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View Diary: The Squandered Potential of Occupy (240 comments)

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  •  I'm still witholding judgment (0+ / 0-)

    I'm not going to pretend to be some kind of expert on drone strikes--and I'd say anyone who does is a liar.  I'd say that because it's just about impossible to find undisputed facts about the number combatants killed vs the number of civilians killed.  I'm not even sure you can always make a clear distinction between "combatants" and "civilians" in Taliban-controlled regions.  

    I'm also not going to pretend I know what the alternative to drone strikes would be.  How much of a threat do the targets pose to us?  If the individuals targeted are a serious enough threat, one could argue that a drone strike--even with its inherent risks--is preventing less discriminate bombings, ground troops, terrorist attacks, etc--you know, that "less deaths" argument you say can't work at any level.  (Just saying it doesn't make it so, however....)  What are the deterrent effects of drones?  Would the targets use human shields if we attempted to kill them by other means, meaning there would still be innocent casualties?  

    Look, on its surface, drone warfare is ugly.  I have no doubt that like every other type of warfare there are civilian casualties.  And I'd prefer we weren't engaged in any type of war.   But letting hostile people intent on doing us harm operate unfettered is ugly too.  

    If the president I voted for and respect (read: not Bush) and our national security agencies say that drone strikes prevent casualties by preventing attacks on the US or by reducing the need for ground warfare and they produce numbers that seriously dispute civilian casualty numbers given by the Pakistan government, I am going to need to see some hard evidence to the contrary before declaring them an abomination.  Doesn't mean I'm supportive and want to see more drone strikes....it just means I'm prepared to accept them as a "necessary evil" in a dangerous world until someone shows me otherwise.  But really, I am open to that evidence.    

    I guess my question to you is....we end the drone strikes, our enemies are still operating, so now what?  What's your alternative?  

    Political compass: -8.75 / -4.72

    by Mark Mywurtz on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 06:39:24 PM PST

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