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  1. #21
    WALMART
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beorn View Post
    It's not just the use of drones (although the deaths of 160 children would tell me he hasn't been responsible with their use) it's the way he goes about it.

    What do you think happened before drone strikes? We simply didn't kill anyone? No, we flew a helicopter or jet in and bombed them manually. This whole argument is a straw man, an unfounded perception by the opponents of Obama created purely from coincidence (and a healthy dose of paranoia). Any president and any authoritative party in power during these times would be experiencing the exact same amount of flak, simply because unmanned drones are the future of military operations. It's no single person's fault: it's science.


    I bet the Rangers that went to Mogadishu in '93 could mount a mighty fine argument for the positive utilization of drone strikes. A relatively simple snatch and grab, devolving into 1,500+ deaths, many of which women and children.

  2. #22
    LL P. Stewie Beorn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jontherobot View Post
    What do you think happened before drone strikes? We simply didn't kill anyone? No, we flew a helicopter or jet in and bombed them manually. This whole argument is a straw man, an unfounded perception by the opponents of Obama created purely from coincidence (and a healthy dose of paranoia).

    The administration had an american child killed and the requirements for doing so did not require an immediate threat. How can any American not find that genuinely alarming?


    Any president and any authoritative party in power during these times would be experiencing the exact same amount of flak, simply because unmanned drones are the future of military operations. It's no single person's fault: it's science.
    Wow. I expected somebody to "blame the system" but blaming science? Just wow.

    On top of the killing of 3 American citizens you have at least 160 children most of whom are undoubtedly totally innocent victims. How the hell do you know that's justified and that anyone in power would have taken actions that would have resulted in those deaths?



    I bet the Rangers that went to Mogadishu in '93 could mount a mighty fine argument for the positive utilization of drone strikes. A relatively simple snatch and grab, devolving into 1,500+ deaths, many of which women and children.
    You're getting beyond the main issue. The technology may be useful for certain applications, but right now it's limited in it's capacity to do precise killing or live capture in the same way special ops forces can do.
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  3. #23
    Senior Member KDude's Avatar
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    The ironic thing is that going isolationist (which is what I'd prefer) would lead to even more deaths than these drones ever could. The "law" of the earth (and the universe really) is that you're only as strong as your resources. We live in a world that sometimes forgets this. Humans from the very beginning have known this, and were a migratory species. Some lands, even nurtured through agriculture, give out eventually. The middle east is one of these places. It can't sustain itself. The only real backbone is oil, but an isolationist (or alternatively fueled) US would render that backbone worthless. These lands would end up taking their natural course like they're supposed to. The people would not eat, and die. The isolationist US wouldn't bother with aid. Europe has problems of it's own - and might have more problems with refugees from these very countries.

    Anyways, I'm just pointing out the irony of your outrage (and the irony of politicians like Ron Paul and co).

    That's not going to happen anytime soon, so whatever. Since we're going to try to stablize some of it, this whole thing is a damned if you do/damned if you don't clusterfuck. If we stay there and try to provide some stability to the region, it reacts like an unruly patient going into convulsive shocks. If we try to take a step back, and do the best we can with these remote strikes, then everyone goes up in arms when the surgeon hits a wrong nerve.

    You say you want to see more spec ops missions - well, for one, that'd be hundreds of spec ops missions (over 350 drone strikes, I think, in Pakistan alone). We don't have enough "spec ops" to do that much work, in this amount of time, at that quick of a turn of a dime. Those so called imminent threats are monitored by the NSA via sattellite and line monitoring - and when they see a window for mission readiness, you can't fly in soldiers, then infiltrate deep in enemy territory by foot, and expect the situation to remain the same. A drone strike is more efficient. Secondly, people will end up crying foul anyways when these soldiers end up getting dragged through the streets, or having their heads cut off. Nothing is going to be ideal, but some things can be less shitty than others.

