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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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   3901. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 19, 2013 at 10:48 AM (#4419229)
Yes. But there's nothing to prevent you saying roughly, "We're going after Bin Laden. Anybody who gets in our way is presumed hostile."

IE no attempt at regime change. A narrowly focused effort on Bin Laden and company. Now I'm doubtful that the local Pashtun would in fact have stayed out entirely, but if there's one thing that the early stages of the war showed it is that any given local group's loyalty could be rented. (but not bought long term) And while it wouldn't have been cheap or free of carnage it's possible that it would have worked out better for the US.


I don't think this was possible. We needed to topple the Taliban; but that was done quickly and cheaply.

The problem was trying to build a strong central Afghan government, and occupying the country. We should have just played the various alliances and warlords off against each other through bribery and military support.

Help the least offensive ones stay on top, so they'd give us staging areas to track terrorists. Put very few troops on the ground.

   3902. formerly dp Posted: April 19, 2013 at 10:48 AM (#4419230)
Yes. But there's nothing to prevent you saying roughly, "We're going after Bin Laden. Anybody who gets in our way is presumed hostile."
The execution of the operation was hasty and bloodthirsty-- we were listening to the Hatfields telling us that the McCoys were terrorists, and then bombing the McCoys, based on no evidence other than the sayso of the Hatfields.
   3903. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: April 19, 2013 at 10:52 AM (#4419232)
Correct.


That is to say, correct for modern grenades. There are some historical designs that used an external fuse, such as the WWI-era Besozzi grenade. I highly doubt these guys were using those, though.

There are also smoke bombs that have external fuses - I could potentially see someone referring to one of those as a "grenade" (particularly in the heat of the moment), even though it's not strictly true.
   3904. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 19, 2013 at 10:52 AM (#4419233)
Why not? What did they do that makes them not innocent?

Stay with Bin Laden.

So it's never justified, unless it's justified by a "very complicated calculation"? The US has done a shitton of killing of innocent civilians over the past decade.

Direct, intentional killing of innocent civilians is never justified.

Legitimate actions of war, that target enemy combatants, but also endanger civilians, are justifiable. But, there has to be some trade-off between the threat the enemy poses, and the number of civilians actually likely to die/be wounded.

You shouldn't bomb a low-level AQ messenger who's in the middle of a busy marketplace. You should bomb a meeting of the AQ top leadership, even if there is an innocent waiter serving them dinner.

Again, morality in warfare is complex. No pat answer covers all situations.
   3905. Dale Sams Posted: April 19, 2013 at 10:53 AM (#4419234)
So at what point do they tell people, "Resume your lives". Tomorrow? They would cancel the sporting events today?

Beyond unprecedented.
   3906. The kids disappeared, now Der-K has too much candy Posted: April 19, 2013 at 10:53 AM (#4419235)
thanks vlad - that was my thinking when i made my original comment as well (i didn't believe that grenades were powered by magic) but am not knowledgable on firearms/weaponry (which i'm okay with).
   3907. formerly dp Posted: April 19, 2013 at 10:58 AM (#4419241)
Stay with Bin Laden.
That's moronic.
Direct, intentional killing of innocent civilians is never justified.
This is the moral calculus grounded in your own subject-position living in a nation with the strongest military on the planet. You're dressing your basic philosophy of "might makes right" up in self-serving moral rhetoric.
   3908. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: April 19, 2013 at 10:59 AM (#4419244)
Why not? What did they do that makes them not innocent?

Stay with Bin Laden.


Was it really their choice? Obviously I don't know the situation, but I would imagine Bin Laden kept a pretty tight leash on them.
   3909. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: April 19, 2013 at 10:59 AM (#4419245)
Not a problem, K, glad to help.
   3910. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: April 19, 2013 at 11:00 AM (#4419246)

So at what point do they tell people, "Resume your lives". Tomorrow?


Reports are that taxi service has resumed.
   3911. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 19, 2013 at 11:01 AM (#4419247)
That's moronic.

You associate with known terrorists, you lose your right to be deemed an innocent civilian. Should the Allies have refrained from bombing Berchtesgaden because Eva Braun was hanging around?

This is the moral calculus grounded in your own subject-position living in a nation with the strongest military on the planet. You're dressing your basic philosophy of "might makes right" up in self-serving moral rhetoric.

