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Thread: Obama Bombs Yemen Hours After Winning Reelection

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    Re: Obama Bombs Yemen Hours After Winning Reelection

    No, an irrational fear would be one based on no history. And it's not fear - it's a practical concern which makes me heartily rejoice every time one of them is blown to bits by american technology.
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    Re: Obama Bombs Yemen Hours After Winning Reelection

    Quote Originally Posted by sharon View Post
    Actually the authorization for drones strikes in Yemen has to come from the Yemeni govt...

    Yemen is a cesspool of crackpot terrorist factions.. Al Houthis in the north and Al Qaeda and Al Shabaab in the south. They kidnap, make bombs, try to cross into Saudi Arabia..

    The people are starving, oil facilities have been sabotaged, 500 factories have closed and the country is awash in small arms.
    Heh, that's someone espousing the Saudi line if I've ever heard it. Not that it's entirely inaccurate.

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    Re: Obama Bombs Yemen Hours After Winning Reelection

    Quote Originally Posted by Wiggen View Post
    You label yourself a 'Progressive', so I find it difficult to believe that you ever supported it. But since you don't believe in striking back at those who want to kill us, we really don't have much of a basis for discussion of the issue.
    There are posters here who were glad to 'hide' amongst the numerous Obama supporters. Some of my Conservative friends here are only now starting to recognize there are 'foreign agents' masquerading as "useful idiots."

    Google the term, 'useful idiots.'

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    Re: Obama Bombs Yemen Hours After Winning Reelection

    I'll repost my reply from earlier but I'll also briefly note that BIJ's numbers absolutely do not support a death toll of thousands of civilian casualties, or even majority civilian fatalities. To quote an analysis of their numbers " The Bureau of Investigative Journalism reports between 2,464 and 3,145 fatalities from drone attacks in Pakistan, of which 482 to 830 have been civilians." More over their numbers stand in stark contrast to numerous Western security think tanks research, media reports, and investigative reports on the ground.

    My post:

    That is totally unsubstantiated and weighs strongly against the facts that have been collected. The claim that we kill more innocents than terrorists is probably the least supported of all, and in fact drones probably have some of the greatest militant to civilian casualty ratios of any comparable weapon or tactic in our arsenal, they have been rather remarkable tools. The Long War Journal and the New America Foundation two of the more prominent think tanks and news outlets that cover drone strikes have created detailed and meticulous data on US drone strikes, with a specific focus on Pakistan. In particular the Long War Journal is critically acclaimed for its contacts among Pakistani and Waziri media. They both have estimates for militant lows and highs and civilian lows and highs, they break down as 1,600-2,800 and 150-190 respectively. This makes sense if you think about it because drones have the capacity to loiter on a target for an enormous period of time which over the past decade has vastly increased our capacity for observing and discerning militant and civilian targets and allowed us to deliver much smaller warheads to targets with an increased degree of confidence.

    The notion that we are killing hundreds of civilians in drone strikes is a myth pushed along by elements of the Pakistani media, and a self-flagellating narrative. It is totally unsupported by the facts. This was particularly supported by the Associated Press which did wide ranging research and interviews inside FATA which massively discredited Pakistani media and civil society groups: AP IMPACT: New light on drone war's death toll - Boston.com

    The Long War Journal - Charts on US Strikes in Pakistan
    The Year of the Drone | NewAmerica.net

    Moreover lets move to the next argument which involves their efficacy and their impact on civilians. The first and most salient point is that since so few civilians are killed it actually has had an incredibly reduced impact on the civilian population at large compared to lets say the Pakistani Army offensives which aimed to accomplish the same thing. In fact drone strikes are more opposed outside FATA than inside them eight times more supportive, and only a minority 48% think they are killing civilians frequently which is in stark contrast to the rest of the country ("Four Myths about Drone Strikes" by By Shehzad H. Qazi & Shoaib Jillani). Many journalists have substantiated this point in field research, with several Afghani/Pakistani native journalists working for FP going to Waziristan and reporting on the efficacy of drone strikes and the fact that many in the tribal belt actually support them as a superior means than the Pakistani military or air strikes.

    Finally the most repeated claim, and the one with almost no evidence to support it is that we are merely creating new terrorists or militants. This trope has become pervasive over the last decade, but it rarely has any evidence in fact and shows no understanding for the demographics of militant groups, their recruitment pools, or the situation they are involved in. A detailed study by the RAND corporation between 2004-2010 found that there was a negative correlation between drone strikes and militant recruitment. In other words there is no evidence at all that drone strikes or the lack thereof had an impact on recruitment and that other factors as is usual contributed to this (http://patrickjohnston.info/materials/drones.pdf).

    To sum up my position I'll quote Zmarak Yousefzai, a US based Afghan and Pakistani national security expert writes: "Nevertheless, by yet another comparison of hypocrisy, those who are loudest about casualties from U.S. drone strikes have rarely protested the far higher numbers of civilian casualties as a result of Pakistan Army operations or Taliban violence in the Swat Valley and FATA. Silenced in this double standard are the varying motives of different parties as well as the voice of the Pashtun people in these tribal areas. At least one voice -- that of this native Pashtun -- is speaking out to say that there are serious downsides to these drone strikes, but they may be a necessary evil and the lone option to combat those who are responsible for the severe suffering of our people - like Malala Yousafzai."

