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  #21  
Old 20.10.2012, 19:02
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Re: Drones: Political assasinations by governments

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Of course not, you simply shoot them when they are attacking. But if they are not wearing an uniform are they technically criminals and not an enemy army. So they need to be trialed in a civil court as such and do not enjoy the benefits POW do. This was the core of the entire guantanamo story - suddenly was there a large number of captives that did not fit in any standard category. No POWs, but not common criminals either - let alone that Afghanistan was in no position to safely lock them up. Out of that dilemma was the worst route taken and they were locked up indefinitely in terrible conditions in some legal vacuum. And ten years later still are...



Not at all the same thing.
Sniper: There is an enemy on the roof of the third building from the right.
Drone: Here is biometric data of Taleban suspect A. Fly over village X and try to locate him.

So the difference is that a sniper is a soldier IN BATTLE shooting an UNIDENTIFIED enemy soldier.

A drone flies into enemy territory, identifies an individual person, typically a comander, and assassinates him. Not at all the same thing.

Have there been strategic assassinations before? Sure, especially the Mossad is famous for it. But it has never happened in an automated fashion and in the scale of the last years. It really changes the paradigm of how the US lead the war in Afghanistan - the problem was that the Taleban are backed by the tribes just accross the border in Pakistan. So they could strike and quickly retreat into a safe place as the US troops would not dare to go into Pakistan. The right thing to do would be to sort the shit out with the Pakistani leadership that have in the last decade blatantly betrayed their official ally US (while happily taking the military aid and other goodies). So the entire drone war is a very immoral and bad substitute for good diplomacy.



This is might be your opinion and I fully agree that a special operation to catch OBL was morally more than justified - but it simply is not legal. And neither are the drone strikes. The US violates a foreign countries' territory an power monopoly. Right now the US can do so... because they have the military and technical ability to. That does not give them a legal right at all.
About "But if they are not wearing an uniform are they technically criminals and not an enemy army. So they need to be trialed in a civil court as such and do not enjoy the benefits POW do"

So how would you propose to pluck them out of some remote village & transfer them to to a court?
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  #22  
Old 20.10.2012, 19:13
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Re: Drones: Political assasinations by governments

Killing individuals by drone is no different, in principle, between picking them off via sniper fire. So it is assassination.

I don't particularly have a problem with government leaders assassinating each other. Might make them think twice about declaring war if they personally were at risk. Maybe the Taleban should change tactics and hire a few people to find some grassy knoll.
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Old 21.10.2012, 12:21
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Re: Drones: Political assasinations by governments

The drone strikes have been going on for years, and there is a lot of data to analyze and and lot of questions to answer. Is it legal? How many people died from the strikes? How many civilians died from the strikes? What impact on everyday lives of people the drones have by flying 24 hours a day and bombing without warning? What are the results of the drone strike practices?

There is a report that covers these any many more questions http://livingunderdrones.org/report/

"In the United States, the dominant narrative about the use of drones in Pakistan is of a surgically precise and effective tool that makes the US safer by enabling “targeted killing” of terrorists, with minimal downsides or collateral impacts.
This narrative is false."
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Old 21.10.2012, 12:25
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Re: Drones: Political assasinations by governments

So you might see a political assasinations by government, I see it as killing some known assassins before they kill you or me. Isn't it rather ironic that the original 9-11 attack was by aircraft, and now we have people moaning that some terrorists are being bombed out of the blue.

Isn't it a bit strange there has been no UN resolution condemming this matter? Maybe the United Nations know more about this than you or I?
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Old 21.10.2012, 12:56
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Re: Drones: Political assasinations by governments

Precedent being set by Obama and no one will be able to cry foul from here on...Remote control attacks can now occur across the globe and targeted assassinations is increasingly becoming commonplace

Let's not forget who initiated this new form of killing, the same ones who created every other weapon of mass destruction...Pot meet kettle, you're black
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Old 21.10.2012, 13:22
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Re: Drones: Political assasinations by governments

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So you might see a political assasinations by government, I see it as killing some known assassins before they kill you or me. Isn't it rather ironic that the original 9-11 attack was by aircraft, and now we have people moaning that some terrorists are being bombed out of the blue.
For you are all those Muslims the same, right? You sound like "just aim for the towel"...

The guys getting bombed with those drones are TALEBAN. That's some religious nutcases running parts of central Asia. They are not terrorists attacking with planes, that would be Al Quaeda. They are a guerilla army that protected bin Laden when he was hiding in Afghanistan, nothing more nothing less. Their commanders are therefore closer to "normal" military commanders than a "killer". They fight the American forces in open combat along the Afghan Pakistan border.

