February 9, 2013

Tina Brown: "I mean, he'd be impeached by now for drones, if he was George W. Bush."

That was her off-topic outburst after Bill Maher said: "The Obama administration has been heavily targeting whistleblowers — true — and information activists. What can we do to hold the government accountable for this harsh crackdown?" (Maher was driving at the Aaron Swartz incident.)

And here's Eleanor Clift calling drones "a blessing."
Well, first of all, drones are here to stay. They are the 21st Century modern tool of war. And in many ways they are a blessing. Much better than bombers because they can be more effective and targeted than bomber planes just raining bombs down. With an enemy that is harbored in various places, in countries where we are not at war with the country, it’s the only way you can really get at them short of invading that country which we did and discovered that isn’t so hot. So I would say they are, they are a blessing. But, they bring all sorts of ethical and moral concerns, and there should be some sort of judicial review....

92 comments:

harrogate said...

With all these people talking about how the drones are a moral problem and rightly slamming Obama for it, can it possibly still be true that nobody's talking about/criticizing Obama's drone program?

This is sort of like Reverend Wright and the whole theme of "vetting Obama," in that sense. Except, of course, the drone program actually matters.

Lem said...

Judicial reviews are the old and tired blessings... drones are the new and hopeful future blessings.

chuck said...

I can respect people with consistent morals that I disagree with, the pacifist position of the Amish for instance. But the left wing opposition to Bush and the war in Iraq, and pretty much everything else they threw at the Republicans seldom had a moral basis, it was pure opportunism employed to gain power. It was why I finally left the Democratic party, the moral corruption was to much to bear and there was no hope it would improve. It is nice to see that there are a few who try to apply a uniform standard, but they are rare.

rhhardin said...

Actually it has review by Congress (via impeachment) and the voters (by non-reelection).

The judiciary doesn't figure into the war powers of the President.

On what basis could it be involved?

rhhardin said...

The moral turpitide of the democrat party wasn't opposing Bush opportunistically but in opposing America opportunistically.

They were the only hope of al Qaeda for several years. Let's keep up the apparently useless terror campaign, because the US is folding.

It worked so well in Viet Nam, which was the first time the democrats did it.

pm317 said...

Eleanor Clift the idiot will miss drones on Saturdays..

BTW, college drop out journolisters have turned to imitating the Onion instead of doing their real job.

edutcher said...

The Lefties once again show their intellectual meanness.

Lem said...

Judicial reviews are the old and tired blessings... drones are the new and hopeful future blessings.

We can rest assured Zero would ignore any old and tired blessing interfering with his use of the new and hopeful future blessings.

Sunslut7 said...

Ann,
Exactly what expertise does Eleanor Cliff have to discuss the relative merits of drones verses manned bombers? She is just another liberal hack who thinks high tech modern warfare will lead us to a low cost easy victory.

A couple of facts for your consideration:
1. Drones are used against lightly defended or undefended targets in mostly 3rd world states.

The weapons load of drones is light. They carry between two and four hellfire misseles on average. The Hellfire is good for destroying a tank, a vehicle, modest building and a small bridge.But it is useless against heavilly fortified targets or massed formations. Only bombers can handle these targets.
It is their long duration loitering ability, their relative low cost, the absence of manned, on-board operators and their ability to operate from remote bases that make them so darn attractive to US politicians. Wait until a home-made drone is used to take out an American politican attending a political rally on the hustings. Imagine a modified Cessna 172 used as a remote drone sand equipped with a single 'home-made' 1000 lbs 'bomb' [IED]. IMAGINE THE PRESS RESPONSE IF THE BOMB DETONATED OVER HILARY DURING A 2014 POLITICAL RALLY. Imagine Al Jazziera covering the story.

There are no drone B-52s as of now on in the future.

Drones are completely dependent on their C3I handlers which are often based in far away lands. Communications are critical. No communications and the drone can only loiter over the target and make recordings that can't be used until comunications are reestablished. In any war with a sophisticated enemy rival our drone control teams would be a very high priority target. Many of these teams are based inside the USA.

The absence of sophisticated air defenses makes the drones appear unbeatabble. When a defender has credible defensive AAA andmissiles then the story will change.

Using drones in A-t-A combat seems possible but we won't know if its a truly effective strategy until its tried in actual warfare. The most probable target would be the PLA of China. I am not anxious to run htis lab test. It smells like a re-run of WWI to me.

Finally, drones are totally dependent on computer code to operate their systems. When the time comes to use these weapons agains an enemy we may finally find out if cyberwarfare is a reality and if our computer systems are stout and reliable. I am not looking forward to this test either.

Clyde said...

Ms. Clift has it exactly backward. We shouldn't be killing people in foreign countries unless we are at war with them, and if we are at war with them, we should not be using scalpel, we should be using a daisy-cutter. Big explosions, big craters, lots of rubble and a whole shitload of pants-filling fear, the sort of thing that makes people more amenable to changing whatever evil behavior caused us to go to war with them in the first place. If you aren't willing to go to war and completely wreck a country in order to achieve your objectives, you have no business going to war in the first place.

kyo said...