    Voice of a native son: Drones may be a necessary evil - by Zmarak Yousefzai | The AfPak Channel

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    Re: Obama Bombs Yemen Hours After Winning Reelection

    Quote Originally Posted by sharon View Post
    Actually the authorization for drones strikes in Yemen has to come from the Yemeni govt...
    I dont believe it does.
    Do you have a source of this.


    Yemen is a cesspool of crackpot terrorist factions.. Al Houthis in the north and Al Qaeda and Al Shabaab in the south. They kidnap, make bombs, try to cross into Saudi Arabia..
    Ok. Does that give us the right to violate a nations sovereignty?

    The people are starving, oil facilities have been sabotaged, 500 factories have closed and the country is awash in small arms.
    So we bomb them.. That makes a whole lot of sense


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    Re: Obama Bombs Yemen Hours After Winning Reelection

    Quote Originally Posted by Fruityfact View Post
    Again that is so minuscule...your fear of Terrorist is irrational
    Your gauge is faulty.

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    Re: Obama Bombs Yemen Hours After Winning Reelection

    Quote Originally Posted by Wiggen View Post
    If you were using even marginally fair sources, that might be interesting. Since you aren't, it isn't. 'Civilians turning against america'. Wow, really? You mean they loved us before we started fighting back? Who knew?
    Really? That's your comeback? Just a dismissal of sources?
    "And in the end, we were all just humans, drunk on the idea that love, only love, could heal our brokenness."

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    Re: Obama Bombs Yemen Hours After Winning Reelection

    Quote Originally Posted by Wiggen View Post
    I'll try to live with your disapproval. It will be difficult but I'll give it my best effort.
    I'm sure you can give two ****s, but I imagine you would actually like to promote your ideas in some effective manner.

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    Re: Obama Bombs Yemen Hours After Winning Reelection

    Quote Originally Posted by Sherman123 View Post
    I'll repost my reply from earlier but I'll also briefly note that BIJ's numbers absolutely do not support a death toll of thousands of civilian casualties, or even majority civilian fatalities. To quote an analysis of their numbers " The Bureau of Investigative Journalism reports between 2,464 and 3,145 fatalities from drone attacks in Pakistan, of which 482 to 830 have been civilians." More over their numbers stand in stark contrast to numerous Western security think tanks research, media reports, and investigative reports on the ground.

    My post:

    That is totally unsubstantiated and weighs strongly against the facts that have been collected. The claim that we kill more innocents than terrorists is probably the least supported of all, and in fact drones probably have some of the greatest militant to civilian casualty ratios of any comparable weapon or tactic in our arsenal, they have been rather remarkable tools. The Long War Journal and the New America Foundation two of the more prominent think tanks and news outlets that cover drone strikes have created detailed and meticulous data on US drone strikes, with a specific focus on Pakistan. In particular the Long War Journal is critically acclaimed for its contacts among Pakistani and Waziri media. They both have estimates for militant lows and highs and civilian lows and highs, they break down as 1,600-2,800 and 150-190 respectively. This makes sense if you think about it because drones have the capacity to loiter on a target for an enormous period of time which over the past decade has vastly increased our capacity for observing and discerning militant and civilian targets and allowed us to deliver much smaller warheads to targets with an increased degree of confidence.

    The notion that we are killing hundreds of civilians in drone strikes is a myth pushed along by elements of the Pakistani media, and a self-flagellating narrative. It is totally unsupported by the facts. This was particularly supported by the Associated Press which did wide ranging research and interviews inside FATA which massively discredited Pakistani media and civil society groups: AP IMPACT: New light on drone war's death toll - Boston.com

    The Long War Journal - Charts on US Strikes in Pakistan
    The Year of the Drone | NewAmerica.net

    Moreover lets move to the next argument which involves their efficacy and their impact on civilians. The first and most salient point is that since so few civilians are killed it actually has had an incredibly reduced impact on the civilian population at large compared to lets say the Pakistani Army offensives which aimed to accomplish the same thing. In fact drone strikes are more opposed outside FATA than inside them eight times more supportive, and only a minority 48% think they are killing civilians frequently which is in stark contrast to the rest of the country ("Four Myths about Drone Strikes" by By Shehzad H. Qazi & Shoaib Jillani). Many journalists have substantiated this point in field research, with several Afghani/Pakistani native journalists working for FP going to Waziristan and reporting on the efficacy of drone strikes and the fact that many in the tribal belt actually support them as a superior means than the Pakistani military or air strikes.

