Photography as a Shield: #NotABugSplat

Ever since the invention of the still camera nearly two centuries ago, the art of photography has been in a never-ending state of change and adaptation. Through every kind of cultural and technological upheaval, creative photographers have always found new ways to inform, delight, and shock the public.

notabugsplat.comnotabugsplat.comToday, in the heavily-bombed Khyber Pakhtunkhwa region of Pakistan, photography is taking on a new role: defending an entire village from the possibility of an American drone strike. A group of artists, working with Reprieve/Foundation for Fundamental Rights, has made a single portrait of a child that’s so massive, its every detail can be seen by predator drones hovering over the region.

The project, called #NotABugSplat, takes its name from the dehumanizing view of Pakistani landscape, as seen by drone pilots. The oversized symbol of human innocence both warns against future strikes and serves as memorial to the nearly 200 children who’ve been killed in strikes since 2004.

The installation also stands in contrast to more traditional forms of war photography. Although the content, purpose, and intended audience of #NotABugSplat are worlds apart from the photographs featured in daily news coverage of the region, the effect is just as unsettling.

On August 2nd, 2013, Reason TV took a close look at the work of Michael Kamber and Louie Palu, two prominent photojournalists who’ve chronicled the past decade of war in Iraq and Afghanistan. Like #NotABugSplat, the images of Kamber and Palu put human faces on otherwise remote and heavily censored conflicts.

Original text follows:

"We were supposed to go into Iraq, hold elections, turn over the keys, and get out," says Michael Kamber, a photojournalist and editor of the book Photojournalists on War: The Untold Stories from Iraq. "That's not how it works, and we need to think about that next time we get involved in a military adventure."

It is almost impossible to read Kamber's new book without reflecting on how many of its photographs were taken by people who were either killed, severely injured, or taken captive during the conflict. Kamber, who photographed the war over a ten year period, counts himself among the survivors. His book is a testament not only to eight years of brutal warfare, but to the 39 photographers whose work is represented in its pages.

ReasonTV sat down with Kamber at WAR/PHOTOGRAPHY, an exhibit at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, to hear the stories behind the unforgettable photographs in his book. It's an in-depth account of the Iraq War from photojournalists who witnessed key events at close range.

Many of the the book's 160 images have been widely distributed, their impact indelibly marked in the American mind. Other images, which are just as powerful, have rarely been seen. "Photojournalists on War" also includes compelling eyewitness accounts of battles, the disintegration of soldiers' marriages, and the lasting effects of post-traumatic stress disorder.

While Kamber's book chronicles the work of photojournalists who were mostly backed by major publications, images of war are increasingly made by enterprising individuals. In 2006, photojournalist Louie Palu quit his job and traveled to Afghanistan at his own risk and on his own dime. He had never covered a war before. Working without the support -- or the constraints -- of an editor meant that he was able to photograph with plenty of of artistic freedom. His images are stunning, and it's no surprise that his series of portraits and panoramic black-and-white shots reveal an Afghanistan that looks very different from most press photography.

Palu is also producing "The Durrani Kings" a documentary about his experiences photographing Kandahar province, the birthplace of the Taliban.

Both Palu and Kamber remain skeptical of the wars they witnessed. Broken promises and official censorship have led to a public that remains poorly informed about war's devastating effects on ordinary civilians.

It's often said that the truth is always the first casualty of war. The images of Kamber and Palu are attempts to correct the record.

The Corcoran exhibit continues until September 29.

Produced, shot, and edited by Todd Krainin.

Runs about 9 minutes.

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  • Trollo||

  • Hyperion||

    I lol'd on that one. Some Japanese do seem to be a little unhinged. I know a couple of South Koreans who are about that level of crazy also.

  • Derpetologist||

    OT:

    Our dear friend Dave Weigel attempts to explain why robbing Peter to pay Paul is no different than taxes for roads:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S05w9s9GOVM

  • Paul.||

    'Dave 'Wy-Gel'

  • Cytotoxic||

    This seems familiar...

    Photography as a Substitute for Substance and Logic

    -Better headline.

  • Ted S.||

    At least they didn't leave the old comments up, leading to people responding to week-old comments.

  • ||

    I had to go to town this morning and was reminded about 20 times why I love yoga pants so much.

    Also occurred to me as I was driving that the link Bo posted this morning about Justice Stevens and his proposal to amend the second amendment is a clear admission that he believes the second amendment refers to the individual right of citizens to keep and bear arms.

    Yet in his dissent in Mcdonald he wrote "In sum, the Framers did not write the Second Amendment in order to protect a private right of armed self defense. There has been, and is, no consensus that the right is, or was, 'fundamental.'"

    Another lying gun grabber giving himself away. Are these execrable people allergic to honesty?

  • Derpetologist||

    Here is what I show to gun grabbers who argue about the interpretation of the 2nd amendment:

    http://www2.law.ucla.edu/volok.....atecon.htm

    Connecticut: Every citizen has a right to bear arms in defense of himself and the state. Art. I, § 15 (enacted 1818, art. I, § 17).

    ...

    Oklahoma: The right of a citizen to keep and bear arms in defense of his home, person, or property, or in aid of the civil power, when thereunto legally summoned, shall never be prohibited; but nothing herein contained shall prevent the Legislature from regulating the carrying of weapons. Art. II, § 26 (enacted 1907).
  • Derpetologist||

    Pennsylvania: The right of the citizens to bear arms in defence of themselves and the State shall not be questioned. Art. 1, § 21 (enacted 1790, art. IX, § 21).

  • juris imprudent||

    You would think that would settle it - but I had a leftie who just actually argued that defence of themselves really means the State. If only we could craft steel as dense yet light as a leftist's intellect.

  • Irish||

    Also occurred to me as I was driving that the link Bo posted this morning about Justice Stevens and his proposal to amend the second amendment is a clear admission that he believes the second amendment refers to the individual right of citizens to keep and bear arms.

    I disagree. It's possible that he thinks the founders meant it differently than the modern assumption and that we should change the wording to make it clear. In other words, the founders didn't mean for it to be a private right and that we should change the wording to make it clearer.

    I think the founders clearly meant it to be an individual right, which is why I'd be totally cool with amending it to remove that 'A well regulated militia' section so that leftists could no longer absurdly claim that the prelude to the second amendment negates everything that comes afterwards.

  • ||

    The founders all wrote extensively about their motives. It is clear beyond any doubt what they meant and that weasel little sack of shit knows it. His dissent in Mcdonald is pure mendacity. He should be stretching a rope.

  • Virginian||

    http://kernelmag.dailydot.com/.....ex-trade/#

    I love the bit on how coming down on Craigslist for the adult section ended up making the cop's job harder.

  • Virginian||

    Kamber, who photographed the war over a ten year period, counts himself among the survivors.

    ___________

    Then Kamber is a pompous tool. He ain't no Ernie Pyle.

  • Ted S.||

    Ernie Pyle didn't survive.

  • Trollo||

    He's no Margaret Bourke-White either.

  • Dances-with-Trolls||

    OT: Politico trolls Canadians.

    Canadians and Americans are so indistinguishable to the rest of the world that some Canadians put maple-leaf flags on their lapels or backpacks so as not to be mistaken for Americans

  • ||

    That's absurd. Everyone knows you can distinguish Canadians by their flappy heads.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    And their beady little eyes.