  4. #24
    LL P. Stewie Beorn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KDude View Post
    The ironic thing is that going isolationist (which is what I'd prefer) would lead to even more deaths than these drones ever could. The "law" of the earth (and the universe really) is that you're only as strong as your resources. We live in a world that sometimes forgets this. Humans from the very beginning have known this, and were a migratory species. Some lands, even nurtured through agriculture, give out eventually. The middle east is one of these places. It can't sustain itself. The only real backbone is oil, but an isolationist (or alternatively fueled) US would render that backbone worthless. These lands would end up taking their natural course like they're supposed to. The people would not eat, and die. The isolationist US wouldn't bother with aid. Europe has problems of it's own - and might have more problems with refugees from these very countries.

    Anyways, I'm just pointing out the irony of your outrage (and the irony of politicians like Ron Paul and co).
    It's not ironic because I'm not a utilitarian. I want my nation to be as virtuous as it can be given what its duties are. If we're not pursuing virtue and values first then I'm not sure how lives are worth saving in the first place.

    Moreover, I don't see it in the damned if you do or don't way you do.

    That's not going to happen anytime soon, so whatever. Since we're going to try to stablize some of it, this whole thing is a damned if you do/damned if you don't clusterfuck. If we stay there and try to provide some stability to the region, it reacts like an unruly patient going into convulsive shocks. If we try to take a step back, and do the best we can with these remote strikes, then everyone goes up in arms when the surgeon hits a wrong nerve.

    You say you want to see more spec ops missions - well, for one, that'd be hundreds of spec ops missions (over 350 drone strikes, I think, in Pakistan alone). We don't have enough "spec ops" to do that much work, in this amount of time, at that quick of a turn of a dime. Those so called imminent threats are monitored by the NSA via sattellite and line monitoring - and when they see a window for mission readiness, you can't fly in soldiers, then infiltrate deep in enemy territory by foot, and expect the situation to remain the same. A drone strike is more efficient. Secondly, people will end up crying foul anyways when these soldiers end up getting dragged through the streets, or having their heads cut off. Nothing is going to be ideal, but some things can be less shitty than others.
    The thing is that it's our very presence that's creating the need to stop attacks. I don't think they're stopping attacks on the states they're stopping attacks on soldiers, contractors, bases, and allies. Once Obama finally gets us out of afghanistan (much later than he promised) then we might see a drop in these attacks later on in his term and into the next presidency even if Rand isn't elected.

    Will the area go to shit? Probably. But, we can't stay there for a hundred years like McCain wanted. And we can't just keep propping up corrupt governments. Eventually, they'll stabilize on their own and they'll have the government they allow themselves to have. If that governement is hostile to the U.S. then we should enact a containment policy like Rand has argued for. But, I think the sooner that dead children killed by drones stop showing up in Muslim newspapers the sooner we'll have better chance at establishing genuine Relationships with these countries that aren't based on us giving their corrupt leaders money and weapons.
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  5. #25
    Senior Member KDude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beorn View Post
    I want my nation to be as virtuous as it can be given what its duties are. If we're not pursuing virtue and values first then I'm not sure how lives are worth saving in the first place.
    Well, if domestic virtue is your chief concern, you should direct some of that righteous fervor towards Rand Paul himself. He wants to repeal the Disabilities Act of all things, and joins the likes of Strom Thurmond in thinking the Civil Rights Act should have never been passed.

    Anyways, good luck (seriously).

  6. #26
    LL P. Stewie Beorn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KDude View Post
    Well, if domestic virtue is your chief concern, you should direct some of that righteous fervor towards Rand Paul himself. He wants to repeal the Disabilities Act of all things, and joins the likes of Strom Thurmond in thinking the Civil Rights Act should have never been passed.

    Anyways, good luck (seriously).
    Nice potshot at Rand.

    Ugh, the above is what we would call in policy debate a time-suck argument. It takes you a couple sentences to make and requires several paragraphs for me to answer. It's also why conservatives don't have public opinion on their side on these issues insuating that a conservative is racist and favors discrimination only takes a second while explaining a nuanced political position takes longer than the average american's attention span can handle.

    I didn't watch the video, but I probably mostly agree with Rand.

    The key to what I said was, "given what their duties are."