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pm317 said...

@idiotCliftit’s the only way you can really get at them short of invading that country which we did and discovered that isn’t so hot
------

How dumb was G. Bush to have invaded a country and how smart is Obama for shooting those drones from his Oval..

Big Mike said...

But, they bring all sorts of ethical and moral concerns, and there should be some sort of judicial review ...

A judicial review that she knows is never going to happen. Unless a Republican wins in 2016.

But basically Clift's sentence is just a fig leaf of sorts, to pretend that she really has some sort of conscience and some miniscule respect for due process.

Maguro said...

Whatever Obama does is a blessing. Peace be upon him.

Big Mike said...

@Clyde, looks like we cross-posted

That's really the other part of the drone program that is problematic. We are killing the citizens of foreign countries with which are not at war, on their countries' own soil.

I guess that's because we can.

Lyle said...

Drones are blessing in the right hands.

EDH said...

And here's Eleanor Clift calling drones "a blessing."

With Clift, it's more a blend between a drone and a screech.

pm317 said...

Made the mistake of watching that idiot Maher's clip -- who are those liberal men without balls?

Bender said...

in countries where we are not at war with the country, it’s the only way you can really get at them short of invading that country which we did and discovered that isn’t so hot

In countries where we are not at war with the country, the use of surreptitious means to commit acts of war in that country not so long ago was called, at best, a violation of the rules of war and, at worst, a war crime.

Luckily for Obama, the only thing that saves him from war criminal status is that the Congress and Bush Administration had previously given notice that the entire world is our battlefield, that a state of war exists in each and every country where al Qaeda and other terrorists are located.

Diogenes of Sinope said...

“In sum, the original meaning of the due process clause is that the President cannot unilaterally kill U.S. citizens he thinks are potentially dangerous.” Obama orders the killing of US citizens without due process. There are times these orders would be acceptable: in combat or when an attack is eminent.

Clyde said...

@ pm317

“We make men without chests and expect from them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honor and are shocked to find traitors in our midst.”

-― C.S. Lewis, The Abolition of Man

Diogenes of Sinope said...

Obama's supporters love him so much that they gladly throw away all their principles to defend Obama. This is one of the fundamental characteristics of Fascism: "The adulation of a single charismatic national leader said to possess near superhuman abilities and to be the truest representation of the ideals of the national culture, whose will should therefore literally be law.".

Hagar said...

Eleanor Clift is right about one thing; the drones are here to stay.
(After that, she is about as off the wall as ever.)

We do need to get a handle on how they are to be used; not only by the U.S., but by other nations and other entities.

First, I think we need to get new definitions of "war" vs. "criminal actions."

This is a new thing, since in the past we have been waging warfare against other nations or states or at least recognizable entities such as the American Indian tribes. Now we have military actions undertaken against us by amorphous forces we do not really have names for other than such undefined terms as "al Qaeda" or "Taliban," which may not be either, but really mercenaries hired by entities we do not want to define, because we are not supposed to be at war with them, and in some cases we are even supposed to be "friends."

I think military action is military action, so that drones sent in support of a military unit under attack is self-explanatory and does not need any particular authorization outside the military chain of command.

Drones used to "assassinate" particular individuals is something else, and this issue, or rather issues, need to be debated and some rules established with regard to such attacks on American citizens or foreigners and on U.S. soil or abroad.

My thinking is that such attacks should only be made on individuals publicly declared "outlaw" with reasons given for the designation by the nation-state or other entity authorizing the attack.

And then there are the cases when it would not be that easy to tell if an enemy was a military entity or not.

But here in the United States I do not think that either the CIA or the Justice Department should ever command military force.

furious_a said...

It's all covered under the Nobel Peace Prize-Winning Drone Strike" exception clause.

bpm4532 said...

If a republican were president, Tina Brown would be foaming at the mouth and screaming for his impeachment instead of calmly suggesting a "notion".

Hagar said...

And its hould be pointed out that though the presnt U.S. military drone system is very high-tech and sophisticated, this is not really necessary for "asymmetrical warfare;" one could cause a lot of havoc with just model airplanes from Amazon and some shadetree modifications and additions.

Diogenes of Sinope said...

At some point people will come to the conclusion that Obama's extra legal, unconstitutional, actions are a danger.

pm317 said...

I am most troubled by the state of the media in this country.. I am not sure how a democracy can survive without true arbiters of information. This country by far was the most astute and sophisticated new democracy. I really feel sad that it is all going downhill.. I mean Obama was AWOL during a major attack on his consulate and people died. Nobody but the opposition press/party is talking about it. How healthy is that?

edutcher said...

EDH said...

And here's Eleanor Clift calling drones "a blessing."

With Clift, it's more a blend between a drone and a screech.


You've been watching "The McLaughlin Group".

Strelnikov said...


It's nice to confirm, through Clift, that the Left has paid no attention to explosives delivery technology since Vietnam ("bombs raining down"), an era in which they seem stuck on most issues.

Freder Frederson said...