  • ||

    I would certainly like an open US-Canada border and reduced non-tarriff barriers.

    A currency union could be nice, too.

    I'm not sure there's much point in a de jure union with them, though -- but there are a lot of potential drawbacks, depending on what form it takes.

  • Dances-with-Trolls||

    but there are a lot of potential drawbacks

    Starting with the insanity of Quebec.

  • ||

    Considering our respective central banks, I think Canada would be out of its collective mind to join a currency union with the US.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Canada's central bank has no dual mandate like the Fed. It's only about inflation targeting...in theory.

  • Derpetologist||

    Obnoxious prog James Kunstler whines about cars & suburbs:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q1ZeXnmDZMQ

  • Virginian||

    Of all the shit the progtards believe, their belief that the city is anywhere near universally beloved is one of the dumber ones.

    Let me put it this way: If you could put a magic portal in your basement which let you instantly teleport across the Earth, where would your house be?

    I'm pretty sure most of us wouldn't be living where we live now.

  • Derpetologist||

    What's wrong simple functional structures? Has this jackass ever seen a teepee or a yurt? Or log cabin?

    I wrote to this guy about his peak oil book and got a nice sarcastic response. I'm hunting for his bunk so I can quote some even more obnoxious examples.

    I pointed out that there are vast amounts of methane on Jupiter and Saturn. Since that methane probably did not come from living things, perhaps the so-called fossil fuels on earth did not come from living things either. His response is that maybe we could build a pipeline to Jupiter.

    What a ponce!

  • Derpetologist||

    *book

    Although bunk is an appropriate description.

  • Lord at War||

    I thought it was intentional...

  • Paul.||

    As did I.

  • Ted S.||

    His response is that maybe we could build a pipeline to Jupiter.

    LOL!

    More seriously, wait until we try to mine other celestial bodies for their minerals and chemicals. It's the James Kunstlers of the world who are going to be having conniption fits.

  • Virginian||

    Seriously. At some point, assuming the Luddites don't win, we will be tearing apart asteroids for the resources we need, and beaming power to Earth from the orbital solar farms.

    We should be running towards that as fast as possible, not trying to slow progress.

  • Raven Nation||

    There are already some academics who are putting together a kind of environmental impact policy for Mars. I forget where I read or heard that now.

  • Virginian||

    Of course there are. You know, we do only have the one planet. It does make sense to dump things like nuclear waste and toxic chemicals somewhere safe. Like, oh, I don't know, some backwoods fucking crater that no one has any use for.

  • Brian D||

    Fire it directly into the sun. If we converted the entire mass of the earth into toxic waste and threw it into the sun, it wouldn't even burp.

  • tres||

    Earth First! We'll mine the other planets later.

  • Vulgar Madman||

    They would just say they don't want to risk blowing the moon out of earths orbit.

  • Ted S.||

    Does he pronounce CH4 "MEE-thane" too?

  • Derpetologist||

    I don't think so. He sounds like Woody Allen.

  • Irish||

    I wrote to this guy about his peak oil book and got a nice sarcastic response. I'm hunting for his bunk so I can quote some even more obnoxious examples.

    Do you still have the email?

  • Derpetologist||

    I don't have the response, but I have his address:

    jhkunstler@mac.com

    Here's his blog:

    http://kunstler.com/

  • Cytotoxic||

    The true genesis of fossil fuels is actually a very interesting subject. I've heard the hypothesis that much of our oil and gas is actually generated by water and carbonate that's been dragged down with organics into the mantle and 'cooked' into FFs. In this model, Earth's nuclear decay is the source of our energy, not the sun. Not sure if this is true or widely held though.

  • ||

    The prog hate-boner for suburbs borders on pornographic. It's just kind of sad.

  • Derpetologist||

    Here it comes, folks. The wisdom of James Howard Kunstler:

    "The poor agricultural peasants of the southern United States, however, resorted to religion because they led very hard lives, had low literacy rates, and and knew few other ways of understanding their predicament besides the structured superstition of primitive Protestantism, transmitted orally."

    Wow! He actually calls them superstitious, illiterate peasants.

    "City people of the early 20th century, who had grown up on a high tide of scientific advancement and accepted its victories over superstition and ignorance as self-evident, were suddenly confronted by an aggressive new wave of anti-intellectualism..."

    "Regular assaults on the authority of reason from a large, well-organized faction of inflamed simpletons became a chronic annoyance to the democratic polity founded on the idea that the participants could think rationally."

    This guy must sniff 2 glasses of his own farts a day.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    "This guy must sniff 2 glasses of his own farts a day."

    According to government metrics, that is binge sniffing!

  • Irish||

    "The poor agricultural peasants of the southern United States, however, resorted to religion because they led very hard lives, had low literacy rates, and and knew few other ways of understanding their predicament besides the structured superstition of primitive Protestantism, transmitted orally."

    Then why were the hyper religious parts of New England the most literate places in the world at the time?

    Hell, Pennsylvania was one of the wealthier places on Earth and had a very high literacy rate before and during the revolution. It was also literally run by Quakers.

  • Derpetologist||

    Shh! You're ruining the narrative!

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    In addition to that, does this guy realize that his comment 'The poor agricultural peasants of the southern United States, however, resorted to religion because they led very hard lives, had low literacy rates, and and knew few other ways of understanding their predicament besides the structured superstition of primitive Protestantism, transmitted orally' probably applies best to...19th Century Southern blacks?

  • Derpetologist||

    Shh! You're not supposed to say that part!

  • Cytotoxic||

    It also applies to the praire socialist movements that progenated progressivism.

  • Raven Nation||

    Not to mention that the argument that "the cities" as a whole were intellectual. Can't tell from the block quote which period he is talking about or which cities. But for most of the 19th century and big chunks of the 20th, the majority of urban dwellers in the north were illiterate and not particularly religious. Most of them were Protestant until the late 19th century.

  • Irish||

    The anti-intellectual country dwellers he's talking about also happened to be committed socialists at the time, whereas the noble ubermensch in the cities were far more laissez-faire.

    America's first socialist paper was in Kansas, the inflationist 'cross of gold' speech was applauded by farmers and hated by city dwellers, and prohibition and other progressive policies were all pushed by rural people.

    I always have to laugh when progs insult those stupid hicks in flyover country without being intelligent enough to realize that all the values the progs hold dear were initially advocated by those same hicks' ancestors.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    All that you say in the first paragraph might be true, but does that say much about modern liberalism, which I think has more to do with the New Left movements that were more urban based than rural?

  • Raven Nation||

    I think we're all still responding to Derpetologist's original post which referenced the 19th century.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    I think Irish and Cyto were talking about today's left's links/origins in those 19th century movements.

  • Irish||

    Yes, it says a lot about modern liberalism. The economic ideas are literally identical to the ideas coming from rural socialists at the turn of the century.

    That's actually one of the reasons modern progressive philosophy is full of so many ludicrous contradictions and is completely inconsistent and lacking in principle. Most of the original ideas that still exist in some form within the progressive movement were created by hyper-protestant socialists in 1905. Some of the ideas stemmed from the New Left in the '60s. Some ideas also come from later leftists like crazed environmentalists that have their genesis in the '70s and '80s.

    Since those movements had completely different goals, modern progressivism is an incoherent hodge podge of ideas, many of which contradict other ideas. You can't have a hyper environmentalists state and help the poor since environmentalism drives up the price of land and goods...but since those two aspects of the left came from different sources, the progs don't realize they contradict each other.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Goals can be similar while orientations can be quite different, and origins too.

