They're not autonomous, they're flown by pilots who just happen to not be sitting in the aircraft they're flying.
Manned aircraft have killed huge groups of innocent civilians more than once, but apparently that's fine because the pilot was sitting in the aircraft.
Now take away the risk to American life and lower the cost of the attack significantly, and viola, you've got a much itchier trigger finger now. If you've played MW3, which would you rather do, use the drone to take out enemies or risk your character dying?
A drone totally changes the dynamics of the fight. If we were able to get tons of drones and "mechwarriors", I don't think wars would be quite as difficult to justify. As technologists we are often blinded by the coolness of things. As someone who has worked on AI for drones early on in my career (for the US govt), I shudder to think that I may have contributed in some ways to a terrible technology for humanity. At the time, I had friends deployed and in my head, I thought that it's better we have UAVs than my friends coming home in bodybags...
I doubt that. It would seem that a pilot sitting in a cockpit would be a lot more trigger-happy.
Both pilots can make two types of mistake: don't recognize an enemy for what he is, or do the same thing with a civilian. If plane pilot mistakes an enemy for something else and said enemy succeeds in his efforts, the pilot will lose his place and may be his life. The drone pilot, on the other hand, will only lose the drone, which is also cheaper then a plane. But the cost of the other mistake is the same for the both of them.
So, it seems that plane pilot has actually much more reason to shoot on targets he's not sure about.
The commander/politician/leader is answerable and responsible for his soldiers, as such if the risk to the soldier's life is taken out of equation an attack suddenly begins to make more sense as it carrier lower risk & lower costs, therefore requiring less justification.
Remember the downed F-117 pilot in Serbia? The repercussions of Somalia? Drones carry no such risks. The risk of political and public fall out is minuscule compared to traditional operations. Public outrage over "collateral damage" is negligible, because frankly, there is no public outrage about civilian deaths. Especially if "suspected Al-Qaeda operatives" were among the killed.
It's basically the NSA equivalent of mass spying. If spying becomes so cheap that they can just do it to everyone, then they're thinking "why not"? Same with drone striking. If it ends up costing them only like $10,000 per target - why not kill the associated forces, too? You know...just to be on the "safe side".
Killing people is already really cheap. What's not cheap is deciding _not_ to kill them on the battlefield, given incomplete information. Drones are helping with information and making _not_ killing people cheaper.
Compare internet forums vs f2f discussion - it is much easier to end up in a flamewar saying hurtful things on the internet when your opponents are faceless words on a screen than when it's a person sitting across from you.
See? I'm not saying that argument is right. It is only just as neat, simple and (probably) wrong as the 'killing through a joystick causes more casualties because it dehumanzes the process' argument.
Said about literally EVERY SINGLE change in warfare over the centuries. I am talking all the way back to armor and catapults to gunpowder based munitions, the blitzkrieg, rockets, planes, bombs, and of course nuclear weapons.
The thing is -- it is absolutely true, but it is always true, and therefore meaningless.
Lets look at the Gulf War for example -- the US lost 113 soldiers to the enemy (an addition 35 to friendly fire)... they killed "at least" 20,000 -- some estimates go as high as 35,000+(and an additional 3,500+ civilians). The asymmetry of modern warfare is nothing new, pointing to drones as some line in the sand is just, IMHO, silliness.
"Should" used to mean "probability or expectation", then yes, it "should" continue to to get "worse" (read: change).
War is a horrible endeavor at its very core. It will always be, we try to "civilize" it via rules that are always broken as soon as things become dire. It isn't the implements or efficiency that are the problem, but the waging of combat itself.
Someone should have seen this coming a long time ago and called them multistage-guided-missiles or some other name.
The term 'Drone' is basically used as link bait and confuses the argument... If we replace 'drone' with 'stealth bomber', is it now OK to bomb a wedding?
But that's the thing: in my mind more human soldiers means less potential for outright slaughtering of civilians. So more drones might end up raising the body count. in the long run; not for US soldiers, but for people you'd miss just as much if you'd happen to be born as their friends.
> Our policy persists because we put little value on the lives of foreign innocents.
Suppose, for argument's sake, that this is true: that America puts nearly no value on the lives of foreigners in the pursuit of foreign policy. Nevertheless, attacking so indiscriminately that weddings are targeted unknowingly would be unthinkable because of the tiny chance of retaliation. But with no chance of retaliation it becomes possible for depraved indifference to foreign lives to influence policy.
