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Sunday, March 31, 2013

OTP: April 2013: Daily Caller: Baseball and the GOP: To rebrand the party, think like a sports fan

This week’s GOP autopsy report, commissioned by RNC Chairman Reince Priebus, is a great start in the much-needed task of rebranding the Republican Party. As the chairman acknowledged, “the way we communicate our principles isn’t resonating widely enough” and “we have to be more inclusive.” The report contains 219 recommendations to “connect people to our principles.” To achieve that goal, the party will need a strategic vision of how voters think about politics, which is something that the report lacks. For that, the GOP can learn a lot from another American passion: baseball.

This year, about 75 million Americans will go to the baseball stadium to watch a ballgame, about the same number as those who will vote in next year’s election. We rarely think about why someone becomes a baseball fan, or why they root for a certain team. Nor do we usually think about why someone chooses to vote for a certain political party. But it’s actually a very useful exercise.

When it comes to baseball, fan loyalty has almost nothing to do with the brain, and almost everything to do with the heart. In all of history, there’s never been a baseball fan who rooted for his team because it had the lowest ticket prices, or because it had the most taxpayer-friendly stadium deal, or because its players did the most community service. For the vast majority of Americans, rooting for a baseball team — not to mention, voting for a political party — isn’t really a rational choice; it’s more of a statement of personal identity — a statement telling the world, “This is who I am.” And for most people, defining “who I am” starts with family and community, before branching out into areas like race, age, gender, and class.

Family is pretty straightforward. If your mom and dad are Yankee fans, you’re almost certainly a Yankee fan. The same is true in politics. If your mom and dad are Republicans, you’re almost certainly a Republican.

Community is also pretty straightforward. If you grew up in, say, Philadelphia, chances are pretty great you’re a Phillies fan. Likewise, someone who grew up in Republican territory like, say, suburban Dallas or rural Indiana is much more likely to become a Republican than a nearly identical person from Seattle or Santa Fe.

Cities with more than one baseball team, like New York or Chicago, show revealing breakdowns by race and gender. The racial split in Chicago between Cubs fans on the North Side and White Sox fans on the South Side is well-documented. In New York, there’s an intriguing gender gap between Mets and Yankee fans, with women gravitating a lot more to the Yanks. While there’s a few theories out there trying to explain that, one obvious answer leaps out: Yankees heartthrob Derek Jeter.

In sports, as in politics, people’s convictions can’t be conveniently reduced to who their parents are or what they look like. But those things are an important foundation, upon which more rational sentiments come into being. Once you’re attached to your team on an emotional level — seeing them as a personal reflection of who you are and what you care about most — a rational exterior comes into being through phrases like “the Red Sox are the best team because they have the most heart” or “the Republicans are the best party because they know how to create jobs.”

Tripon Posted: March 31, 2013 at 10:52 AM | 6544 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: politics

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   3301. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: April 18, 2013 at 09:22 AM (#4417741)
It's kind of funny to see people standing up for the honor of poor Maggie Thatcher in this thread.

Whatever her flaws (and they were legion), she always did a good job of giving exactly zero ##### about what her critics thought of her. Acting like she's some poor, frail old lady who needs to be protected from the world diminishes what she was.
   3302. GregD Posted: April 18, 2013 at 09:23 AM (#4417742)
I can imagine a way in which drones can be used effectively and in a limited way. I have very very little confidence that the Obama administration is doing so. I have zero confidence that a Romney administration would have done so. We're stuck in an Onion-esque situation where one party expresses ambivalence while ratcheting up executive power and the other expresses excitement while doing it. The debate is about how we should feel about it rather than what we should do. I think it is likely that the drone attacks will have consequences for us that none of us will want to stomach.

If one's criteria is whether we improved the lives of Iraqis, and if one defines that in a way that makes being shed of a bad ruler basically an automatic yes, then I assume that one supports invading many, many more countries, since there are lots of countries with murderous rulers. I guess there would be some consistency with that, but running 20-30 wars at a time? Not for me, thanks. Someone who supports Iraq on humanitarian grounds but not other wars has some consistency problems. (There are reasons to support Iraq and not other wars, including regional security or energy issues, but that case has to be made on its own terms. There's not a good case for supporting a humanitarian invasion of Iraq but opposing humanitarian invasions of quite a few other countries.)
   3303. zonk Posted: April 18, 2013 at 09:25 AM (#4417745)
And what about going forward in Iraq? Is that worth nothing?


To whom?

   3304. Bitter Mouse Posted: April 18, 2013 at 09:25 AM (#4417746)
Barack Obama intentionally killed a 16-year-old American citizen (*) and admits to no oversight power with respect to his ability to continue to engage in such intentional, targeted killings. Such a thing is entirely indefensible and an utter outrage.


I don't like it either. And it is not a defense but I would love to hear about the mythical President of the US that did not do something morally equivalent (try to keep yourself to the last hundred years or so). Any nominations for a President that does not have something equally dark on their resume?

Again I am not defending the act, but as a voter and citizen I try to function in the real world where my options are limited. The declaration of outrage is much more meaningful if it is not just aimed at the guy you didn't like anyway.
   3305. The kids disappeared, now Der-K has too much candy Posted: April 18, 2013 at 09:26 AM (#4417747)
I met a Jurassic. Yes, her last name was Park - she went by Jeri (though not Jarry). She's like 40 - predates the book/movie by some measure.
   3306. Bitter Mouse Posted: April 18, 2013 at 09:27 AM (#4417748)
And what about going forward in Iraq? Is that worth nothing?


Won't someone think of the children? And the puppies, what about the Iraqi puppies - and unicorns, them too!
   3307. Bitter Mouse Posted: April 18, 2013 at 09:28 AM (#4417749)
I can imagine a way in which drones can be used effectively and in a limited way. I have very very little confidence that the Obama administration is doing so. I have zero confidence that a Romney administration would have done so. We're stuck in an Onion-esque situation where one party expresses ambivalence while ratcheting up executive power and the other expresses excitement while doing it. The debate is about how we should feel about it rather than what we should do. I think it is likely that the drone attacks will have consequences for us that none of us will want to stomach.


Yes. A 1000 times this, complete with high fives.
   3308. Lassus Posted: April 18, 2013 at 09:29 AM (#4417750)
Cool middle name. I wanted to have my boys middle names to be Hieronymus and/or Jurassic, but I was overruled.

When I was confirmed as a youth and had to choose a saint's name, I combed the book and settled on Ildefonsus. I was also overruled.
   3309. BrianBrianson Posted: April 18, 2013 at 09:31 AM (#4417752)
Seriously. There's scant evidence that we're killing only 'high-level' targets in the drone attacks. If you're going to engage in this war-without-borders, and kill thousands of innocents in the process, you damn well better be sure that those you're killing pose some sort of actual threat to the US



Such is war. There are a handful of historical oddities, but the only plausible way to generally avoiding slaughtering the innocent in wars is not to have them. A man can dream, I suppose. Or move to Mars. Despite being the God of War, there haven't been any there.

