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  1. 22 Oct '13 20:31
    Human rights groups on Tuesday accused the United States of breaking international law and perhaps committing war crimes by killing civilians in missile and drone strikes that were intended to hit militants in Pakistan and Yemen.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/10/22/us-usa-yemen-drones-idUSBRE99L1A420131022

    Is it true?
  2. 22 Oct '13 20:35
    Originally posted by Metal Brain
    Human rights groups on Tuesday accused the United States of breaking international law and perhaps committing war crimes by killing civilians in missile and drone strikes that were intended to hit militants in Pakistan and Yemen.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/10/22/us-usa-yemen-drones-idUSBRE99L1A420131022

    Is it true?
    A honored recipient of the Nobel peace prize would never commit war crimes by ordering drone strikes that killed civilians.
  3. 22 Oct '13 22:45 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by Metal Brain
    Human rights groups on Tuesday accused the United States of breaking international law and perhaps committing war crimes by killing civilians in missile and drone strikes that were intended to hit militants in Pakistan and Yemen.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/10/22/us-usa-yemen-drones-idUSBRE99L1A420131022

    Is it true?
    If so, the US is guilty of war crimes in every war, as many more civilians were killed in each previous war than by drone strikes. Truman and Eisenhower would be at the top of the list.
  4. 23 Oct '13 00:21
    Originally posted by utherpendragon
    A honored recipient of the Nobel peace prize would never commit war crimes by ordering drone strikes that killed civilians.
    What did Obama do to earn the peace prize? Wasn't it basically for doing nothing?
  5. 23 Oct '13 00:30
    Originally posted by moon1969
    If so, the US is guilty of war crimes in every war, as many more civilians were killed in each previous war than by drone strikes. Truman and Eisenhower would be at the top of the list.
    We are not at war with Pakistan and Yemen. It makes little sense to compare this to war, not that wars are always declared but you know what I mean. Full scale wars always kill more people, including civilians.

    Killing civilians is not always a war crime. I believe it depends how many civilians are killed. Can you provide a ratio between civilians killed and soldiers/enemy combatants killed? That is the only fair way to compare this to full scale wars.
  6. 23 Oct '13 01:14
    Originally posted by Metal Brain
    What did Obama do to earn the peace prize? Wasn't it basically for doing nothing?
    Agreed.
    One thumbs up from me.
  7. 23 Oct '13 01:52 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by Metal Brain
    We are not at war with Pakistan and Yemen. It makes little sense to compare this to war, not that wars are always declared but you know what I mean. Full scale wars always kill more people, including civilians.

    Killing civilians is not always a war crime. I believe it depends how many civilians are killed. Can you provide a ratio between civilians ki ...[text shortened]... soldiers/enemy combatants killed? That is the only fair way to compare this to full scale wars.
    I understand your points and do not reject them. Millions of soldiers were killed, both by weapons and by illness, in WWI, for example. Yet, the civilian to soldier death ratio for the entire WWII, as with most wars was still quite high.

    However, consider this interesting tidbit within WWII as an example of massive civilian deaths. The British/US bombing of German cities targeted manufacturing and civilians. Break the morale of the German people was a goal. Massive numbers of German civilians killed in those city bombings, much more civilians than German soldiers.
  8. 23 Oct '13 01:55 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by Metal Brain
    We are not at war with Pakistan and Yemen. It makes little sense to compare this to war, not that wars are always declared but you know what I mean. Full scale wars always kill more people, including civilians.

    Killing civilians is not always a war crime. I believe it depends how many civilians are killed. Can you provide a ratio between civilians ki ...[text shortened]... soldiers/enemy combatants killed? That is the only fair way to compare this to full scale wars.
    Unfortunately, we are in a puzzling never-ending war on terrorism (specifically against Al Qaeda) authorized by Congress. A battlefield is where enemy operatives/combatants are permitted to exist and flourish.

    Sure, the President, Congress, and US military all know and accept there will be civilian casualties with drones. Yet, the precision, accuracy, and civilian-avoiding capability of drones is unheralded. The number of civilians killed by drones is miniscule compared to other wars. By the way, there would be much more civilians killed if the US sent troops into Pakistan and Yemen to get the Al Qaida operatives and leadership.

    I think the drones have been effective at decimating an organized Al Qaida, and with minimal civilian and US casualties. At some point, however, the political and goodwill-sacrificing backlash has to come into play in considering drone effectiveness.
  9. 23 Oct '13 08:53
    Originally posted by moon1969
    Unfortunately, we are in a puzzling never-ending war on terrorism (specifically against Al Qaeda) authorized by Congress. A battlefield is where enemy operatives/combatants are permitted to exist and flourish.

    Sure, the President, Congress, and US military all know and accept there will be civilian casualties with drones. Yet, the precision, accuracy, ...[text shortened]... ical and goodwill-sacrificing backlash has to come into play in considering drone effectiveness.
    Full scale wars do result in more civilian casualties because of the scale, but what about the ratio between civilian and non-civilian deaths? That is the only fair measure to determine if civilian deaths are at an unacceptable level. Perhaps Obama's drone strikes have a greater civilian death ratio than chemical weapons. If that is true it shows American hypocrisy is at an unacceptable level.

    Drone strikes are killing too many civilians and the people who see the resulting deaths in Yemen and Pakistan are so infuriated by what they see it results in more people joining terrorist organizations than the drone strikes kill terrorists. Obama is lying about the amount of civilian deaths that result from drone strikes. That is why he will not release any intelligence information regarding that.