Now, you may not agree that American foreign policy is depraved in this fashion, but the REASON that many feel that drone strikes are morally different is because if it WAS depraved in this fashion, the use of drones would be different from the use of other military force.
> If you've played MW3
doesn't have "civilians" as a game mechanic (unlike Counter-Strike or a lot of arcade shooting games, for example), so the comparison doesn't really work.
When a robotic combat bot/UAV is used, it is significantly harder to justify civilian casualties as it then becomes a much more cold/calculated decision. Guess it then boils down to the "precision" that is available. I don't suppose a drone can take out a single occupant in a vehicle so it's minimum quantum attack size is an entire vehicle and hence the additional casualties.
This bot driven warfare is some scary ass technology with a huge potential for abuse. Even if a future UAVs could target a single individual, that type of technology would have any aspiring dictator salivating at the thought...
Regular aircraft are "expensive." They're literally expensive, in dollar terms, but even ignoring that they're logistically and operationally resource-intensive to operate. You only have so much airpower at your disposal, you're limited by flight deck space and pilot availability, you want to keep some in reserve, and aircraft are a bitch to maintain. Like, a week in service per day of flight time.
Basically, you default to not using them. You don't bust them out unless you have good reason to. You don't just cruise around looking for people who look suspicious, because that would be a tremendous waste of resources that could be better-spent elsewhere. Like transporting supplies for the troops on the ground. You only bust out the planes when you have solid, definitive, verified evidence that there is something that should get blown up.
Drones flip that around. You can't quite go cruisin' around just looking for stuff, but it's worth the time & effort to check out quite a few of your semi-sketchy tips. Now you're doing a lot more operations, on less-reliable intel, and the risk of cock-ups rises significantly. But because the drones are remote, none of that risk is borne by any member of the military performing the operations; all the extra risk falls on the local civilian population. I don't think many people partaking in these operations are intentionally heartless, but this is a classic case of moral hazard, and on the margin more aggressive, risk-taking behavior is incentivized.
Additionally, putting a drone in the sky is faster than putting a regular plane in the sky. This means that planes tend to be used only against 'static' targets, which gives you an opportunity to scout & verify. Drones allow you to hit 'time-sensitive' targets, which means you are now making time-sensitive decisions. A wedding party got hit because some dude had literally minutes (or less) to decide if a collection of vehicles was a wedding or an armed convoy. I take it as axiomatic that the added time-pressure increases the number of wrong decisions.
When you read hours of maintenance per flight hour, you should remember that much of the maintenance is done on parts which are being rebuilt off the airframe.
>Now you're doing a lot more operations, on less-reliable intel, and the risk of cock-ups rises significantly.
Please provide a citation for this claim, as it is not self evident. Many claim that the increased loiter time of UAVs allow for better timing and targeting, and there has been video evidence of this. You may be correct, but you still bear the burden of evidence when you make this claim.
>putting a drone in the sky is faster than putting a regular plane in the sky.
This is untrue, as the USA has had B1 and B52 bombers continuously in flight over Afghanistan for weeks on end at many points in the war, to provide air support for ground forces. Most strike aircraft and bombers are also much faster than the UAVs.
Some drones are operated by a division of the CIA and are out of military control, however. This is probably the most worrisome aspect of the program.
However, as long as 99% of their targets are bad guys, Americans are going to continue supporting the program. It's zero risk for American pilots, and everyone likes to read about more dead terrorists with their morning coffee. More points to whoever's in charge.
Governments like Yemen's will also support it because #1 it does their dirty work for them, and #2 they can blame an evil foreign power. Win-win.
The problem here is that 100% of the targets are bad guys while seemingly a very low percentage of the casualties are. Americans continue to support the program because the media does not do it's job. Instead they act as a mouth piece, a cheer leader, instead of doing actual journalism.
The War on Terror, much like the War on Drugs, is a utter failure. It has ZERO chance of being successful because of tactics like this.
Do you really think that the disconnection doesn't have an effect on some level? Whether it's the number of people signing up at all, being ready for a mission, or actually following orders?
How many people would follow the order of shooting from a controlled plane to unsuspecting people in a convoy -vs- an order to take a knife and kill an unarmed not resisting person in front of them? The end result is the same. Giving them enough distance just makes it much much easier.
Even so, and despite all the training, some do refuse orders. They're also at least theoretically obliged to refuse illegal orders (i.e. war crimes), at least in my country.
