Skip to comments.Barack Obama: Drone Warrior
Posted on 06/03/2012 9:31:33 AM PDT by Whenifhow
A very strange story, that 6,000-word front-page New York Times piece on how, every Tuesday, Barack Obama shuffles baseball cards with the pictures and bios of suspected terrorists from around the world and chooses who shall die by drone strike. He even reserves for himself the decision of whether to proceed when the probability of killing family members or bystanders is significant.
The article could have been titled Barack Obama: Drone Warrior. Great detail on how Obama personally runs the assassination campaign. On-the-record quotes from the highest officials. This was no leak. This was a White House press release.
So the peacemaker, Nobel laureate, nuclear disarmer, apologizer to the world for America having lost its moral way when it harshly interrogated the very people Obama now kills, has become just in time for the 2012 campaign Zeus the Avenger, smiting by lightning strike.
A rather strange ethics. You go around the world preening about how America has turned a new moral page by electing a president profoundly offended by George W. Bushs belligerence and prisoner maltreatment, and now youre ostentatiously telling the world that you personally play judge, jury and executioner to unseen combatants of your choosing and whatever innocents happen to be in their company.
This is not to argue against drone attacks. In principle, they are fully justified. .... But it is to question the moral amnesia of those whose delicate sensibilities were offended by the Bush methods that kept America safe for a decade and who now embrace Obamas campaign of assassination by remote control.
Moreover, there is an acute military problem. Dead terrorists cant talk.
Drone attacks are cheap which is good. But the path of least resistance has a cost. It yields no intelligence about terror networks or terror plans.
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...
The whole drone attack business has always bothered me, as frankly has the whole use of high technology against primitive foes.
There is something immoral about smiting an enemy who can’t hit back. I am bothered by, not opposed to, it because I recognize that some enemies are so evil that such methods are justified.
But I AM bothered by it because it violates the notion of a “fair fight,” which is one element of a just war.
It also provides some element, though not much, of moral justification to those who respond by “hitting back the only way they can” against soft civilian targets. IOW, to terrorists.
I’m sorry if this screed is more than a little incoherent. I’m quite sure this tactic does bother me, but I’m still trying to work out in my own mind just why that is.
If anybody understands what I’m getting at here, I’d appreciate assistance in clarifying my thoughts.
“Barack Obama shuffles ‘baseball cards’ with the pictures and bios of suspected terrorists from around the world and chooses who shall die by drone strike. “
Shades of LBJ and Vietnam; i.e., “Lyndon Johnson once boasted that the military ‘couldn’t bomb a shithouse’ without his own approval.”
Gawd. . .The Messiah is repeating history. . .walking the same path to defeat that LBJ did.
Centralized control and decentralized execution is key to winning.
Can’t win a war when you pick targets from the White House.
“But I AM bothered by it because it violates the notion of a fair fight, which is one element of a just war.”
That is not part of Just War. There is no requirement for a fair fight. Just War requires it be fought by a legitimate authority, mitigates the suffering of innocents and is fought for a just cause.
Throwing rocks to avoid physically closing with the enemy, using rifles to shoot those that throw rocks, using jets to bomb the enemy when he has no AAA or SAMs, it is all about a longer reach. A longer reach increases your safety and survival and the use of UAVs provide that.
“The whole drone attack business has always bothered me, as frankly has the whole use of high technology against primitive foes.”
Question: So, are you saying we must only fight using the same weapons or our enemy?
“There is something immoral about smiting an enemy who cant hit back. “
So, our warriors are immoral because they use the weapons we give them, weapons that allow them to strike the enemy and remain relatively safe while doing so? That is immoral?
“It also provides some element, though not much, of moral justification to those who respond by hitting back the only way they can against soft civilian targets. IOW, to terrorists.”
Not really. Attacking the innocent as the aim of your attack is a violation of Just War. Remember, one of the principle aims of Just War it to mitigate the suffering of the innocent.
Will innocents suffer in war? Yes, but they should NOT be the target of the war.
Proportionality is necessary: is the military gain worth the cost to the innocent. Bombing a powerplant that powers a key military base also powers a hospital. . .what is the proportional military gain when compared to the civilian cost. See double-effect.
Double-effect is also considered: Is the target serving a dual use purpose, and if so, will attacking the target be necessary and be proportional to the military gain?
Strategic Effect: Attacking the munitions (IED) factory may cause “civilians” working there to be killed/injured. That is acceptable as they are contributing directly to the war effort. Attacking the farmer in the field because he grows food that the enemy will eat is not—no immediate impact on the war effort.
Just War is on our side, whereas it is not on the side of the terrorists or insurgents.
By the way, Just War theory is a Western concept and is not even close to the middle-east “thoughts” on war. They are truly the evil ones and the ones that fight “unfairly.”
Barack Hussein Obama. See Drone Club, P.G.Wodehouse.
Bam-Bam may be AFU regarding the targets he selects, or the manner in which he selects them ... but the use of XXI Century First World technology against a bunch of primitives is virtually a moral requirement in that it minimizes danger to good guys and innocents.
