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The Iraq War, the Next War, and the Future of the Fat Man

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the make-the-robots-do-it dept.

The Military 380

An anonymous reader writes "The Stanford Law Review Online has just published an Essay by Yale's Stephen L. Carter entitled 'The Iraq War, the Next War, and the Future of the Fat Man.' He provides a retrospective on the War in Iraq and discusses the ethical and legal implications of the War on Terror and 'anticipatory self-defense' in the form of drones and targeted killings going forward. He writes: 'Iraq was war under the beta version of the Bush Doctrine. The newer model is represented by the slaying of Anwar al-Awlaki, an American citizen deemed a terror threat. The Obama Administration has ratcheted the use of remote drone attacks to unprecedented levels — the Bush Doctrine honed to rapier sharpness. The interesting question about the new model is one of ethics more than legality. Let us assume the principal ethical argument pressed in favor of drone warfare — to wit, that the reduction in civilian casualties and destruction of property means that the drone attack comports better than most other methods with the principle of discrimination. If this is so, then we might conclude that a just cause alone is sufficient to justify the attacks. ... But is what we are doing truly self-defense?'"

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380 comments

SlashPol? (5, Insightful)

OakDragon (885217) | more than 2 years ago | (#38717646)

Why not spin off SlashPol now?

Re:SlashPol? (5, Funny)

trout007 (975317) | more than 2 years ago | (#38717766)

It's already registered to a BDSM website.

Re:SlashPol? (5, Insightful)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 2 years ago | (#38717810)

Please I have the politics section not on my frontpage for a reason. Hey if you really want to read slashdot's political stories that is fine but does anyone here really believe that this belongs under "technology" and not Politics?
Really?
 

Re:SlashPol? (5, Insightful)

dna_(c)(tm)(r) (618003) | more than 2 years ago | (#38718024)

[...] but does anyone here really believe that this belongs under "technology" and not Politics? Really?

It's "morality" as a consequence of "technolgy", the newly acquired opportunity to kill opponents without too much "political" risk. No body bags or television footage of dead soldiers from downed Blackhawk (e.g. in Mogadishu). I think it is a very relevant story.

Re:SlashPol? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38718092)

>Please I have the politics section not on my frontpage for a reason.

The same reason why I rather have 4chan my frontpage, these days, than Slashdot.

No. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38717652)

Need more be said?

Yes, more need be said (4, Insightful)

Oxford_Comma_Lover (1679530) | more than 2 years ago | (#38718226)

The question posed was whether it was really "self-defense." This is an important question because the UN Charter allows nation-states to take action in self-defense." Thus every tinpot dictator, power-mad army, or simply state that otherwise wants to use violence without the sanction of the security council--i.e. what would otherwise be an illegal war--claims that their attacks are motivated by self-defense.

So if the U.S. wants to be able to target people in drone strikes (or otherwise, e.g. Osama Bin Laden) in what would otherwise be illegal acts of war committed within the territory of a foreign nation with which we are not at war, we have to be able to justify it as self-defense. Otherwise, it's illegal. If it's illegal, nobody can stop it, but it still undermines the power of the United Nations to declare certain wars illegal--which makes it harder to respond to illegal wars in the future, easier for warmongers to justify aggressive wars, etc...

Of course, the flipside of that is that every time someone takes a warlike act, calls it self-defense, and gets away with it, that expands the boundaries of what "self-defense" means on the international stage.

At any rate, this whole debate is why the Security Council passed the resolution they did for the second Iraq war--it was deliberately ambiguous, so that the United States could claim the war was approved by the security council (and thus not illegal) and the other countries could claim that they had not approved the war; it was effectively a nominal nod to the power of the security council to decide which wars are legal.

Re:Yes, more need be said (3, Insightful)

ducomputergeek (595742) | more than 2 years ago | (#38718522)

Or in other words, in the end might makes right. Just as it has for the bulk of the past 10,000 years of human history.

The passing of the resolution in the Security Council was mere puppet theatre, nothing more. As you pointed out, in the end they just passed something vague so that both sides could be "right".

targeted killing (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38717656)

assassination by any name is just as illegal
so is torture and a war of aggression

Re:targeted killing (2, Insightful)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 2 years ago | (#38717708)

But if you assassinate Obama using a drone, it's "not hostile". He said it himself. ;)

Re-education Camp for you, fellow Consumer.... (1)

rts008 (812749) | more than 2 years ago | (#38718462)

*re-education session starts*
"Ignore the man behind the curtain."
"Do as I say, not as I do."
"Why are you un-American?"
*end session*

There, now you feel better!

