View Poll Results: Are spy/assassinatin drones morally acceptable?

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  • Yes

    29 33.72%
  • No

    34 39.53%
  • Yes, with explanation

    20 23.26%
  • No or undecided with explanation

    3 3.49%
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Thread: Assassination Drones are OK or morally questionable?

  1. #111
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    Re: Assassination Drones are OK or morally questionable?

    Quote Originally Posted by cpwill View Post
    It is difficult for me to express in words how idiotically unrealistic this standard is. Suffice to say, there are darn good reasons why the Laws of Armed Conflict explicitly reject this standard - not least because merely attempting it would simply cause the enemy to immediately use human shields in every scenario, allowing them to commit mass-murder at will. More innocents will suffer if anyone is ever dumb enough to commit to this kind of pie-in-the-sky, which the authors of the Geneva Accords wisely realized. This scenario would mean that US forces cannot engage the enemy ever since we are never able to ascertain with full certainty that no non-combatants would be harmed, given that collateral damage estimation is unable to take transients into account. Under the scenario you have drawn up the United States would no longer be able to employ any kinetic weapon system in its' arsenal. We would be reduced to fighting the enemy with leaflets and hugs.


    But I will await your response to how to choose between the deaths of a few innocents and the deaths of more innocents. And when you loftily claim that Oh-it's-not-really-like-that, I'm going to call BS, because I have been in those situations.
    Again, you base your belief on a false premise: that what we're doing is 1) necessary and 2) actually saves more lives than it costs. Neither is true.

    AUSTAN GOOLSBEE: I think the world vests too much power, certainly in the president, probably in Washington in general for its influence on the economy, because most all of the economy has nothing to do with the government.

  2. #112
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    Re: Assassination Drones are OK or morally questionable?

    Quote Originally Posted by Boo Radley View Post
    Again, you base your belief on a false premise: that what we're doing is 1) necessary and 2) actually saves more lives than it costs. Neither is true.
    On the contrary, it is quite easy to demonstrate both of those within the Joint Targeting Cycle and Target Folder Production processes. But you would't know that because (again) you are pontificating on stuff about which you have no idea.

  3. #113
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    Re: Assassination Drones are OK or morally questionable?

    Quote Originally Posted by Boo Radley View Post
    Your definition: morally acceptable means that the gain is greater than the loss.
    That is not a definition of "morality". That is the Law of Armed Conflict's Guidance With Regards to Collateral Damage Produced by Military Operations.

    Also, the choice you present above is a false choice.
    No it's not. In fact, that exact guidance was given, though too late. Nor did I ask retroactively about 9/11, I asked IF THAT HAPPENS AGAIN, what is the "moral" decision. Tell us Boo - which is more moral - to kill 400 through action? Or to kill 4,000 through inaction?


    I have been involved in similar situations, where the decision is made to take action that will probably kill non-combatants in order to save many more non-combatants. When a guy driving a car-bomb puts some civilians inside, and drives that VBIED at a crowd; you don't have time to beg him pretty-please to step out of the car so that you can get off a single, well-aimed, "surgical" shot. Instead you light up the car, and kill all those inside, but save the crowd. 3 non-combatants dead, 20-30 ish non-combatants saved. Then you clean up the pieces of the kids inside and you throw up and you hate yourself and you hate the enemy more, and you drink as much alcohol as you can pour down your throat once you get back to the states. You think this **** doesn't happen? You think that it doesn't happen all the ****ing time? Who the hell do you think we are fighting - Mary ****ing Poppins? What a pretty ****ing world you must live in. No, we are fighting rat evil bastards and assholes who don't think twice about throwing up non-combatants as human shields if they think it will increase their odds of operational success or organizational long term survival. Thank goodness as left wing and hairbrained as he is, even Obama isn't that much of an idiot - which is precisely why he kept the anti-terror infrastructure in place after campaigning against much of it.





    But let's be clear: is it your argument that reality does not present US forces or decision makers with situations where no matter what they choose, non-combatants will die?
    Last edited by cpwill; 02-06-13 at 03:22 AM.

  4. #114
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    Re: Assassination Drones are OK or morally questionable?

    Quote Originally Posted by cpwill View Post
    On the contrary, it is quite easy to demonstrate both of those within the Joint Targeting Cycle and Target Folder Production processes. But you would't know that because (again) you are pontificating on stuff about which you have no idea.
    Do not confuse your willingness to accept something with absolute knowledge.

    AUSTAN GOOLSBEE: I think the world vests too much power, certainly in the president, probably in Washington in general for its influence on the economy, because most all of the economy has nothing to do with the government.

  5. #115
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    Re: Assassination Drones are OK or morally questionable?

    Quote Originally Posted by cpwill View Post
    That is not a definition of "morality". That is the Law of Armed Conflict's Guidance With Regards to Collateral Damage Produced by Military Operations.



    No it's not. In fact, that exact guidance was given, though too late. Nor did I ask retroactively about 9/11, I asked IF THAT HAPPENS AGAIN, what is the "moral" decision. Tell us Boo - which is more moral - to kill 400 through action? Or to kill 4,000 through inaction?


