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View Diary: U.S. Admits to Killing Four American Citizens in Drone Strikes (128 comments)

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  •  I imagine that (11+ / 0-)

    the families of Samer Khan, Anwar al-Awaki, Abdulrahman al-Awaki and Jude Mohammed think those in our government who killed them are the maniacs. And they wouldn't be wrong. Sounds to me like you are just fine with using targeted assassination as a "tool" to kill American citizens and you are also fine with non targeted innocents being killed by American drones. Killing those people, one of whom was a 16 year boy eating barbeque in a restaurant at the time, was a crime. Labeling them as maniacs is convenient if you want to invent a pickle that doesn't exist.

    •  we are breeding the next generation of terrorists (5+ / 0-)

      I note that the Russians claim to have taken out a top terrorist in their ongoing war against a Muslim insurgency on their own borders (second time they killed this guy)

      It seems neither our leadership nor Putin understand where terrorists come from

      •  or worse (4+ / 0-)

        they understand perfectly well, and are deliberately ensuring the next generation of terrorists, thus ensuring the continued flow of public cash to private armaments interests.

        Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

        by corvo on Wed May 22, 2013 at 07:13:55 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  How can they not understand? (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Paolo, allenjo, barleystraw

        They understand very well.

        If we are planning on at least another couple of decades of world-wide war on a tactic we'll need all the enemies we can find in order to justify it.

        Look at what has happened in the past few years. Imagine what they can do The Bill of Rights in twenty more years.

        Consider who benefits, where the money is going, and think for a moment about the huge amount of wealth which will have been transferred to the favored ones, the MIC, the huge banks, the oil giants and others in twenty more years.

        Orwell - "Political language ... is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable"

        by truong son traveler on Thu May 23, 2013 at 12:05:06 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Most important comment here (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MetalGod65, truong son traveler

          Yes, Bush and now Obama are calling for endless War On Terror™ so the arms dealers and bomb makers and drone makers can profit endlessly. Meanwhile the bridges, streets and tunnels in the US are in complete disrepair, the schools are broke, and 20% of Americans need food stamps.

          As many have pointed out, imagine if a foreign country were inflicting food and medical sanctions (killing 100s of thousands of children) or raining down bombs by drones in the skies over the US?

          Obama is just sickening at this stage. Some Nobel Peace Prize laureate.

          She said that she was working for the ABC News
          It was as much of the alphabet as she knew how to use

          by Paolo on Thu May 23, 2013 at 01:01:05 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  You know what? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jdsnebraska, Satya1

      It would be really nice if you could extend me - a fellow kossack - the courtesy of not assuming I am indifferent to death and destruction, even among our sworn enemies.  This self-righteous crap gets really old.  How about we discuss the issue instead of scoring perceived points?

      There are people dedicated to striking "Jews and crusaders" - that's bin Laden's phrase - wherever they have the opportunity to do so, in furtherance of an ideology that is anything but liberal and tolerant.  These people also murder Pakistanis, Afghans, et al, for ugly sectarian reasons.  I consider this maniacal behavior.  Whatever else we consider the drone program (extra-Constitutional, problematic, under-scrutinized), I don't think the POTUS is a bloodthirsty person.  I would not consider him a maniac by the usual use of the term.  Do you disagree?

      No one likes armed missionaries. -- Robespierre.

      by Gator Keyfitz on Wed May 22, 2013 at 03:41:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well fucking great, we gotta sane killer Prez (9+ / 0-)

        See, he doesn't use the courts to kill, but he's sane, he tries hard.

        [slight sneer] We gotta killer, he's a nice guy with kids, no maniac at all.  I'm so reassured.

        Shut this joke down now.

      •  who are they? (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JesseCW, chuckvw, corvo, barleystraw

        frankly it sounds like you're profiling.

        •  Excuse me? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          I'm obviously referring to AQ and it's affiliates - that's why I quoted the former leader of same.  I strongly reject your implied accusation of bigotry.

          No one likes armed missionaries. -- Robespierre.

          by Gator Keyfitz on Wed May 22, 2013 at 03:56:46 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  They're "these people". (5+ / 0-)

          You know.


          "The thing about smart motherfuckers is that they sound like crazy motherfuckers to dumb motherfuckers." Robert Kirkman

          by JesseCW on Wed May 22, 2013 at 05:20:25 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  You're behaving like a child (0+ / 0-)

            And the same goes for those who uprated.  I don't deserve that sort of ugly accusation - check my history if you like.  Y'all should should be ashamed of yourselves.  

