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This is not as much as a diary as it is a question.

I have run into the trope that Democrats defend Obama's kill list/drone program/death squads a lot recently on the internet. The basic idea is that it dismisses Democrats as being just as partisan as Republicans. Democrats only care about violations of human rights when there is a Republican in office.

Now, personally, I haven't run into this kind of a democrat, either in person or online. When talking with other democrats about Obama there a are a number of issues where people talk about disappointing, and the kill list and drones seem to be mentioned quite often.

So, did I end up in an information bubble? Are there Democrats who defend Obama's kill list and drone program?

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Comment Preferences

  •  I saw a lot of (4+ / 0-)

    "not now, we're in an election" kind of talk about that stuff over the last several months, but I've only encountered a tiny handful of people on our side of the spectrum actually defending it as a good thing.  From what I can tell, it's like our response to climate change; a lot of progressives wish we were doing things differently, but most of us have realized lately that ranks needed to be closed for the sake of not getting a guy who would have none of Obama's good qualities whilst simultaneously doubling down on the questionable stuff, too.

    Here's hoping that this (and climate change) gets revisited in his second term.

    "If Mitt takes office, sooner or later, the Zomnies will come for all of us." -Joss Whedon

    by quillsinister on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 05:11:42 AM PST

    •  Republicans (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lotlizard, snoopydawg

      It's shameful that we have to depend on a republican to fight against infinite detention - http://thehill.com/...

    •  But the people who defend it here (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ffour, Hugo Estrada, aliasalias

      are very, very vocal.  I'm a little surprised by your claim that you haven't encountered a lot of people who defend it.  There have been a fair number of diaries here on the program, so if one were to look through the comments for the usual references to "ponies" or "naive" and you'll find supporters by the bucketload.  

      The people who claim many Democrats are very partisan absolutely have a solid point.  THere are quite a few people who will accept policies done by a Democratic president that they would decry loudly when they were done by a Republican.  

      Hay hombres que luchan un dia, y son buenos Hay otros que luchan un año, y son mejores Hay quienes luchan muchos años, y son muy buenos. Pero hay los que luchan toda la vida. Esos son los imprescendibles.

      by Mindful Nature on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 09:06:52 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks (0+ / 0-)

        Yes, I am seeing that.

        I believe that I had self-selected which diaries I was reading since recently on  this site. And since to me it was a none issue, it didn't occur to me to look for debates on it.

        I have been away from the site due to political burn out, and just started to come back during the election. I have to adjust to the current  DK  community :)

      •  Maybe I've just been too focused on (0+ / 0-)

        climate change arguments, were I'm also accused of just wanting my pony (if the survival of the human species and averting a mass extinction event is a pony, then I guess I'm guilty as charged).

        So, yeah, you may be right.  I am sometimes selective about which diaries I read.

        "If Mitt takes office, sooner or later, the Zomnies will come for all of us." -Joss Whedon

        by quillsinister on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 01:40:35 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  whenever you're accused of wanting a pony (0+ / 0-)

          you know you're staring a rwnj in the face.  

          On one hand I can see the charge if someone is trying to take down a dem after the primary, thereby ensuring a tealiban rwnj victory, but it seems like this condescending accusation comes out way too frequently from the "realists" who always know better than us pony lovers.

          It seems like the "real world dwellers" are lately just concerned with D's getting elected and not with what they do once they're in office.  

          Anyone not guilty as charged need not take offense.

  •  As both a Veteran and a Democrat (10+ / 0-)

    I can say the answer is, yes.

    "If you tell the truth, you won't have to remember anything", Mark Twain

    by Cruzankenny on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 05:13:23 AM PST

    •  Not sure what that first one (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kurt

      has to do with anything.  I'm still on active duty and consider it to be an amazingly counterproductive policy, even just in terms of Clausewitz's insistence that military success must be tailored to contribute to political objectives.

      "If Mitt takes office, sooner or later, the Zomnies will come for all of us." -Joss Whedon

      by quillsinister on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 02:23:05 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm not too sure why you found it necessary (0+ / 0-)

        to respond to me being a Veteran and you being on active duty.
        The war I was involved in, the US lost almost 60,000.00 troops and a large number were lost on recon or extractions.
        A good number of planes and pilots were shot down taking out suspected fuel or ammo dumps and we would have welcomed drones with welcome arms. That's why I mentioned I was a veteran.
        I don't know what branch of service you are in, but quoting an 18th Century man who romanticized war and further went on to say,"All business is war", makes me thankful we will not be sharing a foxhole.

        "If you tell the truth, you won't have to remember anything", Mark Twain

        by Cruzankenny on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 07:38:57 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Easily explained. (0+ / 0-)

          There is a common conceit on the right that only Republicans serve in the military, and any progressive points of view are routinely denigrated on those grounds.  It's a classic and effective neocon approach whose widespread use in the previous administration requires no amplification.  I have no idea if that's what you were doing, but the resemblance was uncanny.  If I mistook your intent, I apologize.

          I agree that drones are marvelous things from an operational standpoint.  Their use worries me on purely political grounds.  You know, the part where we're killing people in half a dozen different countries in undeclared quasi-wars without even a ghost of a national dialogue to address whether we even should be fighting in these countries in the first place.  The recent outbreak of Orwellian newspeak also seems like a good sign that it's time to reevaluate exactly what the hell we want to be doing here.  And, of course, that the children of the collateral damage will grow up to swell the ranks of the next generation of terrorists should also prompt at least a passing thought to our long term desired end state, regarding which we appear to have not the foggiest idea, except that we're pretty sure it involves making a larger pile of dead people.

          Finally, it does genuinely bother me that we've made a form of perpetual warfare so painless that we don't even think we should be discussing it.  I suspect that the Kafkaesque absurdity of my own war compared with my grandfather's plays into this somehow, and I'll own that as a personal bias that will likely follow me for a long time.  Not sure if you're a sci-fi fan, but there is a Vietnam veteran cum sci-fi writer named Joe Haldeman whose observations I have found more and more prescient as we go forward along this path (apparently I'm not alone).  He's probably more the type with whom you've shared foxholes, and you may enjoy reading him.

          "If Mitt takes office, sooner or later, the Zomnies will come for all of us." -Joss Whedon

          by quillsinister on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 05:57:34 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I was reading Joe Haldeman while I was (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            quillsinister

            serving and I can agree with you he was prescient then.
            I don't know if you like older sci-fi, but Heinlein was way before Joe and while he had libertarian leanings, I know he inspired Pournelle and Haldeman.
            You would be surprised by the conservatives who volunteered for Vietnam came home as liberals.
            Your war is being played out with intelligent people performing with gear and training that costs thousands.
            My war was grunts and in the beginning, M-14's. The last war where infantrymen were treated as cannon fodder, thank Jah.

             

            "If you tell the truth, you won't have to remember anything", Mark Twain

            by Cruzankenny on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 07:51:18 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  Maybe not defend, but explain? (21+ / 0-)

    We are at war. War is intrinsically evil. There are more horrible ways to carry out a war, and  less horrible ways to carry out a war, but the only good and moral thing about a war is ending it.
    President Obama did not start the war on Al Queda. Al Queda attacked us. going after them one at a time, seems to me less horrible than invading a country that didn't attack us (or even one that did) causing hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians to be killed. Less horrible. (Note I didn't say not horrible)

    War is hell. I wish it was over, but it isn't. The President is doing the best he can with the hand he was dealt. He has, and will do some things wrong, but overall his judgement seems pretty sound in matters of war.

    "Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts." Daniel Patrick Moynihan

    by atlliberal on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 05:22:30 AM PST

    •  Basically (5+ / 4-)

      you think its OK because it is Obama sanctioned. At least be honest about your reasons.

      •  I did not detect that reasoning in the (14+ / 0-)

        comment. How did you?

        "If you tell the truth, you won't have to remember anything", Mark Twain

        by Cruzankenny on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 05:34:24 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  No, I don't think it is OK (16+ / 0-)

        I think it is preferable to take one life rather than a whole lot of lives. Doesn't matter who does it. still immoral, but less so than dropping bombs on civilians, sending in ground troops to kill and be killed and causing thousands of casualties. Like I said, war is HELL. I wish it didn't exist, but it does.

        "Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts." Daniel Patrick Moynihan

        by atlliberal on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 05:46:12 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  it exists because he didn't stop it. (0+ / 0-)

          There cleared your confusion for you.

        •  what makes you think we would have troops in (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          pigeonhole principle, kurt

          Yemen, Somalia, or Pakistan? What forces there pose an 'imminent threat', which happens to be what's necessary to legally attack and by imminent the law means they are comin' with no time to do anything different.
           This is just an excuse and it just accepts the premise that 'war' is necessary all over the world when under international law (yes those exist) someone has to 'pose an imminent threat' before you go killing people in other Countries (even Bush had to use the WMD, mushroom cloud excuse), and maybe you can explain bombing that 16 year old American boy two weeks after blowing up his father.

          without the ants the rainforest dies

          by aliasalias on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 12:18:34 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  You're in rare form. HR'd for blatant lie. nt (4+ / 0-)
      •  To those who h/rd (4+ / 0-)

        this extrajudicial killings will never be and never have been a liberal value. The only reason for supporting them is because you cannot see past the personality. You want a God not a president.

        •  You are wrong about this (6+ / 0-)

          I wish you hadn't been hr'd because I think this is an important discussion to have. I hate war I think it is barbaric and evil. If I had my way there would be no wars and nobody would be killed ever. But, I don't live in a perfect world. The one time killing is justified is in self defense. I am not so naive that I think President Obama has a perfect record on this, but I do think his judgement is far superior, given the difficult circumstances we face, than Bush's judgement.If George Bush had started targeted drone strikes rather than invading Iraq or Afghanistan even, then that would have been preferable than the thousands of innocent civilians killed in the declared war. I'm not saying it is a good thing. I am saying that the alternative is far worse. Not doing anything might result in many more Americans getting killed. There are no easy answers to these problems. Only bad, less bad, and worse. I don't envy the president for having to make these choices. I trust his judgement more than I would many other people, but I also am realistic enough to believe that there needs to be checks on any president's use  of power.

          "Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts." Daniel Patrick Moynihan

          by atlliberal on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 07:54:14 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  the ONLY record you have on Obama's Drone (0+ / 0-)

            killings is the one Obama gives.
             Unless you have read foreign press, or the Bureau of Investigative Journalism which is just one of many keeping (and verifying) fatality accounts.
            Yes this administration counts ALL males of 'military age' as 'militants', but there is that condition that anyone can posthumously be found to have not been a 'militant'.
            Not before because there is no judicial process it's all in the hands of Obama and some unelected people in the White House on 'terror Tuesdays' when they pick out who dies and who doesn't (yet).

            The excuse that Drone attacks are in place of troops just assumes troops would be sent to Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia and other countries.

            without the ants the rainforest dies

            by aliasalias on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 12:28:37 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  I recommended (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          atlliberal, janemas

          after I saw that you were HR. People can disagree without having to be censored. We can voice our differences of ideas and rhetorical style with further comments.

        •  I don't know why this is controversial. (0+ / 0-)

          You don't start wars, when a war criminal starts one, you end it asap, and you don't use drones to prosecute war crimes.  I don't know why people on this web site would argue for any of this.  I guess it explains why republicans get elected.

      •  That is not what he said (1+ / 0-)

        He said we were attacked, we are responding to that attack and this is an accepted method of fighting a war.

        I at least partly agree with this though I am not sure it is being done in an effective or reasonable way. I am unconvinced that it is what we should be doing but any war I have studied all sides make full use of such strategies, sometimes effectively sometimes not. Obama is not mcuh better nor worse than any other wartime leader from any nation I am aware of on this particular issue.

        For the record on this issue I felt the same way regarding Bush. My problems with Bush was his sacrificing the war on al Qaeda (the people who attacked us) for a war on Iraq based on lies and an attempted war on Iran.

        FREEDOM ISN'T FREE: That's why we pay taxes. I Had A Thought

        by mole333 on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 07:23:43 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  2 wrongs don't make a right. (0+ / 0-)

          Another wrong doesn't make a right.  A less evil wrong doesn't make a right.  Get it?  Any kind of wrong doesn't make a right.

          To flip your argument, no matter how evil an act you do, it is ok because you could have done something more evil.  Get it?

          •  Ummm... (4+ / 0-)

            This doesn't work unless you are advocating pacifism. This has nothing to do with wrongs and rights. It has to do with military tactics and strategies.