This is the moral calculus the entire world has come up with through centuries of thought and negotiation on the rules of war.

It applies equally to the mighty and the weak. The deaths of civilians collateral to an attack on US troops in Iraq or Afghanistan is not terrorism.
   3912. Lassus Posted: April 19, 2013 at 11:03 AM (#4419249)
Residents have been told to reactivate theyah wikkid accents.




Be here all week.
   3913. I am going to be Frank Posted: April 19, 2013 at 11:04 AM (#4419250)
If what we know of the brothers is correct does this change the immigration debate? They migrated legally and seem to have been here for at least five years. The younger did well enough in school and was going to college.
   3914. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 19, 2013 at 11:05 AM (#4419251)
Was it really their choice? Obviously I don't know the situation, but I would imagine Bin Laden kept a pretty tight leash on them.

Unclear. But, you can't refrain from action for fear of killing them. You'd just give every terrorist who has a wife safe haven, even if the wife is just as big an extremist.
   3915. Dale Sams Posted: April 19, 2013 at 11:05 AM (#4419253)
Residents have been told to reactivate theyah wikkid accents.


Heh. More gallows humor. Right now there is a kid in the sewers shaving his head and saying..."Wicked hard. No. Wikkid hahd. Hahd. K."
   3916. formerly dp Posted: April 19, 2013 at 11:06 AM (#4419254)
You associate with known terrorists, you lose your right to be deemed an innocent civilian.
Based on General Snapper's absolute moral certitude? This is an arbitrary-selected and self-serving morality.

This is the moral calculus the entire world has come up with through centuries of thought and negotiation on the rules of war.
Snapper, please, take your ethnocentrism and shove it up your ass. You live in the most powerful nation on earth that kills innocent civilians literally on a whim. Stop pretending there's any moral justification for it, and call it for what it is.
   3917. Dale Sams Posted: April 19, 2013 at 11:06 AM (#4419255)
Anyone see the "Umpires balk" in the Cubs game yesterday? Hilarious. "Ball? BALLLLLLLLL!"
   3918. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: April 19, 2013 at 11:07 AM (#4419257)
Should the Allies have refrained from bombing Berchtesgaden because Eva Braun was hanging around?


That is a completely different situation. There is a very high likelihood Bin Laden's wives didn't even have a say in marrying him, and if they voiced any displeasure with him or tried to leave I would think he would simply beat or kill them.
   3919. The kids disappeared, now Der-K has too much candy Posted: April 19, 2013 at 11:08 AM (#4419259)
3913: should it? i say no.
   3920. formerly dp Posted: April 19, 2013 at 11:08 AM (#4419260)
Unclear. But, you can't refrain from action for fear of killing them. You'd just give every terrorist who has a wife safe haven, even if the wife is just as big an extremist.
You do recognize that by the same moral calculus, the WTC and Pentagon attacks were totally justified, right? Edit: Your standard isn't "people who pose an immediate threat"-- it's "people who might at some point plot to do something bad to us." In Afghanistan, the US killed a ####### of innocents who weren't associating with terrorists-- they were associating with other Afghanis that the US mistakenly thought were terrorists. But that's OK, because the side with the bombs gets to decide when killing is moral justified, and the side without them just has to suck it up and die.
   3921. Lassus Posted: April 19, 2013 at 11:09 AM (#4419262)
If what we know of the brothers is correct does this change the immigration debate?

How so? Weren't they kids? Not asking pointedly, I'm just not sure what would be done differently.
   3922. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 19, 2013 at 11:09 AM (#4419263)
Snapper, please, take your ethnocentrism and shove it up your ass. You live in the most powerful nation on earth that kills innocents civilians literally on a whim. Stop pretending there's any moral justification for it, and call it for what it is.

In all probability, there's justification for some of the drone attacks, and not for others.

Do we do it to much? Yes. It is always immoral? No.

Is your position that terrorists enjoy blanket immunity as long as they can hide near some civilians? Even if many of those civilians are active supporters of the terrorists?
   3923. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 19, 2013 at 11:13 AM (#4419264)
You do recognize that by the same moral calculus, the WTC and Pentagon attacks were totally justified, right?

