|Urkel Forever - 2013-03-16 |
The face of the Republican Party for the rest of my life.
I always read whatever hatred and ridiculous self-congratulation and revisionism that Dick Cheney is spewing since leaving office.
He's like a captured serial killer justifying himself and taunting the victims from death row.
I'm glad I was alive for the very end of the Carter administration - at least there has been ONE honorable human being in office in my lifetime.
I never thought I'd live to see a president worse than George W. Bush.
Just wait till you see their next president!
-Solro from 2028
|Pillager - 2013-03-16 |
"The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary."
H. L. Mencken
|Oscar Wildcat - 2013-03-16 |
There goes two trillion on the credit card...
probably six trillion before its over
in return, we removed an evil dictator who was no threat to our national security, and destabilized the entire middle east
let's cut health care!
Current projections are in the trillion range as of 2014 so your guess is pretty good.
|Maggot Brain - 2013-03-16 |
Fucked up so bad his own party disowned him. That's got to hurt. Also Reagan/Goldwater in 2014!
Except they're thinking about running Jeb in 2016.
This is a guy who is just as much of a Randroid-spouting Christian zealot as his special-needs ex-president relative, except he's got enough unburned brain cells left to direct the dumb shit without a Sith VP using him as a sock puppet.
The moment someone makes a four second video of a picture of Jeb Bush with Granny from Beverly Hillbillies yelling "JEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEED" over it, his campaign is over.
Wow, we really thought Jeb was the worst case scenario back then, didn't we?
|Binro the Heretic - 2013-03-16 |
In the 1980s, I thought no politician would ever be able top Reagan for sheer ass-headed evil.
How I wish I'd been wrong.
I find myself getting more and more pissed off at Obama lately over the continuation of the huge mess in the middle East, too.
To fix that, Congress is going to need to repeal the AUMF, or at least define its limits more precisely. In the meantime, Congress has put the job of anti-terrorism in Obama's lap, and like a competent overachiever, he's going to err on the side of taking action.
On the one hand, many many civilians are dying needlessly because of drones, and that's unacceptable. On the other hand, knowing what you know now, would you have begrudged a drone strike against bin Laden in 1998? The point of drone strikes is to prevent another massive terrorist attack -- in this country or another -- and at least in concept it's hard to argue with that. So I'm not convinced there are any really good answers here; maybe the best we can hope for is a better review process to make sure that we're going after justifiable targets.
Side rant: I object when people try to lump drone strikes in with the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars. Drone strikes are not being conducted against the governments of countries like Yemen, nor is there a territorial objective. Assuming we're actually going after terrorists (this is where a better review process would help), we're targeting people who pose a genuine threat to this country and others. Even then, it needn't be a death sentence for them. If they don't like being on the drone list, they could always find a more reputable line of work, like child pornographer or slave trader.
"If they don't like being on the drone list, they could always find a more reputable line of work, like child pornographer or slave trader."
Are you fucking kidding me?
"The point of drone strikes is to prevent another massive terrorist attack -- in this country or another -- and at least in concept it's hard to argue with that."
Yeah, that strategy has worked so very well, historically. I mean, who ever heard of the Palestinians? The Israeli Department of Pre-Crime hauled them all in and killed them off in droves and punished innocent relatives and killed civilians until the whole problem went away.
Something escapes me, though. Who funded and armed Bin Laden back in the 80's or thereabouts? It's right on the tip of my tongue, but I can't quite remember...
asian hick: no, I'm not fucking kidding you. If we're going after terrorists, ceasing to be one is a possible way to not be gone after. There are issues of intel, but again, I'd like to see Obama's strikes reviewed more thoroughly to make sure we've truly got justification for drone strikes.
SteamPoweredKleenex: it's really neither here nor there that the CIA armed and trained Afghani rebels in the 1980s, unless you think Clinton had a time-travel device that he chose not to use. So I'll put the question to you: suppose Clinton had possessed drone technology, and could have killed bin Laden once and for all in 1998. Would you have begrudged him the drone strike?