            No one likes armed missionaries. -- Robespierre.

            by Gator Keyfitz on Wed May 22, 2013 at 07:47:38 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  some children are killed by USA drones (3+ / 0-)

              behaving like children.

              Let's admit this and let's condemn it.

              •  Agreed (0+ / 0-)

                And there can be little more revolting than the murder of a child anywhere and for any reason.  I don't know if it is any consolation, but I am for one grateful that we are at least no longer murdering children on the scale of Hiroshima, Dresden, Vietnam, etc.  War is evil, the enemy of all mankind (not to mention womankind and childkind), and God Damn those who start them.  

                No one likes armed missionaries. -- Robespierre.

                by Gator Keyfitz on Wed May 22, 2013 at 09:01:37 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  I have seen your comment history. It consists (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              of pretending that very simple issues are "very complicated", in an effort to pretend there's actually a difficult choice for decent people to make here.

              There isn't.  

              The only questions at hand are whether you value human life and the basic concept of the right to a trial, and whether you believe that brown dudes also have value and basic rights.

              In pretending that these are difficult choices you're showing us exactly who you are and what you do and do not value.

              "The thing about smart motherfuckers is that they sound like crazy motherfuckers to dumb motherfuckers." Robert Kirkman

              by JesseCW on Thu May 23, 2013 at 04:18:40 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  Talk about self righteous- look in the mirror, (9+ / 0-)

        "fellow kossack."

        You used the term "maniacs" and in my response I pointed out that those people we killed were American citizens none of whom had been afforded due process of law. Since you don't want to address those individuals specifically you jump to global al queda beliefs as a justification to do what we do. You say "These people also murder Pakistanis, Afghan for ugly sectarian reasons". Well, we murder Pakistanis and Afghans too every single day with our drones that you want to avoid talking about. And we murder American citizens. That's what you don't want to acknowledge. As to whether the POTUS is a bloodthirsty person, history will be the judge of that, not me.

        •  Look (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Satya1, Chitownliberal7, Ray Blake

          I don't want to recapitulate the whole thing, but there was nothing self-righteous or angry in my original comment.  It's a tough situation, one with which I wrestle; I clearly acknowledged that.  You replied accusing me of being indifferent to killing a teenager.  I don't think that was intended to win me over, it seemed more like an abusive, ad hominem attack, and I interpreted it as such.  I'd be only too happy to discuss the issue with you or anyone.  Believe it or not, I'm glad there are Americans who feel strongly about this, even if I disagree.

          Far from avoiding talking about drones, I weighed in on that very topic.  I don't like them, but I also don't like the murderers on the other side.  What should we do instead?      


          No one likes armed missionaries. -- Robespierre.

          by Gator Keyfitz on Wed May 22, 2013 at 04:20:22 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Did you express any concern for the victims in (9+ / 0-)

            your comment? Did I miss that?

            What  should we do? How about following the rule of law for starters? How about following the Constitution? How about not becoming lawless outlaws in the world community inserting ourselves and our military might wherever we see an opening to do so?

            Yes, I feel strongly about it. I've lived a long time and I am deeply saddened about the things we are doing in the world and the stories we tell ourselves about why we need to do them.

            •  I probably feel more concern (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Chitownliberal7, Ray Blake

              for the victims of terrorists than I do those who would associate with them, and I feel more concern for those who associate with them than I do the terrorists themselves.  I also feel more concern for the terrorist pawns - often brainwashed kids - of the ones who sent them like this al-Awaki.  I'm a pretty empathic person actually; on a different day I might even be arguing your side.  That said, I could ask you the same: where have you expressed concern for the dead in New York or London or Mumbai?

              But I don't want to play that game, I'd rather discuss what we can do besides what we are doing now.  Saying "just follow the Constitution" doesn't provide much guidance.  We all know the oath of office for the POTUS is about defending the Constitution, but I think we also all know that the real job of the President is to defend the American people.  You fail to do the latter, few are going to give you points for the former.  

              This tension is what creates these situations where administrations do what they believe is needed, and let the historians debate the rest.  It has happened innumerable times in our history.  If limiting oneself to what is established precedent regarding the Constitution is always the right answer, then Jefferson, Jackson, Lincoln, Grant, Wilson, both Roosevelts, Truman, Johnson, and many others should have been driven from office too.  But then the nation might not have survived.