    William Jennings Bryan is a good example. Is he the father of the modern left? Well, he did give the Cross of Gold speech. Or is he the father of modern social conservatism? He did argue in the Scopes Trial.

    During the New Deal there was a very real split in that coalition, which one can see in the 1948 election with Truman, Thurmond and Wallace all Democrats running. The modern liberalism we deal with today is something much closer to that Wallace wing than to that Thurmond or even Truman wing.

  • ||

    Holy fuck is that quoted bit filled with projection.

  • Paul.||

    If by projection, you mean weapons-grade retard, then I agree.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    That makes literally no sense. The US -- southern and northern -- had one of the highest literacy rates in the world, largely on account of that "primitive Protestantism", which was by no means transmitted "orally". Prior to Reconstruction, the southern (white) literacy rate was ~88%; a bit lower than the north but certainly not 'illiterate'.

  • Irish||

    Didn't you know John Milton and John Donne were both illiterate? I mean, they were religious for Christ's sake!

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Indeed, Protestantism put a premium on literacy, a natural corollary of 'sola scripture' and the 'priesthood of all believers.'

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    I wish this story were mainstream with the line "These people have tried to put up a giant picture of a child near their village in the desperate hope that our Nobel Peace Prize winning President will stay his hand in killing them" attached to it.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    SoCons and Divorce Laws

    "For years, social conservatives have been fighting to prevent certain people from getting married. But they’re waging a parallel battle, too: Trying to keep married couples together.

    In cooperation with the Family Research Council and the National Organization for Marriage, socially conservative politicians have been quietly trying to make it harder for couples to get divorced. In recent years, lawmakers in more than a dozen states have introduced bills imposing longer waiting periods before a divorce is granted, mandating counseling courses or limiting the reasons a couple can formally split. States such as Arizona, Louisiana and Utah have already passed such laws, while others such as Oklahoma and Alabama are moving to do so."

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/.....ml?hpid=z8

  • ||

    No-fault divorce in the US is only 45 years old (CA being the first to adopt it in 1969), so that wouldn't be a huge deviation from the historical norm. It would still be much easier to get divorced with those kinds of laws in place than it was in 1968 (and of course they will never pass anyway).

    It's also not without a bit of irony that the same people clamoring for the fundamental, absolute, non-negotiable constitutional and god-given right to submit a two-person relationship to the authority of the state are shitting their pants over the kind of authority that the state might exert over the relationships submitted to it. SOCONZ!!!!!!!!!(!!!!!)!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    "It's also not without a bit of irony that the same people clamoring for the fundamental, absolute, non-negotiable constitutional and god-given right to submit a two-person relationship to the authority of the state"

    It is almost as if the government denies many benefits (not all of which are monetary) unless they recognize a couple's marriage...

  • ||

    It's almost as if submitting to the total state carries consequences...

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    There goes the point flying o'er your head.

  • ||

    Look! A red herring!

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Do you actually need this walked through?

    The government refuses to grant things like spousal immunity or citizenship to your spouse unless they recognize your marriage. So maybe gay couples are not praising the state when they ask for recognition but realizing the state monopolizes these things and asking they not be denied them because of the gender of their spouse? Just like libertarians drive on ROADZ even though they would rather they be provided in a better way.

  • ||

    The government refuses to grant things like spousal immunity or citizenship to your spouse unless they recognize your marriage.

    It's questionable whether spousal immunity should even be a thing (and at the federal level it pretty much isn't since the privilege belongs to the witness, not the party). And immigration law shouldn't by any right give special priority to people based on who they are fucking. A 1-page addendum to our immigration law could fix that.

    But I'm afraid you may have possibly missed the point. Groveling to the government for special privileges it bestows as an outgrowth of its obscene regulatory power, and then shitting your pants when they use the same regulatory power to make it a pain in your ass to get those privileges revoked, is a bit hypocritical. If you want your government goodies, you deserve to get them, good and hard.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Your first paragraph is totally worthless: you could say the same about roads: the government should not have a monopoly. But they do, and so even us libertarians drive on them.

    Likewise, unless you do not want spousal immunity, citizenship for your spouse, and a host of other rights and benefits you have to have the state recognize your marriage. People that do so do not then deserve further heavy handedness from the government anymore than we libertarians deserve hassling on the roads when we use them.

  • ||

    Likewise, unless you do not want spousal immunity, citizenship for your spouse, and a host of other rights and benefits you have to have the state recognize your marriage.

    Of course not one of the things you've mentioned are actually rights. Spousal immunity is a far from universal common-law privilege, and priority immigration status is wretchedly immoral if you believe in a right to free movement. And, importantly, those privileges and benefits are not offered on an equal basis in the same way that public roads are. A more apt analogy might be some of the other government privileges-mistaken-for-rights where people tend to display the same "Fuck you, I got mine" attitude, like social security or medicare. For which I have the same response.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Your first point about rights and privileges is irrelevant (after all, I said 'benefits' too); call them what you will, if the state does not recognize them then you do not get them. Your point about equal basis offerings of roads makes no sense, it is the equal basis that is the entire debate.

  • RishJoMo||

    As a licensed and current pilot, I say drone pilots are the biggest COWARDS on the planet!

    www.GotsDatAnon.tk

  • Derpetologist||

    Dear Reason,

    Is it really so hard to get rid of this spambot?

  • ||

    Honestly I'm not convince it's a bot.

    But anyway, it actually is fairly difficult to block someone who is determined to post (exhibits A-Y: Mary, exhibit Z: Merkin).

  • Derpetologist||

    How about a filter for blocking any post containing .tk? There's very little chance of that combination of characters happening in an English sentence.

  • ||

    There's no reason a legitimate website can't be hosted on a .tk domain; it's just relatively uncommon.

  • Derpetologist||

    OK, how about one of those "translate these squished letters to prove you're human" thing?

  • Dances-with-Trolls||

    Stop othering the anonbot you cishuman monster.

  • BardMetal||

    This spambot is closer to passing the Turing test then Mary, or Palin's butt slave.

  • Trollo||

    Anonobot is a member in good standing of the H&R commentariot. It hates bad cops.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    UN Report Notes

    "The Americas overtook Africa as the region with the world’s most murders in this year’s report, accounting for 40 percent of the world’s homicides"

    http://www.slate.com/blogs/the.....ponsoredd2

    Number one is Honduras, second is Venezuela. I wonder if any lessons will be drawn from this about the war on drugs or the effects of demagogic socialism?

  • Derpetologist||

    Clearly, they need more gun control.

    /derp

  • ||

    Since it looks like this will be tonight's open thread, I'd like to point out that I posted some info on Heartbleed last night, if anyone's interested.

  • Raven Nation||

    Hmm, OK I followed most of that. Thanks. Is Heartbleed also going to affect Macs or is just a threat to PC/Windows?

  • ||

    It's servers being attacked, not home computers, so it doesn't matter if you're running Windows, Mac, Linux, or even fucking BSD.

  • Raven Nation||

    OK, thanks.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    Carl, are you a new guy or a regular who changed his handle?

  • Grand Moff Serious Man||

    It's the Thane of Whiterun. I believe he was previously "Jarl (hearts) the Booty"

  • Cytotoxic||

    Thank you that is highly informative and concise.