Tina Brown is an idiot. George Bush did things just as bad if not worse, with equally (I would say crappier) "legal justification" (e.g., the torture memos, and the deliberately slanted "intelligence" justifying the invasion of Iraq). And I certainly don't remember him being impeached--or even charged with crimes after he left office.

chrisnavin.com said...

Perhaps if Newsweek were still around Clift would still be writing for them

Gene said...

I saw a post elsewhere which raised a good point.

If President Nixon had possessed drones would he have had the authority, under Obama's rules for killing Americans outside a war zone, been able to fire a Hellfire missile at a domestic terrorist like Bill Ayers?

chrisnavin.com said...

Most local police departments will want drones as much as they want increasing surveillance capabilities as well.

Right now I'm most afraid of the technocrats though. All that new technology to better manage us!

The social sciences and quantitative reasoning simply need to be shaped into policy by which the right people have moral authority to guide the ship of State.

The technocrats.

Paul said...

"who are those liberal men without balls?"

There is no other kind. If they had balls they wouldn't be liberals.

wyo sis said...

Nixon couldn't have done that because it took Ayers et al until now to make it possible.

wyo sis said...

And, they only made it possible for liberals.

Mark said...

If a republican were president, Tina Brown would be foaming at the mouth and screaming for his impeachment instead of calmly suggesting a "notion".

Due credit though for noticing the obvious.

Paul said...

If you want to see the epitome of the modern American liberal "male" watch any Progressive Insurance ad.

ricpic said...

Eleanor gets a vicarious thrill
Every time dear leader orders a kill.

Hagar said...

I do not understand this fuss about killing "American citizens."
Other nations may find that more palatable than that we kill their citizens without advance warning.

And, as stated above, I do not think a legitimate government should do either.

And we do need to pull an Alinsky.
I do not think there is any such thing as "international Law" or "the laws of war," but it is all the rage among "liberals" the world over, and we need to make them live up to their own rules.
And for that, first rules have to be established.

Mark said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mark said...

Whatever you think about a targeted assassination via drone (American citizen or not) I can't understand why the practice of "double tapping" (firing one missile, then firing another to take out first responders to the scene) isn't getting any attention.

That's a tactic invented by terrorists back in the 1970's. It is purely evil. Whether or not we have good intelligence on the first target, there's no way the second "tap" isn't going to take out innocent people who are just trying to restore order.

It's almost like someone on high actually likes killing people.

Robert Cook said...

It's plain that Obama is a murderer and war criminal and should be prosecuted for same. He won't be, just as Bush wasn't, and as the next executive won't be for his or her crimes.

It's the succession of executive privilege.

n.n said...

Drones are a tool. Like all tools they serve a purpose. Like all tools they can be used as a weapon. Weapons should not be used indiscriminately.

john said...

Wow, Freder. Saying that George Bush was just as bad as Tina Brown is a real low blow, even from you.

But you are right on saying that Obama has equally legal justfication. I would add that Obama doesn't consider it a necessity.

Derek Brown said...

Mark the first responders to a drone attack on a terrorist leader in a remote part of the Islamic world are going to be a lot different than would be the first responders to a bomb detonation on an Israeli bus or even the first responders to a car bomb in Iraq. For the most part if not in all entirety these responders will be fellow terrorists.

Mark said...

Derek, I call bullshit. The terrorists by this time know to get the hell out of dodge when the shrapnel starts flying. Don't make excuses for a tactic that boils down to "let God sort it out."


john said...

Robert Cook -

Can we at least agree that Garfield was probably not a war criminal?

Achilles said...

First crappy things happen when you go to war. Drones are especially messy business. More people are left burning to death and maimed because of the type of weapons they are armed with. I am pretty sure the "double-tap" is meant for survivors, not responders. Unless things are massively different the OIC had to get a positive ID on a target before firing.

BUT... Were the things that happened in our wars worse than in the peaceful places we didn't go to war? The Sudan sure turned out swimmingly after we declined to interfere in their business. It is much fun to bash Bush about killing people in Iraq than it is to complain about not stopping a genocide that killed more than 10 times as many people as OIF. I am sure the women in Sudan that were rounded up and raped in mass were appreciative of Fred and Roberts moral fortitude! War is never the answer!

Robert Cook said...

"Mark the first responders to a drone attack on a terrorist leader in a remote part of the Islamic world are going to be a lot different than would be the first responders to a bomb detonation on an Israeli bus or even the first responders to a car bomb in Iraq. For the most part if not in all entirety these responders will be fellow terrorists."

How do you know that any victim of a drone assassination is a terrorist, much less a terrorist leader?

Or, assuming at least some of those we have killed via drone bombings have been terrorists--or "terrorists," as we apply the term even to those who merely fight to defend their homelands against the invading Americans, and not just to those who have intent to strike against us aggressively rather than defensively--how do we know that all those in the area who are victims of the blast are also "terrorists?" We do not want our police to discharge their weapons without exigent cause on our city streets for fear the flying bullets will strike hapless passersby rather than or as well as the bad guys the cops are shooting for. How far less "precise" can an explosive device be than a bullet? Even if the bomb hits its man dead on, the blast will destroy anything and kill or wound anyone within a certain radius. How do we know and how can we safeguard against our bombs killing innocents nearby or destroying their homes or businesses?