    I believe in subsidiarity. I don't support moralizing (and arguably unconstitutional) legislative acts that are beyond the scope of the federal government's duty and don't protect fundamental rights... And even then I'm not so sure as I don't believe in a federal ban on abortion or even murder for that matter. It's the same reason why I don't support the US federal government forcing students to pray. I think prayer in school is a good thing for everyone, but I'm not going to force my moralizations on a nation. Whereas, the left is all too willing to push their moral agenda on everyone.

    I would support efforts to help the disabled and racially discriminated on a local level. But, I've grown up on the east coast my whole life and I would not feel comfortable telling people in San Francisco what their moral responsibility is in how they should treat people. Note that this not a novel idea and most crimes which are moral in nature were historically determined at the local level. We didn't need a federal law to ban murder even though everyone agrees murder is bad. Although, now we have a growing list of federal crimes which is ridiculous.

    If we do determine that certain excluded people have fundamental rights to access private property that is otherwise open to the rest of the public and that needs to be protected at the federal level then at the very least there needs to be an amendment to the constitution as I don't think such such a law is within the scope of the commerce clause, the 5th amendment, or 14th amendment.
    Last edited by Beorn; 02-07-2013 at 02:58 AM. Reason: Just a few additions and changes... It's late.
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  7. #27
    Cheeseburgers freeeekyyy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beorn View Post
    Senator Rand Paul gave a speech today at the Heritage Foundation that might be looked back at as a career landmark speech with possible ramifications for the country and world.
    I like Rand Paul generally, but I don't think he's quite right on that. I don't like the term "isolationism," and don't think the US should be totally closed off from the rest of the world, but militarily speaking, we shouldn't be involved in any situations where our presence isn't absolutely necessary for our own defense. I guess though that to get anything done, you have to take steps, and can't leap immediately to the end goal. Convincing the public and congress to back a slow withdrawal from military involvement is easier than convincing them to immediately close all foreign bases. (which, even I think would be extreme by the way)
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  8. #28
    Senior Member KDude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beorn View Post
    Nice potshot at Rand.
    It's not a potshot. You started making this about virtues and values, in the abstract. Suddenly I found it easy to think of Rand's naive domestic ideas. Your desire for a virtuous America is a loaded statement. It's very open ended. We can go back to talking about drones if you want (not much else to say though).

  9. #29
    WALMART
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beorn View Post
    The administration had an american child killed and the requirements for doing so did not require an immediate threat. How can any American not find that genuinely alarming?

    I don't plan on taking my child into a hostile territory to conspire against my nation, for starters. An American life is no more or less valuable than the countless lives we've forever taken from people in the past using more traditional means of battle - which, by the way, produce just as many (probably more) casualties than this new approach to conducting business.


    Wow. I expected somebody to "blame the system" but blaming science? Just wow.

    On top of the killing of 3 American citizens you have at least 160 children most of whom are undoubtedly totally innocent victims. How the hell do you know that's justified and that anyone in power would have taken actions that would have resulted in those deaths?

    I am blaming the system; welcome to the machine. Nikolai Tesla wrote of drones and their applications in the military theater almost a hundred years ago. Even he saw this as the new frontier of military technology, it simply makes sense in every conceivable category compared to traditional methods of battle operations.


    I address your second concern, loss of children's lives, above and below this section of my response.


    You're getting beyond the main issue. The technology may be useful for certain applications, but right now it's limited in it's capacity to do precise killing or live capture in the same way special ops forces can do.

    Again, Special Forces = Army Rangers. Army Rangers are not infallible, and when this proves to be true many, many people die. There are stories of Rangers firing into a crowd of sitting children purely out of necessity, for they were sitting on the back of a prone self-proclaimed genius sniper. My ex-Ranger manager would detail to me how many countless bodies his team solely had been responsible for shelling across both invasions of Iraq. For some odd reason (and it astounds me he carries this knowledge) I don't think they were all enemy combatants.




    My argument is laid out on the table, no more cards to draw from - battle today is an extension of business as usual in the world - including the 'extrajudicial' murder of Americans.

  10. #30
    Cheeseburgers freeeekyyy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jontherobot View Post
    Again, Special Forces = Army Rangers. Army Rangers are not infallible, and when this proves to be true many, many people die.
    Not that this matters at all, but the term special forces in the Army generally refers more to green berets than rangers. Just a side note.
    You lose.

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