Author Topic: Drone Debate  (Read 3703 times)

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Offline screwtape

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Re: Drone Debate
« Reply #58 on: February 18, 2013, 08:32:49 AM »
Whatever else you say about democracy, at least it can self-correct without requiring a civil war or a revolution.

Self correct to what?  If the problem is dumb policy leading the nation to ruin, but they are policies the people want, how does self correction work?  I'd very much like to think that is how it works, but given the current state of things, I don't seehow.

Here is one man's theory of it:
http://www.antipope.org/charlie/blog-static/2013/02/political-failure-modes-and-th.html

Quote
Here's a hypothesis: Representative democracy is what's happening. Unfortunately, democracy is broken. There's a hidden failure mode, we've landed in it, and we probably won't be able to vote ourselves out of it.
...
Overall, the nature of the problem seems to be that our representative democratic institutions have been captured by meta-institutions that implement the iron law of oligarchy by systematically reducing the risk of change. They have done so by converging on a common set of policies that do not serve the public interest, but minimize the risk of the parties losing the corporate funding they require in order to achieve re-election.

Failure modes.  That is an interesting idea.  I do FMEA[1] for designs and for systems.  But I have never heard anyone discuss the potential failure modes of our representative democracy.  I think they do get talked about - gerrymandering, filibustering, do nothing parties - but not in a systematic way.  More of a whiney, complaining informal way.  That would be an interesting study to read.  How can democracy fail and how can it be prevented?
 1. Failure Mode Effects Analysis
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Offline Graybeard

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Re: Drone Debate
« Reply #59 on: February 18, 2013, 02:08:42 PM »
Quote
Representative democracy is what's happening. Unfortunately, democracy is broken. There's a hidden failure mode, we've landed in it, and we probably won't be able to vote ourselves out of it.

To a large extent I agree. The job of government in a representational democracy is to obey the reasonable wishes of the population within economic constraints and to introduce legislation for the perceived improvement of the lives of the population.

However, the government should also limit government by the mob, which is socially and economically disastrous.

The main problems are with democracy and defence: defence is always secret. If the other side know what you know, you’re stuffed. Therefore there is no explaining your actions to the voters in a way that would allow them to come to the same conclusions as you: they are not allowed the facts… and quite right too.

However, and that said, it does strike me that governments of all shades tend to decided what they can do, announce this as desirable policy, fight anyone who opposes them and then implement it. There is not much “listening”.

This might be a good thing, from what I’ve seen of the UK, 60% of people should not qualify to vote.

The leader of the Liberal Party in the UK (Nick Clegg, who tends to be idealistic and not quite in touch with the practicalities of politics) opened a website on which the people could suggest laws that they wanted abolishing. It was a failure – everyone wanted more laws! I was amazed until I realised that most of these people though that to “abolish” meant “not to allow something.”
RELIGION, n. A daughter of Hope and Fear, explaining to Ignorance the nature of the Unknowable. Ambrose Bierce

Offline shnozzola

Re: Drone Debate
« Reply #60 on: February 18, 2013, 04:52:31 PM »
Quote
How can democracy  <not> fail?
   It seems based mostly on trust.  The representatives must trust each other.  The public must trust representatives.  When trust runs throughout government, both sides can attempt law and quick progress can be made.

     Both sides can have opposite views of what is correct law, but still be willing to allow law to be made by the other side while a majority. The minority must trust that, since both sides should be most interested in a solution, if the majority made law does not work, a law would be overturned. 

   Take gun control, or Obamacare - if the side that feels they  have lost the debate trust that if the new law doesn't work, it would be overturned, laws are not so frightening.  In a way, when the US had prohibition but then overturned it, it was a mature move.  Maybe easy to say 90 years later, after hot debate, but we seem to have moved on from that.

   Naive maybe, but easy, logical governing.   It does seem like most US governing is on a conservative - liberal pendulum.  For instance, if the public feels that corporation's rights have gone too far, the slow process of supreme court change will change those rights.

