backtop


Print 68 comment(s) - last by mystikl.. on May 19 at 7:46 AM

Unsatisifed with "grief payments" of a few thousand dollars per dead civilian, Pakistanis demand action

Could the U.S., who perennial accuses its enemies of war crimes soon face those accusations itself before the UN?  That possibility appears increasingly likely following a landmark Pakistani court ruling.

I. Embattled UAV Death Strike Program is Condemned by Court

In the name of fighting terrorism the U.S. has been carrying out a silent war of drone strikes in Pakistan, Qatar, and other Middle Eastern states, order death-strikes on what it say are "terrorists".  But recently released numbers reveal the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) warfare program, largely controlled by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, has a very low succes rate in terms of killing high-profile militants, while having large levels of civilian collateral damage with some strikes killing women and children.

In response four petitions by tribal leaders complaining that U.S. drone strikes were killing civilians, Chief Justice Dost Muhammad Khan and the junior judge on Pakistan two-judge Peshawar High Court panel decided that the drone were war crimes as they killed innocent civilians.

The panel says that the drone strikes were inhumane and violated the UN Charter on Human Rights.  The court is asking the government of Pakistan to push a UN resolution to condemn the strikes and declare them a war crimes, writing [according to translation by The Press Trust of India, "The government of Pakistan must ensure that no drone strike takes place in the future.  If the US vetoes the resolution, then the country should think about breaking diplomatic ties with the US."
 
Drone Killing
Pakistanis aren't satisifed with the U.S.'s "grief payments" of a few thousand dollars per dead civilian.  [Image Source: Reuters]
 
Shahzad Akbar, lawyer for victims in the case, is quoted as saying, "This is a landmark judgment. Drone victims in Waziristan will now get some justice after a long wait. This judgment will also prove to be a test for the new government: if drone strikes continue and the government fails to act, it will run the risk of contempt of court."

II. Shift in Pakistani Leadership May Give War Crimes Allegations New Life

So far the Pakistani government, which relies on the U.S. for billions in aid payoffs has been hesitant to declare the U.S. guilty of war crimes.  The U.S. federal government gave $17B USD [source] in 2009 to the governments of Iraq, Afghanistan, Egypt, and Pakistan.  Of these nations, Egypt has seen its government overthrown since on allegations of corruption, while Afghanistan has struggled under the weight of similar allegations of sweeping bribery and corruption.  And Pakistan has beenimplicated in sheltering Osama bin Laden, the world's most famous terrorist.

But some foreign observers say regardles of special interests the Pakistani government should not tolerate the civilian deaths.  Comments Clive Stafford Smith of the London-based human rights watchdog group Reprieve, "Today's momentous decision by the Peshawar High Court shines the first rays of accountability onto the CIA's secret drone war."

Some in the U.S. and Britain argue that the strikes are doing little to combat terrorism, and in fact are pushing locals towards terrorism.

In August 2012, a drone strike in Ye
men killed a 40-year-old moderate cleric Salem bin Ahmed bin Ali Jaber just two days after he delivered a speech denouncing al-Qaeda.  The irony is that the al-Qaeda officers who were targeted in the strike, reportedly came into town to threaten Mr. Jaber for his support of the U.S. and pacifistic leanings.

Predator missile
Some feel the President shouldn't have the power to order the warrantless killings of Americans on U.S. soil. [Image Source: Drone Wars UK]

To be fair, U.S. President Obama has claimed a similar authority to kill American "terrorists" without warrant on U.S. soil (although his adminstration tried to cover up that policy).  The administration also does have a policy of paying the family of civilians it kills in the Middle East "grief payments" of a few thousand dollars per body.

While the current administration may be hesistant to take action in the UN against the U.S. elections are fast approaching.  This Saturday's election sees the Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) party leading in current polls.  Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, the party's leader, promises a zero-tolerance policy on drone strike civilian deaths.  He comments, "Drone attacks are against the national sovereignty and a challenge for the country's autonomy and independence."

The U.S. has often accused hostile regimes like the governments of Syria, Sudan, Iran, and North Korea of war crimes in recent years.  However, it has seldom been on the receiving end of such accusations, despite an aggressive (and expensive) overseas military program.

Source: The Independent



Comments     Threshold


This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

What?
By WinstonSmith on 5/13/2013 11:08:06 AM , Rating: 3
I have no sympathy whatsoever for ANY government in that crazy stupid region of the world nor do I have any sympathy for religious fanatics of any faith, but these two items beg for comments:

"The administration also does have a policy of paying the family of civilians it kills in the Middle East "grief payments" of a few thousand dollars per body."

I wonder how we'd feel if the Pakistani government killed US citizens in the US and then offered "grief payments of a few thousand dollars per body." I think I know.