            No one could have won WW II without large bombing campaigns. One can argue against specific targets (e.g. Dresden, London, etc.) but the basic use was a given. In fact bombing cities, because of strategic targets within those cities, became a given on all sides because it was not seen as possible to win otherwise. Which may well have been true. WW I was different. It did not involve targeting of cities in most areas. But anyone who fought WW II as if it was WW I (as the French did to begin with) would lose.

            We are using a tactic that is part of warfare. If I accept the war (which I do since we were attacked...this is in contrast to the war in Iraq that Obama ended) then I have to at least consider the tactic.

            If you are arguing pacifism then we have a fundamental difference though I respect your position. If you are arguing the tactic is wrong, then I don't see why you consider it more wrong than any other aspect of modern warfare. If war is necessary (again, if you are a pacifist then you don't accept this) then no one has given me a solid argument why this tactic is in anyway more evil than say the bombing of Berlin or Rome during WW II.

            Get it?

            FREEDOM ISN'T FREE: That's why we pay taxes. I Had A Thought

            by mole333 on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 12:08:06 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Oh, an expert on tactics and strategy, are we? (0+ / 0-)

              I'm professionally curious as to your qualifications.

              "If Mitt takes office, sooner or later, the Zomnies will come for all of us." -Joss Whedon

              by quillsinister on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 02:34:08 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Straw man (2+ / 0-)

                I never claimed to be an expert. You can't address my point so you decide to attack me? That is lame as can be and suggests you already lost the discussion.

                As to qualifications I have been an avid reader of history (of all sorts) for 25 years now and had an interest in military history on and off since I was a kid. Never claimed that made me an expert on strategy and tactics. You made that comment in an attempt to divert from my argument. But I would say I have a reasonable knowledge of large chunks of military history from the Bronze Age to the modern middle east.

                Now, care to address the points I made or want to simply continue to be snide and obnoxious?

                FREEDOM ISN'T FREE: That's why we pay taxes. I Had A Thought

                by mole333 on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 02:45:56 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Not really a straw man. (0+ / 0-)

                  Not even ad hominem.  More of a request for information, albeit one with a bit of an edge.  It ended up a bit more flippant than I intended, and I apologize for that.

                  But I've studied history, too.  I've read my Thucydides, my Clausewitz, my Mahan and my Machiavelli, as well as a host of others so obscure that only a handful of academics and fellow officers even remember their names.  I've also spent a decade and change as an instrument of our foreign policy, seeing its execution and impact firsthand.  What I come away from this experience with is a profound sense of futility, as well as a certain impatience for civilians who act as apologists for this policy with little more than a shrug and a dismissive appeal to the nature of war, which they know only theoretically.  Please understand that I am not criticizing you for having no direct experience of combat (the experience of being shot at has provided me no noteworthy epiphanies of which I'm aware), but rather for not analyzing the situation within Clausewitz's framework, which one can do whether or not one has ever worn a uniform.

                  Remember that tactical victory, in Clausewitz's view, is only useful if it accomplishes political aims.  No matter how dazzling the victory, if you have not at least moved a step closer to your desired endstate, you have accomplished little besides wasting some of a finite supply of national blood and treasure.  As should be apparent, the slaying of every terrorist in the world as a strategy for achieving peace is not rational; we'll never kill them all, for one thing.  The world is a big place, with too many nooks and crannies to hide in.  We also have a bad habit of making new terrorists as fast as we kill the old ones.  Were I a bit more suspicious, I might be inclined to agree with Smedley Butler's view that the ultimate aim of war is simply to direct vast amounts of money from the hands of the many to the hands of a select few using fear and nationalism as a smokescreen, and during Bush's administration, I think there may have been something to that.  I'd prefer to think better of Obama, however.

                  It is also important to understand that terrorism does not emerge in a vacuum.  Oh, I know it's popular to say that they hate us for our freedom, but this is sophomoric tripe, and unworthy of a scholar such as yourself.  They hate us because we've violated their sovereignty, invaded their countries, toppled their governments and supported the occasional murderous regime when it has suited our own short term economic goals.  And we've been doing this for more than half a century!  How can you understand our relationship with Iran, for example, without knowing what happened there with the CIA's help in 1953?  The Saudi royals are not terribly more popular than the Shah was, and our oil habit keeps them functionally unassailable within their country, just as we once supported Saddam Hussein, just as we once trained the Mujahideen (many of whom would eventually be incorporated into the Taliban).  American freedom, to the extent that it appears at all, it pretty far down the list of why they hate us.  Religion and social conservatism may have provided a spark, but we've poured plenty of gasoline on that region over the years.  Popular anger plus an inability to engage our vastly superior military directly equals terrorism as a tactical option.

                  Since we pretty much know that we're never going to kill every potential terrorist, and we can pretty much count on making new ones, our best option has always been to encourage a political and social framework in which these extreme elements are marginalized, left without the support network they depend on, and here's where our invasions have not helped matters.  Oh, I'm not arguing that drone strikes are less destructive than an OIF-scale invasion, but drone strikes are also cheap and easy enough to operate in countries where the threat level was low enough to not warrant an invasion.  By causing so much collateral damage in these countries, we are only making civilian populations hostile towards us, and this will in turn create a more favorable operational environment for the terrorists.  Rinse, repeat.

                  Even at our most surgical, the military is an awfully blunt instrument, and it does not seem that we are accomplishing much besides making a pile of dead people and a much larger crowd of angry people.  If you can see solid movement towards a worthwhile endpoint, you're doing better than I am.  All I can see on the horizon is perpetual war until we've killed, spent and blustered our way entirely off the world stage.

                  Besides, even the Pentagon agrees now that climate change is a far greater threat than terrorists.  how about we try showing some intensity for that cause?

                  "If Mitt takes office, sooner or later, the Zomnies will come for all of us." -Joss Whedon

                  by quillsinister on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 12:51:09 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Largely agree... (0+ / 0-)

                    You did come off badly in your request though the request is ultimately valid.

                    But I also think that even taking political goals into account targeting terrorists IS a good tactic. Now let me reiterate that I have never been convinced drones are a good way to do that, though I have not been convinced by the arguments I have heard from either side. Military force is always a blunt instrument but hammers have their purposes too...though I suppose not in surgery if we are keeping to that metaphor : -)

                    Problem with Afghanistan is that it was fumbled by Bush. THe initial opportunity was looking hopeful to me, but once fumbled it is hard to see how it can be worked out to our political benefit. Honestly I think once bin Laden was killed we could have said, "now our primary goals have been achieved and we can withdraw." But of course that would leave a vacuum pretty much just like we left when we ducked out of Somalia early, something very few Somalis wanted us to do. I had an interesting discussion on the air with some Somalis, both pro- and anti-Islamicist, and BOTH sides told me they were horrified when we left and that they had supported our intervention and wished we had carried it through to completion. In that case cessation of our intervention was almost certainly the wrong thing to do.

                    Would we be leaving Afghanistan in a similar state if we withdrew now? I think probably yes and we would regret it. However I also agree with you that currently if we are making any progress it seems awfully slow. I remember a Global Voices documentary I saw on PBS following the life of a poor Afghan kid over many years. In it they showed one scene when the Americans came through town. People were curious and excited, not hostile. The impression left was that the Americans were nervous and scared and that the best they could do was hand out a few school notebooks that could be obtained in the area anyway. If that is our best, then we are achieving nothing.

                    I don't necessarily think the drone attacks are our biggest mistake right now. I lean towards thinking they are more effective than not, though probably are being overused. I think our biggest mistake is that our positive presence is a handful of nervous American kids in oversized uniforms handing out a few notebooks. Cut back on a few drones and put the money those drones would cost into some schools, roads, etc and I think it would be more effective. But I also think the blunt military force is still needed to prevent Afghanistan from going the way of Somalia again. But the mess was so badly fumbled before Obama came in I don't really know how he could have done better. I have my own ideas but I do not envy him the job he was handed there and I don't want to be second guessing him. It looks bad as it is, but it could well have been worse had he done things radically differently. It is beyond my skills to judge that.

                    I also disagree with you regarding terrorism. Overall must high profile terrorism today (which may not be MOST terrorism, just the stuff that gets the most world attention) has little to do with what we do except the worse shit we do is an excuse for terrorism that would happen anyway. Most of Islam does not interpret jihad in a way that supports terrorism. But Wahhabism does and they turn that warping of jihad against fellow Muslims, then the Soviets, then the West. I think they would be preaching terrorism no matter what and their main stated reasons for 9/11 were our role in the UN sanctions against Iraq (ironically) and our presence (at Saudi invitation) in Saudi Arabia. Neither of those were directly aggressive on our part. Now I would argue that our alliance with the weasly Saudis was always a bad idea, but that doesn't change the fact that we were supposedly attacked partly because we accepted an invitation to defend Saudi Arabia, which is Wahhabi to begin with. It almost seems like a set up to me. The Saudi royals have certainly been helped by us, but it has always been their alliance with the Wahhabi clergy that really kept them in power. That wasn't being held against us. Just our stationing troops there.

                    The third reason was our support for Israel which is complex and I am not sure I want to get into in this context since it didn't inspire the Wahhabis to attack us when we were siding with them against the Soviets. It seems like our presence in Saudi Arabia was the reason that turned them against us from what I can see.

                    FREEDOM ISN'T FREE: That's why we pay taxes. I Had A Thought

                    by mole333 on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 06:08:55 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                •  I should add that, (0+ / 0-)

                  if this had happened under Bush, the Democrats would have been up in arms.  Now?  Meh.  No big deal.

                  I see nothing down this road that we want.  Like the war on drugs, the war on terror has become farce.  Expensive, bloody farce.

                  "If Mitt takes office, sooner or later, the Zomnies will come for all of us." -Joss Whedon

                  by quillsinister on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 02:03:17 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

            •  when did criticism of drone strikes become an (0+ / 0-)

              argument for pacifism?

              I never heard any critics of drone strikes say we should turn the other cheek.

              Can't compare to WWII, we were attacked by a country, which was in a war with other countries.  I'm not a big fan of war, but I would agree that if you're going to enter one that's already in progress, you would need to use the same strategies as your enemy.  Air strikes etc.

              However, we haven't been attacked by a country since pearl harbor.  Afghanistan like Iraq was an optional war.

              9/11 was a consequence of our belligerence worldwide.  We stop the belligerence, nobody attacks us.

              As Americans, we don't even question our right to rule other countries.  I assure you they question our right to rule them.

              The dirty truth about terrorism is it is always a response to a wrong by a more powerful nation.

              Is it defensible?  Hell no, nobody is saying it is.  But it is a predictable result of our wrongdoing.  Predictable.  So since it's predictable, who is really responsible, the terrorist, or the government who goaded him into being a terrorist.

              I'm not seeing any criticism of our foreign policy here.  It appears that we all accept it as inevitable.

              As long as we do that, we'll be having this argument.

              •  Okay (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                mahakali overdrive

                First off I ASKED if you were arguing pacifism. I assume your answer is "no." That means we are not arguing a fundamental philosophical difference, which I think you might agree is important to determine early in a discussion.

                Second, thanks for clarifying your position.

                I disagree regarding being attacked by al-Qaeda as differing from being attacked by a country. al-Qaeda was based in, protected by and allied with the government of Afghanistan. The government of Afghanistan refused to work with us in getting al-Qaeda and protected them. How is al-Qaeda not an arm of the Afghan government at the time? They worked together INCLUDING in their hostility to us. I consider the war in Afghanistan fundamentally different than the war in Iraq. Clearly you disagree with this view. From what I gather your disagreement is based on:

                9/11 was a consequence of our belligerence worldwide.  We stop the belligerence, nobody attacks us.
                I think you are wrong on both points. First point: the initial stated reasons by al-Qaeda for the attack were:

                1. Sanctions against Iraq (which were UN sanctions based on limiting Iraq aggression after their invasion of Kuwait...not belligerence on our part)

                2. US presence in Saudi Arabia (at Saudi request in the face of Iraqi aggression...so not  belligerence on our part)

                3. US support of Israel (an ally of the US so not really  belligerence on our part, though I can understand viewing it as  belligerence against Palestine, though I disagree)

                As to stopping our belligerence, I don't think that would do anything. We could become isolationist and MAYBE that will help, but I doubt even that would and I don't think it would be better for us to be isolationist. I do think our foreign policy under Bush was a shambles--stupid and bullying. But al-Qaeda had planned the attack well before him, so it wasn't Bush who caused the attack. Under Clinton the main criticisms leveled were that we DIDN'T intervene in Rwanda and that we were maybe too slow in intervening in Bosnia. al-Qaeda's criticisms remain but again two of those were part of our role as part of the UN and our role as an alliance (an alliance I don't like) with Saudi Arabia. The third was our alliance with Israel. I don't view al-Qaeda as a reasonable guide to who we ally with and our support for UN peacekeeping.