    Finally the most repeated claim, and the one with almost no evidence to support it is that we are merely creating new terrorists or militants. This trope has become pervasive over the last decade, but it rarely has any evidence in fact and shows no understanding for the demographics of militant groups, their recruitment pools, or the situation they are involved in. A detailed study by the RAND corporation between 2004-2010 found that there was a negative correlation between drone strikes and militant recruitment. In other words there is no evidence at all that drone strikes or the lack thereof had an impact on recruitment and that other factors as is usual contributed to this (http://patrickjohnston.info/materials/drones.pdf).

    To sum up my position I'll quote Zmarak Yousefzai, a US based Afghan and Pakistani national security expert writes: "Nevertheless, by yet another comparison of hypocrisy, those who are loudest about casualties from U.S. drone strikes have rarely protested the far higher numbers of civilian casualties as a result of Pakistan Army operations or Taliban violence in the Swat Valley and FATA. Silenced in this double standard are the varying motives of different parties as well as the voice of the Pashtun people in these tribal areas. At least one voice -- that of this native Pashtun -- is speaking out to say that there are serious downsides to these drone strikes, but they may be a necessary evil and the lone option to combat those who are responsible for the severe suffering of our people - like Malala Yousafzai."

    Voice of a native son: Drones may be a necessary evil - by Zmarak Yousefzai | The AfPak Channel
    Actually, BIJ's numbers actually are good as their methodology is based on finding multiple sources for drone strike incidents. (Covert US strikes in Pakistan,Yemen and Somalia – our methodology: The Bureau of Investigative Journalism)

    Every strike or event covered in our database contains reference links to all news reports, statements, documents or press releases considered while researching that incident. The data sets also contain a number of images and video clips relating to specific events.

    For each data set, the most comprehensive information on casualties generally lies in the thousands of press reports of drone strikes filed by reputable national and international media outlets.
    While they do use Pakistani, Yemeni, and Somali sources, their assertions are also backed up with evidence from "the New America Foundation, Critical Threats, Long War Journal, Jamestown Foundation, Jihadology, Empty Wheel, Wired, WikiLeaks, the UN and Amnesty International" and "CNN, MSNBC, ABC News, Fox News, Reuters, the BBC, Associated Press, the Guardian, the Telegraph, the Independent, TIME, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Nation, the Atlantic, Salon, Xinhua, Army Times, Navy Times, Bloomberg, AFP, NPR, Al Jazeera, and Al Arabiya." Thus, the sources are quite diverse and thus the possibility of bias decreases.

    You say that both the Long War Journal and the New America Foundation "have estimates for militant lows and highs and civilian lows and highs, they break down as 1,600-2,800 and 150-190 respectively." However, I have to ask, in what month and year did you post this? The data changes frequently. Secondly, you rely mainly on LWJ and the NAF. Both of which are quite good sources, no doubt, but one cannot possibly get a full picture of the civilian casualties that drones have when focusing on only two sources.

    In 2012, Columbia Law School's Counterterrorism and Human Rights Project, in conjunction with the Center for Civilians in Conflict conducted a study in which they concluded that (http://web.law.columbia.edu/sites/de...mendations.pdf)

    covert drone strikes cause other kinds of harm to civilians and local communities, and may fuel anger toward the US in the aggregate. Moreover, US government estimates of extremely low or no civilian harm, while not empirically disproven, may be based on deeply problematic assumptions, including those regarding the identity of individuals present in an area or drone strike zone.
    The study (http://web.law.columbia.edu/sites/de...f%20Drones.pdf) itself states that US drone strikes actually hurt US interests in Pakistan.

    James Traub, a fellow of the Center on International Cooperation, notes that public outrage over drone strikes in Pakistan has “made it almost impossible for the United States to achieve its long-term goals of helping Pakistan become a stable, civilian-run state.”115 In other words, whatever the short-term benefits of drone strikes, the anger and disrespect felt by the Pakistani civilian population is spurring more discontent generally, and in particular against the Pakistani government due to its collusive role in US drone strikes.


    David Kilcullen, former counterinsurgency adviser to General David Petraeus, and Andrew Exum of the Center for a New American Security and a former US army officer in Iraq and Afghanistan, notes: Imagine, for example, that burglars move into a neighborhood. If the police were to start blowing up people’s houses from the air, would this convince homeowners to rise up against the burglars? Wouldn’t it be more likely to turn the whole population against the police? And if their neighbors wanted to turn the burglars in, how would they do that, exactly? Yet this is the same basic logic underlying the drone war.
    It also notes that drone strikes can potentially create terrorists:

    In May 2012, a Washington Post study based on interviews with government officials, tribal elders, and others in Yemen concluded, “an unintended consequence of the attacks has been a marked radicalization of the local population.”
    "And in the end, we were all just humans, drunk on the idea that love, only love, could heal our brokenness."

  10. #100
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    Re: Obama Bombs Yemen Hours After Winning Reelection

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Chuckles View Post
    I'm sure you can give two ****s, but I imagine you would actually like to promote your ideas in some effective manner.
    You know, I've been posting on this forum for about two years or so, and have somewhere close to 2000 'likes', so apparently not everybody agrees with you. I'm willing to live with your disapproval, painful though it is.

    Have a great day. I'd suggest the 'ignore' function on the forum for you with respect to my posts.
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