The Pentagon perhaps, except they used a civilian airliner as their weapon.

The WTC could not be deemed a military target under any plausible scenario. The goal there was to maximize civilian deaths.
   3924. bunyon Posted: April 19, 2013 at 11:13 AM (#4419265)
This seems like an example of the difference between smart and savvy. There are lots of people who are intellectually gifted but relatively helpless when it comes to practical judgment or real-world logistics.

Then the word bright isn't being used well. "Bright" as deemed by standardized testing only refers to people working in an academic setting. If you're working in the real world, which a terrorist undoubtedly is, then "bright" has to include practical judgement and logistics.

Having a narrowly defined meaning for "bright" or "smart" which only refers to academic testing is absurd. Of course, that doesn't mean that is what it now means.


I say all this as an academic. But there are far too many kids being told they're bright when they can't figure out that water flows downhill when confronted by a spill.
   3925. Ron J2 Posted: April 19, 2013 at 11:14 AM (#4419267)
Can't find the post that mentions probable reactions from friends, but CNN already has a link up to an interview with a friend saying, "this doesn't make any sense"
   3926. GregD Posted: April 19, 2013 at 11:16 AM (#4419268)
Was it George Carlin who had the bit about waiting for the interview with a neighbor who says, "I always thought he had the feel of a serial killer to me, but no one would listen"?

Ed to add: The friend who called him "just very chillaxed." As if we didn't have reason enough to hate him already!
   3927. bunyon Posted: April 19, 2013 at 11:16 AM (#4419269)
As to Afghanistan, nation building is always a mistake. Afghanistan and Iraq became quagmire disasters when we decided to create, from nothing, a free democracy there. We've actually conquered both countries a couple of times each. But then we start trying to build a free democracy where the would-be voters want no such thing. That is the insane bit.

Knock over the Taliban. Get bin Laden. Get anyone who stands in our way. Then tell the surviving warlords that we'll leave them alone so long as no one living with them comes after us.

   3928. formerly dp Posted: April 19, 2013 at 11:17 AM (#4419270)
Is your position that terrorists enjoy blanket immunity as long as they can hide near some civilians?
My position is that such actions will produce more "terrorists" than they'll kill, because killing innocent civilians to maybe possibly save some American lives someday might not be interpreted by the families and countrymen of the murdered and maimed as morally just. And thus, they'll be morally justified taking similar actions to strike back at those who attacked them-- so we end up with a perpetually-renewing "war on terror."
   3929. formerly dp Posted: April 19, 2013 at 11:18 AM (#4419271)
The WTC could not be deemed a military target under any plausible scenario. The goal there was to maximize civilian deaths.
You make some awfully confident bullshitty assertions, snap.
   3930. The kids disappeared, now Der-K has too much candy Posted: April 19, 2013 at 11:19 AM (#4419272)
3925: i saw that this morning, i think. this the guy who has friends with the younger brother but didn't know that there was an older brother?

cbs boston has a piece on the older brother. claims he had no american friends, he wanted to box for the us olympic team, other stuff.
   3931. The kids disappeared, now Der-K has too much candy Posted: April 19, 2013 at 11:20 AM (#4419273)
Having a narrowly defined meaning for "bright" or "smart" which only refers to academic testing is absurd.

you're taking away my only skill bunyon!
of course, i agree with you.
   3932. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: April 19, 2013 at 11:22 AM (#4419275)
Why not? What did they do that makes them not innocent?


Got bought by the wrong man, apparently?
   3933. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 19, 2013 at 11:24 AM (#4419276)
You make some awfully confident bullshitty assertions, snap.

So, you're saying the WTC was a military target?
   3934. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: April 19, 2013 at 11:25 AM (#4419277)
He'd have to be a complete idiot to allow himself to be taken alive

I have a real problem trying to get inside the head of a guy like this

Fortunately, it is second nature for zop.
   3935. bunyon Posted: April 19, 2013 at 11:27 AM (#4419279)
Having a narrowly defined meaning for "bright" or "smart" which only refers to academic testing is absurd.


you're taking away my only skill bunyon!
of course, i agree with you.


