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View Diary: Daily Kos Won't Do Anti-Drone Campaign Due to "Lack of Interest" (664 comments)

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  •  Hi everyone! (47+ / 0-)

    Most people here probably don't know this--I certainly don't make a point of publicizing it--but make a point of giving the community editorial control over what topics we take action on.

    What this means in practice is that the actions we send out to large numbers of people are on topics that have demonstrated strong community interest. That means several diaries on those topics are receiving lots of shares and recommends. This strategy has proven extraordinarily successful in generating actions with astronomical response rates.

    I'm not in any way, shape or form opposed to doing an action on drones in principle. What I'm doing is paying attention to the community as best I can.

    Feel free to look through all the diaries on the "drone" tag over the past year. I count a grand total of three diaries during that time which have received more than 100 shares on Facebook. You can see those diaries here, here and here. None of those even reached 350 shares, which usually isn't enough to be the top five most shared diaries in any 24 hour period.

    I reeeeaaaalllly like doing actions that get high response rates from the community. Pulling that off means paying very close attention to what is trending in the community. It is a task I take very seriously, because this community is absolutely amazing at telling people what online progressives are interested in.

    •  thanks/logical (6+ / 0-)

      Monsanto is poison,gotta be stopped. Can't afford rich people anymore;must cut back. People like Dick Cheney are evil, don't belong in government. We need @ 9 different revolutions in this country, and may they all crossoverlap soon..

      by renzo capetti on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 03:46:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Someone has got to explain to me "actions" or (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      martini, GreyHawk

      "campaigns" as something other than community generated. Do yuo, Bowers, generate Kos campaigns outside the community arena?

      •  I mean outside of actual candidate campaigns. nt (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        GreyHawk
      •  There is a whole program (0+ / 0-)

        Via which DailyKos sends out emails asking people to take an action (such as sign a petition, call a congressperson, etc.). The topics for those emails depends on which diaries on the site gain enough traction to be shared broadly outside of the site, by site users.

        One or more emailings calling for action on a particular topic is called a "campaign," not just here, but in the industry in general. If you pay a marketing agency to send emails to your customers, each mailing or set of related mailings is called a "campaign."

    •  Also - FaceBook shares? (18+ / 0-)

      I have never once shared a Kos post on FB. Maybe a few times on Twitter. I had no idea DKos measured itself by these things.

      •  It's a pretty standard (16+ / 0-)

        measure for folks who are looking to organize beyond a set group of people (i.e in this case the dk community).

        If a topic gets shared broadly (where 'broadly" seems to be defined as a minimum of 350 shares on FB), then that topic is a good possibility for a broader campaign, i.e. something that extends beyond the ether-walls of the dkos community.  

        Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

        by a gilas girl on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 03:58:53 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Its a pretty inaccurrate (7+ / 0-)

          and uneven measure of community interest in anything.

          Facebooking is but one tool in promoting diaries. Just because some posts are Facebooked more than others is only a measure of who showed up on a particular day that happen to use Facebook in that particular way to promote posts and issues that they favor.

          •  But we are talking about participation over time (0+ / 0-)
            What this means in practice is that the actions we send out to large numbers of people are on topics that have demonstrated strong community interest. That means several diaries on those topics are receiving lots of shares and recommends.
            Dismissing it as "a measure of who showed up on a particular day" appears wrong since it seems the metric involves community participation based on diaries that occur on multiple days.  It's like dismissing a poll as "just one poll" based on a few hundred responses who can't possibly be representative of America while ignoring other polls on the same subject taken on different days.
            •  It's got nothing to do with participation. (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              BradyB, MNPundit, A Siegel

              He's not looking at tips, rec's, and comments.

              He's looking at "how many new unique users might this attract by promoting this site through social media".

              Sometimes it's tempting to lose sight of the fact that Kos is first and foremost an entrepreneur, and that this is his livelyhood.  

              I like the guys product.  I use it.  But it's a product designed to turn a profit.

              I love you stupid fucking fucks. Now stop poking at the dead cat on the table and get back to the issues.

              by JesseCW on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 08:59:24 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  "seems" (0+ / 0-)

              If something "seems be be a metric" -- it isn't actually a metric.

              •  Do you have an actual reason to doubt (0+ / 0-)

                The validity of using Facebook shares as one measure of community interest other than not liking the results?

                •  I have already stated it (0+ / 0-)

                  But to flesh it out a bit farther.  

                  Some people use Facebooking shares, some don't. In fact, many people do not use it at all.  Some people who use Facebook in this way, such as myself, rarely use it to promote Daily Kos diaries on any subject.  

                  Again, it is a great way to promote a diary. But taken by itself, it is not a great way to measure community interest on anything.

                  •  Do you have any reason to believe (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Larsstephens

                    That people who care about this issue are less likely to use Facebook than people who care about other issues?

                    You seem to be under the impression that they decided to arbitrarily use Facebook shares.  From what I know of Chris Bowers, I suspect there was some detailed analysis of different statistics.  I don't think they rely just on Facebook to decide where to focus activist campaigns.  It's part of a whole.  One thing that Facebook does is measure how well an issue is penetrating outside of the community and what level of engagement there is between Kossacks and non-Kossacks.