Re:targeted killing (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 2 years ago | (#38718550)

I was really quite surprised that wasn't followed by massive buying up of airhogs stock by Tea Partiers, to find out which model planes hold the largest payload.

Self defense is ambigious (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38717658)

It can be stretched to mean defense of any US interests abroad. How many military actions since WW2 have truly been about protecting the homeland from attack?

Iraq and Afghanistan wars (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38717678)

Were these ever about self-defense?

Re:Iraq and Afghanistan wars (4, Informative)

g0bshiTe (596213) | more than 2 years ago | (#38717700)

I was under the impression it was about business.

Re:Iraq and Afghanistan wars (2)

ducomputergeek (595742) | more than 2 years ago | (#38718190)

Afganistan wasn't. While it wasn't directly the country of Afghanistan who attacked us they were aiding and harbouring those who did.

Problem is by deviding our attention with Iraq well, I'll paraphrase Charlie Wilson: "We fucked it up[...again]".

Re:Iraq and Afghanistan wars (3, Interesting)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 2 years ago | (#38718298)

Yes, it's strictly business [blogspot.com] ...

Re:Iraq and Afghanistan wars (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38717782)

Afghanistan you can easily argue with known facts. Iraq you could, but you'd have to believe the government really believed in what they were saying about Iraq in the first place.

Re:Iraq and Afghanistan wars (4, Interesting)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 2 years ago | (#38718364)

To me the line between self-defense, and self-offense, is reactive vs proactive. From that standpoint, Afghanistan is self-defense (though arguably, using drones *way out of proportion* to the original attack) and Iraq was a pre-emptive offensive war- and that's even IF you believe the government really believed in what they were saying about Iraq to begin with.

I personally agree with Augustine of Hippo- that wars should not only be limited to self defense- but should be limited to fighting on your own territory against an invasion. From that standpoint, the only legal use of drones would be as automated security guards on the border in an area where there are no checkpoints- and limited by GPS programming to that area.

Re:Iraq and Afghanistan wars (5, Insightful)

Baloroth (2370816) | more than 2 years ago | (#38718432)

I'll just drop this [snopes.com] little gem here. It is quite clear that either most everyone in the government was lying, or it was really believed that he could be a major threat. Al Gore even said in 2002 that he knew Saddam had stores of chemical and biological weapons. Now, whether certain parts of the government deceived other parts is an open question I won't get into, but Saddam himself was doing everything in his power to make it look like he was a threat. Every reasonable examination points to the government as a whole honestly believing he was a major threat in a region that possesses massive amounts of economic resources and in some cases nuclear weapons which could lead to catastrophic disaster should he ever choose to act.

In hindsight, of course, we know better (hence all the "Bush lied and just wanted the oil"... the oil we never actually got, of course: Iraq's production has gone down since the invasion). At the time? No one did. Whether the actions were justified even given what we thought we knew at the time: well, again, I won't get into that, as it is pretty messy. I will just say that retrospect offers amazingly clear vision.

No no but hell no. (4, Interesting)

F34nor (321515) | more than 2 years ago | (#38717682)

The Iraqis were NEVER going to attack us. The doctrine is a lie.
The Taliban / Pashtuns were NEVER going to attack us. The doctrine is a lie.
Al Qaeda was an is a huge threat and needs an asymmetric warfare response to its tactics.
Never forget that we adopted the Blitzkrieg and our modern army's systems from the Nazis all we needed to become the monster wee defeated was a president to fucking stupid to know that he was a fascist ( in the classical Mussolini definition ) and a people to complacent and stupid to know that we had been cooped from within.

Re:No no but hell no. (4, Insightful)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 2 years ago | (#38717768)

I don't think it's too much about any particular president, fascism just needs mega corporations with government in its pocket. Obama is continuing the Bush/Cheney agenda just fine, because it's the marching orders.

Re:No no but hell no. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38717968)

You mean corporatism.

Re:No no but hell no. (1)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 2 years ago | (#38718070)

we have the flavor of fascism with corporatism, historically it can be with or without

Re:No no but hell no. (1)

digsbo (1292334) | more than 2 years ago | (#38717958)

Why the hell was this scored Troll? It's all bascially true, more or less, with the possible exception of Al-Qaeda requiring asymmetric warfare response. I'd suggest a review of foreign polcy FIRST.