"I don't think you can honestly say drone strikes are making us safer."
No, I can't. But you can't say they're not either. Even if we had access to the intel Obama is using, it would be impossible to assess whether anyone we've killed would have gone on to be the next bin Laden, killing hundreds or thousands of civilians. This is a trolley exercise from ethics class but in real life ... and if you remember those trolley exercises, there are no simple right and wrong answers.
"You don't want to be arbitrarily killed? Don't end up on the arbitrary kill list!" Brilliant reasoning, Bort.
You're assuming that the kill list is completely arbitrary, with no rhyme or reason to it. There's a healthy distrust of authority and then there's going off the deep end and believing authority figures are literally supervillains.
Yeah, I'd like to see more transparency on the decision process behind the drone strikes, but not for a second do I believe Obama is just picking names out of a hat for random murderfests. Like that 16-year-old who was a target: even his supporters concede he was al Qaeda, but are quick to add he was "just a propagandist". I wonder where they get their intel from, is it better than Obama's?
I am against drone strikes because we have Jack Bauer to magically root out all the terrorists.
I want to hear more about how killing Bin Laden preemptively would have ended terrorism forever.
For that matter, I'd like to hear more about there being proof Bin Laden was actually behind 9/11.
I'm not saying he wasn't, I'm just saying I've never seen any proof beyond the old confession video, which isn't proof of anything other than Bin Laden taking credit for it.
"No, I can't. But you can't say they're not either." Oh yes I can; it's obvious more people are hating on the USA because of drone strikes. Look at Pakistan: we're not just pissing off extremists there, we're pissing of just about everyone including their military and intelligence community. At the least we're violating their sovereignty - not to mention that of Yemen's.
The most blatant problem with your reasoning is astounding though: you're putting the burden of proof on skeptics of your position that drone strikes are justified and making us safer, which is made all the more comical by the fact that the very reasoning is CLASSIFIED.
"I want to hear more about how killing Bin Laden preemptively would have ended terrorism forever."
Never said it would have, only that it would have derailed operations that bin Laden was planning.
"For that matter, I'd like to hear more about there being proof Bin Laden was actually behind 9/11.
"I'm not saying he wasn't, I'm just saying I've never seen any proof beyond the old confession video, which isn't proof of anything other than Bin Laden taking credit for it."
You are going pretty far out of your way to not admit that, in bin Laden's case a drone strike would have saved a lot of lives. Since you refuse to go there ... we've got the 2800 or so who died on 9/11, plus the people who died as a result of the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan, plus the people who died as a result of the invasion and occupation of Iraq (which could not have been sold to the US public without some sort of Pearl Harbor-like event).
Which of course does not mean that all drone strikes everywhere are justified, only that such a thing exists as a justifiable target whose death makes us safer (and not just our country, but other countries as well). So, how many people currently targeted for drone strikes are justifiable? I don't know and neither do you, but if you're going to be honest, you're going to admit (if only to yourself, very quietly) that some of the people we're going after may qualify. Which is why I am not in favor of eliminating drone strikes so much as making sure they are conducted with proper oversight, to confirm justifiable targets and to keep civilian casualties as low as we can.
"So Bort has moved from 'we're only killing terrorists' to 'nobody knows if we're killing terrorists' without abandoning his support of the drone program along the way. Fucking horrifying."
Your reading skills are shit. From my very first post I have said that we need a better review process to make sure we are going after justifiable targets, so no, I don't take it on faith that we're targeting only terrorists. Even then I acknowledged that perfectly innocent civilians are dying as well and that is unacceptable; again, very first fucking post.
Would it be too much trouble to expect you to actually understand my arguments before attempting to refute them? Here are some questions a smart person (smartER, anyway) would ask me:
- So what's the acceptable ratio of innocent civilians we kill to hypothetical lives saved in a drone strike? Obviously it's going to involve some fuzzy numbers, but surely there must be loose criteria that make it acceptable to you, so what are those criteria?
