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Total number of comments: 5 (since 2013-11-28 16:44:41)

Mark Stout

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  • Top Five Objections to the White House's Drone Killing Memo
    • Joe from Lowell is correct.

      Pursuant to which I have heard it asserted from a US Government official that if you look closely at authoritative US Government sources about what happened on 9/11 the USG (at least early on) described what happened in New York and Pennsylvania as terrorism but soft-pedalled what happened at the Pentagon for precisely that reason.

      I cannot confirm this, but it would seem to make sense.

    • "Insurgent" and "criminal" are not mutually exclusive terms. And the definition of insurgent fighting to liberate territory is overly limiting. People can fight to liberate political spaces other than territories.

      Moreover, defining AQ as "criminals" constructs an enemy for our own convenience and runs contrary to the Sun Tsuvian imperative to understand our enemy. It's extremely hard to defeat an enemy that you don't understand--short of inflicting crushing casualties on them that approach genocide.

    • Brian: Just because a war may be unwise doesn't mean it isn't a war. I think a very strong case could be made that most wars throughout history have been unwise. The wisdom of this war is an important question but not relevant to the question at hand of whether these assassinations are legal.

    • Brian: Are you prepared to argue that we have not been at war with al Qaida and other Salafi jihadists? Or perhaps we WERE at war but that war ended. If so, when did that end come and how do we know?

    • Those views aren't reflective of the State and CIA officials that I've known.

      And the War Department went away in 1947. And yes, I know you meant it ironically. However, you will find that in recent decades the State Department has pretty consistently been more inclined to send the military in than has the Defense Department, because it's Defense's people who get killed and maimed, their stuff that gets broken, their money that gets spent and their reputation that gets besmirched when the operation goes south.

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