Any nominations for a President that does not have something equally dark on their resume?


Harrison is the most likely candidate.
   3310. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: April 18, 2013 at 09:34 AM (#4417753)
Any nominations for a President that does not have something equally dark on their resume?

All of them. No American president has targeted particular American citizens for assassination, claimed full, uncheked power to do so, and permitted effectively no oversight ove his decision to do so.
   3311. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: April 18, 2013 at 09:34 AM (#4417754)
We're stuck in an Onion-esque situation where one party expresses ambivalence while ratcheting up executive power and the other expresses excitement while doing it. The debate is about how we should feel about it rather than what we should do. I think it is likely that the drone attacks will have consequences for us that none of us will want to stomach.


The thing is I don't see any ratcheting up of executive power (in this specific area, I hasten to add). How is Obama's policy with regards to drones different from Clinton's policy with respect to cruise missiles?
   3312. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: April 18, 2013 at 09:36 AM (#4417756)
How is Obama's policy with regards to drones different from Clinton's policy with respect to cruise missiles?

Clinton never claimed the power to kill American citizens on just his call, and never did kill American citizens on just his call. He never really came close.

Nor did Clinton claim the power to hold people indefinitely without trial, as Obama claims and has done. Lincoln suspended habeas corpus for a spell, but that wasn't as broad a claim of power, and had a finite life.
   3313. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: April 18, 2013 at 09:38 AM (#4417761)
Clinton never claimed the power to kill American citizens on just his call, and never did kill American citizens on just his call


What about Vince Foster?
   3314. villageidiom Posted: April 18, 2013 at 09:39 AM (#4417763)
Sorry to bring baseball into this thread, but I just wanted to be the first Jays fan to state publicly that they won't even be in the race this year, let alone make the playoffs. I can give you a multitude of reasons why I believe that, and their 6-9 record isn't one of them.
Imagine how much worse they'd be if they still had John Farrell.
   3315. formerly dp Posted: April 18, 2013 at 09:44 AM (#4417764)
Such is war.
Who are we at war with? What sort of threat do they pose? What's the criteria for selecting and executing targets? What are the conditions of victory in this war, and the conditions of surrender for this enemy? Those are not unreasonable questions. Obama has steadfastly refused to answer or even address them.

And again, it's not clear that these attacks don't have the consequence of spawning more enemies than they kill. The only way they're a good idea is if you're fond of being in a perpetual state of war. Which it seems like is an unstated goal for either party's presidential candidate.
   3316. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: April 18, 2013 at 09:47 AM (#4417768)
Who are we at war with?


The terrorists who hate us and want to kill us because of our freedoms. Don't you remember this?
   3317. zonk Posted: April 18, 2013 at 09:49 AM (#4417770)
The seminal feature of the Iraq war was its hucksterism. Not just the non-existent WMD, but the "We'll be greeted with hosannas," "We can do this with a quarter as many troops as we used in Desert Storm," "Mission Accomplished" when the war'd barely begun, the complete lack of any plan for post-initial engagement governance, etc.


The WMD thing bothers me more, I think... At least in the latter case, I do believe that the neocon brain trust essentially trusted their version of 'unskewed polls' regarding the aftermath. Doesn't mean that wasn't a wholly stupid, ivory tower theorist ###### - but at least it had the virtue of being honest.

If you're talking purely about the braintrust -- the neocons like Wolfowitz, Perle, Feith, etc -- I don't think really bought into the whole WMD thing, at least, certainly not to the scale it was sold. I'd give Bush -- and hell, even Cheney to a certain extent (remember, he was a neocon convert, not an original true believer) -- a bit more benefit of the doubt on WMDs... but the braintrust had far bigger theoretical aims. It was a new, 'softer' hegemony than that which dominated the imperial 19th century or cold war 20th century -- the idea that we were the sole remaining superpower and we could remake the world in our image if only we had the will.

9/11 did not create the neocons - it merely gave them their opening to act on the most logical target: Iraq... an isolated, resource rich, relatively socially advanced and strategically positioned nation who even had a perfect bad guy running it, to boot.

It wasn't the first time the US public had been 'sold' a war -- the Mexican-American War and Spanish-American war come to mind -- but it was the first time we'd been sold a war that was an absolute lemon.

What really concerns me is that rather than the neocon movement now being totally exiled and shunned -- they're still being listened to! Even Romney's foreign policy team - once you get past the ancient window dressing of the Bakers and Kissingers - was primarily people like Michael Hayden, John Bolton, and Dan Senor. Those people should be nowhere near any potential Presidential administration.

The neocons trace their roots to the failed Democratic war councils of the 60s -- the Democrats had the good sense to eventually exile them... The GOP needs to do the same and right quick. That crew has been wholly discredited - it's time for them to be shunted back into the wilderness (to transform itself into something else that will again lamprey its way onto one of the two political parties... but we'll deal with that when the time comes).
   3318. Ron J2 Posted: April 18, 2013 at 09:49 AM (#4417771)
#3255 I argued against going to war "now". The precise phrase I used repeatedly was "Guns of August".

I was pretty confident that he had weapons of mass destruction (though not nukes), but the notion that they could be both hidden from the inspectors and readily used (as Tony Blair asserted) was giggle worthy.
   3319. formerly dp Posted: April 18, 2013 at 09:54 AM (#4417775)
The terrorists who hate us and want to kill us because of our freedoms. Don't you remember this?
Thanks, YR. I can always count on you to give me a re-up on my programming.
   3320. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: April 18, 2013 at 09:55 AM (#4417778)

Clinton never claimed the power to kill American citizens on just his call, and never did kill American citizens on just his call. He never really came close.


What are you talking about? Clinton fired off cruise missiles at a variety of targets during his administration. I am unaware of any attempts to ensure that there were no American citizens in the target area.

When Clinton fired cruise missiles at terrorist bases in Afghanistan in 1998, one of the objectives was to kill people at the bases, whether they be foreigners or Americans. Do you think that if he had been told that John Walker Lindh (or someone similar) might be at one of the bases that he would have refrained from giving the order?
   3321. Ron J2 Posted: April 18, 2013 at 09:57 AM (#4417779)
#3264 First there's a whole pile of dead people who most certainly are not better off.

The Kurds? On balance not too much has changed. For the rest, they've basically traded in a very harsh police state for a security nightmare. It's not as bad as it used to be but it's sure as hell not good.

The current state of Iraq is nothing the US can be proud of.
   3322. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: April 18, 2013 at 10:02 AM (#4417783)
What are you talking about? Clinton fired off cruise missiles at a variety of targets during his administration. I am unaware of any attempts to ensure that there were no American citizens in the target area.