                So the question for me is whether the use of drones is an effective strategy. This is itself debatable and I don't see clear info I trust. So I remain undecided. In theory it is a more effective strategy than traditional bombing with less civilian death, but in practice I am not sure it lives up to what it is supposed to be.

                As for criticism of foreign policy here, are you crazy? The main hot button topic for discussion is Israel/Palestine and there is a very strong voice against our ties to Israel. Hard to go a day without seeing diaries from both sides of the issue, one side critical of our policy. I saw plenty of diaries criticizing Obama for not exiting from Iraq fast enough. That of course has died down since he withdrew our troops. Diaries discussed both pros and cons of Obama's approach to the rebellions in Egypt and Libya and now his approach to Syria is frequently discussed in both pro and con positions. Use of drones is certainly not universally supported...at best weakly accepted, hardly if ever supported without qualification. How to handle Pakistan has also been a topic of debate. Our policies towards Iran and North Korea have been debated many times.

                So I don't see how you can say there is no debate about foreign policy.

                What I don't think people appreciate is being attacked if and when we DO support Obama on something. Obama's positions, though I don't always agree with him at least in detail, is thought out and has reasons behind them. I can disagree but I never assume there is no validity on his side.

                I have considerable criticisms of our foreign policy though less during Clinton and Obama's presidencies than during Bush's, Bush's or Reagan's. Carter had the best ideas for foreign policy but not well executed. But the terrorism sponsored by al-Qaeda is an extension of an even more belligerent policy which is Wahhabism. It was seen as a violent, threatening movement from within Islam when it first surfaced and it was only after the US stationed troops in Saudi Arabia (at their request) that many in the Wahhabi movement turned their attacks on the West (previously fighting within Islam and against the Soviets). Wahhabism, as opposed to most of Islam, really does interpret jihad in a violent, expansionist way and is far more belligerent than we are. Doesn't mean the kinds of crap we pulled in Iraq under Bush was in any way justified. Doesn't mean all our decisions are even remotely right. But I don't really think most of modern terrorism is because of our belligerence.

                FREEDOM ISN'T FREE: That's why we pay taxes. I Had A Thought

                by mole333 on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 04:59:13 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

      •  uprated (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Hugo Estrada, aliasalias

        to counteract the usual abuse by defenders of the program.

        Hay hombres que luchan un dia, y son buenos Hay otros que luchan un año, y son mejores Hay quienes luchan muchos años, y son muy buenos. Pero hay los que luchan toda la vida. Esos son los imprescendibles.

        by Mindful Nature on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 09:08:04 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  good for you. (0+ / 0-)

          Why would somebody h/r a comment because they disagree?  Oh yea, because they are right wingers who can't stand the truth.  It seems we have a few who comment on this web site.

          •  I am not going to go that far (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            aliasalias

            I have in the past though.   It does seem strange to have democrats embrace such fundamentally anti-democratic principles.  Weird times we live in

            Hay hombres que luchan un dia, y son buenos Hay otros que luchan un año, y son mejores Hay quienes luchan muchos años, y son muy buenos. Pero hay los que luchan toda la vida. Esos son los imprescendibles.

            by Mindful Nature on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 12:00:46 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I'm trying to practice not being nice to political (0+ / 0-)

              opponents any more.  You're better than I am.

              The strangeness you mention truly has me depressed.

              Really what was learned from the 8 year W debacle?

              I can see why the establishment, people who's living depends on Democrats winning, would embrace this stuff.  What I don't see is why Dkos commenters embrace it.  It really makes me think they are all on the payroll of the 1%ers.  Some don't even defend, they just name call and obfuscate.

        •  You uprated a lying slur. nt (0+ / 0-)
    •  say rather "rationalizing" (5+ / 0-)

      Which amounts to the same thing.  You are trying to distribute responsibility for bad policies by making no one in particular responsible "war is hell" or blaming Al Qaeda (they attacked us!).

      I think it's bullshit.  The United States does not require a policy of targeted assassinations to maintain reasonable security for itself and its citizens.  It probably in fact does the US more harm than good by radicalizing all sorts of otherwise innocent people when their loved ones get murdered by Americans for being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

      Britain did not conduct airstrikes in Ireland to get at IRA leaders and it's still standing and in fact there is peace.

      War is hell and the United States' chosen policies are enlarging and lengthening that hell for no good reason.

      •  What would you do? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jakewaters

        There are still people out there who would like to attack us. I'd really like to know,how would you handle it? I'm serious. I'm interested in your perspective.

        "Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts." Daniel Patrick Moynihan

        by atlliberal on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 06:40:21 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  follow the laws of war (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          atlliberal, lotlizard, aliasalias

          And start by asking the question: "What chance does this person have to kill Americans if we don't kill him right now?"

          The laws of war are really pretty simple:  You can use force when it is absolutely necessary and has a good chance of success.  The drone strike/kill list program doesn't meet either criteria.

          Between enhanced airline security, biometric passports and all sorts of intelligence enhancements, how much of a threat are these people?

          Maybe they're hiding in back-country Yemen and you can't get any local authorities to arrest them.  OK, maybe you just live with their existence because you can't actually justify war-acts with a high likelihood of innocent casualties.  

          Really, most of the people the US kills are not killed because anyone believes they're about to launch some operation against America.  They're killed to try and scare people from joining Al Qaeda, to send a message and so forth.  It doesn't seem to be working and it requires committing war crimes repeatedly.  

          •  Thanks for this (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            gramofsam1, jakewaters

            I think this is a subject where reasonable people can disagree. I agree that there needs to be strict criteria on when this is used, but we might disagree on when that is. The laws of war allow us to bomb whole countries. The laws of war allow us to hold "combatants" without recourse indefinitely when the war has no end. To me there is no good answer to this, only bad and less bad.

            "Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts." Daniel Patrick Moynihan

            by atlliberal on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 07:32:32 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  I never heard about scaring people from (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            aliasalias

            joining the militants.  

            If that's the theory, we can call it completely discredited by all the subsequent attacks against us since 911.

            Not only discredited, but a great recruitment tool for wanna be terrorist organizations.

            Also discredited by Vietnam and presumably any other wars where we treated the citizens as disposable.  

            It seems like we never learn.  I guess when war pays so well, it doesn't pay enough to learn how war is bad.

        •  1. end the war. 2. end the drone strikes. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          aliasalias, pigeonhole principle

          3.  Close all military bases in Muslim countries.  4. Quit supporting dictators in Muslim countries.   5. Quit warmongering on a list of countries with Iran always on top of that list.  6.  Quit taking out democratically elected governments with the CIA.

          I think I'm almost done.

          You see the average american doesn't know about number 6 because it isn't our country that suffers from this.  You better believe every citizen of those countries know we do this because they suffer the aftermath of newly installed dictator US puppets.  And all the neighboring countries know we do this because they are all better informed than US citizens are.  For them it's a matter of survival.

          That's just a partial list of what I would do.  

          I know I just asked for a pony and a unicorn for christmas.  But I presume you asked your question wanting to know the answer to it, not just what a politician should say just to get elected.  

          •  Yes, I wanted your answer (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            arabian, jakewaters

            While admirable, and I'd agree with alot of it, it simply isn't realistic in today's world. We could do everything you said, and still be the target of terrorist attacks. We still would expect the government to prevent them.

             I think this is why we don't talk about these things. There are no easy answers.

            "Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts." Daniel Patrick Moynihan

            by atlliberal on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 02:39:37 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Thank you. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        aliasalias, pigeonhole principle

        It is a well known fact that our drone wars are chickenhawk actions which are swelling the ranks of the anti USA terrorist (now freedom fighters) groups.

        I don't know why this is controversial on dkos.  

        Thanks for a well reasoned comment, it's cause and effect.  It's sad to see the uninformed generalizations here on this web site.  "War is hell", "it could be worse".  They all imply we can't use our brains to come up with a rational response to terrorism.

        At this point the only rational response I see is close all of our bases in Muslim countries, oops I forgot, we might want to end that war in Afghanistan, and end the drone strikes too.  

        Responsibility:  You are right someone sure as hell is responsible, now it's Obama.  Butcher's responsibility ended on 1/20/2009.  That's when Obama became the defender of the indefensible.  Not that we couldn't see it coming though, in the general election (2008).

    •  The problem is, the war on terror will never end (6+ / 0-)

      This isn't like WWII or any other war where there is a government to be defeated. The war on terror is against criminal non state actors. It could be best compared to the War on Drugs. Al Quaeda leaders and drug lords will be arrested here and there, but the war will never end. And because the war will never end, the unconstitutional government powers will continue indefinitely.

      "Poor man wanna be rich, Rich man wanna be King, and the King ain't satisfied till he rules everything." Bruce Springsteen.

      by Johnnythebandit on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 06:40:33 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I think you may be buying into the neocon meme (5+ / 0-)

      That meme being, not so much "We are at war", as "being at war justifies anything and everything, including suspending the Constitution".  I won't argue that we're not at war, but this war is being used to implement militaristic police state policies and justify imperial wars.  Those policies may never be sunsetted because this is, almost by definition, a war that will never end.  

      It looks far too much like 1984 to me.

      I am become Man, the destroyer of worlds

      by tle on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 08:17:35 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think you read too much into my comments (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kirbybruno

        I did not say being at war justifies anything. I especially did not say it justifies suspending the constitution.

        "Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts." Daniel Patrick Moynihan

        by atlliberal on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 09:58:38 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  We are at war? (3+ / 0-)

      That very frame, the "war on terror" frame taken from metaphor to legal reality is a classic example of a Republican policy that was loudly condemned on these pages, since arguably the efforts against Al Qaeda are more closely aligned to an international criminal enforcement action than a war (which is carried out against states).  However, now "liberals" recite and adopt this very conservative analysis without even noticing.

      I wonder, for example, would you accept drone strikes in Mexico or Colombia, since we are "at war" on drugs also?

      So then, it becomes a question of whether drones are an acceptable part of an intelligence and criminal enforcement campaign.  Maybe they are, but that's a separate discussion from the point I'm raising.

      Hay hombres que luchan un dia, y son buenos Hay otros que luchan un año, y son mejores Hay quienes luchan muchos años, y son muy buenos. Pero hay los que luchan toda la vida. Esos son los imprescendibles.

      by Mindful Nature on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 09:11:24 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It seems to me that drone strikes (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jakewaters

        targeted at specific terrorists, are more  aligned with the threat than invading whole countries. I never said "war on terror".  You can't defeat a tactic. I specifically said we are at war with Al Queda. They declared war in us, attacked us several times and will again. They are not the least bit concerned about innocent civilians being killed.

        Now you can say, who defines "terrorists"? and I'll agree that even in a time of war there needs to be considerable restraint and checks put on that power.  There has been military action in the "war on drugs" for years. I don't support it, but I didn't support invading Iraq either.  Is it any worse when there are bombs dropped from a plane or poison dropped on vegetation in an effort to eradicate cocaine while eradicating everything else? (Honestly, I think we should end the war on drugs)

        If this were 20 or 30 years ago we would have sent covert forces to deal with it and likely not heard about it unless something went wrong. Drones are harder to hide.

        "Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts." Daniel Patrick Moynihan

        by atlliberal on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 10:18:47 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  This is precisely the debate (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          pigeonhole principle
          I'll agree that even in a time of war there needs to be considerable restraint and checks put on that power.  
          The notion of checks and restraints is what we are debating here.  Some favor a powerful executive that does not operate with such constraints (framing the effort as a war is critical to that argument I think).  Others of us feel that the executive needs to have review of the authority to kill by declaration.  Here, the notion is that we characterize the response to mass murder as murder (a criminal matter) rather than a war.  The closest analogue being that the large scale violation of drug laws does not authorize the President to assassinate drug dealers on his own say so.

          Obviously the rule of law point of view is decidedly a minority view here and even more so nationally

          Hay hombres que luchan un dia, y son buenos Hay otros que luchan un año, y son mejores Hay quienes luchan muchos años, y son muy buenos. Pero hay los que luchan toda la vida. Esos son los imprescendibles.

          by Mindful Nature on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 12:38:14 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  I've noticed the same thing. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        aliasalias, pigeonhole principle

        Now that a democrat is running things, we seem to be hearing the same things the right wing nut jobs were saying to defend all things Bushian.  

        The fact is we're only at war because we choose to be.

        I wish I'd known about dkos back then, so I could compare then to now.  But I know I was reading these exact same justifications from pro Bushies elsewhere.