  • Derpetologist||

    Who wants some word salad? It comes with delicious Chomsky dressing:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FJUA4cm0Rck

  • ||

    There is NO warming. We are at least ten years into a cooling trend.

  • Hyperion||

    This is the coldest winter, on the east coast, in recorded history. In Maryland, I typically put my plants outside and start my veggies around the first week of March. It's the middle of April and I still can't put my plants outside or start some tomatoes because it's supposed to get down to 30 degrees next week!

    Warming, my fucking ass. I want to drag one of these warmists out behind the wood shed and beat some damn old fashioned sense into them.

    I am starting to worry that we are going to enter a serious and extended cold period. Maybe equal to the mini ice age that we had in the mid 1800s, or worse.

  • Raven Nation||

    But, but, but, just today science proved that the warming is not natural:

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....153453.htm

    Three quick takeaways:

    1. No debate over warming, just over the cause.

    2. Obligatory pic of polar bear standing in water.

    3. Rather than using complex computer models to estimate the effects of greenhouse-gas emissions, Lovejoy examines historical data

    Um, well sort of. Further down in the story: the new study uses "multi-proxy climate reconstructions" developed by scientists in recent years to estimate historical temperatures. So, not models but, what, reconstructions?

  • Robert||

    That girl is trolling for target practice.

  • Dances-with-Trolls||

    Sometimes I wonder what these drone operators talk about with each other , what they tell themselves about what they do, and basically how they can live with themselves.

    I'm a vet, and I understand that shit happens in war, but this is different. Leaving aside the pathetic justification for this shit in the first place and focusing on the nuts and bolts, this is basically a terror campaign waged by the US government.

    It's not like a bullet gone wild or an airstrike that splashes for some collateral damage, this is deliberate targeting of places with non-combatants. It's fucking premeditated murder. I can't even begin to imagine what would happen to a Lt. who ordered his soldiers to light up a whole building full of people to get at the one bad guy inside of it, and that is essentially what is going on with the drone program time and again.

    It's so disgusting that there is not a massive public outcry about this I can barely stand to think about it.

  • Virginian||

    There's no fucking reason that once they localize an HVT that they can't wait for an opportunity to take a clean shot, or even insert a team to take him alive.

    You telling me he never goes for a walk on the Pakistani equivalent of the back 40 by himself? Or drives to a meet with just one toady/bodyguard? Or that the wife and kids never head off shopping and leave dad by himself?

  • Irish||

    There's no fucking reason that once they localize an HVT that they can't wait for an opportunity to take a clean shot, or even insert a team to take him alive.

    Exactly. They sent in a Seal Team to take out Bin Laden. Targets don't get much more high value than that, so what possible reason is there to use drones to take out some lowly Al-Qaeda toady?

    The collateral damage simply isn't worth it.

  • Cytotoxic||

    The collateral damage simply isn't worth it.

    Why not?

    Inserting a team is insanely dangerous to the team. Bin Laden was special and had a treasure trove of intel to jack. The USG has no right to concern itself with enemy 'civilians'.

    BTW these civilians are not necessarily innocent at all. If they are adults helping our enemies then they deserve to die. If they are truly innocent then that is not our burden that is the burden of the terrorists.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    "If they are truly innocent then that is not our burden that is the burden of the terrorists."

    What a sickening way to think when you are the main cause of the innocent's death.

  • Cytotoxic||

    No, we're not. The initiator of aggression is the main COD. The Japanese government of wartime Japan is 100% responsible for all Japanese civilian deaths in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Further, the Taliban and other Islamo-freaks kill way more people directly than the drones do.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    "The initiator of aggression is the main COD."

    That is plainly absurd. The person who drops a bomb, shoots a gun, or fires a rocket is the main cause of death.

  • ||

    The person who drops a bomb, shoots a gun, or fires a rocket is the main cause of death.

    If the bomb, gun, or rocket wouldn't have been there absent the presence of someone else, they are at least partially responsible. Conducting military operations from civilian centers to prey on the moral bugaboos of your more enlightened enemy might even be, like, a strategic tactic.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Partially responsible, sure, but Cyto said 'main[ly'

  • Irish||

    BTW these civilians are not necessarily innocent at all. If they are adults helping our enemies then they deserve to die. If they are truly innocent then that is not our burden that is the burden of the terrorists.

    That's weird. It almost sounds like you're arguing that killing children is justified if someone else started it.

    I was unaware that the butchery of innocents became moral because we can say 'the terrorists made us do it!'

  • ||

    That's weird. It almost sounds like you're arguing that killing children is justified if someone else started it.

    If it isn't, then no war in history has ever been just or moral. Literally not one.

  • Grand Moff Serious Man||

    Frankly, the only American war that was justifiable was the Revolution.

    Everything afterwards was unnecessary or outright based on conquest and aggression.

    Even the "good war", WWII, was the result of the US sticking its nose into World War I.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    I think the War of 1812 was justified.

  • Grand Moff Serious Man||

    Eh, impressment was a legitimate grievance but it was essentially a war fought to preserve American honor as an ideal.

  • Virginian||

    Eh, impressment was a legitimate grievance but it was essentially a war fought to preserve American honor as an ideal.

    If fighting a war to prevent foreign powers from enslaving American citizens isn't just, then fuck it, I'll be over with the unjust warmongers.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Agree with Virginian there.

  • Grand Moff Serious Man||

    A naval response to British impressment (especially following the Chesapeake-Leopold affair of 1807) would have been warranted to enforce US sovereignty.

    Attempting to conquer Canada was not. That was purely becuase the British had friendly relations with the Indians in the Northwest territories and beyond where US settlers wanted to move in.

  • Virginian||

    A naval response to British impressment (especially following the Chesapeake-Leopold affair of 1807) would have been warranted to enforce US sovereignty.

    Except the US didn't have a fleet which could take on the RN. The US had 6 oversized frigates, and the RN had 36 frigates and 11 of the line.

    But they didn't have thousands of spare troops to deploy to Canada. Thus the Canadian invasion. Asymmetric warfare.

  • Hyperion||

    I seriously doubt that murdering the children and other relatives of people has the same effect that brain dead neocons think it does. So we might as well just get it over with and kill everyone that we are not absolutely sure is not a terrorists.

    Look, there could be terrorists in Pakistan, right? Nuke it! Wait a minute, there could be terrorists in Somalia, right? Nuke it! Fuck it, there could be terrorists everywhere, let's just nuke the fuck out of the entire planet right now!

  • Virginian||

    Fuck it, there could be terrorists everywhere, let's just nuke the fuck out of the entire planet right now!

    Can we use neutron bombs instead? Because there are some really nice places in the world that would be great without all the people. France, I'm looking at you here.

  • Trollo||

    "Nits grow up to be lice"

  • juris imprudent||

    You need to be careful cyto you could pop an eye out with that war-boner.

  • Hyperion||

    +1 predator drone toy replica.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    That eye was acceptable collateral damage.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    It's not like a bullet gone wild or an airstrike that splashes for some collateral damage, this is deliberate targeting of places with non-combatants.

    Except that everything you just said is bullshit.

  • ||

    Yeah, they should be prosecuted for war crimes, like the pilots at Dresden and Hiroshima.

    HURRRRRR DURRRRRRRRRRRRRR

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Why am I not surprised that PM does not mind sacrificing a few innocent lives to achieve a greater good?

