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      I've thought drones were an abomination for years now, my first diary was about them, and I'm appalled that their use goes on and on. The rationalizations for me continue to be slick versions of we are strong and powerful, and the innocents killed are forgotten again and again. The guardian 10/28/13 had this in it about his mother and kids hit by a drone, I'll include a few parts and a link. I searched for it here, didn't see it.  
Guardian  Link

My three children – 13-year-old Zubair, nine-year-old Nabila and five-year-old Asma – were playing nearby when their grandmother was killed. All of them were injured and rushed to hospitals. Were these children the "militants" the news reports spoke of? Or perhaps, it was my brother's children? They, too, were there. They are aged three, seven, 12, 14, 15 and 17 years old. The eldest four had just returned from a day at school, not long before the missile struck.

and

My mother was a midwife, the only midwife in our village. She delivered hundreds of babies in our community. Now families have no one to help them.
and tragically
Our family has not been the same since that drone strike. Our home has turned into hell. The small children scream in the night and cannot sleep. They cry until dawn.

Several of the children have had to have multiple surgeries.

 

It's tempting to think there is a reason for this that justifies it, but there is no reason.
These drones don't keep America safe, they just keep America hated. They are the best advertisement for recruiting terrorists. We should do better.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Of course there's a reason (3+ / 1-)

    You might not like it or disagree with it, but don't say there are no valid arguments for using drones.  If you're going to say that then you're just not credible.

    BTW, polls on this subject on this site have consistently shown support for using drones.

  •  Video of meeting on RT (9+ / 0-)
    Victims of drone strike testify before Congress
    ...
    Rafiq ur Rehman, a primary school teacher from North Waziristan, Pakistan, spoke through an interpreter on Capitol Hill on Tuesday along with his two children, ages nine and 13.

    Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Florida) invited Rehman to speak in Washington about the strike last October that killed Momina Bibi, his 67-year-old mother who was recognized around the region as a midwife, not a militant. Regardless, a weaponized drone purported to be under the control of the US Central Intelligence Agency executed Bibi in front of her grandchildren on Oct. 24, 2012. The US has not formally acknowledged the attack, nor taken responsibility.

    "Nobody has ever told me why my mother was targeted that day,” Rehman said during the Tuesday morning panel. "All media reported three, four, five militants were killed. But only one person was killed that day. A mom, grandma, a midwife.”
    ...

  •  At least one person here thinks... (14+ / 0-)

    the only people who benefit from calling attention to the fact that our drone strikes and war on terror only create more terrorism are the terrorists themselves. From a comment in another diary comes this excerpt:

    [...]

    On top of all of that, I hope that you (and everyone else) considers who benefits from the meme that civilians are dying by the "score"? For that matter, who benefits from the meme that "our war against terrorism is only creating more terrorism"? The terrorists, of course, and that's why it is important to think skeptically about motive as well as proof.

    This person thinks we should keep quiet about the impact of our aggression, just a "meme" apparently, because the terrorists will somehow capitalize on our honesty.

    I hope this person is just an anomaly. I fear he isn't.

    Amazing what having a Democrat in the White House will do for a person's worldview.




    Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. ~ J. Garcia

    by DeadHead on Tue Oct 29, 2013 at 11:45:18 PM PDT

    •  Ah, well, back to the days of LBJ and HHH. (3+ / 0-)

      RFK and MLK spoke out against U.S. war policy — apparently, not something you do as a political figure if you want to continue to have a career.

      Or even just die peacefully of natural causes.

      The Dutch kids' chorus Kinderen voor Kinderen wishes all the world's children freedom from hunger, ignorance, and war. ♥ ♥ ♥ Forget Neo — The One is Minori Urakawa

      by lotlizard on Wed Oct 30, 2013 at 01:26:06 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  A request: (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      GoGoGoEverton

      If you are going to attack me, then please send me a private message so I can defend myself. Thanks.

      What is apparent to me is that people will "live with" a certain lesser level of evidence if they have a predisposition about what is being conveyed. For example, the Fox News crowd no doubt ate up Sean Hannity's program the night he brought on three married couples with their complaints about ObamaCare. Of course, we find out later, all three couples lied (and/or maliciously refused to even attempt to navigate ObamaCare). Hey, I have a problem with this as well and have to constantly remind myself to use critical thinking.

      What do we know about this woman's story as written up in the diary? We know that she claims:

      "This has cost money we no longer have, since the missiles also killed our livestock."
      Did you catch that? Now, this could be a lost in translation problem, a journo's careless writing or any number of things, but the lady did say "missiles" and not "a drone." Additionally, where are the pieces of the drone? There should be pieces lying around, as the lady also said:
      "But the United States and its citizens probably do not know this. No one ever asked us who was killed or injured that day. Not the United States or my own government. Nobody has come to investigate nor has anyone been held accountable. Quite simply, nobody seems to care."
      The important bit from that quote is that "[n]obody has come to investigate...." And, yet, she didn't think it important to bring a piece of the drone with her to testify? The Guardian didn't think it important enough to send a journo out to gather some of the scraps? Even tiny scraps can be tested to determine a match.

      Using Occam's Razor, which is the most likely scenario:

      (1) An American drone operator saw a grandmother tending a garden surrounded by children of all ages and targeted her, apparently with mutliple drones; or,

      (2) Taliban or al Qaeda used RPGs, missiles, mortars or artillery on her?