What is the main thing that ended great societies throughout history?
« Last Edit: February 18, 2013, 04:55:41 PM by shnozzola »
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Offline sun_king

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Re: Drone Debate
« Reply #61 on: February 21, 2013, 12:42:52 PM »
Back to terrorism and drones, this happened yesterday, about 400 miles from where I used to live

http://www.ndtv.com/article/south/hyderabad-blasts-at-least-12-killed-57-injured-333905?pfrom=home-lateststories

We don't use drones, we dont attack training camps in our neighbouring countries. All our forces are inside our borders (unless token units are on UN missions). Yet they decided its time for many innocents to die.

Quick check on Screwtape's list:

severely curtail the assassination-by-drone program -- N/A
pull all our troops out of iraq, afghanistan, etc. N/A
Stop trying to have puppet governements.  In the long run, they hurt us.  See Iran. N/A
stop trying to promote democracy.  most people don't have it because they are not ready for it.  heck, I hardly think the US is ready for it anymore. N/A
revoke corporate personhood N/A
cease torture - probably N/A
cease covert operations - N/A
try to reform the monolithic intelligence community to make them actual intelligence gathering entities Almost Impractical- too huge a spectrum
cease all financial and military support for Israel N/A
broker a fair resolution for the palestinians.  N/A
de-garrison the planet.  we have expensive military bases everywhere.  Why?  To "project power".  That seems unnecessarily hostile to me. N/A

What I would say is that there are people out there who needs no reason to perpetrate an act of terror. This is the "enemy", he is real and he is filled with hatred. He will keep killing just because he can.

Offline screwtape

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Re: Drone Debate
« Reply #62 on: February 21, 2013, 01:53:39 PM »
Back to terrorism and drones, this happened yesterday, about 400 miles from where I used to live

http://www.ndtv.com/article/south/hyderabad-blasts-at-least-12-killed-57-injured-333905?pfrom=home-lateststories

We don't use drones, we dont attack training camps in our neighbouring countries. All our forces are inside our borders (unless token units are on UN missions). Yet they decided its time for many innocents to die.

By "we" I presume you mean the Pakistani government.

Someone blew shit up in Hyderabad and that is supposed to make me think the way the US uses drones is awesome sauce?  Really?  GTFO.

First of all, you would have to show me how Pakistan using a drone would have prevented this.  Do drones now have the ability to find and disarm bombs in a marketplace?  Do they even know who did it?  Did they know in advance that something was being planned?  If so, why did they not use F-16s or JF-17s?  That should be able to do the same thing, right?  There is nothing about a drone that makes it better at finding targets.  Any aerial platform should work. 

Second, the taliban and other assorted terrorist organizations are a creation and extension of Pakistan's ISI.  The ISI that has been a HUGE problem in Afghanistan and probably Iraq too.  I did make a couple points about eschewing puppet governments, ceasing covert ops, and reforming intelligence bureaus.  That probably applies here.   

Last, my list was not a silver bullet that was supposed to be policy for every country, though a lot of it does make practical sense.  It was to specifically address some of the bigger problems with US foreign policy.

And if you recall, I agreed drones were just another weapon system and nothing was inherently bad about them.  I do have a problem with our current policy for how we use them and the horrid intelligence we rely on to select targets. 


What I would say is that there are people out there who needs no reason to perpetrate an act of terror...He will keep killing just because he can.
 

Really?  They are just nihilists creating death and destruction for the heck of it?  I don't buy it.  It sounds too simplistic, too convenient, and too much like "they hate us for our freedom".  And it does not actually explain anything.

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Offline sun_king

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Re: Drone Debate
« Reply #63 on: February 21, 2013, 02:19:04 PM »
I am from India, Screwtape. Hyderabad is in India (its there in Pakistan too, but thats another matter)

I just wanted to say that your list does little to prevent terrorism. And that Quesi's theory that there is no "enemy" out there is just as far fetched. This has nothing to do with the US policies, nothing to do with Taliban, nothing to do with Afghanistan. Different world, different country, real life.

... and that a terrorist doesn't need a drone to justify his Jihad.


Offline nogodsforme

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Re: Drone Debate
« Reply #64 on: February 21, 2013, 03:37:19 PM »
I have to agree with screwtape here. People don't just suddenly wake up one day and decide to hate the US and go on a "jihad" against the west for no reason. If we don't look at how the Taliban and Al Qaeda and the ISI came about, we will face more of the same in the future. We are creating the future jihadis when we bomb wedding parties, kill children and assassinate anyone we don't like.

We in the US have not had militants charging into our cities and towns, mowing down police, judges and civilians by the hundreds. We have not had terrorists dumping dead bodies into people's yards, or throwing severed heads into high school proms. But Mexico has been suffering this for several years now. Their terrorists are Central American drug gangs hiding out in the US.

If the Mexican military used drones to bomb suspected M13 gang hangouts in the US, many innocent Americans would be killed. But the Mexicans' actions would have far more merit than the US has for bombings in Pakistan, Afghanistan or Yemen.  Nobody from any of those countries has done anything in the US compared to the death and destruction these drug runners have caused in Mexico.

The US has been the biggest bully on the block since the fall of the Soviet Union, but we will not be the #1 superpower forever. If China or Russia started bombing people they suspected of terrorism in the US, you know damn well it would not take very long for Americans to retaliate. 

What goes around comes around. If we can get away with it, why not other countries?
Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

Kids aren't paying attention most of the time in science classes so it seems silly to get worked up over ID being taught in schools.

Offline screwtape

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Re: Drone Debate
« Reply #65 on: February 21, 2013, 04:10:42 PM »
I am from India, Screwtape. Hyderabad is in India (its there in Pakistan too, but thats another matter)

My mistake.  My apologies.

I just wanted to say that your list does little to prevent terrorism.

Well, then you would be wrong.  As I said.  My list was US specific.  I am sure India has its own set of issues with Pakistan.  And your post did nothing to say drones would or could have helped you.   

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Offline nogodsforme

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Re: Drone Debate
« Reply #66 on: February 21, 2013, 04:41:26 PM »
I am from India, Screwtape. Hyderabad is in India (its there in Pakistan too, but thats another matter)

My mistake.  My apologies.

I just wanted to say that your list does little to prevent terrorism.

Well, then you would be wrong.  As I said.  My list was US specific.  I am sure India has its own set of issues with Pakistan.  And your post did nothing to say drones would or could have helped you.

People don't sacrifice themselves for frivolous reasons. They may be the wrong reasons, but they are reality. Therefore, screwtape's list prevents terrorism by giving people fewer reasons to become terrorists.

Terrorism is not just another occupational choice, like being a terrorist is one job possibility instead of store clerk, welder or nurse. Something has to drive most people to react with extreme violent actions-- a few are actually crazy psychos, but the other 98% are people driven to think there is only one appropriate response to what has happened to them.

If we can imagine what it would take to make us into terrorists, we can imagine what made other people into terrorists. Sometimes we forget that other people love their homes, friends and families just as much as we love ours. If some foreign army dropped a bomb on my peaceful neighborhood, destroying my home, and killing my daughter and husband, that might be enough for me.
Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

Kids aren't paying attention most of the time in science classes so it seems silly to get worked up over ID being taught in schools.

Offline sun_king

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Re: Drone Debate
« Reply #67 on: February 21, 2013, 05:29:33 PM »
My mistake.  My apologies.
No big deal, it happens.
I just wanted to say that your list does little to prevent terrorism.
Well, then you would be wrong.  As I said.  My list was US specific.  I am sure India has its own set of issues with Pakistan.  And your post did nothing to say drones would or could have helped you.

Thought you were having a global mindset  :)
A drone wouldn't have helped. But then, a drone isn't the reason either. What I wanted to say is that these are the same kind of people you too would be facing. You can refrain from using a new weapon system, they find another reason to bring death to you. In other words, the number of "new" enemies you get will be pretty much the same no matter what you do to contain it. Wasn't it you who mentioned Art of War and understanding the enemy? I wanted to share a different face of your enemy, something you are quite lucky not to have in your soil.

Offline sun_king

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Re: Drone Debate
« Reply #68 on: February 21, 2013, 05:44:47 PM »
Terrorism is not just another occupational choice, like being a terrorist is one job possibility instead of store clerk, welder or nurse. Something has to drive most people to react with extreme violent actions-- a few are actually crazy psychos, but the other 98% are people driven to think there is only one appropriate response to what has happened to them.

Sadly, this is not always true. It is a career choice in certain places. And there are a lot of examples where its driven just for money or victim of indoctrination. Check this guy, had nothing to do with India, but chose to be part of a terrorist attack  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ajmal_Kasab

Or http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Headley

Offline shnozzola

Re: Drone Debate
« Reply #69 on: February 21, 2013, 06:35:29 PM »
Sun King,
  Do you think the United States should totally withdraw from that part of the world? (Pakistan, Afghanistan)
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Offline sun_king

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Re: Drone Debate
« Reply #70 on: February 21, 2013, 06:48:36 PM »
Sun King,
  Do you think the United States should totally withdraw from that part of the world? (Pakistan, Afghanistan)

If I speak as a neutral, I think the US should do that. The loss of life of US soldiers and the expense to keep them there are quite high.

Offline shnozzola

Re: Drone Debate
« Reply #71 on: February 21, 2013, 07:22:31 PM »
What do you think if not speaking as a neutral, and what do you mean in that case?
« Last Edit: February 21, 2013, 07:25:12 PM by shnozzola »
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Offline sun_king

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Re: Drone Debate
« Reply #72 on: February 21, 2013, 07:51:32 PM »
What do you think if not speaking as a neutral, and what do you mean in that case?

Quite obviously the opposite. Pakistan is a nuclear state, I have no confidence in the Pak army's capability to stand up to the Taliban in the long run. The US (NATO) forces could be the only thing that keeps the Taliban in control as of now. The US withdrawal may mean the possibility of a nuclear capable terrorist outfit.

Offline screwtape

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Re: Drone Debate
« Reply #73 on: February 22, 2013, 05:53:18 PM »
You can refrain from using a new weapon system, they find another reason to bring death to you. In other words, the number of "new" enemies you get will be pretty much the same no matter what you do to contain it. Wasn't it you who mentioned Art of War and understanding the enemy? I wanted to share a different face of your enemy, something you are quite lucky not to have in your soil.

I feel like I've communicated well, but then you seem to not get me.  So it must be I haven't. 

It is not all about the weapon system for me.  I have no qualms using whatever weapon system, except maybe nuclear, provided it is the right tool for the job.  I think on that we agree. 

My point has been that drones do not seem to be the right tool for the job they have been used for OR the job is not one worth pursuing to begin with. I don't know how else to explain it.  I am out of words. 


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Offline ParkingPlaces

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Re: Drone Debate
« Reply #74 on: February 24, 2013, 04:00:27 PM »
If drones don't scare you yet, read about the little ones. And watch the video in this article from The Atlantic (I can't embed the video separate here)

http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2013/02/like-a-swarm-of-lethal-bugs-the-most-terrifying-drone-video-yet/273270/

Not everyone is entitled to their opinion. They're all entitled to mine though.

Offline screwtape

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Re: Drone Debate
« Reply #75 on: March 02, 2013, 08:53:34 AM »
He's a fun article on drones and the military-industrial complex.  I happened to agree with pretty much all of it.  Especially the parts where he hates on Texas. 

http://www.alternet.org/civil-liberties/sleazy-military-contractors-are-crying-foul-over-drones-they-stand-lose-billions

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Offline shnozzola

Re: Drone Debate
« Reply #76 on: March 06, 2013, 09:15:19 PM »
Rand Paul live filibuster against Obama's use of drones:

http://www.mediaite.com/tv/watch-live-sen-rand-paul-filibusters-cia-director-john-brennans-nomination/

with help from others, 8 hours and counting.
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Offline Nick

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Re: Drone Debate
« Reply #77 on: March 06, 2013, 10:15:41 PM »
Where were all these protests when the Patriot Act was being put in place?  Where were they when we spent about a trillion bucks on the Iraq war?  Over 4000 deaths among our troops.  Over 100,000 civilian deaths?

Now they are concerned.  So lets say a guy has a small nuke and is on his way to LA to let it go.  I guess a drone strike should not be ordered because the guy in on US soil and possibly a citizen.
Yo, put that in your pipe and smoke it.  Quit ragging on my Lord.

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Offline screwtape

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Re: Drone Debate
« Reply #78 on: March 07, 2013, 09:15:51 AM »
Where were all these protests when the Patriot Act was being put in place?  Where were they when we spent about a trillion bucks on the Iraq war?  Over 4000 deaths among our troops.  Over 100,000 civilian deaths?

much like the gun nuts, they don't actually care about those kinds of rights.  They only perceive tyranny as gummint trying to take their guns.

Now they are concerned.  So lets say a guy has a small nuke and is on his way to LA to let it go.  I guess a drone strike should not be ordered because the guy in on US soil and possibly a citizen.

Respectfully, I agree that repubs are being hypocrites, but I disagree with the idea that drones should be armed and used inside the US.

1. I reject all ticking time bomb hypothetical scenarios.  They are often used to justify torture and they are completely out of context and meaningless.  If you know there's a guy and you know he's got a bomb and you know where he is, then you have a ton of information.  It does not exist in a vacuum.  It is impossible to know all that and nothing else before hand.  If you knew all that you probably could have stopped him before a drone was necessary. 

2.  If you know all that, why a drone and not, say, the more traditional sniper with a Barrett M82 .50cal rifle?

3. I'd rather keep it illegal.  Then if someone uses it and it really was necessary, it can be justified in a court.  That sets a high bar, which is how it should be.  If you make it legal, then it makes it much easier to abuse - you know it will be - and much more difficult to prosecute the abusers.  Look at how the patriot act is used in all sorts of unintended ways by law enforcement.  It will also become a slippery slope.  If it is legal, then they will legislate all sorts of protections for the guy who accidentally blows up a minivan with a mom and three kids instead of the alleged terrorist three blocks over. I don't want that.  I want accountability.

I generally think Rand Paul is a wrong headed douche.  But I tend to agree on this point.  I'm on the fence on Brennan.  He was near a lot of stuff I would call War Crimes.  But in his testimony before the Senate, he said he was against the CIA using drones.  He thought there was not enough accountability with them. Maybe that was baloney, I dunno. 

Oh, and I hope Ted Cruz sets himself on fire.
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Offline screwtape

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Re: Drone Debate
« Reply #79 on: March 07, 2013, 07:40:13 PM »
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Offline nogodsforme

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Re: Drone Debate
« Reply #80 on: March 08, 2013, 03:32:11 PM »
^^^Hmmmm, very rude and very accurate. And very NSFW. And I am at work, in my office, with a student sitting here taking a test! Yikes! Anyone sees that blog post on my computer I am so fired. :o
Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

Kids aren't paying attention most of the time in science classes so it seems silly to get worked up over ID being taught in schools.

Offline screwtape

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Re: Drone Debate
« Reply #81 on: March 13, 2013, 02:14:14 PM »
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