Monday, February 6, 2012

The thing that most angers me about this... that somebody is sure to say, "So what? They're Muslims."

U.S. drones targeting rescuers and mourners
As the report notes, it’s particularly remarkable that these findings come on the heels of President Obama’s recent boasting about the efficacy of drones and his specific claim that the policy has “not caused a huge number of civilian casualties”, adding that it was “important for everybody to understand that this thing is kept on a very tight leash.” Compare that claim to the Bureau’s almost certainly under-stated conclusion that it has “found that since Obama took office three years ago, between 282 and 535 civilians have been credibly reported as killed including more than 60 children.” And targeting rescuers and funeral attendees of your victims is quite the opposite of keeping the drone program on a “very tight leash.”

These would be war crimes if they were being done to our people. But the only thing anybody knows about Waziristan ... well, nobody knows anything about Waziristan, including how to spell it. So who gives a shit? Just a bunch of Hadjis, good riddance. Pisses me off.

And of course "Top Officials" are shocked! Shocked! that anyone would impugn the efforts of the great government that's Keeping Us Safe From Terrorism:
A senior American counterterrorism official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, questioned the report’s findings, saying “targeting decisions are the product of intensive intelligence collection and observation.” The official added: “One must wonder why an effort that has so carefully gone after terrorists who plot to kill civilians has been subjected to so much misinformation. Let’s be under no illusions — there are a number of elements who would like nothing more than to malign these efforts and help Al Qaeda succeed.”
Possibly when Obama claims the drone attacks in foreign countries "have not caused a huge number of civilian casualties,” he refers to the probable fact that those countries still contain people who have not (yet) been killed.

I'm sorry, I know it's unpatriotic and all, but at some point we have to start asking ourselves who the terrorists are. I don't know how true it is, and I'll certainly never learn the truth by listening to the administration talk about it, but it does make a certain amount of sense:
You know, the number of Taliban is increasing in Waziristan day by day, because innocents and rescuers are being killed day by day.

Joel gets called a "milquetoast" again in 3 ... 2 ... 1 ...

H/T to Balko.

UPDATE: Oh, by the way...


GunRights4US said...

You'll get no argument from ME.

If foreign troops came to America... I'd kill them. I wouldn't care what their stated intentions were... I'd kill 'em. I wouldn't care how many hospitals or schools they built... I'd kill 'em. I wouldn't care how much aid money they doled out...I'd kill 'em. I wouldn't care how much candy they handed out to the kids... I'd kill 'em.

Borepatch said...

I'm reserving judgement. Salon is probably as reliable as Newsweek ("Koran in the toilet").

I'm going to wait for confirmation on this one.

Joel said...

Borepatch, I won't say I didn't have the same thought. The report was also quoted in the NYT, no enemy of the government.

Brass said...

I wonder if the drone pilots were repeating the mantra: "US-ahu akhbar, US-ahu akhbar, US-ahu akhbar, [IMPACT] US-AHU AKHBAR!" as they guided a Hellfire into that group of innocent human beings.

Anonymous said...

Slate in general may be as reliable as Newsweek in general.

Glenn Greenwald, though, is a mensch and a man who does his homework.

Anonymous said...

Every time one of my coworkers calls me over to view one of those U.S. military drone videos of Muslims being blown up or shot up with flying body parts, I wonder if that was MY family member's death being viewed for entertainment, if I might harbor some grudges toward the U.S.

Anonymous said...

Yeah I hate it when I see five terrorists burying a bomb in the road and they get blown up by those who are fighting the terrorists. I too jump with joy when those terrorists succeed in killing some school girls and mothers for daring to not cover themselves and submitting to their fathers at home. Lets here it for the terrorists. Hip hip hooray !

What! Are you all blind? Useful idiots...

Brass said...

Anon @ 12:07?

Nobody here supports terrorists. What is a terrorist? Isn't it someone who deliberately targets civilians to achieve a political goal or to send a message?