Re:No no but hell no. (2)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 2 years ago | (#38718418)

Heck, given the so-called "visa applications" of the original 9-11 hijackers, I'd say a review of *domestic* customs and visitor visa policy and procedures would be my first action- something NEITHER the Obama nor the Bush administrations undertook. Not a single one of the 20 should ever have gotten a student visa to begin with.

Re:No no but hell no. (2, Interesting)

sjames (1099) | more than 2 years ago | (#38718150)

I have no idea why this is modded troll. The first two are practically indisputable. The 3rd is debatable, but not an unreasonable proposition.

I WISH I could say the 4th had no merit whatsoever, but I don't think that would be very honest. It's fairly clear that the whole leadup to the Iraq war was was a fabrication directed from the top. Not only were no WMDs found, but nothing that could have been misinterpreted as WMDs was found.

Re:No no but hell no. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38718214)

The Taliban, the recognized government of Afghanistan at the time, was the official state sponsor of Al Qaeda, a paramilitary force. Al Qaeda fought for the Taliban as normal soldiers against the Northern Alliance to further support this point. Thus, when Al Qaeda attacked us, so did their state sponsor.

Re:No no but hell no. (4, Interesting)

sjames (1099) | more than 2 years ago | (#38718378)

And in retaliation, we attacked......Iraq!

Meanwhile, the Taliban WAS foolish to have anything to do with Al-Queda, but did sever ties with them. It's fairly clear that Al-Queda never considered itself subject to the Taliban's orders. Prior to that, the U.S. itself had ties with Al-Queda. Shall we invade ourselves? Perhaps we should declare the CIA a domestic enemy and send the drones to take them out.

Re:No no but hell no. (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 2 years ago | (#38718434)

That last is incorrect- they did find some old gas canisters, labeled in cyrilic, manufactured in Germany, with an expiration date of 1986. So something that could have been misinterpreted as WMDs, WAS found.

Just nothing very active or deadly.

Re:No no but hell no. (1)

Baloroth (2370816) | more than 2 years ago | (#38718494)

"wee"..."to" (instead of too)..."was an is"... and of course, Godwinning the thread. Yeah, looks like it deserves a troll moderation to me. Flamebait might be more accurate, but either way. Also, as the AC above me mentions, Taliban were official sponsors of Al Qaeda, so they did, in effect, attack the US. Don't know how the hell you could consider that part of what he said "indisputable." No one else does.

yea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38717688)

I really hope to see the next war happened on american soil, with bomb falling everywhere and others country saying they attack the US to help them.

anticipatory self-defense (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38717690)

Try using that one in court...

Your honor, I shot my next door neighbour because I knew in a week's time he would start some shit.

Evidence? (1)

earls (1367951) | more than 2 years ago | (#38717956)

Could be a legitimate defense if you have evidence. Real or manufactured - keeping in vein with the article. ;)

Re:Evidence? (3, Interesting)

sjames (1099) | more than 2 years ago | (#38718180)

Nope, you would never be acquitted for that, even if you could prove 100% that he was going to do something next week.

You would be expected to present your evidence to the police and let them handle it. In the case of international actions, that would mean bringing it before the U.N.

Alternatively, you could just be ready when he actually did do something.

Of course it's not self-defense (4, Insightful)

trout007 (975317) | more than 2 years ago | (#38717692)

There is no way this can be considered self-defense. Defense by definition is stopping an aggressor. This is executing people suspected of terrorism without trial.

Re:Of course it's not self-defense (3, Insightful)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 2 years ago | (#38718084)

There is no way this can be considered self-defense. Defense by definition is stopping an aggressor.

So, when a SWAT team shoots someone who has already killed people, has said he's going to kill more people, and shows every sign of preparing to do just that, that's self defense (of the inevitable victims), or not?

How is that different than using lethal force to stop al-Awlaki, who was involved in numerous deaths (and the attempt to kill hundreds in Detroit), swore he's keep doing it, and was haning out with people training, financing, and arming along those lines? He and the guys he was in the middle of the desert (trying to stay out of the way of law enforcement) on the move with were killers, promised to do more of it, were actively engaged in recruiting, financing, and arming and coaching other killers go out and do it. And they expressly pointed out domestic US targets as some of their objectives.