I'm talking about exactly what I said. Clinton never said, "I want American citizen X killed, and then had him killed." Or asserted that he had the power to do such a thing.
   3323. Ron J2 Posted: April 18, 2013 at 10:02 AM (#4417784)
#3299 One of the little touches I like about the "Ring of Fire" series is the names (and issues with those names) of the Stone boys.
   3324. JE (Jason) Posted: April 18, 2013 at 10:03 AM (#4417785)
The Kurds? On balance not too much has changed.

On what are you basing this assertion, Ron?

EDIT: Maybe you ought to read this Times of London piece.
   3325. BrianBrianson Posted: April 18, 2013 at 10:04 AM (#4417789)
Who are we at war with? What sort of threat do they pose? What's the criteria for selecting and executing targets? What are the conditions of victory in this war, and the conditions of surrender for this enemy? Those are not unreasonable questions. Obama has steadfastly refused to answer or even address them.


Is an argument against the War on Terror, not an argument against the use of drones.
   3326. Lassus Posted: April 18, 2013 at 10:06 AM (#4417790)
I'm talking about exactly what I said.

That thing you said about none of us weasels directly critisizing Obama for the drones? Or is it just that NOT ENOUGH people are critisizing him now?
   3327. Ron J2 Posted: April 18, 2013 at 10:08 AM (#4417793)
#3301 I kind of like the one of the things that the CBC did when Thatcher died. They hauled her interview with Barbara Frum (David Frum's mother) out of their digital archive. It's a famously combative interview that they felt allowed Thatcher to speak for herself.
   3328. zonk Posted: April 18, 2013 at 10:09 AM (#4417795)
The Kurds? On balance not too much has changed.


On what are you basing this assertion, Ron?


Not to speak for Ron - but I'm assuming he's referring to the fact that the Kurds had been relatively autonomous since late '91/early '92. Iraqi security incursions weren't possible in any large scale -- and what's more, it actually became necessary for the Hussein regime to actually use Kurdish cooperation to get around UN sanctions (i.e., a good chunk of Iraqi oil revenue during the inter-war period was actually being trafficked through the autonomous Kurdish regions... it was a good deal for both sides).
   3329. Bitter Mouse Posted: April 18, 2013 at 10:12 AM (#4417798)
All of them. No American president has targeted particular American citizens for assassination, claimed full, uncheked power to do so, and permitted effectively no oversight ove his decision to do so.


So when I said equally dark you decided that meant exactly and only what you are against the guy you don't like has done. That is BS. Seriously engaging in morally questionable acts is one of the things that presidents do. All of them. Just because you have decided that what Obama has done is somehow qualitatively different than what other presidents have done does not make it so.

Just because starting a war based on lies (this is several presidents by the way not just Shrub), sending cruise missles willy nilly, suspending Habeus Corpus, dropping atomic bombs on civilian targets, ignoring known intelligence that could have saved many lives (again multiple presidents), allowing/endorsing torture of people held by US personnel, and so on and so on and so on*.

Presidents have to make horrible decisions as part of their job. That does not defend those decisions (still against Obamas policy regarding drones), but a little reality check please.

* Not all of these are equal, so better some worse, some "justified" by being at war (note: an increasingly fuzzy concept) and some are not, but the truth is their are hundreds of examples at least as bad and many worse than targeting a random US citizen (which again is a terrible terrible precident and somethign I am against).
   3330. JE (Jason) Posted: April 18, 2013 at 10:13 AM (#4417799)
Not to speak for Ron - but I'm assuming he's referring to the fact that the Kurds had been relatively autonomous since late '91/early '92. Iraqi security incursions weren't possible in any large scale -- and what's more, it actually became necessary for the Hussein regime to actually use Kurdish cooperation to get around UN sanctions (i.e., a good chunk of Iraqi oil revenue during the inter-war period was actually being trafficked through the autonomous Kurdish regions... it was a good deal for both sides).

Never mind that there's no longer a need for Allied troops and planes to patrol the area, zonk, what you wrote above doesn't take into account the comaprison in economic conditions, which are infinitely better today.
   3331. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: April 18, 2013 at 10:15 AM (#4417800)

I'm talking about exactly what I said. Clinton never said, "I want American citizen X killed, and then had him killed." Or asserted that he had the power to do such a thing.


That seems to me to be a distinction without a difference. Are you saying that if Obama hadn't targeted Al-Awlaki, but instead targeted the house that he happened to be in, that would be fine with you?
   3332. Bitter Mouse Posted: April 18, 2013 at 10:18 AM (#4417801)
That thing you said about none of us weasels directly critisizing Obama for the drones? Or is it just that NOT ENOUGH people are critisizing him now?


Well we don't in every post express contempt for Obama and don't disregard everything else and vote the way he and Ray think we should, so yeah we are bad people and hypocrites (I guess).
   3333. zonk Posted: April 18, 2013 at 10:21 AM (#4417803)
Never mind that there's no longer a need for Allied troops and planes to patrol the area, zonk, what you wrote above doesn't take into account the comaprison in economic conditions, which are infinitely better today.


We're not seriously going to debate the cost in blood and dollars of operating the safe zones versus the cost of the war, are we?
   3334. Joey B. Posted: April 18, 2013 at 10:21 AM (#4417804)
Clinton never claimed the power to kill American citizens on just his call, and never did kill American citizens on just his call. He never really came close.

I guess Waco has officially gone down the memory hole.
   3335. JE (Jason) Posted: April 18, 2013 at 10:22 AM (#4417805)
Here's the Toronto Star last August on Kurdistan post-Saddam:
Its fast growth has gained Erbil the nickname of “new Dubai,” but local authorities prefer to define Kurdistan as “the other Iraq” to highlight the stable and peaceful conditions of the region, in contrast with the sectarian killings and daily bombings still ravaging the rest of the country. The security that the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) has been able to provide is indeed one of the main reasons behind the economic boom. Thanks to its ethnic homogeneity and with its own armed forces in charge of security, the region has become a safe haven for many Iraqis and minority groups (Christians above all) fleeing violence in Mosul and Baghdad. ...

“Here, anyone who has an idea can be the first one to put it in practice. It’s a virgin territory, not like Europe,” explains 30-years-old Jamal Penjweny, an artist and photographer turned entrepreneur.

Originally a shepherd from the mountain village of Penjwen, he moved to Sulaymaniyah 10 years ago. Today, he works as a consultant for oil companies and manages a small cafe in the city centre. He is also a photographer whose recent work “Iraq is flying” has been exhibited in major galleries in Europe and America. Penjweny embodies the new Kurdistan.