Just imagine if a foreign power decided to assassinate someone on an American city street whom they deemed to be a terrorist with intent to strike against them. First...where is their legal right to assassinate anyone within out borders? Second, if they shot an explosive device from a drone and blew up a block or two of a bustling metro area, how could many innocent people not be killed or severely wounded? Wouldn't those who streamed in to rescue who they could simply be citizens wanting to help, rather than fellow terrorists streaming in to abscond with the body parts of their deceased fellows?

We are engaged in great and terrible crimes and President Obama should be impeached, evicted from office, and tried for his crimes. As I pointed out in my previous comment, though, succession of executive privilege will protect him and they who come after him.

Robert Cook said...

"Robert Cook -

"Can we at least agree that Garfield was probably not a war criminal?"


Er...I'll have to give you a provisional...maybe.

MCD said...

Give her credit -- Tina Brown is right.

MCD said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Michael McNeil said...

[Drones are] Much better than bombers because they can be more effective and targeted than bomber planes just raining bombs down.

This, while expressing a continual Democratic meme since Vietnam of U.S. bombers just plastering wide areas, is actually long out of date, and a real slur on our bomber crews. Since before the first Gulf War, American bombers have been equipped with “smart” weaponry — precisely navigated and targeted bombs and missiles — which has greatly minimized collateral casualties in all our wars since.

David said...

Props to Tina.

Derek Brown said...

You said the second strike targets those looking to restore order. Who exactly is it that restores order in the Yemeni desert? I mean honestly we aren't using drones against Hezbollah in Beirut. There conceivably an ambulance or to might show up, but in the wilds of Pakistan, where they routinely kill doctors inoculating against small pox, it isn't clear who these forces of order are.

Methadras said...

Eleanor Clift: Drones are better than bombers because it makes us leftists seem more precise and in control. We can now kill at will without the collateral damage and in the end we can do it our way since Obama is paving the road.

Gary Rosen said...

"It's all covered under the Nobel Peace Prize-Winning Drone Strike" exception clause."

Yes, I can remember when MLK and Mother Teresa launched a few.

jr565 said...

Robert Cook wrote:
How do you know that any victim of a drone assassination is a terrorist, much less a terrorist leader?

How do we know who the number two in Al Qaeda is after we blow up the last number two in Al Qaeda?
We can know things about people without having to take them to court to get that information.

jr565 said...

Obama said back in 2007:
"We've got to get the job done there and that requires us to have enough troops so that we're not just air-raiding villages and killing civilians, which is causing enormous problems there,"

Did libs buy this argument then or do they believe Obama's current argument? Would you have voted for Obama if you knew ahead of time that he would dramatically increase the use of drone strikes? Would you then vote for him again?
Lets stipulate that we need to get a the job done and that requires us to have enough troops on the ground. That kind of suggests that we need a certain amount of troops on the ground and that drone strikes alone are not going to cut it. Further, by drone striking back in the bad old Bush days it was causing enough problems where candidate Obama said we need to stop doing it.

Are the Ritmo's of the world going to acknowledge that Bush was right all along and that candidate Obama was talking out of his ass?

To me this isn't even about Obama or even about drone strikes. It's about the moral vacuity of the left in general. Their speaking truth to power is only relevant at certain times and almost always to get power. Nothing more nothing less. They could actually care less about drone strikes or white phosphorous or closing Gitmo or civilian trials or even waterboarding.
There are a few true believers like Robert Cooke. But the vast majority, and usually the ones who are the most sanctimonious about their beliefs concerning things their opponent do, simply do not care and never did.

If it came out tomorrow that Obama in fact did continue water boarding people, the vast majority would say that water boarding was an effective tool for getting information from high level Al Qaeda targets when traditional interrogation methods failed.

And if Obama could run for four more terms they would continue to vote for him for four more terms even though constitutionally he can only serve two. Even knowing that he was waterboarding people and had kill lists and used white phosphorous and didn't close Gitmo.

Know why? Because the left anti war crowd are a bunch of frauds.

jr565 said...

but as I've said before libs. Your "speaking truth to power" powers run out. If you didn't speak up by now, you have no cause to complain when it's done again.

So when the next republican president engages in drone strikes or extraordinary renditions, or attacks a country that didn't attack us without getting congressional approval or any of the other things that were not commented upon by most libs, I trust you will continue to remain silent.

If you bring out the "Speak Truth to Power" card Republicans can simply argue that they are carrying out Obama' policies and the left seemed ok with them FOR 8 YEARS!

Dante said...

A handful of people killed 3500 people in the twin towers. The economic consequences were far worse.

There is an essential issue with human knowledge. While knowledge is neutral, people are not.

When people look back at the next 100 years, it won't be 120M dead, it will be billions dead. If a handful of Norwegian scientists can figure out how to make H1N1 transferable between humans, and if fanatics develop a strain that is transmissible but can protect themselves, what is to stop these people from not destroying everyone for their certain beliefs.