There was absolutely no reason to cost more lives by sending boots on the ground into the desert where he was (deliberately, to avoid just that) running Kill Americans University. Perfect use of a drone strike, and absolutely a defensive act.

Re:Of course it's not self-defense (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38718196)

All right. So you don't care about the US Constitution, the Geneva Conventions, or plain human rights, and will kill (or torture) anyone you consider suspect without prior notice. All for a greater good. Collateral damage be damned.

This raises the question, what is the difference between you and the terrorists (TM)?

Why should we (i.e., the rest of the world) not hate you?

Re:Of course it's not self-defense (0)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 2 years ago | (#38718330)

So you don't care about the US Constitution, the Geneva Conventions, or plain human rights

Why lie? I don't understand why you think that helps you to make a point.

So, do you think that the SWAT team who kills a US citizen who has been killing lots of people and is about to kill more, is violating the constitution?

without prior notice

Oh, please. Al-Awlaki couldn't have had more notice that he was on the take-him-dead-or-alive list. He did everything possible to get in that position, and then went as far away as possible from anywhere that might have reciprocity with the countries he helped to attack. Prior notice? He was where he was, with who he was with, because he was on the most wanted list.

Collateral damage be damned

I see. You'd rather attempt to arrest a guy like that by sending an entire division and its supporting infrastructure into a place like the desert in Yemen, because there's a lot less chance of damage that way, right? You know perfectly well that taking out a couple of vehicles full of killers using the tools we now have (like drones) hugely reduces collateral damage. If we didn't care about that, we'd just carpet bomb the entire zip code. But of course you know that, and you're just trolling for the sake of it.

Re:Of course it's not self-defense (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38718274)

The real question is ofcourse if you would allow an other country to send drones into american soil to kill americans that they think are a threat. The answer is the same in every country. Drones is only allowed in one direction...

Re:Of course it's not self-defense (1, Interesting)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 2 years ago | (#38718562)

The real question is ofcourse if you would allow an other country to send drones into american soil to kill americans that they think are a threat

No, the real question is would the US deliberately allow a group of people responsible for many terrorism deaths, and responsible for a recent attempt to kill hundreds of people in and below an approaching commercial aircraft, to continue to operate, recruit, train, and murder they way around (for example) the hills of Appalachia? No. Such a person/group would be apprehended, and not put into wet paper bag of a prison (a la typical Yemeni lock-up). If the murdering had been done in, say, France, there would have been quick extradition. Completely out of the question in the case of al-Awlaki, and he knew that. That's exactly why he was where he was, operating the way he was, and sending other guys with bombs in their pants to kill hundreds of people while he went on to set up the next guy to do the same.

Re:Of course it's not self-defense (1)

trout007 (975317) | more than 2 years ago | (#38718302)

The way the law works is that the police attempt to capture the suspect and bring them in for trial. If during the capture attempt the suspect takes an aggressive act like shooting at the police the police are allowed to return fire in self defense. You don't send the SWAT team in as an execution squad.

Re:Of course it's not self-defense (0)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 2 years ago | (#38718404)

The way the law works is that the police attempt to capture the suspect and bring them in for trial. If during the capture attempt the suspect takes an aggressive act like shooting at the police the police are allowed to return fire in self defense. You don't send the SWAT team in as an execution squad.

But you sure as hell use them, lethally if necessary, when the bad guy deliberately creates a scenario that makes a normal arrest impossible. The police will use lethal force to defend other people (not just themselves), and that's completely appropriate. And that brings us back to al-Awlaki, who was also in the process of aiding in more killings, and who also deliberately set himself up in a situation that made standard law enforcement a non-option.

Re:Of course it's not self-defense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38718464)

The better question is:

Would a SWAT Team that kills an occupant of a home the team entered self defense, especially if the occupant put up a struggle when armed people break down their door in the middle of the night? Can they justify the killing by saying that the occupant was a danger to others, when they "invaded' their home?

This becomes a slippery slope, in which government agents can use deadly force to eliminate "suspected" people, whether or not there is evidence.

Re:Of course it's not self-defense (3, Informative)

gnick (1211984) | more than 2 years ago | (#38718500)

So, when a SWAT team shoots someone who has already killed people, has said he's going to kill more people, and shows every sign of preparing to do just that, that's self defense (of the inevitable victims), or not?