I think it's a serious problem in modern American schools. We have some plenty bright kids by the now accepted definitions. Put them in a lab and they can't figure out how a reflux condenser works. They know the book definitions and, intellectually, why one is necessary. They can write, at length, on the subject. But, put one in their hands and ask them to explain, pointing out it's many (sarcasm) features and they have no clue. It's a little bewildering. My current theory is that all of their education has separated "learning" from "reality". The former you do in order to get grades and promotions but it has no bearing on the latter. So, when presented with a very simple device, used in concepts they have studied for exams, they can't connect the two.

Or something.

It also goes to the discussion we've had on invading Iraq. I think all agree that replacing Saddam's Baathist regime with a free democracy at peace with the world would be brilliant. It's just that no one (in charge) ever stopped to consider that actually doing that wouldn't be an essay.
   3936. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 19, 2013 at 11:27 AM (#4419280)
My position is that such actions will produce more "terrorists" than they'll kill, because killing innocent civilians to maybe possibly save some American lives someday might not be interpreted by the families and countrymen of the murdered and maimed as morally just. And thus, they'll be morally justified taking similar actions to strike back at those who attacked them-- so we end up with a perpetually-renewing "war on terror."

So, how do you propose to deal with terrorists that attack the US or US nationals overseas?
   3937. formerly dp Posted: April 19, 2013 at 11:28 AM (#4419281)
So, you're saying the WTC was a military target?
I'm saying that I don't know what the strategic aim of hitting the WTC was, as articulated by those who planned the attack. Do you? You said:
The goal there was to maximize civilian deaths.
And I've never seen this confirmed. But I may have missed it.
   3938. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: April 19, 2013 at 11:28 AM (#4419282)
I don't think this was possible. We needed to topple the Taliban; but that was done quickly and cheaply


In 2002 the Taliban and AQ were so intertwined in Afghanistan that you couldn't take down one without taking down the other. The problem with Afghanistan was two fold. First, rather than going in as a straight counter terrorism raid they went in as a military occupation / change the hearts and minds of Af-Pak sort of utopian idea. "Freedom agenda" and all that crap. Second, rather than identify the correct target (AQ and its support structures in Af-Pak) they decided to carry out some old grudgefucks in Mesopotamia instead.
   3939. Dale Sams Posted: April 19, 2013 at 11:29 AM (#4419283)
Two things islamic terrorists don't understand.

1)How to run an effective campaign. I'm not going to spell things out cause I like my front door in one piece.

2)*After* the event, a live terrorist is infinitely more valuable than a dead one. Crash your plane in Pennsylvania and you're just another dead face. Surrender and the world knows who you are forever, giving you more (I won't say 'ample' cause its not like we interview Gitmo guys every day) opportunity to speak. This kid, if he really wanted to be more than 'nut who blew random people up', should surrender. If Timothy McVeigh had gone up with his truck, he'd be a lone nut. But now he's TIMOTHY MCVEIGH....or was...
   3940. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 19, 2013 at 11:29 AM (#4419285)
As to Afghanistan, nation building is always a mistake. Afghanistan and Iraq became quagmire disasters when we decided to create, from nothing, a free democracy there. We've actually conquered both countries a couple of times each. But then we start trying to build a free democracy where the would-be voters want no such thing. That is the insane bit.

Knock over the Taliban. Get bin Laden. Get anyone who stands in our way. Then tell the surviving warlords that we'll leave them alone so long as no one living with them comes after us.


100% correct.

In Iraq, if you must invade, topple Hussein, leave the Army intact, and find a relative moderate among the Generals to put in charge, on the promise he purge the most vile elements of Hussein's regime.
   3941. BrianBrianson Posted: April 19, 2013 at 11:31 AM (#4419288)
You make some awfully confident bullshitty assertions, snap.


Unless I'm confused, snapper's been quite consistantly on the extreme "few" end of how many civilian casualties one can justify in a military action. In that limit, I think one can make that assertion. Those of us who look at Dresden and Hiroshima and say "such is war", not so much.
   3942. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 19, 2013 at 11:32 AM (#4419290)
I'm saying that I don't know what the strategic aim of hitting the WTC was, as articulated by those who planned the attack. Do you? You said:

And I've never seen this confirmed. But I may have missed it.