The innocents along the way are merely casualties in Allah's war.

I don't think it has always been this way. The balance between the individual and the society is changing, in a major way.

So I say, make it hard. That's the best idea for now. I don't know the answer, incidentally.

With 100s of billions of stars in the Milky way, and imagining what we could do in in a million years to explore it, I'm increasingly becoming of the impression that intelligent life is simply not sustainable.

james conrad said...

Really good analysis by Andrew McCarthy which goes past the hypocrisy of Obama admins.

http://www.nationalreview.com/blogs/print/340225

james conrad said...

Really good analysis by Andrew McCarthy which goes past the hypocrisy of Obama admins.

http://www.nationalreview.com/blogs/print/340225

Paul said...

But with drone assassinations being the ONLY policy Obama has with dealing with terrorist, and as we see in Libya they are most certainly not destroyed, expect Obama, instead of finding another way to defeat them, he will INCREASE the rate of assassinations!

Drones only work in countries that ALLOW YOU to use them. Libya, Egypt, and Algeria are the new Afghan training camps for Al Quada.

While Bush was president we had ZERO terrorist incidents against our country. Since Obama we have now (at least what the MSM has told us about) what? Five, six, seven? Multiple deaths?

At least Bush saw we needed many methods from terrorist 'water boarding' for information, to drones, to invasions, to prisoner snatches.

But under Obama it's a one track policy that as failed. Al Quada is now stronger than ever and we are now weaker than ever.

Robert Cook said...

jr565 said:

"We can know things about people without having to take them to court to get that information."

Well, you missed my point, but to respond to your statement: how? How can we know for certain who we're killing from long distance?

But, that wasn't my point. My point was: how do we, the people know who our government is killing in our name? Why should we simply believe their claims? That's like believing a Mafia boss when he asserts he's simply a businessman making an honest living. Would you expect any mass murderer to be frank about his misdeeds?

(Heck, many on the right were or remain dubious about the circumstances of Obama's birth...why now accept at face value his assertions as to this monstrous murder program?)

We know our government lies to us and does so constantly, perpetually, and without compunction. They feel no obligation to reveal anything about what they're doing or why to the people they purportedly serve and who are paying for their actions.

Robert Cook said...

"Since before the first Gulf War, American bombers have been equipped with
'smart' weaponry — precisely navigated and targeted bombs and missiles — which has greatly minimized collateral casualties in all our wars since."


Believe that shit if you want to...a bomb is a bomb is a bomb. They blow up and they destroy property and bodies that are within their blast range. Unless we can somehow cordon off targeted areas to insure only "bad guys" are inside the kill zone, we have to assume we're going to harm or kill innocent people every time we fire a bomb.

Given that no war we have fought since WWII has been a necessary war or a defensive war, but have been aggressive wars, this is all purely murder.

Robert Cook said...

"While Bush was president we had ZERO terrorist incidents against our country."

You forgot two incidents that took place on...what date was it...Sept. 11, 2001?

"Since Obama we have now (at least what the MSM has told us about) what? Five, six, seven? Multiple deaths?"

What incidents are these?

Jay said...

And in many ways they are a blessing

Of course, because Obama is a Sort of a God President!

Rusty said...

harrogate said...
With all these people talking about how the drones are a moral problem and rightly slamming Obama for it, can it possibly still be true that nobody's talking about/criticizing Obama's drone program?

This is sort of like Reverend Wright and the whole theme of "vetting Obama," in that sense. Except, of course, the drone program actually matters.

Just don't leave the country. Your civil liberties end at the boarder.
Free Jose Padilla!!!!

Rusty said...

Freder Frederson said...
Tina Brown is an idiot. George Bush did things just as bad if not worse, with equally (I would say crappier) "legal justification" (e.g., the torture memos, and the deliberately slanted "intelligence" justifying the invasion of Iraq). And I certainly don't remember him being impeached--or even charged with crimes after he left office.

Probably because both houses of congress went along with him.
That is until he became more popular with the people. Then he had to be taken down.

Michael McNeil said...

Believe that shit if you want to… a bomb is a bomb is a bomb. They blow up and they destroy property and bodies that are within their blast range.

While the foregoing is quite true, “smart” weaponry is still qualitatively very different from old-style basically undirected bombs. released somewhere near a target and left to land wherever they will. There is no comparison (an enormous difference) between collateral casualties due to bombing in World War II and those experienced in, say, the Iraq war.

Unless we can somehow cordon off targeted areas to insure only “bad guys” are inside the kill zone, we have to assume we're going to harm or kill innocent people every time we fire a bomb.

Naturally. Minimal collateral casualties isn't the same thing as no collateral casualties — but it's also very very different from huge numbers of collateral deaths after every bombing run, or even whole cities going up in firestorms.

However, the point vis-a-vis drones vs. bombers is that (pace Democratic talking points) piloted warplanes and drones are not different in that regard: both use the same “smart”, precision-directed weaponry. The human pilot, indeed, has more options munitions-wise at present than the drone does, but that will certainly change.

Given that no war we have fought since WWII has been a necessary war or a defensive war, but have been aggressive wars, this is all purely murder.