No, that's not self defense. In that case, unless the suspect was immediately threatening the SWAT team there to execute the warrant or another innocent, if they shoot him they're in serious trouble. If he has a gun to somebody's head or pointed at the team, they can drop him. But even if they know he's already blown up a dozen crowded churches and they find him with blueprints of the church he said he's targeting next, a van full of ANFO, and a manifesto announcing his intent to light it up in 30 minutes time, they'd better take him alive unless there are lives in immediate danger or they'll be facing charges. So, if I understand your purposed case correctly, that is not self-defense.

If it was one bullet, I would agree with you. (4, Insightful)

khasim (1285) | more than 2 years ago | (#38718114)

This is executing people suspected of terrorism without trial.

If it was one bullet, I would agree with you.

The problem is that we use rockets launched from drones. And those rockets take out an entire building when we are "targeting" one person.

There is no way this can be considered self-defense./blockquote>Not only that, but worse. Innocent children die in these "Preventive warfare" strikes (to use the terminology of TFA).

Using one bullet to kill one guy AND NO ONE ELSE would be "assassination". And if the USofA wants to support that, that's one thing.

Using one HELLFIRE rocket to take out a building with the one guy you wanted dead ... and a few other people in his family ... and a few other families with children ... That's a military strike on a defenseless civilian population.

Re:If it was one bullet, I would agree with you. (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | more than 2 years ago | (#38718188)

That's a military strike on a legitimate military target with relatively light collateral damage. You don't get to redefine terms.

But you do? (2)

khasim (1285) | more than 2 years ago | (#38718382)

That's a military strike on a legitimate military target with relatively light collateral damage. You don't get to redefine terms.

Okay, what military was it? Who's their Commander in Chief? Where is their version of the UCMJ published?

Or have you redefined "military target" to mean "apartment buildings"?

Here, why don't YOU define what is NOT a "military target" by YOUR "logic"?

Re:Of course it's not self-defense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38718172)

That's what happened on 9/11. Except it was drones in the beta stage, against the impending financial bubble creators.

How long is it until Iran uses drones to retaliate for "outsiders" killing 5 of its nuclear scientists within the past 2 years?

Re:Of course it's not self-defense (2)

jo42 (227475) | more than 2 years ago | (#38718380)

It's terrorism in itself -- the victim has become the greater terrorist pure and simple.

News For Nerds??!! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38717710)

Is there any tech relevance in this story? No of course not.

Slashdot: bottom feeding for flamewars since 2001. No wonder this site is circling the bowl.

Re:News For Nerds??!! (2)

jimmetry (1801872) | more than 2 years ago | (#38717798)

Stuff that matters.

Re:News For Nerds??!! (1)

g0bshiTe (596213) | more than 2 years ago | (#38718236)

/-chan?

Re:News For Nerds??!! (1)

The Grim Reefer (1162755) | more than 2 years ago | (#38718396)

No wonder this site is circling the bowl.

Funny, my grandfather used to say the same thing about the country too. His grandfather probably thought something similar. I've noticed that my parents are starting to have similar feelings recently. I'm sure in another 20 or 30 years I'll be saying the same. Though I hope we are all wrong.

I self defended the HELL out of those toddlers. (5, Funny)

Kenja (541830) | more than 2 years ago | (#38717716)

After all, they could grow up to be resentful teen agers that could vandalize my property. So I really had no choice but to slit their throats, chop them up into kibble and feed them to the hogs.

What happend to Peace on Earth? (0, Flamebait)

na1led (1030470) | more than 2 years ago | (#38717738)

I thought our Great Messiah (Obama) was going to bring peace around the world? What happened?

Re:What happend to Peace on Earth? (1)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 2 years ago | (#38717796)

just another mega-corporate bitch. jokes on you.

Re:What happend to Peace on Earth? (1)

Fusselwurm (1033286) | more than 2 years ago | (#38718000)

Dont be misled, it's all an elaborate plan that will culminate in freeing us from Evil [youtube.com] ...

Re:What happend to Peace on Earth? (1)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 2 years ago | (#38718146)

I thought our Great Messiah (Obama) was going to bring peace around the world? What happened?

I don't like him. But you can't have peace on earth without shutting down people who consider peace to be against their religious doctrine, and who do things like burn school teachers alive for teaching kids to be literate and peaceful. And the only way to stop them - at their own insistence - is through the use of violence. And why send in and risk troops when you can use a drone, and be far more surgical about it?