      If she claims that Taliban or al Qaeda attacked her family, would there be retribution? It is interesting that The Guardian apparently DID NOTHING to fact-check this lady's story, and they even got the deceased's age wrong.

      Finally, Deadhead, a portion of my comment that you did not deign to quote was this:

      Here's the thing: We have plenty of journos in Yemen and Pakistan. As soon as a drone attack occurs, it might take them a couple of hours to get there. The journos bribe a couple of the local constabulary, some of whom are no doubt sympathetic in any event, take scores of pictures with a high resolution camera of the remaining drone parts and email them to a drone expert stateside. At the same time, they take swabs of tissue and blood on site and send by DHL to accredited labs in the United States, Canada or any number of countries, even India, to determine gender. Any trace of female DNA and you have an open and shut case. This hasn't happened. If I can think of this, then so can our smart journos. We could know this for a fact in one day's time.

      When an open and shut case is sitting in a field in Waziristan only one day away, and the journalist who makes that case may get a Pulitzer Prize, I wonder why that open and shut case hasn't been made.

      Rand Paul is to civil liberties as the Disney Channel is to subtle and nuanced acting.

      by Tortmaster on Wed Oct 30, 2013 at 03:05:12 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Attack? Relax, dude. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mookins

        Did I link your comment? Did I specify your username?

        You said what you said. I responded to that part of your comment without in any way ascribing it to you personally.

        I'm not gonna send a fucking PM to everyone I anonymously quote.




        Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. ~ J. Garcia

        by DeadHead on Wed Oct 30, 2013 at 03:17:02 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  but the lady did say "missiles" and not "a drone." (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Tortmaster, Claudius Bombarnac

        Drones launch missiles.  Like guns launch bullets.  If the woman had said, "the bullets also killed our livestock", would it occur to you that guns might have been involved?

        "Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana." --Townes Van Zandt

        by Bisbonian on Wed Oct 30, 2013 at 04:50:02 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You are exactly correct. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Claudius Bombarnac

          I am obviously not a drone expert. Thanks for the correction. But whether it's drone or pieces of the missile or missiles in the ground, those things can be found and matched to missiles used by America. It also raises the question why multiple missiles were supposedly used on one woman (and a bunch of children).

          Another question I have deals with motive, and my question is derived from the same Guardian article, which provides:

          And my father? He is a retired school principal. He spent his life educating children, something that my community needs far more than bombs. Bombs create only hatred in the hearts of people. And that hatred and anger breeds more terrorism. But education – education can help a country prosper.

          I, too, am a teacher. I was teaching in my local primary school on the day my mother was killed.

          Who has the motive to kill or threaten a family of educators and working women? The United States or the Taliban/al Qaeda?

          Rand Paul is to civil liberties as the Disney Channel is to subtle and nuanced acting.

          by Tortmaster on Wed Oct 30, 2013 at 06:08:27 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  I wish the above was likely. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Meteor Blades

               It would be nice if the above was likely, but it's not.
        The most likely scenario is that among the 2.8 to 3.5 thousand killed in Pakistan with drones civilians were killed.
        I have more faith in the assessment of Amnesty International than armchair skeptics. Feel free to head over to Waziristan and see for yourself if our drone strikes are making friends over there.

      •  Foreign journalists are rarely granted... (0+ / 0-)

        ...visas for the areas in which drone attacks occur. So, the "plenty of journalists" idea starts out with one big problem.

        Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

        by Meteor Blades on Wed Oct 30, 2013 at 08:57:08 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  would be nice to have some more information (3+ / 0-)

    so that one could determine if this was like the time when Obama was accused of 'targeting' a teenager only for it to come out that he wasn't being targeted and had been in a AQ compound.

    Der Weg ist das Ziel

    by duhban on Wed Oct 30, 2013 at 12:06:20 AM PDT

    •  His mother was killed, for fucks sake (7+ / 0-)

      And his three kids injured.

      What "more information" do you need?




      Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. ~ J. Garcia

      by DeadHead on Wed Oct 30, 2013 at 12:26:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  you hate Obama nt (0+ / 0-)

        Dear NSA: I am only joking.

        by Shahryar on Wed Oct 30, 2013 at 12:33:58 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  If they were killed by the U.S., they must (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Claudius Bombarnac, DeadHead

        be terrorists!

        You wouldn't want a Republican launching indiscriminate drone attacks, would you?

        So.... a Democratic President who pushes through pro-1% / anti-worker "Free" Trade Deals is complaining about Republicans wanting to hurt the poor. Do Go On.

        by Johnathan Ivan on Wed Oct 30, 2013 at 07:40:01 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I already answered that for fucks sake (0+ / 0-)

        Der Weg ist das Ziel

        by duhban on Wed Oct 30, 2013 at 03:17:17 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Oh, that's right (1+ / 0-)

          You want more information, even though no amount of proof ever convinces you of anything if it isn't in favor of the president.




          Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. ~ J. Garcia

          by DeadHead on Thu Oct 31, 2013 at 02:22:02 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  and now you've actually crossed into (0+ / 0-)

            out right lying territory.

            Der Weg ist das Ziel

            by duhban on Thu Oct 31, 2013 at 11:07:17 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Oh, really duh? (0+ / 0-)
              could you be more arrogantly conceited? (0+ / 0-)

              Let's just for the sure hell of it assume you are right (and that's assume) what in the hell makes you think I am going to listen to you?

