Let's start with definitions:

Warmonger is a pejorative[1] term that is used to describe someone who is eager to encourage people or a nation to go to war. Monger is an old word for a peddler.
A pejorative[1] (also term of abuse or derogatory term) is a word or grammatical form of expression that expresses contempt, criticism, disregard, or disrespect.
There are certain well-defined and narrowly limited classes of speech, the prevention and punishment of which have never been thought to raise any constitutional problem. These include the lewd and obscene, the profane, the libelous, and the insulting or "fighting words" those that by their very utterance inflict injury or tend to incite an immediate breach of the peace. It has been well observed that such utterances are no essential part of any exposition of ideas, and are of such slight social value as a step to truth that any benefit that may be derived from them is clearly outweighed by the social interest in order and morality.

— Chaplinsky v. New Hampshire, 1942

The accusation of warmongering arose in the discussion of the capture of Abu Anas al-Liby aka Nazih Abdul-Hamed Nabih al-Ruqai'i, the Al-Qaeda mastermind behind the 1998 embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania that killed hundreds of people.

It seems we have some people here who are extreme and belligerent pacifists and isolationists. They allow only extreme positions. You are either in agreement with them or you are a warmonger with nothing in between.

Let's discuss some of the issues across the break.

As for legality, we should consider that we have no extradition treaty with Libya and al-Liby had been living openly in Tripoli with outstanding international arrest warrants and a $5 million price on his head. We don't know who captured the man. According to the BBC there's a rumor that him was captured by a local militia.

"There are rumours or allegations that al-Liby was seized by a local militia, but if it was done with the knowledge or approval of the government, that might be used to mitigate what would otherwise plainly be an illegal act under international law."
It's also thought that the government of Libya was aware that such a thing could happen, although they were not advised as to the target, place or timing of the action. While there are calls from the Libyan Parliament for his return, Libyan PM Ali Zeidan is more sanguine and has other concerns.

The capture of al-Liby is not believed to present any legal problems within the US and is a reflection of standing policy.

Moreover, America’s actions are legal. We were attacked on 9/11. Within a week, Congress overwhelmingly authorized the use of force. Under domestic law and international law, the United States is at war with al-Qaida, the Taliban, and their associated forces. We are at war with an organization that right now would kill as many Americans as they could if we did not stop them first. So this is a just war, a war waged proportionally, in last resort and in self-defense.
The question of returning an international fugitive to the US sans formal extradition proceedings has been considered by the Supreme Court several times and has been allowed every time. It's known as the Ker–Frisbie doctrine.

Since a couple of people still want to call me a warmonger, I thought I'd share how a feel about such things.

If you see nothing wrong with calling people warmongers but find fault with me when I object to being called a warmonger, then you are one of them.

As far as I'm concerned those are fighting words and fall into the same category with racial slurs. I'm thinking you and some others here have one hell of a blind spot.

For the record, I'm a veteran. I served from 6/63 to 11/73.

I believe that on both a policy and moral basis we had no business in Vietnam. I also believe that if we are going to send people to war we should first discuss and debate the moral basis for that war and if we are willing to fight to win. I don't believe we should be lied into a war and those who have lied us into wars should be charged with crimes against humanity. Sending people to die in a useless war and/or a war for profit has to be one of the most immoral things I can imagine.

I am not a pacifist. I don't believe in rainbow unicorns or utopian dreams. I do believe that if you attack the United States you can expect retaliation. If you blow up our embassies you can expect we will hunt you down.

If a significant percentage of people here think that makes me a warmonger or think my reaction to being called a warmonger is unreasonable then perhaps I have no business on this site as that would leave me with a highly negative opinion of this site and the people here. Perhaps I should write a diary with a poll and find out just what percentage of dkos members think I'm a warmonger.

Now the time has come to put a question to the community.

Originally posted to Just Bob on Wed Oct 09, 2013 at 02:46 PM PDT.


Does supporting the capture of Abu Anas al-Liby to face the charges against him make one a warmonger?

20%5 votes
62%15 votes
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