White House Correspondents Dinners & Drone Strikes

Page 1 of 3 [ 35 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3  Next

Master_Pedant
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 14 Mar 2009
Age: 28
Gender: Male
Posts: 4,926

01 May 2012, 11:48 am

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U3tSpRDoPZk[/youtube]


_________________
http://www.voterocky.org/


simon_says
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 20 Jan 2011
Gender: Male
Posts: 3,200

01 May 2012, 12:21 pm

I agree that the ides of signature strikes can be troubling. But, one, this is how we've killed most of the high value targets. Not in targeted strikes. Either call that luck or a series of smart choices. Two, we've always have to trust the targeters no matter what words are used to describe the strike. They don't have 100% confidence in a personality strike either and sometimes they'll be wrong. Going back to the Clinton administration, they used dumber cruise missiles to hit camps in Afghanistan. They missed Bin Laden but killed plenty of guys who were at what were labelled terror camps. Having someone at the controls right up to the last minute, evaluating the target, is an improvement.

Plus close air support was routinely killing Afghan families just a few years ago. Predators are an improvement on that as well.



CoMF
Deinonychus
Deinonychus

User avatar

Joined: 7 Feb 2012
Age: 40
Gender: Male
Posts: 328

01 May 2012, 1:28 pm

simon_says wrote:
I agree that the ides of signature strikes can be troubling. But, one, this is how we've killed most of the high value targets. Not in targeted strikes. Either call that luck or a series of smart choices. Two, we've always have to trust the targeters no matter what words are used to describe the strike. They don't have 100% confidence in a personality strike either and sometimes they'll be wrong. Going back to the Clinton administration, they used dumber cruise missiles to hit camps in Afghanistan. They missed Bin Laden but killed plenty of guys who were at what were labelled terror camps. Having someone at the controls right up to the last minute, evaluating the target, is an improvement.

Plus close air support was routinely killing Afghan families just a few years ago. Predators are an improvement on that as well.


I always find it amusing when the left have absolutely no reservations about war and even go so far as to rationalize it when it's a Democrat president doing the button pressing.

And of course, they never, ever stop and think that maybe, just maybe, the "symptoms" are caused by a fallacious foreign policy spanning several decades that does more to paint a big target on the United States than secure its borders and its citizens.

These are the people who'll still vote for a president who signs legislation like the NDAA with its harsh detainee provisions rider intact and who has shown blatant disregard for the fifth and sixth amendments.

But I digress... Please, carry on with your "it's only okay when my party's doing it" shibboleth.



simon_says
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 20 Jan 2011
Gender: Male
Posts: 3,200

01 May 2012, 1:39 pm

CoMF wrote:
simon_says wrote:
I agree that the ides of signature strikes can be troubling. But, one, this is how we've killed most of the high value targets. Not in targeted strikes. Either call that luck or a series of smart choices. Two, we've always have to trust the targeters no matter what words are used to describe the strike. They don't have 100% confidence in a personality strike either and sometimes they'll be wrong. Going back to the Clinton administration, they used dumber cruise missiles to hit camps in Afghanistan. They missed Bin Laden but killed plenty of guys who were at what were labelled terror camps. Having someone at the controls right up to the last minute, evaluating the target, is an improvement.

Plus close air support was routinely killing Afghan families just a few years ago. Predators are an improvement on that as well.


I always find it amusing when the left have absolutely no reservations about war and even go so far as to rationalize it when it's a Democrat president doing the button pressing.

And of course, they never, ever stop and think that maybe, just maybe, the "symptoms" are caused by a fallacious foreign policy spanning several decades that does more to paint a big target on the United States than secure its borders and its citizens.

These are the people who'll still vote for a president who signs legislation like the NDAA with its harsh detainee provisions rider intact and who has shown blatant disregard for the fifth and sixth amendments.

But I digress... Please, carry on with your "it's only okay when my party's doing it" shibboleth.


Ive supported military actions under both Repulicans and Democrats. I take them case by case. Run your mouth all you like, it doesnt appear to have anything to do with me.



CoMF
Deinonychus
Deinonychus

User avatar

Joined: 7 Feb 2012
Age: 40
Gender: Male
Posts: 328

01 May 2012, 1:43 pm

simon_says wrote:
Ive supported military actions under both Repulicans and Democrats. I take them case by case. Run your mouth all you like, it doesnt appear to have anything to do with me.