The United States is not a party to either treaty.
I think the previous commenter was speaking on the level of disconnect between a drone pilot and their intended targets. It's much, much easier for someone to go through with clicking a button and watching an explosion on a screen than it is to say, murder each of those people if they were in the same room.
Tech equivalency is a meaningless concept and it is completely stupid to apply it in particular to WW2 where the majority of civilians never asked or wanted a war to begin with.
General Marshall discovered after WW2 that only 15% of front-line soldiers even fired their weapon at the enemy. Even soldiers don't like to kill enemy troops in the middle of a battle!
You can argue about force projection all you want but the US is not trying to engage in some warfare campaign against the entire planet.
We deploy drones in places where there are perceived terrorist threats. As you can see in collateral murder, all you have to do to be perceived as a threat is to be alive. This tells me that the U.S. government is overly paranoid.
Next, we are or will soon be deploying drones right here in the U.S. That tells me that the government perceives its own citizens as a threat or as a possible threat. This is backed up by the fact that they 'accidentally' collect U.S. citizen electronic communications.
The U.S. government makes far too many "accidents" for them to all be truly accidental.
Words are important, and language frames every issue. "Drones" as opposed to "unmanned aircraft" or "unmanned assault aircraft" is a huge difference in perception.
I think that's why the U.S. military popularizes the term drone over "unmanned aircraft" which even then isn't true - it's a remotely manned aircraft.
The 'world burning' today is ten times less of actual burning than in, say, US actions in Vietnam or Korea, and hundred times less than ww1/ww2 - I'm glad that the scale of suffering is shrinking so much.
But in all seriousness, this isn't police action, its a foreign power.
The USA wont kill everyone that opposes them with such a campaign, but the point is the same as "terrorism", to send a message of fear if you dare oppose us, or associate with people who oppose us, damn the "collateral damage".
Make no bones about it, this is exactly the same kind of asymmetrical warfare that the USA itself condemns as terrorism.
If terrorists disappeared tomorrow. Let's say we use our surgical strike weapons to target every cell every member, and in one hour they are gone. What would happen? Billions of dollars disappear from the pockets of everyone in the chain. Military contractors, drone maintenance, promotions, bonuses, career advancements, no more completed missions, medals, no job to go to.
So the direct financial and career incentive for everyone in the chain is to always make sure there is a stream of new terrorists, new cells, new intelligence chatter about "the Great Satan". And that is indirectly accomplished by indiscriminately bombing civilians. Everyone who is involved in picking the target and knows it is a funeral, will know civilians will die. I can't help but think they also know it is job insurance as well. They would be stupid not to.
American public via media has been tested enough during releases of so many atrocities, torture tapes, lies, monitoring that by now, I think they've built an accurate model of how much outrage will be generated and how much will actually threaten future operations, funding, reelection and so on (so far not much).
The bottom line, I don't even know and 100% believe them when they say these are all "mistakes". The incentives and the motivation, especially in the long term, is for them not to really care if civilians get bombed.
It doesn't need to make more profits during wartime than in peacetime to exist.
It only needs to have multiple actors whose interests align to produce more military funding and hardware than is needed to defend the nation.
EDIT to add: The binary way you're looking at it is also way off from reality; It seems self-evident that the more often one has military engagements, the easier it is to convince those in charge that more money should flow to military expenditures (which includes peacetime research). It's not the simple case of "constant war = military spending" vs "utopia = no military spending" that you're describing.
The point is that humans are always fighting with one another. Until that stops there will always be a war looming.
If you read the parent, he doesn't buy the debunking of the industrial military complex because, in a theoretical world where war is not a common occurrence, the conclusion doesn't hold water. Well, that's nice, but in the real world, war happens. A lot. It always has and it still does.
The reason for this is irrelevant. You talk about war being manufactured for personal gain (with no proof I would add, but whatever). True or not, it's irrelevant. We're talking about human nature here. Do you really think a time will come in which everyone is moral and good and wars cease to occur?
If you do then you believe that we will somehow alter whatever it is that brings people like this into existence. I hope you're right, but for now you're living in a fairy tale. I prefer to deal with reality as it is, not what I wish it were.
Chomsky, for example, analyses this in respect to the media. Large media ends up acting in sync with government's propaganda because there are set of constraints and incentive s built in. From outside they often act _as if_ they are centrally controlled by a single government party.
You know what would help "debunk" such a thing; if there was a site where every single investment made by any member of congress was required to be listed.