- You say that the AUMF should be revisited, better guidelines supplied, and a review process instituted. While we're at it you might as well wish for a pony too, because the current fucked-up Congress will never assume the responsibility for anti-terrorism, not when it's much safer for them to bitch when we are too proactive and also when we are not proactive enough. So any noises you make about reforming / repealing the AUMF are just noise. With that in mind, how long do you think the administration should go on doing exactly what it's doing now, without the oversight you want? Is there any point at which you think the administration should say enough is enough?
- Have you factored in the possibility of us pissing off not just everyday citizens in downtown Yemen who are relatively unlikely to be able to take action against us, but also the odd government official with access to biological or chemical weapons? Are we doing anything to mitigate that risk?
I shouldn't have to be doing your work for you.
You know what, Bort. Nevermind my questions. Your opinions on this sicken me and I don't want to talk to you about this any more.
Bort, you don't have the first fucking clue how our government decides who lives or dies. Your response boils down to "Trust the government! I'm sure they know what they're doing." You'll have to forgive me if, as we discuss on a page about the Iraq War, I am a little more skeptical than you.
And before you bleat out "But I think there should be more oversight!" it's clear that it doesn't matter that much to you. If it did, you'd want the drone program stopped NOW until that oversight exists. You have given no indication that you do.
Really, though, this discussion is largely irrelevant. The larger point is that our government is killing people without any sort of due process or even oversight. If you were a true liberal, that would fucking horrify you. As it is, you are nothing more than an Obama apologist.
"So I'll put the question to you: suppose Clinton had possessed drone technology, and could have killed bin Laden once and for all in 1998."
And that would've prevented 9/11? Or it would've prevented something worse? Where's that time machine you keep talking about, because as long as we're playing "what if" I could list a raft of consequences of having drone tech. What if Bush and Cheney had access to it? I'd say the Middle East would be FAR more unstable, but hey, my time machine's in the shop.
Given that any military-age male in any strike zone is counted as a combatant, it's not like we're being terribly selective when we pull the trigger. Darn those people for being so picky about all the bystanders we're blowing up...
John Holmes Motherfucker
>>What if Bush and Cheney had access to it? I'd say the Middle East would be FAR more unstable, but hey, my time machine's in the shop.
Clearly. They did have access to drone technology, and they used it. Far less than Obama, because they preferred invasion. Invasion is far more destabilizing, in my opinion.
Another 9/11 would mean more Republican administrations, more invasions and more mischief, for us and for the the world. If drones strikes are preventing more 9/11 events, I'm for them, and at this point, I'm convinced that SOMETHING is. I would have expected it by now.
Since that's more than I can ever know, I'm glad there's opposition. Even if he's saving the world, Obama needs to pay a political price for doing it in secret.
I was going to let this drop because everyone's said their peace (maybe), but then I bumped into an interesting Web page:
http://www.juancole.com/2013/03/numbers-pakistan-illegal.html< br />
According to this page -- which is pretty adamantly opposed to drone strikes -- 2200 people in Pakistan have been killed in drone strikes in nine years, and between 400 and 600 of them were non-combatant civilians. So somewhere between 73% and 82% of the people killed were at least potentially justifiable targets.
On the one hand, that's still between 400 and 600 people who were completely innocent of wrongdoing (18% to 27% of the people killed). On the other hand, those of you who have been framing drone strikes as utterly arbitrary and conducted with no regard for civilians, are probably very wrong.
I hate to fuck things up with numbers (and numbers where any bias would be in your favor), but there you have it.
Bort, you still don't get it. These people were killed by the government without due process. That is antithetical to everything a liberal democratic society stands for. What you are doing is nothing more than simplistic "ends justify the means" bullshit. And those ends are pretty weak to begin with.