                    I can add that kos recently wrote :

                    when we write about drones, and when the community writes about drones, all we get is a collective "meh" from the rest of the community. There are few comments, few facebook shares, few twitter shares, few recommends, few anything.
                    •  One again, "seem" (0+ / 0-)

                      Are you able to state, using actual data, metrics or any other reasonable measure or word you care to use to describe it, that Facebook likes alone are a measure of community interest in anything, anything at all?

                      The burden of proof is on those who claim that it is a valid measure, not on anyone, in this case me, who has reasonably questioned its validity.

                      My alleged "impression" is not at issue here.  All I have to go on it what Chris actually wrote.  What you "suspect," is beside the point.  I welcome any and all further clarifications.

                      •  I disagree (0+ / 0-)

                        You are not reasonably questioning its validity.  You are being intellectually dishonest.  You didn't merely question; you flat-out asserted that it is inaccurate.  You haven't done anything other than quibble about what the meaning of "is" is.  Your only apparent reason for doubting it is that it doesn't lead to your preferred outcome.  Quit being this guy.

                        I don't have access to the data, but it is not hard to come up with a model of how Facebook shares measure how engaged the community is.   I can not think of a better way than using social media to come up with some relatively easy measure of how issues motivate Kossacks to reach out and make sure that non-Kossacks are aware of specific issues.  People who visit this website are not sufficient to fuel an activist campaign.

              •  to clarify (0+ / 0-)

                I said "it seems" to be a metric, because I'm not the one doing the measuring or the decision making, so "it seems [to me as the observer] to be a metric [that they are using] but I cannot verify since I am only observing.

                That's just bad writing on my part, not a statement of fact about anything.

                A bit of reading too much into one part of the sentence and not enough (because not enough was there) in the other part.

                Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

                by a gilas girl on Wed Apr 24, 2013 at 11:32:21 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  If this were a lower-trafficked site... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            nailbender

            ...I'd agree that FB shares were a function of who happened to show up that day.

            But one of the hats I wear in my job is site analytics—and with a site with this kind of traffic, we generally consider it safe to assume that, by and large, the site's visitors over a 24-48 hour period are a representative sample of the site's overall audience; the sample size is large enough to make at least some level of generalization about the behavior of the site's overall audience.

            There's also a large enough historical sample of audience slice and engagement to be able to account for regular and periodic fluctuations in site audience (for example, throughout the social and real-time Web, post volume and engagement usually dips on weekends).

            That said, I don't think it's inconceivable that the pieces about drone warfare generally get fewer shares on FB not because there's less audience interest, but because the audience that is generally engaged on this issue is less likely to use FB. I don't have any kind of data either way, but the notion passes the "sniff test."

            Despite Mr. Bowers's comment above, I'd be very surprised if FB shares really were the only means used by Big Orange to measure audience engagement; given the amount of data they have at hand, it's probably a mix of things.

            At the same time, particularly if my speculation two paragraphs ago is valid, it could be argued that FB shares are a good measure of whether messaging on this issue has appeal not only to those who are already engaged on it and care about it as a high priority in their political activism, but to a broader audience that may not necessarily be so engaged.

            Were I responsible for the action emails on this site, that would definitely be something that would give me pause about trying to engage the overall DK mailing list on that issue.

            "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

            by JamesGG on Wed Apr 24, 2013 at 05:51:36 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  not to speak about those who out of principle (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              nailbender, ek hornbeck

              don't use facebook in their clicktivism. I don't know how many people resent facebook as much as I do, but I could imagine that there are people highly interested in a subject area, read all the diaries here they can find and may recommend them or not, based on the quality of the diary. But they do NOT spread it via "Like It" button clicks, even if they are very interested in the subject.

              Also my feeling is that "hot topic issues", where compassions are messing up the writing style of some, represent themselves to the reader in a way that the reader thinks he has to be "careful" to comment or recommend or showing support for, because the general assumption is that "you better not say what you think" if it's upsetting for too many people.  

              I think the best way to find out about what the readership is interested in is listening to what is said.

              Compare writers and commentators and what they create as an atmosphere as using small comments, small issues as a "canary in the coalmine" situation. It's the small things that indicate if the bird might become sick, not the "official statistical pollution numbers".

              At least my "Like It" contribution absolutely do not reflect my interests and never will. To be frank what Chris describes is true, I can see it in my inbox of my email and get slightly annoyed about I am swamped with various activism related sollicitations. It's getting too much and I don't read them anymore. I think that the measurement of what kind of petitions you are willing to sign is a better measurement, but I also have to say that sometimes (especially if its legislative proposals related) I do find myself unable to decide if the proposal is actually good or not and I feel insecure about my petition-clicking clicktivism.

              In the end I watch out for comments and analysis of those writers I trust rather than nilly-willy join each cause with my clicks.

