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  • Use of drones

    I hope, this could remain non-partisan unless somebody decides otherwise. So, here is my question.

    If a US citizen holds hostages at the post-office, the law enforcement can take him out. How exactly does taking out Al-Awlaki differ from it? Both of them are an imminent threat to lives of innocent people.
    "A beautiful theory killed by an ugly fact."
    by Thomas Henry Huxley

  • #2
    Re: Use of drones

    My (minority?) opinion of drones is the same as my take on drug-testing in the work-place and NSA eavesdropping on me. If it saves lives that otherwise would be forfeit, I'm for it/them. You can have my pee (I'm done with it); you may listen to my phone calls (knock yourself out), and you may use drones to do the work of humans to keep them out of harm's way.

    Your mileage may vary . . .

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Use of drones

      I guess the difference is that Al-Awlaki wasn't killed for anything tangible act but rather for he preached and inspired. I'm free speech purist, and therefore, I don't believe being an anti-American propagandist warrants being assassinated no more than I feel being an anti-gay, anti-Muslim, White supremacist or neo-Nazi propagandist warrants being assassinated. Also, when police send in a Swat team, they go out of their way to minimize collateral damage.

      One of my biggest disappointments with Obama is his reckless use of drones. He even droned the teenage son of Al-Awlaki who had no involvement with Al Qaeda and Robert Gibbs defended it by saying he was killed for who his father was because he might grow to be a terrorist.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Use of drones

        Originally posted by jazzcyclist
        I guess the difference is that Al-Awlaki wasn't killed for anything tangible act but rather for he preached and inspired. I'm free speech purist, and therefore, I don't believe being an anti-American propagandist warrants being assassinated no more than I feel being an anti-gay, anti-Muslim, White supremacist or neo-Nazi propagandist warrants being assassinated. Also, when police send in a Swat team, they go out of their way to minimize collateral damage.

        One of my biggest disappointments with Obama is his reckless use of drones. He even droned the teenage son of Al-Awlaki who had no involvement with Al Qaeda and Robert Gibbs defended it by saying he was killed for who his father was because he might grow to be a terrorist.
        As to the latter issue, the explanation given is that he was with bad guys, and was collateral damage. When Zarqawi was killed in Iraq, his wife and children were also killed. There wasn't much said about that. As to Al-Awlaki, there is little doubt that he was behind planned attacks ( that failed) and that extraditing him would have cost U.S. Lives. I have no trouble with killing him, but there has to be a secret court procedure that looks at evidence.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Use of drones

          Originally posted by jeremyp
          there has to be a secret court procedure that looks at evidence.
          Absolutely.
          Cynics will squawk that the deliberation is perfunctory, and it's a case of judge-jury-executioner, but at some point we have to trust that our government's oversight in cases like this is well-intentioned (national security - lives potentially threatened).

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Use of drones

            Originally posted by jeremyp
            Originally posted by jazzcyclist
            I guess the difference is that Al-Awlaki wasn't killed for anything tangible act but rather for he preached and inspired. I'm free speech purist, and therefore, I don't believe being an anti-American propagandist warrants being assassinated no more than I feel being an anti-gay, anti-Muslim, White supremacist or neo-Nazi propagandist warrants being assassinated. Also, when police send in a Swat team, they go out of their way to minimize collateral damage.

            One of my biggest disappointments with Obama is his reckless use of drones. He even droned the teenage son of Al-Awlaki who had no involvement with Al Qaeda and Robert Gibbs defended it by saying he was killed for who his father was because he might grow to be a terrorist.
            As to the latter issue, the explanation given is that he was with bad guys, and was collateral damage. When Zarqawi was killed in Iraq, his wife and children were also killed. There wasn't much said about that. As to Al-Awlaki, there is little doubt that he was behind planned attacks ( that failed) and that extraditing him would have cost U.S. Lives. I have no trouble with killing him, but there has to be a secret court procedure that looks at evidence.
            There is no visible evidence that he was behind any planned attacks other than as a cheerleader. The administration should've revealed more evidence of his direct involvement. That said, I don't weep that he's gone as much as I weep us stepping further out onto the slippery slope.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Use of drones