Oh, I will, and I'll proudly do so every time someone glorifies a policy of pissing off the entire world and bullying third world countries in the name of "keeping 'murica safe."

You can put your bravado back in your pants, guy. I'm not intimidated by you in the slightest.



simon_says
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 20 Jan 2011
Gender: Male
Posts: 3,200

01 May 2012, 1:46 pm

CoMF wrote:
simon_says wrote:
Ive supported military actions under both Repulicans and Democrats. I take them case by case. Run your mouth all you like, it doesnt appear to have anything to do with me.


Oh, I will, and I'll proudly do so every time someone glorifies a policy of pissing off the entire world and bullying third world countries in the name of "keeping 'murica safe."

You can put your bravado back in your pants, guy. I'm not intimidated by you in the slightest.


Keep making stuff up. It suits you.



CoMF
Deinonychus
Deinonychus

User avatar

Joined: 7 Feb 2012
Age: 40
Gender: Male
Posts: 328

01 May 2012, 1:52 pm

simon_says wrote:
Keep making stuff up. It suits you.


Orly?

simon_says wrote:
I agree that the ides of signature strikes can be troubling. But, one, this is how we've killed most of the high value targets. Not in targeted strikes. Either call that luck or a series of smart choices. Two, we've always have to trust the targeters no matter what words are used to describe the strike. They don't have 100% confidence in a personality strike either and sometimes they'll be wrong. Going back to the Clinton administration, they used dumber cruise missiles to hit camps in Afghanistan. They missed Bin Laden but killed plenty of guys who were at what were labelled terror camps. Having someone at the controls right up to the last minute, evaluating the target, is an improvement.

Plus close air support was routinely killing Afghan families just a few years ago. Predators are an improvement on that as well.


Much to your chagrin, I can't make stuff like that up and your statements pretty much speak for themselves.



Oldout
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 9 Feb 2012
Age: 69
Gender: Male
Posts: 1,539
Location: Reading, PA

02 May 2012, 10:58 am

I find it amazing that the two of you are argung over whether American foreign policy makes mistakes. Of course it does. Some are glaringly obvious and get apologees. Others are unknown or downplayed and those certainly can cause resentments especially when they accumulate over a number of years/decades. Americans are human. They make mistakes. They try to hide their mistakes. And yes they do all these things under the assumption that they are helping they American way of life.



simon_says
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 20 Jan 2011
Gender: Male
Posts: 3,200

02 May 2012, 12:56 pm

I'm not arguing over whether the US makes mistakes. I'm disputing that I only support one party's foreign policy or that I'm trying to intimidate this frightened little man.

Of course the US makes mistakes. But the origins of AQ are much deeper than that. But to waste the paragraph to explain it in 2012, when the information is freely available, seems like a waste of my time.



CoMF
Deinonychus
Deinonychus

User avatar

Joined: 7 Feb 2012
Age: 40
Gender: Male
Posts: 328

02 May 2012, 12:58 pm

Oldout wrote:
I find it amazing that the two of you are argung over whether American foreign policy makes mistakes. Of course it does. Some are glaringly obvious and get apologees. Others are unknown or downplayed and those certainly can cause resentments especially when they accumulate over a number of years/decades. Americans are human. They make mistakes. They try to hide their mistakes. And yes they do all these things under the assumption that they are helping they American way of life.


Now, for the real question: Does this vindicate perpetual vengeance in the form of senseless wars of attrition and world policing as a result of being trapped within a "day after 9/11" mentality?

The clear answer is a resounding "NO."



Dox47
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 28 Jan 2008
Gender: Male
Posts: 10,044
Location: Seattle

02 May 2012, 4:37 pm

http://www.salon.com/2012/04/29/celebra ... singleton/

Glenn Greenwald wrote:
Celebrating our “Warrior President”
The Democratic case for Obama's foreign policy greatness is most significant for what it blissfully ignores
By Glenn Greenwald

Peter Bergen, the Director of National Security Studies at the Democratic-Party-supportive New America Foundation, has a long Op-Ed in The New York Times today glorifying President Obama as a valiant and steadfast “warrior President”; it begins this way:

THE president who won the Nobel Peace Prize less than nine months after his inauguration has turned out to be one of the most militarily aggressive American leaders in decades.