Consider reactions to the idea that we cancel the Joint Strike Fighter program. Long story short, every politician who had a contractor working on the project in his constituency started making noise about all the jobs that would be lost if we were to shut down the program. No secret conspiracy; that was an open debate that happened in the public sector, and which many Americans were talking about over dinner.
Even the actual influencing of decisions to engage in hostilities is so everyday as to be unremarkable. For example, the big defense contractors spent a whole lot of money lobbying members of Congress to convince them that the 2009 Afghanisatan surge was a good idea. I think some wonks wrote columns about it in Foreign Policy magazine, but otherwise the news was barely even noticed.
As for how that leads to a sort of "continuous warfare" policy where we're always on the lookout for new enemies. . . I think that just emerges. If you've spending billions and billions of dollars of taxpayer money on some new toy, then at some point someone's going to start asking why. And of course if your job is tied to a project, the very last thing you're going to say is, "No reason, actually this is a pretty silly lark if you ask me." So folks start coming up with hypothetical adversaries, and starts inventing war games and conducting exercises built around these hypotheses. And things just sort of roll along from there.
People acting unethically for profit is pretty much the American way, isn't it? It seems to me that if there's a buck in it and it's not illegal (or you can get away with it) it's pretty much justified in the US.
When it comes to where the law belongs in relation to pragmatism and ethics, I'm inclined to say that the cart belongs firmly behind both horses.
“They actually like deploying. So when you go visit them in Afghanistan, in the western Pacific, you don't get questions like, ‘Oh, shoot, what's sequester going to do to me?’ They know how to spell it, but that's about it. They want to know, ‘Hey, Commandant, you know, is this going to be the last deployment I'm going to get on, or am I going to actually be able to go to combat again or be able to go to WESTPAC (western pacific) again,” Amos said. “So our morale's pretty high right now, and I think it's going to stay high as long as we give them something to look forward to. The reorientation to the Pacific has just reenergized a lot of Marines as they think about Afghanistan: ‘My gosh, we're coming out of there in 2014. What's left?’ Well, we talk about Darwin, Australia. We talk about Japan. We talk about Guam. And their eyes light up.”
For how many years were people dismissed as nutjobs and "conspiracy theorists" when they talked about NSA spying? Now we know it was all true. Would you like to make a bet as to whether or not the US military-industrial complex acts in its own self-interest when comes to the "War on Terror"? When it comes down to it, there is nothing particularly "extraordinary" about these claims.
> You have made these accusations without any evidence.
The evidence is circumstantial and based on past behavior patterns of the US government. Read "Decent Interval" and its follow-up "Irreparable Harm" by Frank Snepp, or "State of War" by James Risen (for something more recent) to get started on this history. Again, there is nothing "extraordinary" about the previous poster's claims.
Just because it is true, doesn't mean those people aren't nutjobs or conspiracy theorists.
[Unlikely thing X] came true! Therefore, [unlikely thing Y] will, too!
Even if X and Y were incredibly similar -- in this case they aren't, at all -- that's still not a logical assumption. It's not even evidence toward Y.
I don't really have one but if you must, it's probably someone with a dissociative disorder. I'm just noting that you don't have to be sane to be right.
>given that you would apparently apply it even to people who are correct about all of their theories.
When exactly did I say that?
We have seen mountains of evidence that people follow their incentives even when those incentives lead to perverse, counter-productive behaviors. It's basically what the entire "Freakonomics" franchise is built on, for example.
We also know that the incentives faced by the military establishment are pushing toward more war, more violence. This is obvious, just look at the early '90s when we thought the world was going to be more peaceful. We cut back on military spending, military contractors howled and screamed.
So, while we have no direct evidence that anyone in the military establishment is willfully disregarding civilian casualties, we do have extremely strong inferential evidence that some people in the military establishment are likely to do so, now, in the past, and in the future.
And for the example you offer, judges' very job description require them to narrow down on a case by case basis, and to make a decision based on the evidence available, beyond reasonable doubt. The ethical principle that requires this to be so is that the asymmetry of power between the individual and the State is so big that it is most fair for the whole process to start with a bias in favor of the individual.
Other situations require a different kind of analysis. And the consequence to apply this level of precision to political analysis is that no analysis (and no criticism to the de-facto policies that are guarantied to emerge anyways in this vacum of knowledge) is ever possible.
Erm, why? You're saying terrorists can't kill 14 people?