“This place has changed a lot in the past 10 years. Before, we weren’t used to thinking beyond these mountains,” he explains, sitting in the garden of his newly opened cafe and looking at the mountain range encircling Sulaymaniyah. “Not only the economy has grown fast, but also the mentality of the people. We are now much more globalized than before.”
   3336. Bitter Mouse Posted: April 18, 2013 at 10:25 AM (#4417807)
We're not seriously going to debate the cost in blood and dollars of operating the safe zones versus the cost of the war, are we?


Well some folks have decided "the ends like totally justify the means, man", so why not?
   3337. Ron J2 Posted: April 18, 2013 at 10:28 AM (#4417810)
#3324 In pre-war Iraq Saddam's writ did not run in the Kurdish areas of Iraq. It was effectively in a similar situation to what it is now. They'd had plenty of problems with Saddam over the years, but in the the wake of GWI and the no fly zones they were functionally independent.

Now there was some anti-Kurdish military actions. This is where Al-Zarqawi was active before the invasion. But it was pretty low grade.

There was also some low grade hostility between the major Kurdish groups. And the areas that had been controlled by Ansar al-Islam (a relatively small area) are unambiguously better off now (at a relatively low cost -- it's one of the true success stories of the whole saga)
   3338. Greg K Posted: April 18, 2013 at 10:28 AM (#4417811)
Its fast growth has gained Erbil the nickname of “new Dubai,” but local authorities prefer to define Kurdistan as “the other Iraq” to highlight the stable and peaceful conditions of the region, in contrast with the sectarian killings and daily bombings still ravaging the rest of the country.

It just so happens I edited a paper last week on Erbil's urban planning for a conference I'm helping to organize. It doesn't really discuss the war, or post-war Erbil directly...so there's not much of a point to this comment...
   3339. bunyon Posted: April 18, 2013 at 10:29 AM (#4417812)
Clinton never said, "I want American citizen X killed, and then had him killed."

However, replace "killed" with "groped" and he got most of the population.


Seriously, the discussion shouldn't really be about drones or no drones. It should be about what the US is. Are we a republic or an empire. We like to talk about us being a republic but if there are all these people angry about Bush and Obama, that should have some effect. If it doesn't, and the executive just keeps on picking up powers, we're pretty much an empire. We, and the world, might well be better off admitting it and behaving accordingly.

   3340. zonk Posted: April 18, 2013 at 10:29 AM (#4417813)
Here's the Toronto Star last August on Kurdistan post-Saddam:


The article seems to say an awful lot about Turkish investment.... the same Turks who wouldn't allow transit of 'coalition' forces into Iraq at the war start and also the same Turks who weren't exactly cozy with Kurdistan in years past... I'm not so sure the center axis of the boom is where you think it is.
   3341. zonk Posted: April 18, 2013 at 10:32 AM (#4417814)
#3324 In pre-war Iraq Saddam's writ did not run in the Kurdish areas of Iraq. It was effectively in a similar situation to what it is now. They'd had plenty of problems with Saddam over the years, but in the the wake of GWI and the no fly zones they were functionally independent.


I would read Jason's Toronto Sun article -- what's really changed is less the end of Saddam and more a change in the Turkish approach to the region. I'm not saying the end of the Baath regime doesn't factor in -- just that the big change seems to be that the Turks are now investing rather than oppressing.
   3342. GregD Posted: April 18, 2013 at 10:34 AM (#4417816)
If the guys on the Post's front page are not the guys in the pictures the feds are allegedly going to distribute today, they should have lawyers lined up around the block to represent them. The 12 killed seems like just a stupid error, but if you're going to put private citizens on the front with a line like this, you had better have a good reason.
   3343. JE (Jason) Posted: April 18, 2013 at 10:35 AM (#4417817)
The article seems to say an awful lot about Turkish investment.... the same Turks who wouldn't allow transit of 'coalition' forces into Iraq at the war start and also the same Turks who weren't exactly cozy with Kurdistan in years past... I'm not so sure the center axis of the boom is where you think it is.

Times have changed, zonk. Once upon a time, Ankara strongly favored a strong central government in Iraq. With Tehran now having enormous influence over Baghdad, Turkey sees an autonomous (not to be confused with independent) Kurdistan as a critical economic and political asset.

EDIT: I just read your comment in 3141. Turkey was not "oppressing" Iraqi Kurds before Saddam fell. There has been an open border since 2003 and Turkish companies quickly took note of the region's economic potential.
   3344. bunyon Posted: April 18, 2013 at 10:35 AM (#4417818)
@3342: yikes.
   3345. Lassus Posted: April 18, 2013 at 10:37 AM (#4417821)
Are we a republic or an empire. We like to talk about us being a republic but if there are all these people angry about Bush and Obama, that should have some effect. If it doesn't, and the executive just keeps on picking up powers, we're pretty much an empire. We, and the world, might well be better off admitting it and behaving accordingly.

The thing about these definitions is that they sound as you (plural) want to apply them a little ancient, honestly. 300 million over here, 1 billion there, another 1 billion over there... It would seem to me that while the philosophies are what they are, do the definitions as written, when written, still apply in that way to either? With all of the intricacies of those high populations applied?

   3346. zonk Posted: April 18, 2013 at 10:40 AM (#4417822)
Times have changed, zonk. Once upon a time, Ankara strongly favored a strong central government in Iraq. With Tehran now having enormous influence over Baghdad, Turkey sees an autonomous (not to be confused with independent) Kurdistan as a critical economic and political asset.


Sure - but that's exactly my point... again - not that regime change hasn't factored in, but Turkey itself has changed pretty rapidly (and likewise grown pretty rapidly... to the point the Turks are now seriously questioning whether it's even wise to continue to beg for EU membership.

For all the western fears about the elections of Erdogan and Gul -- they've had a pretty good run of things.
   3347. Lassus Posted: April 18, 2013 at 10:43 AM (#4417824)
...to the point the Turks are now seriously questioning whether it's even wise to continue to beg for EU membership.

My mom just got back from Poland, they seem to be telling the EU to pound sand, unless she misunderstood.
   3348. Ron J2 Posted: April 18, 2013 at 10:44 AM (#4417825)
Zonk and Jason, we're now in the realm of the hypothetical, but I don't see any reason to think things would have worked out differently in terms of the Turkish approach without the invasion.

They've always been actively opposed to an independent Kurdistan and if anything Saddam would serve as a useful bogeyman.
   3349. bunyon Posted: April 18, 2013 at 10:45 AM (#4417826)
I think so, Lassus. At the end of the day, someone - a group, government, person, etc. - holds power over pretty much every inch of the earth. If that is a free republic, it is much more an area of commons. If empire, it is one person or a small group. Which seems more applicable to the US today?