What other goal could possibly be achieved by flying airliners, fully laden with fuel, into office building containing 10,000+ civilians, at the time of day you could expect them to be most full?
   3943. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: April 19, 2013 at 11:33 AM (#4419291)

My position is that such actions will produce more "terrorists" than they'll kill, because killing innocent civilians to maybe possibly save some American lives someday might not be interpreted by the families and countrymen of the murdered and maimed as morally just.


I thought you were making a moral argument, not a utilitarian one.
   3944. Lassus Posted: April 19, 2013 at 11:33 AM (#4419292)
And I've never seen this confirmed. But I may have missed it.

As a discrete fact, not connected to whatever else snapper is currently peddling, I'm not really sure how anything else is possibly true.
   3945. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: April 19, 2013 at 11:34 AM (#4419293)
So, you're saying the WTC was a military target?


Were bridges crossing the Tigris-Euphrates military targets in Baghdad? Was the state television studios? How about al-Jezeera's broadcast locations? Banking infrastructure that supported the regime's power base?

If you declare that war has collateral damage, then _war has collateral damage._ If you accept that the 9/11 attacks were acts of war by AQ against the United States, then from AQ's perspective _war has collateral damage_ and the targeting of psychologically potent "propaganda" infrastructure of their enemy (the WTC was representative of the decadent west and American capitalism's evils across the globe) then targeting it was no more morally problematic than targeting the television studios where Baghdad Bob was declaring victory over the foolish American invaders.

You can either declare "civilian targets" out of bounds, or you can declare the fog of war to be thick and the distinction between military and civilian targets disruptive and difficult to measure. Either is a viable argument. But you can't randomly declare the one to be true for your team, but to be false for the other guys.
   3946. formerly dp Posted: April 19, 2013 at 11:34 AM (#4419294)
So, how do you propose to deal with terrorists that attack the US or US nationals overseas?
Don't use bombs against civilian populations. And when you do, expect the survivors to come and try to blow you up, and don't act all morally superior about it when they do-- because you did the same ####### thing to them.
   3947. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 19, 2013 at 11:34 AM (#4419295)
Unless I'm confused, snapper's been quite consistantly on the extreme "few" end of how many civilian casualties one can justify in a military action. In that limit, I think one can make that assertion. Those of us who look at Dresden and Hiroshima and say "such is war", not so much.

Correct. I think the Dresden and Tokyo fire bombings are basically unjustifiable.

The only reason I hesitate on the A-bombs, is because of the extreme unwillingness of the Japanese regime and military to surrender. The A-bombings may have been the only way to end the war without many millions more civilian deaths.
   3948. Ron J2 Posted: April 19, 2013 at 11:35 AM (#4419296)
We needed to topple the Taliban


Why?
   3949. formerly dp Posted: April 19, 2013 at 11:37 AM (#4419298)
What other goal could possibly be achieved by flying airliners, fully laden with fuel, into office building containing 10,000+ civilians, at the time of day you could expect them to be most full?
I can get creative. But it's all speculation.

Sam, #3945 pretty much sums up my argument, and states it more clearly than I would have.
I thought you were making a moral argument, not a utilitarian one.
I think the two are intertwined, here-- if we're talking about legitimation, at some point our actions have to be understood as having moral legitimacy by those who bear their consequences. Part of the frustration with the west has been that it espouses a paternalistic attitude toward the rest of the world, while failing to hold itself to the standards it expects for others.
   3950. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 19, 2013 at 11:37 AM (#4419299)
Were bridges crossing the Tigris-Euphrates military targets in Baghdad? Was the state television studios? How about al-Jezeera's broadcast locations? Banking infrastructure that supported the regime's power base?

If you declare that war has collateral damage, then _war has collateral damage._ If you accept that the 9/11 attacks were acts of war by AQ against the United States, then from AQ's perspective _war has collateral damage_ and the targeting of psychologically potent "propaganda" infrastructure of their enemy (the WTC was representative of the decadent west and American capitalism's evils across the globe) then targeting it was no more morally problematic than targeting the television studios where Baghdad Bob was declaring victory over the foolish American invaders.

You can either declare "civilian targets" out of bounds, or you can declare the fog of war to be thick and the distinction between military and civilian targets disruptive and difficult to measure. Either is a viable argument. But you can't randomly declare the one to be true for your team, but to be false for the other guys.