Yes, but this isn't a war. It's a bunch of crude assassinations. There are no meaningful military objectives regrettably costing some civilian lives; these drone strikes are the primary act of war, and they accomplish nothing of value. They just breed more enemies.
Presumably the one that was either (a) initiated by the 9/11 attacks and formally recognized as already existing by Congress in Public Law 107-40, or (b) was provoked by the 9/11 attacks and declared by Congress in Public Law 107-40, depending on how you choose to look at it.
> What is the objective?
"to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by" "those nations, organizations, or persons [the President determines] planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001".
> What would have to happen for this 'war' to end?
Given the rather fluid definition in PL 107-40, it is not clear that it could formally and completely end absent a subsequent resolution of Congress terminating it.
It most certainly is an exercise of Congress' Constitutional power to declare war. It may not be a formal declaration of war under international law, but those are two very different things.
> it expressly avoids being called a "war" in much the same way as ye olde Vietnam.
Vietnam was also a war for which Congress exercised its Constitutional power to declare war. See, e.g., Orlando v. Laird, 443 F.2d 1039 (2nd Cir., 1971).
> What it is is probably illegal under international law
Please cite the provision of international law (either a treaty to which the US is a party, or a generally accepted provision of customary international law -- and, if the latter, please also provide evidence that the cited principle is a generally accepted provision of customary international law) under which the AUMF itself is illegal.
'Some people' do not make an army.
But they can take place in them, and, more to the point, the problem that needs to be addressed in the legalities of modern war is that modern wars, increasingly, don't have "zones" at all.
It seems to me that the incentives structure rewards a continued War On Terror. Everyone directly involved in it, tends to profit from maintaining it.
Also I refuse to blindly believe in the inherent goodness or extraordinary purity of heart of those involved. You ask for extraordinary evidence that they are incentivized to kill. Ok, I can also turn it around and take the point that those involved are by default bad, don't have pure motives, are evil and are motivated by money or desire to inflict pain and require extraordinary evidence to prove the opposite.
We have seen them lie time and time again. To the people, to Congress. At this point they have the burden of proof that their have good and pure motives at the core of their decision making. Sorry, they lost the confidence that once might have been placed in them.
Any industry that is built on addressing problems that people naturally have is going to generate lots of revenue.
It has been proven that people naturally fight with each other. People fight over race, religion, sports, politics, and territory. Nations do the same thing.
If you think it would end terrorism by killing all current terrorists and if you think it would even be possible, I think you're misguided.
It won't change until people in the chain have incentives to avoid war.
Now let's think how to accomplish it: maybe there should be huge tax on profits for military contractors in the time when operations are going ? Maybe private for-profit military contractors have to go in the first place ? Maybe we shouldn't pay them for every piece of equipment but only for time spent working ?
As to people in the field, there are some ideas as well like freezing all bonuses during the military operations and such. The thing is it has to be profitable for individuals involved to seek peace not war. The war machine is never going to stop otherwise. The balance should be such that once high command in charge feel it's necessary to start military operations they should meet at least some resistance from rest of the chain not "fuck yeah sir!" as it is now.
And I'm fucking ashamed of myself for doing it, unlike the other 132000 employees who still work there.
I was naive to the point of being stupid.
I admire your intellectual honesty, you don't see it very often when it comes to criticizing one's own actions.
The truth of one conspiracy cannot be used as evidence for the truth of others. It simply doesn't make sense.
 They didn't really laugh at Einstein, but you get the idea.
Once Einstein had published his theory of relativity people stopped laughing, and they never laughed at him again.
 They still didn't laugh at Einstein, but you get the idea.
Is that the true division between conspiracy-minded people and others?
Therefore I would not like to draw that line. I would however say it's a division between our views. I do believe that a government can be considered a single entity. Care to explain why you disagree?
Furthermore, what's being discussed involves non-government actors too. Exxon, doctors, and defense contractors are entities outside the government.
And in the meantime, if they can make people think they have those problems, that would be even more revenue.
Like the pharmaceutical industry that sell you drugs for diseases you didn't even know existed. Or cigarettes manufacturers that want to solve your problem of not being addicted to nicotine...
Using the same logic, nothing should ever get better because those who benefit from "bad things" will never allow them to be stopped.