Winners and losers are increasingly picked by the folks in the capital with a lot of money and power granted those in good graces and a fiery death to those not. And, occasionally, at the whim of the ruler(s) people switch groups.

I'm not suggesting the US is modern Rome. No two nations are ever identical. For that matter, no nations stay the same. US 2013 is not US 1943 or US 1893 or US 1803. But the basic definitions still matter. Who makes the call on policy? If the only choice of the voter is an enthusiastic drone user or an ambivalent one, does the voter, in fact, have any say? TSA is despised and yet it continues.

The hundreds of posts above make a nice little story of right vs. left. I've come to the conclusion that it isn't right/left but power/not. Would foreign policy of the US today be very different if Romney had won? I have a hard time seeing it. To me that is empire. Sure, we the voters got to say which powerful man would be emperor but we seem to have little say in what policies get pursued.

Perhaps I'm just having my normal Thursday.
   3350. tshipman Posted: April 18, 2013 at 10:46 AM (#4417828)
I don't see why it's particularly relevant that Al'Awlaki was a US Citizen.

Historically, there has been no issue with killing people who commit treason in times of war. Sometimes this has been done without due process. I think there should at least be a trial in absentia for treason, but maybe there was and maybe there wasn't.
   3351. zonk Posted: April 18, 2013 at 10:46 AM (#4417829)

EDIT: I just read your comment in 3141. Turkey was not "oppressing" Iraqi Kurds before Saddam fell. There has been an open border since 2003 and Turkish companies quickly took note of the region's economic potential.


Sure - they had their own Kurdish population to deal with -- the Turkish/Iraqi border was not the limit of the nominal 'Kurdistan'... Even today, there are still occasional flare-ups between the Turkish military and various Kurd factions in Turkey.

What has changed is that the Turkish government since the ascent of Erdogan has taken a different approach (saving the discussion on the existence of the 'shadow state' for another day).
   3352. JE (Jason) Posted: April 18, 2013 at 10:46 AM (#4417830)
Zonk, the AKP government values the importance trade like no other government before it save perhaps Ozal's administration. Interestingly, that helps explain why, despite the Mavi Marmara incident in 2010, trade between Turkey and Israel continues to rise. However, the explosion in cross-border trade with Iraqi Kurds would have been impossible had it not been for the fall of Saddam, which in turn meant the end of the international sanctions regime.
   3353. zenbitz Posted: April 18, 2013 at 10:47 AM (#4417832)
I dont know if its allowed by sacred liberal canon, but @3296 basically sums up my opinion. The best alternative to drone war is not "some other war".
   3354. zenbitz Posted: April 18, 2013 at 10:48 AM (#4417835)
My sons middle name is Monteczuma. His nickname is "zoom". The mispelling was due to lack of sleep.
   3355. JE (Jason) Posted: April 18, 2013 at 10:51 AM (#4417836)
My mom just got back from Poland, they seem to be telling the EU to pound sand, unless she misunderstood.

With the exception of Poland, Lassus, no EU country has done well economically since the financial crisis hit in 2008. Ankara prefers focusing on profitable markets (Middle East, Africa, Balkans, Caspian, Russia, East Asia) than going hat in hand to Brussels.
   3356. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: April 18, 2013 at 10:55 AM (#4417838)
Who makes the call on policy? If the only choice of the voter is an enthusiastic drone user or an ambivalent one, does the voter, in fact, have any say? TSA is despised and yet it continues.


The national security state has grown dramatically since the end of WWII and has grown in each administration. It is inviolate and completely impervious to the will of the voters. The voters have no more say over it than they have over gravity.

   3357. Lassus Posted: April 18, 2013 at 11:03 AM (#4417843)
Bunyon - thanks for answering. My own place as a drone in a cubicle precludes a better response at the moment.
   3358. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: April 18, 2013 at 11:07 AM (#4417845)
#3301 I kind of like the one of the things that the CBC did when Thatcher died. They hauled her interview with Barbara Frum (David Frum's mother) out of their digital archive. It's a famously combative interview that they felt allowed Thatcher to speak for herself.


I hadn't heard about that - it's actually a pretty cool thing to do.
   3359. Ray (RDP) Posted: April 18, 2013 at 11:08 AM (#4417846)
The post has some photos of two suspects. The photos are pretty clear. FWIW, they look middle eastern/west asian.

Actually, the guy in blue looks like the pitcher Freddy Garcia, so I may have just cracked the case. Did Garcia make his start on Monday?
   3360. Bitter Mouse Posted: April 18, 2013 at 11:10 AM (#4417848)
I don't see why it's particularly relevant that Al'Awlaki was a US Citizen.


In the specific instance and outcome I don't know that it is, as an articulated precedent of official policy it is terrible. Perhaps that is parsing too much though. As part of a much larger war (WWII for example) no one would notice or care, but today President's targeting US citizens with no real due process and not part of a "real" (whatever that means) war seems very bad.
   3361. JE (Jason) Posted: April 18, 2013 at 11:13 AM (#4417850)
In case this wasn't already posted upthread, Jonathan Papelbon weighed in on the gun issue on Tuesday:
Today’s day and age has gotten so crazy. Shoot man, Obama wants to take our guns from us and everything. You got all this stuff going on; it’s just a little bit insane for me, man. I’m not sure how to take it.
   3362. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: April 18, 2013 at 11:14 AM (#4417852)
I've seen that photo from the Post before now. It was on Reddit, not from the FBI. You'll forgive me if I'll wait until other news outlets agree with them, and then wait a bit longer.
   3363. bunyon Posted: April 18, 2013 at 11:17 AM (#4417853)
In the specific instance and outcome I don't know that it is, as an articulated precedent of official policy it is terrible. Perhaps that is parsing too much though. As part of a much larger war (WWII for example) no one would notice or care, but today President's targeting US citizens with no real due process and not part of a "real" (whatever that means) war seems very bad.

Yes. Which makes it worse and a much bigger blow to my opinion of Obama. Had he pursued a more official avenue with warrants and some (secret) due process, it is very, very likely he still gets permission for that attack. He pretty clearly wanted to establish that he didn't need anyone's permission.

As Bear says, foreign policy, at least, is completely out of the voter's hands at this point. From my perspective, both the left and right have been equally complicit. I'll go further: for the American voter to reclaim oversight of the military and foreign policy will take actual rebellion. As long as we're left with some control over domestic matters and a comfortable life, that is very unlikely.
   3364. Ray (RDP) Posted: April 18, 2013 at 11:20 AM (#4417856)
I've seen that photo from the Post before now. It was on Reddit, not from the FBI. You'll forgive me if I'll wait until other news outlets agree with them, and then wait a bit longer.


I've got no issues with that. (Not that I understand what we're "waiting" for or not waiting for. There are no extra points for rushing to a conclusion early. Our conclusion doesn't matter to anything.)

