. By taking this approach he removes the strongest attack people could have made on him (that a Muslim Manchurian Candidate opened the gates of Troy).

And Democrats are mostly not doves. The overwhelming majority of Americans do not mind their country killing people all that much (as long as it's not dominating the news less than 10% will even care).

The biggest defining issue in America is party. If it were a Democrat invading Iraq the overwhelming majority of Republicans would oppose it. The decision to escalate the war is very sound politics for Obama. It didn't cost him any political capital and it denied his opponents the most valuable political capital they had.
0 Replies
 
Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Sat 10 Dec, 2011 10:08 am
@parados,
Whether or not it is legal is entirely contingent on whether it is legitimate self-defense parados. I think that is a very arguable point itself. These are not wars of aggression but are pretty clearly not necessary for self-defense either.

By saying that international law sanctions these acts you are begging the question about whether this is self defense or not.
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Sat 10 Dec, 2011 11:19 am
@Robert Gentel,
I am not in favourite of the increased drone activity, but IS Obama killing more people than Bush did?
parados
 
  1  
Reply Sat 10 Dec, 2011 12:04 pm
@Robert Gentel,
I guess it all comes down to whether you think Al Qaeda is a threat to the US or it's citizens. I can point to several facts that would support they are just that. I doubt even you would be willing to argue that they have never been a threat.
parados
 
  1  
Reply Sat 10 Dec, 2011 12:05 pm
@dlowan,
dlowan wrote:

I am not in favourite of the increased drone activity, but IS Obama killing more people than Bush did?

If you only count the drones, yes.
If you count total military acts by the US, no.
0 Replies
 
Robert Gentel
 
  2  
Reply Sat 10 Dec, 2011 12:07 pm
@dlowan,
Compared to the rate at which the US was killing when Obama took office yes he is, compared to Bush's peak rates (i.e. the beginning of the war in Iraq) no he has not. The bottom line is that he took office and decided to escalate the killings from the levels they were at when he took over.

Edit: And parados is incorrect about this being limited to drone killings. The overall level of killing is higher than when he took office.
Robert Gentel
 
  2  
Reply Sat 10 Dec, 2011 12:23 pm
@parados,
Not all threats are created equal, nor are all responses to a threat. And while this indeed did start off as a response to a threat I maintain that the response is so vastly disproportionate that the response itself is a greater danger to Americans.

Americans kill between 50 to 100 Muslims for every American a Muslim has killed. I allege that the reason America has Muslim enemies is because of America's support for regional tyrants and because of this whole killing Muslims habit it has.

Furthermore, the people being killed right now are often people who are fighting the American invasion of Afghanistan from neighboring Pakistan and America was not facing a hotbed of attacks from Pakistan's tribal regions until it went to Afghanistan and played nation building. The Pakistan problem is a consequence of the Afghanistan invasion, Americans faced virtually no threat whatsoever from Pakistan's tribal regions until America started killing people in the region.

I think that Al Qaeda represents a negligible threat to America right now and think that America is killing Muslims at a rate that represents a level of disproportionality that ensures American enemies for subsequent generations.

Sometimes you can don the mantle of self-defense and act in a manner that makes you less safe. That is precisely what I allege America to be doing, even though I understand that the initial motivation was self-defense.
0 Replies
 
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Sat 10 Dec, 2011 12:25 pm
@Robert Gentel,
That's not something I had realized.
Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Sat 10 Dec, 2011 12:32 pm
@dlowan,
This is largely because there is a clear shift towards covert warfare. And because it's covert Obama can lie about it (such as the claim of not putting any US soliders on the ground in Libya, he merely meant none wearing uniforms) to the American public.

The CIA is living large right now and might be (edit: I think this is true but hard to tell) killing more people than the rest of the American military combined.
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Sat 10 Dec, 2011 12:35 pm
@Robert Gentel,
Quote:
Edit: And parados is incorrect about this being limited to drone killings. The overall level of killing is higher than when he took office


However the practice of targeting individuals for assassination and the killing by remote control are the two most morally questionable aspects of the Obama policy.....your bitching about the numbers killed is a third rate complaint.
 

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