              So, what would you do - specifically - about a character like al-Awaiki?  He won't surrender, he's beyond the reach of the law, and he sends his cultists out to murder other human beings.  In this real world situation, what do you do?    

              No one likes armed missionaries. -- Robespierre.

              by Gator Keyfitz on Wed May 22, 2013 at 05:33:52 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  How do you know... (3+ / 0-)

                al Awaki was guilty of anything?

                (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
                Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

                by Sparhawk on Wed May 22, 2013 at 09:10:36 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I don't (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  And if it is not clear by now, I would like to see transparency and judicial review of the drone program to the maximum extent compatible with not ignoring dangerous people.  I don't like the drone program, I'm looking for an alternative.  Do you have one?  Nobody here thus far has offered one up.  I've been accused now of being bloodthirsty, indifferent to the murder of children, a racial profiler, ignorant of the Constitution, but not one person has offered me an answer to my question of what they would do about someone like al-Awlaki (the spelling of whose name I have now bungled in several ways in this diary).  

                  No one likes armed missionaries. -- Robespierre.

                  by Gator Keyfitz on Wed May 22, 2013 at 09:29:43 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  "Do nothing" (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    truong son traveler, Paolo, BradyB

           a perfectly acceptable response if you have no acceptable options.

                    We didn't have drones for hundreds of years before now and got along ok.

                    If our government seriously can't think of a way to deal with issues like this one that don't involve heavy collateral damage and extra-constitutional activity, they should all be fired.

                    (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
                    Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

                    by Sparhawk on Wed May 22, 2013 at 09:41:22 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I would suggest that is a distinctly minority view (0+ / 0-)

                      And one I applaud you for making.  But the only people who can "fire" a democratic administration are the governed and they are far more likely to fire leadership that puts Constitutional protections ahead of aggressive self-defense.  I appreciate the answer that you would do nothing, it's honest, but I don't think that would fly with most people, however wrong that makes them.  Sometimes there really are real and present dangers.  

                      Extra-Constitutional?  That's as always up for debate.  All of our wartime Presidents were objectively unindicted war criminals and serial violators of the Constitution.  I mean, the Alien and Sedition Act was passed before the Constitution was even 15 years old, and that was done by our hallowed founders.  The Constitution tends to function as an aspirational document.

                      And, not to put too fine a point on it, but the drone program does not involve "heavy collateral damage" by Team USA standards.  We've committed genocide many times, and what we did to civilians in the 20th Century is a horror show.  Drones, however despicable a tool, are not remotely as bad as what we would do with a few B52s.


                      No one likes armed missionaries. -- Robespierre.

                      by Gator Keyfitz on Wed May 22, 2013 at 10:01:31 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

      •  Your crocodile tears are not interesting. (4+ / 0-)

        This is not a complex issue.

        "The thing about smart motherfuckers is that they sound like crazy motherfuckers to dumb motherfuckers." Robert Kirkman

        by JesseCW on Wed May 22, 2013 at 05:20:02 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Don't patronize me (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Ray Blake

          And I won't patronize you.  In my opinion, a character like al-Awaiki, situated beyond the rule of law, but who is eager to recruit disciples who will murder on his behalf, represents a complex issue.  Since it is apparently a simple matter to you, perhaps I am wasting my time when I could just ask, JesseCW, what is your solution?

          No one likes armed missionaries. -- Robespierre.

          by Gator Keyfitz on Wed May 22, 2013 at 05:37:38 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  I also do not think BHO is bloodthirsty. (0+ / 0-)

        I think his problem runs rather in the other direction, in terms of passionate emotional engagement in the human reality on the ground where these drones strike.

        To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

        by UntimelyRippd on Wed May 22, 2013 at 08:08:23 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Maybe (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          He certainly does keep his emotions under wraps.  That said, I don't think this is something the POTUS would take lightly.  Christ, he looks old.  I don't even think Shrub was immune to the suffering he caused.  I don't like the habit of assuming people with whom we disagree are unfeeling monsters.  Except for Cheney; he is an unfeeling monster.

          No one likes armed missionaries. -- Robespierre.

          by Gator Keyfitz on Wed May 22, 2013 at 08:31:29 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  wherever a drone flies (4+ / 0-)

          a negotiation could have occurred instead.

