Kill List

Generally an unmoderated forum for discussion of pretty much any topic. The focus however, is usually politics.
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rstrong
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Re: Kill List

Unread post by rstrong » Tue Nov 24, 2015 11:08 pm

O Really wrote:So if you ride in your weapon carrying aircraft, it's OK, but if you pilot it remotely it's not. Carry that to its logical conclusion and the only available means of killing the enemy is hand-to-hand.
There's an argument about gun control that covers the additional ethical problem of drones:

"Handguns are available for self protection in Seattle, but not in nearby Vancouver, Canada; handgun killings are five times more common and the handgun suicide rate is ten times greater in Seattle. Guns make impulsive killing easy."
- Carl Sagan, Demon Haunted World

Drones are cheap compared to F-16s and F-22s. They're FAR cheaper to operate. The drone pilot is FAR cheaper to train. You don't risk a pilot. You don't risk the political fall-out of a pilot being captured.

You don't need all that careful mission planning and choreography ahead of time, since you can loiter in the air all day long waiting for something that looks like a target. Consider the US's first Predator drone murder, back in 2002. Three men in Afghanistan. Murdered because one of them was tall, so obviously he must be Osama Bin Laden.

Drones make impulsive killing easy.

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Vrede too
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Re: Kill List

Unread post by Vrede too » Tue Nov 24, 2015 11:11 pm

Physically and politically easy.
O Really wrote:So if you ride in your weapon carrying aircraft, it's OK, but if you pilot it remotely it's not. Carry that to its logical conclusion and the only available means of killing the enemy is hand-to-hand.
No, it isn't OK.
There's still a difference.
Reductio ad absurdum.
It really is time to stop being nice about stupidity.

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Re: Kill List

Unread post by O Really » Tue Nov 24, 2015 11:35 pm

"Drones are cheap compared to F-16s and F-22s. They're FAR cheaper to operate. The drone pilot is FAR cheaper to train. You don't risk a pilot. You don't risk the political fall-out of a pilot being captured."

Sounds like all the arguments one would make if s/he favored drones.

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Re: Kill List

Unread post by Vrede too » Wed Nov 25, 2015 12:20 am

Sure, if the goal is easy violence and never mind the consequences.
It really is time to stop being nice about stupidity.

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Re: Kill List

Unread post by rstrong » Wed Nov 25, 2015 1:45 am

Large transport trucks would be a lot cheaper and easier to operate if you go rid of all the safety standards covering braking systems, maintenance, operator fatigue and hazardous materials.

Oddly enough, few would consider this an argument in favor of dropping those safety standards.

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Re: Kill List

Unread post by O Really » Wed Nov 25, 2015 8:48 am

rstrong wrote:... few would consider this an argument in favor of dropping those safety standards.
In the US, there are many who favor just that, and worse. We call them Republicans.

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Re: Kill List

Unread post by O Really » Wed Nov 25, 2015 8:51 am

Vrede too wrote:Sure, if the goal is easy violence and never mind the consequences.
Other than the distance, is there a difference in drone pilots and snipers?

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Re: Kill List

Unread post by Vrede too » Wed Nov 25, 2015 9:05 am

All the reasons, including those detailed by the drone airmen above, that have led to a drone outcry and not a sniper one. Also, snipers face personal risk so are used more cautiously, and you never hear about snipers "accidentally" killing dozens of civilians or terrorist recruitment because of the US' sniper warfare.
It really is time to stop being nice about stupidity.

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Re: Kill List

Unread post by rstrong » Wed Nov 25, 2015 9:40 am

O Really wrote:Other than the distance, is there a difference in drone pilots and snipers?
There's not a lot of instances of snipers wiping out entire wedding and funeral parties. Not a lot of instances of them killing scores of innocent bystanders even when they kill a real terrorist. Not a lot of instances of them sticking around to kill off first responders with a second strike - a favorite practice of drone pilots which even the US itself calls terrorism. Heck, given that a sniper can look through a scope and ID a target, there's probably even less instances of snipers killing someone - and the people around him - because "he's tall, and therefor Bin Laden."

