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View Diary: 123 civilians, 3 al Qaeda DRONED in January, 17 more dead today (111 comments)

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  •  A lot of the reports quoted in this diary are (0+ / 0-)

    suspect. And the notion that we are killing people for revenge is errant nonsense.

    I think the closest thing to a win in Afghanistan would come from pulling out completely and letting it go back to being the primitive backwater it has been for thousands of years. That would defuse much of the fanaticism, particularly, and most importantly, in  Pakistan.

    However, as long as we are going to pursue this war, the drone attacks are a way to disrupt and harass the leaders of our enemies. It is good to let them know that we will bring the war to them wherever they are. If we decide to talk to them, the more pressure they are under the more likely they are to accept a solution.

    And, it's a war folks. While American troops are in harm's way, the people they are fighting should be too. If my nephew gets sent back for another tour of duty, I want the drones flying.

    •  There are certainly precedents for revenge (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      killing by U.S. troops.  There were many incidents of that in Vietnam and in the U.S. Civil War, for example.  And the CIA, which is conducting the drone war in Pakistan is far less disciplined and less likely to be held accountable than U.S. troops doing the same thing.

      I would be surprised if revenge was a predominant motive (the report linked is itself contradictory positing both revenge and failures to hit intended targets as causes for the alleged large number of civilian deaths).  

      But, revenge doesn't have to be a pure or exclusive motive either.  If you lost half a dozen buddies and were living in a bubble detached from the world outside your military campaign, you might develop a reckless, "it might be bad guys, let god sort it out," kind of attitude.

      "Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow." -- Albert Einstein

      by ohwilleke on Wed Feb 03, 2010 at 02:08:02 PM PST

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      •  There are precedents for revenge, however, (0+ / 0-)

        this war is being directed by Barack Obama, not some cowboy, and I am confident that his actions have valid military objectives. I am skeptical that they will be achieved, but I will cross my fingers and hope that he is right about this course of action.

        •  The field operators that far down are (0+ / 0-)

          not political appointees and were hired in the massive CIA expansion post 9/11 for a mindset that President Obama doesn't share.

          The handful of political appointees Obama has at the top of the agency (which he can now direct on a day to day basis only through the additional bureaucratic layer of the Director of National Intelligence) does not mean that he or his appointees has effective control of the low level workings of the agency.

          President Obama can expect that outright defiance will be punished, and can put in place some limited guidance.  But, he has very little ability to prevent low level people from twisting his directions or secretly acting contrary to Presidential objectives, any more than he can meaningfully supervise somebody in the IRS doing small business audits.  He has to rely on reports from the field providing a basis for drone strikes whether they are true or not.

          The die was cast in the previous admininstration.  President Obama can change the status quo, but he has to make bold moves at a level in the hierarchy he has more control over to achieve that.

          "Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow." -- Albert Einstein

          by ohwilleke on Wed Feb 03, 2010 at 06:52:28 PM PST

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    •  The New York Times blockquote? (0+ / 0-)

      Yeah, they lied to us about WMD and got us into the Iraq nightmare for no good reason. Maybe I should delete that one.

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