February 13, 2012

"Voters Are Gung-Ho for Use of Drones But Not Over the United States."

76% favor the use of drones to kill terrorists, but when asked about using drones for surveillance — not even killing — only 9% are drone-friendly.

This gives real insight into how Americans perceive rights: We see ourselves as having strong rights as Americans. We don't have an international human rights perspective.

Remember the famous debate between Justices Scalia and Breyer about using foreign law in the interpretation of the U.S. Constitution? I live-blogged it here:
Justice Scalia [says] it might be "nice" to know our law is like that of the rest of the world, but it isn't. The Framers would have been "appalled" if you'd have told them what they were doing is making us like the rest of the world. They didn't have much respect for European countries. He notes that Madison was contemptuous of countries that were "afraid" to let their citizens bear arms.
We think we're different. We think we're special.

92 comments:

The Drill SGT said...

We think we're different. We think we're special.

I'm fine with that.

Liberals don't seem so sure...

chuck b. said...

We are. We're so different we have Mexican drug cartels tending massive pot farms in our national parks. Europe can't boast that distinction.

If the drones will be used for killing them, I would support drones.

traditionalguy said...

What's not to like? Duck hunters will get free target drones.

But how long does it take to arm the drones? A few hours, and maybe some are pre-armed?

Hellfire missiles roaming around in the sky like local news helos sounds like intimidation to me.

Freeman Hunt said...

I think it depends on the country. I don't think drone approval would be high if we were using them on allies or other liberal democracies.

Kiru said...

There's a critical difference you're ignoring. Americans are fine with drones as weapons of war, and think of them as reasonable in any case where a manned jet would work just as well.

I would be less personally offended if we had drones circling Berlin (than Minneapolis), but I would understand and probably agree if Germans went ballistic over it.

Scott M said...

We think we're different. We think we're special.

We are. Demographic, geographic, economic, culturally and historically, we are different. A debate can be had as to whether or not we're "special", but let's define that word in the context of this discussion before the jingoism and America-hate ensues.

Special in the sense public school education seems to want everyone to believe that they are? IE, if everyone is special, nobody is.

Or, special in the sense that there are unique characteristics about our nation? If this one, see above for "different". In this sense, every nation on Earth is "special".

As to the world view of human rights, why should I care the term is defined by a group of diplomats sitting in New York, who tend to put one or two absolute barbarians on their committee for human rights violations every time the membership changes over.

Andrea said...

P.J. O'Rourke on our foreign policy: "Whatever it is that the government does, sensible Americans prefer that the government do it to somebody else." (From Parliament of Whores.)

By the way, I am totally okay with drones used against Americans. I have a list.

Jay said...

We see ourselves as having strong rights as Americans.

Which is probably a good idea considering we are Americans living in America.

We think we're different

We are different, and one only needs to go to across the northern or southern border to see how much so.

We think we're special.


I think America is unique and special. Why don't you?

Carol said...

In all practicality, rights must be enforced. I don't like the idea that we would always be obliged to enforce rights everywhere else. It's nice sometimes, but the practice is not sustainable. Even when we do it via the UN, the onus always seems to be on us.

bagoh20 said...

"We think we're different. We think we're special. "


Correction: We MADE ourselves different and special, and we can unmake it too.

Now that would be kind of a rip off to the millions who gave up everything to come here just to also be different. That would be a bait and switch. We should honor our advertizing, and didn't we used to have a guarantee that we honored too.

Hagar said...

We are at war, but this thing of using UAV's for assassinating our enemies around the world needs to have a lot more discussion and oversight than it has now.

bagoh20 said...

Q: "I think America is unique and special. Why don't you?"

A: Higher education

Amexpat said...

Most major cities use helicopters for law enforcement surveillance or to assist in the pursuit of suspects. Don't see anything wrong with using drones for the same purpose if they are more cost effective.

G Joubert said...

It's a little thing called American exceptionalism. Libs don't believe in it. And they want to dispel any notion of it.

ricpic said...

Americans believe (well, a majority I hope) that the ordinary man is potentially extraordinary. To this day that is very much a minority position in the rest of the world. In that sense Americans are special.

edutcher said...

They had a name for this years ago.

Nacht und Nebel - Night and Fog.

One day they're there, next day they vanish in the night and fog.

So, um, how big is the Lefty drop dead list these days?

PS After this comes non-person.

bagoh20 said...

We will regret this creeping state, especially with the technology it will have soon.

Vote for people who respect you more than they do their own judgment. It's a rare quality.

Tank said...

In most of the important ways we used to be very different, we're less and less so each day.