I would not want any Taleban living next to me and for me do they all deserve to get shot during their ambushes. But the point where I apparently do not agree to some others here is simple: I do not agree that any terrorist or guerilla or anything else or in between is so terrible that we should give up the moral high ground. When it comes ot "defending" do I strongly believe that we should defend our values and achievements, not just our wealth. And some of those achievements simply don't go with the way these drone attacks are carried out. Mainly the division of power as I do not agree that any person in any countries executive should be allowed to decide a death sentence. The comparison with a sniper is simply not correct. That some operative identifies some guy with computer systems and then decided to kill him based on "intel" is simply completely against my definition of our values. Especially given the track record of US "intelligence"...

I am against the death sentence per se, but if has it got to come from an independent judge after a fair trial. Because those guys who get killed right now are so far nothing but suspected Taleban leaders - and that is not in itself a crime. You will have to have proof what he actually did. If they attack - shoot them. If they don't - try to catch them on a suspicion. If they resist arrest - shoot them... The current development is a terrible example for anyone who cares about human rights. That is in itself bad, but even more so in the situation we are now - "the West" demonstrates that when the shit hits the fan they do not really care about our values, the geneva convention or human rights. We simply kill who we think deserves to die. That makes it pretty difficult to discuss with the bad guys of this world why they should play by the books. I have a hard time telling why some African dictator needs to show up in the ICC in Den Haag and western leaders who started wars based on lies to the public can retire in peace. And I do not see how a US leader can be credible if he orders some drone attacks in the mornng and in the afternoon bashes China on their human rights record. That just does not add up.
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Old 21.10.2012, 23:23
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Re: Drones: Political assasinations by governments

Seems you do not always need Drones;
Russian security forces have killed 49 militants in an operation across the North Caucasus region, where rebels are fighting to carve out an Islamic state, Russia's top anti-terrorism body has said.
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Old 22.10.2012, 08:43
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Re: Drones: Political assasinations by governments

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For you are all those Muslims the same, right? You sound like "just aim for the towel"...

The guys getting bombed with those drones are TALEBAN. That's some religious nutcases running parts of central Asia. They are not terrorists attacking with planes, that would be Al Quaeda. They are a guerilla army that protected bin Laden when he was hiding in Afghanistan, nothing more nothing less. Their commanders are therefore closer to "normal" military commanders than a "killer". They fight the American forces in open combat along the Afghan Pakistan border.

I would not want any Taleban living next to me and for me do they all deserve to get shot during their ambushes. But the point where I apparently do not agree to some others here is simple: I do not agree that any terrorist or guerilla or anything else or in between is so terrible that we should give up the moral high ground. When it comes ot "defending" do I strongly believe that we should defend our values and achievements, not just our wealth. And some of those achievements simply don't go with the way these drone attacks are carried out. Mainly the division of power as I do not agree that any person in any countries executive should be allowed to decide a death sentence. The comparison with a sniper is simply not correct. That some operative identifies some guy with computer systems and then decided to kill him based on "intel" is simply completely against my definition of our values. Especially given the track record of US "intelligence"...

I am against the death sentence per se, but if has it got to come from an independent judge after a fair trial. Because those guys who get killed right now are so far nothing but suspected Taleban leaders - and that is not in itself a crime. You will have to have proof what he actually did. If they attack - shoot them. If they don't - try to catch them on a suspicion. If they resist arrest - shoot them... The current development is a terrible example for anyone who cares about human rights. That is in itself bad, but even more so in the situation we are now - "the West" demonstrates that when the shit hits the fan they do not really care about our values, the geneva convention or human rights. We simply kill who we think deserves to die. That makes it pretty difficult to discuss with the bad guys of this world why they should play by the books. I have a hard time telling why some African dictator needs to show up in the ICC in Den Haag and western leaders who started wars based on lies to the public can retire in peace. And I do not see how a US leader can be credible if he orders some drone attacks in the mornng and in the afternoon bashes China on their human rights record. That just does not add up.
The reality is that it is not only "Taleban" who is getting bombed with those drones.