Just ponder that: not only the Democratic Party, but also its progressive faction, is wildly enamored of “one of the most militarily aggressive American leaders in decades.” That’s quite revealing on multiple levels. Bergen does note that irony: he recalls that Obama used his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech to defend the justifications for war and points out: “if those on the left were listening, they didn’t seem to care.” He adds that “the left, which had loudly condemned George W. Bush for waterboarding and due process violations at Guantánamo, was relatively quiet when the Obama administration, acting as judge and executioner, ordered more than 250 drone strikes in Pakistan since 2009, during which at least 1,400 lives were lost.”

To explain the behavior of “the left,” Bergen offers this theory: “From both the right and left, there has been a continuing, dramatic cognitive disconnect between Mr. Obama’s record and the public perception of his leadership: despite his demonstrated willingness to use force, neither side regards him as the warrior president he is.” In other words, progressives are slavishly supportive of “one of the most militarily aggressive American leaders in decades” because they have deluded themselves into denying this reality and continue to pretend he’s some sort of anti-war figure.

That’s not unreasonable speculation, but I ultimately don’t believe that’s true. Leaving aside Bergen’s over-generalization — some factions on “the left” have been quite vocal in condemning Obama’s actions in these areas — most Democrats are perfectly aware of Obama’s military aggression. They don’t support him despite that, but rather, that’s one of the things they love about him. After years of being mocked by the Right as Terrorist-coddling weaklings, Obama — strutting around touting his own strength — lets them feel strong and powerful in exactly the way that Bush and Cheney’s swaggering let conservatives prance around as tough-guy, play-acting warriors. Rather than ignore this aggression, Democratic think tanks point with beaming pride to the corpses piled up by the Democratic Commander-in-Chief to argue that he’s been such a resounding foreign policy “success,” while Democratic pundits celebrate and defend the political value of his majestic kills.

Yesterday on his MSNBC morning show, Chris Hayes conducted an excellent, two-part discussion of Obama’s escalated civilian-killing drone attacks, with a heavy emphasis on the innocent people, including numerous children, who have been killed. He showed a harrowing video clip of a Yemeni man’s anguish as he described the pregnant women and children killed by Obama’s 2009 cluster bomb strike; featured the U.S. drone killing of 16-year-old American citizen Abdulrahman Awlaki in Yemen; and interviewed human rights lawyer Clive Stafford Smith, who described the 16-year-old Pakistani boy he met at a meeting to discuss civilian drone deaths and who, a mere 3 days later, had his own life ended by an American drone.

Later that day, Hayes tweeted this: “A bit taken aback by the ugliness that drone conversation seems to bring out in some people.” What he meant was the avalanche of angry Twitter attacks from steadfast Obama loyalists who gleefully defended the drone program, mocked concerns over civilian deaths, and insisted that he should not be covering such matters because they may harm Obama in an election year (of course, it’s not only the President’s followers, but, as Hayes noted, the President himself who is quite adept at finding humor in his drone attacks).

Contrary to Bergen’s generous belief that progressives are deluding themselves about Obama’s militarism, many are fully aware of it and, because it’s a Democrat doing it, have become aggressively supportive of it. That, without a doubt, will be one of Obama’s most enduring legacies: transforming these policies of excessive militarism, rampant secrecy and civil liberties assaults from right-wing radicalism into robust bipartisan consensus (try though they might, not even progressives will be able to turn around and credibly pretend to object to such things the next time there is a GOP President).

Now, there is one element of delusion to Democratic support for Obama’s militarism, and it plagues not only his most ardent supporters but also Bergen’s Op-Ed. Most Democratic praise for “Obama’s foreign policy successes” fails even to acknowledge, let alone condemn, the thousands of innocent people whose lives have been extinguished by his militarism. These deaths simply do not exist in their world. When you force them to address it, they’ll simply dismiss it away with the military terminology first popularized by Timothy McVeigh (that’s just “collateral damage”) and then quickly return to the Bush-era mantra of mindlessly invoking the word “Terrorism” to justify whatever violence the U.S. Government commits. They see themselves, and especially their leader, as so righteous and noble that incidents like this and this and so many others are blissfully kept far away from their consciousness because the reality of what they support cannot be reconciled with their self-perception; that, more than anything, is what explains the bitterness directed at Hayes yesterday: he publicized facts which they desperately prefer be hidden, not just from others but from themselves.

