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View Diary: Obama Said That He Didn't Agree with Much of What Medea Benjamin Said. Well, What Did She Say? (109 comments)

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  •  some death toll statistics (8+ / 0-)

    Using Wikipedia let's compare a couple of things.

    Here's the list of ordinary Americans kill here in the USA since 2002 (that's over a ten year period):

    * 10 people in the Sniper shootings
    * 1 in Little Rock Ark at a Recruiting center
    * 13 in the Fort Hood shooting
    * 3 in Boston Marathon bombing
    total: 27

    US school shooting deaths since 2002:
    * 1 Red Lion PA
    * 2 Cold Spring MN
    * 1 DC
    * 1 MD
    * 9 Red Lake MN
    * 1 TN
    * 1 Essex VT
    * 2 Bailey CO
    * 1 Cazenovia WI
    * 6 Nickel MinesPA
    * 1 Tacoma WA
    * 1 Printeville OR
    * 33 Blacksburg VA
    * 1 Cleveland OH
    * 6 DeKalb IL
    * 1 Federal Way WA
    * 1 Ft Lauderdale FL
    * 1 Cambridge MA
    * 1 Larose LA
    * 1 Madison AL
    * 3 Huntsville AL
    * 1 Austin TX
    * 1 Salinas CA
    * 1 Topeka KA
    * 1 Marionette WI
    * 2 Omaha NB
    * 3 San Jose CA
    * 2 Blacksburg VA (this is a different shooting)
    * 3 Chardon OH
    * 2 Jacksonville FL
    * 7 Oakland CA
    * 1 Homer GA
    * 1 Silkwater OK
    * 28 Newtown CN
    * 3 Hazard KN
    * 1 Chicago IL
    * 1 Midland City AL
    * 1 Orlando FL
    * 2 Cambridge MA (also a different shooting)
    total: 137

    First, I only included stuff here in the US and only the deaths, not survivors. And it's Wikipedia.

    Nonetheless, we can see that it's five times more carnage involved over more than the last ten years.

    This doesn't include hate crimes against Gays, hate crimes against Moslems, Hate crimes against Blacks or shootings in theaters, etc.

    We're spending trillions of dollars on these this global war on terror and we're destroying our protection of human rights. With no end in sight and nothing to show for it.

    What if we had spent all that money doing good things here in the USA, like fixing up schools, hiring more teachers at better pay, creating jobs repairing our broken bridges and highways, helping college kids pay for school, shoring up Social Security, enhance our communities?

    •  If it weren't for the drone strikes, (0+ / 0-)

      your list of casualties due to terrorism would be much longer. That is why we do them. Because we must.

      •  not true: check Canada etc. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sandino, aliasalias, JesseCW

        Canada's not killing people with drones.

        Canada is not collapsing from runaway terrorism.


      •  Drone strikes create more terrorists (5+ / 0-)

        than they kill. The military admits as much. Shit, that is their entire purpose.

        •  That is just so ridiculous on its face. (0+ / 0-)

          Let's think about this, shall we? If drone strikes "create more terrorists than they kill", what should be the outcome of a long pattern of drone strikes? There would be a) an increase in terrorism, and b) an increase in the need for further drone strikes.

          Yet terror acts by these groups has gone steadily down over the years. And we have reduced the frequency of drone strikes and just the other day Obama announced a further reduction in future strikes. So your theory, which many anti-drone folks love to trot out, has some serious holes in it. Where are all these terrorists created by prior drone strikes? They could not have been killed by other drone strikes, because you believe that drone strikes create more terrorists than they kill. You've got a bit of a problem.

          Perhaps you should rethink your premises.

          •  how about this from that hippie org. the CIA? (5+ / 0-)


            A former top terrorism official at the CIA has warned that President Barack Obama's controversial drone programme is far too indiscriminate in hitting targets and could lead to such political instability that it creates terrorist safe havens.
            Grenier emphasised that the use of drones was a valuable tool in tackling terrorism but only when used against specific identified targets, who have been tracked and monitored to a place where a strike is feasible. However, recent media revelations about Obama's programme have revealed a more widespread use of the strike capability, including the categorising of all military-age males in a strike zone of a target as militants. That sort of broad definition and the greater use of drones has outraged human rights organisations.