I've concluded simply that these are two men that the authorities may believe are involved.
   3365. Ray (RDP) Posted: April 18, 2013 at 11:25 AM (#4417861)
Thanks to those who commented on my questions re Iraq.
   3366. GregD Posted: April 18, 2013 at 11:33 AM (#4417869)
Ray, The Globe has apparently said that the people whose images are going to be distributed today are not the ones in the Post picture--though the wording of this is somewhat confusing and obviously no one has perfect information. Images to be distributed not the Post images
   3367. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: April 18, 2013 at 11:39 AM (#4417875)
Well, time to have Ray argue with everyone for 200 posts about why we should think that the authorities believed these guys were involved.
   3368. Ray (RDP) Posted: April 18, 2013 at 11:40 AM (#4417876)
Ray, The Globe has apparently said that the people whose images are going to be distributed today are not the ones in the Post picture--though the wording of this is somewhat confusing and obviously no one has perfect information. Images to be distributed not the Post images


Interesting info in your link. Though I'm not sure where the Gotcha! is. The Post posted a photo of two men that was circulating in an email their source forwarded to them. Presuming that is true, nothing that happens from here on out with these two men will change that.
   3369. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: April 18, 2013 at 11:40 AM (#4417877)
Also, example 1 billion that the Post is a rag, I didn't realize they put the photo on their cover. Absolutely zero journalistic integrity.

eta: Of course, this is par for the course for the Post.

eta2: Ray, there's no gotcha. Just that it appears the Post put two random middle eastern looking guys on their front page, seen by millions daily, who aren't anything like suspects.
   3370. Mayor Blomberg Posted: April 18, 2013 at 11:40 AM (#4417878)
#3367 - Because "Crowdsourcing!" It's the new lynching.
   3371. The Good Face Posted: April 18, 2013 at 11:43 AM (#4417883)
As Bear says, foreign policy, at least, is completely out of the voter's hands at this point. From my perspective, both the left and right have been equally complicit. I'll go further: for the American voter to reclaim oversight of the military and foreign policy will take actual rebellion. As long as we're left with some control over domestic matters and a comfortable life, that is very unlikely.


Fat people make lousy revolutionaries. So long as USG can keep a supermajority of residents fat and happy (or at least drugged), there won't be any kind of popular rebellion or uprising. A coup perhaps, but that's not really the same thing.

Americans simply aren't that concerned about USG blowing up Beardsley McTurban someplace very far away, and even the people who are concerned aren't willing to do anything about it. Maybe they're right to feel that way; that which cannot be changed must be endured.
   3372. Ray (RDP) Posted: April 18, 2013 at 11:48 AM (#4417888)
I'm not sure whether this was in the initial Post story re the photos, but the current Post story notes that the two men in their photo may not be the same two men that authorities are also looking for:

Meanwhile, officials have identified two potential suspects who were captured on surveillance videos taken shortly before the deadly blasts, law-enforcement sources told The Post yesterday.

Authorities know the names of the two men, but do not have enough evidence to make an arrest for Monday’s attack, which killed three and wounded 176, the sources said.

It was not immediately clear if the men in the law-enforcement photos are the same men in the surveillance videos.


And in that same story the PREJUDICED AGAINST SAUDIS AND BROWN PEOPLE Post also states:

Nobody has claimed responsibility for the attack, which is believed to be a domestic plot rather than international terrorism.


http://www.nypost.com/p/news/national/feds_have_men_in_sights_j43UJwXZncr0wmysU42scJ
   3373. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: April 18, 2013 at 11:49 AM (#4417891)
Americans simply aren't that concerned about USG blowing up Beardsley McTurban someplace very far away, and even the people who are concerned aren't willing to do anything about it.


This is definitely true. But at the same time, the United States has been doing gross things for pretty much our entire history. On its own our drone strike strategy is at best ineffectual and morally questionable and IMO is likely actively harmful to US interests and is almost certainly morally unacceptable. On the sorting scale of evil things the US has done over the last 230 years, it's pretty far down the list.
   3374. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: April 18, 2013 at 11:51 AM (#4417893)
As Bear says, foreign policy, at least, is completely out of the voter's hands at this point. From my perspective, both the left and right have been equally complicit. I'll go further: for the American voter to reclaim oversight of the military and foreign policy will take actual rebellion. As long as we're left with some control over domestic matters and a comfortable life, that is very unlikely.


Again, feature, not bug. War is not judicial. There are no warrants in war. War is delegated to the commanders, which include, at the top of the chain, the president. This is how war should be fought. I'm open to some discussions about what should be included in war, but defining it as "the way I wish it to be fought if we were all honorable men fighting in a sporting manner to minimize collateral damage" is how you get Yorktown-ed.

The reason men with such wildly different ideologies and personalities, like Obama and Bush, have come out basically identical on military matters could be, I allow, because of some grand conspiracy of the military-industrial-executive complex. Like all conspiracies, it is also exceedingly unlikely. It could also be because it is the best, perhaps only way to conduct effective interdiction of terror, which cuts across party/ideological/philosophical lines.

There is no outrage about drones or foreign policy among the broader electorate, and the reason it is supported by politicians of all stripes is because it is supported by voters of most stripes. You are confusing the outrage that you have, and your little echo chamber of highly-political co-thinkers share, with the outrage you wish everyone else has, but doesn't. Again, feature, not bug. Most people would trade the murder of an innocent here, a U.S. Citizen traipsing around the tribal lands there, for interdiction against terrorism. You don't. You're outvoted.

Also, I find it sad that people on this thread second guess the value of drone strikes. I must've missed the memo where you guys had intelligence experience, and access to the data that decisionmakers are using to make decisions re: targeting. Of course, you don't, what little info you do have is filtered through layers of leakers and media, all of whom have agendas (in all directions - this isn't a "liberal media" assertion), and from all that mass you categorically conclude "the drones probably don't work anyways". OK. I get that this arrogance flows from Iraq, where our decisionmakes said "X" and then "X" turned out to be categorically, wildly wrong, but the proper lesson to draw from Iraq is not that we are smarter than the guys with the brains, training, and information. It is that we need to do a better job identifying and policing lies and competence. Put differently, question the MAN making the decision, but not the DECISION. Somehow, in the "Obama is a imperial monster" argument, you need to reach the conclusion that either (a) Obama wants to set up a quasi-imperial executive for no good reason other than because leadas gonna lead, or (b) Obama is so hopelessly manipulated by a thoroughly corrupt military/intelligence regime that he's just puppeting their desire to acquire more power, kill more people and just be king swinging dicks. Also known as "the Bush hypothesis". In light of the distinctions (cough, intelligence, preparedness etc.) between Bush and Obama, I find it highly unlikely that Obama is a pawn.