Thus, Bergen — who has spent the last several years dutifully defending in Democratic journals Obama’s escalation in Afghanistan and escalated drone war – writes almost 2,000 words hailing Obama’s spectacular foreign policy achievements. And not once do the words “civilians” or “innocent” appear. There is no mention — zero — of the numerous innocent civilians who have been killed by the policies of militarism Bergen celebrates. They simply do not exist. Bergen — who has previously claimed, contrary to substantial evidence, that civilian deaths from drones in Pakistan are overstated — here does not even acknowledge their existence. As usual, the deaths of numerous innocent foreigners from American drones and bombs and missiles, including children, is the unspeakable, irrelevant truth about American militarism.

It’s certainly not surprising that some think tank “terrorism expert” like Bergen finds civilian deaths at the hands of American militarism to be too insignificant to note, let alone to interfere with his giddy veneration. But the fact that so much of the Democratic Party, including its progressive faction, now follows suit is telling indeed.

One last point: for the full eight years of the Bush administration, Bush, Cheney and scores of other political and media supporters of their militarism who had not served in the military were routinely derided by Democrats and progressives as “chickenhawks” (an accusation, which, with some caveats and modifications, I supported). What happened to that? Now we have a President whom Bergen hails as “one of the most militarily aggressive American leaders in decades” despite having not served a day in the military, and hordes of non-military-serving Democrats who cheer him as he does so. Similarly, George Bush was mercilessly mocked for declaring himself a “war President,” yet here is Bergen — writing under the headline “Warrior in Chief” — twice christening the non-serving Obama as our “Warrior President.” Did the concept of chickenhawkism, like so many other ostensible political beliefs, cease to exist on January 20, 2009?



UPDATE: As several commenters suggest, there is another delusional aspect to the Democratic glorification of Obama’s foreign policy which I did not mention here (though I have on many other occasions): the ludicrous notion that continuously killing civilians in the Muslim world — more than a decade after 9/11 — is Keeping Us Safe rather than exacerbating the very Terrorist threat it is ostensibly intended to solve. The crux of the Bush/Cheney mentality was that Terrorism will end just as soon as you kill all the Terrorists — even as those efforts did more to ensure the continuation and escalation of anti-American hatred than any other single cause — and that’s the same mindset at the core of the Obama defense.

On another issue, Reason‘s Jesse Walker emails with a correction: “‘Collateral damage’ entered the general lexicon during the first Iraq War, not after Oklahoma City. I imagine that’s where McVeigh picked it up, too.” He then added that perhaps “it was widely used pre-Iraq and I just didn’t notice it until then. So maybe I should say it entered the general lexicon *at least* as early as Iraq I. But it was definitely in wide use then. I remember us in the antiwar movement mocking news reports for uncritically repeating the euphemism. There was even a book that used the phrase as its title.”

Finally, Jeremy Scahill delivered a superb speech at yesterday’s drone summit on what he called “Obama’s actual death panels”; Kevin Gosztola has a typically excellent summary along with the video of the speech.



UPDATE II: According to CNN today, “a suspected U.S. drone strike killed three people Sunday at a high school in northern Pakistan.” The article cites “intelligence officials” as claiming that “militants were hiding” at the school. There is apparently no information yet on who was killed, though I hope — and trust – that this won’t impede the celebrations over our “Warrior in Chief.”


_________________
Murum Aries Attigit


simon_says
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 20 Jan 2011
Gender: Male
Posts: 3,200

02 May 2012, 9:03 pm

Quote:
Glenn Greenwald wrote:


Anti-war progressives have been upset about Obama's polices for years. Some claim he reversed himself but they confused his stance on Iraq with his stance on Afghanistan. And the right are confused becuse they campaigned on him being a surrender monkey. They lied to themselves. Myself, I read and understand English so I was able to note when Obama promised to finish the job in Afghanistan and pursue AQ elsewhere. It's one reason I voted for him in the general. So I got exactly what I voted for. When Republicans cast him as a peacenik, I just laughed.

There have always been hawks in the Democratic party. That shouldnt be a surprise to anyone. Dennis Kucinich was the anti-war candidate. I didnt vote for him. Few did. And while Obama is certainly a hawk on AQ, it's hard to pick the most militaristic president in recent memory as Bergin is suggesting:

Obama: Ending of Iraq war, escalation in an extant Afghan war, strikes in Yemen and substantial strikes in Libya.
Bush: Started two major wars and conducted smaller strikes elsewhere. Oversaw greatest loss of US forces since Vietnam.
Bush Sr: Panama, Iraq 91, Somalia, threatened intervention in Kosovo-Serbia.
Clinton: Somalia, Iraqi strikes, Kosovo-Serbia. cruise missiles into Sudan and Afghanistan.



blauSamstag
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 5 Apr 2011
Age: 44
Gender: Male
Posts: 3,027

02 May 2012, 10:25 pm

The government of pakistan wants total control over the drone strikes, which won't happen because they will use them against india. We'd be fools to think they wouldn't.