  • Cytotoxic||

    Why am I not surprised that Bo is a peacenazi?

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    And why am I not surprised that Cyto is a warmonger?

  • ||

    Why am I not surprised that Bo does not mind tolerating genocide to achieve moral superiority.

    MUH FEELZ

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    He invokes genocide, then calls out his opponents for feelings.

    Rich, that.

  • ||

    It's kind of a relevant topic in the context of WWII, dumbshit.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Now a lecture about how we should have carpetbombed Rawanda and dropped a nuke on Serbia...

  • Virginian||

    Now a lecture about how we should have carpetbombed Rawanda and dropped a nuke on Serbia...

    Derp.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Now wait, if fighting genocide justifies otherwise immoral acts in WWII, why not in other genocide attempts?

  • Virginian||

    Fighting it can be justified. "Kill them all, God will know his own" never is.

    Carpetbombing Rwanda in order to stop the killing there would have killed all the bad guys and most of the victims.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Virginian, I am arguing that very position with PM. I was mocking him.

  • Virginian||

    But he never said anything about Rwanda or Serbia. You did. So....what are you talking about?

  • ||

    But he never said anything about Rwanda or Serbia. You did. So....what are you talking about?

    Since every war is exactly identical to the next, he's saying that carpet bombing Dresden over the Holocaust is exactly the same as carpet bombing Rwanda or Serbia over their respective civil wars and ethnic cleansing (for which Serbia is a laughably terrible example considering the "genocide" there constituted 3,000 war dead).

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    So you find Serbia inapposite, but up for carpetbombing Rwanda?

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    War is immoral. Always. You are killing people without due process. It is horrible. It is also, sometimes necessary. That is why it should be the absolute last resort in any situation and only in defense of direct national interests.

    During war, innocent people die. ALWAYS. You try to minimize that, sometimes it isn't possible. Yes, sometimes the target is so valuable it is worth collaterally killing innocents. Sometimes mistakes are made and the wrong people are killed. Sometimes mistakes are made and you end up killing your own people. It's ugly. It's brutal. And that's EXACTLY what makes it something to be avoided.

    The United States military takes every precaution to minimize those bad outcomes. More so than any military has EVER done so IN THE HISTORY OF WARFARE. Sometimes it is unavoidable.

    The US DOES NOT target civilians. No one is killing little children intentionally. If you say we are I will call you out as a fucking liar who is talking out his ass.

    Bagging on those who do the job, as D-w-T does above, is bullshit. They volunteer to do a job. They don't get to pick and choose what wars the politicians get them wrapped up in. They do their job and they do it IAW the LOAC.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    I would not prosecute the people who carried out Hiroshima*, but maybe those who gave the orders.

    * I am letting Hiroshima stand for any example that is morally questionable, do not want to get into a debate about whether it is

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    I think you need to read the LOAC, Bo.

  • Dances-with-Trolls||

    Bagging on those who do the job, as D-w-T does above, is bullshit.

    My last thought on this, because it's taking my head to some fucked up places, which is no one else's problem and I'm not blaming anyone for it, is that I was one of those people doing the job, FdA. Not a drone operator, obviously, but as a combat arms soldier so please don't give me that shit and play the "you don't know what it's all about" card because I Fucking Do.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    Then you should fucking know better. You know goddamned well no one is "deliberately targeting non-combatants" and it CERTAINLY isn't "fucking premeditated murder".

  • Grand Moff Serious Man||

    OT, but while browsing some abortion kulturkampf article someone posted this as a comment:

    "Once you leave the womb, conservatives don't care about you until you reach military age. Then you’re just what they’re looking for. Conservatives want live babies so they can raise them to be dead soldiers." ~~ George Carlin

    Isn't it weird that Carlin would say that when the most recent example of conscripting young men to fight in a war was initiated by liberal icon LBJ?

  • Virginian||

    They blame Nixon for Vietnam. Seriously. all my progtard relatives basically think that the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution was passed in 1969 by Richard Nixon using his dark powers.

    Plus LBJ was a "conservative Democrat".

  • Raven Nation||

    Friend of mine once told me that he thought LBJ was the last honest president. When we all looked at him cross-eyed he explained it this way:

    LBJ told me that if I voted for Goldwater I would be voting for a land war in Asia. So, I voted for Goldwater and got sent to a land war in Asia.

  • Virginian||

    Haha that's good. Instapundit has a running gag along those same lines.

  • Dances-with-Trolls||

    Holy Shit.

    BLM folds in NV cattle thingy?

  • Dances-with-Trolls||

    However, today the BLM said it would not enforce a court order to remove the cattle and was pulling out of the area.

  • ||

    Wow. That surprises me. A lot.

  • Hyperion||

    It didn't surprise me a lot, because this was going to get out of control, people were going to die, and the federal government is already becoming extremely unpopular. This might have actually made a lot more people start taking notice of what an out of control tyrannical piece of shit our government has turned into, and they don't want that.

  • ||

    Eh, like I said below, after Waco and Ruby Ridge, I have a hard time believing the government would give a shit about a few dead ranchers. If they do that's awesome. But it definitely surprises me.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    They do not care about the ranchers but the bad publicity.

  • Hyperion||

    Of course.

  • Irish||

    Eh, like I said below, after Waco and Ruby Ridge, I have a hard time believing the government would give a shit about a few dead ranchers. If they do that's awesome. But it definitely surprises me.

    It wouldn't have been a few dead ranchers. It would have been two dozen dead protesters from 15 different states.

    In the era of the internet, the government mowing down protesters from 1/3rd of the states in the country could have ended badly for them. There would have been riots.

  • ||

    In the era of the internet, the government mowing down protesters from 1/3rd of the states in the country could have ended badly for them. There would have been riots.

    I still don't understand the logic behind this. Waco happened literally live, on national TV. The closest thing to a protest was when Timothy McVeigh blew up the Murrah building 2 years later. And I don't think he had much popular support behind him.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    In Waco and Ruby Ridge they were able to demonize those murdered as wacky cultists and Neo-Nazis, who, of course, have no rights, they likely realized they would have a harder time here.

  • Virginian||

    I'm with PM here. If you are able to paint them as a State Enemy, you can do whatever you want to them. They shot Vicki Weaver in the head while she was holding her baby, and that fucker is still walking around free and clear.

    This BLM thing, they hadn't laid the proper groundwork. They'll go get some confiscated kiddy porn, some meth precursors, and go raid his house. Scatter that shit around, and the sheep will baaaaa in sweet relief that such a dangerous Goldstein has been killed.

  • Raven Nation||

    OK, let me be clear: I think what happened at Ruby Ridge was a travesty and people should have been punished. BUT, I was reading the reports the other day (after this NV things first came up). Apparently Vicki Weaver was standing behind a door (i.e. out of sight from the sniper) and the bullet which killed her was aimed at another guy. It hit him, passed through, through the door and killed her.

    Again, not excusing, but it was not quite as pre-determined as I thought. Of course, he did shoot the other guy in the back as he was running away...

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Yes, but the real culpability lies on those who set up and gave the order to engage that operation in that way.

  • Irish||

    Apparently Vicki Weaver was standing behind a door (i.e. out of sight from the sniper) and the bullet which killed her was aimed at another guy. It hit him, passed through, through the door and killed her.

    When you accidentally shoot a woman in the face because you were really trying to shoot someone in the back as he ran away, that doesn't strike me as much of an excuse.