"Some feel the President shouldn't have the power to order the warrantless killings of Americans on U.S. soil."

"Some"!?




RE: What?
By JasonMick (blog) on 5/13/2013 11:23:08 AM , Rating: 5
quote:
"Some feel the President shouldn't have the power to order the warrantless killings of Americans on U.S. soil."

"Some"!?
Yup, I've broached the topic with certain Obama-obsessed "Party Democrat" family members and they argued it was fine (I kid you not) because "the Constitution is outdated" in their opinion, and they believe Obama would never abuse that unchecked power and that "we live in a scary world today where people want to kill Americans (so warrantless deathstrikes are necessary)."

I found the irony in that last justification particularly amusing in a disturbing way.

/facepalm


RE: What?
By mcnabney on 5/13/2013 12:10:18 PM , Rating: 1
How are your feeling about:

Reagan - bombing Libya numerous times and sinking their 'navy', shelling Beirut, invading Grenada, training guerrillas in El Salvador, shooting down Iranian fighters over international waters, attacking Iranian oil platforms, and finally shooting down an Iranian passenger plane?


RE: What?
By Coldfriction on 5/13/2013 12:24:28 PM , Rating: 3
If you're trying to assume that Jason Mick is playing partisan politics, and that he is a hard core republican, you haven't been following Dailytech long enough. I started reading here because of Masher, and didn't like Jason's perspective at all back then (it seemed as though he were on a liberal global warming spree). Since that time Jason has changed and so have I. Jason has never struck me as a Reagan lover and I think you're trolling is in very poor taste.


RE: What?
By JasonMick (blog) on 5/13/2013 2:38:20 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
If you're trying to assume that Jason Mick is playing partisan politics, and that he is a hard core republican, you haven't been following Dailytech long enough.
Correct.

I would vote for any candidate I believed would best represent me, protect the Constitution, and promote domestic and international security in a responsible manner, regardless of their party affiliation. Hence I'm no more a Republican than I am a Democrat.
quote:
I started reading here because of Masher, and didn't like Jason's perspective at all back then (it seemed as though he were on a liberal global warming spree).
Correct, my writing career at DailyTech started as a counterpoint to Masher, but in time (and with many debates) I came to greatly respect and admire his perspective.

While I did not and still do not agree with everything he said or wrote, he taught me that "black and white" issues are often far more grey than the zealots and demagogues would have you believe.

He also taught me to keep a watchful eye out for the sweeping assaults by special interests on the Constitution, pseudoscience, and attacks on small entrepreneurship that are oft occurring in America today.

Even in the face of a deluge of glaring special interest debacles I write about in a daily basis, with both of America's parties (or sometimes both) being at times culpable, I strive to maintain optimism while informing my readers of these issues.

I have Michael Asher to thank for that, in part, as well as the mentorship of this site's original executive editor Kristopher Kubicki.
quote:
Jason has never struck me as a Reagan lover and I think you're trolling is in very poor taste.
Again, your comment rings true.

I think like most legacies in recent years, President Ronald Reagan's is mixed. Calling his Presidency better or worse is a matter of comparing lesser evils as federal power and corruption has been unchecked and growing throughout much of the last century, and his administration was by no means immune to such trends.

You can like and admire the good parts/actions of his administration. There are some actions that Reagan, Bush (Sr.), Clinton, Bush, and even Obama have done that I admire in that they seem to protect the Constitution and are in the best interest of Americans. However, each and any of those administrations also carried out a number of actions I could point to as being unethical and contributing to the troubled state our nation is in today.

I'm a fan of America and its founding principles, not so much of any particular recent administration in the modern era of bloated federal government.


RE: What?
By mcnabney on 5/13/2013 3:06:01 PM , Rating: 2
Yet neither of you addressed the not hidden at all message that every president has used the US military to attack nations outside of Congressional approval. Now we attack individuals in areas that the de facto nation has little control (Yemen, Pakistan, Afghanistan).

The only difference is that the tools are far more precise and the risk to US service members is almost completely gone.

In the 60's and 70's we carpet bombed neutral nations like Cambodia.
In the 80's and 90's we used laser guided 2,000 pound bombs that were directed by planes several miles up and we were only guessing who was actually in the building.
Now we use ROVs that can spot individual targets and we hit them with explosives that weigh less than 100 pounds.

What we have today is far far far far more accurate and much less likely to kill civilians. If you know some other way to engage a terrorist group that has no infrastructure to target without putting 100k boots on the ground to route them out, I would love to hear it. Or to use a Bushism - we fight them over there so we don't have to fight them over here. I thought that was a pretty terrible excuse for a war, but to wage what is essentially a police action it makes a lot more sense.