        I think the answer to whether drone strikes are acceptable or not, is how you answer this question:  Are drone strikes in your hometown in the wars on "terror", "drugs" etc. acceptable or not?

        There, now we all have our answer as to whether they're acceptable or not, and we can end them immediately.

        I had a friend who claimed no interest in politics (even though he's the one who brought the subject up), and he said:  Well we didn't get to be No 1 by being nice guys.  I thought to myself, I wonder how apolitical he'd be if Bush were bombing oh say, Billings Montana (where he lives) instead of Iraq.  

        I think we all have our answers to these questions in advance.

        •   I was around here when Bush was in office (0+ / 0-)

          And I can assure you the arguments from the other side were not anything like I am describing. If you disagreed with anything Bush did you were told that you were unpatriotic, you wanted the terrorists to win and you hated your own country. We were told that anything the president did in order to prevent terrorism was OK and if you disagreed you might just want to be killed in a terror attack. I have said nothing of the sort. the fact that I'm  not demanding that the president end all wars right this minute, does not mean I agreed with the Bushies on presidential power. The world simply isn't that black and white.

          "Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts." Daniel Patrick Moynihan

          by atlliberal on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 02:51:00 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  the only sound judgment: (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pigeonhole principle

      END THE WAR,  NOW!

      •  If you could get Al Queda to end the war, (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jakewaters

        I'd agree with you 100%

        "Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts." Daniel Patrick Moynihan

        by atlliberal on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 10:20:47 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Drones bombing innocent civilians is the BIGGEST (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          pigeonhole principle

          recruitment tool for terrorists according to the Pentagon, but I didn't need to hear from them it's common sense that blowing up innocent people incites hatred from people that had no concerns before about America.

          without the ants the rainforest dies

          by aliasalias on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 12:35:28 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Glad you're on board. (0+ / 0-)

          We pull the rug out from any dictators we support, end the wars (I forget how many wars we have going right now), end our one sided blind support of Israel, quit occupying their countries, remove our bases from the countries, quit selling arms to the dictators who oppress them.

          I guess in a phrase, "It's our foreign policy stupid" to paraphrase Clinton.  

          There you have it.  Now Al Quaeda forgets we ever existed.  It's amazing when you study terrorism, it's always in response to something we've done wrong.  We stop, they stop.  

          They would probably even forgive us fairly quick.  They did in Vietnam, although they might be more forgiving than we could have expected.

    •  One lesson of Bush's many geopolitical follies (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pigeonhole principle

      is that terrorism in most cases is best considered a matter for law enforcement.  Also, you will never kill every bad guy, and if you ignore basic human rights to do it, you've set a very dangerous precedent that will bite you in the ass at some point, either when the government decides it can kill you with impunity or when the children of the "collateral damage" grow up and swear vengeance.

      Welcome to the vicious cycle.

      "If Mitt takes office, sooner or later, the Zomnies will come for all of us." -Joss Whedon

      by quillsinister on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 02:29:38 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I don't have any problem with killing (10+ / 0-)

    combatants.  and, IIRC, ~60% of my fellow democrats agree.

    •  btw: I didn't have any *legal* objections (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      yella dawg, jakewaters, Rich in PA

      to Bush doing the same.  my problem with him was that he was fundamentally incompetent and I didn't want him in charge of anything, whether war or not.  that is a prudential, rather than legal, objection.  

      •  The difference is that Obama isn't invading (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        HamdenRice, Cedwyn, johnny wurster

        countries with battalions to root out a relative few terrorist leaders.

        InB4 'oh just wait till he invades Iran'.

        •  Yes (3+ / 0-)

          Those people should be grateful when the US bombs their weddings, just think how many more of them would die in a US invasion!

          •  Another non-sequitur. nt (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            johnny wurster
            •  Not really (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              ffour, pigeonhole principle

              It's the obvious reply to your false dichotomy (invasion or drone strikes).

            •  Drones HAVE targeted funerals, weddings AND (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              pigeonhole principle

              on first responders (called a 'double tap').

              The CIA’s drone campaign in Pakistan has killed dozens of  civilians who had gone to help rescue victims or were attending funerals, an investigation by the Bureau for the Sunday Times has revealed.

              The findings are published just days after President Obama claimed that the drone campaign in Pakistan was a ‘targeted, focused effort’ that ‘has not caused a huge number of civilian casualties.’

              Speaking publicly for the first time on the controversial CIA drone strikes, Obama claimed last week they are used strictly to target terrorists, rejecting what he called ‘this perception we’re just sending in a whole bunch of strikes willy-nilly’.

              ‘Drones have not caused a huge number of civilian casualties’, he told a questioner at an on-line forum. ‘This is a targeted, focused effort at people who are on a list of active terrorists trying to go in and harm Americans’.

              But research by the Bureau has found that since Obama took office three years ago, between 282 and 535 civilians have been credibly reported as killed including more than 60 children.  A three month investigation including eye witness reports has found evidence that at least 50 civilians were killed in follow-up strikes when they had gone to help victims. More than 20 civilians have also been attacked in deliberate strikes on funerals and mourners. The tactics have been condemned by leading legal experts.

              Although the drone attacks were started under the Bush administration in 2004, they have been stepped up enormously under Obama.

              (emphasis mine)

              Try the words of witnesses...
              http://www.thebureauinvestigates.com/...

              without the ants the rainforest dies

              by aliasalias on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 12:48:46 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  how ungrateful, unwashed masses. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            pigeonhole principle

            Geez can't a plutocrat get any respect around here.

        •  we were planning to invade Pakistan? Somalia? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          pigeonhole principle

          Yemen? When was that ?
          You need to recognize that you can't go blowing up people in other Countries that have no means of attacking you, much less being an 'imminent threat', it's under international law. Even Bush and company knew they had to come up with an 'imminent threat' to attack, hence the 'mushroom cloud' of WMD.

          without the ants the rainforest dies

          by aliasalias on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 12:39:39 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Bush didn't do it *enough* (3+ / 0-)

        If he had done this more, he could have done the whole country-invading thing less.

        You know, I sometimes think if I could see, I'd be kicking a lot of ass. -Stevie Wonder at the Glastonbury Festival, 2010

        by Rich in PA on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 06:03:43 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Seriously, how many 1,000's of people are alive (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          atlliberal, jakewaters

          today if the Husseins of Iraq met their end at the end of a Hellfire missile instead of an invasion?

          •  funny how we can't possibly do this to their (0+ / 0-)

            leaders because immoral.  Everybody else, no prob.

            IIRC, the more right wing neoconny people are the more they are against taking out the leaders with these methods, citizens as well as the jihadis? No prob.

            It appears that war pays to well to want to just take out the leader and be done with it. Not that I'm for that, by the way.

    •  Oh, so there is polling on the issue (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wilderness voice

      I wasn't aware of that. I will look for numbers. Thanks.

    •  "combatants" (10+ / 0-)

      Right, which is defined as "military age males in the area of any strike the US conducts."

      Basically "Anyone who runs, is a VC.  Anyone who stands still is a well disciplined VC."

    •  What about killing American citizens? (5+ / 0-)

      Anwar al awlaki and Samir Khan were both American citizens killed by an American drone strike. There was no trial, no judge, no jury, no due process whatsoever. What this means is that any President has the power to assassinate American citizens who are traveling abroad.

      Do you see any problem with this? Do you really believe this is constitutional?

      "Poor man wanna be rich, Rich man wanna be King, and the King ain't satisfied till he rules everything." Bruce Springsteen.

      by Johnnythebandit on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 06:46:53 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  no problems with that. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sviscusi

        a combatant is a combatant, whether citizen or not.  see, eg, Eisentrager.  or the civil war, for that matter, where we killed millions and millions of citizens.

      •  btw, let's be less straw-man-y with the scope (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sviscusi

        of the power asserted, which is not the power to kill those traveling abroad.

        •  It absolutely is (5+ / 0-)

          Soldiers are able to kill combatants on the battlefield during a declared war. But Pakistan was not a battlefield. There is no declared war with Pakistan. Obama flew drones over the country and assassinated American citizens by Presidential fiat.

          What's to stop the president from flying drones over any country and assassinating any American citizen there?

          Also, would you be alright with the Pakistani government flying drones over America and assassinating Pakistani and American citizens who they claim are "enemy combatants"?

          "Poor man wanna be rich, Rich man wanna be King, and the King ain't satisfied till he rules everything." Bruce Springsteen.

          by Johnnythebandit on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 07:12:08 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  if soldiers can kill combatants during a (0+ / 0-)

            declared war, what's to stop them from murdering puppies all day if we assume that the chain of command is ok with it?  well, nothing really.  IOW, what you see as a damming problem re drones is actually a problem with military force generally.

            that's why objections to drones are, at root, ultimately just arguments from pacifism.  its also why drone opponents don't stand a chance in hell of prevailing: most people reject pacifism and will continue to do so regardless of its particular guise.

            •  god forbid pacifism should break out. (3+ / 0-)

              Might take over the world.

              Can't do the right thing because pacifism.

              "most people reject pacifism and will continue to do so regardless of its particular guise".

              Wow, just wow.  

              I guess you're going to have to take back all the bad things you've been saying about Bush/Rove/Republicans, you have said bad things about them haven't you?  Please apoligize to el Rushbo.

              Then please start (or keep) voting republican, so there can be a difference between the parties.

              There is supposed to be a difference besides the little D and R next to each name isn't there?

              Once again:  Wow, just wow.

            •  No they are not (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Johnnythebandit

              As it stands the President can declare you an "enemy combatant" and assassinate you.  He or she would not need to make any showing that the allegation is true to any court or any other authority.  

              This comes because, unlike in wars, the geographic scope in unlimited (not limited to a war zone) and is not limited with respect to persons (I.e., members of a military). Both of those limitations on war powers are very important but Bish and now Obama have erased those constraints such that literally anyone could be assassinated without recourse in law.   That has nothing whatsoever to do with pacificism.  Please make an effort to understand the argument before dismissing it

              Hay hombres que luchan un dia, y son buenos Hay otros que luchan un año, y son mejores Hay quienes luchan muchos años, y son muy buenos. Pero hay los que luchan toda la vida. Esos son los imprescendibles.

              by Mindful Nature on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 12:43:26 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  Let's rephrase this to see if you still agree: (0+ / 0-)

            Someone next door is shooting at you from their back yard, which also includes incursions from their yard to yours. Do you have the right to shoot back? Does their private property right supersede your right to eliminate the threat to you?

            And please answer the question if you choose to reply.

            •  Yes, with a formal declaration of war by congress (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              ffour, 4Freedom

              Your question doesn't exactly work because I'm an individual and not a government which ought to have checks and balances.

              The problem with these drone strikes is that there is no declaration of war. They're all done by executive fiat.

              "Poor man wanna be rich, Rich man wanna be King, and the King ain't satisfied till he rules everything." Bruce Springsteen.

              by Johnnythebandit on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 08:18:18 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  War against whom? AQ/Taliban is a non-gov (0+ / 0-)

                entity, recognized by no one as a legit state actor.

                Are you going to declare war against 'just the part of Pakistan that they don't have control over?'

                Is it OK with you ('legally') if we have the permission of the head of state to conduct operations within the recognized boundaries that they don't have control over?

                •  Only if congress approves the action first (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  aliasalias

                  Also there must be a clear end to the mission so the president doesn't have carte blanche to do whatever he wants.

                  And, correct me if I'm wrong, but hasn't the Pakistani government asked the U.S. to stop the drone strikes repeatedly?

                  "Poor man wanna be rich, Rich man wanna be King, and the King ain't satisfied till he rules everything." Bruce Springsteen.

                  by Johnnythebandit on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 09:30:48 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Yes that is precisely the problem (0+ / 0-)

                  With the idea of declaring "war" on Alqaeda globally.  (Note, the Taliban were effectively te administration of much of Afghanistan at the time, which makes a the AUMP arguably on better ground, IMHO)

                  Hay hombres que luchan un dia, y son buenos Hay otros que luchan un año, y son mejores Hay quienes luchan muchos años, y son muy buenos. Pero hay los que luchan toda la vida. Esos son los imprescendibles.

                  by Mindful Nature on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 12:57:10 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

              •  Don't let them throw you off. (0+ / 0-)

                You're on the right track.

                If we must have a target for terrorists in these countries, then we use the CIA, you know actual spies to take out the supposed bad guys.  

                Let some supposedly brave badass to it correctly instead of chickenhawk drones loose like the proverbial bull in the china shop.

              •  The drone strikes (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                jakewaters

                are covered under the 2001 AUMF.  The United States can legally target enemy combatants by any means necessary.  It can be a rifle or a drone or a B-2 bomber.  International law is sort of outdated and unclear on some of these matters but it is very clear that the United States has declared itself in a state of armed conflict and can take action to that end.