    Ruby Ridge also only occurred because the neighbor of the Weaver's lost a lawsuit to Randy Weaver and immediately contacted the FBI to claim that Weaver had made death threats towards the Pope, the President, and the Governor of Idaho.

    The government killed multiple people on the unsubstantiated statements of a man who had just lost a lawsuit against the person in question. If anyone gets killed based on that, it's the government's fault and they get no benefit of the doubt.

  • Virginian||

    Apparently Vicki Weaver was standing behind a door (i.e. out of sight from the sniper) and the bullet which killed her was aimed at another guy. It hit him, passed through, through the door and killed her.

    Bullshit. She was standing in the open doorway, in plain view. Weaver saw his wife die.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    To me it makes no difference, and this actually encapsulates the entire discussion about war and means below. Only a moral monster could have authorized such a firefight when there were women and children present. Surely there was a way with less chance of innocent blood spilt than that.

  • ||

    To me it makes no difference, and this actually encapsulates the entire discussion about war and means below.

    And it's a great analogy, because law enforcement officers sniping civilians in their homes over a missed court date on a charge of illegally sawing off the barrel of a shotgun is exactly morally equivalent to prosecuting a war, including a defensive one.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Well, do the ends justify the means, or don't they?

  • ||

    Apparently Vicki Weaver was standing behind a door (i.e. out of sight from the sniper) and the bullet which killed her was aimed at another guy. It hit him, passed through, through the door and killed her.

    The FBI sniper's account is that he didn't see her and that she was behind the open door to the cabin, into which Randy Weaver, Kevin Harris, and Weaver's 16 year old daughter were retreating after Randy Weaver had been shot in the back while outside viewing the body of his dead 14 year old son, who had been shot in the back while retreating in the initial confrontation between US Marshals, the boy, and Harris. Others have testified that Vicki Weaver was holding open the door to the cabin, in plain sight. In either case, the shot was taken into the cabin where it was known that there was at least the potential for others to be inside, struck Harris in the chest, then Vicki Weaver in the face, killing her.

  • Raven Nation||

    As I noted above, I am NOT defending or excusing any of the government forces involved at Ruby Ridge. And I think all the points above are right on point.

    My post was simply responding to the narrative that I had always heard that Vicki Weaver was deliberately targeted, as she held her baby and that both of them were in full view of the sniper.

    Certainly, even if the government version were accurate, it would not excuse anyone. And we can easily see that by analogy: if I went to shoot someone who had tried to mug me as they were fleeing and I shot and killed a woman I had not seen, I would be convicted PDQ.

  • Virginian||

    I had always heard that Vicki Weaver was deliberately targeted, as she held her baby and that both of them were in full view of the sniper.

    That's what the non-fed eyewitnesses say. The feds tell it different, there was not an independent lab checking the forensics, and the FBI wrote the report. So the official record is that Vicki Weaver was behind the door, and it was a terrible accident.

    But don't believe them. I believe the innocent man, and his teenage daughter, and the other innocent man that was there.

  • Raven Nation||

    Virginian: fair enough.

    And, don't forget, the only reason he wasn't prosecuted was b/c the feds argued preemption and, when they got the trial, promptly dismissed all charges.

    I suspect that might have something to do with fearing what Lon might have said in any deal to get himself off.

  • Robert||

    'tain't nuthin'...I believe John Kennedy was killed by accident.

  • Hyperion||

    There will be worse than riots the next time they pull some shit like that. I guarantee it.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    Somehow, I doubt this is the end of this.

  • Robert||

    IT'S A TRAP!

  • Hyperion||

    People didn't back down the way the federal goon squads thought they would. This was going to get ugly and the feds knew it. But this just shows, they can only push their shit as far as the people will let them. We still have control, it's just that we're way too fucking busy watching American Idol and other dumbed down shit to even know anything is going on, let alone have the will to do anything about it.

    Does anyone know if there is any truth to the rumor about Harry Reid having some involvement in this? It's hard to tell, I don't see that story being reported anywhere except on conspiracy theory sites, like Alex Jones. So no way I would believe a word of it, yet.

  • ||

    Harry Reid's friends and family are in every corner of NV politics, so I wouldn't be the least bit surprised.

    I have to say though, after Waco and Ruby Ridge, the idea that the federal government has any compunction about mowing down Americans on national TV just doesn't ring true. I don't know why these people got lucky this time, but I don't think it's an indication of the government fearing the people.

  • Hyperion||

    I don't think that's entirely true. Times are changing. The feds are not so stupid that they don't know people are getting increasingly agitated with them.

    If they would have opened fire on the protesters or the ranchers family, it would have created a viral shit storm, and they know it.

  • tres||

    Then why the show of force in the first place? Was their plan to roust Bundy without anyone noticing or caring?

    If somehow they succeeded, most of team blue would heartily applaud.

    "The feds are not so stupid..." Yes they are, witness this aggression.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    "Was their plan to roust Bundy without anyone noticing or caring?"

    I would bet yes. For every heavy handed government aggression resulting in bad pr for the government we hear about there are likely many, many we do not.

  • tres||

    But this wasn't half a dozen feds raiding a medical MJ shop. 200 dudes is certainly a show of force.

  • Hyperion||

    Then why the show of force in the first place?

    Because they thought the sheeple would lie down like lap dogs, and even applaud their tyranny like they have in the past. That didn't happen, and times are changing.

  • Cytotoxic||

    I would like to think the protesters and the guns they showed up with made the difference. 2A right in the government's dick.

  • juris imprudent||

    Hell, federal LE decides to de-escalate? Maybe Obama really is going to make the seas recede.

  • Hyperion||

    defending an entire village from the possibility of an American drone strike.

    But if not for golf and dismembering furen brown children with predator drones, what would our president do for fun?

  • ||

    Just out of curiosity, does anybody think this actually means a good goddamn to drone pilots? As if they never once contemplated their career choice and the ethics of what they do? Or even if they hadn't, that upon seeing a picture of a child they would be so deeply moved they would get up, walk out of the control room, crash their drone into a mountain, and go join the nearest peace march? When you enter a career where one of the basic job requirements is killing people with large bombs, the fact that you're killing people with large bombs probably isn't going to rattle you all that terribly much. It's kind of self-screening that way. I'd be willing to bet it probably wouldn't even matter if they played a sad Sarah McLachlan song along with the picture.

  • Hyperion||

    Just out of curiosity, does anybody think this actually means a good goddamn to drone pilots?

    Just in case it does, I hear there's this crony company that sells pictures of old women and children for target practice to law enforcement agencies. So maybe if it makes them start hesitating, their department can get them spending some time shooting up grannies, pregnant women, and pre-schoolers, and that will get them back into the good old killin mode.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Just out of curiosity, does anybody think this actually means a good goddamn to drone pilotsanyone?


    FTFY

    And the answer to that question is no. Liz Cheney or your average warmonger with developed views on the subject is not going to wake up, see this picture, and say, "OMG I had no idea wars = civilian casualties, peace now!" Implicit in the idea of modern warfare is an acceptance for some level of spillover onto innocents. A similar question to ask: would a libertarian change their views on government poverty relief programs if shown some B&W Dorthea Lange pictures of the Dust Bowl? Fuck no, and why should we expect them to?