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Re: Kill List

Unread post by O Really » Wed Nov 25, 2015 9:49 am

So, are we talking about the technology or the behaviour of the operators?

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Re: Kill List

Unread post by Vrede too » Wed Nov 25, 2015 9:55 am

The former influences the latter, along with the decision makers higher up. Of course the technology can be and is used less self-destructively, but we're discussing the program as it is, not its separate pieces.

If they start disrupting my life, I'm gonna get a ski mask and a wrist rocket.
It really is time to stop being nice about stupidity.

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Re: Kill List

Unread post by O Really » Wed Nov 25, 2015 10:53 am

Having stood outside the White House a few lifetimes ago and yelling "hey, hey LBJ, how many kids did you kill today," I understand political objection to a war, or war in general, or even specifics about a war, such as that expressed by the authors of the "Dear Mr. President" letter, above. As to their treatment as warriors, I think it's reprehensible. I understand that the US created the conditions leading to ISIS, et.al., but accepting that blame doesn't solve the immediate problem. Dr. Frankenstein created his monster, too, but just saying "opps, my bad" didn't save the village. Nor did that approach work for the monsters created in "Pet Sematary." Regret is fine, but the monsters still walked.

So I'm not so interested in what "we" shoulda coulda woulda" done with a different President or advisors, to avoid getting into the situation we're in. I'm more interested in potential solutions. If one of those solutions were to be "agree to get out and stay out of middle east countries and affairs" I'd be in favor. But the leaders of ISIS et.al. don't seem to be in a negotiating mode, nor does anybody in the US with authority to do so.

So Frankenstein's creature is amok in the village, the cat and the kid are running loose from the Pet Sematary, and Republicans roam freely in the land. Whatcha gonna do?

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Re: Kill List

Unread post by Vrede too » Wed Nov 25, 2015 11:50 am

Try to not make things worse.
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Re: Kill List

Unread post by O Really » Wed Nov 25, 2015 1:53 pm

Vrede too wrote:Try to not make things worse.
Noble thought, but not an acceptable solution.
You've got some majorly pissed off people who not only are happy to blow up people in public places just to make a point, but are also happy, more or less, to blow themselves up in the process. They probably won't go away if they're ignored. They put no value on the lives of anyone, without regard as to whether the people killed or injured have actually harmed them or maybe even have tried to help. They don't recognize traditional rules of war nor international agreements. That's who they are. Whatcha gonna do?

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Re: Kill List

Unread post by Vrede too » Wed Nov 25, 2015 1:55 pm

I didn't say "ignored", this chat is about the current drone program making things worse. Obviously, we are and will continue to take action.
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Re: Kill List

Unread post by O Really » Wed Nov 25, 2015 2:11 pm

Vrede too wrote:I didn't say "ignored", this chat is about the current drone program making things worse. Obviously, we are and will continue to take action.
"current drone program" doesn't necessarily mean all drone programs, does it? Is your argument that drones are unacceptable weapons under any circumstances, or that they are currently poorly used?

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Re: Kill List

Unread post by Vrede too » Wed Nov 25, 2015 2:14 pm

Very poorly used, and it would be pointless to argue that drones are unacceptable weapons under any circumstances. That ship done sailed.
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Re: Kill List

Unread post by O Really » Wed Nov 25, 2015 2:22 pm

Vrede too wrote:Very poorly used, and it would be pointless to argue that drones are unacceptable weapons under any circumstances. That ship done sailed.
So how would you use them?

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Re: Kill List

Unread post by billy.pilgrim » Wed Nov 25, 2015 2:25 pm

any and all weapons that are used along with torture, rape, indefinite detention, killing babies and mothers, destroys infrastructure and violates the human rights of an innocent people is a weapon poorly used.

we created the problems in the ME by claiming their oil
George Carlin said “The owners know the truth. It’s called the American dream because you have to be asleep to believe it.”

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Re: Kill List

Unread post by Vrede too » Wed Nov 25, 2015 2:26 pm

O Really wrote:So how would you use them?
Less, less sloppily, fewer civilians killed, within international law constraints, and not in a manner that creates more enemies than they kill.
It really is time to stop being nice about stupidity.

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