              Do you make a habit of listening to conceited, pompous arrogant individuals on the nets? Cause that's what you sound like to me.

              by duhban on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 04:06:54 PM PDT

              It seems that DeadHead is right. And you know what you sound like? A conceited, pompous arrogant individual. Because that's what you sound like to me.

              'If you want to be a hero, well just follow me.' - J. Lennon

              by Clive all hat no horse Rodeo on Thu Oct 31, 2013 at 01:26:48 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Okay, name one issue (1+ / 0-)

              that, after it's played out, and after initially declaring you were going to "wait to see how it plays out" or after having been provided with the "further information" you were awaiting, you've actually changed your opinion.

              This impression I have of you isn't coming out of nowhere. I've lost count of how many diaries I've seen you dismiss for lack of something or other.

              I await your answer.




              Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. ~ J. Garcia

              by DeadHead on Thu Oct 31, 2013 at 03:56:57 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I owe you all of nothing dead (0+ / 0-)

                and after your consistent lies and smears about me there's no way I'm playing your childish games.

                I've told you this before but you arrogantly persist in this and by now you have to know you are in fact lying because you don't even bother to feign outrage any more.

                I don't care what impression you have of me deadhead, as I've told you before your opinion is as far as I am concerned worthless in general and on specific issues I'd have more belief in the honest of a TP member then you. But your impression of me isn't a fact or even necessarily factual it's an opinion and the vast difference between your opinion and a fact  (like being a liar) is something you can't quite seem to grasp.

                What is so hard to understand about the statement

                "Not only have you burned your bridges with me, you've cackled gleefully and used thermite"?

                Get over yourself

                Der Weg ist das Ziel

                by duhban on Thu Oct 31, 2013 at 04:39:38 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I didn't say you owed me anything. (1+ / 0-)

                  I was giving you the opportunity to prove me the liar you say I am.

                  Stating my impression of you, one that you've cultivated by the consistently contrarian positions you take over numerous diaries I've seen you in, isn't that horrible, duhban.

                  It's not like I accused you of committing sanctionable violations of site rules without evidence or anything.

                  Like you've done to me in the past.




                  Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. ~ J. Garcia

                  by DeadHead on Thu Oct 31, 2013 at 05:41:27 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  you give nothing (0+ / 0-)

                    all you do is belittle, bully and insult. I don't have to prove anything Deadhead your failure to prove your claim shows that you are a liar but then again not like that lie is unique or novel to you right? You've been smearing and lying about me for months while pretending that you're not.

                    I'm not playing your games Deadhead so go back to your clique and echo chamber, go play with your toys on your own or continue to look like a fool at best by persisting in this. I really don't care any which way you choose Deadhead and that you don't understand that but persist in your actions is revealing enough.

                    I am done indulging you today, go away or not, take your customary last dig or not I've more important things to do with my time then waste it with you.

                    Der Weg ist das Ziel

                    by duhban on Thu Oct 31, 2013 at 06:05:28 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Once you've... (2+ / 0-)

                      ...uprated insults, you lose the moral high ground. So let's dispense with this "belittling, insulting, bullying" WATB bullshit, okay?

                      What claim do you want me to prove, duhban?

                      That you would love to rec a diary but can't because you're hung up on some unimportant detail? That you're never surprised about things? That it'll be interesting to see how things play out on a subject you trolled incessantly from day one? That you seem to think there's no concrete information when there clearly is? That you shrug your shoulders a lot? Even on stuff that everyone else seems to think is a big deal?

                      I can find more if you want.

                      When you challenge me to "prove" my claims about things you say or do here, I'm happy to oblige.




                      Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. ~ J. Garcia

                      by DeadHead on Thu Oct 31, 2013 at 10:58:14 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  oh look you picking random comments (0+ / 0-)

                        and pretending you actually know what they mean. You think your links mean what you think they mean?  Thanks for the laugh chuckles.

                        And yeah I shrug a lot, so what? See this is the real you Deadhead, reactionary, hidebound and judgmental. You really can't stop yourself can you? You lie and mislead by reflex don't you? And when called on it then you change the topic like you just did right now.

                        But by all means keep thinking you're 'finding' things it's amusing. And keep thinking your opinion is actually factual.

                        I don't challenge you to do anything DeadHead because I want nothing to do with you. This to me is nothing more then you desperately yapping and snapping. You're like the guy that jumps up and down desperately trying anything to get attention.

                        By all means please proceed

                        Der Weg ist das Ziel

                        by duhban on Fri Nov 01, 2013 at 06:27:58 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  You're right (0+ / 0-)

                          I don't know what they mean, because most of what you write is nonsense. I am, however, able to recognize a pattern when I see one. I didn't feel like spending the entire night searching through your thousands of comments to prove to you what I already know to be the case. I've watched you do it countless times.

                          In fact, most of my interaction with you here has centered around either trying to figure out what your positions really are on things, or calling you out on your threadjacking, factual distortions, and general trolling.

                          Put down the mirror, duhban. I'm not lying about you. That's what you do about me, remember?

                          And you're the one who drops some nonsensical comment into diaries about which you know nothing, and when challenged, stubbornly maintain your correctness, often leading to big, huge subthreads that quickly get pushed to the right side of the page.

                          That's attention-seeking.