Only 600 innocent dead? The rest at best "potentially justifiable"? An at best 80% success rate? That's fucking atrocious. No legitimate system of justice with that record would be tolerated. Are the standards lower because they're not Americans? Because they're bad men?
Those statistics do not help your case at all. If that's the best you can do to apologize for Obama, you should probably drop this.
No, I'm with Bort now. Not even casinos have the odds that much in their favour. 70-to-80% possibly terrorists! That's probably a winning score in Drone Strike Simulator on Bort's iPhone. A+ score! Negligible loss of random, nameless, innocent human life! Press go to proceed to the next level.
|The Mothership - 2013-03-16 |
Has it been that long? Time flies when you're having fun.
|Robin Kestrel - 2013-03-16 |
This sounds a lot like the exposition at the start of a video game.
|MongoMcMichael - 2013-03-16 |
Thanks for ruining my Saint Patrick's Day.
|EvilHomer - 2013-03-16 |
Those sure were some dark days for America. Good thing the Party of Peace eventually came to power and we put all this behind us.
Now we've got more important things to think about, like state run healthcare, and those crazy Teabaggers complaining about government encroachments on their civil liberties!
Five for reminding us what a bastard Bush was.
|chumbucket - 2013-03-16 |
"War is simply the continuation of political intercourse with the addition of other means." - Carl Von Clausewitz
|Caminante Nocturno - 2013-03-17 |
It's going to take a couple of generations to live this man down.
|Quad9Damage - 2013-03-17 |
You guys might not understand what it was like living in the South at this time, having people like your own mother snap "Have you FORGOTTEN what happened to your country and those people on 9/11!?" when you calmly noted that this war was completely unnecessary and would financially wipe out this country.
Bush had this horseshit in mind from the very beginning. 9/11 was his golden ticket, an event akin to divine intervention. He could not have been handed a greater opportunity to take advantage of our fear, our paranoia, and our uncertainty to push us into invading a nation that just happened to be across town from the other brown people we were 'helping.' So many people were so broken and confused by 9/11 that they honest to God thought SADDAM had run the goddamned planes into the buildings.
There's also a lot of evidence that he, Cheney, and the other people who really should've faced some kind of actual inquiry (letting Bush & Dick testify TOGETHER was the height of hypocrisy) basically lost their shit when 9/11 happened. These were paranoiacs from the Nixon era, don't forget. Cheney was especially bitter since he finally got some power under Nixon right when Congress decided that an Imperial President was a really bad idea. He did all he could to claw back as much executive power and privilege as he could, and the GOP marched in lock-step and scared the Dems into mostly going along with it (not that their votes were needed at the time).
And here's the thing: Obama's doing some really bad shit right now (though I find it amusing that it took this long for Rand Paul to get upset about drone strikes and a lack of oversight), but the GOP set the stage. I said over and over to these wingnutters that whatever power they were giving Bush would be available to someone they DIDN'T like down the road, but they just clung to their retarded demigod and let him do whatever he liked. Thanks a bunch, assholes.
|Ocyrus - 2013-03-17 |
I remember being in a humvee in Kuwait, listening to this asshat explain why he was sending us to kill Iraqis. I felt sick to my stomach, not because we were actually heading into combat (I'd already done a tour in Afghanistan), but because it didn't feel right. Sure, Saddam was a bad guy, but there were plenty of bad guys out there, we hadn't gotten OBL yet, and I thought we should've tied up those loose ends before getting into something else. The whole sham was exposed to me early on, when my unit's secondary task, aside from engaging the enemy, was to escort oil industry engineers to the wells, pumping stations, and refineries... while paying the same oil companies /gal for fuel.
|Riskbreaker - 2013-03-17 |
and thus the new dark ages began
|Jet Bin Fever - 2013-03-17 |
NEVER FORGET... what a bunch of evil sonsabitches these fuckers were.
|Old People - 2014-12-09 |
Morality and consequences aside, god that shit was exciting.
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