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View Diary: Republicans plan their October Surprise. Obama, and Pentagon, may well be planning a different sort. (221 comments)

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  •  Nope. I don't care. I don't know enough about any (11+ / 0-)

    planned operation to knowledgeably judge the most effective methods. Drones kill. Bombs kill. Mortars kill. Bullets kill.

    Do you really think that the President would chose a method that causes the most collateral damage?  I don't. I think he will chose the one that does the least damage to the innocent while making sure that the guilty are killed or captured.

    "I cannot live without books" -- Thomas Jefferson, 1815

    by Susan Grigsby on Tue Oct 02, 2012 at 03:04:55 PM PDT

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    •  The judge, jury, and executioner is our President? (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DeminNewJ, Kombema, JayBat, mkor7, 2020adam

      That's the way Bushco rolled.

      Had hoped for a change from that .....

      Move Single Payer Forward? Join 18,000 Doctors of PNHP and 185,000 member National Nurses United

      by divineorder on Tue Oct 02, 2012 at 03:26:45 PM PDT

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    •  The Guilty? (8+ / 0-)

      What court returned a guilty verdict?

      Do you really think that extrajudicial executions with the collateral execution of innocent people is ok when YOUR guy is doing it?

      Pull yourself up by your Mittstraps: borrow a few million dollars from your parents!

      by xynz on Tue Oct 02, 2012 at 03:41:21 PM PDT

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      •  Guess we just disagree. We know who planned and (0+ / 0-)

        executed the attack on the consulate.

        The Obama administration took some risks to protect the people of Benghazi from Gaddafi. I hardly think that they will now turn around and destroy the good will that they built at some political cost, and kill innocents.

        "I cannot live without books" -- Thomas Jefferson, 1815

        by Susan Grigsby on Tue Oct 02, 2012 at 04:15:35 PM PDT

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        •  " I hardly think that they will now turn around... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          2020adam
          ....and destroy the good will that they built at some political cost, and kill innocents.
          Are you basing this speculation on the Obama Administration's track record of drone utilization?

          Pull yourself up by your Mittstraps: borrow a few million dollars from your parents!

          by xynz on Tue Oct 02, 2012 at 04:33:49 PM PDT

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          •  Nope. I'm basing it on the work Obama did to (0+ / 0-)

            protect the people of Benghazi.

            "I cannot live without books" -- Thomas Jefferson, 1815

            by Susan Grigsby on Tue Oct 02, 2012 at 04:37:22 PM PDT

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            •  I admit that I cannot see the logic.... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              divineorder

              ...in your statement. How does whatever work Obama did to protect the people of Benghazi*, protect the innocents of Libya from US drone strikes?

              *BTW: what political cost did Obama pay, to protect the people of Benghazi? IIRC, it was French President Sarkozy who stuck his neck out: risking the lives of French airmen to start the NATO intervention on 19 March.

              The French plane fired the first shot in Libya at 1645 GMT and destroyed its target, according to a military spokesman.

              French planes also flew reconnaissance missions over "all Libyan territory", French military sources said earlier.

              Around 20 French aircraft were involved in Saturday's operation, the Reuters news agency reports.

              French jets "destroyed a number of tanks and armoured vehicles", a defence ministry official told Reuters, adding that he could not immediately confirm the number.

              Other air forces and navies are expected to join the French.

              The US would use its "unique capabilities" to reinforce the no-fly zone, said US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, warning that further delays would put more civilians at risk.

              Pull yourself up by your Mittstraps: borrow a few million dollars from your parents!

              by xynz on Tue Oct 02, 2012 at 04:57:48 PM PDT

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              •  First, I never suggested the use of drones. (3+ / 0-)

                Second, here is a link to the Mchael Lewis Vanity Fair article.

                The president may not have been surprised that the Pentagon hadn’t sought to answer that question. He was nevertheless visibly annoyed. “I don’t know why we are even having this meeting,” he said, or words to that effect. “You’re telling me a no-fly zone doesn’t solve the problem, but the only option you’re giving me is a no-fly zone.” He gave his generals two hours to come up with another solution for him to consider, then left to attend the next event on his schedule, a ceremonial White House dinner.
                [snip]