              •  I joined Facebook just before they flipped their (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                ek hornbeck

                default privacy settings.  My account lasted about 8 hours past that action.  

                So what Chris is telling me is that my decision to avoid Facebook because of their ruthless relationship with their users divests me of influence in the critical decisions that he makes regarding this site's political outreach.

                That's bullshit.  I spend 90% of my internet time on this site. I know, that's pathetic.  And it's more pathetic when I realize that my "voice" here has been diminished by virtue of this ignorant policy.

                "Well, yeah, the Constitution is worth it if you succeed." - Nancy Pelosi // Question: "succeed" at what?

                by nailbender on Wed Apr 24, 2013 at 09:12:47 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  It's pretty standard for people who want to attact (0+ / 0-)

          new users in order to drive ad revenue.

          I love you stupid fucking fucks. Now stop poking at the dead cat on the table and get back to the issues.

          by JesseCW on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 08:57:15 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Some of us support the drone program. (14+ / 0-)

      I note Armando and myself, for example. That being said, I doubt there is little interest in campaigning for it even among those of us who support their use.

      Now, if the issue is about should we be involved in low-intensity war or not, that is a great discussion to have. Probably have more interest than drones vs. humans.

      •  The issue is not "drones v humans." (0+ / 0-)

        But you knew that, so...carry on with that obfuscation, I guess.

        •  It isn't? (5+ / 0-)

          My understanding is that there is opposition to the use of drones because drones kill people. Well, what would you use to kill them instead of drones?

          •  Are you actually pretending to not know (0+ / 0-)

            how the issue of secrecy and oversight fits into the drone discussion? You cannot be, so i will once again straight out accuse you of deliberate obfuscation. And that's far from the only issue involving drones other than your obtuse "drones v humans."

            •  You're against secrecy for just the drone program (8+ / 0-)

              or just military secrecy in general? Because I can't tell the difference. Perhaps you can tell me the difference between the President ordering a secret special forces raid and a secret drone strike. I don't see any difference.

              As far as oversight, that program has the same lax oversight as the CIA's military operations division. You tell me the difference because I can't see any.

              Please try and do it without personal insults, if you can.

              •  Are you saying people need to shut up about drones (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                radical simplicity, snoopydawg

                unless they talk about overall problems with secrecy? Sure sounds like it. And it sounds like people hre who said "Shut up about Bradley Manning's conditions unless you've been campaigning against solitary confinement for years!"

                •  Did I say that? Quote me. (9+ / 0-)

                  I never said shut up about anything.

                  What I said was pretty clear: Being against drones as a tool of lethal force only makes sense if you're against the use of lethal force generally. Because I fail to see the effectual difference between sending in a SEAL team and sending in a drone. Except for the decreased risk to that SEAL Team and the lower cost of the operation.

                  If you're against targeted killing, it shouldn't matter how its done.

                  •  "Because I fail to see the effectual difference (0+ / 0-)

                    between sending in a SEAL team and sending in a drone. Except for the decreased risk to that SEAL Team and the lower cost of the operation."

                    That you just said that dollars and U.S. deaths are the only "effectual difference" in this issue means something in this discussion. I mean this ain't Twitter. You weren't constrained by a character limit.

                    •  Well, perhaps you can shed some light on it. (0+ / 0-)

                      People get killed when you are, you know, killing people.

                      Here, have some Hip Hop:

                      •  You didnt' speak to "people getting killed." (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        BradyB

                        You spoke about risk to SEALS. There are other "people" in the equation.

                        And why haven't you spoken to the fact that the Obama adminstration has plainly lied about the use of drones? Is that not at least something up for discussion?

                        •  Of course it is. (7+ / 0-)

                          If you want to have a discussion about government honesty, or lack of oversight of secret programs, or any of those things, you can have those discussions outside of the drone program. Because those things go on throughout the military industrial complex.

                          Again, I have no problem with people saying we should end the War on Al Qaeda or War on Terror in all its forms. There is a valid point to be made here. But I haven't heard any cogent argument as to why specifcially drones being used is wrong or any worse than any other form of military action. We used drones in Libya. We used bombers in Libya. We used cruise missles in Libya. All three killed innocent people. I fail to see how one is any better or worse than the other.

                          •  "you can have those discussions outside of the (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            BradyB

                            drone program"

                            Who exactly are you to say what people should have discussion about? I mean that sincerely.

                            Again, I have no problem with people saying we should end the War on Al Qaeda or War on Terror in all its forms. There is a valid point to be made here.
                            Are you saying or doing anything to those ends? Again - sincerely asked. Because if you're not, then opposing people arguing against drones on the grounds that they are part of a larger problem - that you say you oppose yourself, but aren't doing anything about - is a really, really lame argument. It's apathy arguing with style.
                          •  So far, your main (5+ / 0-)

                            points against the drone program is

                            1. People get killed because of it
                            2. It has an oversight problem.

                            Ok. Both arguments are weak. You're either against the use  of targeted killing generally or you just seem to have some sort of fetish about drones.

                          •  Where did I say that one of (0+ / 0-)

                            my arguments is that "People get killed because of it."