                          Me calling you out on it isn't for my own glory, it's because it's my duty to those diarists whose diaires you choose to contaminate with your incessant assertions of fact not in evidence.




                          Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. ~ J. Garcia

                          by DeadHead on Fri Nov 01, 2013 at 03:05:59 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  you know what is really hilarious? (0+ / 0-)

                            how clever you think you are, how perfect you think you are.

                            I don't give a crap whether you answer every single comment I make on a given day (as you have in the past) or don't answer a single one. So how exactly is that attention seeking? I give more concern and thought to the Tea party then you Deadhead. I don't give a fuck what you do, what you think or what you blather about. You could never answer me again and I would never notice,

                            And that's attention seeking? Rotfl

                            Thanks for the chuckle

                            Der Weg ist das Ziel

                            by duhban on Fri Nov 01, 2013 at 08:30:42 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

    •  Yes duh. You need more info. Still an... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Claudius Bombarnac, mookins, bobdevo

      apologist for the Obama administration I see. You still haven't apologised for being completely and utterly wrong about the NSA saga while abusing everyone else in the process. So, that still makes you a hypocrite given that you've been asking for apologies today.

      Please duh, when are you going to stop being a hypocrite?

      'If you want to be a hero, well just follow me.' - J. Lennon

      by Clive all hat no horse Rodeo on Wed Oct 30, 2013 at 12:47:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Here duh, you clown... (3+ / 1-)

      http://rt.com/...

      ...since you obviously didn't go to the Guardian link.

      'If you want to be a hero, well just follow me.' - J. Lennon

      by Clive all hat no horse Rodeo on Wed Oct 30, 2013 at 12:58:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Clive, I had given you a ... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        GoGoGoEverton, duhban

        ... hide-rate for the "clown" comment because you deserve it. I have gladly tipped your comments and writing many times in the past, but calling somebody names is wrong.

        I removed the hide-rate because I realized that I was in a discussion with you in a comment above.

        Rand Paul is to civil liberties as the Disney Channel is to subtle and nuanced acting.

        by Tortmaster on Wed Oct 30, 2013 at 03:14:36 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Here you go. Meteor Blades just posted (9+ / 0-)

      a diary that gives information from HRW.

      Open thread for night owls: Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch reports blast drone attacks

      by Meteor Blades

      Two leading human rights organizations released scathing reports Tuesday on U.S. drone attacks in Yemen in Pakistan. Conclusion? Some of the attacks violate the laws of war and may, in fact, constitute war crimes given the civilian fatalities. Amnesty International published Will I Be Next? US Drone Strikes in Pakistan, a 75-page examination of drone strikes that Amnesty says it not comprehensive but rather field research into nine of 45 reported strikes that occurred between January 2012 and August 2013 in the Northern Waziristan region of Pakistan. Among the stories it tells:

      On a sunny afternoon in October 2012, 68-year-old Mamana Bibi was killed in a drone strike that appears to have been aimed directly at her. Her grandchildren recounted in painful detail to Amnesty International the moment when Mamana Bibi, who was gathering vegetables in the family fields in Ghundi Kala village, northwest Pakistan, was blasted into pieces before their eyes. Nearly a year later, Mamana Bibi’s family has yet to receive any acknowledgment that it was the US that killed her, let alone justice or compensation for her death.
      •  I'm sure it was aimed at her. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Bush Bites, duhban

        If she was by herself, and the thing hit her, then it was aimed at her.  But it's safe to assume it wasn't aimed at her in her identity as 68-year-old Mamana Bibi, but rather the mistaken belief that she was someone else.  

        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 Wed Oct 30, 2013 at 04:02:53 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Who knows what happened? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Rich in PA, duhban

          They should probably investigate, if that's possible, though I tend to doubt it because any investigation team would be strung up as soon as they crossed the border.

          Still, these guys live with their families. It's not like Bin Laden was in a bunker with his staff -- he was in a home with his family.

          I don't know what you do about cowards who want to engage in war with a superpower and have no qualms about putting their families in harm's way in the process.

          But I do blame them for putting their families in harm's way. Even mobsters don't do that.

          •  well.. (1+ / 0-)
            I don't know what you do about cowards who want to engage in war with a superpower and have no qualms about putting their families in harm's way in the process.
            I agree.  It really Grinds My Gears when other people won't bother to build their own military machine to fight the U.S. with and insist on making us drone and bomb their home countries where they live.

            They need to get off their butts and build a massive military machine so they can fight us fair instead of forcing us to bomb them in their homes.  We should sue them for damaging Brand America.

            So.... a Democratic President who pushes through pro-1% / anti-worker "Free" Trade Deals is complaining about Republicans wanting to hurt the poor. Do Go On.

            by Johnathan Ivan on Wed Oct 30, 2013 at 07:48:24 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  The insurgents should stand up like real men (1+ / 0-)

            and fight the enemy like the brave and heroic American drone operators instead of cowardly hiding behind their women and children in their homes between battles.

            What the drone saw – video

            In this new video installation by artist Omer Fast, a former US drone operator in Afghanistan and Pakistan reveals why 5,000 feet is the optimum flying height for a combat drone. It means he can make out a person's shoes and facial hair, and watch a cigarette flare like a beacon. His words take on an eerie nature as the camera tracks a cycling child from the same height.