RE: What?
By JasonMick (blog) on 5/13/2013 3:50:13 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Yet neither of you addressed the not hidden at all message that every president has used the US military to attack nations outside of Congressional approval. Now we attack individuals in areas that the de facto nation has little control (Yemen, Pakistan, Afghanistan).
Your point is valid, but somewhat immaterial as Congress has control over the military and intelligence community's budget.

So why aren't they checking these unauthorized invasions? Plain and simple, invasions = war = payouts to defense contractors = one of the largest special interest lobbying groups who pay for Congresspeople to get elected:

http://www.opensecrets.org/industries/indus.php?In...

Between 1998 and 2012 the defense industry spent over $130M USD in payments to presidential and Congressional candidates. Based on recent figures that $1 in special interest campaign contributions earns you $240 USD in kickbacks, on average, this means Congress (and the president) owe these contractors around $31B USD in kickbacks.

Suddenly the reason why Congress and the President support a lot of operations and invasions that are unpopular and at times nonsensical/counterproductive makes a lot more sense.

Feed the hand that feeds.

In the 1960-1980s military operations were at least partially motivated by the cultural fear of the spread of communism, real or imagined.

Of late, though, as lobbying money has increased (the cost of a House seat rose nearly 10x between 1998 and 2008) the demand for constant warfare outside of any useful context has increased and been answered by the President and Congress regardless of the particular party or administration.


RE: What?
By M'n'M on 5/13/2013 4:36:15 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Suddenly the reason why Congress and the President support a lot of operations and invasions that are unpopular and at times nonsensical/counterproductive makes a lot more sense. Feed the hand that feeds.


While following the money is a good idea, I think you need to follow it a little deeper. Look at the specific contracts the top 5 US defense contractors make their profits on. Think about how much actual wars, with boots on the ground, cost and how those costs put pressure on the profit making contracts. Are the invasions helping or hurting the call to spend $$s on the JSF, F-22, GMD (or it's lesser but more mobile cousins) ? Can the Navy (and it's contractors) use those wars as somehow requiring new types of combat ships or upgrades to the existing vessels ?

Drones are used (where they are today) for a variety of reasons but let's not forget they are less costly that manned aircraft in this usage. The munitions they carry are less costly than cruise missiles and their ilk. Who do you think carries more lobbying weight, Lockheed-Martin or General Atomic ?

The threat of war, or war-like actions against the US, stirs a lot of profit making spending. The actual fighting of wars ... not so much (to the big dogs).


RE: What?
By Wulf145 on 5/14/2013 4:40:43 AM , Rating: 2
"...shooting down Iranian fighters over international waters..." when did that happen?


RE: What?
By superflex on 5/14/2013 10:23:53 AM , Rating: 2
Jason is certainly an equal opportunity offender of all political parties.
I've come to respect Jason for at least having a spine for defending what he writes.
I've called him out many times and he usually never fails to reply with an honest reply. I may not agree, but he is stands tall.
I do disagree with some of his headlines which are blatant attempts at page views, but he's doing his job generating page clicks.


RE: What?
By BurnItDwn on 5/13/2013 12:29:38 PM , Rating: 2
That is scary.

I tend to be "party democrat" liberal, however, This is just terrible. You should ask these family members, what will happen when a republican or somebody they doesn't like comes to power? Whatever power Obama has now, the next guy's going to have too.

It starts with police on the side of the road doing warrant-less searches of people's cars. Then continues on to warrant-less wiretapping. And finally warrant-less drone killings.

What's next?


RE: What?
By JasonMick (blog) on 5/13/2013 2:23:40 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
I tend to be "party democrat" liberal, however, This is just terrible. You should ask these family members, what will happen when a republican or somebody they doesn't like comes to power?
Naturally, that was my followup.

They then devolved into a diatribe about how yes, Republicans might abuse it, but that they "do what they want" regardless of the policy so that it made no difference. Followed by a rant on how the Republican party is trying to ruin the country and Obama is "trying to get the rich people to pay their fair share."

I know there's reasonable people on both sides of the aisle, my intention was not to blast "Party Democrats", but rather to suggest that there's unreasonable people (on both sides of the aisle) who baffingly see no harm in warrantless killing of Americans and other unconstitutional actions.

I do think that of people who identify themselves exclusively with one party, there is a tendency to make excuses for your party of choice's wrong-doing which is particularly problematic given both parties' sweeping corruption and attacks on the Constitution in today's federal politics.

Of course there's some good people who buck that trend like yourself (by the sound of it). :)


RE: What?
By mcnabney on 5/13/2013 3:10:16 PM , Rating: 1
Obama is pretty much doing the exact same thing with drones as Bush - let the CIA and DoD kill bad people in lawless lands that we don't want to invade.