If Zero is re-elected, by the time he's done, there will be almost zero difference, and we'll be just another bankrupt country like Greece.

In fact, even if Zero Light is elected, we're probably going there.

rhhardin said...

The drones are for nonsovereign countries that can't stop terrorist organizing on their own. We do it for them.

Nobody was proposing killer drones over France.

phx said...

We think we're different. We think we're special.

I'm fine with that.


Cool.

"So we can do whatever the fuck we feel like" not-so-cool.

traditionalguy said...

Clint Eastwood should control his own squadron of drones.

Make my day, you apparent terrorists!

Hagar said...

So, exactly who in our government decide what countries are "non-sovereign" and who are, or are not, terrorists?

Seeing Red said...

Transformational we're not - we're failures like the rest of the world.

Seeing Red said...

Countries don't have allies, they have interests.

Thorley Winston said...

The results make sense to me – given that the technology used to create unmanned drones for surveillance/attacks will eventually be in the hands of our enemies (both State and non-State supported), I would prefer it if the people responsible for guarding our homeland took the tact that any unmanned drone flying in US airspace is assumed to be an enemy weapon targeting our civilians and destroyed it on sight.

tim maguire said...

We are special.

And we do have an international human rights perspective, but it has more to do with how each government should treat its own citizens. We are comfortable with our government doing things in other countries for our protection that we would not want them doing here.

Every country's foreign policy is built on a different set of assumptions and expectations than its domestic policy. It's childish to expect otherwise.

Seeing Red said...

Nobody was proposing killer drones over France. Dammit! America's Oldest Enemy!



It's red on red there, we don't need them.

Seeing Red said...

"So we can do whatever the fuck we feel like" not-so-cool.



Better us than someone else.

phx said...

And we do have an international human rights perspective, but it has more to do with how each government should treat its own citizens. We are comfortable with our government doing things in other countries for our protection that we would not want them doing here.

I'm sure the idea is that people's human rights should be respected wherever they are.

tim maguire said...

Kiru said it better and more succinctly.

The distinction between drone and not drone is more war versus peace than foreign versus domestic.

The failure to make that distinction "gives real insight into how" Rasmussen perceives America and Americans.

edutcher said...

Ann Althouse said...

We think we're different. We think we're special.

The Euros only had sissy sword fights.

We invented the shootout.

tim maguire said...

phx, thanks for quoting me, but I would prefer you quote the whole thing--the part you cut out is pretty important to my point.

Hoosier Daddy said...

"... This gives real insight into how Americans perceive rights: We see ourselves as having strong rights as Americans. We don't have an international human rights perspective..."

Maybe that's because we don't see ourselves as murdering jihadists.

phx said...

Tim I'm sorry I didn't mean to distort your meaning. I was only making reference to the idea that human rights is mostly important in the context of how governments treat their own citizens.

I believe human rights extends equally towards protecting humans from not just their own government but from anyone who would disregard their rights.

These aren't rights that come from the state AFAIK.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Americans also highly respect and admire our armed forces but I don't think many want to see the 3rd ID patrolling downtown Chicago either.

David R. Graham said...

Trite but true: any right has an equally powerful, and inseparable, responsibility.

Deeper than human rights are human values. There are five: truth, proper conduct, love, peace, non-violence.

See those into operation and the differences between rights/responsibilities and pretenses/chaos vividly self-identify.

edutcher said...

Hoosier Daddy said...

"... This gives real insight into how Americans perceive rights: We see ourselves as having strong rights as Americans. We don't have an international human rights perspective..."

Maybe that's because we don't see ourselves as murdering jihadists.


No, I think it's more like we really do see ourselves as special because we're Americans; we don't see ourselves as Citizens of the World - except for the Lefties, of course.

Alex said...

How can Americans claim to hold the moral high ground when we're A-OK with SWAT teams busting down granny's door to get some pot?

David R. Graham said...

The drones are being used to murder for regime protection solely, behind CIA secrecy screen. There is no war-fighting in it, no national security interest, no GWOT, no honor, no construction, no national strategic mission or aim. Simple murder, with lots of innocent civilian death, by an evil, self-preserving regime

Crickets. But not forever.

Actual lines of loyalty and desire on the ground in AFPAK would sound unbelievable to most.

David R. Graham said...

"...but I don't think many want to see the 3rd ID patrolling downtown Chicago either."

To include the Americans comprising 3ID.

jrberg3 said...

"We see ourselves as having strong rights as Americans. We don't have an international human rights perspective. "

As if those targeted by drone attacks have any concept of human rights!

And the references to drones are in a military sense in the article. I would imagine most Americans are fine with using the A10 Thunderbolt in assaults on our enemies but would have a problem with them being used by police departments in the U.S. as well.