About "values and achievements" -- these are only the tools designed for protecting innocent people from getting hurt. These "values" have no value in themselves, they are only valuable if used as instruments of saving people from injustice. You said nothing about the innocent victims of the drone strikes but worry about the "values". If not for serving people, then what do you need these "values" for? Apart from using them as arguments in your political discusions.
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Old 22.10.2012, 10:07
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Re: Drones: Political assasinations by governments

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The reality is that it is not only "Taleban" who is getting bombed with those drones.
Well, it surely isn't al Quaeda, is it? That was the thing most people in the west did not get: Pakistan was more than willing to help the US to catch al Quaeda terrorist. Those guys are a wild mix of Arabs who streamed into Afghanistan and from there retreated into Pakistan. They are some foreigners nobody really wanted in Pakistan.

The Taleban are different as they are locals. They are not some guerilla like the FARC hiding in jungle camps, but pretty normal pashtun guys who happen to be fairly religious. Like the rest of that part of Pakistan they are hiding in. So the country was not really helpful at arresting and handing over their intermarried cousins and uncles.

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About "values and achievements" -- these are only the tools designed for protecting innocent people from getting hurt. These "values" have no value in themselves, they are only valuable if used as instruments of saving people from injustice. You said nothing about the innocent victims of the drone strikes but worry about the "values". If not for serving people, then what do you need these "values" for? Apart from using them as arguments in your political discusions.
I frankly do in short not believe that the Pakistani civilians who are hosting Talebans are that innocent. If I surround myself with active partisan fighters should I not be too surprised if a rocket hits my house. The whole point of the drones is that thet carry out extremely targeted attacks. Sure can things go wrong, but my grandparents have witnessed a war where neither side had an issue with carpet bombings on civilians. So we have already come a long way, no?

My issue with the "how" seems like a technicality to some, but it really opens up pandoras box. Just as the CIA torture flights and camps did. As soon as somebody mentions "Muslim terrorist" do the most basic rules not apply anymore because they have attacked us first... if it was not so serious would it really sound like one Kindergarden. I don't think our values are just a tool to defend innocent people, they are more than that and define us and our cultures. Probably is it specific to my German background - it simply is today deep in our culture that we do not trust politicians. Most certainly not to decide about life and death. This power to hand out death sentences and carry them out on the spot has a latin name in the late Roman empire: Fascism.

I do not like it and I do not think we should fall back to it whenever things are not easy...
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Old 22.10.2012, 10:23
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Re: Drones: Political assasinations by governments

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So you might see a political assasinations by government, I see it as killing some known assassins before they kill you or me. Isn't it rather ironic that the original 9-11 attack was by aircraft, and now we have people moaning that some terrorists are being bombed out of the blue.
Yes it is ironic. However, why should we condemn the first but not the latter?
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Old 22.10.2012, 10:27
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Re: Drones: Political assasinations by governments

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About "But if they are not wearing an uniform are they technically criminals and not an enemy army. So they need to be trialed in a civil court as such and do not enjoy the benefits POW do"

So how would you propose to pluck them out of some remote village & transfer them to to a court?
That is a technicality, but does not matter! No one has the right to execute these people without a trial.
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Old 22.10.2012, 10:31
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Re: Drones: Political assasinations by governments

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It may annoy as the local population if it feels "no right to revenge" but I don't care about that. It's called technological advantage. They tolerate those nutjobs, too bad.
You can't be serious about that! So if you would live in a bad neighborhood with lots of criminals, it would be fine for the police to bomb the house nextdoor (killing you and your family) as you TOLERATE those nutjubs, too bad. This would apply to quite some neighborhoods around the world, be it Baltimore, DC, New-Orleans or some run-down outskirt of London.
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Old 22.10.2012, 10:43
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Re: Drones: Political assasinations by governments

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Fact is, we no longer (if we did) live in a world where armed conflict is between two countries in a declared (ie, declared via diplomatic channels).
Indeed, the last time America (and also the last time the UK) declared war was in 1942.
Both countries have been in multiple conflicts since then, but not an official war since WWII. Therefore......
Oh, and because the USA has refused to sign up to the International Criminal Court it can do whatever it likes without having to worry about prosecution. (unlike the UK, which prompted the brilliant film noir satire 'the hunt for Tony Blair')
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Old 22.10.2012, 11:54
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Re: Drones: Political assasinations by governments

After reading some of the responses on this thread, I have a couple of thoughts to add.

1. Values and moral high ground are wonderful concepts, but for them to be valid, we must be alive, so I consider it ultimately more important to preserve life than a moral abstraction; we can work to atone for a moral wrong, but cannot return from the dead. That being said, the US administration has its first responsibility to preserve the lives of its citizens, second the lives of innocent third parties, and last the lives of self-described enemies of the US.