You keep forgetting that drones have been in use since Clinton. They are just getting more press coverage because the Right can't seem to find anything else to complain about. The public has the same kind of fascination with drones as they did with our nuclear umbrella in the 80s and precision munitions and night vision in the 90s. Drones and stealth are the 'cool military toys' of the age.


RE: What?
By JasonMick (blog) on 5/13/2013 3:41:50 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Obama is pretty much doing the exact same thing with drones as Bush - let the CIA and DoD kill bad people in lawless lands that we don't want to invade
Do those "bad people" include civilians? If so, why is the Pentagon paying grief payments for these "bad people" (or "bad civilians"?) deaths?

And what about the drone strikes that have killed American citizens without warrant (this, to public knowledge has ONLY occurred under the Obama administration)??

And those problems aside, how to you justify the low success rate of drone strikes in taking out high-profile targets?
quote:
You keep forgetting that drones have been in use since Clinton. They are just getting more press coverage because the Right can't seem to find anything else to complain about.
No I'm not "forgetting" that. Yes Clinton used drones, but surely you're aware that the scope of that use (no matter how inappropriate) was far narrower (largely due to technology of UAVs rapidly progressing) than it has been over the last two administrations.

That said, I'm perfectly fine with sharing the responsibility with Clinton, I just don't see a lot of point mentioning his administration, given how limited drone strikes were during it.
quote:
The public has the same kind of fascination with drones as they did with our nuclear umbrella in the 80s and precision munitions and night vision in the 90s. Drones and stealth are the 'cool military toys' of the age.
I don't think it necessarily has anything to do with what the public thinks is "cool".

I think rather the military/intelligence community views them as a low cost tool to kill terrorists (and possibly Americans in an ambiguous context), if you factor out the cost of the high rates of collateral civilian casualties (as they have to a large extent) (and the problem of violating due process in the case of killing American citizens without warrant).

Plus there's doubtless pressure from large defense contractors like Raytheon and Boeing on members of Congress whose campaigns they donate to, to increase and support drone deployments. These companies can only sell the federal government so many jets and tanks; drones tend to be less problematic to produce than large war machines (ask Lockheed Martin) and represent a lucrative new business segment for these special interests.

Hence I see it as more of a lack of concern for due process/civilian casualties and a route to reward special interests that's driven the explosion in drone use.


RE: What?
By Master Kenobi (blog) on 5/13/2013 6:44:49 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Do those "bad people" include civilians? If so, why is the Pentagon paying grief payments for these "bad people" (or "bad civilians"?) deaths?

Just because the media reports these people as civilians, it doesn't mean that is the case. It's never good when real civilians are killed, but it is unavoidable. The fact that the civilian casualty rate is so low and we have cleaned out most of the top people in these organizations I'd say it has been a resounding success. As for the Pakistani court pressing this, get real. Those guys have been bowing to pressure from militants ever since Musharraf was ousted. His strict military regime only somewhat kept them in line, with him gone they pretty much have their run of the country and the politicians. If Pakistan wants to cut ties to the US, by all means let them. It will be a rather large cost savings for the US.


RE: What?
By Reclaimer77 on 5/13/2013 6:56:04 PM , Rating: 3
Yeah remember under Bush our media was simply taking the casualty numbers from Al Jazeera, anything but unbiased, and reporting to Americans that we're over there killing "millions" of civilians.

Give me a break. We're over there bending over backwards to avoid civilian casualties, to the point of causing more of our own soldiers deaths than there otherwise would be. I haven't seen rules of engagement this convoluted and politically driven since Vietnam.

There's never been a conflict this major in the history of armed combat that's resulted in so few civilian casualties. Especially considering it's sometimes impossible to identify the civilians from the insurgents.


RE: What?
By maugrimtr on 5/14/2013 8:40:08 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
I know there's reasonable people on both sides of the aisle, my intention was not to blast "Party Democrats", but rather to suggest that there's unreasonable people (on both sides of the aisle) who baffingly see no harm in warrantless killing of Americans and other unconstitutional actions.


There's always enough morons to go around and both parties are enthusiastic in exploiting their share. Republicans have politicians following the NRA's moronic arguments and ignoring the will of the people. The Democrats have managed to switch from going nuts over warrantless eavesdropping to being its firmest proponents keen to expand these unconstitutional powers by making companies/themselves immune to legal suits and therefore doing a fine job of avoiding the Supreme Court.

Both parties' greatest trick was to take ever more extreme positions, treat them as their normal beliefs, and divide a nation - or was that the media's intent? I think we quit talking about people and instead blame stereotypes now. Since I support EVs, I might get labelled a "socialist" for my "liberal environmental" insanity despite being strongly aligned to conservative economics which gets me labelled as the opposite by other people.

quote:
There's never been a conflict this major in the history of armed combat that's resulted in so few civilian casualties. Especially considering it's sometimes impossible to identify the civilians from the insurgents.