David said...

NIMBY.

RichardS said...

Are we special? If we polled other countried and asked them about using drones inside their border or ourside their borders, what would they say?

And what about multiculturalism? Is it reasonable to think all countries will have the same moral ideas? Not if they're free, I'd say. That's diversity.

machine said...

Do any of you know anyone from another country? Are you superior to them? What makes you superior?

Just curious...

Hagar said...

I am from another country.
And, yes, I am superior to you.

Methadras said...

We are different. We are special. We see the rest of the world as uneducated dolts who ravage themselves in their 8th world unflushed shit-holes. We expect our leaders to not pass laws that spy on us, but to kill our enemies wherever they lurk and to use those instruments at our behest, not against us. And if they do use them against us, there will be a reckoning.

Methadras said...

Amexpat said...

Most major cities use helicopters for law enforcement surveillance or to assist in the pursuit of suspects. Don't see anything wrong with using drones for the same purpose if they are more cost effective.


Law enforcement in the commission of a crime to use the tools to stop a crime and apprehend suspects is completely different than a 24/7 drone literally trolling the skies relaying video on everything.

Rusty said...

We think we're different. We think we're special.


Yep,


Machine said,

Do any of you know anyone from another country?

yeah. Cuba.

Are you superior to them? What makes you superior?

I'm not a progressive.

cheers

tom scott said...

Elizebeth Price Foley in her new book "The TEA Party: Three Principles" discusses American Exceptionalism in the first chapter title "Genesis."
What. Another female law prof??

machine said...

...that's what I thought...

Scott M said...

...that's what I thought...

You childishly preen yourself, thinking you're correct in your assumptions simply because your poorly worded question didn't initial a flurry of rebuttal?

I don't know if you're from another country, machine, but I'm confident I'm superior to you in this respect.

Amexpat said...

Law enforcement in the commission of a crime to use the tools to stop a crime and apprehend suspects is completely different than a 24/7 drone literally trolling the skies relaying video on everything.

I didn't say that the drones should be used to relay video on everything 24/7. But I see nothing wrong with them being up in place to react quickly when something happens.

And how is it different than patrol cars trolling the streets on the ground now, aside from that it is more cost effective? When I lived in LA in the late 70's, it was very common to see police copters up in the air doing what appeared to be routine surveillance.

Geoff Matthews said...

I support the use of drones for patrolling oil pipelines, railways, national parks, and other sensitive areas that have low-population density.
I'd prefer the national guard at the border, but that's controversial.

Cedarford said...

I don't think you will see great resistance to adaptation of unmanned aerial vehicles SIMPLY BECAUSE SOME IDIOTS see them as INITIALLY USED BY THE MILITARY!! And the libertarian fools consider drones a usurpation of "sacred by gol-given freedom!"


A lot of technology initially used by the military, developed by the military, moves on to police and general commerce use.

Man&vehicle portable radios.
Computers.
Helicopters.
M-16s used by SWAT.
Most police sidearms.
DNA testing developed for military ID use.

The savings to industry and taxpayers to realize drone technology benefit and - "switch" from 100K a year helo pilots, with a compliment of ground crew costs of 270K a year, the 3 million dollar helos for much of the work that can be done by drones - is compelling.

Some potential for abuse is there on privacy grounds - building-penetrating radar, etc. But drone technology is coming to law enforcement, farming, forest management, disaster relief, commercial fishing, maritime shipping control, highway traffic

phx said...

Geoff's got the most reasonable comment IMO

Joe said...

Equipping drones for Search and Rescue would be pretty cool.

I agree with Kiru; where they are used in lieu of a fighter jet or ground support aircraft, they have their place, though even there I'm note entirely comfortable since the military--or at least the public face of it--seems overconfident in their accuracy

So, I also agree with Hagar; I'd like a bit more oversight and honest discussion about their use.

machine said...

...simply in reference to Rusty's post...simmer down...

davis,br said...

Uh, what's going on Ann?

I dunno if it's on purpose, or whatever, but you've just a bit obtuse lately.

Now this.

Whazzup?

Scott M said...

You opened it up to "any of you", machine, basically indicting everyone participating in the thread.

The Crack Emcee said...

We think we're different. We think we're special.

We are, and we are - head and shoulders above the rest.

And we can prove it, too.

Easily.

Robert Cook said...

We're different and special only to the extent we are a nation of laws, a nation that applies the law equally to all citizens, whether of high station or low, a nation that behaves according to our own credo: that "all men are created equal." (This doesn't mean just "all citizens" although we don't even apply this principle to our citizens.)