  • Cytotoxic||

    This isn't supposed to actually convince anybody. It's desperation by the peacenazis. They are bankrupt and aren't winning the public over. This is (hopefully) their deathrattle.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    "It's desperation by the peacenazis."

    On a libertarian site.

    Sheesh.

  • Dances-with-Trolls||

    Couldn't say, never met one. I can say that if I had been ordered to destroy a house that I knew was 1 part bad guy, 6 parts non-combatants without an immediate and terribly compelling reason I'd have told my Lt to go fuck himself and taken my chances. Thankfully that sort of situation never came up. At a guess one of the things these drone pilots tell themselves is that they don't know what is in the target they just know it's the target. That's probably the even the case.

    It is one thing to have collateral damage in a chaotic situation, or in hitting an essential target in a populated area and the only methods you have make it impossible to reasonably avoid and the mission requires it. There is something else at work here. At a guess it is mission drift. Now that we've spend years pounding these bastards, killing so much of the leadership cadre that it's becoming hard to tell who really is in control of what, every goat herding fuckwit with an AK, a wild hair up his as about the US, and the ears of a group of people becomes the next HVT requiring extreme measures. I think this is a symptom of rudderless leadership and lack of clear objectives, which has been the problem in Iraq and Afghanistan from jump.

    Short of genocide we are not going to see an end to conflict in that country while we are in it, and the propaganda value of this operational pattern for the psychos that live there and people that would exploit them to do us harm just keeps getting worse.

  • ||

    I'm not defending drone strikes in particular (although I do think they have their legitimate use and probably save a lot more lives than they cost in the context of war), just saying this is kind of a stupid display since it presumes the child-like naivety of the ostensibly intended targets of the shaming.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Engaging in some operations in Pakistan was more likely than not necessary for the first phase of OEF, but everything since has proceeded from our asinine project to set up a western(ish)-style democracy in a region with essentially no support for that sort of project. We should get out of Afghanistan; at that point getting out of Pakistan will be a snap -- both should be done ASAP. I can say that, given the retarded objectives we have in the region, drones are the best way to complete the mission. Pakistan has tried other things; the casualties have run up to the 1000s without much forward movement.

    That said, you're a cunt if a picture of a dead kid is what flips you from pro-war to anti-war. "Kids and other civilians die in wars?! Gee, I had no idea! Sure, kids die when it's the bad guys waging wars, but I thought that when we fought wars it was all sweetness and light with absolutely no causalities or fallout!" Obviously no one really thinks like that, but that's the level of moron you have to be to be swayed from one side of the debate to the other by this picture. *Any* war, no matter how well-justified or NAP-compliant, will have causalities, is ugly, and will make animals out of people.

    Pretty good reason to have as few wars as possible if you ask me, but if you're not a pacifist then the fact of casualties is unlikely to sway you if your mind is made up.

  • Cytotoxic||

    You're right about Afghanistan, but I am not sure that means the drones should be ended. Al-Zawahri and Hekmatyar are still out there. They need to die.

    Obviously no one really thinks like that

    Oh you haven't seen the peacenazis in full moon! It was worse several years ago before they lost the war of ideas. Their arguments are 'feelings' and 'FUR TEH CHILDRENZ'.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Anyone who does not give serious pause about war or any tactic in war over consideration of innocent casualties is a moral monster.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Any government that doesn't do everything in its power to win against aggressors like the Taliban is unfit to govern.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    "doesn't do everything in its power to win against aggressors "

    The end justifies the means! Classic libertarian thinking...

  • ||

    That calculation depends entirely on the moral value one places on the justification for the war. Failure to reach the same moral conclusion is not an indication that no moral consideration was undertaken.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Only if you think the ends justifies the means. Moral principles apply to the waging of war beyond the calculation of whether it would overall be just.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Well Bo, if you'd like to offer up some strategies on how to run a 100% innocent-proof way of waging war, I'm sure our generals would love to hear it. Otherwise, I'd recommend looking at the actual history of war -- it's complicated when they're short, and a goddamn bloody mess when they're long, and it doesn't matter whether they were 'defensive' to start with. In fact, some of the bloodiest engagements have been defensive in nature -- just ask WWII Belarussian partisans how they treated captured POWs or German-sympathizing civilians.

    If this apparent lack of sanitized wars is a problem for you, become a pacifist -- better people than you or me have arrived at that position, and I'm not going to give you shit over it; it's certainly not unreasoned depending on what it is that you value. If not and you have the standard libertarian "war is OK when it is defensive" answer, then you can get off your high horse because you're on the same boat as the rest of us -- figuring out what is and is not an acceptable goal to risk trading other peoples' lives over.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Why should the history of wars be our guide for what is just in war any more than the history of States should be our guide for political philosophy?

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Why should the history of wars be our guide for what is just in war any more than the history of States should be our guide for political philosophy?


    For the same reason that we pay attention to the results of an experiment when conducting science. Think of history as one big test lab, and every war as one experiment. We've run countless permutations, and you'd be pressed to find an example of a war without casualties which didn't end very, very quickly -- and since the theater and outcome of war is not entirely subject to your whims (especially in a defensive conflict), it's pretty damn ridiculous to dismiss all concerns about prior performance of the human race at war because your war or your principles are so very special.

    Like I said, if you'd like to explain how to conduct a war without casualties I'm all ears. Otherwise, I'm going to assume that anyone claiming a broad principle such as "defensive wars are legitimate" without, say, explaining how one would defend a large urban area from conventional military forces without civilian casualties is someone who is not to be taken seriously. Trade-offs exist in all areas of life; from my observation the people who ignore them are playing at moral psychodrama, not in fact making the world a more moral place.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    We would never take from history that States tend to run roughshod over liberty as a model for how things ought to be (liberals actually make this argument-there has never been a libertopia so that proves it is a silly pipe dream), so why should we take the history of abuses in war as a model for how we should ideally fight them?

    I am not saying war must be conducted always in a way to ensure there is never one innocent casualty, as I said elsewhere I merely think there is a line between, say, a policy of killing and raping women and children in order to speed up a surrender of an awful enemy, and not resisting said enemy. The end itself does not justify any means.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    why should we take the history of abuses in war as a model for how we should ideally fight them


    We don't fight wars "ideally", we fight them in reality. When wars are fought civilians die, often in quite grisly ways. There are ways to *reduce* civilian casualties, but none to *eliminate* them. Asking if we 'should' do something some way or another, while ignoring thousands of years of human history which say that X *will* happen given time, is stupid.

    Oh, and just because progs are brainless idiots doesn't mean they're wrong about libertopia. There will never be such a thing, and if it were to ever exist you'd just have to give it 5 minutes and it'd be gone. Whether we 'should' have libertopia or not is pointless in the world of reality since we will never be in a place where we have that choice.

    I merely think there is a line between, say, a policy of killing and raping women and children


    Perfect example, right here. *Should* we have that policy? Of course not, but regardless of whether we do or not I promise you that the killing and raping of women will happen, if your war lasts long enough and/or is vicious enough. Acting like it won't is oblivious, and yes -- if you advocated resistance to the Nazis in WWII, it was a package deal, just like those who starve in poverty are part of the "deal" for capitalism. Pretending that the trade-off doesn't exist is just insulting to the people living those trade-offs.

  • ||

    I merely think there is a line between, say, a policy of killing and raping women and children in order to speed up a surrender of an awful enemy, and not resisting said enemy.