Imgine a Beowolf clust.... shit (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38717744)

Jesus Christ, who is the dipshit in charge of /. now, Michael Moore?
I get more than enough news form TV, radio, and frankly, sites that do a damn site better than /.

Its enough that there seem to be multiple stories every week about AGW (Global Warming), much more of this and /. will get the big delete and I'll find somewhere else to get my daily dose of tech NOTD (New Of The Day).

Anyone got any suggestions, since I know this is not going to get better?

Re:Imgine a Beowolf clust.... shit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38717944)

Anyone got any suggestions, since I know this is not going to get better?

Have you tried drugs? I hear drugs allow for extreme escapism.

If you don't want to read about the amazing things happening in the world today and the way technophiles and science geeks intersect with all of it, then you're in the wrong place.

Go hide elsewhere.

already decided, we're going to war (4, Insightful)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 2 years ago | (#38717746)

War gains power, profit, and political coin for those in charge and for their lackeys. The USA will have war without end, what voters want is irrelevant.

Re:already decided, we're going to war (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38717792)

We have always been at war with Eastasia.

Bingo (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38718252)

Follow the money, and it will become clear that behind the smoke and fog, government is a business designed for profit. The key difference between the business of government and a private business is (1) government takes their revenue by force, rather than persuasion, and (2) government doesn't claim profits, because they come under the radar through indirect channels.

There is no question that in the business of government, the more money one commands, the better positioned one is to leverage that cash flow for personal gain. Every last cent passing through their hands is leverage.

That's the weird part. (4, Insightful)

khasim (1285) | more than 2 years ago | (#38718578)

The USA will have war without end, what voters want is irrelevant.

For an example, read through some of the posts here.

There are people in the USofA who seem to WANT endless war.

As long as it is against someone far away and weak enough to never pose any real threat to them.

But send our military in? Hell yeah!
Kill people with drones? Fuck yeah!
Borrow money to do the above? Hell fucking yeah!

that's ok (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38717754)

The americans will get a rude surprise the first time they try to use their new drone air force against another major world power.

Even Iran managed to capture one. You really think a first world nation can't jam the shit out of GPS and their comm links?

Let the yanks have their drones. It just makes them that much weaker, which honestly would be a good thing for the rest of the world, to eliminate their hegemony.

Blah, blah, blah. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38717772)

After all the hot air and general bullshit, at the end of the day, we, the human race, are sending flying guns into the air to indiscriminately, (yes, civilian deaths from drone attacks are plentiful and documented), kill people.

The world is insane, and no amount of bullshitting is going to change that.

You want to stop the madness? Then rather than building flying guns and giving them over to psychopathic leaders [veteranstoday.com] , try testing people for psychopathic tendencies and get rid of them before they ascend to power.

War, poverty and strife would come to an end.

the morality is irrelevant (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38717840)

The morality is irrelevant. For the family of the "collateral damage" the US will be exactly the same as any other terrorist.

This kind of thinking will only result in MORE people thinking that terrorism is a legitimate way to combat terrorists. Guess what the result will be.

Robert E. Lee (5, Insightful)

medv4380 (1604309) | more than 2 years ago | (#38717848)

It is well that war is so terrible -- lest we should grow too fond of it.

Re:Robert E. Lee (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38717974)

well, now that we have drones doing the killing for us, it is becoming less terrible

Re:Robert E. Lee (1)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 2 years ago | (#38718206)

well, now that we have drones doing the killing for us, it is becoming less terrible

Except for the people that the drones are used to stop from their urge to carry on with and expand a medieval-minded theocratic war against modernity, complete with deliberately slaughtered women and childred to show how serious they are. Why risk the lives of troops on the ground when you're putting rabid crazies out of everyone's collective misery?

Re:Robert E. Lee (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38718280)

We are fond of it, though. Every war movie that comes out has loads of people lining up to see them.

When the US was doing it's "Shock and Awe" assault on Iraq, americans were loving it. They love a good show!

Good old business as usual... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38717904)

Is anyone here naive enough to think that we haven't been targeting certain civialians overseas for years??? Does it really matter that it was a drone instead of a laser guided bomb or a sniper round??? This is a game that every government plays. The middle east and south america practically run their regimes with this method.

Nothing to see here, move along...