Let me clarify for you.
KILL THEM ALL BY ANY MEANS POSSIBLE.
I hope that helps.
LBJ never did want no “Din Bin Foo”
islamists killing other islamists has been all the rage since Mad Mo made up his fake religion.
After 21 years in the infantry, rather than respond - I have a request. Let me borrow your 18 year old son, I’ll train him up, protect him with everything within my means, and when the mission is accomplished, he can answer your questions
What about the 3000 Americans that died on a sunny Teusday September morning back in 2001? Where was their ability to hit back?
What about the 6 people killed and 1042 injured in the 93 WTC bombing? Where was their ability to hit back?
Where was the ability to hit back of the people killed at Lockerbie?
"Men sleep peacefully in their beds at night because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." George Orwell
Im quite sure this tactic does bother me, but Im still trying to work out in my own mind just why that is. If anybody understands what Im getting at here, Id appreciate assistance in clarifying my thoughts.
You are bothered by it because the "don't fight back" crowd ie leftists/communists has been pushing this mantra for years.
In public school 'if someone hits you, tell the teacher.' No mention of hitting back or fighting for yourself.
WWII era - appeasement of Hitler
In PSAs - Bullies can be brought down be being friendly to them and friends standing together; that of course won't fight, they'll just get beat up until the bully is tired
Rosenbergs and supporters - It isn't fair only one country should have this advantage....even idiots like Ron Paul think it isn't fair for us to have nukes and then not allow Iran to have them.
In short, you are having these thoughts because of subversion. The left demands COMPLIANCE. The right wants you to question authority and to gain the advantage.
COMPLIANCE - it's what mandates US soldiers are unarmed on military bases and allows them to get shot by jihadists. It's what lead Jews to the concentration camps and ultimately their deaths.
The left can't win with their ideas once they're looked at with common sense. They can't conquer your liberty unless THEY have the advantage........so they hamstring yours through COMPLIANCE. They'll just declare it "unfair," "immoral," "aggressive,".....unless their guy is doing it. Then it is just and necessary, and needed; down right compassionate even. Why 0 won't bomb a terrorist if his terrorist wives and babies might be present; but that evil George Booosh would have.
That is why you can't own a machinegun without jumping through hoops and foregoing your liberty. That is why you can't have mortars or grenades. Many of the Patriots in the 1770s certainly got their hands on more than a few cannons. Certainly the people are considered the militia and their right to bear the arms of a militia shall not be infringed......but they are, because through FEAR tactics, FAIRNESS, and COMPLIANCE much of the populace's advantage has been removed and given to the state. Here's a prime example --
The only fight that isn't fair, is the one you lose. We fought the enemey toe to toe in Fallujah, we killed an estimated 1-3k terrorists. Certainly with all of our tanks, jets, artillery, night vision etc, we had the advantage. Drones are the same advantage....it just gives the enemy less chance to kill our guys.
I'll put it to you this way. Say perhaps you are walking at night with your wife and small children. A thug with a knife threatens your lives; threatens to take away all that is near and dear to you. Does this mean you can't use your concealed handgun with laser sights because it wouldn't be fair? In effect you are using further advanced technology against a foe more primative than yourself..........
that story was just wierd. It seems made up. I can’t imagine that he has the information or the brains or experience to choose a target.
Or that any intelligence or military advisor would let him do this.
It’s very peculiar and I think invented.
You're not wrong. Let me explain why.
Anything worth fighting for is worth fighting for in person.
Treating your enemies as vermin to be exterminated at the push of a button, even if objectively correct, is morally corrupting. True, we pushed a button and dropped nuclear weapons on the Japanese, but not to slaughter them. Just to break them, so we could force our correct worldview on them and take from them their desire to fight. Because in our hearts we knew we were right, they were wrong, and that the pain inflicted was for a purpose.
Dropping missiles on remote farmhouses ten years after being attacked isn't war. It's barely even revenge at this point. It's the actions of people without the moral courage to bring the fire to their enemies and bend their knee in person. Yes, I realize that most people reading this will say, 'That's not true!!" For you folks, maybe that is true. You may understand that the logic Sherman employed at Atlanta to break the enemy and shorten the war. Most Americans don't. That's why we use clean, antiseptic tactics like drones. Most Americans don't have the stomach to fight the way fighting has to be done, so we compromise, and turn into mouse-clicking assassins.
It's precisely the willingness to go all the way that broke the mighty Axis powers. Not just militarily but culturally. It's precisely the lack of will that lets shepherds and illiterates fight the greatest military on earth for a decade and remain the same people they were 10 years ago. The drones are just a symptom of our lack of will, a cheap cop-out for a nation that wants blood so long as its risk-free.
It's very easy to say, 'screw it, they're savages, push the button and don't worry about it'. But it's wrong. We should be willing to look them in the eye and say, 'Submit to our will or die." But we're not. We fight legalistically, from spreadsheet kill lists and cold databases, off the advice of legal counsel and sheltered analysts, and wonder where our feeling of moral righteousness has gone.