In the past, they have demanded advance knowledge of strikes, but we know for a fact that their government leaks information, somehow, to the taliban. Probably through the ISI, which is known to have familial tiles to the haqqani network. As in they are close relatives.

We know that they have leaks because every time we tip off the pakistani diplomats to an upcoming strike, we can watch the target flee on satellite surveillance. Somehow, the target finds out. This is a fact that is hard to dispute.

This is not an ideal scenario, but pakistan is an ally that we must keep at arm's length. Knowingly or unknowingly, they harbor our enemies.

As for india and pakistan, they are like the world's worst divorced couple. It would be in their best interests to put their conflicts behind them but they ain't gonna. India is a very important economic ally of ours and pakistan is a very important military ally of ours - at least until we stop needing a base of operations with which to resupply our soldiers in Afghanistan. After that, screw 'em.

I'm a pacifist, but I prefer drone strikes to just sacking an entire village. they are not without collateral mayhem, but they have less collateral mayhem. And I'm not so pacifist that i don't recognize that some people need killin'.



CoMF
Deinonychus
Deinonychus

User avatar

Joined: 7 Feb 2012
Age: 40
Gender: Male
Posts: 328

03 May 2012, 1:10 am

This whole "war on terror" nonsense strikes a very sour chord with me, and I think it's best that I remove myself from the discussion entirely before invoking the wrath of the WP moderators because I have nothing nice to say about those who insist on defending our current president's actions. Since 9/11, I have witnessed the systematic erosion of our Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Amendments in addition to crimes against humanity in the name of "fighting terrorism," and I cannot help but feel righteous indignation towards those on the left who used to condemn such actions under former president Bush but glorify those same actions under Obama. Calling it "hypocrisy" is being too kind in my not so humble opinion.

That being said, thanks for posting that Salon article, Dox. Mr. Greenwald summarized my objections far more eloquently than I could have ever done.



Master_Pedant
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 14 Mar 2009
Age: 28
Gender: Male
Posts: 4,926

03 May 2012, 2:07 am

simon_says wrote:
Quote:
Glenn Greenwald wrote:


Anti-war progressives have been upset about Obama's polices for years. Some claim he reversed himself but they confused his stance on Iraq with his stance on Afghanistan. And the right are confused becuse they campaigned on him being a surrender monkey. They lied to themselves. Myself, I read and understand English so I was able to note when Obama promised to finish the job in Afghanistan and pursue AQ elsewhere. It's one reason I voted for him in the general. So I got exactly what I voted for. When Republicans cast him as a peacenik, I just laughed.

There have always been hawks in the Democratic party. That shouldnt be a surprise to anyone. Dennis Kucinich was the anti-war candidate. I didnt vote for him. Few did. And while Obama is certainly a hawk on AQ, it's hard to pick the most militaristic president in recent memory as Bergin is suggesting:

Obama: Ending of Iraq war, escalation in an extant Afghan war, strikes in Yemen and substantial strikes in Libya.
Bush: Started two major wars and conducted smaller strikes elsewhere. Oversaw greatest loss of US forces since Vietnam.
Bush Sr: Panama, Iraq 91, Somalia, threatened intervention in Kosovo-Serbia.
Clinton: Somalia, Iraqi strikes, Kosovo-Serbia. cruise missiles into Sudan and Afghanistan.


Many progressives aren't confused, Cenk Uygur himself supported the Afghan operations during the first several months of Obama's presidency (as well as the air assaults on Libya). The problem is that Obama campaigned on pulling out of Iraq to get the job done in Afghanistan and doing incursions into Pakistan because some insurgents fled across the border. He didn't campaign on perpetual warfare after Al-Qaeda's head was killed. Theoretically, this strategy of killing people associated with Al-Qaeda could go on forever and ever.

Here's a question for you. Would you be a-okay if, let's say, the military bombed a block of Milwaukee because suspected & confirmed terrorists were diffusely scattered in different parts of the area? Why are foreign civilian lives cheaper than American civilian lives?


_________________
http://www.voterocky.org/