So Afghanistan post 9/11/2001 was a purely aggressive war for America? If so, then World War II itself — for the the U.S. and the other Allies — was also an unadulterated aggressive war. And if that's true, then war itself, under any circumstances — however justifiable as a matter of civilizational survival and self-defense — is also nothing but murder. But such an attitude is so ethereally idealistic that it's utterly unhelpful. War, contrary to wishful-thinking myth, is clearly not yet obsolete.

Jay said...

Freder Frederson said...
George Bush did things just as bad if not worse, with equally (I would say crappier) "legal justification" (e.g., the torture memos, and the deliberately slanted "intelligence" justifying the invasion of Iraq)


Note the utter inability to criticize Obama in any manner, shape or form.

Also note, the idea you are equating water boarding with both "torture" and killing demonstrates your silliness.

Also, as a point of fact, GW Bush had nothing to do with any "slanted intelligence" as no intelligence was every slanted regarding Iraq. It was the consensus of every Western Intelligence agency, and Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt, that Saddam has WMD's.

So you can run along, or come back with some intellectual honesty and no outright lies.

Thanks.

Robert Cook said...

"So Afghanistan post 9/11/2001 was a purely aggressive war for America?"

Yes.

"If so, then World War II itself — for the the U.S. and the other Allies — was also an unadulterated aggressive war."

No.

Rusty said...

Robert Cook said...
"So Afghanistan post 9/11/2001 was a purely aggressive war for America?"

Yes.

"If so, then World War II itself — for the the U.S. and the other Allies — was also an unadulterated aggressive war."

No.

You are such a coward, comrade Bob.

Robert Cook said...

"...as a point of fact, GW Bush had nothing to do with any 'slanted intelligence' as no intelligence was every slanted regarding Iraq. It was the consensus of every Western Intelligence agency, and Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt, that Saddam has WMD's."

Ah, Jay...you demonstrate here you have never yet admitted to yourself you were hoodwinked by the insinuations and lies of the Bush/Cheney administration and taken for a fool.

jr565 said...

Robert Cook wrote:
We know our government lies to us and does so constantly, perpetually, and without compunction. They feel no obligation to reveal anything about what they're doing or why to the people they purportedly serve and who are paying for their actions.


the govt will act in a covert fashion when conducting things like wars and or covert actions. Why do you expect otherwise, and when has it ever been anything else.

There are such things as security clearances. And not everyone has access to all data if they don't have clearance. If you had full access to everything the govt did so would our enemies.

jr565 said...

It was the consensus of every Western Intelligence agency, and Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt, that Saddam has WMD's


This is absolutely true. Unless you are saying that the UN and Clinton were similarly in on the con.
No, actually what is revisionist history is your assertion that every Western Intelligence agency didn't have that belief.

When Clinton left office he had just bombed Iraq for non compliance, removed all inspectors due to non compliance and stated as American policy that we needed a regime change and transition to democracy, and Iraq had already had 15 resolutions passed against it again due to non compliance.

Please point to that moment in history where the intelligence agencies KNEW that Iraq had no WMD's?
I know, with you, that Clinton is probalby in on the con, but the UN too? And if the UN then really who are we supposed to be rooting for hear since the national community and international community are all using Iraq as a political football, knowing that what they are doing is based on a lie.

Jay said...

Robert Cook said...


Ah, Jay...you demonstrate here you have never yet admitted to yourself you were hoodwinked by the insinuations and lies of the Bush/Cheney


Um, there were no "lies"

See, it was the official policy of the US government that Saddam had WMD prior to Bush ever being a candidate for President

So thanks.

jr565 said...

Barack Obama as George Bush

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/10/world/obamas-turn-in-bushs-bind-with-defense-policies.html?_r=0

When even the Times is noticing the similarity and the hypocricy of Obamas actions running counter to his statements as a candidate,perhaps it's time to recognize the truth.



“That memo coming out, I think, was a wake-up call,” said Christopher Anders, senior legislative counsel of the American Civil Liberties Union. “These last few days, it was like being back in the Bush days.”

“It’s causing a lot of cognitive dissonance for a lot of people,” he added. “It’s not the President Obama they thought they knew.”

How well did libs really know him? They didn't get this in the first four years, going as far as reelecting him? We knew about the increase in drone strikes well prior to the election, we even knew about Obama's kill list.

How come his enemies knew him so well and his supporters are now suffering from cognitive dissonance?

Robert Cook said...

"Please point to that moment in history where the intelligence agencies KNEW that Iraq had no WMD's?"

Colin Powell and Condi Rice both stated publicly, independently of one another mere months before 9/11, that Saddam had no significant weapons capability and was no threat to his neighbors.

Video of Rice and Powell making their remarks

They knew earlier than 2001, by the early 90s, when Hussein's son-in-law defected and told the West that he had ordered and overseen the destruction of Iraq's extant WMD (only chemical and bio weapons, as Iraq never had nuclear capabilities).

Wikipedia entry on Hussein Kamal, (Saddam's son-in-law).

Robert Cook said...

