I think they should rename the Nobel Peace Prize…

something like The Award for Being a Murderer Popular at Leftist Soirees. Here, O Obama supporter, is what your favorite murderer has been up to:

… the international NGO Human Rights Watch has released an exhaustive and shocking report alleging that the U.S. has failed to comply with international law in its use of drones to fight counterterrorism. Gathered over the course of six weeks from a HRW reporter on the ground in Yemen, the report focuses on six specific drone strikes that led to the death of 82 people—at least 57 of whom were civilians—according to the organization.

Here’s the last of the six strikes:

6. “The clothes of the women and children were hanging from the treetops with the flesh on every tree.”

Date: December 17, 2009

Casualties: 14 al Qaeda suspects, 41 civilians

Legal Concern: Level of threat may not have warranted an attack of this magnitude

The deadliest of the attacks in the report was one in which government officials initially claimed that “34 terrorists” had been killed in al-Majalah. In reality, the December 2009 strike—which occurred just three days after the state department classified AQAP as a terrorist organization—reportedly left only 14 alleged al-Qaeda members dead, versus 41 civilians. Among the civilians reported dead, all of whom hailed from just two extended families, were 21 children and nine women. At least five of the women were pregnant at the time of their death. A prominent tribal leader who arrived on the scene shortly after the attack described the unimaginable devastation to Human Rights Watch.

“The clothes of the women and children were hanging from the treetops with the flesh on every tree, every rock. But you did not know if the flesh was of human beings or animals. Some bodies were intact but most, they melted.”

Two different documents, released through WikiLeaks, allege an elaborate attempt by both the Yemen and U.S. governments to hide their roles in the attack. The remaining family members of the civilians killed were never compensated and the U.S. has never admitted its role. “America’s goal is to defeat Al-Qaeda. Instead they are creating more Al-Qaeda,” said Moqbil Abu-Lukaish, a relative of 28 of the villagers killed in the attack.

The document ends by asking the Obama administration to uphold its pledge to transparency. The specific demands Human Rights Watch has for Washington include explaining the “full legal basis” for the targeted killing of innocent civilians and “implement[ing] a system of prompt and meaningful compensation for civilian loss of life.”

Imagine the cops working on that basis here.  We *suspect* somebody in this shopping mall might have terrorist connection, so let’s lock the doors and detonate clusterbombs capable of killing hundreds.  Better the innocent should perish than the (suspected) guilty survive.  Sorry about the kids.

You voted for this guy, Obama supporter. Next time, instead of wasting your vote on somebody who supports sins worthy of the everlasting fires of hell, try thinking different and spending your vote on somebody who does not do that.  The primary impact your vote has is not on the outcome of a national election.  Your vote has no impact on that.  What it impacts is your soul.  Continued compromise with grave intrinsic evil turns you into  the sort of person who says, “Ah well.  The flesh of women and children dangling from tree branches.  You have get your hands dirty to do politics.  Stop being such a perfectionist!”  Catholics who talk as though melting innocent human beings is a peccadillo and those who refuse to assent to it are fussy perfectionists are morally insane.

Same, by the way, goes for you guys on the right who talk the same nonsense about nuking cities, torturing prisoners, and launching preventive wars.

  • JM1001

    Six Key Parts of a New Report That May Change Your View on Drones

    I wonder how many readers of that article had never even heard of the al-Majalah strike before. Probably far too many. It’s been four years now since it happened, and yet it still has to be presented to American eyes as something that will “change your view on drones.”

    Mark, those Obama supporters will continue doing what they’ve been doing for the last four years since al-Majalah: just avert their eyes and remain blissfully ignorant.

  • Dan

    The takeaway for the military-industrial complex is to elect Democratic presidents. This way, criticism from the left is blunted (and criticism from the right is almost non-existent to begin with).

    A couple of weeks ago, a Congressman from Florida brought in a Pakistani boy and girl to testify before a Congressional committee. They talked of how a drone dropped a bomb on their house and killed their grandmother. I’m sure that little boy and girl (and their grandmother) were heavily involved in Al Queda . . .

    We are sowing the seeds of terrorism over there with our war crimes and murders.

