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. #41
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    Re: Assassination Drones are OK or morally questionable?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sherman123 View Post
    I don't care if Islamist savages in foothills of the Hindu Kush find us cowardly. The point is to kill them, not to win their esteem. Moreover your dig about killing civilians is part and parcel of the misconception about drones and the impact on civilians, relatively few civilians have been killed when compared to the number of strikes carried out, and definitely when compared to Pakistani military offensives.
    Ahh but again you should. First it isn't just those folks who see us as cowards, the rest of the world knows about drone strikes and can form an opinion. Second killing leaders doesn't stop an idea only ending the idea's hold on the people does. Drones can't do the later.

    Relatively few, what a nice meaningless phrase to attempt to cover needless civilian deaths, as many in the Muslim world see it.

    Compared to the Pakistan army??? are you serious??? Since when is the bar what the Pakistan army does???

  2. #42
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    Re: Assassination Drones are OK or morally questionable?

    Quote Originally Posted by TacticalEvilDan View Post
    There is a distinct and powerful difference between using technology to protect our troops and/or make them more effective and using technology to remove them from the equation altogether.

    Governments wage too much war as it is. If one or more sides are able to factor out the human cost I shudder to think what would result.
    The waging of war, both on an interstate and intrastate level has been declining rapidly for decades and despite the aberrant rise of the War on Terror and its associated conflicts this trend shows no signs of halting. The removal or reduction of the human footprint on conflict and war moreover is inevitable. I'm glad that the United States is far and away the leader of this technology, and I hope we retain our edge as I'm not passive in my judgement of nations and the trajectory of the future. I pick sides, and I desire US led democratic hegemony on the planet.

  3. #43
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    Re: Assassination Drones are OK or morally questionable?

    Quote Originally Posted by notquiteright View Post
    Ahh but again you should. First it isn't just those folks who see us as cowards, the rest of the world knows about drone strikes and can form an opinion. Second killing leaders doesn't stop an idea only ending the idea's hold on the people does. Drones can't do the later.

    Relatively few, what a nice meaningless phrase to attempt to cover needless civilian deaths, as many in the Muslim world see it.

    Compared to the Pakistan army??? are you serious??? Since when is the bar what the Pakistan army does???
    1. The 'rest of the world' is an overly broad category, but the formation of negative opinions on US policy is inevitable almost regardless of what kind of action we take. Especially from other Western and developed circles where such agitation is popular but ultimately harmless. And that's what it really is: harmless. We are the hegemon and we attract reflexively negative sentiment, but it does not really impact our ability to act or our station in the world. Especially since we reap the advantage of being a democratic leader, with the capacity to hit popular reset with every new administration.

    2. They aren't 'needless' they are the cost of waging war, a war that is in fact moral, just, and necessary. Aside from being a direct, vocal, and proven threat and enemy of the United States and our allies, these militants and terrorists are the most regressive enemies of civilization and modernity. In the name of the most basic liberal and internationalist obligations that I believe we should hold ourselves to we should be suppressing these people. In the name of everything from democracy to feminism to security. Moreover much of the world see's drones and our activities in the way that you describe, because people like you in the West insist on describing it that way.

    3. The point is relevant since drone strikes primarily take place in NWFP, Waziristan, Swat, etc. areas that previously were subject to major Pakistani military offensives. Drone strikes even in isolation have inflicted very few civilian fatalities, but when related to the kind of violence these regions have seen it is positively minuscule.

    3.

  4. #44
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    Re: Assassination Drones are OK or morally questionable?

    I am not a fan of drones because what we have not bought up in this thread is drone proliferation. We are using drones right now and within the next decade or so, everyone is going to be using drones. The problems come in when (and if) they adopt the same policies as we have currently where we allow ourselves to go out and assassinate people on the basis of them being that oh-so subjective term: terrorist. Thus, I don't think we should really be using drones in the manner we currently are as it could turn against us quite soon. How would any of you feel if a Chinese or Russian drone was over in US airspace to assassinate someone their governments did not like?
    "And in the end, we were all just humans, drunk on the idea that love, only love, could heal our brokenness."

  5. #45
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    Re: Assassination Drones are OK or morally questionable?

    Yes,

    This technology was created in an effort to reduce civilian casualties. Instead of sending a heavily armed army in to hunt down someone, a drone strike is sent in for a precision strike. This, in effect, reduces collateral damage and casualties on our own side.
    - There was never a good war, or a bad peace.
    - Idealistically, everything should work as you planed it to. Realistically, it depends on how idealistic you are as to the measure of success.
    - Better to be a pessimist before, and an optimist afterwords.