What about the soldiers? (1)

demiurg (108464) | more than 2 years ago | (#38717912)

I did not read the article, but I love it how the original poster never mentioned casualties among the soldiers. It seems that their lives is simply not part of the equation for him. Are they dispensable ?

Re:What about the soldiers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38717992)

herp derp

Maybe, just maybe, the thesis is that we shouldn't be sending drones or soldiers to shoot up other countries? You're welcome to post about how pacifists get killed first or whatever, but what you ended up posting was less insightful than the average retard.

Re:What about the soldiers? (1)

demiurg (108464) | more than 2 years ago | (#38718106)

I love it how people not intelligent enough to know any history call everybody and their mother a retard.

Re:What about the soldiers? (4, Insightful)

silanea (1241518) | more than 2 years ago | (#38718390)

If they were not dispensable why would we be sending them into lethal danger by the truck-load?

Kill those who would kill you.. (1)

hilldog (656513) | more than 2 years ago | (#38717924)

Is self defense. Any other ethics is plain not of this world.

Re:Kill those who would kill you.. (2)

raydobbs (99133) | more than 2 years ago | (#38718042)

...the real problem is making enemies faster than you can kill them. One could start to argue that you need to kill those who 'could' kill you too - then we'd truly have never-ending war... until some radical nation just decides to end it all, and bring about mutually assured destruction.

Re:Kill those who would kill you.. (4, Insightful)

Kenja (541830) | more than 2 years ago | (#38718130)

So I better kill you, because you said you'd kill me if I was going to kill you.

Warped: Kill those who would kill you.. (1)

bussdriver (620565) | more than 2 years ago | (#38718154)

It is self offense maybe. It is not defense; as you said "those who WOULD kill you" so you are striking 1st and by definition that is not defense. If they declare war/intent then that is the beginning of an attack (although only formal) therefore you can take the defense. Yes, one could interpret "would" in other ways but we are in the context of modern insane geopolitics so that means "would" is purely presumptive and exaggerated or false.

Re:Kill those who would kill you.. (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | more than 2 years ago | (#38718170)

Congratulations, you've just provided a definition for War of Attrition; so long as both sides of the conflict maintain that mentality, mutually assured destruction is all but guaranteed.

A better plan would be to avoid stirring the hornets' nest in the first place.

Re:Kill those who would kill you.. (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 2 years ago | (#38718472)

In a war of attrition, he who has the largest force *after* force multipliers and natural resources are taken into account, wins. Destruction is NOT mutually assured, unless you are talking about 100% equal forces.

For a war of attrition, the United States is almost unbeatable. Our force multiplying technology plus our natural resources means that in any given war of attrition, we could beat the rest of the planet combined.

Re:Kill those who would kill you.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38718178)

yeah, tell that to the judge when you kill that guy you suspected to be a robber because he was walking behind you in that dark alley one evening.

What you describe is the absence of ethics.

Re:Kill those who would kill you.. (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 2 years ago | (#38718442)

No, Kill those who have *already tried* to kill you is self defense. Anything more is speculation.

Re:Kill those who would kill you.. (2)

silanea (1241518) | more than 2 years ago | (#38718536)

Let me rephrase that as "Kill those who would kill you for invading their homes, establishing oppressive regimes and exploiting your country's resources." Who is defending themselves against whom here, exactly? Pick up a history book and read for yourself which two nations put the vast majority of weapons into the hands of those people the US is now remotely blasting the shit out of, and who trained them and essentially funded them for decades. Hint: It is the same two who on several occasions very nearly turned the whole world into an irradiated waste land over their big heads.

People around the world do not need all that much encouragement to resent and attack the USA and the rest of our Western countries; we have given them more than enough reasons.

the answer to the puzzle... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38717966)

Q. A fat man and a thin man are each hurtling down the cliff in your direction. If either one hits you, you die. However, you have a gun. What should you do?

A. Shoot the lawyer asking the question, twice.

its true (1)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 2 years ago | (#38718034)

And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?

And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men,

Re:its true (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38718076)

who is able to make war with him?

Well, I know this Nordic guy...

RIGHT MOTHERFUCKERS !! FIRST THE LAWYERS !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38718048)

Then the terrorists !!

Then the fat and especially ugly people !!

Then the skinny and especially ugly people !!

Then all republicans (we know they are all crooks) !!

Then all the democrats (we know they are all kommies) !!

Then everyone else !!

Ahh, finally, world peace !!