                            You hardly deserve a response for that, just to note. That is offensivley obtuse. You are not nearly acting up the grade of a front-pager in this.

                          •  Okay, I'll give it a shot. Here's a # 3. (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Little

                            The use of drones allows one side to inflict mortalities without the possibility of substaining any mortalities = push button killing without potential-immediate consequences = the moral equivalent of flying bombing runs over a country that has neither an air force nor anti-aircraft = a video game where one side plays & the other side just dies = no possible check on endless war.

                            If we can do it, and get away with it without any casaulties, then why not just keep doing it endlessly?

                            Btw, love the point you made about "when people kill people, people get killed." True that.

                            America's greatest political dynasty...the Kaan

                            by catilinus on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 06:53:44 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  There's a technological disadvantage is your point (5+ / 0-)

                            and that's quite true. Well, that sucks if you're on the losing end. It just does.

                          •  The fuck? (0+ / 0-)

                            Why did you respond to that but not me? You have willfully mistated my position. Not fucking cool.

                          •  You're the personal insult type. (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            raptavio

                            You can't argue the point so you basically just go to the insult. I'm obtuse. I'm too dumb to be a front pager. Etc. Usually when people bring up the front pager thing, I consider that a sign they're beaten, I declare victory and move on.

                            So rather than waste any more time entertaining your inability to get to the simple heart of the matter, I think it best that I ignore you.

                          •  You're the personally insulting through (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            BradyB

                            passive agressiveness type - your "drones vs. humans" comment being the first example here - I don't do passive agressive, I just call fuckery "fuckery." And calling someone displaying obtusity "obtuse" isn't insult, it's observation.

                            You said to me:

                            So far, your main (1+ / 0-)
                            points against the drone program is

                            1. People get killed because of it
                            2. It has an oversight problem.

                            I never said #1. You are either lying or being willfully and offensively obtuse. That deserves your attention, as a member of this community, and especially as a front pager. (And #2 you called "weak" argument. Which is just shocking.)
                          •  And I never said anything like you're (0+ / 0-)

                            "too dumb" to be a front pager. And: you're incessant misstating of my words is not up to being a front pager.

                          •  True, you didn't use the word dumb. (0+ / 0-)

                            Here's what you said:  "You are not nearly acting up to the grade of a front-pager in this."

                            Who decides what the "grade of a front pager is?" Certainly it's not just about your opinion. But it's insulting to anyone who takes their job as a front pager seriously, and who comes to their opinions from the most honest point they can, as you come to your opinions.

                            You could have left out the front pager shit, it's shit stirring and insulting.

                            "A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues." Theodore Roosevelt.

                            by StellaRay on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 08:53:48 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I completely disagree. (0+ / 0-)

                            I do not even know where you're coming from. I think misstaing people's arguments to make them sound dumb is horrible behavior, and is especially bad from a front pager. He has done it I think three times now. I stand 100% by my remarks to BBB, and I have a perfect right to say so. There is nothing deliberatley shit-stirring about it in the least. It is a sincere statement from a longtime Kossack.

                          •  It may be sincere, (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            PsychoSavannah

                            but it is insulting. There was no need to bring in BBB's front page status here and grade him on it according to your disagreements with him. Stick to the policies and the issues and don't assume that you define what a front pager should or should not think. You're pretty damn scrappy in defense of your own opinions, surely you can allow BBB this without the extraneous insults.

                            "A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues." Theodore Roosevelt.

                            by StellaRay on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 09:14:46 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I completely disagree. (0+ / 0-)

                            I think it is entirely fair of any Kossack to hold front-pagers to higher standards than others.

                            And the fact that you have more problem with me doing that than BBB's very plain obfuscation is hard to understand. You haven't even spoken to it.

                            Do YOU think the arguemtns aginst drone warfare boils down to BBB's simplistic misstatements?

                          •  And let me be perfectly clear about the (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            BradyB, Marko the Werelynx

                            obfuscation charge. BBB said this in his very first comment in this thread:

                            Some of us support the drone program. (10+ / 0-)

                            I note Armando and myself, for example. That being said, I doubt there is little interest in campaigning for it even among those of us who support their use.

                            Now, if the issue is about should we be involved in low-intensity war or not, that is a great discussion to have. Probably have more interest than drones vs. humans.

                            Nobody - exactly nobody - argues that the issue regarding the use of drones is as simplistic as "drones vs. humans." BBB knows this. When that was pointed out to him, he simply stated it again. And later still said my argument against drones was "People get killed because of it." That is deliberate straw manning. And it's offensive. And it's behavior not up to a front pager.
                          •  Yeah, but I guess we're used to it, aren't we? (0+ / 0-)

                            The targets of drones die. The rich get richer. The rest of us get relatively poorer.

                            Yeah, it sucks.

                            America's greatest political dynasty...the Kaan

                            by catilinus on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 07:57:05 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Technology is a tool. (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Larsstephens

                            Warfare has always -- ALWAYS been about inflicting maximum harm on the enemy with minimum necessary harm to oneself.