    Obama promised his administration would be transparent compared to others. So far that has not been the case. Just another lie.

    Obama's drone strike policy is a huge failure unless the goal is to have more terrorist recruits. That might actually be the case since terrorism is a good excuse to invade foreign countries. Imperialism is the true goal and that results in more terrorism. It is an endless spiral they are happy with as long as most Americans are dumb enough to go along with it.

    http://www.policymic.com/articles/16949/predator-drone-strikes-50-civilians-are-killed-for-every-1-terrorist-and-the-cia-only-wants-to-up-drone-warfare
  10. 23 Oct '13 10:13 / 3 edits
    Originally posted by Metal Brain
    Full scale wars do result in more civilian casualties because of the scale, but what about the ratio between civilian and non-civilian deaths? That is the only fair measure to determine if civilian deaths are at an unacceptable level. Perhaps Obama's drone strikes have a greater civilian death ratio than chemical weapons. If that is true it shows America ...[text shortened]... strikes-50-civilians-are-killed-for-every-1-terrorist-and-the-cia-only-wants-to-up-drone-warfare
    That is utterly ridiculous. Not even the most left organizations from Amnesty International to Human Rights Watch assert anywhere close to a 50 to 1 ratio. Robert Taylor and the website you cite have absolutely no credibility. You weaken your position by citing such bunk. You have good arguments without going lunatic extreme.

    The most effective focus against drones may be characterizing attacks as unlawful killings, extrajudicial executions, etc., and how the drone attacks create too much anti-American sentiment. Drone attacks have dropped dramatically recently.

    An independent expert’s report for the United Nations General Assembly, released last week, said at least 400 civilians were killed in about 330 drone strikes carried out in Pakistan’s tribal areas since 2004. While Amnesty International thinks that underestimates civilian deaths, they in no way would ever try to assert that 50 civilians are killed for every terrorist in a drone strike.
  11. 23 Oct '13 10:16 / 4 edits
    Originally posted by Metal Brain
    Full scale wars do result in more civilian casualties because of the scale, but what about the ratio between civilian and non-civilian deaths? That is the only fair measure to determine if civilian deaths are at an unacceptable level. Perhaps Obama's drone strikes have a greater civilian death ratio than chemical weapons. If that is true it shows America ...[text shortened]... strikes-50-civilians-are-killed-for-every-1-terrorist-and-the-cia-only-wants-to-up-drone-warfare
    Think about that 50 to 1 figure. You would be talking tens of thousands of civilian deaths (or more) in Pakistan alone just from drones. There is no way that could be hid. It would be very visible.

    Further, does not make any logical sense. Even in the most crowded suburbs, you are not going to kill 50 civilians for every terrorist killed with a drone strike. Utterly ridiculous assertion. Robert Taylor has absolutely no evidence of a 50 to 1 ratio. It really weakens your position to go to the lunatic fringe like that.

    By the way, the US/British carpet bombings of German cities typically exceeded a 50 civilian to soldier death ratio. In the four bombing raids on Dresden, for instance, 25,000 civilians were killed with few German soldiers killed. Compare that to drones, and think about where Truman, Churchill, and Eisenhower might rank on your war crimes ranking.
  12. 23 Oct '13 13:48
    Originally posted by moon1969
    Think about that 50 to 1 figure. You would be talking tens of thousands of civilian deaths (or more) in Pakistan alone just from drones. There is no way that could be hid. It would be very visible.

    Further, does not make any logical sense. Even in the most crowded suburbs, you are not going to kill 50 civilians for every terrorist killed with a dro ...[text shortened]... , and think about where Truman, Churchill, and Eisenhower might rank on your war crimes ranking.
    You obviously did not read the link. The article clearly states that it is hard to come up with an accurate estimate. The point I was making is that the Obama administration will not release any information on it's own civilian death estimates, so anything Jay Carney says about civilian deaths being low cannot be trusted.
    I'm not claiming the 50 to 1 estimate is correct. I would like to see the Obama administration's estimates though. You know those estimates exist. It would be stupid for the CIA not to have them. Maybe when they release their estimates we will have a clearer picture of what is really happening. Until then it appears they have something to hide that doesn't look good.
  13. 23 Oct '13 13:57 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by moon1969
    That is utterly ridiculous. Not even the most left organizations from Amnesty International to Human Rights Watch assert anywhere close to a 50 to 1 ratio. Robert Taylor and the website you cite have absolutely no credibility. You weaken your position by citing such bunk. You have good arguments without going lunatic extreme.

    The most effective focus ...[text shortened]... way would ever try to assert that 50 civilians are killed for every terrorist in a drone strike.
    What is ridiculous is that a drone strike happened at a wedding!

    http://wemeantwell.com/blog/2012/06/18/us-drone-policy-and-wedding-day-massacres/
  14. 23 Oct '13 14:05
    "War crime" is a tautology.
  15. 23 Oct '13 14:33
    Originally posted by moon1969
    By the way, the US/British carpet bombings of German cities typically exceeded a 50 civilian to soldier death ratio. In the four bombing raids on Dresden, for instance, 25,000 civilians were killed with few German soldiers killed.
    It should not be forgotten that the first intensive bombing of a civilian population in World War II was the German attack on Warsaw in 1939, which also saw more than 25,000 civilians killed.