No one understands this lack of will more than our enemies, which is why they multiply each year, and spread from nation to nation. They buckle under our drone strikes then rise again in local government. And why? It's because militant Islam knows it has nothing to fear from a foe that won't look it in the eye.
We should be willing to look them in the eye and say, 'Submit to our will or die." But we're not. We fight legalistically, from spreadsheet kill lists and cold databases, off the advice of legal counsel and sheltered analysts, and wonder where our feeling of moral righteousness has gone.
I agree with you. Your statements should adjust our ROEs and will to fight; not the technology we use in the conduct of that fight.
We are conducting drone strikes in Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Pakistan, and Somalia.
Failing to use technology and tactical advantage is suicidal and contemptable. Shall we invade ALL of these countries to kill just a few terrorists at a time?
What is immoral - turning an entire country/region into a full out war zone exponentially raising the possibility of shedding innocent blood in the cross fire, or targeted drone strikes against select individuals? - Might I also mention these are targeted drone strikes with the assistance and support of host nation governments responsible for protecting their people. Strikes that are conducted with the support of the host nation government cooperating to fight terror
(yes, as much as Pakistan sucks and stabs in the back one minute to the next, they still assist in this endeavor. A country that has never one a war is still sending soldiers into the Swat Valley to fight the Pakistani Taliban/AQ/terrorists; I've been to their amputee wards - they need these strikes too)
It is very easy to cry for blood and full military action until it is YOUR blood on the line. I have several bulged discs in my back, pinched sciatic nerves (my legs are numb), and a pinched spinal cord....at 30 years old, there are many days I can barely walk. I can't even get a full diagnosis of the extent of the damage without an MRI, which I can't get because of shrapnel in my chest. I have four combat tours. The last two I volunteered for....even after I had been wounded.
I made those decisions, I made those choices; I fault no one. Many of the guys I knew didn't make it home. More than half of my platoon was wounded in a single day.
What hurts the most is my kid brother is now on his second combat tour as an infantryman and I am no longer healthy enough to fight along side of him. It is shameful and STUPID to not use drone strikes when possible in lieu of flesh and blood. Your troops live to fight another day. The US does not control ground until there is a 19 year old with an M16 standing on top of that ground that says we do. A drone cannot do that for us.
But what a drone can do is attack targets that would otherwise be manpower and logistically intensive to attack......allowing our forces the freedom to attack and hold ground that is tactically more advantageous. A drone can also minimize collateral damage. The people in Yemen may grumble over some drones killing a few terrorists......involving US troops on the ground would most certainly rally more of the people to take up arms against us.
If the Canadians rolled accross the border to combat some perceived grievance.....even if they paved the streets in gold and put two chickens in every pot, I would take up arms against them for invading my country; just on that principle alone.
Oops....make that "won" a war
However, by permitting drones to assassinate and by permitting drones to operate in our country, we have opened the door to totalitarianism to the utmost with no safeguards.
This is a can of worms that wont fix ever.
Our children and children's children will reap slavery and pain for the decisions today.
The drones are just a symptom of our lack of will, a cheap cop-out for a nation that wants blood so long as its risk-free.
I think I understand what you are saying. I have thought this about our CJ system that cannot kill the criminals who need killing. Instead, we place some of them in the general population and let them be killed by the criminals. No coursge to say “YOu did wrong and deserve to die and as a people we will execute you.”
Courage is sorely lacking in our leadership.
I do repeat though, I have no problem with assassination as a method of warfare. The Swiss did it with great effect.
Where is Bill Maher now? Giving $1 million dollars to the Drone Warrior.
Strikes me this has a good deal in common with those who like to eat meat but aren't willing to kill animals themselves.
I wonder to what extent the apparently growing hatred of America has to do with this element of asymmetrical warfare.
You know, I fully understand the POV of those who think we should always kill our enemies by the most efficient method, the one that is least dangerous to our own troops.
But I still can't help thinking there is something dehumanizing about a "warrior" who slaughters his enemies in Yemen while sitting in his bedroom in his pjs, with no risk at all to himself.
Don't forget our unwillingness to kill in a humane way those we think are undeserving of continued life.
Instead we starve and dehydrate them to death, pretending we aren't killing them, they're dying a natural death.
1. They're an enemy BECAUSE they can hit and have every intention of doing so.
2. "Fair fight" only matters to those for whom survival is not paramount. Those for whom survival is not paramount won't survive.
3. You miss the point of "asymmetric warfare": no matter how technologically advanced you are vs. how primitive your enemy is, he CAN hit you (or someone you value with your life). Even if it means a plane ticket and a rock.
Don’t forget our unwillingness to kill in a humane way those we think are undeserving of continued life.
Instead we starve and dehydrate them to death, pretending we aren’t killing them, they’re dying a natural death.
Like abortion, we lie.