                            Your principal complaint seems to be that drone technology is remarkably effective at that goal.

                            But technology is a tool. No more, no less. Making the argument about technology is a fool's errand and misses the point. The point is about how it's used.

                            We have just enough religion to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another. -- Jonathan Swift

                            by raptavio on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 08:19:36 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Oh, I don't know. The technology of nuclear (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Little, Marko the Werelynx

                            weapons doesn't seem to be a fools errand. Same was true about the use of gas post WWI.

                            The point is about how it's used.
                            No, the point is it shouldn't be used.
                            Warfare has always -- ALWAYS been about inflicting maximum harm on the enemy with minimum necessary harm to oneself.
                            History begs to differ. Try googling Flower Wars. Warfare has always been about achieving objectives, & not necessarily less casaulties than the other side. Try googling about Grant's pursuit of Lee in Virginia, or how the Soviets beat the Nazis by taking casaulties at a 10 to 1 ratio.

                            Drones at some point stop being a tool in a "war"...& become a policy statement instead. I'm against that policy statement.

                            America's greatest political dynasty...the Kaan

                            by catilinus on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 08:39:14 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Terrorism as a method of war, (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            brooklynbadboy, stellaluna

                            also has big advantages. We may have more money and a bigger defense department than anyone else, but that hasn't stopped terrorism from reaking havoc in our country and others, not just in lives lost, but in the aftermath of fear and the effects on politics, laws and ultimately how we define democracy in the age of terrorism.

                            In short, Terrorism packs a toxic and deep blow, despite the fact that it does not employ drones. It is a VERY, VERY worthy opponent that should not be sympathized with for it's lack of technology or the appearance of Western World Power.

                            To be honest, I don't know how the hell I feel about drones. War is nasty and like you BBB, I just don't see the difference between drones and any other act of war, accept that it saves lives on our side.

                            Am I unconcerned about the innocent loss of life? Of course not, but I'm also not unconcerned with the enormous power of terrorism, and countries that harbor and protect it.  

                             

                            "A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues." Theodore Roosevelt.

                            by StellaRay on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 08:44:55 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  There is a legitimate question about "war" (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            PsychoSavannah, stellaluna

                            as the proper construct within which to effectively deal with terrorism. I think that is a perfectly legitimate question that deserves some consideration and thought. This is why I put more weight on people who state clearly "End the War on Terror" and then lay out the reasons. There is a persuasive case there.

                            What isn't persuasive is just saying "DRONES!!! EVIL!!!" a bunch of times without explaining why a Hellfire missile delivered from a drone is any different from a Hellfire missile delivered from a Stealth Bomber. The entire argument over drones makes no sense to me.

                            The issue at hand should be the War on Terror. That's the real debate to be had.

                          •  I understand that (0+ / 0-)

                            "the war on terror" has become an unpopular phrase because it is a war without end that enables and justifies wartime practices that would not be tolerated under other conditions.

                            However, terrorism must be fought, and will be fought, so the semantics of what that fight is called is ultimately irrelevant. Who is going to agree to the idea that say, fighting terrorism is not a war and therefore we are not justified in using our best weapons to fight it and defend ourselves? Who would agree to that after the Boston Marathon? Or after 9/11?

                            Terrorism, even more than traditional warfare feels like the ultimate betrayal to most people---the blatant use of the loss of innocent life to make a point is the only strategy. There will be no peace treaties, no surrenders.  The fight is in the ether, until it jumps out and take a bloody bite out of people's best hopes. And that infuriates people.  So the war on terror will continue no matter what you call it, and it will continue to be fought with the best weapons for the job.

                            "A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues." Theodore Roosevelt.

                            by StellaRay on Thu Apr 25, 2013 at 10:04:39 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Said the samurai about firearms. (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            raptavio, sviscusi, brooklynbadboy

                            Can't wish away technology.

                            Those who would sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.

                            by FrankRose on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 07:58:22 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Said dying folks about bombs from the sky. (0+ / 0-)

                            I don't want to be Mushashi Miyamoto, but I'd rather be that than an armchair bomber pushing buttons from afar.

                            Can't wish away video game-playing kids murdering others, but you can disguise it.

                            America's greatest political dynasty...the Kaan

                            by catilinus on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 08:29:12 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  250 years is not an inconsequential blip. (0+ / 0-)

                            I love you stupid fucking fucks. Now stop poking at the dead cat on the table and get back to the issues.

                            by JesseCW on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 09:06:32 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Warfare still exists. As does technology. (0+ / 0-)

                            The Samurai does not.

                            Those who would sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.

                            by FrankRose on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 10:44:38 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                  •  And who exactly have you decided to trust in (0+ / 0-)

                    this discussion on the "lower cost" thing?

                  •  As a general rule, SEAL's and Delta are a lot (4+ / 0-)

                    better at differentiating between civilians and combatants.

                    See Also: Bin Laden's living wife.