It's also why winning these wars isn't really possible. The bad guys are now only rarely an actual army. If their own people will not control them, nobody can. Ideas, even stupid ones, can't be assassinated.


RE: What?
By jeepga on 5/13/2013 5:53:03 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Yup, I've broached the topic with certain Obama-obsessed "Party Democrat" family members and they argued it was fine (I kid you not) because "the Constitution is outdated" in their opinion, and they believe Obama would never abuse that unchecked power and that "we live in a scary world today where people want to kill Americans (so warrantless deathstrikes are necessary)."


I validate this. I know plenty of people personally that hold this view point. And no manner of information will sway them. The word "some" might be too strong. But, I wouldn't be surprised if the majority hold that whatever the president does is peachy.


RE: What?
By boobo on 5/13/2013 9:17:10 PM , Rating: 2
Vic Mackey for president?


RE: What?
By ClownPuncher on 5/14/2013 2:32:16 PM , Rating: 2
And to think; you used to be a Progressive. It adds some perspective when you talk to people who are willing to give up any and all liberties for talking points.


RE: What?
By Reclaimer77 on 5/13/2013 11:28:52 AM , Rating: 1
Yeah we're on year 5 of the Democrats new plan of making the world love us more. How's it working out so far? Not that I care about world opinion personally, but you have to admire the complete and utter failure of Obama and Hillary in the foreign relations arena.

At least under Bush there seemed to be clear goals. Even if they were unwise. Obama to the rest of the world looks more like a random assassin, we're everywhere now randomly killing everyone. What was Libya even about again? We violate a sovereign nations boarders to raid Bin Laden. He even wants to kill US citizens with drones!! We don't even defend our own people from a clear assault on our own embassy in Benghazi, we try and cover it up.

Lets not forget Syria, Obama talks tough about a "red line" on the use of chemical weapons. So it happens, innocent people are gassed to death. So this would be a CLEAR cause for us to do something about it, right? Wrong, Obama issues more rhetoric.

Where's the consistency? If it was so important to use military assets (illegally without Congress) to intervene in a civil war there, why is it NOT equally important to intervene in Syria when civilians are being killed by biological weapons? What's the reasoning behind this!?

If I was on the outside looking in at the United States, it would seem like our "leadership" are psychopaths. They want to kill their own people, they watch as they're own are killed, and they want to randomly go places and murder others as well. There appears to be no right or wrong, no good guys or bad guys, just chaos and grey areas.


RE: What?
By mcnabney on 5/13/13, Rating: 0
RE: What?
By nafhan on 5/13/2013 12:57:28 PM , Rating: 2
So, you think the drone strikes are good and we should keep doing them?


RE: What?
By mcnabney on 5/13/2013 3:11:58 PM , Rating: 2
Do you want to attack Al Qaeda?

If Yes, then either get ready for ground wars in Yemen and Pakistan or get used to drones.


RE: What?
By nafhan on 5/13/2013 5:15:18 PM , Rating: 2
"Attack Al Qaeda"... sure, but that's a little different from attacking people who we think have a chance of possibly being associated with Al Qaeda, which is (AFAIK) what we're doing. Our current strategy with drones seems to be a pretty effective at upsetting Pakistani's, and that's all you or I can say with any degree of certainty unless you've got special access to intelligence community data.


RE: What?
By tayb on 5/13/2013 12:25:44 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Yeah we're on year 5 of the Democrats new plan of making the world love us more. How's it working out so far? Not that I care about world opinion personally, but you have to admire the complete and utter failure of Obama and Hillary in the foreign relations arena.

At least under Bush there seemed to be clear goals. Even if they were unwise. Obama to the rest of the world looks more like a random assassin, we're everywhere now randomly killing everyone. What was Libya even about again? We violate a sovereign nations boarders to raid Bin Laden. He even wants to kill US citizens with drones!! We don't even defend our own people from a clear assault on our own embassy in Benghazi, we try and cover it up.


Drone strikes started in Pakistan in 2004. Whoops!

quote:
Lets not forget Syria, Obama talks tough about a "red line" on the use of chemical weapons. So it happens, innocent people are gassed to death. So this would be a CLEAR cause for us to do something about it, right? Wrong, Obama issues more rhetoric.

Where's the consistency? If it was so important to use military assets (illegally without Congress) to intervene in a civil war there, why is it NOT equally important to intervene in Syria when civilians are being killed by biological weapons? What's the reasoning behind this!?