                Regarding executive fiat, all matters of war are left to the executive when authorized by Congress.  There is no judge or jury or accountability whatsoever other than impeachment maybe, or elections.  There never has been in our history.

            •  Totally different legal contexts (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Johnnythebandit, aliasalias

              since international law, constitutional law, and criminal law are quite different.  HOwever, in many states, actually, you don't have a right to shoot back if you can get away.

              A constitutional law, the power of the state is subject to different constraints than a private actor is.  Here, the President is not authorized to deploy the force of the state with lethal means against citizens without significant judicial process.  As it stands now, we are faced with a situation that the President can circumvent ALL of the constitutional checks merely by asserting that someone, anywhere at any time, is an enemy combatant.  This authority the President asserts is unchecked by any constraints on the place or time of the extrajudicial killings or even by any necessary predicates.  In effect, under this theory, the President can execute anyone, anywhere, any time.  Does that sound like a constitutional liberal democracy to you?

              Hay hombres que luchan un dia, y son buenos Hay otros que luchan un año, y son mejores Hay quienes luchan muchos años, y son muy buenos. Pero hay los que luchan toda la vida. Esos son los imprescendibles.

              by Mindful Nature on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 09:17:44 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  No you do not! That was to get your attention. (0+ / 0-)

              Now that I've got your attention, you have the right to defend yourself, you do not have the right to kill the family who lives 2 doors down while exercising "the right to shoot back".  So no you don't have the irresponsible "right to shoot back" regardless of consequences, you have the right to hit the neighbor who is shooting at you, to paraphrase gun nuts.  

              I know you're going to say "extenuating circumstances, don't convict".  So we can clear this up easily.

              Suppose your neighbor was shooting at your other neighbor, and your other neighbor exercises "the right to shoot back" and kills your family in the process.  

              Do you still say "extenuating circumstances, don't convict"?

              Now you have your answer.  Now you can quit defending the indefensible.

            •  is Pakistan in your back yard? Somalia? Yemen? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              pigeonhole principle

              and which people pose a threat to you or any other Americans? When did any of those Countries start firing?  

              Those targeted (and not targeted but killed) do NOT have an army, navy or air force so just how are they threatening you, and on whose word do you have it ?

              without the ants the rainforest dies

              by aliasalias on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 12:54:38 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  word (0+ / 0-)

        iokiyad

        Funny I never see this one on dkos.  

        I guess we'll have to start using it.

    •  Please vote republican so there can be a (0+ / 0-)

      difference between the 2 parties.

  •  Yes (13+ / 0-)

    In diaries on the subject here that criticize Obama's kill list and drone program, you will find plenty of defense of it in the comment threads.

    Also. the poll numbers show that a significant percentage of Democrats support the program.


    "Justice is a commodity"

    by joanneleon on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 05:31:11 AM PST

    •  Autoban (4+ / 0-)

      Some Dkosers led the charge to autoban cartoonist BrianMcFadden because he dared cartoon against Democrats - http://www.dailykos.com/...

      Brian McFadden got bojoed - but then Markos restored him giving him infinite mojo - http://www.dailykos.com/...

      Lot of DKosers cheered McFadden's bojo before Markos restored him - http://www.dailykos.com/...

      •  What is autoban? (0+ / 0-)

        I haven't been in the site for a long time, and then when I started reading it again I was just reading, not commenting. So what is autoban?

        •  FAQ (3+ / 0-)

          http://www.dkosopedia.com/...

          You should be careful in writing diaries like this just 2 years before the most important mid-term elections of our lifetime. If enough people HR your tipjar - you will get autobanned.

          •  Thanks for the link (0+ / 0-)

            It is interesting to see how the DK community changes over time :P

            At some point it I remember many greens and republicans. then it became more leftist. It sounds, from the comic incidents, that it is more democratic now.

            I personally got burned out on politics after the Bush years, so I stop coming here. I was a bit active during the Health Care bill years, but then dropped out again.

          •  Please tell me that's snark. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ffour
            just 2 years before the most important mid-term elections of our lifetime.
            IOW, never say anything that might be construed as failing to toe the line?

            I am become Man, the destroyer of worlds

            by tle on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 08:28:47 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  undoubtedly (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              ffour, pigeonhole principle

              whether intentially or not.

              But the rhetoric is starting up already.

              Hay hombres que luchan un dia, y son buenos Hay otros que luchan un año, y son mejores Hay quienes luchan muchos años, y son muy buenos. Pero hay los que luchan toda la vida. Esos son los imprescendibles.

              by Mindful Nature on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 09:18:53 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  You must never criticize, it hurts the cause. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              pigeonhole principle

              Gee what does that rhyme with.

              I held my comments after that 1st debate because it looked like emotions were raw here.  I had to take a break from this place because I had to see reality based criticism, not wishful thinking.

              It looks like even after the election we're still in "toe the line " mode.  At least some of us.

          •  Sigh, I guess we can never have an honest (0+ / 0-)

            criticism of any Democrat because we're always "just 2 years before the most important fill in the blank elections of our lifetime."

            Seriously now I know why Republicans keep winning.  

            I had thought it was just their dastardly evil campaign tactics, plus a less than well informed electorate.

            Now I know it's because we must always be chasing the tea party vote like Carter did, Clinton did and Obama did.

            The only question is can we stop with that now?

            Can we for once chase the people's vote by implementing policies that benefit people?

            It seems like it can be done, 2012 being the best example.

            The only other question is do we have to wait for the Repugnantcon party to become totally fucking nuts before we can seem to be the acceptable alternative?

      •  Dang. I missed that. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ffour, pigeonhole principle

        Pretty funny stuff.  Pretty painful, too.  Interesting that the cartoon was largely skewering Democrats for not being, as I would put it, Democratic enough, yet the tip jar was mercilessly HRed.

        I am become Man, the destroyer of worlds

        by tle on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 08:25:54 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I was sad to see defense of George W. Bush's (0+ / 0-)

      policies here on dkos (only after Obama took them over).  I'm shocked to see that this is controversial here.  

      What happened to all that good common sense when W started all this?

      This subject alone on this web site was almost enough to make me not want to vote this time around.  Seriously.

      If this is controversial here, then we deserved George W. Bush even though he didn't win any elections without voter suppression.  

      If democrats are not going to claim the moral high ground on war, then how can they expect to win on all other issues of lesser importance?

      I guess it's like the rwnj's defending all thing Bush.  A criticism of Obama might elevate a republican to office.

      I however can hold 2 contradicting sentiments at the same time.

      I can do everything in my power to stop the more evil party from winning an election, by voting for Obama, while simultaneously holding almost as much contempt for Obama (Pelosi and Reid and all Democrats who voted for these wars) as I have for his opponent.

      But you see if enough people voted for the "lesser evil" every time you would slowly see the disappearance of evil policies.  The problem is sometimes we vote for and therefore reward the obviously more evil often enough to undo whatever good is done by the "lesser evil".

      Not subjecting Obama to a primary was consciously rewarding the more evil, after he proved he was on the side of the 1%ers and the warmongers.

      Sure we might have lost it to the R's this time around, but that would have been a good thing.  Because then you could tell the difference between the R and the D.

  •  Here, yes: "Not now" (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hugo Estrada, aliasalias

    You can look at my diary on the quiescence toward the lethal presidency and see the comments. Essentially, it was, "Don't ask questions near an election."

    Well, that's rather like "now is not the time to talk about gun laws" from the NRA. Before the election seemed no worse a time to talk about the moral stances that had marked us on the left as different from the right.

    There are some Congressional Democrats who argue what the administration does: "Drones minimize casualties." This is true if we presuppose that we must use air power or invasion and must kill an individual. In other words, they minimize only in comparison to sending in the paratroopers or dropping giant bombs.

    Mainly, though, pundits and the like say, "We don't like the drones, but it's hardly the top issue right now." I.e. they misdirect to avoid their conscience in service to party.

    Time is not a fiction; it is a narrative.

    by The Geogre on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 05:34:10 AM PST

  •  I defend it - here's why (20+ / 0-)

    First of all this is one of those ridiculously distorted stories. There is no "death list."

    This story really took off when someone wrote a book, which I haven't read yet (have requested it from inter-library loan) about Obama's approach to terrorism and security issues. I heard several interviews with the author, and will write more about this after I've read the book.

    What he actually wrote was that when Obama was first inaugurated, he learned that the military and CIA were using drone strikes to kill suspected terrorists in Afghanistan. Fairly mid level officers had that authority. They were using some sort of broad profile of activity to select targets and were often wrong and killed innocent civilians.

    President Obama insisted that the authority to order strikes had to be raised much higher into the military and intelligence -- in fact, to the White House.

    So the so-called kill list isn't Obama deciding on who to kill. It's Obama reigning in the military and CIA, forcing them to get his approval for any drone strike.

    I find the reaction to this whole story bizarre for this reason.

    In a declared war approved by the UN Security Council, such as the US war against al Qaeda, all sorts of US soldiers, officers and intelligence officials have the authority to kill the enemy.

    A private has the authority to shoot and kill an enemy Taliban fighter. An artillery spotter, an artillery sergeant has the authority to fire dumb artillery shells into a suspected AQ or Taliban base.

    Yet critics are saying that for the first time in US history, the President of the United States and commander in chief does not have the authority of a private first class or artillery sergeant to even approve or disapprove a drone strike.

    There's just something about this particular president. He's different you know? Line up George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and every other president since George Washington who had this authority and as Big Bird used to sing, one of these things is not like the other, one of these things is not the same ....

    •  Well another difference is (5+ / 0-)

      the five fold increase in drone strikes under this president.
      There's that.

      •  That doesn't have anything to do with drones (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        johnny wurster

        increasing in #, use around the world, and their technology, I"m sure. Would you prefer less drone strikes and more invasions?

      •  More drone strikes, less artillery strikes (7+ / 0-)

        People are focusing on a weapon rather than levels of violence.

        The reason drone strikes have increased is because artillery sergeants aren't firing blindly hundreds of rounds into Afghan villages.

        •  300 strikes (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          pigeonhole principle, aliasalias

          2,500 dead. There's your violence.

          •  Non-sequitur re HamdenRice's comment. nt (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            johnny wurster
              •  Non-sequitur: (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                johnny wurster
                1. An inference or conclusion that does not follow from the premises or evidence.
                2. A statement that does not follow logically from what preceded it.
                Specifically for #2, for it to logically follow, HR would've had to have claimed that 'there was no violence'. He/she did not. It's not 'sheriff', it just is.
            •  you're like a carpenter with a hammer (0+ / 0-)

              every problem is a nail.

              every argument you don't like is a non-sequitur.  

              You know what, I don't even know what that means.  You know what else, I ain't gonna look it up.

              Are you a troll?  Speaking of which your sig line sounds like something a "patriot" would use.

              You never have a reasoned logical argument.  You're always for whatever policies George W. Bush started.

          •  There were over 3000 killed on 9/11 (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            lavorare

            How many of those 2500 were trying to plan and carry out another one?

            "Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts." Daniel Patrick Moynihan

            by atlliberal on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 06:25:51 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Who knows (3+ / 0-)

              I guess we should just kill everyone, just in case.

              •  The drone strikes are the alternative to that (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                kirbybruno, jakewaters

                After 9/11 there were many people, some in positions of power who thought we should do just that. We invaded Iraq, killed possibly hundreds of thousands of civilians supposedly in response to 9/11, even though the people who attacked us were in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and Yemen and Africa. Going after the people who want to do us harm is preferable to invading whole countries. Still bad, but less bad. In a perfect world there would be no war. People would settle their differences peacefully. We don't live in a perfect world.

                "Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts." Daniel Patrick Moynihan

                by atlliberal on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 06:35:28 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Less bad is not good enough. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  ffour

                  I'm not settling for it.

                  •  How true. Less bad is not good enough. (8+ / 0-)

                    And yet, in the highly imperfect world of external reality, less bad is better. It's a dialectical step in the right direction, and far preferable to holding out for the ideal or nothing.
                    Incrementalism is the bargain with reality I've long had to accept.

                    “Meditation is the only intentional, systematic human activity which at bottom is about not trying to improve yourself or get anywhere else, but simply to realize where you already are.” Jon Kabat-Zinn

                    by DaNang65 on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 07:05:19 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  yes, we should quit settling for less bad. (0+ / 0-)

                    We did with Clinton, look where that led us.  The less bad seems to always end up worse than the previous Democrat.

                    I'm sorry to see people on this side of the divide settling for it, some reluctantly, some willingly, some happily.  

