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View Diary: On Drones. (77 comments)

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  •  I appreciate that you have made this politician (1+ / 0-)
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    neutral.  So often the discussion here about drones centers around the "here is another reason I don't like the President" which obliterates the issue of drone usage. I agree with other commenters that they are probably here to stay and that an argument for their discontinued use should include an alternative. Do you think better guidelines about what is an acceptable use is workable?  Or do you think abolition is the only way to fix the problem?

    "Speak the TRUTH, even if your voice shakes."

    by stellaluna on Mon Oct 01, 2012 at 05:29:51 AM PDT

    •  An alternative (2+ / 0-)
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      stellaluna, julifolo

      People used to use this rhetoric of the "alternative" against those of us who oppose torture as well. "Don't like torture? What's your alternative?"

      To me that is a grotesque question, because the act in question is so unambiguously wrong. Torture is wrong. Killing hundreds of civilians, attacking funerals and rescue operations, terrorizing people with constant circulation of drones in the air, all of this is wrong. You don't need to present an alternative. We have to make the moral argument against drones. We have to engage in the bizarre but necessary conversation with our fellow Americans that slaughtering civilians is wrong, period. Maybe they'll be willing to consider this.

      Here's an alternative: an America that does not feel that it has the right to kill anyone it wants, anywhere, anytime. Is that something we can imagine?

      "As the madmen play on words, and make us all dance to their song / to the tune of starving millions, to make a better kind of gun..." -- Iron Maiden

      by Lost Left Coaster on Mon Oct 01, 2012 at 08:31:03 AM PDT

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      •  I agree with you to the extent that the moral (0+ / 0-)

        discussion should stop with it is wrong to kill innocent people. Perhaps what we need to do then is address the fact that drone warfare is not an effective use in counteracting terrorist acts. Because we still have to fill the void that our military says drones fill--stopping terrorism.  If we can't do that we will never be able to stop the indiscriminate use of drones.

        "Speak the TRUTH, even if your voice shakes."

        by stellaluna on Mon Oct 01, 2012 at 08:39:07 AM PDT

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        •  No, we don't (1+ / 0-)
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          Claudius Bombarnac

          The USA was attacked on September 11th, 2001. Bin Laden is dead. Our invasion of Afghanistan is more or less a failure, and nothing is going to turn that around. The USA homeland hasn't been successfully attacked by Al Qaeda since 2001. In fact, no one but a few lone wolves, with minimal competence, have even tried.

          Terrorism is not being stopped by drones. Drones are perpetuating terrorism through their own acts of terror. To stop terror with drone strikes is like putting out a fire with gasoline. We would honestly be safer if all drone strikes stopped tomorrow.

          The USA is targeted by terrorists because of our empire of military bases and client states that repress human rights at home (like Bahrain) and abroad (like Israel) (standard caveat: this does not in any way justify terror attacks against the USA, Israel, or anyone else; this is an explanation, not a justification). If the USA were to ramp down its empire, we may just face less violent opposition around the world. And, lo and behold, we'd even have more money at home to rebuild our economy.

          Drones to not make us safer. A safer alternative for the USA would be to not use drones at all. Remember, the man who attempted to bomb Times Square said that he was motivated by civilian drone strike deaths. To him, civilian life in New York was just as expendable as civilian life in Pakistan is to the CIA, the US military, and legions of supporters.

          "As the madmen play on words, and make us all dance to their song / to the tune of starving millions, to make a better kind of gun..." -- Iron Maiden

          by Lost Left Coaster on Mon Oct 01, 2012 at 09:09:35 AM PDT

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          •  The US was attacked September 11, 2012 (0+ / 0-)

            If we can show that attack was because of drones we are likely to prevail. But if it was a non drone related terrorist attack we still have to answer the question. It will not help to ignore the fact that there are still terrorists who hate the US and want to harm it.  Showing that drones add to instead of solve the problem would be good. Ignoring the problem ensures failure.

            "Speak the TRUTH, even if your voice shakes."

            by stellaluna on Mon Oct 01, 2012 at 09:27:36 AM PDT

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            •  Why do the terrorists hate America? (0+ / 0-)
              Ignoring the problem ensures failure.
              It sure does. Can you elaborate on the "problem"?
              •  The problem that I was referring to is (1+ / 0-)
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                the anit-US feelings that lead to terrorist attacks.  I think drones contribute to those feelings.  Whether not using drones would stop terrorism is a different question.  One problem we have is terrorism.  If drones add to the likelihood of terrorist acts against the US then surely we should do everything we can to stop them.  Ignoring the contribution of drones to the the negative feelings toward the US is done at our own peril.  But the hatred preceeds drones.  Some of the hatred is cultural and we probably aren't going to be able to do anything about that.

                "Speak the TRUTH, even if your voice shakes."

                by stellaluna on Mon Oct 01, 2012 at 01:09:18 PM PDT

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    •  I think we need to have exactly this discussion. (1+ / 0-)
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      cosmic debris

      If I had an alternative or solution I would have listed it. As an American living in the Middle East you see things from a different perspective.

      We live in an interconnected world and drone strikes are absolutely fueling hatred for the United States. Do we care? If not, then by all means, continue.

      But I think we do care and in order for the US to positively interact with Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Yemen, etc. we must stop pretending that this issue, among others, is not doing us great harm.

      We can't have it both ways. The US cannot stand as a beacon of freedom and equality and the rule of law today, and then bomb a wedding tomorrow and expect Muslims to not see the contradiction.

      I absolutely support President Obama's reelection, but maintain there needs to be an open discussion about our drone policy. If drones will continue to used maybe we do need guidelines, or at the very least, better transparency.

      US SENATOR PAUL WELLSTONE (JULY 21, 1944 – OCT. 25, 2002) - “If we don’t fight hard enough for the things we stand for, at some point we have to recognize that we don’t really stand for them.”

      by RFB on Mon Oct 01, 2012 at 10:32:32 AM PDT

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