New Label = Profit! (3, Informative)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | more than 2 years ago | (#38718068)

From summary:

...that the reduction in civilian casualties and destruction of property means that the drone attack comports better than most other methods with the principle of discrimination.

relabel every corpse created as a "terrorist" or "enemy combatant," and bang! Less "civilian" casualties.

Winning the hearts and minds, one bullshit semantic after the next; the sad part? it fucking works.

What sheep we've become...

Re:New Label = Profit! (2)

ducomputergeek (595742) | more than 2 years ago | (#38718400)

It's been kind of interesting to watch the differences of culture here. Our doctrine of trying not to cause "civilian" casualties is seen as attempting to be noble and of a military/cultural doctrine that grew out of European warfare and mentality. The Geneva Convention sort of works with a european land war because most of the cultures have at least some common stance on morality and ethics. I've often said that outside of Europe the Geneva Convention need not apply, because it doesn't. The cultures are much difference. Just look at the general treatment of POW's by Germany vs. Japan in WWII to see that difference.

In the middle east and Arab cultures, our hesitancy is seen as a sign of weakness and used against us. If the enemy is unwilling to wear a uniform then you have to treat everyone as hostile. This creates a problem for a lot of people. Take Fallujah. Instead of sending in the marines house to house we could have just cordoned off the area with the marines and army and sent in the B-52's to carpet bomb until there was nothing left and do it publicly. It is a message Arab populations understand very well and will respect. No it doesn't solve the problem of the circle of hatred and violence, but nothing will in that part of the world. This current spat with the Saudis et. al on one side and Iran on the other has nothing to do with oil or Shia vs Shiite Muslims. It has to do with Arabs vs. Persians. It's a fight that been going on for the better part of at least 3,000 years now. The whole Shia/Shiite thing is just the latest justification, that is all.

Not a war, never was. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38718140)

The American occupation of Iraq was not a war. A war has two armies. A war threatens civilians on both sides. A war cannot be decided to be over on a particular date by one side. Please, stop referring to it a as war!

We have never been at war. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38718272)

Who said it was a war? Isn't the troops in Iraq finishing up Operation something or another?

It's an operation; not a war!

Afghanistan is Operation Free.....or something or another and they're there to free those people from the Taliban, get Osama, and keep them from growing drugs. And we're doing all this with the blessings of the people on every side! Why the Pakistan people are just dancing in the streets that we're eradicating the Muslim Terrorist threat - heck, when we got rid of Osama in that Pakistani city, the locals were just outraged that we didn't do it sooner! Same goes for the government - Osama owed a lot of back taxes or something.

Our involvement over there was justified, necessary and has brought peace and safety to the region.

Got to go! Hannity is back from break.

Self defense, USA style. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38718268)

*kick*
How dare you attack my foot with your face??
Now I gotta defend myself!
*kick*

Strictly within the context of TFS.... (2)

rts008 (812749) | more than 2 years ago | (#38718284)

IMHO, any preemptive military action is damned difficult to justify as self-defense.

However, I cannot agree with the stated argument that poses this question to start with:

From the summary:

Let us assume the principal ethical argument pressed in favor of drone warfare â" to wit, that the reduction in civilian casualties and destruction of property means that the drone attack comports better than most other methods with the principle of discrimination. If this is so, then we might conclude that a just cause alone is sufficient to justify the attacks...

Bush is blamed as the source in this essay, but he was just the most recent and blatant example since WWII.
Think about it...we can blame WWII on Pearl Harbor, but since winning that one, we started becoming more meddlesome globally.
Korean War(War on Communism)-we got run out
Vietnam War(War on Communism)-we got run out
Global(War on Drugs)-we are losing that one
Global(War on Terror)-we lost that one as soon as we declared it a 'War'
Not to mention Panama, but we did have one winning moment in the clusterfuck of Granada!

And we are continuing that decades old losing streak in the Middle East to this day.

Methinks there could be a pattern here.....

Re:Strictly within the context of TFS.... (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 2 years ago | (#38718532)

You forgot the "nuclear weapon" that Reagan dropped on Tripoli, but I guess Obama and the UN recently finished that one off.

Just kill everyone (0)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 2 years ago | (#38718350)

that way you will be sure that noone will try to attack you, in any future. Finally some reasonable use for all those nuclear warheads.

death to (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38718496)

all jihadi scum! behold the face of mohammed: (_|_)

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