              Originally posted by jeremyp
              As to the latter issue, the explanation given is that he was with bad guys, and was collateral damage. When Zarqawi was killed in Iraq, his wife and children were also killed. There wasn't much said about that. As to Al-Awlaki, there is little doubt that he was behind planned attacks ( that failed) and that extraditing him would have cost U.S. Lives. I have no trouble with killing him, but there has to be a secret court procedure that looks at evidence.
              IMO, using the sparing of American servicemen's lives as a justification for collateral damage is a dubious one, because we would never accept that logic if other nations tried to use it. During WWII, we executed Japanese soldiers for waterboarding American soldiers, but we still waterboard ourselves. And if the lives of American servicemen trumps all other considerations, why didn't we just drop a few nukes on Afghanistan and be done with? Also, there have been a number of occasions in which the person we droned could have been apprehended peacefully as Yemeni-American Farea al-Muslimi explained in a Senate hearing last year:
              • "My understanding is that a man named Hammed al-Radmi was the target of a drone strike. Many people in Wessab know al-Radmi, and the Yemeni government could easily have found and arrested him. Al-Radmi was well known to government officials, and even to local government—and even local government could have captured him if the U.S. had told them to do so.

                In the best, what Wessab’s villagers knew of the U.S. was based on my stories about my wonderful experiences here. The friendships and values I experienced and described to the villagers helped them understand the America that I know and that I love. Now, however, when they think of America, they think of the terror they feel from the drones that hover over their heads, ready to fire missiles at any time. What the violent militants had previously failed to achieve, one drone strike accomplished in an instant. There is now an intense anger against America in Wessab."

              http://www.democracynow.org/2013/4/24/a ... emeni_says

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Use of drones

                The problem with this as with many other things: It affects too many innocent people. Not everyone close to a terrorist is also a terrorist (collateral damage is such a nice way of describing the death of innocent bystanders). Does potentially saving american lives justify killing innocent bystanders? Does the NSA trying to eavesdrop on terrorists justify eavesdropping on EVERYONE? They are talking it too far, trying to protect yourself from eavesdropping automatically makes you a suspect, using encryption of any kind (which in Germany is a basic right) makes you a suspect. I just read an article about the NSA specifically targeting a german citizen who runs a TOR server, that's his only crime, but it's enough to become a target of the NSA. It seems to me everyone is a suspect nowadays, and everyone is considered a danger to the US. And they don't give a rats ass if they violate the laws of all those countries they are using the drones in or eavesdropping on whole populations.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Use of drones

                  It makes me unhappy to hear about political assassinations by any government, for several reasons. And in the case of using drones as the means of assassination, I don't think that the collateral damage, especially the loss of innocent lives, that a drone's missile can cause is justified by the end result. I can only imagine how I'd feel if a foreign nation (that my country wasn't at war with) was killing innocent civilians and destroying property in my home nation with drones, and chalking it up to collateral damage, in attempts to kill its political enemies...

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Use of drones

                    Originally posted by Blues
                    It makes me unhappy to hear about political assassinations by any government
                    Think 'Kill Hitler' in 1934.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Use of drones

                      Originally posted by Marlow
                      Originally posted by Blues
                      It makes me unhappy to hear about political assassinations by any government
                      Think 'Kill Hitler' in 1934.
                      Right, cause there's 100s of Hitlers all around the world.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Use of drones

                        Originally posted by Marlow
                        Originally posted by Blues
                        It makes me unhappy to hear about political assassinations by any government
                        Think 'Kill Hitler' in 1934.
                        Are you advocating assassinations on the basis of what you think someone MIGHT do at some time in the future? If not, please elaborate.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Use of drones