In other words, we ain't shit.

Cedarford said...

Seeing Red said...
Countries don't have allies, they have interests.
==================
You butchered the phrase.
It has echoed throughout history, it was independently said by many advisors and leaders as a basic truth.

Nations do not have friends, only interests.

And all nations seek good allies..hopefully long term ones..but sometimes just in a certain war or crisis.
Sometimes you get lucky with a neighbor with a common culture and generally common international interests and you get a long term alliance. Australia-NZ, USA-Canada, Brazil-Uruguay-Argentina.

Other times, its just for a productive short time in war..US-USSR, Athens-Sparta.

But we should never swallow the propagandists and boosters of foreign interests here claiming Papa Joe Stalin is our kindly uncle in the same family, China is our friend, the noble Iraqi Freedom Lovers are our friends, Israel is Our Deepest and Specialist Friend of All...etc.
None are.

The Crack Emcee said...

Robert Cook,

We're different and special only to the extent we are a nation of laws, a nation that applies the law equally to all citizens, whether of high station or low, a nation that behaves according to our own credo: that "all men are created equal." (This doesn't mean just "all citizens" although we don't even apply this principle to our citizens.)

In other words, we ain't shit.


I expect you to click the link I posted, watch the video, and then admit to yourself 1) you're wrong 2) you're a moron, and 3) the biggest danger to this country is idiots like yourself, determined in your attempt to demoralize the greatest country on Earth, simply because you're filled with a well-deserved sense of self-loathing.

You're scum, Robert Cook, and it's time you dealt with that maturely, if you're at all capable of doing so, which I seriously doubt - but I'm pulling for you,....

bagoh20 said...

"What makes you superior?"

Being able to discern the difference.

G Joubert said...

I'd wager most Americans praise Seal Team 6 too. But I'd also wager most Americans don't want Seal Team 6 used in domestic law enforcement. I don't see that as a disconnect either.

Skyler said...

We are special. Those that stone women and chop heads off of journalists, not so special.

Cedarford said...

G Joubert said...
I'd wager most Americans praise Seal Team 6 too. But I'd also wager most Americans don't want Seal Team 6 used in domestic law enforcement. I don't see that as a disconnect either.
===================
Don't fall in the trap of thinking that the Navy SEALs are the only elite commando option the US has.

Don't fall in the trap of not considering that much of civilian law enforcement is drawn from military Vet ranks - Marine recon, AF para rescue, Army MP, Marine Rangers, Army and Marine helo pilots.
And not a few ex-SEALs are now gainfully employed armed agents and cops.

phx said...

The good news is the United States is special.
The bad news for you guys is most of you are common and ordinary.

: D

Scott M said...

The bad news for you guys is most of you are common and ordinary.

That's not what all my grade school teachers told me. Are you suggesting the government's official representatives were lying to me?

Peter said...

I'll bet voters also favor providing tanks for the U.S. Army, and presumably the appropriate use of these weapons in any armed conflicts.

But I'm sure few would want to see tanks deployed in Chicago or New York.

Is that a contradiction? Only if there's (another) civil war.

Matt said...

"If you don't have something to hide then why be afraid of drones over your house?" I've heard this type of argument from conservatives in the past with regards to law enforcment and surveillance systems. Why are conservatives suddenly concerned about drones over America?

That said, yeah I don't like the idea of drones.

RonF said...

This gives real insight into how Americans perceive rights: We see ourselves as having strong rights as Americans. We don't have an international human rights perspective.

Sure we do. We think that people everywhere have a right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. We think that people have the right to speak their minds without harassment, fines, imprisonment or execution by governments or people with opposing views. We think that people should be able to freely choose and practice their religion. We think that all people have the right to keep and bear arms.

The list goes on. In short, we think that all people have the same rights we do. However, we know that there are people who don't think this way. They think that we Americans should not be able to speak freely about religion or race or other things they find offensive. They further think that they have the right - in fact, a divine imperative in some cases - to stop us by force.

So in that case, we Americans figure that we have the right to defend ourselves, including through the use of surveillance. And we are not particularly interested in listening to lectures from government, religions or people who countenance shutting up people because they don't like what they're saying, or refusing to arrest and prosecute people who maim their daughters soon after birth or who kill them if they kiss or even just look at a man or if they refuse to marry the man their family has picked out for them, or who decide that speaking unpopular opinions on race or religion can be defined as crimes and justifies locking them up.

RonF said...

G. Joubert:

"It's a little thing called American exceptionalism. Libs don't believe in it. "

Ah, yes they do. They thing that America is exceptionally selfish and violent and the cause of most of the world's ills and that if American was stripped of it's ability to project force and the American populace was stripped of it's exceptional independence of their government the world would be a better place.