                    But enough apparently to make me believe that we really are a right wing country despite our socially liberal morals.

                    It seems like our country is not only at war with itself, rethug versus democrat, but also conservadem versus democrat.  

                    I listed the faction doing the attacking first in each case.  It seems like someone criticizes Obama for an actual policy, then the conservadem criticizes the someone without using actual real world fact based criticism.  Why because the prowar crowd has the power, is getting it's way, therefore doesn't need to engage the someone who is against the wars/drones etc.

                •  In a perfect world George W. Bush would not get (0+ / 0-)

                  in the white house.  

                  "People would settle their differences peacefully. We don't
                  live in a perfect world."

                  So W was just doing what the people with differences wanted now?  There were no lies, hidden agendas, vindictive takedowns of critics?

                  You seem to forget that we have leaders who use divide and conquer strategies to not only win elections but to get rich in the process after they almost get elected.

                  Are you a freeper?  Redstater?

                  "We don't live in a perfect world".

                  Your comment appears to be intended to keep it that way.

                  •  enough with 'redstater' and 'freeper' accusations (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    jakewaters

                    way over the line, attacking DaNang personally and also calling Gogo a troll, please knock it off.

                    This machine kills Fascists.

                    by KenBee on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 01:26:23 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  then can we please quit justifying the (0+ / 0-)

                      indefensible?

                      Seriously why is this stuff even being debated rather than thoroughly denounced?

                      Are democrats any better than repugs or not?

                      If not, meaning if this stuff is a ok then please by all means vote republican so there can be a difference between parties.

                      Have you people learned nothing from all of our wars?

                      Especially after 8 years of W?  You forgot W already? Really?  Was his only crime that he had an R next to his name?

                    •  glad you're policing the site for impoliteness (0+ / 0-)

                      But it seems like trying to rid the Democratic administration of criminal behavior would be a more productive use of time.

                      Besides it's not a personal attack, it's a statement of similarities between arguments in defense of the same policies said web sites would have defended.

                      Besides after O's 1st debate performance, which I declined to comment on due to the emotional hypersensitivity here at the time, I saw plenty of troll accusations for comments that were astoundingly innocuous, re O's necessary debate improvement in order to win reelection.

                      Troll was used against every person who dared to rationally discuss O's debate in less than positive terms.

                      Now that I've told a few folks how similar it feels, to debating on right wing web sites, more as an expression of sadness and disappointment, I won't use the word any more.

                      But I probably won't be trying to discuss this subject any more either, seeing how similarly people here are emotionally invested in defending everything O does.

              •  ding ding ding (0+ / 0-)

                That's always the logical conclusion to all these prowar arguments.  It's the only way to prevent them from joining the enemy once we start killing them indiscriminately instead of addressing the reason they attacked us in the first place.

                Dems have taken the bait, hook line and sinker, just like they do on every issue the wingers decide is the most important.  

                Then after the dems go rabid right, then rethugs shape shift to the left appearing to be 1. reasonable, 2. not prowar.

                That's what Bush did re nationbuilding before he almost got elected in 2000, it's what Rmoney tried to do this time but didn't go so well for him.

                Back on the subject, every right wing assessment of Vietnam led to the solution you have snarkily pointed out.  Without actually stating it so clearly.

            •  Sort of irrelevant. Strikes aren't about revenge. (2+ / 0-)

              Or at least they shouldn't be.

    •  You actually had an argument worth considering... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      GoGoGoEverton, Scientician

      ...right up to the last paragraph, then blammo, you had to smear critics of this program.

      This diary is about Democrats who oppose this policy.  Most if not all of those are on the left end of the Democratic spectrum, an end of this spectrum that holds human rights and opposition to war at a very high level of priority.  And you disregard entirely any possibility that they would oppose this policy in the hands of anyone, of any party.  No, in your mind they've gotta be racist.

      With one paragraph you obliterated any credibility of your argument.  You also proved yourself to be despicable.

      •  Can you explain this then? (4+ / 0-)

        Why is President Obama singled out as the first president in US history who does not have the authority to use force of a private first class?

        What is different about him?  Seriously, I'm trying to figure this out.

        •  No one has argued... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          lavorare, mahakali overdrive

          ...that Obama does not have authority.  It's what he has authority of that's at issue.  The drone wars are yet the latest attempt to sanitize killing, so we can feel better about not asking ourselves whether we should be killing others in other countries in the first place.  Some of us Democrats continue to ask that unsettling question.

          •  The only people saying it sanitizes killing is (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            jakewaters

            those who oppose it. Claiming that they are more precise than artillery or a surface-to-surface missile is not 'sanitizing' anything.

            •  Okay, remove "sanitize." (0+ / 0-)

              It makes the cost of killing more acceptable to many.  That's a slippery moral slope to plant your foot on.

              •  So you object to war period. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                johnny wurster

                Method, manner, and volume is not the issue, war is. Now the question from that perspective is who agrees with that position. If killing other people under any circumstance is wrong then you are a passivise. Obama never took that position, and if he had post 911, he would not be in the position to exercise his judgement as to how best protect the American people.

                •  No. (0+ / 0-)

                  But this isn't a war.  There's a formal process for that kind of thing.

                •  Oh, and the word you're looking for... (0+ / 0-)

                  ...is "pacifist," meaning peaceful, not passive.  A big distinction you should familiarize yourself with.

                  •  Actually, you're not a pacifist (4+ / 0-)

                    Strictly speaking, you're a follower of non-violence. They're different things.

                    "Pacifism" includes the pragmatic pacifists who founded the United Nations. They started from the position that there were and would be rogue states and actors who had no qualms about using violence (fascists for them, AQ for us) and asked, what system could we invent that would absolutely minimize war?

                    The result was the system of collective security. Rather than a system of alliances, which had repeatedly failed, it was an "all in" system that required unanimity to authorize the use of force (UN Security Council resolutions).

                    It is not a system of absolute non-violence, which you are espousing. It's a system that asks, when is legitimate state violence necessary to deter, minimize or eliminate illegitimate state violence?

                    That's the system that undergirds the UN and that the Obama administration has explicitly adopted in many of its formal policy documents.

                    It's a big step from Bush et al.

                    It's also a big step up from saying, let's just allow AQ to plan the next terrorist attack, and when they kill the next 3000 Americans, we'll turn the other cheek and let them do it again and again and again. Because we're opposed to violence under any circumstances, even if our non-violence actually leads to a maximum amount of political violence.

                    •  Two for two. Wrong again. (0+ / 0-)

                      But your arrogance (or obsession) in thinking you know what motivates me is noted.

                      Then again, upthread you attributed racism to me.  I think that means any further conversation between us would be unmerited.

                      •  I don't see why you're taking offense (3+ / 0-)

                        Strict non-violence is a venerable and respectable position. It's the position of Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King. I just don't think it's a realistic position having been in lower Manhattan on 9/11 and having had drunk, stoned boy soldiers in Africa point AK-47s at me. There has to be policing.

                        The position that there has to be policing for peace and collective security is a position adopted by people as diverse as Woodrow Wilson (after WW I), Eleanor Roosevelt, Nelson Mandela and Denis Kucinich.

                        Perhaps I should not have said you're not a pacifist. What I meant is that your position is not the only pacifist position. It's a subset of pacifism called "strict non-violence." But there are other pacifist positions that are more widely accepted as the most likely route to reducing war and political violence.

                    •  It has many meanings (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Garrett, jakewaters, HamdenRice

                      For me, it's due to religious reasons, more or less.

                      But I also agree that within the boundaries of general use, it's fair to describe it as you have, by all means. I think nations (and individuals) have a right to self-defense, at least, if they are being attacked. So no, it's not a system of absolute non-violence as used by the UN.

                      I think Obama may be pushing for self-investigation, from what I've read, of drones BECAUSE he seems to be uncomfortable himself with the program. This will sound nuts to people on "both sides" of this, but I've been reading carefully, and somewhere he expressed concern for future Presidents' use of the drone plan, and somewhere else he expressed some mistrust of how the CIA has used it. If I had to guess, I'd say he's asking for a check and balance here to sort of audit the program better to avoid any UN violations. Unlikely that anyone will agree with this, but that's my read. Since right now, it's all tea leaves, it's fair game.

                      •  The NYT says Obama wanted the Drone Rules (0+ / 0-)

                        as I was saying... here's a fascinating article about why we are now even discussing drones; it was at the bequest of Obama's administration himself, apparently, out of a fear of what Romney might do with that sort of power. Well worth a read (in full) for anyone interested in the United States' use of drones. But here's an excerpt:

                        http://www.nytimes.com/...

                        WASHINGTON — Facing the possibility that President Obama might not win a second term, his administration accelerated work in the weeks before the election to develop explicit rules for the targeted killing of terrorists by unmanned drones, so that a new president would inherit clear standards and procedures, according to two administration officials.

                        -cut-

                        Though publicly the administration presents a united front on the use of drones, behind the scenes there is longstanding tension. The Defense Department and the C.I.A. continue to press for greater latitude to carry out strikes; Justice Department and State Department officials, and the president’s counterterrorism adviser, John O. Brennan, have argued for restraint, officials involved in the discussions say.

                        -cut-

                         The attempt to write a formal rule book for targeted killing began last summer after news reports on the drone program, started under President George W. Bush and expanded by Mr. Obama, revealed some details of the president’s role in the shifting procedures for compiling “kill lists” and approving strikes. Though national security officials insist that the process is meticulous and lawful, the president and top aides believe it should be institutionalized, a course of action that seemed particularly urgent when it appeared that Mitt Romney might win the presidency.

                        “There was concern that the levers might no longer be in our hands,” said one official, speaking on condition of anonymity. With a continuing debate about the proper limits of drone strikes, Mr. Obama did not want to leave an “amorphous” program to his successor, the official said. The effort, which would have been rushed to completion by January had Mr. Romney won, will now be finished at a more leisurely pace, the official said.

                        cont...

          •  critics are doing both: (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            HamdenRice, CS in AZ

            they're arguing that he ought not kill combatants in the ME, and they're also arguing that he doesn't have the legitimate authority to do so (which is another way of claiming, as drone opponents do, that the strikes are illegal)

          •  oh now I get it. I've been trying to figure out (0+ / 0-)

            why people here are defending this stuff now that a D is doing it.

            I noticed a long time ago that in order to justify our wars we twist ourselves into pretzels, I even knew that air strikes and drone strikes helped us justify it because we didn't see the consequences first hand.  But in the anger of arguing with prowar dems I forgot all about it.  I didn't know that dems do this as consistently as wing nuts do it.

            I learn something new every day, and what I've learned here on Dkos recently over this issue is truly disheartening.

            I'm glad some here are continuing to ask that unsettling question.  

            I'm afraid though that seeing the responses to that question being asked, there isn't much hope for our side either.

        •  No president should invade a sovereign nation (4+ / 0-)

          Without a formal declaration of war. These drone strikes are crossing the Pakistani border without any congressional declaration.

          Does Pakistan also have the right to send drones across the U.S. border and kill Americans it doesn't like? How do you think most Americans would react to such a thing?

          All these drone strikes have done is create more terrorists and empower anti american sentiment in a country with nuclear weapons.

          "Poor man wanna be rich, Rich man wanna be King, and the King ain't satisfied till he rules everything." Bruce Springsteen.

          by Johnnythebandit on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 07:00:01 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  And a declaration of war should not be made unless (0+ / 0-)

            the nation declaring it has been invaded by that country which it wants to declare war against.  

            You ask the key question which answers itself, which destroys any argument for using drones.

            How would we Americans react if we were in their shoes.

            Come to think of it, there has been many countries throughout our history who we have invaded, does anybody in his right mind think we'd be ok with those countries conducting drone strikes in the USA?

            Absolutely not.  Even though we invaded, and therefore we were in the wrong, we would rightly say:  But that was our government, I didn't condone that.  (at least not after the drone strikes started in response)

            So if we don't think it's ok for others to do it to us, even though it would be understandable, then it is not ok for us to do it.

        •  He isn't. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          aliasalias, pigeonhole principle

          Pretty simple.  Bush asserted the same authority to assassinate anyone, anywhere, and a lot of people objected.

          but other than that fairly obvious fact....

          Hay hombres que luchan un dia, y son buenos Hay otros que luchan un año, y son mejores Hay quienes luchan muchos años, y son muy buenos. Pero hay los que luchan toda la vida. Esos son los imprescendibles.

          by Mindful Nature on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 09:23:17 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  I think the diary is about Dems who don't oppose (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        dance you monster

        the policy, but I agree that HR took it way too far at the end.