                    Being against drones as a tool of lethal force only makes sense if you're against the use of lethal force generally
                    This just isn't true.  It's like saying that we should simply drop a fuel-air bomb on every compound in Afghanistan that offers resistance, and that the only issue in play is whether you "support lethal force generally".

                    Our military commanders routinely make the decision to risk the lives of our armed forces and expend substantial sums of cash to minimize the risk to civilians.  

                    The laws of war often require it, and it's the only hope in hell we've got of ever decreasing rather than increasing enemy strength in an unconventional war.

                    I love you stupid fucking fucks. Now stop poking at the dead cat on the table and get back to the issues.

                    by JesseCW on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 09:04:24 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

              •  Drones are easier and cheaper to deploy (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                pgm 01

                Which could well lead to more killings than they would be if they had to send in a team of human soldiers every time.

                Still, it is moot at this point, the things are here so now I think we need to focus on regulating their use.

                •  That's exactly why we use them! (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  arizonablue, virginislandsguy, rsmpdx
                  Which could well lead to more killings than they would be if they had to send in a team of human soldiers every time.
                  Yes, it means more killing of them and less killing of us. That's why we use em.
                  •  No shit (0+ / 0-)

                    you asked about differences, there's one.  It is silly to pretend drones are just another tool like any other.  They do in fact radically change the "game".  As I said though, they are here now and here to stay so I actually agree with your main point.

                    •  Terrorism "radically changes the game." (0+ / 0-)

                      "A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues." Theodore Roosevelt.

                      by StellaRay on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 09:03:42 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  You say that as if it's something new. (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        BradyB

                        Massively over-reacting to terrorism is what creates radical change and gets millions or tens of millions of people killed.

                        It wasn't the dipshit that killed Archduke Ferdinand that created WWI.  

                        It was the assholes who decided to treat it as something other than a criminal matter, and to launch a war instead.

                        Non-State terrorism is as old as the human race.  Literally.  

                        Chimps murder and viciously mutilate chimps from other bands and leave them on the boundaries of their territory as a warning.

                        STATE terrorism, that's only a few thousand years old, and it's a lot more destructive and deadly.

                        I love you stupid fucking fucks. Now stop poking at the dead cat on the table and get back to the issues.

                        by JesseCW on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 09:15:18 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                  •  Not really that cheap (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Little, pgm 01

                    That is a myth.  

                    And getting more and more expensive.


                    "Justice is a commodity"

                    by joanneleon on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 07:36:41 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  It means more killing of women and children and (4+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Little, BradyB, radical simplicity, pgm 01

                    other non-combatants.

                    But you know that.

                    I love you stupid fucking fucks. Now stop poking at the dead cat on the table and get back to the issues.

                    by JesseCW on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 09:11:52 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  He does know that, and doesn't respond (0+ / 0-)

                      to that. That is suprising and disapointing.

                    •  Of course. Women and children get killed in war. (0+ / 0-)

                      I've never seen a war where that didn't happen. Have you?

                      •  Is your argument that it just doesn't matter (0+ / 0-)

                        how many?

                        I love you stupid fucking fucks. Now stop poking at the dead cat on the table and get back to the issues.

                        by JesseCW on Wed Apr 24, 2013 at 10:50:27 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  He again and again straw mans our arguments (0+ / 0-)

                          in hit and run comments then doesn't respond to the followup.

                          Very uncool, very immature - especially for a front-pager.

                        •  It doesn't matter (0+ / 0-)

                          if they are killed by a drone or by a machine gun is my point.

                          •  A special forces operator with a machine (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            BradyB

                            gun is far less likely to kill that woman or child (or 16 year old boy delivering tea) than a Hellfire with a warhead with a 50 meter radius of 75% lethality.

                            That's why we have them, instead of just bombing the shit out of everything.  We can turn any nation on Earth to glass in 15 minutes, if we just don't give a fuck about the laws of war or protecting civilians.

                            We have ground combatants precisely so we can put their lives at risk and limit civilian casualties.  That's why they get paychecks, and we don't just have an air force and a navy instead.

                            Under the laws of war, the military advantage gained by the strike has to outweigh the harm caused to civilians.  

                            When we're snuffing multiple civilians to try to kill a guy who whose name we don't know who fits a "profile" that suggests he might be a terrorist and who we suspect might be in the house we've targeted, we're no where near that standard.

                            When we're striking villages because the brutal overlord of a stinking torture state has told us that "Really, really, those rebels attacking my troops are all Al Queda", we've simply rejecting the notion that any standard at all is required.

                            I get it.  You're a Marine.  "Fuck these assholes who say grunts have to risk their lives when we can just call an airstrike". "Don't tell us how to fight a war."

                            But that's the only reason we've got grunts.  To do just that.  

                            I love you stupid fucking fucks. Now stop poking at the dead cat on the table and get back to the issues.

                            by JesseCW on Wed Apr 24, 2013 at 03:04:18 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Ummmm, no. (0+ / 0-)
                            We have ground combatants precisely so we can put their lives at risk and limit civilian casualties.  That's why they get paychecks, and we don't just have an air force and a navy instead.
                            We have grunts to invade and pacify territory. That's not the mission in these cases. They don't exist for the purpose of getting killed and maimed.