"See, it was the official policy of the US government that Saddam had WMD prior to Bush ever being a candidate for President."

Who said Bush was the only liar regarding Iraq's WMD?

Also, since when has the US government told the truth publicly about anything?

Finally, please see Herman Goring on the means by which governments convince their citizens of the necessity for war, (from an interview in Göring's jail cell during the Nuremberg War Crimes Trials (18 April 1946):

"* Göring: Why, of course, the people don't want war. Why would some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best that he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece? Naturally, the common people don't want war; neither in Russia nor in England nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a Parliament or a Communist dictatorship.

"Gilbert: There is one difference. In a democracy, the people have some say in the matter through their elected representatives, and in the United States only Congress can declare wars.

"Göring: Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

Robert Cook said...

"How come (Obama's) enemies knew him so well and his supporters are now suffering from cognitive dissonance?"

Because all people have a tendency to see what they want to see and to ignore that which conflicts with their beliefs. The Republicans still insist, against all prior and subsequent evidence, that Bush had a sound basis to invade Iraq, and the Democrats ignored what was plainly obvious before his first election that Obama was a liar and could not be trusted to stand by his promises.

(If it was not obvious any earlier, it became bluntly clear in the months before the November 2008 election when Obama, who had promised not only to vote against the revised FISA bill if it contained retroactive legal protections to the telecoms for their participation in Bush's illegal wiretapping of Americans, but to support a filibuster against the bill. Of course, he voted for the bill as presented, including the retroactive legal protections to the telecoms. That was the crystalizing moment for me. I had decided to reluctantly vote for him as the, yes, "lesser of two evils," but that was a smack in the face: a candidate so sure of his election, and so contemptuous of his own constituents and to promises he had made to them, that he would violate his own assurances regarding this bill before even getting into the White House, could never be trusted to do anything he promised or pretended to stand for.)

And yet, as bad as I thought he'd be...Obama has been far worse than I ever expected.

That his supporters, for the most part, refuse to see it is to be expected, but dismaying nevertheless.

jr565 said...

Robert you can take anyone out of context. and Pfilger is a far lefty reporter who did just that, This was played on Olbermann way back in the day.
Powell said they hadn't developed any SIGNIFANCT capability, not that there was no capability. And on the very same day it was reported that:
Mr. Bush said Secretary of State Colin Powell, about to visit the Middle East, planned to listen to allies and form a policy that would convey to the Iraqi leader: "We won't tolerate you developing weapons of mass destruction and we expect you to leave your neighbors alone."
What was the date of that CBS report in the context of this out of context quote?

Mr. Bush said the sanctions imposed against Iraq were "like Swiss cheese" and "weren't very effective. And we're going to review the current sanction policy." '

And developing weapons was never the only reason for going to war with Iraq.


Also, considering we had no inspectors in Iraq until Bush forced the issue, on what basis are you or other lefties determining that Iraq was somehow in compliance? Because when the last inspectors were in Iraq they had to leave and Iraq was bombed by clinton for lack of cooperation YET AGAIN> since then there was NO inspection. Zero, zip, nada. For two years. But what was the perception of the outgoing administration at that point? Show me where that changed.
Other than your Pfilger claptrap of course.


Shall I quote you from various sources that the consensus was that Iraq continued to be a threat?

jr565 said...

Now, since you seem big on qoutes lets go to the opposition quotes towards Bush to see what dems were saying about Iraq from 1998 - 2002 when Colin Powell made his out of context qoute that all was fine.

"[W]e urge you, after consulting with Congress, and consistent with the U.S. Constitution and laws, to take necessary actions (including, if appropriate, air and missile strikes on suspect Iraqi sites) to respond effectively to the threat posed by Iraq's refusal to end its weapons of mass destruction programs." Letter to President Clinton, signed by Sens. Carl Levin, Tom Daschle, John Kerry, and others Oct. 9, 1998

This was back when Albright said they didn't destroy everything but degraded Iraq's ability to wage war. And here they say that Iraq refused to end its weapons program. And this is when Clinton passed the Iraq Liberation Act with democrats like John Kerry (wasn't his name in the news recently about a high level position in the Obama administration?)
“As a member of the House Intelligence Committee, I am keenly aware that the proliferation of chemical and biological weapons is an issue of grave importance to all nations. Saddam Hussein has been engaged in the development of weapons of mass destruction technology which is a threat to countries in the region and he has made a mockery of the weapons inspection process.” — Nancy Pelosi, December 16, 1998
Who is this Nancy Pelosi character? Does she play any role in democratic policies? And her sitting on the House Intelligence Committee does she not get intelligence assessments? Where pray tell is she getting this absurd notion that Iraq refused to cooperate?

jr565 said...

-cont-
"We begin with the common belief that Saddam Hussein is a tyrant and a threat to the peace and stability of the region. He has ignored the mandated of the United Nations and is building weapons of mass destruction and the means of delivering them." Sen.Carl Levin (d, MI), Sept. 19, 2002

Carl Levin BEGINS with that belief? One more time. He BEGINS with that belief? What would give him the impression that Sadaam had ignored the mandate of the United Nations? Note, this statement was made AFTER your out of context quote from Colin Powell. Why would Carl Levin continue to peddle this notion that supposedly had been disproven by Colin Powell's out of context statement. Was Carl Levin a republican?