At first there were reports that Syria had used Sarin Gas against the rebels. There were calls for the U.S. to get involved. President Obama decided to wait for the facts (unheard of!) and it turns out that it was the rebels, not the Syrian government, using the gas. Do you still want to get involved?

You're a Fox 'News' parrot. Just repeat what your told. Make sure not to use critical thinking or deductive reasoning. Just repeat what you're told. The truth? Irrelevant.


RE: What?
By Reclaimer77 on 5/13/2013 12:33:09 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Drone strikes started in Pakistan in 2004. Whoops!


Which Obama demonized in his election campaign. Now he's not only ramped up drone strikes everywhere else, he wants to use them to kill us on our own soil!

Or did you miss my point? Yup! Where's the Hope and Change? Things are the same, but even worst!

quote:
Do you still want to get involved?


No. Where did I say that? I'm just asking if Libya was so important to get involved in, why isn't Syria?

Personally I thought us getting involved in Libya, especially the way we did, was yet another hypocritical move by Obama.

It seems like when a Republican is in office, Democrats are all full of outrage over stuff like this.


RE: What?
By JasonMick (blog) on 5/13/2013 2:59:00 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
You're a Fox 'News' parrot. Just repeat what your told. Make sure not to use critical thinking or deductive reasoning. Just repeat what you're told. The truth? Irrelevant.
For a time such criticism might be close to true, just as people calling me a bleeding-hearted AGW advocate might be true.

But in time people change.

My own perspective (including political inclinations and theories) has dramatically shifted as I've learned more about the issues in terms of tech policy.

I've seen a similar shift in Reclaimer.

In our discussions and debates, I've seen him come to realize the Republican party in many cases isn't protecting the Constitution today and is behaving immorally, much like the Democratic party.

quote:
Drone strikes started in Pakistan in 2004. Whoops!


Remember -- for much of the "bad things" Bush did (like the PATRIOT Act), he couldn't have done them without support from many Democrats, and for the bad things Clinton and Obama did (like the NDAA and DMCA) they couldn't have done them without support from many Republicans. Remember in essence both sides are playing for the same team -- special interests.

Much like the Matrix, the goal of today's American politics is to feed the hand that feeds (special interests), while giving people the illusion of choice. I firmly believe that's a major reason for the hyping of supposed "partisan politics". The more corporate-owned big media who profits off big government hypes a supposedly contentious federal atmosphere, the more we'll overlook that in many ways there's less discourse in federal government than ever before -- the majority in both parties act in unison as a single hyper-empowered ruling party to scale back civil liberties (while claiming otherwise) and attack the Constitution, while moving to install anti-competitive barriers to small business and increasing the size of the federal government.

They can't move too quickly to chip away at the Constitution or funnel American taxpayer dollars to special interests TOO quickly, lest the people wise up.

So they march together on a slow patient road to h-ll and the ruination of the Republic, cleverly manufacturing false flag controversies about faux "partisan politics" and pander to religious controversies, natonalism, and other emotional appeals.

It's an incredibly clever approach, far more clever than past nationalist regimes where the engineered imaged was a single ruling party that was more openly totalitarian, hence giving people (and foreign nations) a single target to attack.

Orwell saw this coming -- in fact that was the premise of 1984, albeit he saw it as contrived wars between nations states, rather than contrived political conflict between factions of the ruling part(y/ies).

But as long as they trick people into thinking this single team is really two teams, people will still feel invested in the game and not grow disgruntled.

Reclaimer and I, like many Americans are waking up to the reality that whatever party we once preferred to vote for and believed best represented our interests, that today neither ruling party on a federal level represents our interests.

There are certainly "a few good men" in Congress on either "side of the aisle", but by and large Congress, the White House, and by proxy the SCOTUS and federal court system are bought and paid for by special interests, who benefit by leaching off a bloated hulking federal government (at least until the host dies), paid for by the working American taxpayer.

I think your comments towards Reclaimer are quite unfair.


RE: What?
By KCjoker on 5/13/2013 7:43:10 PM , Rating: 2
Yep, and part of Obama's plan of "Hope and Change" was that type of thing would stop. Not only did Obama not stop the Drones he's used them even more and now advocates them flying over the USA as well.

It's clear you're a MSNBC/Liberal parrot you just repeat their talking points and the truth is irrelevant.


RE: What?
By NellyFromMA on 5/13/2013 11:33:47 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
I have no sympathy whatsoever for ANY government in that crazy stupid region of the world nor do I have any sympathy for religious fanatics of any faith, but these two items beg for comments:
I wonder how we'd feel if the Pakistani government killed US citizens in the US and then offered "grief payments of a few thousand dollars per body." I think I know.