Hiroshima. Dresden. Hamburg. Tokyo.

Is the nature of the act suddenly and magically changed when the perpetrator is wearing a State costume?

Joel said...

There had to be at least one.

Anonymous said...

"Hiroshima. Dresden. Hamburg. Tokyo"!!!

Are you kidding? Arguably the bomb on Nagasaki and Hiroshima saved millions of lives. Probably a couple million Japanese lives who would have died fighting if the emperor hadn't surrendered. Dresden where the Germans made munitions and weapons that were allowing the German army to continue their death and destruction in Europe. Would you prefer that we didn't stop that??? The problem is you are too sheltered and our media does a poor job of showing what happens under the despotic rulers in some of these countries. 50 million people died in WW II. IF we could have been more effective and built and used the nuclear bombs faster and bombed Dresden earlier millions and millions would have been saved. Once the dogs of war are unleashed there is very little actual "control" you just react. If we can prevent another world war by fighting a "skirmish" then, yes some people will die and some may indeed be "civilians" but that is sure in hell better then 50 million. WW III will probably have casualties measured in billions. We really really want to avoid WW III.

What I find odd is you become hyper over a few civilians killed in Afghanistan or Pakistan, who may or may not actually be civilians, and are totally blind to the thousands killed everyday at the hands of these radical muslims. There are at least 20 different countries around the world where the muslims are killing non-muslims everyday. Where are your tears for them? And how do you suppose we stop that by praying??? We ARE at war. The radical muslims declared open war on us over three decades ago and they have been expanding and accellerating the killing. And all you can do is cite Hiroshima and Dresden as though you actually knew what you were talking about!!! You are a useful idiot. It's coming to a pitched battle very soon, maybe you will finally see the light but I doubt it. They intend to pull off something that will make 9/11 look good by comparison. Maybe a nuke, maybe a dirty bomb. What will you say then?

Brass said...

Anon @ 4:09,

I'm not kidding in the slightest. Do you know what MacArthur said about the use of the atomic bomb? General Cater Clarke? General Carl Spaatz? Curtis LeMay? Eisenhower? Admiral Leahy? Those were the people who were around when the decision was made. Go find out what they had to say about the decision. About why that decision was made.

The Japanese military was totally defeated. Its factories could be bombed ten times faster than they could rebuild them. Their navy was dead. Their last few aircraft were being flown into a few ships in desperation. There was no reason to invade. The Japanese were utterly defeated militarily, as many of the aforementioned men confirmed. They had already sued for peace.

The civilian city centers Dresden and Hamburg were deliberately targeted. That's murder. You'd probably have called it bloody murder if the Germans had bombed Philadelphia, Boston or Baltimore.

Funny, how only 8 years earlier, senators and congressmen were squealing about how, by bombing Chinese civilian city population centers, the Japanese had "violated every law of God and man." The victor writes the history, doesn't he?

Thousands of people being slaughtered by the radical Muslims every day? Boy, they have a lot to catch up with the hundreds of thousands killed during the ten years of sanctions, following the deliberate attack against the sewage and water treatment plants (complete with documented projected civilian fatalities due to cholera and lack of water.)

I'd like a smidge of documentation to back up your claim of "thousands a day," however.

Useful idiot? Have you ever heard of "Nurse Nayirah?" Yeah.

"They intend to pull off something that will make 9/11 look good by comparison. Maybe a nuke, maybe a dirty bomb. What will you say then?"

I'll say this now: there is absolutely nothing the military can do (particularly through their presence overseas) to prevent any determined individuals from slipping across the United State's (yes, singular possessive) border with a few thousand dollars, and making 9/11 look like a cakewalk. But that's not all: I'll also say that I can single-handedly protect America at least as well as the world's most powerful military did on 9/11/01. You're welcome.

I realize, too, that you're simply a consequentialist. There's really no point in discussing the morality of anything with you.