    A moment of silence for all the women and children raped by unmanned drones to effectuate a quick surrender.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Analogies seem beyond you tonight.

  • ||

    Only if you think the ends justifies the means.

    Right. If you believe that certain things (ends) are worth killing for (means), then you should kill them for. If you don't, you shouldn't. Or, That calculation depends entirely on the moral value one places on the justification for the war.

    Moral principles apply to the waging of war beyond the calculation of whether it would overall be just.

    If it is never moral to kill innocent human beings, even by accident, then no war can possibly be moral, and you must oppose it in all instances. I don't share that moral outlook. So obviously our calculus would be different. Or, Failure to reach the same moral conclusion is not an indication that no moral consideration was undertaken.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    There is a line between, for example, killing and raping women and children to win a war against an admittedly evil enemy and no war is worth any innocent deaths. Once you accept that you acknowledge that there are moral calculations to war other than just will the end result be better than anything that happens in it.

  • ||

    Well, thankfully nobody but you was under any misapprehension about the morality of gangraping enemy women and children in pursuit of a victory. The topic under discussion was kids getting blown up in drone strikes intended to kill combatants, who for reasons that are obvious to some, tend to conduct their military affairs in the same areas where civilians congregate. Or, in another example, carpet bombing civilian centers while prosecuting a total war in two theaters - one a defensive retaliation for a surprise attack, the other an offensive action to effect the surrender of an aggressive military rapidly acquiring territory and prosecuting an ethnic genocide. Raping and intentionally murdering civilians is obviously avoidable, and is illegal under military law. Shelling a village where non-uniformed combatants are hiding, and killing civilians in the process is a tad bit more ambiguous.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Gangraping women and children was offered as one end of the continuum. We all agree that is wrong, that is the point of a continuum PM. It also shows that you have limits to 'means justifies the ends' thinking yourself, you are just more willing than me to chuck those limits when the ends get 'juicy.'

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    That is a bit harsh. Sometimes images can have a significant impact on people, especially those who might be doubting already.

  • ||

    Works for World Vision, I guess.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Bo translation: please don't call me out on my bankrupt arguments and dishonest tactics or I will unleash my tediousness!

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    If a person is so indecisive about a given war that a picture of something you already know is happening can cause them to flip sides, then I say that they never really believed in what they were doing -- in which case, you just committed thousands of troops, millions in taxpayer funds, and countless other expenditures into killing people for no good reason. That may be harsh, but it is also honest. I don't see it as a kindness to those who have died in Afghanistan and Pakistan to soften this blow for the sake of being conciliatory.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    "If a person is so indecisive about a given war that a picture of something you already know is happening can cause them to flip sides, then I say that they never really believed in what they were doing"

    You are pro-life, right? Do you think no one is converted in that area by an image? Because there are quite a few that believe like you that would disagree.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Sure there are. Many are swayed because they were not aware how quickly external features of the fetus develop in the womb; this leads them to question how quickly the fetus develops as a 'person' (for lack of better terminology) and shifts their position on the debate. IOW, for some it really is new information that a fetus at 2 months looks and acts very much like a newborn.

    As for the people who see fetus' and say, "OMG I had no idea there was something alive in there! End abortions now" -- my judgement stands. They are morons or (more likely) never had faith in their prior position; the fact that they now claim to agree with me doesn't make their decision-making process any better. In fact, as far as I'm concerned it's significantly worse to have pro-life 'beliefs' about where life starts and to nonetheless sanction the murder of children for aesthetic reasons, than to have a reasoned pro-choice position -- at least the latter can claim to have made an honest mistake in an area that is very difficult; the former can claim only cowardice.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Fair enough, but I stick to my point that imagery can be a powerful thing. Many have gone into war with an intellectual acceptance that they will be killing someone and then rethinking that when they come across an actual dead person (especially a civilian, child casualty).

  • ||

    Many have gone into war with an intellectual acceptance that they will be killing someone and then rethinking that when they come across an actual dead person (especially a civilian, child casualty).

    A point that might be more relevant if we weren't a decade plus into this engagement already.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    And many soldiers have come back with changed minds to protest against the war. Many of them had their opinions changed by a traumatic image they experienced in war. Sometimes such experiences and testimony help end wars (ever heard of Vietnam?)

  • Virginian||

    Nixon ended Vietnam. He didn't give a fuck about VVAW.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Nixon did not end it out of the goodness of his heart, the pressure to do so was enormous.

  • Grand Moff Serious Man||

    Nixon campaigned in 1968 on an "honorable" end to US involvement in Vietnam.

    It dragged on for his entire first term for a variety of reasons but I don't see any reason to doubt he intended to end the war on the best terms possible for the US and South.

  • ||

    And many soldiers have come back with changed minds to protest against the war.

    Right, but probably not because they spotted a mural of a little girl in the middle of a field during a drone strike 12 years after the war got started. If you're the kind of person retarded enough to not have noticed the news stories about civilian deaths in Afghanistan by now, this art installation probably isn't going to help you. It's preaching to the choir.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    *shrugs*

    PSYOPS is PSYOPS.

  • ||

    Obviously no one really thinks like that, but that's the level of moron you have to be to be swayed from one side of the debate to the other by this picture.

    That was what I was trying to articulate upthread. Like some drone pilot in the control room is going to be suddenly struck by the previously totally uncontemplated fact that children are killed when he drops the bombs and run from the scene weeping into his hands. If you're over the age of 5, that thought probably crossed your mind at least once before.

  • Sevo||

    So the SEIU is petitioning to put a $15/hr M/W on the SF ballot. Given the average SF voter, I'm sure it will pass.
    Well, it seems there's a fix already in place:

    "Ordering a meal and more on tabletop tablets"
    [...]
    ..."But national chains like Applebee's and Chili's hope to soon have a server at the ready, perched on every table - a tablet that diners can use to order food, play games (for a fee) and pay or split the bill."...
    http://www.sfgate.com/technolo.....396547.php

    Of course any change in the SF restaurant staffing will be found to be a result of technical changes, not the increased M/W.

  • Irish||

    I'm out for the night, so I figure I'll leave you guys with something a bit more upbeat: Postmodern Jukebox's new cover.

    I have to say, this particular cover is weirdly sexy. The girl in the middle is clearly the best looking, but the other two are certainly not bad. Any girl who can carry a tune and pull of one of those skirts is something special.

  • Virginian||

    You can have the center one, I want the one on the Left.

  • Hyperion||

    Nope, I get the one on the left.

  • Virginian||

    She would recoil from the odor of Old Bay spiced crab and Natty Bo on your breath. She needs a proper Southern gentleman, not a scurrilous Yankee.

  • Hyperion||

    I'm not from MD, I've only been here for 5 years. I've spent more time in the south than any place else. I'm sure the fuck, not a Yankee. And I'm married to a lady who spent most of her life 8 degrees south of the equator. Get more south than that, Mr. Virginia!

    I get the one on the left.

  • Virginian||

    You willingly moved to Murriland five years ago? Why? Why would you do that?

  • Trollo||

    The one on the left is the only "hot" one. They are absolutely terrible musically. Cover of what? Why would anyone willingly record a song that bad?

  • Virginian||

    Their thing is covering modern songs in older styles.

    I like this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kJ3BAF_15yQ

  • RishJoMo||

    Once again I say DRONE PILOTS ARE COWARDS!

    www.GotsDatAnon.tk

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