We probably wouldn't feel much of anything because they'd be killing our citizens as a result of our savage asymmetrical warfare strategies that put exponentially countless more innocent civilians in harms way.

It's a great thing we don't have to consider such a scenario because we do not, in fact, engage in terrorizing Pakistan. On the contrary, Pakistan harbors numerous deadly terrorist "organizations" that are killing innocent people regularly.

We are trying to stop it, and yes, almost always each side loses innocent lives in war. That's what wars are unfortunately.


RE: What?
By seraphim1982 on 5/13/2013 12:04:13 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
We are trying to stop it, and yes, almost always each side loses innocent lives in war. That's what wars are unfortunately.


Firstly, it IS NOT war, if you think you it is, the MASS MEDIA complex has truly done its job to convince the avg joe the US is at war.

The number of innocents kill in 9/11 is a so small compared to the number of innocents killed in Irag, Afghanistan, and Pakistan combined.

So 9/11 was unfortunate? Is that what you are saying, because it sure sounds like it. What is the value of human life, whether it is a middle-eastern person or an average person from the US???

We are trying to stop it??
LOL what horse sh}t is that? Blowing up more civilians just creates MORE MATYRS for these terrorists and gives them more of a grassroot anti-US mentality.


RE: What?
By Motoman on 5/13/2013 12:14:54 PM , Rating: 2
Welcome to asymmetrical warfare.

The enemy lives in shadows, amongst the innocent as a means of using them as human shields. There's no real way to directly engage that enemy in any traditional manner.

The enemy isn't a country, or a "people" per se. It's a highly scattered pack of rats that live in our own houses.

So if you're such a military genius that you've figured out how to engage an asymmetrical enemy without any collateral damage, we're all ears. Go on...become the next Sun Tzu.


RE: What?
By mcnabney on 5/13/13, Rating: -1
RE: What?
By Reclaimer77 on 5/13/2013 12:21:56 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
They are just whining because the President is a black Democrat.


LMAO you people still think the race card is cool to use. Wow! That is sooo 2008.


RE: What?
By mcnabney on 5/13/13, Rating: -1
RE: What?
By Reclaimer77 on 5/13/2013 3:46:28 PM , Rating: 5
You're a jackass.

I've supported nearly every African America Republican candidate that I can recall in my lifetime. I've also watched as the "enlightened" Democrat party did everything they could to destroy said candidates, by the way.

To boil down any objections to this President as merely racism is the signs of a small mind. You're an immature little troll and your words shall not intimidate me or weaken my resolve.

quote:
Obama is a moderate through and through.


HAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!! Oh my god...


RE: What?
By Reclaimer77 on 5/13/2013 12:17:24 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The number of innocents kill in 9/11 is a so small compared to the number of innocents killed in Irag, Afghanistan, and Pakistan combined.


And the number of innocents killed in 9/11 would be far more today if we didn't take action when we did.

Even then, there's still been thousands of successful terrorists attacks. Just image if all the ones we thwarted would have happened too. Or do you also not acknowledge there HAVE been successes?

I think you're heart is in the right place, but don't fool yourself into thinking all we're doing is killing innocent people.

quote:
Firstly, it IS NOT war


Obviously not in the tradition sense, because we're not declaring war against a nation state with an organized army and clearly marked logistics/headquarters.

Call it whatever you want, but we're in it.


RE: What?
By croc on 5/13/2013 7:36:34 PM , Rating: 2
Please enlighten us, just how many attacks since Sept. 11 2001 have been thwarted by the US three-letter organizations. You will, I am sure, also be so kind as to provide specifics, like 'on such-'n-such date so-'n-so agency intercepted some terrorist group trying to...'


RE: What?
By tayb on 5/13/2013 12:37:36 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Firstly, it IS NOT war, if you think you it is, the MASS MEDIA complex has truly done its job to convince the avg joe the US is at war.


It seems it is you that has been taken by the mass media claiming that combat in foreign sovereign nations is not war. This is likely so you'll believe that this combat is constitutional when in reality it is not. By any definition of the word, we are at war.

Google:
quote:
A state of armed conflict between different nations or states or different groups within a nation or state.


Wikipedia:
quote:
War is an organised and often prolonged conflict that is carried out by states and/or non-state actors. It is characterised by extreme violence, social disruption, and economic destruction.[


Dictionary.com
quote:
1. a conflict carried on by force of arms, as between nations or between parties within a nation; warfare, as by land, sea, or air.
2. a state or period of armed hostility or active military operations


Webster:
quote:
(1) : a state of usually open and declared armed hostile conflict between states or nations
(2) : a period of such armed conflict


Oxford:
quote:
a state of armed conflict between different nations or states or different groups within a nation or state


RE: What?
By theapparition on 5/13/2013 2:10:03 PM , Rating: 2
Dictionary quotes aren't going to prove your point.