(Note: I'm not convinced war profiteering is the driving motivator for the NSA, just pointing out the fallacy in your argument.)
securities fraud - all those jobs at the SEC would disappear if they ended securities fraud, therefore they must not really want to stop it
child abuse - the cops, social workers and judges would lose their jobs if child abuse stopped, therefore they must not really want to stop it
cancer - oncologists would have no job if cancer was cured, therefore they must not really want to stop it
money laundering - DOJ would lose their jobs if there was no money laundering, therefore they must not really want to stop it
murder - cops would lose their jobs if there was no murder, therefore they must not really want to stop it
And you can't say those people I noted above are not a part of the power structure...
Thats not true because it ignores existing structures of power.
A common thief benefits from the bad things they do, but has no power to influence those that might seek to stop him, and so is convicted.
A banker who committed fraud (read: stole) during the recent financial crisis has the power of capital and lobby behind them, and walks.
The existing structures of power in place are actually designed to stop many of the bad things you describe, however there is nothing intrinsically moral about them so they can be corrupted by capital and lobbyists.
Back in the 80's and 90's, people who insisted the NSA did all this or that really couldn't explain how the technology would work to do all that. People insisted spy satellites could read my newspaper, yada yada.
About 5 years ago, the chips, scale-out HW, storage and Linux (thanks submitters!) reached the point where the known daily capacity of information stream or their meta could be stored by someone like the NSA or Google.
One just needs to assume technical capabilities is what defines reality.
I don't think that was too off-the-wall, even in 1988 or '89.
I can recall, although not google up, at least one back-of-the-envelope effort to figure out if some organization could store all internet traffic. I think the answer was "yes", and this was done maybe 5 years ago.
You forgot the one group of people who could actually stop this, literally overnight: Politicians.
You're talking about moral humans, here. Our soldiers/airmen/marines/sailors are not soulless automatons, nor are officers that develop strategy and provide direction. Nor would I consider their pay to be either incentive or motivation.
I'm sorry to break it to you, but there are immoral individuals in the US army, especially in the high ranks (where sociopath usually meet), like everywhere else.
If incentives are in place, nature will find the way even if you can't point to one single person who actually pulled the trigger.
A choice is being made in either case. Innocent people are being killed in either case.
Read this. Follow orders or get court marshalled. Its no surprise that after objections from pilots that they started singling out people who didn't give a shit about things like ethical objectives other than shooting their target accurately.
A large finance source for the Al-Nushra front in Africa is Jordan/Saudi Arabia. But those countries are allies to the US, so there are no drone strikes there. There are also no strikes in Iran or Syria.
Yemen government is very complicit to those strikes and it should at be mentioned in such articles.
But self-defeating? Not sure I can even see a plausible argument for that one.
I guess drone strikes are just a cheaper solution for that problem, with less outrage than prison camps.
It might seem nationalistic to some but it reminds me of a quote from "A Few Good Men" -
Son, we live in a world that has walls, and those walls have to be guarded by men with guns. Who's gonna do it? You? You, Lt. Weinburg? I have a greater responsibility than you could possibly fathom. You weep for Santiago, and you curse the Marines. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know. That Santiago's death, while tragic, probably saved lives. And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives.
Btw, not saying the comment is bad in anyway.
And maybe eventually people will actually start thinking about the opposite position before they post something.
Or maybe they actually won't.
Because the next question that should inevitably spring up is ok, ok, but why the fuck would someone in Yemen want to kill US citizens?
Once you start answering that question, the question of morality in drone strikes becomes a lot more difficult to answer.
It's a whole chicken and the egg thing.
Taken at face value, US should go and bomb with these drones a whole lot of other people too. And no, they wouldn't be "jihadists". I'm sure there is many many people in the states that very much want to kill other U.S. citizens.
I also don't see how blowing away teenagers in an Afghan village who have no idea what 9/11 is, is some kind of macho statement against oppression. Pretty soon, if not already, we'll be killing young people born after 9/11. Not sure if this is the big win the GOP 'defense first' voter thinks it is. Sounds like yet another failure in policy, much like the profitable war on drugs.
When we give the nation state carte blanche on both a moral and budgetary level, expect nothing but endless abuses of power. There are 150,000 Iraqi graves that wouldn't have existed if Bush was honest. Lets not forget that. If there's a global bad guy in Nicholson's speech people should defend against, its probably the US military, and I say this as a US citizen.
It should be noted as well that the entire premise of the film wasn't "the ends justify the means" but rather the exact opposite. People can do great evil while believing that every action they take is fundamentally correct and for some kind of nebulous greater good.