                          A problem I have with the use of drones is it is proving the perpetrators of their use with more power than they ought to have. It might be easy enough to justify using one for the sake of killing one person that a majority might view as a threat or evil or deserving, but, who is making those decisions and when does it borderline on abuse. What rights does the person targeted have? Has anyone ever been wrongly accused and convicted? Will there come a time that giving the top level of leaders in our country access to taking out enemies is abused?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Use of drones

                            Originally posted by jazzcyclist
                            Originally posted by jeremyp
                            As to the latter issue, the explanation given is that he was with bad guys, and was collateral damage. When Zarqawi was killed in Iraq, his wife and children were also killed. There wasn't much said about that. As to Al-Awlaki, there is little doubt that he was behind planned attacks ( that failed) and that extraditing him would have cost U.S. Lives. I have no trouble with killing him, but there has to be a secret court procedure that looks at evidence.
                            IMO, using the sparing of American servicemen's lives as a justification for collateral damage is a dubious one, because we would never accept that logic if other nations tried to use it. During WWII, we executed Japanese soldiers for waterboarding American soldiers, but we still waterboard ourselves. And if the lives of American servicemen trumps all other considerations, why didn't we just drop a few nukes on Afghanistan and be done with? Also, there have been a number of occasions in which the person we droned could have been apprehended peacefully as Yemeni-American Farea al-Muslimi explained in a Senate hearing last year:
                            • "My understanding is that a man named Hammed al-Radmi was the target of a drone strike. Many people in Wessab know al-Radmi, and the Yemeni government could easily have found and arrested him. Al-Radmi was well known to government officials, and even to local government—and even local government could have captured him if the U.S. had told them to do so.

                              In the best, what Wessab’s villagers knew of the U.S. was based on my stories about my wonderful experiences here. The friendships and values I experienced and described to the villagers helped them understand the America that I know and that I love. Now, however, when they think of America, they think of the terror they feel from the drones that hover over their heads, ready to fire missiles at any time. What the violent militants had previously failed to achieve, one drone strike accomplished in an instant. There is now an intense anger against America in Wessab."

                            http://www.democracynow.org/2013/4/24/a ... emeni_says
                            There was a heated debate on this issue on the OBL raid. Obama was the one who decided to send in boots on the ground-and risk lives-over the heads of Gates and Clinton. Also in Awaliki's case he was in amongst a fierce tribe in Yemen, and retrieval would have been dangerous.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Use of drones

                              Originally posted by booond
                              Originally posted by jeremyp
                              Originally posted by jazzcyclist
                              I guess the difference is that Al-Awlaki wasn't killed for anything tangible act but rather for he preached and inspired. I'm free speech purist, and therefore, I don't believe being an anti-American propagandist warrants being assassinated no more than I feel being an anti-gay, anti-Muslim, White supremacist or neo-Nazi propagandist warrants being assassinated. Also, when police send in a Swat team, they go out of their way to minimize collateral damage.

                              One of my biggest disappointments with Obama is his reckless use of drones. He even droned the teenage son of Al-Awlaki who had no involvement with Al Qaeda and Robert Gibbs defended it by saying he was killed for who his father was because he might grow to be a terrorist.
                              As to the latter issue, the explanation given is that he was with bad guys, and was collateral damage. When Zarqawi was killed in Iraq, his wife and children were also killed. There wasn't much said about that. As to Al-Awlaki, there is little doubt that he was behind planned attacks ( that failed) and that extraditing him would have cost U.S. Lives. I have no trouble with killing him, but there has to be a secret court procedure that looks at evidence.
                              There is no visible evidence that he was behind any planned attacks other than as a cheerleader. The administration should've revealed more evidence of his direct involvement. That said, I don't weep that he's gone as much as I weep us stepping further out onto the slippery slope.
                              We don't know all of the evidence, but we do know from his speeches that he advocated "all muslims kill Americans, without permission." Several terrorists who were successful have said he was their inspiration. He was the head of ALQ in Yemen. All of this is enough for me to use a drone.

                              Comment

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