                Obama made his decision: push for the U.N resolution and effectively invade another Arab country. Of the choice not to intervene he says, “That’s not who we are,” by which he means that’s not who I am. The decision was extraordinarily personal. “No one in the Cabinet was for it,” says one witness. “There was no constituency for doing what he did.” Then Obama went upstairs to the Oval Office to call European heads of state and, as he puts it, “call their bluff.” Cameron first, then Sarkozy. It was three a.m. in Paris when he reached the French president, but Sarkozy insisted he was still awake. (“I’m a young man!”) In formal and stilted tones the European leaders committed to taking over after the initial bombing. The next morning Obama called Medvedev to make sure that the Russians would not block his U.N. resolution. There was no obvious reason why Russia should want to see Qad­da­fi murder a city of Libyans, but in the president’s foreign dealings the Russians play the role that Republicans currently more or less play in his domestic affairs. The Russians’ view of the world tends to be zero-sum: if an American president is for it, they are, by definition, against it. Obama thought that he had made more prog­ress with the Russians than he had with the Republicans; Medvedev had come to trust him, he felt, and believed him when he said the United States had no intention of moving into Libya for the long term. A senior American official at the United Nations thought that perhaps the Russians let Obama have his resolution only because they thought it would end in disaster for the United States.
                [snip]
                The next day he flew to Brazil and was there on the 19th, when the bombing began. A group of Democrats in Congress issued a statement demanding Obama withdraw from Libya; Ohio Democratic congressman Dennis Kucinich asked if Obama had just committed an impeachable offense. All sorts of people who had been hounding the president for his inaction now flipped and questioned the wisdom of action. A few days earlier Newt Gingrich, busy running for president, had said, “We don’t need the United Nations. All we have to say is that we think slaughtering your own citizens is unacceptable and that we’re intervening.” Four days after the bombing began, Gingrich went on the Today show to say he wouldn’t have intervened and was quoted on Politico as saying, “It is impossible to make sense of the standard of intervention in Libya except opportunism and news media publicity.” The tone of the news coverage shifted dramatically, too. One day it was “Why aren’t you doing anything?” The next it was “What have you gotten us into?” As one White House staffer puts it, “All the people who had been demanding intervention went nuts after we intervened and said it was outrageous. That’s because the controversy machine is bigger than the reality machine.”

                "I cannot live without books" -- Thomas Jefferson, 1815

                by Susan Grigsby on Tue Oct 02, 2012 at 06:08:04 PM PDT

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    •  Or just the one that causes least (5+ / 0-)

      casualties to US soldiers. I could see how that would cause even greater anger on the ground than man to man fighting. You can have some measure of grudging respect for an enemy that puts it's own skin in the game. Firing drones down on communities doesn't require a scintilla of bravery. Hard not to hate those responsible for that kind of warfare. I feel immense disdain for them and can only imagine how red hot the hatred would be if it were my community being targeted like  that.

      •  I think any loss of life is regrettable, on any (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        renzo capetti, Larsstephens

        side. My idea of the best outcome would be for the Libyan government to capture and try the perpetrators. I wouldn't rule that out as an arrow in the President's quiver.

        As it stands, it was the Libyan people themselves who attacked the barracks of the militias that they felt were responsible for the attack on the US Consulate.

        "I cannot live without books" -- Thomas Jefferson, 1815

        by Susan Grigsby on Tue Oct 02, 2012 at 04:19:16 PM PDT

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      •  That's an argument I really don't get. (4+ / 0-)

        That hand to hand combat is somehow more honorable than modern warfare with fewer deaths.

        The sh*t those people [republicans] say just makes me weep for humanity! - Woody Harrelson

        by SoCalSal on Tue Oct 02, 2012 at 06:24:51 PM PDT

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        •  Think of it more in terms of helplessness (0+ / 0-)

          If death is dealt from unseen flying robots, there is nothing that you can do to defend yourself or your family.

          •  That still doesn't work for me. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            erush1345

            Several months ago, I read the book "The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined," a book of some 800 pages with about 130 pages of charts and graphs detailing the world history of violence. Loads of data; changed my viewpoint.

            I don't have the book at hand now for direct reference, but can say that the data on numbers killed in wars centuries ago dwarfs deaths in recent wars. Not that WWII and Viet Nam deaths were insignificant, but they were eclipsed by wars of old when whole populations were nearly decimated.

            People then did not have much warning of cavalries bearing down with swords, maces, and fire to wipe out village after village. Those were the "unseen flying robots" of death to millions. Targeted drone strikes are not comparable.

            When someone makes a credible case that terrorists organizations will pack it up and become peaceable if only the USA withdraws, then I'll stop defending targeted drone strikes.  

            The sh*t those people [republicans] say just makes me weep for humanity! - Woody Harrelson

            by SoCalSal on Tue Oct 02, 2012 at 08:59:48 PM PDT

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        •  I'm not sure it's a question of 'honorable' (0+ / 0-)

          I think it's the psychology of the thing.  When you're dealing with a soldier in your neighborhood, you're still dealing with a person.  You can read their behavior and emotions, and they can do the same to you.  You can reason with a human soldier.  You can explain to them what they're seeing.  Further, their presence is a temporary thing.

          It's quite different with drones.  You can't reason with a drone.  You can't approach a drone.  You can't relate to a drone as a human.  It's a gun without a face behind it, a force.  Unlike the soldier, it's much less clear when you're being watched, and when you're not.  You could be a moment away from being blown up at any time.  You don't know.  You are potentially being watched at all times.  

          That sense of a complete lack of privacy, and being subject to an omnipresent power is quite oppressive.  That's why it's been the holy grail of population control since at least Bentham and the Panopticon.

          To believe that markets determine value is to believe that milk comes from plastic bottles. Bromley (1985)

          by sneakers563 on Tue Oct 02, 2012 at 09:51:54 PM PDT

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