Maybe you shouldn't give them the benefit of the doubt on those horrible things they are doing in your name.
Those numerous killing of civilians should require at least some questioning.
I am very confident that I do not have to do that. How are you going to make me?
Wait, I do? Did they pass a law or something?
The Terrorist we know today are a pretty much related to those people who were supported by American Intelligence agencies in the mid70-80s, against the soviet. The "Barbarians" among those folk were given advanced weapons, that America possessed, those weapons might be outdated, and America may have a upper hand, but that is only a matter of time. Sadly, this has became a chicken and egg problem.
The circle of REVENGE is a continuous one, you kill more people innocent or not, you sprout a new rebellion. They will eventually hurt you back, today or tomorrow. and the process will continue.. presidents, prime ministers would come and go by.
The only way to stop this is to actually STOP. Stop interference in ways like espoinage, drone strikes, killing of "Suspected" militants.. never given any right to appear before court.. everything. The root problem is the so called intelligence that does more than just collect information about "suspected" enemies.
Someone has to rise up and stop it. for both sides, perhaps it escape us humans sometimes, the very fact "those who are hurt are the ones who can forgive or take revenge." Thats about there it is to this.
Really sad to hear about that nameless bride/groom & family. May they R.I.P.
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."
One view considers these documents to be the expression of the inclusive rights granted to the citizenship.
The other view considers these documents to be the definition of the extents and limits of federal and state powers.
The first view currently prevails but that was not always the case. Under the second view you can not waive your right to remain silent, or waive your right to unreasonable searches. In other words, being Mirandized doesn't grant the right. It's simply informing you of what you always have.
Just so you anyone knows, not all americans feel the same as our govt. does.
The US is active in that it's actively treating citizens of other countries as second class.
Of course? Ask Chinese citizens about their right to free speech.
> The New York Times reported in 2013 that the Obama Administration embraced a disputed method for counting civilian casualties, which in effect counts all military-age males in a strike zone as combatants.
So 5 people were of military-age and male? Given a size of 22 people, it sound reasonable. I wonder how many were children.
Edit: I seemed to have forgotten that it is black and hispanic males in New York who are stopped.
A minority male between 14 and 40 is more likely to mug someone than a 70 year old caucasian woman; that's not something made up by racist conservatives. But if there's such a thing as rights, they must apply even to higher-threat demographics.
One interesting exercise is thinking about base rates of mugging, and likelihood ratios for mugging, and discerning your own personal "4th amendment suspension" breaking point for each percentage.
But they are suspected of a crime, because of their demographic category.
I should have explained the thought experiment more: Suppose future sociologists identify some identifiable cluster of traits that corresponds with a 99.9% likelihood of committing a mugging on any given day--if you see someone with these traits, it's overwhelmingly likely that they've either just mugged someone, or they're just about to mug someone.
With that level of certainty, you're either in favor of unreasonably searching them and seizing their mugging weapons (or some other intrusive measure like constant monitoring), or you're in favor of unnecessary muggings.
The reason this is a thought experiment is that no real-world identifiable group is that likely to commit crimes. But there is a measurable likelihood ratio, even if treating everyone equally is more important than it.
Obviously we need to re-count the number killed during the 9/11 attacks - surely all military-age males killed were combatants - they were just fighting in a war they didn't know had started yet.
Just like we have international treaties for other horrible things like mustard gas.
Do all the reconnaissance you can get away with. But I don't want a tired, overworked, morally disconnected 20-something sitting in a trailer somewhere in the US, pulling a trigger to kill unquantifiable targets anywhere in the world. Or any other country doing it to anyone else for that matter.
From a political point of view, drones are much more attractive than traditional methods. You won't see the corpses of dead Americans being dragged through Mogadishu with drones. You won't see captured pilots being paraded in front of a camera with drones.
In any case, I remember it fairly well, no need to look it up. Which current likely target is a heavily-armed state with a strong air defense system?
(North Korea is a possibility, although I have to wonder just how good their air defenses are these days. It also strikes me as a target where drones would be a great idea if it ever comes down to a shooting war.)
I'd also like to note that the F-117 shootdown didn't involve the pilot being captured, much less paraded in front of a camera, although he certainly could have been.
I don't think the GP was suggesting dropping pepper gas bombs, or using mace cannons while storming an enemy outpost.
Modern fighter pilots can be just as overworked and have about the same risk of dying from being shot at.