          These drones are like big USA advertisments.

          They are like flying our flag over these territories.

          They are like hi-tech mob hits.

          DRONE: Look at Me! I'm Made in the USA! I represent the USA!

          [BOOOM...sound of screams and dying children]

          DRONE: SEE what the USA stands for?

          •  I don't think that is any more true (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Ray Blake

            than saying that every time a terrorist bomb goes off that that is what Islam (or Chechnya, or Ireland or whatever) stands for.  People are a bit more complex than that, huh?  

            I don't know what negotiation with Al Qaeda would even look like.  What AQ wants has little to do with us, and much to do with a nasty sectarian agenda in their own countries.  We are just the most logical targets to rile up their co-religionists (who thankfully for the most part think they are nuts).  Until they stop involving us in their grotesque acts of performance art, we are perfectly justified in considering ourselves in a state of war with those who swear allegiance to AQ.  

            Please note that I am not advocating relying on violence exclusively in every terrorist scenario.  You may notice I don't include the IP thing in any of my examples.  That's because I do believe that negotiation is the solution there, and that the Palestinians have a right to govern themselves and until they do they are justified in attacking military and symbolic (but not civilian) targets.  

            No one likes armed missionaries. -- Robespierre.

            by Gator Keyfitz on Wed May 22, 2013 at 09:19:31 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Baltasar Gracian once said (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        truong son traveler

        It is better to have too much courtesy than too little, provided you are not equally courteous to all, for that would be injustice.

        Let me extend you my deepest affection and courtesy while pointing out that it would cheapen the act of extending this courtesy if it were granted gratuitously- for instance, if it were granted to individuals that passively sit by while fundamental  human rights, constitutional checks and balances, and common decency are dismantled.

        Killing American citizens without trials is outrageous.

        Killing children with fire bombs from heaven is outrageous too.

        Let us celebrate your and my indifference!

        Let us put a stop to this!

        Hip Hip Hurray!

        •  I do not not require your affection (0+ / 0-)

          I do always appreciate courtesy.  It makes communication an awful lot easier.  Many people feel strongly about this, including yourself.  However, I would submit that if it is that difficult to be courteous to me - someone who is only a few degrees off from your own point of view - then imagine how unproductive it will be when you show similar discourtesy to the 75% of your fellow Americans who don't give even the faintest fuck about the rights of "evil terrorists."  You have a long and steep hill to climb to persuade them, and I suggest you smile.  A lot.    

          No one likes armed missionaries. -- Robespierre.

          by Gator Keyfitz on Wed May 22, 2013 at 10:18:52 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  courtesy is not a pretense to deny injustice (0+ / 0-)

            courtesy is not a license to prevaricate
            courtesy is not a rug to sweep one's responsibility under
            courtesy is not a means to muzzle a discussion
            courtesy is not a technique for enabling an impasse
            courtesy is not a fig leaf to hide the indefensible behind

            •  While we are on the subject of metaphors... (0+ / 0-)

              Having your head lopped off by a bloody fanatic isn't a picnic.  And war isn't a tea party.  And the Constitution isn't a suicide pact.  And dying ain't much of a living, to hear Josey Wales tell it.    

              As for muzzling a discussion, you can't in good faith accuse me of that.  It seems I encouraged a pretty sprawling discussion, even if mostly I got accused of nasty things for my trouble.

              Have a good night, barleystraw, I honestly am glad we have Americans who are troubled by the war machine.  


              You come at the king, you best not miss. -- Omar Little

              by Gator Keyfitz on Wed May 22, 2013 at 11:11:54 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  dying in a fireball without a trial aint no picnic (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                truong son traveler


                these crimes against humanity will live on and on- like the witch burnings, the lynchings Wounded Knee and other atrocities.

                We may not hear about it in the USA, but the people underneath the drones will remember.

                People down south here still resent Sherman's march to the sea.

              •  Dear Gator (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Gator Keyfitz

                My Courtesy Manifesto, flawed as it is, is not so much pointed at you as at our President, who I and my whole family voted for twice.

                I drink two cups of tea or coffee when I make it.

                One cup says, "i Love my Wife"

                The other one is an Obama souvenir cup.

                anyway, you were not muzzling- you were stimulating discussion.

                keep it up.

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