Hoosier Daddy:

"but I don't think many want to see the 3rd ID patrolling downtown Chicago either."

Chicago Aldermen have called for the National Guard to start patrolling certain neighborhoods in the West Side of Chicago on the City Council floor within the last year.

phx said...

Ah, yes they do. They thing that America is exceptionally selfish and violent and the cause of most of the world's ills and that if American was stripped of it's ability to project force and the American populace was stripped of it's exceptional independence of their government the world would be a better place.

Just nonsense. Why do you guys listen to that horseshit?

Thorley Winston said...

I've heard this type of argument from conservatives in the past with regards to law enforcment and surveillance systems.

Who specifically have you heard it from?

Beldar said...

Regardless of whether we think we're special, we insist that only we speak for us.

Fen said...

Drones to kill terrorists =! drones to spy on Americans.

We think we're different. We think we're special.

We are.

Seven Machos said...

I am late to this debate. It's not that we think we are special. It's how you define rights.

And how do you define rights? People twist themselves into knots over this shit -- where rights come from, who gives them, whether they are universal.

That's all bullshit. Like with most political issues, Burke sorted out briefly and perfectly. Rights are simply an inheritance -- political benefits we enjoy as Americans because of the awesomeness of Americans before us.

If citizens in other countries didn't have awesome people who came before them, well, that sure does suck for them, but it's not our problem. Unless you fuck with us or get in our way.

Synova said...

Citizenship ought to mean something. It means responsibility and also partiality. I'm sure that you have wonderful children but I like mine better! My country ought to prefer me over someone else's Child. So yes, yes it is right and good that citizens have a special place and special care from their nation.

Fen said...

I would imagine most Americans are fine with using the A10 Thunderbolt in assaults on our enemies but would have a problem with them being used by police departments in the U.S. as well.

With the exception of Janet Reno (D) who likes to suffocate little children with CS gas.

Rusty said...

machine said...
...that's what I thought..





If only.

Rusty said...

And how do you define rights? People twist themselves into knots over this shit -- where rights come from, who gives them, whether they are universal.


According to our founding documents we endowed by our creator with unalienable rights.
They're supposedly the birthright of every human on earth, life, freedom and the right to pursue our own best interests. If this is true, a lot of people are being prevented from exercising theirs.

Seven Machos said...

Rusty -- I don't believe that rights come from God, or any god. It's a nice idea, but the evidence is poor. I do believe that rights follow from a proper concept of the cosmos, but that's a different story altogether.

The rest of your comment is unintelligible.

Fen said...

I don't believe that rights come from God, or any god. It's a nice idea, but the evidence is poor

You can believe that our rights originate from Judeo-Christian law though, yes?

I guess "originate" is a poor choice of word. Doesn't address inalienable.

Revenant said...

You can believe that our rights originate from Judeo-Christian law though, yes?

Only if "Judeo-Christian law" is another way of spelling "Greco-Roman philosophers". :)

Seven Machos said...

Fen -- It seems to me that our rights originate from the unique and glorious history of England its political progeny.

David R. Graham said...

"Marine Rangers"

Surely you mean Army Rangers. Marines do not have Rangers.

David R. Graham said...

"Chicago Aldermen have called for the National Guard to start patrolling certain neighborhoods in the West Side of Chicago on the City Council floor within the last year."

Not the same, not comparable. 3ID and NG are under different commands, legal rubrics, force structures and lethality capacities.

David R. Graham said...

"Just nonsense. Why do you guys listen to that horseshit?"

Simple: you spout it and we wade through it on our way to cleanliness. Find the lotus rising above the muck, etc.

David R. Graham said...

"Citizenship ought to mean something. It means responsibility and also partiality. I'm sure that you have wonderful children but I like mine better! My country ought to prefer me over someone else's Child. So yes, yes it is right and good that citizens have a special place and special care from their nation."

That's not what American exceptional means. It means impartiality and rejection of faction.

SGT Ted said...

In other words, we ain't shit.

And this is the pretense leftist anti-Americans like Cook use to try and make us more like European Countries, which were despised by the Founders for their contempt of ordinary people and the usurpation of their civil rights, which continues to this day.

Progressivism is a 19th century European authoritarian ideology. It is anti-American too.

Yes I said anti-American. Because to want to transform us into what Europe is, you have to be anti-American. We are the "not Europe". I like it that way.

If you want us to be more like France or Canada, I say "Move to France and leave me be as an American."

SGT Ted said...

Marines have Force Recon. Many of them go through the US Army Ranger School. At least they used to.