   3375. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: April 18, 2013 at 11:54 AM (#4417897)
Glad you're not letting me down here, Ray. After all, who cares that the front page of the print edition identifies those two people as being sought by the police in connection to the bombing? The Post says online that they might not be the right guys!
   3376. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: April 18, 2013 at 12:00 PM (#4417901)
Again, feature, not bug. War is not judicial. There are no warrants in war.

So the "war on drugs" should be delegated to the "commanders"? Warrants eliminated, plenary authority handed to governors, police chiefs, and SWAT commanders?

Calling something a "war" that isn't, doesn't really make it a "war."
   3377. Ron J2 Posted: April 18, 2013 at 12:01 PM (#4417903)
#3374 Not sure what you're talking about when you say "get Yorktown-ed" but if you're talking Cornwallis it is worth noting that he gave Banastre Tarleton pretty much a free hand.
   3378. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: April 18, 2013 at 12:02 PM (#4417904)
So the "war on drugs" should be delegated to the "commanders"? Warrants eliminated, plenary authority handed to governors, police chiefs, and SWAT commanders?

Calling something a "war" that isn't, doesn't really make it a "war."


No. But defining war as "violent acts in foreign lands to protect American interests" is reasonable, consistent with the historical conception, and easily encompasses drones.
   3379. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: April 18, 2013 at 12:04 PM (#4417905)
Also, I find it sad that people on this thread second guess the value of drone strikes. I must've missed the memo where you guys had intelligence experience, and access to the data that decisionmakers are using to make decisions re: targeting. Of course, you don't, what little info you do have is filtered through layers of leakers and media, all of whom have agendas (in all directions - this isn't a "liberal media" assertion), and from all that mass you categorically conclude "the drones probably don't work anyways". OK. I get that this arrogance flows from Iraq, where our decisionmakers said "X" and then "X" turned out to be categorically, wildly wrong, but the proper lesson to draw from Iraq is not that we are smarter than the guys with the brains, training, and information. It is that we need to do a better job identifying and policing lies and competence. Put differently, question the MAN making the decision, but not the DECISION. Somehow, in the "Obama is a imperial monster" argument, you need to reach the conclusion that either (a) Obama wants to set up a quasi-imperial executive for no good reason other than because leadas gonna lead, or (b) Obama is so hopelessly manipulated by a thoroughly corrupt military/intelligence regime that he's just puppeting their desire to acquire more power, kill more people and just be king swinging dicks. Also known as "the Bush hypothesis". I also, in light of the distinctions (cough, intelligence, preparedness etc.) between Bush and Obama, find it highly unlikely that Obama is a pawn.

At the risk of getting banned a second time, I have to admit that I agree with just about all of this, especially that highlighted sentence---though I'd add "before the horse has escaped the barn" to the end of it.
   3380. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: April 18, 2013 at 12:07 PM (#4417908)
But defining war as "violent acts in foreign lands to protect American interests" is reasonable, consistent with the historical conception, and easily encompasses drones.


Not really. "War" requires another combatant, not just a target organization a state doesn't like. Under your definition, the USG could wage a "war" on organized crime (which is basically what al-Qaeda is at this point.)(*)

Nor is the stolen executive power limited to acts in foreign lands -- the power in re drones is equally exercisable within the United States and makes no distinctions based on geography.

(*) There's no real distinction between, say, John Gotti and al-Alwaki's 16 year old American son. If anything, a John Gotti would be a more justifiable target for a drone strike.
   3381. Ray (RDP) Posted: April 18, 2013 at 12:08 PM (#4417910)
Glad you're not letting me down here, Ray. After all, who cares that the front page of the print edition identifies those two people as being sought by the police in connection to the bombing? The Post says online that they might not be the right guys!


I've lost what your point is. Are you worried from a defamation perspective, from a journalistic standards perspective, from a law enforcement perspective, or from a pure facts perspective? Which aspect of this are we discussing? Because certainly what the Post posted, if true -- the authorities circulating photos of men they'd like to investigate -- is newsworthy.
   3382. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: April 18, 2013 at 12:09 PM (#4417911)
but if you're talking Cornwallis it is worth noting that he gave Banastre Tarleton pretty much a free hand.


My understanding was that he did so eventually. What I'm articulating is really just a version of Powell's view of war (and Grant's, if we're going to be historical) - if you're going to fight, you need to use all tools to acheive decisive force. It flows from that that, when facing an enemy that is willing to hide amongst civilians, decisive force requires expedited procedures for targeting the enemey that will put civilians at risk.

There may be a reasonable conclusion that the collateral damage to civilians doesn't justify the gains of killing the enemy, but I'm not talking about that judgment, I'm talking process. Judicial bells and whistles are simply inconsistent with the application of decisive force in asymmetical conflict.
   3383. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: April 18, 2013 at 12:10 PM (#4417913)
Nor is the stolen executive power limited to acts in foreign lands -- the power in re drones is equally exercisable within the United States and makes no distinctions based on geography.


Rather than trading in bullshit hypotheticals, lets hold our ire at the use of drones for domestic assassination until it actually happens and is passively accepted by the electorate and the non-executive branches of power. I think that everyone understands the domestic/foreign distinction, though I appreciate that technically there's no difference as currently articulated.
   3384. Dale Sams Posted: April 18, 2013 at 12:10 PM (#4417914)
No. But defining war as "violent acts in foreign lands to protect American interests" is reasonable


Lana Kane: "WOW"
   3385. BrianBrianson Posted: April 18, 2013 at 12:12 PM (#4417916)

Also, I find it sad that people on this thread second guess the value of drone strikes


This is ludacris. It's probably the most heartening thing you can see in the whole thread. Assuming that actions cut across party lines because they're the smart thing to do in dumb. The War on Terror looks, acts, and quacks like the War on Drugs. You don't need an enormous conspiracy to make it happen (although in the latter case, we do know companies that run prisons have an interest in seeing a lot of people in prison, and donate to campaigns accordingly). Prosecuting the War on Drugs cuts across party lines. But both sides know the optics/ideology trumps the results, so they pursue what makes them look good and disregard the result. There's no reason to believe the War on Terror is run any other way; it certainly looks like choices are made because they're defensible come attack ad season, not because there's any reason to believe they're useful or effective at "fighting terror" - whatever that means.
   3386. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: April 18, 2013 at 12:12 PM (#4417917)
I'd point out that "signature strikes"- those that use a pattern of behavior to determine whether a drone strike should be done- are not authorized personally by the President but instead undertook by the CIA on their own authority. Obama personally signs off on strikes against specific individual targets. The former types of strikes are far more common than the latter, and that's something that should be taken into account. If anything, the signature strikes bother me more than the targeted strikes.