      •  No what is despicable is thought police (0+ / 0-)

        trying to harness honest dialogue through shameful name calling.

    •  I think the last paragraph is a bridge too far, (0+ / 0-)

      though in general i agree with the sentiment.

    •  wrong (4+ / 0-)
      In a declared war approved by the UN Security Council, such as the US war against al Qaeda, all sorts of US soldiers, officers and intelligence officials have the authority to kill the enemy.
      The UN has never authorized the United States to conduct a war against Al Qaeda around the world, wherever the US wants or thinks some Al Qaeda figure might be.  The very idea is absurd, and has no place in the laws of war.

      The rest of your post amounts to "the president stopped mid level people from conducting murders and kept that authority for himself."  It's wrong whether the Deputy Director of Operations at CIA can approve the strikes or the President signs each death warrant himself.  

      People should be going to jail for this.  It's vindictive murder, medieval blood-taint applied to a US citizen and minor.

    •  I'm sorry (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      aliasalias

      When did this happen?

      In a declared war approved by the UN Security Council, such as the US war against al Qaeda,

      Hay hombres que luchan un dia, y son buenos Hay otros que luchan un año, y son mejores Hay quienes luchan muchos años, y son muy buenos. Pero hay los que luchan toda la vida. Esos son los imprescendibles.

      by Mindful Nature on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 09:25:42 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The UN Security Council unanimously approved (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        charliehall2, jakewaters

        the war in Afghanistan and has re-authorized it many times.

        It refused to approve the war against Iraq.

        That was Obama-the-candidates point many times in 2008.

        Whether the international use of force is legal depends mostly on whether a Security Council resolution approves the use of force.

        The war in Afghanistan is legal under international law. The war in Iraq wasn't.

        If you didn't know that then just google it.

        •  I did, but that's helpful (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          aliasalias

          because of course, the authority to attack the Taliban government in Afghanistan does not grant the President to launch drone strikes in Yemen.

          Part of the reason people are talking past each other is that there are actually several distinct programs in different countries

          Hay hombres que luchan un dia, y son buenos Hay otros que luchan un año, y son mejores Hay quienes luchan muchos años, y son muy buenos. Pero hay los que luchan toda la vida. Esos son los imprescendibles.

          by Mindful Nature on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 10:18:51 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  maybe on Terrorist Tuesday in the White House (0+ / 0-)

        without the ants the rainforest dies

        by aliasalias on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 01:01:58 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Now if we could only get all the victims families (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pigeonhole principle

      to understand that there is no "death list" I'm sure they would quit attacking us.

  •  Yes, democrats strongly defend use of drones (2+ / 0-)

    Yes, there are democrats who strongly and unequivocally defend and support the drone killings carried out by Obama.  

    If I understand the arguement correctly, these democrats say the drone killings are eliminating bad guys, and so should continue (presumably until all the bad guys are gone).

    I myself do not think our country should be bombing areas in other countries with the hopes of killing terrorists or other bad guys.  But then again, I am not a member of the democratic party.

    "The fool doth think he is wise: the wise man knows himself to be a fool" - W. Shakespeare

    by Hugh Jim Bissell on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 05:39:18 AM PST

  •  Just hang around for a while. Quite a few of (7+ / 0-)

    our own kossacks are part of the it's okay if you are a democrat crowd.

    "A nation of sheep will beget a government of wolves." Edward R. Murrow

    by temptxan on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 05:52:42 AM PST

  •  The emotional terms are just baiting flamewars. (10+ / 0-)

    "Kill Lists" and "Death Squads" are dramatized, incendiary words used on purpose to inject emotion into what is an otherwise simple pacifist/anti-war stance.

    Every time someone that rails against the use of drones is actually willing to talk about it/debate it, it ALWAYS boils down to "I am against air strikes." The drone thing is focused on because people watched Terminator 2 too much when they were a kid.

  •  I don't, but for two different reasons. (0+ / 0-)

    1. UCAV operation is pretty intensive at the tail, competing for the same dollars as human intelligence and special activities.

    2. The mere act of elevating strike authority to the White House attaches unintended strategic consequence to tactical matters that risk the progress of the entire operation.  

  •  I'm for all that stuff. Really, I am. n/t (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    johnny wurster

    You know, I sometimes think if I could see, I'd be kicking a lot of ass. -Stevie Wonder at the Glastonbury Festival, 2010

    by Rich in PA on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 06:04:44 AM PST

  •  tipped for asking the question (8+ / 0-)

    Hope it doesn't become a shitfest.

    I want to add some stuff Ive read in the last few days that is drone related but not necessarily on topic, my apologies.

    Recently, on Digby:
    It's a video, go watch it.
    http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/...

    Also:
    http://www.nytimes.com/...

    Facing the possibility that President Obama might not win a second term, his administration accelerated work in the weeks before the election to develop explicit rules for the targeted killing of terrorists by unmanned drones, so that a new president would inherit clear standards and procedures, according to two administration officials.

    The matter may have lost some urgency after Nov. 6. But with more than 300 drone strikes and some 2,500 people killed by the Central Intelligence Agency and the military since Mr. Obama first took office, the administration is still pushing to make the rules formal and resolve internal uncertainty and disagreement about exactly when lethal action is justified.

  •  Waiting to hear an intelligent alternative, (4+ / 3-)

    haven't heard it yet.

    I've also missed substantial discussion from kossacks who've changed their opinion from the bad old days when Condi was the drone's mommy to the last four years of Hillary's mommyhood. That notion is just as silly as personalizing it by calling it the President's death list.  

    Perhaps now that you are done trolling sincere kossacks who are veterans or whose sons and daughters are in the service of our country who won't have to have a 5th+ tour in the middle east, you or Hugo C could write a substantial diary to enlighten us all.

    If you really have an answer we'd all like to hear it.

    Otherwise I'm frankly tempted to HR the whole diary as a blatant attempt at the time dishonored practice of 'niggerbaiting' wherein one's motive is only to stir discord within a community.

    You'd better spend your time putting together your crusade and taking your bunch of flowers to Al Queda in hopes you could get them to declare their war over.  

    Good luck with that.

    "I'll press your flesh, you dimwitted sumbitch! " -Pappy O'Daniel

    by jakewaters on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 06:17:09 AM PST

    •  I can't disagree with you? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Beelzebud

      I recommended your comment to honor your right to express an opinion.

      Now let me explain why your statements are wrong.

      First, I am a flower-power peacenik. I am quite proud of that, to be honest. I am also super liberal, and not ashame of that. So thank you for your flattery. If it was meant as an insult, you failed at it.

      Second, I asked this question in all honesty because I truly don't know anyone or follow anyone on twitter who is a Democrat who supports the mentioned practices. I wanted to know whether I was mistaken or not. I learned that I was mistaken.

      Third, I haven't written any arguments in favor or against drone attacks, kill list, or death squads. If I wanted to do so, I would have started a diary explicitly stating an opinion. I asked a question, and I am reading the answers.

      Now, as for the intelligent answers, I have read several on this diary, most of them explaining their support for the drone program.  It seems that you have one as well.  Would you care to share it?

      •  Please do but I'm still not finding in this string (0+ / 0-)

        responsible alternatives to decreasing the footprint of US military boots on the ground in the Mideast in favor of increased CIA and NSA drone activity.  

        I would love to hear some, so would the administration who is actively considering how to translate their principled exercise of responsibility in defense of our nation into written rules of engagement.

        In my comment I wasn't dissing the intelligence or the sincerity of any of this board's discussants.

        I sympathize with anyone who cherishes peace and I honestly venerate those who have walked the walk and don't just talk the talk.

        But I don't see anyone suggesting a responsible and practical plan that deals proactively with declared enemies of our country through non-military means.  

        Legal arguments are quite interesting in an abstract sense, I'm all for sending a crusade of lawyers out into the desert to bring peace in our time, it may have added benefits for peace at home as well. Things going slow, send more. Haven't heard from them in a while? Send in the next bunch. Sorry, couldn't pass up the snarky opportunity

        Seriously, I'm still waiting to hear what kind of bouquet (or legal argument or wise suggestion from a venerated desert figure, etc) to send Ayman al-Zawahiri that will convince him to go back to practicing medicine and extolling those influenced or trained by Al Queda to peacefully pursue change in their countries.

        Pardon my cynicism and my doubt that such a flower, legal brief, medieval chant or Upanishad can be found.  I do earnestly hope that in the minds of men (and women) of peace such truths may some day be found and employed to effect.  I think I'd know it when I heard it, haven't yet.  

        On the day I do I'll run right out to FTD and buy the place out.

        But until then I'll wear our friends frustrated and misplaced HRs instead and agree to disagree with those who don't think the best solution to Zawahiri and other declared enemies of our country are the placement of well aimed and unmanned warheads on their foreheads.  

        "I'll press your flesh, you dimwitted sumbitch! " -Pappy O'Daniel

        by jakewaters on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 03:30:57 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  well (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      aliasalias, pigeonhole principle

      It really doesn't appear from your stance that you would "hear" any alternative, however intelligently presented.

      Please tell us all why murdering the 16 year old son of Anwar al-Alwaki was some kind of moral necessity to defend the United States against imminent Al Qaeda violence.

      There are laws of war that cover this stuff, 9/11 did not "change everything."  Murdering 16 year olds for picking the wrong father was never part of those laws, except as crimes against them.

       

    •  PLease see my constitutional arguments above (3+ / 0-)

      probably over most people's heads, but there are very solid reasons for not accepting a right to conduct extrajudicial executions on the part of the executive branch.

      However, your allegation of sympathies with terrorists is a slur and gets you an HR.  

      Hay hombres que luchan un dia, y son buenos Hay otros que luchan un año, y son mejores Hay quienes luchan muchos años, y son muy buenos. Pero hay los que luchan toda la vida. Esos son los imprescendibles.

      by Mindful Nature on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 09:35:11 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'm giving this an HR because (4+ / 0-)
      You'd better spend your time putting together your crusade and taking your bunch of flowers to Al Queda in hopes you could get them to declare their war over.  
      ...Sounds like it came right out of the mouth of a 2005 era Bush flunky.

      Don't like drones, you must love Al Quaeda?   Yeah fuck that line of reasoning.  You aren't going to win anyone over to your arguments by behaving like a second rate Dick Cheney.  

      When the going gets rough, the average go conservative. --Henry Rollins

      by Beelzebud on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 10:31:58 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  good for you (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Beelzebud, pigeonhole principle

        These prowar people are really making me wonder about not only the country, not only the party, but now the species.

        Seriously, how many years in this war and people are still for it?

        These people have not only fallen for the "righteous war" bait, they've fallen also for the endless war on terror bait as well.

        Come to think of it, that was one thing we ridiculed John Complain for, he said stay in Iraq maybe 100 years.

        Now that seems to be the logical conclusion of Dkos dems as well, only now it's that other war.

      •  Did you have to misrepresent? (0+ / 0-)

        The post said absolutely nothing about loving Al Queda.  It ridiculed the idea that the likes of Al Queda could be effectively dealt with less lethal means.  Now perhaps the tone indicated it wasn't delivered with respect, and that's probably true.  But it's certainly true that those with the other view on this issue often show little respect to those who disagree.  Your sentences, "Sounds like it came right out of the mouth of a 2005 era Bush flunky,"  and "...behaving like a second rate Dick Cheney" are examples of that.

        We're essentially arguing about what level of precision is necessary or possible in a war or war-like circumstance.  And here, as with other political issues, sanctimony and self-righteousness seem to align more closely with black and white purity than with messiness and nuance.

        That said, I do respect the views of those who feel that any "collateral damage" is too much.  I don't agree that that view is practical or reasonable given the world we live in, but I know their heart is in the right place.  

        But mine is too.

    •  I succumbed to my temptation for this. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      aliasalias
      Otherwise I'm frankly tempted to HR the whole diary as a blatant attempt at the time dishonored practice of 'niggerbaiting' wherein one's motive is only to stir discord within a community.
    •  pathetic response to a diary (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pigeonhole principle

      Especially since people are being killed due to the actions being justified.

  •  so how do we go after our enemies. (5+ / 0-)

    We don't?
    Or we don't have any?
    We sit back and wait like bush did?
    We mock him for ignoring that briefing.
    We new horrified he did that .
    Then he declares war and invades nd kills endlessly .
    Destroys an entire country's infrastructure . Lives. Schools.
    Hospitals. Innocent civilians non stop. Our own soldiers dead.
    The alternative is this.
    I prefer this.
    Because it's never going to be make love not war on this planet.
    See guns germs and steel.