            •  nice strawman (0+ / 0-)

              Der Weg ist das Ziel

              by duhban on Wed Oct 30, 2013 at 03:19:59 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  No strawman. It's a direct response to (1+ / 0-)
                I don't know what you do about cowards who want to engage in war with a superpower and have no qualms about putting their families in harm's way in the process.

                But I do blame them for putting their families in harm's way. Even mobsters don't do that.

                •  no it's a strawman and a stupid one at that (0+ / 0-)

                  it attempts to dumb down the argument, morph it into something else and then declare that other argument null and void.

                  That is a strawman pure and simple.

                  Der Weg ist das Ziel

                  by duhban on Wed Oct 30, 2013 at 04:52:34 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Well, you'd know all about strawmen, duh. nt (0+ / 0-)

                    'If you want to be a hero, well just follow me.' - J. Lennon

                    by Clive all hat no horse Rodeo on Wed Oct 30, 2013 at 05:02:31 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  Wrong. Bush Bites is blaming civilian deaths (1+ / 0-)

                    on the "cowardice" of insurgents who return to their homes. He is excusing the killing of women and children because they are in close proximity to the "enemy combatants" and therefore are unavoidable collateral damage. At the same time, the US military brags that they can discern the type of shoes and amount of facial hair the target has.

                    The basic argument is that innocent civilians are being killed either from direct targeting or as collateral damage. The argument is NOT:

                    I don't know what you do about cowards who want to engage in war with a superpower and have no qualms about putting their families in harm's way in the process.

                    But I do blame them for putting their families in harm's way. Even mobsters don't do that.

                    You are the one that constantly tries to "muddy the waters" with strawmen in many of these diaries. You been doing this for months.
                    •  wrong (0+ / 0-)

                      the point being made is that terrorists (who no matter what you want to imply are in fact cowards) often are with their families because the terrorists know that any action against them is all but certain to have civilian causalities.

                      They're cowards pure and simple and that fact is part of the equation no matter how much you want to deny it. There's no need for me to 'muddy the waters' because the reality is that the topic is muddy enough. Sadly though I doubt you can take off your blinders and realize that.

                      Der Weg ist das Ziel

                      by duhban on Thu Oct 31, 2013 at 12:04:29 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Many of the "terrorists" are with their families (2+ / 0-)

                        because they are not fighting on the "front lines" in Afghanistan at the time. Under normal circumstances it is a war crime to target fighters once they leave the battlefield. Sop, by US military logic, it should be OK to target drone operators when they return home to their families after their shift.

                        They're cowards pure and simple and that fact is part of the equation no matter how much you want to deny it.
                        The real cowards in these American wars of aggression are the Americans who hide behind the video screens of their War by XBox controls and turn people into pink mist 4,000 miles away.
                        There's no need for me to 'muddy the waters' because the reality is that the topic is muddy enough. Sadly though I doubt you can take off your blinders and realize that.
                        The person with blinders is yourself. You cannot give a rational reason or purpose for US military involvement in Afghanistan or Pakistan at this time. The only reason is to save face. Just like during the Vietnam war, America has won all the battles but has lost the war - as they have lost every war of aggression since WWII.

                        Bin Laden won big time. Just look at what America's ill advised responses to 9/11 have been. The cost in lives and treasure, not only American but also foreigners who had absolutely nothing to do with the attack. The Orwellian Patriotic Act and Homeland Security. The proto-fascist police state created by the ungodly incestual relationship between US corporations and government agencies. The paranoid spying on both America and every other country in the world by the NSA.

                        •  wow (0+ / 0-)

                          "terrorists"? whatever it's obvious that you have your bias on this and are going to refuse to see any point but your own narrow one.

                          You have fun in whatever world you are in because it's definitely not reality

                          Der Weg ist das Ziel

                          by duhban on Thu Oct 31, 2013 at 11:17:44 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Wow. Claudius gave you a well structured... (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Claudius Bombarnac

                            response to your idiocy and all you can do is dismiss what he said as 'bias' and 'not reality'?

                            Par for the course with you, I guess.

                            'If you want to be a hero, well just follow me.' - J. Lennon

                            by Clive all hat no horse Rodeo on Thu Oct 31, 2013 at 01:34:35 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  only in your dreams (0+ / 0-)

                            Der Weg ist das Ziel

                            by duhban on Thu Oct 31, 2013 at 02:07:24 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  So, I was dreaming when you wrote this? (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Claudius Bombarnac
                            wow (0+ / 0-)

                            "terrorists"? whatever it's obvious that you have your bias on this and are going to refuse to see any point but your own narrow one.

                            You have fun in whatever world you are in because it's definitely not reality

                            Der Weg ist das Ziel

                            by duhban on Thu Oct 31, 2013 at 11:17:44 AM PDT

                            Well, that's a relief! I thought I was going mad, when in reality, your comment was made in another reality other than the one I and everyone else but you reside.

                            Thanks duh, for confirming that you aren't participating in reality.

                            'If you want to be a hero, well just follow me.' - J. Lennon

                            by Clive all hat no horse Rodeo on Thu Oct 31, 2013 at 02:46:49 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  you're so cute (0+ / 0-)

                            what with how you think of yourself arbitrator of all things. Though really it's sad that you have nothing better to do then make a fool of yourself in a dead thread; have you really nothing else to do? Or is your ego so inflated you think you're one of the few, one of the proud, a koscop? That would be hilariously hypocritical given your supposed views but wouldn't put it past you.