2. When these terrorists intentionally cohabitate with innocent third parties or intentionally surround themselves with children, women, farmers, etc simply to use these potential "collateral casualties" as tools of their own propaganda machine, who truly bears the moral burden of these lives? Al Qaeda uses these people simply as human shields or, in death, as propaganda tools to further their own twisted aims. American soldiers, in contrast, routinely put themselves at additional risk to try to protect innocents. US leadership eschews strategies that unnecessarily put innocents at risk, instead choosing precision strikes.
This is not to say that innocent lives aren't lost in the conflict, nor am I saying that the US can't do better, but I am saying that the US has chosen to fight these conflicts in as humane a fashion as I think can be done at this time. No state, in the history of mankind, has EVER fought in as humane a manner as the US is currently attempting to do.

3. With regards to bringing these individuals to trial, the US is a sovereign nation and can determine for itself whether these individuals are combatants or criminals. If the former, the US is obligated to fight them, the latter, to attempt to detain them. Additionally, these individuals, by their own admission, do not recognize human jurisdiction over their actions; they believe they are answerable only to God. By this philosophy, they would not recognize the results of any trial process valid, even if it were held in an Islamic country, using
Islamic law, and presided over by esteemed Islamic judges. So, any trial would be propagandized as a "show trial". If the "defendants" are imprisoned, they become martyrs-for-life, and if executed, martyrs-for-eternity, but before this happens, they have the entire trial to build their cult of personality and spread their poisoned word.

Ultimately, this is a tough subject, because it requires leaders to make huge value judgements that impact lives, and global policy.
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Old 22.10.2012, 12:43
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Re: Drones: Political assasinations by governments

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About "But if they are not wearing an uniform are they technically criminals and not an enemy army. So they need to be trialed in a civil court as such and do not enjoy the benefits POW do"

So how would you propose to pluck them out of some remote village & transfer them to to a court?
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That is a technicality, but does not matter! No one has the right to execute these people without a trial.
For me it is not a technicality; I get really fed up with people who want to ban things without offering an alternative solution.
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Old 22.10.2012, 23:32
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Re: Drones: Political assasinations by governments

Rising in popularity

France is planning to senddrones into Mali as part of an international intervention to free the west African country from al-Qaida-backed insurgents who control large swaths of its territory, according to reports
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Old 26.10.2012, 01:38
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Re: Drones: Political assasinations by governments



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Rising in popularity

France is planning to senddrones into Mali as part of an international intervention to free the west African country from al-Qaida-backed insurgents who control large swaths of its territory, according to reports
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Old 26.10.2012, 11:51
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Re: Drones: Political assasinations by governments

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I am not a Muslim, but still: Why do you automatically associate terrorism and Muslims?


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I am afraid guessing your nationality w/o looking at your datasheet first is not too difficult, is it?

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Old 26.10.2012, 12:27
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Re: Drones: Political assasinations by governments

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Did you earn that reputation by being a racist?
Well by all means, move to the Islamic world if its so great. I did.... I lived there for several years. Half of my employees in Africa are Muslim and I fly a couple of them every year to Hajj.... I dont mind Muslims. I dislike hateful people, AND people who like to pretend that the world is rosy. It seems as if you like to pretend that there is no such thing as cultural diversity in this world.

The world is not a friendly place. The Muslim world is no different.

But you can keep pretending if you would like.
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Old 26.10.2012, 12:54
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Re: Drones: Political assasinations by governments

Before Sept 11th it was the French who were the worlds experts on spying in the Muslim world. When the SAS needed info on anyone in the Islamic world they would go straight to the DST. After Sept 11th, when the USA had zero intelligence on terrorist targets, they went straight to the DST and today their entire program is built around French intel.

A former colleague of mine (Eric Haney) is now an author and commentator of sorts on this subject. We were talking about this use of drones by France and he noted that this marks the first time the French have not led in this kind of matter in the Muslim world. Why? Because the French dont want people to know that its them who are killing certain persons.

So what do you want? Do you want bad-guys to disappear and never be heard from again (the French solution/And Nazi solution), OR do you want a somewhat more transparent tool that is part tool and part propaganda (the Drone solution)? Its the same thing in the end. The only difference is what the media is able to write about.



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France is planning to senddrones into Mali as part of an international intervention to free the west African country from al-Qaida-backed insurgents who control large swaths of its territory, according to reports
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