            The BIJ has reported that drone strikes in Pakistan over the weekend hit a funeral gathering for a militant slain in a previous strike and also may have accidentally hit a mosque. That sort of action adds credence to the claims that the drone campaign is likely to cause more damage by creating anger at the US than it does in eliminating terrorist threats.

            "We have gone a long way down the road of creating a situation where we are creating more enemies than we are removing from the battlefield. We are already there with regards to Pakistan and Afghanistan,"
            he said

            The BIJ estimates that there have been up to 41 confirmed US drone strikes in Yemen since 2002 and possibly up a 55 unconfirmed ones. Grenier said the strikes were too indiscriminate and causing outrage among the civilian population in the country, lending support to Islamists and seeing a growth in anti-US sentiment.

            "That brings you to a place where young men, who are typically armed, are in the same area and may hold these militants in a certain form of high regard. If you strike them indiscriminately you are running the risk of creating a terrific amount of popular anger. They have tribes and clans and large families. Now all of a sudden you have a big problem … I am very concerned about the creation of a larger terrorist safe haven in Yemen," Grenier said.

            (all emphasis mine)


            There are estimates as high as 98% of drone strike casualties being civilians (50 for every one "suspected terrorist"). The Bureau of Investigative Journalism issued a report detailing how the CIA is deliberately targeting those who show up after the sight of an attack, rescuers, and mourners at funerals as a part of a "double-tap" strategy eerily reminiscient of methods used by terrorist groups like Hamas.
            These numbers and reports alone should cast much doubt on the effectiveness at protecting the U.S. and combating terrorism that the Obama admnistration uses as justification for drone strikes. If a drone kills an actual terrorist but leaves multiple, sometimes dozens, of innocent civilians vaporized as well, this creates a brand new set of enemies and blowback. According to Jeremy Scahill’s reporting at The Nation, U.S. drone strikes in Yemen are the primary source for Al-Qaeda’s presence in the Arabian Peninsula. Obama’s “signature strikes” — where targets are hit for displaying “suspicious behavior” and which Petraeus also wants to expand — are backfiring and can only boomerang back to us.

            without the ants the rainforest dies

            by aliasalias on Sat May 25, 2013 at 11:54:33 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  When quoting the BIJ so frequently, (0+ / 0-)

              you should read up a bit on their reputation. They were practically put out of business last year due to inaccurate reporting that led to libel. The US drone program is a serious one, and you should inform yourself (and others) using serious sources, not biased organizations built to disseminate one particular worldview. We make fun of WND here, but there are WND equivalents on the left as well.

              •  which one the Guardian or (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                barleystraw, Sandino

                Either way I notice you ignore what each article says and just attack the messenger.

                without the ants the rainforest dies

                by aliasalias on Sat May 25, 2013 at 02:37:57 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Alright then, lets look at recent history. (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Sandino, aliasalias

                The Gulf War ended in 1991. Al Queda struck us in 2001 over things we did in Saudi Arabia back in  1991. Revenge is a dish best served cold or so the saying goes. People have long memories. And a drone attack today may not blowback for a decade. You want to kill other people with out anyone on your side having to risk anything to accomplish this. Our adversaries see this as cowardice and will at sometime in the future at a time of their choosing retaliate.

                And while you marvel at the "success" of the drones understand that attacks are being planned, in retaliation of the drone strikes.

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

            Don Rumsfeld? is that you?

      •  Must? A moral imperative? (0+ / 0-)

        Why not send in the superman like JSOC forces. I mean if I am going to be executed I deserve to face my executioner in person. Drones make war very cheap and very easy to the power that has them. And if innocent people get killed well that is a price you are willing to pay. Of course you do not actually pay any price the poor bastards under attack do but hey as long as you can sleep at night, right?

        But the anger at the US festers. Drones are very popular with the public which makes it much harder to simmer down that anger and bitterness when your adversary knows that the folks back home want him dead and do not care how many kids die along with him.

      •  If it weren't for this tiger proof spoon... (0+ / 0-)

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

        by JesseCW on Sun May 26, 2013 at 05:19:41 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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