                            Me I'm stuck at work waiting on the hplc so I don't mind being amused by your childish antics but I'd think you would have something else to do.

                            Der Weg ist das Ziel

                            by duhban on Thu Oct 31, 2013 at 03:04:54 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I'm cute AND the arbiter of all things? (0+ / 0-)

                            Thanks duh! A promotion! That's gonna look nice on my CV. Remind me to update, hey?

                            Could you do me another favour? Could you explain what my 'supposed views' are and on which topic, and how they are hypocritical?

                            As for something else to do? Nup, I cleared my meetings for the rest of the day so I could amuse you.

                            'If you want to be a hero, well just follow me.' - J. Lennon

                            by Clive all hat no horse Rodeo on Thu Oct 31, 2013 at 07:38:25 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  The "terrorists" the US are now fighting in AfPak (0+ / 0-)

                            have been created solely as a response to the American dominated NATO invasion and occupation of the area. Rather than destroying the fundamentalists, the bombing and occupation of Afghanistan has added fuel to their fire and has swollen their ranks. They are no longer concentrating on just Afghanistan and Pakistan but now consider themselves a regional force. Take note that the Taliban did not use suicide bombers as a tactic before 2003.

                            The US will leave Afghanistan just like they did Iraq with chaos and carnage a hundred fold worse than when they starting bombing the shit out of these countries over a decade ago. America cannot win these wars it has foolishly started. If it tries to continue it will just get it's face bloodied even more.

                            You can now see blowback from the American policy of having no skin in the game by using drones. The insurgents now attack and kill American and other western civilians just as is being done to them.

                            In Afghanistan, resurgent Taliban take toll

                            KABUL A suicide bombing Saturday outside a bank in the southern city of Kandahar, which killed six people and wounded at least 24, was the latest in a grisly series of attacks by Taliban insurgents that have killed more than 100 people across half a dozen provinces in the past week.

                            The attacks included the firebombing of more than 50 tanker trucks in a coalition convoy in far western Farah province, the storming of a U.S.-Polish army base in Ghazni province, a suicide attack at a funeral in northern Kunduz province, and the kidnapping and murder of six U.N. workers in Heart province.
                            ...
                            “The Taliban are not ready to talk any more. They want to show that with 100,000 foreign troops in Afghanistan, they can still conduct operations almost anywhere,” said Waheed Mojda, an analyst here who maintains contacts with the Taliban. “This is a show of power so people can imagine what will happen when all the Western forces are gone.”

                            All the US did, despite the deaths of 6775 young men in the prime of life and upwards of 3 trillion yet to be paid dollars was to create the conditions for the fundamentalist problem to metastasize into more and more nations in Central Asia and the MENA region.
                          •  I'm not going to discuss this (0+ / 0-)

                            with someone that can not even admit the people we are talking about are actual terrorists.

                            Good day

                            Der Weg ist das Ziel

                            by duhban on Fri Nov 01, 2013 at 06:30:14 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  One man's terrorist is another's freedom fighter (1+ / 0-)

                            Take note that NATO and the Pentagon talk of the Taliban as "insurgents" - NOT "terrorists". The word terrorist is reserved for propagandizing purposes by the MSM and the war hawks.

                            Afghanistan Insurgency

                            Insurgents Attack Key U.S. Base In Afghanistan

                            KABUL, Afghanistan -- Afghan insurgents bombarded a U.S. base and destroyed a NATO helicopter, killing three Afghan intelligence employees, officials ...

                            Insurgents Kill 5 Civilians In Afghanistan Rocket Attack

                            KABUL, Afghanistan — NATO says that two coalition service members have been killed in an insurgent attack in Afghanistan. NATO says the two were...

                            Suspected Insurgents Open Fire On Investigators Of Afghanistan Shooting Massacre, Officials Say

                            By Rob Taylor and Mirwais Harooni KABUL, March 13 (Reuters) - Suspected insurgents opened fire on Tuesday on senior Afghan investigators of the mas...

                          •  bullshit and meaningless bullshit at that (0+ / 0-)

                            you might have a point if you didn't have to ignore the glaring fact that they attack others not the other way around.

                            Go take your bullshit to someone that will buy it.

                            Der Weg ist das Ziel

                            by duhban on Fri Nov 01, 2013 at 08:01:41 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  It's time to get the fuck out of AfPak before the (0+ / 0-)

                            US creates even more enemies. The money being squandered here could be better spent on food stamps for the millions of starving Americans.

                            Losing in Afghanistan
                            ...
                            Imagine for a moment that you were in Kabul or Washington at the end of December 2001, after the Taliban had been crushed, after Osama bin Laden fled to Pakistan, and as the U.S. was moving into “liberated” Afghanistan for the long haul.  Imagine as well that someone claiming to be a seer made this prediction: almost 11 years from then, despite endless tens of billions of dollars spent on Afghan “reconstruction,” despite nearly $50 billion spent on “standing up” an Afghan security force that could defend the country, and with more than 700 bases built for U.S. troops and Afghan allies, local soldiers and police would be deserting in droves, the Taliban would be back in force, those being trained would be blowing their trainers away in record numbers, and by order of the Pentagon, an American soldier could not go to the bathroom unarmed on an American base for fear of being shot down by an Afghan “friend.”