    • kenofken

      Both major parties have a seamless 100% buy-in on the military-industrial complex and pre-emptive imperial war. Anyone who believes they’re going to vote for “the good guys” among these two in 2016 is deluding themselves. From the standpoint of this imperial consensus, you can’t lose with drone strikes. If you kill the actual bad guys, that’s a feather in your cap and an argument for expansion of the program. If you wipe out a kid’s birthday party or family reunion, so much the better. Now there’s more terrorists, and you’re going to need more money and lots more secret emergency powers to do surveillance (especially domestic) etc.

      • Dave G.

        Sort of the Hitler’s Pope spin, applied to the American military. I love a grand conspiracy.

  • Raymond

    1. The Peace Prize lost all relevance when Kissinger won it.
    2. Obama won the Peace Prize for Not Being George W Bush. Which he still is. Not GWB that is.

  • Mark S. (not for Shea)

    The Nobel Peace Prize lost all credibility years ago. They ought to rename it THE INTELLECTUAL ELITIST PINHEAD POPULARITY CONTEST.

  • Pavel Chichikov

    Would the other candidate have eliminated drone strikes?

    • Randy Gritter

      You are not obligated to vote for either. Are you new here?

  • merkn

    So who exactly should these Obama voters have voted for ? Who exactly on the “right” is advocating nuking cities? Are you referring to people from both the left and the right who have the temerity to defend a democratic President’s use of nuclear weapons in a declared war 70 years ago? Or is someone on FOX suggesting we should nuke Iran or north Korea?

  • Stu

    I’m not going to defend the attack but you are a bit off on one point. Indeed, the term “suspects” is used but the strikes aren’t simply random shots hoping to get some “bad guy.” Based on the Intelligence, they know who they are going after. Further, one COULD justify such attack based upon the principle of the double effect in that we are attempting to kill a “baddy” but there are innocents in the way who may be killed.

    But if so, the real question then is “do we need to that” and “will it be effective for our goals in the long run?” In other words, “what are we trying to achieve?” I can only speak for myself that when I was in theater (OEF/OIF) we made effort to avoid collateral damage to the point that I remember aborting one op in flight because the the area was too close to kids playing soccer. I suspect that the drone warfare mentality has short-circuited this kind of thinking a bit and made such strikes “too sterile” for the National Command Authority. And given how compartmentalized you can keep such strikes, all that need be considered is political risk.

    Never did like the drones. I didn’t trust them in my airspace and I think they are leading us down a very dishonorable and fruitless road.

    • JM1001

      Based on the Intelligence, they know who they are going after.

      Really? Isn’t it the fact that we often don’t know who we are killing that is part of the controversy?

      http://investigations.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/06/05/18781930-exclusive-cia-didnt-always-know-who-it-was-killing-in-drone-strikes-classified-documents-show

      • Stu

        Well “yes” and “no”. They know that the target is a “baddy” even if they don’t know the name. But admittedly the “no” part of it is problematic and potentially where this really starts going off the rails given the collateral deaths. Because that really does to the question of “what are we trying to achieve?” Are these people so problematic that accepting the death of so many innocents is acceptable? I certainly don’t see it.

    • Silly Interloper

      “Further, one COULD justify such attack based upon the principle of the double effect in that we are attempting to kill a “baddy” but there are innocents in the way who may be killed.”

      The principle of double effect does not apply if they know innocents are within the target. If they target a restaurant or funeral where the presence of innocents is a certainty, double effect does not apply. One CANNOT justify such a target.

      • Stu

        That’s not quite right.

        However, where it does start to get hazy and break down is that the good effect must be sufficiently desirable to compensate for the allowing of the bad effect.

        • Silly Interloper

          You are mistaken. Proportional considerations only come into play if innocents are not targeted. Innocent targets are not accidental, and it is the *accidental* victims that need to be weighed against the severity and need of the action (or lack of action) for double effect to apply. It is never justified to target innocents. Period. And, yes, making that judgement can get dicey.

          For example, decisions to take one hill or another with every intention to fight soldier against soldier will inevitably, tragically, and accidentally claim an innocent life from time to time without targeting them. If a hill is the site of a town of 1000 people, the potential cost of lives must be considered proportionally against the purpose of taking the hill. Double effect may apply if the need is proportional. (“If the need is proportional” should never function to gloss over the immeasurable preciousness of every single life.)

          If you know a general sits among innocents in a particular restaurant, targeting that restaurant would target those innocents, and proportional considerations would not apply for the purposes of double effect.

          • Stu

            They aren’t targeting the innocents. They are targeting specific individuals.