                            If the mission is to take somebody out, in targeted fashion, then a drone makes the most sense unless that operation could be safely conducted by an assassin. If it could be safely conducted by a special forces raid, then use where appropriate. But if you can do it with a drone, then do that. I understand the administration's rationale and it makes complete sense. The weight is always going to be tilted towards saving American lives. As it should be.

                          •  We can "pacify" territory far cheaper (0+ / 0-)

                            by simply bombing the shit out anyone who might resist.

                            But we don't do that, because civilian life has some value to us.  That's why didn't just glass Falluja.

                            I do not agree with your assertion that the lives of men who signed up for the chance to kill people are worth more than the lives of children.

                            Neither did those who created the laws of armed conflict.

                            I love you stupid fucking fucks. Now stop poking at the dead cat on the table and get back to the issues.

                            by JesseCW on Wed Apr 24, 2013 at 04:53:13 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                      •  Just to make sure you see my comment to (0+ / 0-)

                        Jesse:

                        He again and again straw mans our arguments i

                        n hit and run comments then doesn't respond to the followup.

                        Very uncool, very immature - especially for a front-pager.

                    •  More killing than what alternative? (0+ / 0-)

                      Not attacking AQ, Taliban, Al Shabaab, AQAP members? Sure, enjoy that pretty tautology.

                      Just about every other military tactic would lead to more killing. Pakistan, Yemen, whatever passes for a Somali government these days may look the other way when the US launches drone strikes within their borders, but they sure as fuck aren't going to let Special Ops teams engage in regular attacks within their borders. Congratulations, we just started a land war with a nuclear power!

                      Bombs and missiles launched from  manned aircraft and ships are going to be at least as bad (and likely much worse) than drone strikes. You think a Hellfire missile launched from a drone is indiscriminate? How about a Tomahawk missile from a battleship (which, like a drone strike, is launched by someone pressing a button a great distance from the target, someone in no danger of being attacked or killed by their intended target)?

                      •  You're obsessed with trying to hammer bolts into (0+ / 0-)

                        threaded slots, and you're arguing about which hammer works best.

                        All military tactics are and will continue to be failures, if the goal is to actually end terrorist attacks against us.

                        In Yemen, we're butchering people rebelling against our Satrap because he says they're Al Qaeda.  We're just doing a thugs killing for him.  Maybe, from time to time, we kill some guy who was planning to attack us (along with his wives, and a couple of his dozen kids), but even then the poorly targeted assassination program still isn't stopping attacks.

                        1) Bomb women and children in half a dozen nations
                        2)???????????????????????????????????
                        3) Safety!!!!

                        Did you just claim that Yemen and Somalia were nuclear powers capable of engaging in land wars with the US?

                        We're using airstrikes against villages in which we suspect that people who may be affiliated with groups that may have been affiliated with groups that may have been affiliated with groups that may have affiliated with Al Queda may be sheltering....in Afghanistan.

                        Is your claim that we're doing this to avoid a land war in Afghanistan?

                        Bombs and missiles launched from  manned aircraft and ships are going to be at least as bad (and likely much worse) than drone strikes. You think a Hellfire missile launched from a drone is indiscriminate? How about a Tomahawk missile from a battleship (which, like a drone strike, is launched by someone pressing a button a great distance from the target, someone in no danger of being attacked or killed by their intended target)?
                        This is the non-responsive babbling of a person who has started to realize how weak his pro-slaughter position is.

                        I love you stupid fucking fucks. Now stop poking at the dead cat on the table and get back to the issues.

                        by JesseCW on Wed Apr 24, 2013 at 10:57:51 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  asdf (0+ / 0-)
                          In Yemen, we're butchering people rebelling against our Satrap because he says they're Al Qaeda.
                          I didn't know that AQAP was a figment of Saleh and Hadi's imagination. Apparently, the attack on the USS Cole was faked! If only we had asked JesseCW, we could have spared so much trouble and heartache.
                          Did you just claim that Yemen and Somalia were nuclear powers capable of engaging in land wars with the US?
                          No, I claimed that Pakistan is a nuclear power, and that sending in Special Ops forces to attack the targets that drones regularly strike now would cause a land war. Here's some more detail, so that your "most idiotic misreading possible" approach is further constrained: the US currently has a large number of forces stationed in Afghanistan. Regular incursions into Pakistan by US troops would be unacceptable to the Pakistani govt and would be cause for a ground war, launched against the US troops stationed in Afghanistan.  Any other willfully stupid misreadings of my comment you want to make?
                          Bombs and missiles launched from  manned aircraft and ships are going to be at least as bad (and likely much worse) than drone strikes. You think a Hellfire missile launched from a drone is indiscriminate? How about a Tomahawk missile from a battleship (which, like a drone strike, is launched by someone pressing a button a great distance from the target, someone in no danger of being attacked or killed by their intended target)?
                          This is the non-responsive babbling of a person who has started to realize how weak his pro-slaughter position is.
                          So your claim is that using other methods of striking AQ, AQAP, etc., in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia would cause less civilian casualties and damage to infrastructure? Or are insults the way you deflect questions that you'd rather not answer?
                          •  You're asking the ruler of a notorious (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            BradyB

                            torture state "Which people should we kill for you today".