                            You would, of course, have been considered a first-class idiot, if not a madman, and yet this is exactly the U.S. “hearts and minds” record in Afghanistan to date.  Welcomed in 2001, we are being shown the door in the worst possible way in 2012.  Washington is losing it.  It’s too late to exit gracefully, but exit in time we must.

                          •  and now you're changing the topic (0+ / 0-)

                            Der Weg ist das Ziel

                            by duhban on Sat Nov 02, 2013 at 03:14:27 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Nope. You were the one saying the US was fighting (0+ / 0-)

                            "terrorists" in AfPak. Those days are long gone. The only "terrorists" America is now fighting are those that it has created in the eleven years it has been at war.

                            From the previous link I gave you (which you most likely did not bother to read which would explain your lack of understanding of the situation)

                            Whatever the individual insults Afghans feel, the deeper insult almost 11 years after the U.S. military, crony corporations, hire-a-gun outfits, contractors,advisers, and aid types arrived on the scene en masse with all their money, equipment, and promises is that things are going truly badly; that the westerners are still around; that the Americans are still trying to stand up those Afghan forces (when the Taliban has no problem standing its forces up and fighting effectively without foreign trainers); that the defeated Taliban, one of the less popular movements of modern history, is again on the rise; that the country is a sea of corruption; that more than 30 years after the first Afghan War against the Soviets began, the country is still a morass of violence, suffering, and death.

                            Plumb the mystery all you want, our Afghan allies couldn’t be clearer as a collective group.  They are sick of foreign occupying armies, even when, in some cases, they may have no sympathy for the Taliban.  This should be a situation in which no translators are needed.  The “insult” to Afghan ways is, after all, large indeed and should be easy enough for Americans to grasp.  Just try to reverse the situation with Chinese, Russian, or Iranian armies heavily garrisoning the U.S., supporting political candidates, and trying to stand us up for more than a decade and it may be easier to understand.  Americans, after all, blow people away regularly over far less than that.

                            And keep in mind as well what history does tell us: that the Afghans have quite a record of getting disgusted with occupying armies and blowing them away.  After all, they managed to eject the militaries of two of the most powerful empires of their moments, the British in the 1840s and the Russians in the 1980s.  Why not a third great empire as well?

        •  The strike also injured her grandchildren (2+ / 0-)
          But it's safe to assume it wasn't aimed at her in her identity as 68-year-old Mamana Bibi, but rather the mistaken belief that she was someone else.
           Maybe she was wearing insurgent shoes?
          What the drone saw

          In this new video installation by artist Omer Fast, a former US drone operator in Afghanistan and Pakistan reveals why 5,000 feet is the optimum flying height for a combat drone. It means he can make out a person's shoes and facial hair, and watch a cigarette flare like a beacon. His words take on an eerie nature as the camera tracks a cycling child from the same height.

      •  Those supposed "human rights organizations" (2+ / 0-)

        are trying to help the Republicans because they hate Obama!  And they're probably hiding terrorists!  9-11!

        /snark

        So.... a Democratic President who pushes through pro-1% / anti-worker "Free" Trade Deals is complaining about Republicans wanting to hurt the poor. Do Go On.

        by Johnathan Ivan on Wed Oct 30, 2013 at 07:44:42 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  which is interesting because (0+ / 0-)

        1. How do they know it's a drone?

        2. They seem to be assuming it was the US when there is in fact many other possible explanations that have little to nothing to do with the US.

        Der Weg ist das Ziel

        by duhban on Wed Oct 30, 2013 at 03:29:31 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well duh... (0+ / 0-)

          1. They've been looking at the pointy end of drones for a few years now. I'm pretty sure they can tell it from an Apache.

          2. Yes, space aliens are another possibility

          'If you want to be a hero, well just follow me.' - J. Lennon

          by Clive all hat no horse Rodeo on Wed Oct 30, 2013 at 05:11:28 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Like what? The denial that U.S. drones are ... (2+ / 0-)

          ...killing civilians is understandable though appalling when it comes from U.S. officials. But it's shocking to see that supposedly critical thinkers can adopt the same stance.

          Seven organizations have been tracking drone attacks for several years. Their tallies vary in part because counting is not easy and because their definitions of what constitutes a civilian varies. But they all agree that significant numbers of civilians are being killed.

          Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

          by Meteor Blades on Wed Oct 30, 2013 at 06:20:33 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  that runs both ways (0+ / 0-)

            I think it's appalling that people immediately jump on this as a drone strike. I'm not saying it is 100% not one but the accounts seem to be (to paraphrase) she was minding her own business, there was an explosion and she was dead.

            That is incredibly thin and frankly the last time I remember people jumping on something that thin here just to bash Obama a lot of those people had egg on their face. What about a buried IED? Or unexploded munition? Are you seriously going to say those are not plausible explanations?

            The inconvenient truth for those that want to tar and feather Obama on drones is that not only has their use been going down but civilian causalities have been decreasing too. Never mind that the number of total civilians killed keeps being revised down post facto.

            I'm not going to tell you I don't like drone strikes because I don't. I do however see them as the best most effective method we have outside of raising a 1-2 million strong army and occupying the entire region. I would think we both could agree that that is just not practical.

            Unless you have an another viable alternative?