  6. #46
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    Re: Assassination Drones are OK or morally questionable?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sherman123 View Post
    The waging of war, both on an interstate and intrastate level has been declining rapidly for decades
    I think it's more like media coverage of war has declined rapidly for decades. There have been wholesale slaughters that have, for all intents and purposes, gone practically unnoticed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sherman123 View Post
    The removal or reduction of the human footprint on conflict and war moreover is inevitable.
    That may well be, but inevitability is not the same thing as morality.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sherman123 View Post
    I'm glad that the United States is far and away the leader of this technology, and I hope we retain our edge as I'm not passive in my judgement of nations and the trajectory of the future. I pick sides, and I desire US led democratic hegemony on the planet.
    You wish for us to reign supreme over the world without a human cost to our side. You wish us to dominate because we have better gadgets rather than better strategy, robots rather than troops that are better equipped and better trained, joysticks in place of diplomats and statesman. You would like for us to be able to push a button and achieve any end we wish. You would like us to own the world because we have better toys rather than superior commitment or even a superior argument.

    Thanks, but no thanks. I do not think war is romantic, I do not think bloodshed is somehow magically noble in and of itself, I don't live and die by silly visualizations like watering the tree of liberty with the blood sacrifices of tyrants. More than any of that, I do not think war should amount to a button-click, where the cost of victory is something which is invoiced rather than mourned.

    The simple fact of the matter is that I am not now nor will I ever be a microwave patriot.
    I'm already gearing up for Finger Vote 2014.

    Just for reference, means my post was a giant steaming pile of sarcasm.

  7. #47
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    Re: Assassination Drones are OK or morally questionable?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sherman123 View Post
    Drones are a delivery vehicle, they are not 'accurate' or 'inaccurate' they just fly. What they do allow for however is much greater precision in planning strikes because they can hover on targets for long periods of time, can use smaller munitions, and allow closer observation on strikes. They are as a weapons platform more accurate than anything else we have to use in that category.
    Of course I said not accurate enough, in terms of civilian deaths. I was not making a comparison to other systems.

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  8. #48
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    Re: Assassination Drones are OK or morally questionable?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Invisible View Post
    I am not a fan of drones because what we have not bought up in this thread is drone proliferation. We are using drones right now and within the next decade or so, everyone is going to be using drones. The problems come in when (and if) they adopt the same policies as we have currently where we allow ourselves to go out and assassinate people on the basis of them being that oh-so subjective term: terrorist. Thus, I don't think we should really be using drones in the manner we currently are as it could turn against us quite soon. How would any of you feel if a Chinese or Russian drone was over in US airspace to assassinate someone their governments did not like?
    Well I think I'd address this in two ways:

    1. The proliferation of drones and/or autonomous technology is as inevitable as the spread of any kind of conventional military technology. You can delay it by limiting exposure and use and thus lulling rivals as to their true utility as has been done in the past, but their acquisition is inevitable.

    2. Talking about the proliferation of cross-border raids and activities is more plausible I think but again is reduced as a 'concern' by two factors. One being the highly, highly, contextualized basis for US activities in places like Yemen, Somalia, Pakistan, etc. It is unlikely that Russia or China would get the same relative leeway for cross border raids into their neighbors territory as the US by and large has received. The second is related to the first in that it is mostly inevitable. If it is going to happen, it will happen. The use of a drone to cross a frontier and launch an attack is not different from a political standpoint of sending a fixed wing aircraft across a frontier to attack a target. Drones wont change that.

    3. Hitting someone in the US with a drone is just as implausible as using anything else.

  9. #49
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    Re: Assassination Drones are OK or morally questionable?

    Quote Originally Posted by TacticalEvilDan View Post
    I think it's more like media coverage of war has declined rapidly for decades. There have been wholesale slaughters that have, for all intents and purposes, gone practically unnoticed.



    That may well be, but inevitability is not the same thing as morality.



    You wish for us to reign supreme over the world without a human cost to our side. You wish us to dominate because we have better gadgets rather than better strategy, robots rather than troops that are better equipped and better trained, joysticks in place of diplomats and statesman. You would like for us to be able to push a button and achieve any end we wish. You would like us to own the world because we have better toys rather than superior commitment or even a superior argument.

    Thanks, but no thanks. I do not think war is romantic, I do not think bloodshed is somehow magically noble in and of itself, I don't live and die by silly visualizations like watering the tree of liberty with the blood sacrifices of tyrants. More than any of that, I do not think war should amount to a button-click, where the cost of victory is something which is invoiced rather than mourned.

    The simple fact of the matter is that I am not now nor will I ever be a microwave patriot.
    Of course I desire for us to be victorious and to achieve our ends without suffering casualties or loss. I'm not a masochist. Our victories and achievements are no less important because they came without some blood offering. Yes to everything you said. I would be thrilled with robotic soldiers and combat vehicles, and the reduction or removal of the human element in combat. It is not likely to happen in the immediate future, but it is inevitable in the long term.

  10. #50
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    Re: Assassination Drones are OK or morally questionable?

    Quote Originally Posted by Boo Radley View Post
    Of course I said not accurate enough, in terms of civilian deaths. I was not making a comparison to other systems.
    It is as accurate as can be gotten in 2013.

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