"Iraq's search for weapons of mass destruction has proven impossible to deter and we should assume that it will continue for as long as Saddam is in power."Al Gore, Sept. 23, 2002
And how would Al Gore know this info? He was just the vice president of the previous administration and all.

jr565 said...

-cont again-


"There is unmistakable evidence that Saddam Hussein is working aggressively to develop nuclear weapons and will likely have nuclear weapons within the next five years ... We also should remember we have always underestimated the progress Saddam has made in development of weapons of mass destruction."Sen. Jay Rockeffer (D, WV), Oct 10, 2002

Was this made before or after Colin Powells statement? And is Rockefeller a democrat or a Republican? And how is he talking about UNMISTAKABLE evidence? Hmmm? You'd think he might have seen some sort of intelligence assessments or something.

jr565 said...

One more for you:

“What is at stake is how to answer the potential threat Iraq represents with the risk of proliferation of WMD. Baghdad’s regime did use such weapons in the past. Today, a number of evidences may lead to think that, over the past four years, in the absence of international inspectors, this country has continued armament programs.” — Jacques Chirac, October 16, 2002

FUCKING Jacques Chirac the president of FUCKING France who opposed us at every turn on Iraq is saying in 2002 AFTER YOUR STUPID OUT OF CONTEXT STATEMENT that he believed that for the past four years, IN THE ABSENSE of INTERNATIONAL INSPECTORS, that this country continued armament programs!!!
So where the hell are you getting this absurd notion that the consensus was that Iraq had no weapons wasn't trying to develop weapons or wasn't continually defying the UN.
If Jacques Chirac, Al Gore, John Kerry, Bill Clinton, Nancy Fucking Pelosi, and a score of others all who called Bush a liar are saying this from 1998 - 2002 you can best believe that the consensus was such.
Or they were all liars. All the dems, all the people on the security council in the UN from 1998 - 2002.

Maybe the problem is Bush actually believed their lies. Or, maybe that was the consensus from 1998 - 2002.!

jr565 said...

“As a member of the House Intelligence Committee, I am keenly aware that the proliferation of chemical and biological weapons is an issue of grave importance to all nations. Saddam Hussein has been engaged in the development of weapons of mass destruction technology which is a threat to countries in the region and he has made a mockery of the weapons inspection process.” — Nancy Pelosi, December 16, 1998


I go back to this one again because it brings up a point. If she sits on the House intelligence committee and is telling people things other than what the intelligence community is telling them, couldn't other people on the intelligence committee who also heard the same intel say that that is not what the intelligence committee said? No republican at the time who was also sitting on the Intel commitee could have said "Sorry but that Nancy Pelosi is a liar for saying what the intelligence comittee told us? Noone in the intelligence community could have come forward and said "sorry nancy Pelosi is mistaken in her assessement". No newspapers could come forward at the time of her statement and said that Nancy Pelosi was mistating what the intelligence community was saying?
Why did none of that happen Robert Cooke?

Because THAT"S WHAT THE INTELLLIGENCE COMMUNITY WAS SAYING!!!! And this back in in 1998 when, after yet another round of non compliance Clinton removed all inspectors so there was no further inspection process done until Bush took office in 2001.

If Iraq was an open book then we were left on the page where Bush took office with the dems, and the intelligence commitee, and the repubs, and the UN and Jacques Chirac, and all the members of the security counsel all echoing what Nancy Pelosi said here in 1998, and which was echoed by her and almost all the other people who actually sat on the House Intelligence commitee or was involved with containment in some way again in 2002.

It's the same assessment the whole way through because, well that was the assessment the whole way through.


So you can take your out of context Colin Powell statement as some sort of proof of something other than taking a statement out of context, and shove it up your ass.

jr565 said...

Now if you want to go with "Everybody is a liar" as an argument, then fine. But that discounts not only Bush and the dems, but also the international community. Everyone on the Security counsel signed resolution 1441 saying that Iraq had one last chance to comply.

Every single one. Even France and Germany and Russia.
Which means that every single country in the UN on the security counsel was deliberately lying and keeping Iraq in check and under enormous and costly and punishing containment (which some in the UN likened to commiting genocide) while all the while knowing that Iraq was actually not a threat at all.
That doesn't exactly speak well of handling things internationally and with international laws and such considering you think they are all corrupt too. Right?

At the end of the day if everyone is lying anyway, then what way removes Sadaam Hussein from the world? What way ends this punishing containment?
YOu can say war is not the answer, but youre also suggesting that handling things through the UN is also not the way.
I tend to look at it this way. The Security Counsel and the dems and all the poeple I mentioned knew the truth about Iraq and stated as such from 1998 - 2002 in both word and deed. They just didn't like that Bush went to war with the same truth. It doesn't make it any less true though does it? It just means that Bush took a different course of action using the same data. And I'll note that his way actually got Sadaam and his regime removed.

jr565 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
city said...

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