    I have been involved in similar situations, where the decision is made to take action that will probably kill non-combatants in order to save many more non-combatants. When a guy driving a car-bomb puts some civilians inside, and drives that VBIED at a crowd; you don't have time to beg him pretty-please to step out of the car so that you can get off a single, well-aimed, "surgical" shot. Instead you light up the car, and kill all those inside, but save the crowd. 3 non-combatants dead, 20-30 ish non-combatants saved. Then you clean up the pieces of the kids inside and you throw up and you hate yourself and you hate the enemy more, and you drink as much alcohol as you can pour down your throat once you get back to the states. You think this **** doesn't happen? You think that it doesn't happen all the ****ing time? Who the hell do you think we are fighting - Mary ****ing Poppins? What a pretty ****ing world you must live in. No, we are fighting rat evil bastards and assholes who don't think twice about throwing up non-combatants as human shields if they think it will increase their odds of operational success or organizational long term survival. Thank goodness as left wing and hairbrained as he is, even Obama isn't that much of an idiot - which is precisely why he kept the anti-terror infrastructure in place after campaigning against much of it.





    But let's be clear: is it your argument that reality does not present US forces or decision makers with situations where no matter what they choose, non-combatants will die?

    Definition? No, but it speaks to the definition and leads us to your definition. And your reference to the Law of Armed Conflict's Guidance doesn't apply here. We are at we with no country.

    Nor is your hyperbole on point. We speak to drone attacks at a place we really shouldn't be at and to whether our attacks save lives from terrorism. There s little to nothing backing your claims that it does.

    AUSTAN GOOLSBEE: I think the world vests too much power, certainly in the president, probably in Washington in general for its influence on the economy, because most all of the economy has nothing to do with the government.

  6. #116
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    Re: Assassination Drones are OK or morally questionable?

    Quote Originally Posted by Boo Radley View Post
    Definition? No, but it speaks to the definition and leads us to your definition. And your reference to the Law of Armed Conflict's Guidance doesn't apply here. We are at we with no country.
    Which, fortunately, does not stop the Laws of Armed Conflict from having jurisdiction as regards collateral damage. But, again, you don't know that, because you don't know what you are talking about in this thread.

    Nor is your hyperbole on point. We speak to drone attacks at a place we really shouldn't be at and to whether our attacks save lives from terrorism. There s little to nothing backing your claims that it does.
    You are refusing to answer the question.

    Is it your argument that reality does not present US forces or decision makers with situations where no matter what they choose, non-combatants will die?

  7. #117
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    Re: Assassination Drones are OK or morally questionable?

    Quote Originally Posted by Boo Radley View Post
    Do not confuse your willingness to accept something with absolute knowledge.
    You realize you are talking to someone who has seen this happen? Who has done this?




    Tell you what; I won't try to lecture you on how to be a community college english professor, and you don't try to lecture me on the specifics of the joint targeting cycle, alright?
    Last edited by cpwill; 02-06-13 at 10:10 AM.

  8. #118
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    Re: Assassination Drones are OK or morally questionable?

    Quote Originally Posted by cpwill View Post
    Which, fortunately, does not stop the Laws of Armed Conflict from having jurisdiction as regards collateral damage. But, again, you don't know that, because you don't know what you are talking about in this thread.



    You are refusing to answer the question.

    Is it your argument that reality does not present US forces or decision makers with situations where no matter what they choose, non-combatants will die?

    Only an idiot deals in absolutes. I always speak in the context of what we're discussing, drone strikes when not at war with a country. So, no, I'm not refusing to answer the question, I'm refusing to move the goal posts.

    AUSTAN GOOLSBEE: I think the world vests too much power, certainly in the president, probably in Washington in general for its influence on the economy, because most all of the economy has nothing to do with the government.

  9. #119
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    Re: Assassination Drones are OK or morally questionable?

    Quote Originally Posted by Boo Radley View Post
    Only an idiot deals in absolutes. I always speak in the context of what we're discussing, drone strikes when not at war with a country. So, no, I'm not refusing to answer the question, I'm refusing to move the goal posts.
    The only one in this argument who has suggested an absolute is yourself - you have argued the absolutist position that a single non-combatant death caused by US forces makes that action wrong or immoral. Now it seems you are backtracking and dodging. However, that gives you an opening.

    So then is it your argument that reality DOES, in fact, present US Forces or Decision Makers with decisions where no matter what they choose, non-combatants will die?

    You need to answer the question about whether or not these situations exist, and if the Answer is "No", then you need to answer:

    So is it your argument that the enemy does NOT use human shields?

    and if the answer is "Yes", then you need to answer:

    So when faced with a situation where non-comatants will die regardless of the action taken, is it the moral decision to take the action that will net reduce the number of deaths?

  10. #120
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    Re: Assassination Drones are OK or morally questionable?

    Quote Originally Posted by cpwill View Post
    You realize you are talking to someone who has seen this happen? Who has done this?




    Tell you what; I won't try to lecture you on how to be a community college english professor, and you don't try to lecture me on the specifics of the joint targeting cycle, alright?
    In the actual context of our conversation, no I'm not.

    AUSTAN GOOLSBEE: I think the world vests too much power, certainly in the president, probably in Washington in general for its influence on the economy, because most all of the economy has nothing to do with the government.

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