            • Silly Interloper

              I think I was clear that I was referring to situations where innocents were within the target. If innocents are within the target, they are targeting innocents. If you are specifying a situation where the innocents are not within target–okay, but that’s not what I’m talking about, and I didn’t get the impression that was what you were talking about.

              If you are trying to say that innocents are not being targeted when they are being targeted, then you are wrong. If you have a missile that takes out a 20 square foot area, and you target a 20 square space that includes your bad guy objective plus a bunch of innocents, then you are targeting innocents along with the bad guy. Double-effect does not apply.

              • Stu

                No. When you target someone, that means you are actively attempting to kill that person. As wrong as these attacks are, they are not being carried out to intentionally kill civilians. They are targeting specific individual who happen to be among innocents. Where they seemingly run afoul of double-effect is in the question of whether or not the the good effect is sufficiently desirable to compensate for the allowing of the bad effect.

                • Silly Interloper

                  If the word “target” confuses you this much, we should probably avoid the word. Targeting rarely has a one-to-one correspondence to “intention.” You may not “intend” to kill the innocents in the sense that you don’t *want* to kill them. But you are deliberately and in full knowledge killing them in order to get to the individual. Deny it all you want–you cannot evoke double-effect when you deliberately kill innocents. You are, in fact, a murderer. And like many other murderers, you are killing innocent human beings in order to gain something you desire. Some murder for gold. Some for lust. Some for power. Some murder to deceive themselves that they are being heros and manning up to make those “hard choices” they like to call “compensation.”

                  • Stu

                    No, actually words mean things and to “target” is no exception. And your impression of how targeting is done goes against my personal experience of actually classifying and engaging actual targets. Under the teaching of double-effect, one can engage a legitimate target even when their is expected risk of doing collateral damage If the good effect is sufficiently desirable to compensate for allowing the bad effect. That’s textbook language of the principle. I understand that the concept can provide challenges for people, but it is what it is.

                    • Silly Interloper

                      Now you are obviously weaseling the words. I was quite specific in describing situations where the innocents being killed was definite. Saying “even when their [sic] is expected risk of doing collateral damage” is a far cry from that. I have already made it clear that double effect may apply in such cases.

                      So are you not paying attention, or are you trying to change the subject?

                    • Stu

                      What is clear is that you are getting a bit nasty. Relax. This is an internet forum.

                      The certainty of an innocent being killed is not enough to negate the double effect principle. That’s where you start to run off course a bit. The question that has to be answered is whether or not the good effect is sufficiently desirable to compensate for the allowing of the bad effect. This is textbook moral theology. That’s the question that has to be answered to be able to definitively say this attack in particular was just or not.

                      From what we know, I don’t think it is but my initial statement remains true that it COULD be justified with this principle.

                    • Silly Interloper

                      Calling you on weaseling the words is nasty? What uber-sensitive tribe do you belong to, and how does your sensitivity require *me* to relax?

                      But it’s clear the point that we disagree on. The certainty of an innocent being killed does indeed negate the double effect principle. Deliberately killing an innocent is intrinsically evil, and double effect does not justify intrinsic evil, ever. But at this point we’re just sayin’ “Is too!” “Is not!” “Is too!” “Is not!” So I don’t see much point in continuing. You are wrong, and you will either figure that out or you will continue to justify murder. Not much I can do about that.

                      Cheers.

                    • Stu

                      I have attempted to provide you actual textbook explanation of DDE (there are four points in total with my stress being in the fourth) and yet in return you keep coming back with insults and name calling.

                      So it’s not my sensitivity that requires you to relax but rather a hope for better discourse. But you are clearly more than welcome to make a spectacle of yourself. In fact, it’s often very telling as is your callsign.

  • Dave G.

    Some people can simply walk away and say they’ll have none of it. Others feel the best way is to jump into the mix and fix things from within. Both approaches have their pluses and drawbacks. I’m cool with either.

  • http://chicagoboyz.net/ TMLutas

    Part of the problem is that we are very confused over whether we are at war or is this policing. A big part of that is caused by President Obama who campaigned against the war but has continued it and expanded it while enhancing the moral confusion and strategic ambiguity that was always a problem with the effort. He’s so good at it that he confused the Nobel committee right out of a prize that they never should have given.

    • Stu

      I think you have hit on it and I will add some. 911 jarred us and we have lost focus a bit in all of this years. Time to rethink what we are trying to achieve.


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