                            And you see no problem with that.

                            We staged a massive helicopter raid into Pakistan and killed Bin Lade.  I don't recall a land war.  I don't recall the use of nukes, or threats of the use of nukes.

                            You have no explanation for why you prefer to bomb Yemeni and Somali villages and slaughter innocents rather than risk sending in operatives to kill selected targets.  You don't even attempt an excuse.

                            You're simply ok with offing civilians so long as boogie men who frighten you might be killed as well.  

                            Better "their" women and children massacred than a slight risk than any American might ever be injured.

                            In the end, of course, you simply make us all more unsafe by doing their recruiting for them.  But you're clearly ok with that, too.  

                            Because if they had no more recruits, there would be no more excuse to kill.

                            I love you stupid fucking fucks. Now stop poking at the dead cat on the table and get back to the issues.

                            by JesseCW on Wed Apr 24, 2013 at 12:17:31 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  so (0+ / 0-)
                            You're asking the ruler of a notorious (0+ / 0-)
                            torture state "Which people should we kill for you today".
                            you think the Yemeni govt is providing us with targets? Prove you conspiracy theory.
                            We staged a massive helicopter raid into Pakistan and killed Bin Lade.  I don't recall a land war.  I don't recall the use of nukes, or threats of the use of nukes.
                            which is why I said they wouldn't tolerate regular incursions. Maybe you aren't aware of the shit-storm caused by the bin Laden raid in Pakistan? Probably not.
                            You have no explanation for why you prefer to bomb Yemeni and Somali villages and slaughter innocents rather than risk sending in operatives to kill selected targets.  You don't even attempt an excuse.

                            You're simply ok with offing civilians so long as boogie men who frighten you might be killed as well.  

                            Better "their" women and children massacred than a slight risk than any American might ever be injured.

                            You imply that drone strikes mainly kill civilians. None of the organizations tracking drone strikes or the "Living Under Drones" report agree with you.

                            As for your claim that by attacking AQ, AQAP, Taliban, etc. militants we are "doing their recruiting for them", you prove you have absolutely no idea what you are talking about. Is there increased AQ activity as a result of the drone strikes? Are their numbers growing? Give one study (hell, I'll settle for one sourced newspaper article) that claims this.

      •  I don't know if it's accurate to say that (5+ / 0-)

        Armando supports the drone program. He defended its legality. That doesn't mean he supports it.

      •  I agree here (0+ / 0-)

        I don't "support the drone program" in the same way I'm not in favor of asymmetrical imperial(?) warfare. But the difference between accidentally killing a kid with a drone and accidentally killing a kid with an gun matters not to the surviving relatives. War on Terror? a couple of thousand lightly armed crazies and their gangster cronies have kept NATO and the US bogged down since right after 9/11. We lost. (unless by "we" arms manufacturers are included)

        Off topic I suspect that the Pakistani government rails against the drone program in public and begs for it to continue in private. And where do I stand on the Islamic reformation? Edgy ...

        If you didn't like the news today, go out and make some of your own.

        by jgnyc on Wed Apr 24, 2013 at 07:45:53 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Of course; thanks for proving it though. nt (3+ / 0-)

      I see what you did there.

      by GoGoGoEverton on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 04:06:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Shares on Facebook? that's no criteria for an (5+ / 0-)

      important topic like the killing of civilians in sovereign countries by the US government's use of drones.

      You won't campaign on something unless it's already popular? why not introduce a topic and help make it well-known.

    •  You're going by Facebook shares and ignoring (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BradyB

      the sites own metrics?

      So it's not at ALL about community interest, is it?

      You just made clear that it's about driving new traffic through shares, NOT what the existing community feels is important.

      I love you stupid fucking fucks. Now stop poking at the dead cat on the table and get back to the issues.

      by JesseCW on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 08:56:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  existing community is how large? (0+ / 0-)

        I don't look at the stats but my guess is it's large enough to keep the comment threads humming but much smaller than the casual only read the front page browser. If every serial poster on dKos lived in the same medium sized city could "we" elect a mayor?

        Of course it's about reaching out. More and better Democrats. I don't reference dKos ever on Facebook as our society is entirely Balkanized, my friends from all ends of the political spectrum know about where I stand (I can piss everyone off with little effort though I have to move around topics to do so).

        And kos wants to make money. It's why he can pay the front pagers. Their metric says "drone complaints don't sell" and that's entirely valid IMO.

        Do email campaigns do anything in the big wide world of real politics? dunno. I really doubt Reid wakes up in the middle of the night thinking "90,000 facebook shares and rec'd diaries on Daily Kos. Better think again about the filibuster."

        If you didn't like the news today, go out and make some of your own.

        by jgnyc on Wed Apr 24, 2013 at 07:39:06 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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