            Der Weg ist das Ziel

            by duhban on Wed Oct 30, 2013 at 07:20:26 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Right, when Congress mandated the war on (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bisbonian, Claudius Bombarnac

    terrorists and prohibited American personnel on the ground, it left aerial response as the only option. That's how Congress has learned to legislate without responsibility, by the way. They rule by saying no to all but one alternative. So, then the exception rules. Ruling by exception. Isn't that clever?
    I think they learned to do that when they wanted to reward supporters with sole-source contracts without providing evidence that's what they were about. Just write the specs so only one applicant or bidder qualifies.

    The problem with drones is the same as the problem with helicopters and planes in Afghanistan. They rely on electrons and electrons are unreliable quanta. They are, for example, affected by magnetic forces, including those that emanate from minerals in the terrain. So, when the electrons fail, the drones and planes go awry.

    Then too, people who believe in capital punishment are convinced that one man's bad experience will serve to deter someone else. From their point of view, that a person is dead and can no longer do anything is not as important as that the death inform and deter the witnesses. That is, they aim to intimidate the living. Which is, of course, what the culture of obedience is about. U.S. power is supposed to make everyone behave. Collateral damage is not accidental; it is part and parcel of the intimidation package.

    Predators always target innocents because they count on surprise to let them get away with their aggression unscathed. Let's not forget that the whole Iraq adventure was designed to demonstrate U.S. prowess to a "rising China" and a "resurgent Russia." The the U.S. presence in Afghanistan serves the same purpose. It also provides for a U.S. land base in the Eastern Hemisphere from which to monitor what goes on on that side of the globe. The only problem with Afghanistan is that the populace is resistant and the mountains are magnetic and mess up the electronic equipment.

    Anyway, look to the Congress which still hasn't rescinded the AUMF and continues to fund the procurement of drones and hellfire missiles.
    Excuse me if I sound callous, but I've been inveighing against assassination by remote control for about eight years now. News travelling faster does not seem to affect decision-making.

  •  I'm pretty sure a US drone killed your mother... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bobdevo, Bush Bites, cryonaut

    ...because the US believed there was someone in the vicinity they actually wanted to kill.  That's not an answer many people will like, but it's not like it is some kind of super-difficult question.

    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 Wed Oct 30, 2013 at 03:59:39 AM PDT

  •  'A Bright Shining Lie: John Vann and America (4+ / 0-)

    in Vietnam' was a book the New Yorker reviewed once, and I remember it mentioned a program we had there similar to the drone program of today- we used artillery or airstrikes in those days-

    it said our effort created extortion and bribery all the way down to the village mailman, who would say 'Give me something or I'll tell the Americans you're VC and they'll kill your whole family.'

    I don't see why now would be any different.

  •  nations always want to use methods (0+ / 0-)

    that minimize their own losses. Drones achieve that. More direct wars with boots on the ground are overall much bloodier for civilians.

    This is why most Americans support drones used against foreign terrorists:

    http://www.gallup.com/...

    "Launch airstrikes in other countries against suspected terrorists: Yes, should 65%   No, should not 28%"

    •  What will stop America's wars of agression (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DeadHead, shaketheworld

      if there are no longer any American military casualties? The US cannot win it's wars of conquest mano-a-mano. It needs to hide behind it's technology to win it's battles. Those here that say the insurgents are cowards and the high tech US military PlayStation soldiers are heroes have it completely reversed.

      This is why most Americans support drones used against foreign terrorists:
      Who turned these people into "terrorists" in the first place?

      Put yourself at the receiving end of a drone. What would you do if your wife and children were killed by one in your own home? How would you respond if the people behind the act were safely ensconced in a highly protected military facility 4,000 miles away in a foreign country where the populace supports these atrocities? Would you and your friends put down your weapons and grovel in abeyance to the conqueror or would you arm yourself to the teeth and take revenge wherever you could?

      America is becoming the most hated country in the world for very good reasons and this fact is decreasing it's citizen's safety in the world at large. Drone use has only served to exacerbate the security situation and caused militants to metastasize in more and more countries.

  •  PEBKAC (0+ / 0-)

    Drones are an excellent tool if you want to take a look into a dangerous environment without risking human or even animal lives. However, the biggest customer of the damn things is misusing them.

    The answer to "Why a US drone assassinated your mother" is "Because some jackass thought it would be a good idea to put inaccurate air-to-ground missiles on it, and use them to do anti-personnel work that they were not designed for."

    Problem is, for nearly anything that ever gets invented, someone will ask "Why don't we put a gun on it".

    I am an electrical engineer, run a reasonably high traffic server, and build autopilots and drones for a living. If you have technical questions, ask away and I will try to give a cogent answer.

    by spiritplumber on Wed Oct 30, 2013 at 06:03:06 AM PDT

  •  Drones are for chickenshits. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Claudius Bombarnac, DeadHead

    "It is easier to pass through the eye of a needle then it is to be an honest politician."

    by BigAlinWashSt on Wed Oct 30, 2013 at 07:00:06 AM PDT

  •  There's right and there's wrong - drones are wrong (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Claudius Bombarnac, DeadHead

    they are the weapon of cowards.  They are the way America does terrorism.  They do not make us safer or more secure.  They are creating a legacy as dark as that of slavery and  from which we will ever fully escape.

    Rivers are horses and kayaks are their saddles

    by River Rover on Wed Oct 30, 2013 at 07:34:53 AM PDT

  •  CIA's Leaks Aimed At Silencing Drone Critics (0+ / 0-)

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