    We consume the carcasses of creatures of like appetites, passions and organs with our own, and fill the slaughterhouses daily with screams of pain and fear. Robert Louis Stevenson

    by Christin on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 06:47:52 AM PST

    •  We have methods in place - the law (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ffour, lotlizard, Mindful Nature

      We already have a system in place to deal with our enemies.  It is called the constitution of the United States, and it fully describes what we should do when confronted with enemies.  That system has worked to keep our country intact in the face of 200+ years of enemy attacks.

      There is no reason for Pres. Bush, or Obama or any other president to institute a new extra-constitutional system to deal with national enemies.

      "The fool doth think he is wise: the wise man knows himself to be a fool" - W. Shakespeare

      by Hugh Jim Bissell on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 07:08:44 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  please (0+ / 0-)

        Nice attempt to duck the question.
        You go live in a fantasy world where our enemies don't attack our country but instead offer flowers.
        Good luck with that. Go tell it to the victims of pearl harbour and 9 11.
        I'll live in the world where there are bad people who could give a crap about our constitution.

        We consume the carcasses of creatures of like appetites, passions and organs with our own, and fill the slaughterhouses daily with screams of pain and fear. Robert Louis Stevenson

        by Christin on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 08:06:53 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  NO, it is THE question (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ffour

          as much as the supporters completely deny it, there are fundamental constitutional questions here that are invariably met with mocking and derision here, not reasoned argument.  

          Which tells me that you really don't have any argument, do you?  

          (And you'll remember that after Pearl Harbor we actually followed the constitutional process as Hugh suggests)

          Hay hombres que luchan un dia, y son buenos Hay otros que luchan un año, y son mejores Hay quienes luchan muchos años, y son muy buenos. Pero hay los que luchan toda la vida. Esos son los imprescendibles.

          by Mindful Nature on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 09:37:45 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  pacifist positions are, by and large, (0+ / 0-)

            worthy of nothing more than mockery; they're utterly ignorant and obtuse, and I leave it to others to divine whether they are so intentionally or not.

             (for example, only an imbecile wouldn't grasp that our AUMF is a declaration of war for constitutional purposes).  

            •  That is a rough position to take on pacifism (6+ / 0-)

              there are many positive things that pacifism brings. Dismissing them all like this is lose the opportunity to learn about them.

              I personally feel enriched and humbled by the thoughtful arguments in favor of the drone program.

              Overall I believe that most people here share the same values, and we all wish for the same future.

              •  I've appreciated most of your comments (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Hugo Estrada, KenBee, VClib

                and especially your tone.

              •  the only people who are calling this pacifism (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                pigeonhole principle

                are the prowar commenters.  I don't recall one person questioning Obama's drone war policies and assassination list as defending pacifism.  

                You're right, this is a rough position to take on pacifism.  Especially since nobody is arguing for pacifism, and the idea seems to be about as influential as liberalism, which seems to be nonexistant as a political force these days.

                I am quite disheartened by all the mindless support of these tactics.  I feel like I'm on a rwnj web site.

            •  please vote republican (0+ / 0-)

              Your party needs you.

              Your straw man, lucy and the footfall skills are needed over there.

              Just as soon as the danger of peace becoming the scourge of the earth and making everybody lazy slackers I'll be the first to let you know we need to start another war somewhere.

              Let's instead try this:

              prowar positions are, by and large, worthy of nothing more than mockery; they're utterly ignorant and obtuse, and I leave it to others to divine whether they are so intentionally or not.

              See how it works?  You're welcome.

            •  Pacifists are evil! (0+ / 0-)

              I mean, why else would so many non-pacifists be accused of being one, as if calling somebody a pacifist is an epithet or something?

              I guess that calling people commies to dismiss their opinions has gone out of style, what with the demise of the USSR and all, so folks aren't made to feel that they have to preface their statements with "I'm not a communist, but...".

              There really aren't all that many of us aroud, but reading these comments, I get the feeling that there's a pacifist hiding under every bed.

              Can't be too careful.

              Watch out for those dangerous pacifists, especially if you see one riding a red tricycle and carrying a garden mattock.

              Who knows what they might be up to.

          •  What constitutional questions? (0+ / 0-)

            Why not state them and describe them rather than simply assert that they exist?

            There were German-American US citizens in the Nazi armies and the US forces did not, for that reason, storm the beaches of Normandy with arrest warrants.

            •  Warrants weren't necessary. (0+ / 0-)

              I'm assuming that they were either A) killed, B) injured, C) imprisoned by USSR, D) tried for treason if they were found out after the war.  

              No comparison.  No country invaded us, this isn't a traditional war.  This in itself is a "constitutional problem".  Afghanistan was as morally incorrect a war as was Iraq, most people just haven't noticed that yet though.

          •  the mocking and derision are clues (0+ / 0-)

            This about sums it up though:

            "Which tells me that you really don't have any argument, do you?"

            Apparently constitutional questions are only for the party out of power to ask.  Sadly.

            Somebody explained it on MSNBC one night.  The tea party was a ok with Butcher's constitutional shredding until the dems got power, then they began to fear (rightfully, if a little late) that these powers could be used against them.  Dems appear to have had the reverse happen.  They rightfully feared Butcher's power grab, however once he handed those same powers over to Obama, and he unconstitutionally grabbed more power, dems yawned.

            This would have been shocking had I not seen the same acceptance of Clinton's actual failings, not the personal ones, right after the outrage of Butcher the 1st and Raygun's actual failings.

        •  oh they hate our freedoms, (0+ / 0-)

          you're either with us or against us.

          Remember those classics?

          Please vote republican so there can be a difference between parties, and we can hopefully then stop going off the right wing cliff.

    •  we go after them by taking the wind out of their (0+ / 0-)

      sails.  

      We don't give them a reason to kill us, then they quit killing us.

      Since it's not obvious, the way we do this is quit invading their countries, quit occupying the ones we've invaded, quit supporting dictators who oppress them.

      There that should give us a start.

  •  might as well stick up a petition link (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pigeonhole principle

    Make this useful.
    http://act.rootsaction.org/...

  •  Where you stand depends on where you sit. n/t (0+ / 0-)

    Romney is George W. Bush without brains.

    by thestructureguy on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 08:06:05 AM PST

  •  The answer to your question is "yes". (3+ / 0-)
    Are there Democrats who defend Obama's kill list and drone program?
  •  Yes. (2+ / 0-)

    This has been another edition of "simple answers to simple questions." (h/t Atrios)

    The Dutch kids' chorus Kinderen voor Kinderen wishes all the world's children freedom from hunger, ignorance, and war.

    by lotlizard on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 08:36:23 AM PST

  •  I suspect that Dims are remaining mute because (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ffour, aliasalias

    they know if they agree out loud their base would desert them in large numbers.

    Obama and others among the Dims disparaged their base joyfully after 2008.  Then the Republican beat the crap out of them in 2010, largely because they had alienated their base, which included thousands of small donors and highly motivated volunteers.

    We just have to wait and see how the Dims and WH shake out in the coming months.

    Right now we seem to be killing mostly civilians and an occasional "claimed" al queda leader.  The weight of innocent death will eventually become too much of a lode stone for the WH to continue the slaughter.

    It's time for someone to do the Vietnam body count analysis.  Has the WH claimed to have killed more al queda leaders than there are actual leaders?

    Here is an issue the Republicans could actually use to impeach Obama.  But they can't because the would have to impeach themselves as well.

    •  I was going to get upset at your pejorative for (0+ / 0-)

      dems, but seeing as how you are criticizing from the left and therefore have credibility, I'm ok with the pejorative.

      I refuse to accept any criticism of Obama and dems coming from anyone who was on the right during the W debacle.  It's a credibility thing.

      I was quite disgusted when the Obama administration disparaged the left once in office.  Not that it was terribly surprising, just pathetic.

      Seems dems disparage the left more than the right does.  They seem to have bought into the right's caricature of the left.

      Now though left seems to mean you're against insanitea, against the next war, for enough jobs for everyone.  

      I don't see the crazy liberals that everyone is so quick to disparage.

    •  You seem to be saying that (0+ / 0-)

      we have the "Dims" base to thank for exchanging Speaker Pelosi for Speaker Boehner.   Excuse me if I seem less than thankful to whoever did that for whatever reasons possessed them.

  •  the following is NOT from the Obama administration (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pigeonhole principle, ffour

    http://www.thebureauinvestigates.com/...

    But in the aftermath of the attack, as villagers and Taliban tried to retrieve the dead and injured, the drones returned to the attack. According to the Bureau’s Waziristan researchers, two Taliban and six civilian rescuers died – five of the latter named as Bashirullah, Amir Khan, Shairullah, Abidullah and Fazle Rabbi, all of the Dawar tribe.
    That day 30-year old Zahidullah was in Degan visiting his mother’s brother:

    I was in my uncle’s house and there were approximately six drones in the air. As we were looking, one drone fired missiles at a house very near to us. After a short interval another fired further missiles at a second house. As the targeted people belonged to Degan village we rushed out to help. The victims were local Taliban belonged to Hafiz Gul Bahadur’s group. Some other local Taliban also rushed to help. These people were busy in rescue activities when a drone again fired two missiles. I and some other villagers were further afield so we ran away. When the situation became calmer we returned. We saw that everyone had died. Some dead bodies were burnt; most appeared to be OK, but there were [fatal] injuries to their chests and heads. A total of 16 people died in these attacks of which six were civilian rescuers and two Taliban rescuers. We were all very distressed by this incident. Some young people announced loudly that ‘We will continue Jihad against America until we finish the USA or embrace Shahadat [martyrdom].

    They were good people’
     On September 16, 2010 Samiullah Khan, a Waziristan-based journalist, was in Danda Darpakhel to interview a Taliban commander. As they talked, a deafening explosion blew out all the windows. Drones had just struck a house two doors down.

    According to reports at the time, villagers fled in panic as up to eleven drones attacked two housing compounds linked to the Haqqani Network.

    ‘As the US drones came over the village people started shouting and running here and there shouting ‘run, drones have come,” a local tribesman told AFP. Up to fifteen were killed. Among the dead were eight rescuers, who died when the drones struck again.

    (all emphasis mine)

    without the ants the rainforest dies

    by aliasalias on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 01:18:13 PM PST

    •  the truth is apparently too ugly even for (0+ / 0-)

      Obama supporters.

      I was a little less than overjoyed at Obama's win in 2008 because I kept looking at that 46% for John Complain even after the W debacle, they not only hadn't had enough they wanted more.

      Now I see it's not just right wingers who not only hadn't had enough, but seem to want more, even after another 4 years of more war.

      I couldn't read Dkos for a few days when I first saw this subject come up prior to the election, after seeing all the pro drone, pro war, pro Bush policies comments here.

      It explains to me how we have gone so far to the right over the last 30+ years, it wasn't just the repugnantcons and triangulating Clintonites, it was the pro right wing dem voters too.

  •  I think the drone program should be more (0+ / 0-)

    transparent, no doubt about it. I'm glad it's being looked into, and I hope the fact that almost every country in the world condemns the use of these drones, and the fact that future Presidents could be absolute hawks and warmongers, and yes, the fact that it should be transparent enough so that the U.S. public understands some aspects about when these are used, these are good reasons that new and more transparent rules about the drone use are finally being put into action.

    How long have drones been used?

    A while.

    Also, I forgot to mention the crappy disconnect between intelligence and the executive branch which can create big problems a la McCrystal or even Petraeus (though I'm not so concerned with his love life).

    So I say nothing but good can come of this inquiry. Why would it be bad? It would only be bad if we were doing something wrong, very wrong, and if we're doing something so unethical, well we should damned stop it already.

    •  This article about CIA choices post-Petraeus (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Garrett

      is pretty worth a full read, IMHO:

      http://www.washingtonpost.com/...

      It really says, in no uncertain terms, that Petraeus pushed hard for the drones. Well, he's always been such an honest-broker, sigh... ;)

    •  Point of information (0+ / 0-)

      Most countries of the world do not condemn the use of drones. I'll shortly be writing a diary about the use of drones in Somalia, where the governments of Somalia, Somali Puntland, Somaliland, Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia and Uganda are asking, according to local newspapers, "Obama give us more drones" in their effort to dismantle al Shabaab, and where France has deployed drones where the US hasn't, and the Kenyan air force is spotting for drones in an action that is being carried out by the African Union under a resolution of the UN Security Council and that is supported logistically and financially by the UK, Denmark, Germany, China, and Russia.

      I'm not sure where you get the notion that the world condemns the use of drones in UN Security Council approved actions.

  •  In a word (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jakewaters

    "Are there Democrats who defend Obama's kill list and drone program?"

    Yes. Me. We kill the people who kill Americans. That is what happens in war.

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