Also for clarification, the assassination of Al-Awlaki was a targeted strike that Obama personally signed off on. At least according to official accounts, the strike that killed his son was also a targeted strike, against Ibrahim Muhammad Salih al-Banna, where the son was not targeted but was instead a civilian casualty. The former is an extrajudicial assassination of an American citizen. The latter, however morally repugnant you find it and whether or not it should be a crime, is not.
   3387. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: April 18, 2013 at 12:12 PM (#4417918)
Rather than trading in ######## hypotheticals, lets hold our ire at the use of drones for domestic assassination until it actually happens and is passively accepted by the electorate and the non-executive branches of power. I think that everyone understands that distinction, though I appreciate that technically there's no difference as currently articulated.

No thanks. I'd rather identify and eradicate the abuse of power before it happens.

And it's not "technically" there's no difference, it's there's no difference.
   3388. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: April 18, 2013 at 12:13 PM (#4417919)

Not really. "War" requires another combatant, not just a target organization a state doesn't like. Under your definition, the USG could wage a "war" on organized crime (which is basically what al-Qaeda is at this point.)(*)



I don't think that's right, from a historical perspective. Surely, wars can be fought against a rebelling army, which is really nothing more than a target organizaition that the state doesn't like which happens to have guns. The First Barbary War was techinically against a combatant, but I'm not sure the Barbary states were states in the modern conception - they're sort of much closer to a Taliban.
   3389. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: April 18, 2013 at 12:14 PM (#4417923)
And it's not "technically" there's no difference, it's that there's no difference.


No, its technical. If you assert no difference, you mean that a domestic assassination and a foreign assassination would be handled identically and have identical results. If you think that the process and results for a domestic assasination would be different - and I don't see how you could disagree with that - then the equivalence is technical.
   3390. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: April 18, 2013 at 12:15 PM (#4417924)
I have a question for the people who oppose drone strikes: would you have been opposed to a special forces operation that attempted to take Al-Awlaki into custody?

I mean, that's what I'd have preferred to see happen, personally.

What if they had killed Al-Awlaki while trying to take him into custody, as occurs not infrequently here in the United States?
   3391. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: April 18, 2013 at 12:22 PM (#4417929)
If you assert no difference, you mean that a domestic assassination and a foreign assassination would be handled identically and have identical results. If you think that the process and results for a domestic assasination would be different - and I don't see how you could disagree with that - then the equivalence is technical.

I asserted that there was no difference in the claimed power based on geography. That isn't "technically" true, it's true. The president has claimed that he can kill US citizens on basically his call outside and inside the United States.

If you want to dream that there will be some kind of check on what's done within the US, be my guest, but I don't feel the need to so dream. The claimed power is outrageous, and has been exercised outrageously. I'm not one to trust in the goodwill of a person claiming and exercising dictatorial powers.
   3392. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: April 18, 2013 at 12:22 PM (#4417930)
the power in re drones is equally exercisable within the United States and makes no distinctions based on geography.


This is incorrect from a legal standpoint. There is a significant difference depending upon whether the target is within the jurisdiction of the United States.

* My experience on this topic is my 3L thesis class dealing specifically with national security law in the war on terror, working as a research assistant for that professor on drone strikes, as well as having kept up with the literature on the subject since graduating from law school.
   3393. Steve Treder Posted: April 18, 2013 at 12:22 PM (#4417931)
The War on Terror looks, acts, and quacks like the War on Drugs. You don't need an enormous conspiracy to make it happen (although in the latter case, we do know companies that run prisons have an interest in seeing a lot of people in prison, and donate to campaigns accordingly). Prosecuting the War on Drugs cuts across party lines. But both sides know the optics/ideology trumps the results, so they pursue what makes them look good and disregard the result. There's no reason to believe the War on Terror is run any other way; it certainly looks like choices are made because they're defensible come attack ad season, not because there's any reason to believe they're useful or effective at "fighting terror" - whatever that means.

Yep.
   3394. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: April 18, 2013 at 12:23 PM (#4417932)
There's no reason to believe the War on Terror is run any other way; it certainly looks like choices are made because they're defensible come attack ad season, not because there's any reason to believe they're useful or effective at "fighting terror" - whatever that means.


But the people support the war on drugs and they support the war on terror. You're trying to have it both ways; you say that the application of power to prosecute wars is anti-democratic because tactical decisions about the use of force aren't being checked by other branches of power, and disenfranchising the people is a bad thing. But, you're also saying that even though the electorate supports the wars, and that the wars are conducted because the politicians perceive that it benefits them electorally, the wars are a bad outcome, that the electorate's support of the wars is illegitimate compared to some sort of "objective" view of the costs and benefits of the war.

You can't cite to democracy both as a yay or a nay. The People are imperfect; populism exists. If you fight a war but push through as many decisions as possible to entities that are democratically responsible, the populism infects those decisions. If you ignore the people's desire for the "war", you're being anti-democratic. I think the idea is that democracy works a hell of a lot better for "war, yay or nay?" than "please articulate rules of engagement for asymmetric war".
   3395. McCoy Posted: April 18, 2013 at 12:23 PM (#4417933)
   3396. Mayor Blomberg Posted: April 18, 2013 at 12:23 PM (#4417934)
#3390- IF the death is an unplanned outcome of the attempt to bring into custody, so be it. If its a planned outcome it's little better than a drone strike.
   3397. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: April 18, 2013 at 12:25 PM (#4417936)
This is incorrect from a legal standpoint. There is a significant difference depending upon whether the target is within the jurisdiction of the United States.

* My experience on this topic is my 3L thesis class dealing specifically with national security law in the war on terror, working as a research assistant for that professor on drone strikes, as well as having kept up with the literature on the subject since graduating from law school.


It's correct from a legal standpoint.
   3398. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: April 18, 2013 at 12:27 PM (#4417939)
It's correct from a legal standpoint


As a (fellow?) lawyer, if you have to add "from a legal standpoint" to the end of a sentence, you're discussing a technical difference.
   3399. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: April 18, 2013 at 12:29 PM (#4417941)
As a (fellow?) lawyer, if you have to add "from a legal standpoint" to the end of a sentence, you're discussing a technical difference.

Unless the sentence is responding to "This is incorrect from a legal standpoint."
   3400. Bitter Mouse Posted: April 18, 2013 at 12:29 PM (#4417942)
You can't cite to democracy both as a yay or a nay. The People are imperfect; populism exists.


I think we are talking past each other a bit. There is a conflict, but in my mind it is the populist "majority rules" versus the bedrock principles our country is (or perhaps should be) based on. No matter how popular some actions might be, we don't do them - even though we are a Democracy and they are popular - because they violate first principles. That is a big part of the point of the Constitution, Bill of Rights and so on.

I don't think we are explicitly making a constitutional argument (Maybe we could, but IANAL), but that is the basic idea. So just saying Democracy and its popular does not end the discussion.
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