We are at war though. The war against terrorism was passed by Congress on September 14th, 2001. This makes it legal to use our military forces in combat against "terrorism".

Additionally, the nations where we are operating armed forces have agreed to let us do so. Now, I won't argue whether those agreements were coerced or forced, but legally, the US has every right to be where they are.

Even the Iraq invasion had legal grounds, since the Iraq government never complied with the sanctions required since the first action.


RE: What?
By M'n'M on 5/13/2013 2:25:17 PM , Rating: 2
Let's also not forget the AUMF:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Authorization_for_Use...
Section 2 - Authorization For Use of United States Armed Forces

(a) IN GENERAL- That the President is authorized to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons.

(b) War Powers Resolution Requirements-

(1) SPECIFIC STATUTORY AUTHORIZATION- Consistent with section 8(a)(1) of the War Powers Resolution, the Congress declares that this section is intended to constitute specific statutory authorization within the meaning of section 5(b) of the War Powers Resolution.

(2) APPLICABILITY OF OTHER REQUIREMENTS- Nothing in this resolution supersedes any requirement of the War Powers Resolution.


If you ask the average joe, "Is the US at war ?", and exclude Afghanistan and Iraq, he's probably going to say no. So I don't get the whole *mass media* angle on this point.

And let's not be confused, Pakistan, whatever red meat is tossed to their media, has been in support of the "drone war" since Day1.


RE: What?
By Jeffk464 on 5/13/2013 12:29:01 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
We probably wouldn't feel much of anything because they'd be killing our citizens as a result of our savage asymmetrical warfare strategies that put exponentially countless more innocent civilians in harms way.


In their defense this is basically the only tactic they have. They are completely outmatched in any type of conventional combat. These tactics have proven to be very effective in the past by the way, pushing france out of Algeria and the US out of Vietnam.


RE: What?
By Motoman on 5/13/2013 11:34:35 AM , Rating: 2
As tragic as it is for civilians to be killed as collateral damage, FWIW a few thousand dollars to an average Pakistani is probably worth some tens of thousands if you converted it to fit the American economy as a payment to bereaved American families if the role were reversed.

You can't just look at that amount of money as an American and turn your nose up at it - to a Pakistani family, that might secure their future for years.


RE: What?
By shabby on 5/13/2013 11:47:41 AM , Rating: 2
So its ok to kill someone as long as you pay the family off?
How much is you mommy and daddy worth to you? 50k? 100k?


RE: What?
By Motoman on 5/13/2013 12:10:17 PM , Rating: 3
Way to put words in my mouth. I said no such thing.

I'm just pointing out that there's a big difference in scale when you say something like "a few thousand dollars."

To the average American, "a few thousand dollars" maybe pays the rent for a couple months. To people living in other parts of the world, it might float them for years.

That is the entirety of what I'm saying. Nothing more, nothing less.


RE: What?
By Reclaimer77 on 5/13/2013 1:38:03 PM , Rating: 2
I bet the next big story is going to be these mercy payments being used to directly fund terrorism lol.


RE: What?
By Skywalker123 on 5/14/2013 8:59:43 AM , Rating: 2
If the U.S killed your family in a drone attack, you wouldn't want revenge? I'd spend it all on I.E.D,s and send them to Afghanistan.


RE: What?
By inperfectdarkness on 5/16/2013 4:03:03 AM , Rating: 2
Agreed. The monetary value of life is relative to the economy surrounding it. Doesn't seem fair, but that's how it is.

p.s.
I really wish these types of stories would actually put up numbers about the number of civilians killed by ISAF forces, vice the number killed by terrorists and the Taliban. Each time news like this comes out, the civilian death toll gets tossed around like it's ALL the result of allied actions. I'd venture to guess that in reality, the allied-caused civilian death toll is maybe a single-digit percentage of the total civilian death toll.


RE: What?
By Jeffk464 on 5/13/2013 12:22:48 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
"Some feel the President shouldn't have the power to order the warrantless killings of Americans on U.S. soil." "Some"!?


Yup, those "some" include the people who wrote the Constitution.


RE: What?
By sixteenornumber on 5/13/2013 3:36:16 PM , Rating: 2
If they were actually serious about this, they would go to the United Nations with it. I call BS! The US has given them over $20B since 9/11 (google this if you want specific numbers) and I'm willing to bet this is a means to ask for even more money.

You should also understand that a few thousand dollars is a S**T ton of money there for an individual in a tribal area. In fact, a couple thousand is several years of income.


"We can't expect users to use common sense. That would eliminate the need for all sorts of legislation, committees, oversight and lawyers." -- Christopher Jennings














botimage
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki