The Last Time America Declared War

how america enters wars, sometimesNational ArchivesThe United States declared war on the Empire of Japan on December 8, 1941, a day after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Setting aside who knew what when beforehand about the attack, there was no dispute that the attack, the first foreign one on U.S. soil since 1812, was meant as an act of war. Nevertheless, the U.S. declared war on Japan. Three days later, on December 11, the U.S. declared war on Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy, Japan’s European allies. These declarations were followed up in 1942 by declarations of war on Bulgaria, Hungary and Romania.

World War II would be the last time the United States was officially in a state of war through Congressional declaration. Unlike the world war that preceded it, World War II was not billed the war to end all wars. But the United Nations, founded in its wake, was billed as an instrument to stop war. Just half a decade later the U.S. found itself in the Korean War, approved by the United Nations (after the Soviet Union, a veto-power member, walked out of the Security Council meeting). That war ended with a ceasefire in 1953. Just as U.S. troops remain in Germany and Japan since the end of World War II, they remain in South Korea since the “end” of the Korean War as well. The Korean War would be the last war officially approved by the U.N. until the collapse of the Soviet Union.

In 1991, the U.N. approved another largely American-waged war, the first Gulf War. That war, to beat back an Iraqi invasion by Kuwait, led to sanctions, years of weapons inspectors, and, eventually, in 2003, another war. Depending on who you ask, the 2003 Iraq War was authorized by the Security Council as well. The Bush Administration certainly thought so, although they didn’t need it as Congress had “authorized the use of military force” in Iraq in 2002, in relation to the weapons inspections. Congress used a similar tool to authorize the use of military force in Afghanistan against Al-Qaeda forces after the attack of September 11. Though this means of authorizing war is not found in the Constitution, it is almost as old as the Republic itself.

foreign wars in defense of freedom, old american traditionNational ArchivesThe U.S. first authorized military force in such a way in the Quasi-War with France in 1798. Congress, in fact, has only declared war in five conflicts: the War of 1812, the Mexican-American War, the Spanish-American War and the two world wars. And since the end of World War II, Congress has accelerated its abdication of the power to declare war, formalizing much of it in the War Powers Act. America’s most recent non-secret intervention was in Libya in 2011. That military action received no form of Congressional authorization at all, though Congress wasn’t quite able to get itself to do much about it. Several other semi-secret and ongoing military interventions are simply noted in the president’s bi-annual war powers report to Congress. The last one for the first time acknowledged military actions in Yemen and Somalia. The next one is due sometime in the next week or two.

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  • BarryD||

    Question: what justification did we use for declaring war, in WW I?

  • ||

    See: Lusitania, 1915; Sussex, 1916.

    See also: U-Boats

    With heaping helpings of Anti-Kraut propaganda to, ahem, boot.

  • Xenocles||

    Lusitania was a British-flagged vessel carrying munitions through a blockade. That's a poor casus belli.

  • ||

    Tell that to 120 Americans who perished. Certainly didn't do anything to help international relations with then-Prussia.

  • Xenocles||

    Eff 'em. Neutral nationals should know better than to attempt to run a blockade under the flag of a belligerent.

  • ||

  • Xenocles||

    Again, I really don't see how an attack on a belligerent-flagged vessel in a war zone is cause for a neutral to enter a war, or even to speak up. Wilson had a penchant for sticking his nose where it didn't belong because he fancied himself the savior of the world.

    Are you forgetting that the British adopted the practice of hiding guns on merchant ships and then using those guns to sink submarines that surfaced to provide warning and/or time for the target's crew to abandon ship? I'd break my pledge too in light of those tactics.

  • ||

    Are you forgetting that the British adopted the practice of hiding guns on merchant ships and then using those guns to sink submarines that surfaced to provide warning and/or time for the target's crew to abandon ship? I'd break my pledge too in light of those tactics.

    Nope; however, I would use those tactics too, since SONAR wasn't really a viable and reliable method of detecting U-Boats until 1918. US commerce was affected by this practice both positively by supplying arms to Britain, and negatively since Prussia had a few problems with that.

    Politically, the US was neutral; commerce wise, not so much.

  • Xenocles||

    If you use an object's protected status to shield legitimate targets, you have no grounds to complain when the enemy attacks protected objects.

  • sloopyinca||

    ^^This^^

    Of course, since we consider ourselves "the good guys" in every conflict, it's OK when we do it but awful when our enemies do it.

    Question: why is it always OK for us to blow up schools/hospitals/weddings in nations we have not declared hostilities against and say it's because our "targets" are hiding near civilian population centers, but when they fly a plane into the Pentagon, which is located in a densely populated area, they are savages who don't value human lives?

  • Xenocles||

    AQ and their supporters pretty much are savages who don't respect human life, but that doesn't excuse the lax standards we've slipped into while fighting them.

  • sloopyinca||

    Agreed. Their attack was cowardly. I just tire of hearing it called heroic when we do essentially the same damn thing.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Because our causes-freedom and self-defense-are just and they are the aggressor. Whatever is necessary to end/mitigate the aggression is justified.

  • Calidissident||

    Oh how cute, cytotoxic thinks the government actually cares about freedom and self-defense

  • Cytotoxic||

    I never said that. I don't say a lot of things you pretend I do.

  • Calidissident||

    Then who is this entity carrying out the causes of freedom and self-defense?

  • Rasilio||

    I don't recall anyone saying this about the Pentagon at the time.

    However there is a categorical difference between blowing up a school that has a radio or radar installation on the roof and attacking a couple of categorically civilian skyscrapers with no military presence whatsoever.

    There is also a categorical difference between using an unmanned missile to delivery the explosive and using a hijacked civilian aircraft loaded with innocent civilians.

    The US military is certainly not always the "good guys" and we commit more than our fair share of war crimes but attempts to equate our actions to those of terrorists is just idiotic because there are lines we will not cross which they don't even recognize as lines.

  • Chris Mallory||

    The Twin Towers contained the Port Authority offices and offices of various other government agencies. That made the legitimate targets according to our bombing standards.

  • ||

    If you use an object's protected status to shield legitimate targets, you have no grounds to complain when the enemy attacks protected objects.

    Explain the Berwindvale then. Its cargo was wheat, with four American passengers.

    I guess the French and British were not permitted to protect their maritime interests, and subsequently, the USA's since those countries were/are major partners in trade.

  • Xenocles||

    When you are besieging your enemy, food is just as much a weapon as anything else. And again, you are talking about a vessel flying the flag of a belligerent transiting a war zone. It doesn't matter what they say was onboard, nor does it matter what is actually on board. The British established a practice of hiding all sorts of war materiel on all sorts of ships - including false-flagging some of their ships as neutrals. Having been bitten by these ruses, Germany declared a free-fire zone and warned neutrals to keep out.

    All I can say is that when you enter a war zone you take your life in your own hands, especially when you are engaging in conduct that is overtly favorable to one side. US nationals had no business on UK-flagged vessels, and the US had no business defending those who embarked on them.

    The invasion of Belgium was inexcusable, but the US had no business there either. You go down that road and you become the world's policemen, which of course we did and are.

    The Zimmermann affair was certainly provocative, but at its root it was little more than an attempt to set up a preventative alliance. Since there was no actual injury, I have a hard time justifying 100,000 deaths over it.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Hm...this is an interesting bit of info Gm I always thought America's entry into WW1 totally unjustified. A little more ambiguous than I thought.

  • ||

    Hm...this is an interesting bit of info Gm I always thought America's entry into WW1 totally unjustified. A little more ambiguous than I thought.

    It's not quite as clear cut as one might think. My own personal opinion is Wilson wanted us in the war for economic reasons, since the US economy was a bit sluggish at the time and he, as Xeno says and history demonstrates, had a hard-on for grand Platonic visions here in the US.

    More information on all of the U-boat activity included in the State dept. report on the torpedoing of the SS Sussex and other (demonstrably not smuggling munitions) vessels during that time period.

    The PDF is 116 pages, but the best info is in the first 20 pages or so.

  • robc||

    I think our entry was totally unjustified, but there were plenty of incidents to "justify" it if someone really wanted to.

  • ||

    If you use an object's protected status to shield legitimate targets, you have no grounds to complain when the enemy attacks protected objects.

    Interestingly enough, the 9/11 (the first one) hijackers were disproportionately physicians. I can tell you firsthand it's (relatively) pretty easy for physicians to migrate b'twixt countries.

    Should physicians now be targeted for drone justice, or at the very least, increased scrutiny, particularly if they originate from Middle Eastern countries? Or war mongery countries such as the US? If war breaks out in Euro-landia, I know my happy ass is going straight to US Consulate, post haste, and I have the reasonable expectation of protection much better than the US Ambassador and his staff received.

  • Xenocles||

    I suppose if it was a continuing practice to use the status of a physician to carry out attacks like that, you could make a case for removing the status that the enemy is exploiting. But in your case it sounds like that would just entail giving you the same scrutiny at the border as everyone else, which actually sounds more just to me.

    If, for example, the enemy keeps using ambulances to transport troops to and from raids, it becomes quite understandable if you attack ambulances in the war zone. That's why it's a war crime to misuse protected objects like that - it universally degrades that protection.

    But that's for a war with an actual theater and marked combatants. I wouldn't attempt to apply those rules directly to a conflict like the ones we're in. I actually don't know the right answer right now, but we need not discuss it to consider the situation in the 1910s.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    That's a very weak reed, GM. Running a blockade into a war zone is a very different status than happening to have the same profession as a belligerent.

  • ||

    That's a very weak reed, GM. Running a blockade into a war zone is a very different status than happening to have the same profession as a belligerent.

    In terms of sheer scale, I agree with you, Tulpa. However, the example is relevant in terms of practical application. Don't forget, it only took 16 of those hijackers to pull off that act of war of flying a plane into skyscrapers and attempting to do the same with The Pentagon.

    Xeno, no arguments and agreed.

    WRT WWI, I just look at it as Britain and France and other Allied countries protecting their commercial and maritime interests, however shitty the methods employed may have been. It's admittedly hard to find a sympathetic figure in all that mess, since Prussia was demonstrably hostile and the Pre-Allied nations played dirty pool and cranked it up to an 11.

  • Xenocles||

    "It's admittedly hard to find a sympathetic figure in all that mess, since Prussia was demonstrably hostile and the Pre-Allied nations played dirty pool and cranked it up to an 11."

    This is the core of my argument against US involvement in WWI.

  • ||

    Wasn't the US selling weapons to both sides in WW1?

  • Slithery D||

    Interestingly enough, the 9/11 (the first one) hijackers were disproportionately physicians.

    So they had at least one?

  • ||

    So they had at least one?

    Whoops! Got my turrists mixed up. I was thinking of the 2007 British Attempted Bombing Plot.

    An interesting follow up to that post.

    Yes, most of the hijackers were aviation students of some type, after perusing their bios. Correction noted, Slithery D.

  • ||

  • BigT||

    All I can say is that when you enter a war zone you take your life in your own hands

    Would someone please define 'war zone'

    In current practice the whole world is a war zone.

  • Xenocles||

    Yes, in WWI the war zone in question was defined in an announcement by Germany and consisted of a strip of ocean surrounding the British Isles. You can also expect to be attacked by the enemy of any vessel flying the flag of a belligerent.

  • BigT||

    Thanks for the info. Was this agreed with Britain? Or does either side get to declare a war zone to their liking? It still seems kind of slippery. It seems more like Germany made a threat. It's a bad idea to flaunt the threat of a belligerent nation.

  • Xenocles||

    Germany and Britain were at war with each other. I'm sure Britain didn't like being blockaded, but they probably should have seen it coming when they used their navy to blockade the German coast. Both countries were food importers and taking down merchants in wartime was nothing new. Eventually Britain abused the "understanding" of the way the maritime war would be fought enough to prompt Germany to declare open season around their enemy. (They flew neutral colors on their merchant ships and sank submarines that surfaced to issue warnings to their targets meant to give them time to abandon ship before being fired upon.)

    Both sides attacked neutral ships in their blockade zones, the only difference was that Britain seized them because they had a surface navy, and Germany sank them because they didn't. (Their fleet was outclassed and bottled up, leaving only their submarines to enforce the blockade.)

  • Sam Grove||

    Germany publish warnings in American newspapers that the ship would be subject to attack as the Germans knew of the munitions.

  • Sam Grove||

    The Lusitania, that is.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    But is going to war where hundreds of thousands of Americans died, and paved the way for more overt progressivism here at home worth avenging 120 idiots?

  • ||

    BarryD asked the question, and an answer was provided. I didn't say anywhere that is was a prudent rationale, and hindsight is always 20/20.

    I unilaterally despise that Socie-pinko Wilson, but he did pursue the Constitionally proscribed course of action for declaration of war, something that few Presidents have followed since.

    The blame rests squarely on Congress for authorizing American involvement.

  • Xenocles||

    This is true, though I don't excuse Wilson for seeking permission and fanning the flames to make it popular.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    The US had 53,042 combat deaths in WW1.

  • Xenocles||

    FWIW, Wiki says 117K. But stipulating your figure, does that really make it that much better?

  • Brian from Texas||

    Prior to the inventions of modern vaccines and antibiotics far more soldiers died of disease than battle wounds. In the Civil War, for example, the ratio was 2:1.

  • ||

    Prior to the inventions of modern vaccines and antibiotics far more soldiers died of disease than battle wounds.

    True; arguably, mass production of penicillin was justified by WWII, since research was kick started by war efforts both in Britain and the US.

    WRT WWI, behold, Trench Foot. Entirely preventable, FWIW.

  • PapayaSF||

    The Brits thought the war would be decided by rapid advances and so (at the beginning of the war, at least) did not put much effort into trenches. The ones the Germans built were much more comfortable (comparatively) and they didn't have nearly as many such problems.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    The 117K figure is total dead, not combat deaths. Spanish flu killed more Americans than combat did.

  • Xenocles||

    OK. I think it amounts to the same thing in the end - most of the non-combat dead probably had their involvement in the war as the main cause of their deaths. For instance, maybe it was poor sanitation that led to your death, but it was because you were hanging out in a trench that you were exposed to poor sanitation. Thus the war killed over a hundred thousand Americans.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    A flu they would not have caught were they not in filthy trenches, packed in alongside Europeans who carried the Spanish Flu.

  • Redmanfms||

    You need to read the endnotes. The 116,516 figure includes 63,114 non-combat deaths (likely many were Spanish flu).

    But stipulating your figure, does that really make it that much better?

    No.

    We went to war essentially because of a concerted (and horrifically unconstitutional) propaganda program created by Wilson. The few who stood up and pointed out what bullshit it was were silenced with thuggery or imprisonment.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    The few who stood up and pointed out what bullshit it was were silenced with thuggery or imprisonment.

    In the case of Eugene Debs, he was kept in jail for years after the war was over. That eeevil Republican capitalist Harding was the one who finally let him out.

  • Number 2||

    Groovus, the Lusitania was sunk in 1915, and the Sussex was sunk in 1916. How did these acts justify a rush to declare war in 1917?

    You forgot to mention the Zimmerman Telegram, in which the German Foreign Minister supposedly offered to help Mexico recover the American Southwest from us. Exactly how Germany was going to accomplish that when it couldn't even feed its own people because of the British naval blockade remains a mystery.

    Face it, we entered WWI because Wilson (and others like Theodore Roosevelt) saw the rest of the world engaged in senseless slaughter and couldn't stand being left out of the fun.

    And BTW - if you are a statist looking for any excuse to increase the power of government over the private sector, nothing fits the bill like a war. Amuse yourself one day by checking out how much of FDR's New Deal traces it origin to the "emergency wartime measures" of WWI.

  • ||

    Groovus, the Lusitania was sunk in 1915, and the Sussex was sunk in 1916. How did these acts justify a rush to declare war in 1917?

    Never said they did; once again, BarryD asked a question, and it was answered.

    You forgot to mention the Zimmerman Telegram, in which the German Foreign Minister supposedly offered to help Mexico recover the American Southwest from us. Exactly how Germany was going to accomplish that when it couldn't even feed its own people because of the British naval blockade remains a mystery.

    Ah yes, I did. Apologies. Well, ask Kaiser Wilhelm about that one, since that nutty megalomaniac was more interested in building stuff reminiscent of past glory, on very devalued currency I might add. There's a lesson there. As for Ole Teddy, he headed The Progressive Party at that time; the philosophy is advertised in the name.

    The rest, no argument there. Your fourth statements answer your third, since domestically and socially welfare speaking, all parties were pretty much on the same page. Funny how histoire repeats itself, no?

  • JeremyR||

    It's funny how people seem to forget that Mexico would like the SW back. But hey, open borders can't be wrong!

  • Calidissident||

    Seriously Jeremy? Because of a telegram sent 100 years ago from Germany to Mexico, which Mexico did not agree to, that means that Mexico (or Mexican immigrants) is/are secretly plotting to take back the SW? They can't even control their own country and they're going to take a significant part of the country back from the most powerful nation in the world?

  • Whahappan?||

    Also, didn't the Brits and Americans lie about it carrying munitions? As with just about every war except perhaps WWII, our government lied to the people in order to get us into war.

  • Xenocles||

    It's unclear if they were smuggling anything - the Brits denied it - but there were over 4,000,000 rounds of .303 on the manifest in New York.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    Yeah, but everyone knows 303 is a crappy caliber. If it were 308 or 30-06 that could be considered an act of war.

  • Sernylan||

    "Yeah, but everyone knows 303 is a crappy caliber."

    The .303 Enfield (MkVII) was a brilliant caliber actually, if not a tad over weighted. It had a very long service life.

  • Bill Foster||

    I sense some facetiousness in the original comment.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    Or possibly fecesishness.

  • Bill Foster||

    That's a shitty thing to say.

  • ||

    Coprophelia Tulpa? Really? Do you have C. diff? Or have you finally taken my advice and been chowing down on prunes? -)

  • Calidissident||

    There was absolutely nothing that happened in WWI to justify drafting millions of men into the army and sending over a hundred thousand to their death

  • robc||

    There was absolutely nothing that happened in WWI to justify drafting millions of men

    FTFY

  • Calidissident||

    Agreed, but the justification in WWI was especially weak

  • AlmightyJB||

    Tiny penises

  • SIV||

    Belgian baby bayonet lacrosse.

  • Sernylan||

    Aw yes;

    Our most foul enemies, the sub-human "______", are there any depths they won't stoop to? Let’s go kill those fucking animals right now!

  • sloopyinca||

    Question: what justification did we use for declaring war, in WW I?

    I assume we employed the FUTY Gambit, same as all the other wars (except WW2) since at least 1898.

  • Cytotoxic||

    same as all the other wars (except WW2)

    Except Afghanistan...

  • Tulpa Doom||

    Technically not a war.

  • Cytotoxic||

    What?

  • robc||

    No declaration, no war.

    Its just some sort of military action or something.

    Remember, when Paul pushed for a DoW, the GOP Speaker said that that part of the constitution was an anachronism.

    Fucker.

  • Cytotoxic||

    It's a war declared or not. A is A.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    Objectivist question begging FTL.

  • BlueBook||

    FUTY Gambit

    What does this have to do with the Federal University of Technology Yola (Nigeria)?

  • Generic Stranger||

    Fuck yoU, That's Why.

  • BlueBook||

    Ah, got it. Incidentally, 'FUTY Gambit' sounds like one of the missile exchange scenarios rapidly played out by the W.O.P.R. at the climax of War Games.

  • wareagle||

    Add this to the growing number of things at which the public collectively yawns and says, "and?" People don't care that the Constitution is routinely ignored if not subverted. People don't care, or at least a majority does not, that the debt continues spiraling upward and about 6 members of Congress genuinely give a damn.

    This morning's POTUS address actually said that a lot of Americans faced the possibility of NOT getting a tax cut if the cliff is not averted. There is no tax cut on any agenda anywhere, yet Obama is allowed to say it without question.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    Shhhhh! I'm trying to watch Storage Wars.

  • Jumbie||

    Yet another undeclared war!

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Fifty four forty or FIGHT!

  • The Late P Brooks||

    a lot of Americans faced the possibility of NOT getting a tax cut if the cliff is not averted.

    NOT RAISING IS CUTTING.

    Also, the chocolate ration has been increased.

  • AuH2O||

    a lot of Americans faced the possibility of NOT getting a tax cut if the cliff is not averted.

    Jesus fucking Christ. Why is utterly no one in the media calling bullshit?

    I mean, this shit is getting ridiculous. I shudder to think what standard history books will say about this guy, given that the people who write those tend to be even worse than the media.

  • juris imprudent||

    Why is utterly no one in the media calling bullshit?

    They are what they report.

    And speaking of fucking air-heads, Diane Sawyer referred to Washington state legalization of MJ as 'the first time in the history of this country' that MJ was legal.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    Back in the day, Sam Donaldson would have slapped her silly for that display of ignorance.

  • sloopyinca||

    I really wish John wasn't busy with the plans for the inauguration party. I always love his defenses of undeclared wars and drone strikes.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    It's a good thing the President sharpened his pencil and made all those cuts to the budget. Now he can afford to give New York and New Jersey sixty billion dollars of emergency storm damage money.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    I'm traipsing around on the net this morning looking at random wikipedia articles, and stumbled on the one about the SCO, which is apparently the Russo-Chinese answer to NATO. Read some of their joint declarations and fan summaries, which I can see some leftists nodding their heads to.


    In November of 2005 Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov reiterated that the “Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) is working to establish a rational and just world order” and that “The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation provides us with a unique opportunity to take part in the process of forming a fundamentally new model of geopolitical integration.” [11]

    It also recognized that no single, standardized model of political, economic, social, cultural and ethical development and practices could be forced on the 88% of humanity that lives outside the Euro-Atlantic world, not a parliamentary system devised in the British Isles centuries ago nor a consumerist culture and pseudo-civilization designed on Madison Avenue and in Hollywood.

    That genuine structural problems exist in the political systems of SCO member states is indisputable. Five of the six were thrust into sudden independence in 1991 with the near instantaneous break-up of the Soviet Union in 1991 and the USSR’s former Central Asian republics were among the most adversely affected by that catastrophic occurrence.
  • Sevo||

    ..."the USSR’s former Central Asian republics were among the most adversely affected by that catastrophic occurrence."...

    No to mention adversely affected by the USSR to begin with. Where did all those people go?

  • Tulpa Doom||

    It's the Russian version of "it's Bush's fault!" Just a different Bush and 20 years instead of four.

  • ||

    Also interesting that Putin is exploring his own version of QE with the ruble to finance these schemes, in addition to domestic spending. The Russkii have learned Cronyism well.

    Mededev is seriously considering a Presidential challenge to The Put-ster, and has gotten some public and quite a bit of EU support over that Pussy Riot nonsense.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    Well, they have oil/NG money as well, correct?

  • ||

    Yep, quite a shitload actually, and causing my current home much grief, as The Apple in the Road, as you are fond of saying, is greatly dependent on Mat' Russkaja for fuel. UKR has the refinery capacity, but not enough to meet its energy needs. That's why the tax code is disproportionately favourable to alternative energy enterprises, and like Solyndra here, can (and probably does) invite lovely levels of Cronyism.

    The IMF is making the demands that UKR raise its rates on NG/Oil for citizens, and the recent stepping down of Premier Mykola Ararov (and by UKR law, the rest of the Cabinet) to step down as he refuses to recommend the tax hike as a condition of getting IMF monies.

    Russia is pretty much King Oil and Energy in these parts and they know it. So does China.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Not for long. Eastern Europe especially Poland is awash in NG. Russia's drunk and thinks they are fucking Europe but they're really over a barrel.

  • ||

    Good morning Cyto.-)

    Russia's not drunk on this one. At one time, UKR had Gazprom over a barrel since the main pipelines that supply Eastern Europe run through UKR. Unfortunately, it's a case of Master Blaster: When Gazprom gets pissy, embargo. And it has done it before when there were disputes that Naftogaz Ukrani wasn't paying its bills and was accused of pilfering siphoned gas. The only leverage that UKR has is the pipelines and Russia has already built one pipeline to service EUR, and is working on another. Russia's main problem, even though the world's largest supplier of NG, is their limited ability to tap their enormous reserves.

    UKR has coal, and is also looking to frack while trying to keep the EU happy with the Green projects, since UKR wants admission to the EU eventually. Tymoshenko really negotiated a poor deal overall with Putin (Gazprom claims otherwise), and her corruption with the deal got her thrown in prison, and it doesn't help that Ja-Putin's-Bitch, err, Janukovich and doesn't appear to realize, according to the novosti, how bereft of leverage he really is and overestimates being Russian-Ukrainian to influence the Put-ster.

    UKR is looking to Azerbaijan and other places to help fill the gap. Poland historically has not the greatest and is trying to improve them economically and culturally.

  • ||

    "...has not had the greatest relations with UKR..."

    Blech! I need morning tea.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    This would seem a good time to ask why you got yourself tangled up in that region in the first place.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Because our causes-freedom and self-defense-are just and they are the aggressor.

    Is this some kind of sad joke?

  • Cytotoxic||

    It's reality. Objective reality.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    You're using the same idiotic reasoning that "only intentions matter" as the leftists do.

    Does incinerating women and children in Afghanistan help freedom? Does it defend us from a credible threat?

  • Cytotoxic||

    Intentions do matter. 'Why' I'm shooting person X matters, especially if someone is endangered in the shootout. If it's self-defense then I'm in the moral clear.

    Does incinerating women and children in Afghanistan help freedom? Does it defend us from a credible threat?

    The drone strikes have devastated AQ and its affiliates which of course are a credible threat, or were before being destroyed. Just today, another one bit the dust. It was awesome.

  • Xenocles||

    Self-defense doesn't relieve you of the obligation to discriminate in your targeting.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Can't relieve an obligation that doesn't exist.

  • Xenocles||

    So if someone attacks you, you can shoot indiscriminately? Good luck with that one in front of a jury.

  • Cytotoxic||

    If what I've done was necessary for self-defense, then I'm in the moral clear. I'm not entitled to say burn down my attackers house a few days later after the attacker has been terminated.

  • Xenocles||

    "If what I've done was necessary for self-defense, then I'm in the moral clear."

    You're begging the question.

    But strictly speaking, it's only necessary to strike the person who is actually threatening you. The question is what moral responsibility you bear if your actions harm people other than the offender(s). You are morally obligated to verify your target is the aggressor and not, say, a five year old in his general direction. That is what is meant by target discrimination.

  • Redmanfms||

    Self-defense doesn't relieve you of the obligation to discriminate in your targeting.

    I'm not following your argument here.

    Are you arguing that drone strikes lack discrimination?

  • ||

    From Doherty's article in the January edition: American drone strikes have directly killed nearly 900 noncombatants, including 176 children, and injured more than 1,200 since June 2004...The number of 'high-level' targets killed as a percentage of total casualties is extremely low - estimated at just 2 percent.

  • Cytotoxic||

    The drone strike have been nothing if not discriminating. Only several hundred 'civilian' deaths. One should note at least some if not most of these' civilians' were aiding and abetting our enemies. They should be targeted too.

  • Calidissident||

    Cyto, honestly, what portion of the "enemies" killed are actually threats to US security? The only US targets most of these people could hit are the soldiers our government is putting in harm's way. Were we being attacked by hundreds of Pakistanis before we started the drone war? Why aren't we being attacked by people in every country we're not carrying out drone strikes? It's quite sad you're ok with killing hundreds of civilians to take out a few people that could potentially harm the country

  • Ted S.||

    American drone strikes have directly killed nearly 900 noncombatants, including 176 children over 700 adults,

    Fixed it for you. (I hate hate hate the "x people were killed; y of them were children" school of disaster reporting.)

  • Xenocles||

    It depends on the pilots and the policy guiding them.

  • Redmanfms||

    It depends on the pilots and the policy guiding them.

    That is a serious problem, especially given that the entire affair of drone implementation is classified and we have no way of knowing (or correcting) any problems with the policies.

  • Xenocles||

    That's my big point. Everyone is all up in arms about UAVs, but they're just a weapon. They aren't good or evil, it's their users.

  • Redmanfms||

    That's my big point. Everyone is all up in arms about UAVs, but they're just a weapon. They aren't good or evil, it's their users.

    I agree.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    They aren't good or evil, it's their users.

    True, but the availability of these weapons tends to corrupt the users, due to our fallen human nature. Just like cops with tasers.

  • Sernylan||

    "the availability of these weapons tends to corrupt the users"

    Like the one true ring? This is the same horseshit claptrap that the anti 2A crowd fires from their drivel cannons almost daily. I own a few firearms, and not one of them ever spoke to me..let alone influenced my actions. Don't get it twisted.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    Firearms are, in most jurisdictions, different because nearly everyone has access to them if they wish, AND misuse of them is going to be punished severely. That's not true of drones, as basically no one else has them, and there is zero accountability for their misuse. (again, like cops with tasers)

  • Sernylan||

    "That's not true of drones,"

    Of course it is.

    "as basically no one else has them,"

    [citation needed]

    "and there is zero accountability for their misuse."

    And the fault still lies with the societies that use them to sterilize the horrible nature of war (soldiers maimed/killed), and failure to hold to account the pols, and govn’t that use them, ever so casually in their names. Once again...the drones are not sentient..yet.

    "(again, like cops with tasers)"

    The Tasers don't talk to or influence cops, the cops are just a bunch of fucking assholes. Tasers sterilize what would otherwise be an intolerable old-fashioned billy club beat down, and our society (at large) seems to be all too comfortable with that.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    Yes, you're basically agreeing with me here. Technology may not be good or bad in itself, but its enabling of people to unleash the demons of their nature can be bad.

  • Sernylan||

    "Technology may not be good or bad in itself," =/= "weapons tends to corrupt the users"

    The users were already "corrupt", no weapons needed. Merely a means to an end.

    "but its enabling of people to unleash the demons of their nature can be bad."

    Their kind have always found a way.

    Knives, clubs, guns, axes, automobiles, rope, bookends, iron pipes, open windows, elevator shafts, airplanes, trash compactors, poison/gas, atom bombs,...etc, they cater to all sorts.


    "you're basically agreeing with me here"

    After the weapon/user distinction, yes..yes I am.

  • AuH2O||

    Yes. There is literally centuries of theory on how to fight a 'just war'. Admittedly, most of it was written to deal with war between Christian nations, but still, there is a lot of stuff, and one of the big pillars of it is that you don't purposefully target noncombatants.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    Intentions matter, but they're not enough. When your action is likely to harm innocent people you need to be certain that the threat is real, significant enough to outweigh the innocent deaths, and there's no other way to end it. None of which is the case here.

    AQ has demonstrated zero capability to attack the US since 9/11, or before.

  • Redmanfms||

    AQ has demonstrated zero capability to attack the US since 9/11, or before.

    Really?

    1993 WTC
    1998 East African Embassies
    2000 USS Cole

  • wareagle||

    then perhaps you should ask why the Clintonites did not respond to any of those beyond trying the blind sheik for the WTC bombing.

    Maybe if we unleashed holy hell after one of these attacks, it would have a dampening effect on future efforts.

  • Redmanfms||

    then perhaps you should ask why the Clintonites did not respond to any of those beyond trying the blind sheik for the WTC bombing.

    Why?

    Maybe if we unleashed holy hell after one of these attacks, it would have a dampening effect on future efforts.

    Maybe. Inaction clearly wasn't effective.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    Maybe if we unleashed holy hell after one of these attacks, it would have a dampening effect on future efforts.

    Unleashed holy hell upon whom?

    That's the hard part.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    The first one was a failed attack and the other two did not occur in the US.

  • Redmanfms||

    The first one was a failed attack and the other two did not occur in the US.

    This, does not equal this:

    AQ has demonstrated zero capability to attack the US since 9/11, or before.
  • Tulpa Doom||

    OK, zero capability to successfully attack the US. Happy pappy?

  • Redmanfms||

    OK, zero capability to successfully attack the US. Happy pappy?

    Fine, even by that definition you are still incorrect because the WTC attack was successful in causing 1000 casualties and $300 million in damage. US warships and embassies are still sovereign US territory, thus attacking them is in fact attacking the US.

    You could amend your claim to state that al Queda has shown inability to cause a mass casualty event in CONUS before or since 9/11/2001.

    Of course, you'd just further expose yourself as a disingenuous nitpicker attempting to cover up that you were factually incorrect in your first statement.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    And the failure had nothing to do with govt security measures, it had to do with incompetence of the perpetrators. As with the shoe and underwere bombers.

  • robc||

    Both occurred on US property. Embassies are US territory. and The Cole is US property.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    Just like the Hindenburg blew up in Germany, the Maine exploded in the US, and the Titanic sunk in the UK? Property != jurisdiction.

    Embassies being US territory is just a fiction of international law. For all practical purposes they are in the host country.

    If the Ecuador embassy in London were really part of Ecuador, they would have no trouble letting Julian Assange travel to Quito.

  • robc||

    If Ecuador built an airport inside their embassy, it wouldn't be a problem.

  • Tulpa Doom||

  • Cytotoxic||

    It's noninterventionist bullshit time with Tulpa. This is favorite Redman but this time the people who would call him out usually will be silent.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    If it's self-defense then I'm in the moral clear.

    Really? Blood feud revenge killing is morally justifiable as self-defense?

    Because some of them'uns kilt some of us'ns ten years ago?

  • Redmanfms||

    So, because of time lapse, we have to wait for another successful attack before the known perpetrators can be legitimately targeted?

    I'm not a fan of the conduct of the GWoT (or its insipid and nonsensical name), but this line of argument seems, umm, flawed.

  • wareagle||

    if this line is flawed, then someone from some previous war could use the same flaws to justify attacks on the US. Drone strikes are almost by definition going to include the killing of innocents yet neither right nor left is bothered. In fairness, the right is typically never bothered by this and the left is only bothered when POTUS is a righty.

  • Redmanfms||

    if this line is flawed, then someone from some previous war could use the same flaws to justify attacks on the US.

    How?

    The "war" didn't end yet.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    Under what conditions would you say the war is over?

  • Redmanfms||

    Under what conditions would you say the war is over?

    As the war is currently defined? It will never end.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    That indicates a flaw in the definition.

  • Redmanfms||

    I agree.

  • BigT||

    As the war is currently defined? It will never end

    ...because officially it never started.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Agreed.

  • juris imprudent||

    And war is the health of the state. So what exactly is your interest?

  • juris imprudent||

    known perpetrators can be legitimately targeted

    Really, our drone strikes are hitting the known perpetrators of 9/11?

  • Cytotoxic||

    Non-sequitor.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    The drone strikes have devastated AQ and its affiliates which of course are a credible threat, or were before being destroyed.

    Credulous warmonger is credulous.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Can't come up with counter; postures himself as 'smarter'.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    we have to wait for another successful attack before the known perpetrators can be legitimately targeted?

    Are you claiming the perpetrators of an attack which occurred ten years ago have not been successfully targeted? Because if you are, then our defense apparatus definitely needs some serious reorganization.

    Or are you one of those, "Nits grow up to be lice" kind of guys?

    What the fuck, those ragheads are all the same, right? Afghans, Saudis, Yemenis, Libyans...

  • Redmanfms||

    Are you claiming the perpetrators of an attack which occurred ten years ago have not been successfully targeted

    Does the organization still exist? Does it still consider itself to be "at war" with the U.S.?

    Because if you are, then our defense apparatus definitely needs some serious reorganization.

    I would argue the political apparatus responsible for war making decisions needs reorganization.

    I don't claim to have a solution to the problem, and I'm not satisfied with playing a perpetual game of whack-a-mole. What's your answer?

    Or are you one of those, "Nits grow up to be lice" kind of guys?

    No.

    What the fuck, those ragheads are all the same, right? Afghans, Saudis, Yemenis, Libyans...

    Credulous asshatery is credulous.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    I don't claim to have a solution to the problem, and I'm not satisfied with playing a perpetual game of whack-a-mole. What's your answer?

    Reinforce the cockpit doors, don't allow people on board aircraft with potential weapons, and encourage passengers not to comply with hijackers.

    Cheap, effective, and no one gets hurt.

    And don't give me lip about how this is "fighting the last war"... it's the only attack strategy that has ever worked for them.

  • robc||

    encourage passengers not to comply with hijackers.

    Putting "Lets Roll" posters prominently near airport gates would be enough, IMO.

    That and reinforcing the cockpit doors.

  • Sernylan||

    "encourage passengers not to comply with hijackers."

    Seeing as passengers have stopped more terrorist attacks on aircraft than the almighty TSA, I'd agree with that statement.

  • Redmanfms||

    And don't give me lip about how this is "fighting the last war"... it's the only attack strategy that has ever worked for them.

    Except for the WTC bombings, US embassy bombing, USS Cole bombing, the US consulate assault.

    You do enjoy being wrong a lot, don't you?

  • Tulpa Doom||

    not successful, not in US (times 3)

  • Cytotoxic||

    Not true, not relevant (Tulpa everytime).

  • Cytotoxic||

    I would argue the political apparatus responsible for war making decisions needs reorganization.

    THIS. Bush but combat restrictions on US troops galore and made other gratuitous overtures to 'win hearts and minds'. It was as disastrous as it was immoral.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    Right, we should have just killed them all. That would have made things simpler.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    We've always been at war with Eastasia.

    War without end, amen.

  • waaminn||

    Sometimes dude you really gotta wonder. Wow.

    www.GetAnony.tk

  • Tulpa Doom||

    Mercer Co. child killed by father in handgun accident/negligence.

    Huffpost comments surprisingly restrained.

  • robc||

    I will say what I do in the cop cases: If it was a modern handgun, they dont fire without pulling the trigger.

    As he probably didnt have the safety training the cops have, I can assume negligence instead of outright murder, however.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    I've always supported mandatory safety training as a condition for getting a CCW/LTCF in PA, which both makes sense on its own and would expand the reciprocity agreements we can get. Of course in this case it sounds like he just got sloppy.

  • ||

    ...there was no dispute that the attack, the first foreign one on U.S. soil since 1812

    US soil? Hawaii in 1941? That's some first rate scholarship right there.

  • Almanian.||

    Hawaii wasn't a state at that time - it was a territory. So arguably not "US soil" at that time.

  • Seamus||

    Sure, you can argue that, but you'd be wrong if you did. Hawaii was what's called an "incorporated" territory, meaning that it was considered to be incorporated into the U.S., even without being a state (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T.....erritories).

    You don't doubt that the District of Columbia is "US soil," even without being a state, do you?

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