Bridges, and communications facilities that can be used militarily certainly are. The others I'm uncomfortable about. Probably should be avoided.

One problem: Al Qaeda has no right to declare war on anyone. When they act outside of a war being waged by the US against an actual country, they are illegitimate combatants.

Even a uniformed assault on the Pentagon in 2001 would have been an act of terrorism, as AQ has no standing to launch wars. An AQ fighting against US forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, on the other hand, has some claim to be a legitimate insurgent.
   3951. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 19, 2013 at 11:38 AM (#4419301)
Why?

Because we wanted to hunt down AQ, who was protected by the Taliban.
   3952. Poulanc Posted: April 19, 2013 at 11:40 AM (#4419302)
I think it's a serious problem in modern American schools.


What you describe has been going on for a long time. This isn't a new phenomenon.
   3953. Dale Sams Posted: April 19, 2013 at 11:43 AM (#4419307)
Don't use bombs against civilian populations


Don't bomb funerals. Don't bomb first reponders.

And since this is sort of a place we say stuff we might not say to our friends..oh..IM the only one? Okay:

It's all I can do when something like this happens, and my FB page is filled with "Oh My God..what kind of world do we live in."...to *not* post pictures of kids without arms, blown off by American drones, and say "I knowrite?"

edit: Yeah, I'm real fun at parties.
   3954. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: April 19, 2013 at 11:43 AM (#4419308)
One problem: Al Qaeda has no right to declare war on anyone. When they act outside of a war being waged by the US against an actual country, they are illegitimate combatants.


Any organization that has the capability of waging war has the right to declare war. Maybe that's problematic for utopian idealists, but in the real world if you have the wherewithal, you have the right.
   3955. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: April 19, 2013 at 11:44 AM (#4419310)
It's all I can do when something like this happens, and my FB page is filled with "Oh My God..what kind of world do we live in."...to *not* post pictures of kids without arms, blown off by American drones, and say "I knowrite?"


*nod*
   3956. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: April 19, 2013 at 11:45 AM (#4419311)
I think the two are intertwined, here-- if we're talking about legitimation, at some point our actions have to be understood as having moral legitimacy by those who bear their consequences.


Is this even possible? Has this ever happened in the history of warfare?
   3957. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 19, 2013 at 11:46 AM (#4419312)
Any organization that has the capability of waging war has the right to declare war. Maybe that's problematic for utopian idealists, but in the real world if you have the wherewithal, you have the right.

Again, not the international consensus. The rules of war state that only nation-states have the right to declare war. Anyone else risks being deemed illegitimate, and can expect none of the rights of legitimate combatants.

You are conflating "can" with "may", which isn't surprising given your overall worldview.

AQ members "can" attack the US. We then have every right to shoot them down like mad dogs wherever we find them.

If we can find an AQ member or members in an isolated location, we can, may, and should kill them on the spot. Our only restraint needs to be not causing unecessary or disproportionate civilian casualties.

Don't bomb funerals. Don't bomb first reponders.

I agree 100%.
   3958. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: April 19, 2013 at 11:47 AM (#4419315)
Fortunately, it is second nature for zop


You don't find it interesting to brainstorm what you would do if you're in his shoes to save your ass? Its a rather difficult fix he finds himself in.
   3959. Lassus Posted: April 19, 2013 at 11:48 AM (#4419316)
The more I hear about these kids, the more they seem like the Colorado shooters.
   3960. formerly dp Posted: April 19, 2013 at 11:48 AM (#4419319)
Is this even possible? Has this ever happened in the history of warfare?
But we're not at war with Yemen, or Pakistan. ####, a lot of Afghanis didn't even know the WTC had happened when bombs started dropping in their back yard, because telecommunications there are simply nonexistent in some parts of the country. So, yeah. "Hearts and minds" and all that good stuff, or else you're just breeding future generations of terrorists.
   3961. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: April 19, 2013 at 11:50 AM (#4419322)
The goal there was to maximize civilian deaths.
And I've never seen this confirmed. But I may have missed it.


I don't see any way you can reasonably say that maximizing civilian deaths was not one of the goals.

9/11 "goals"

The primary goal of al Qaeda insofar as Bin Laden was concerned was replacing the House of Saud with Bin Laden and res-instituting/re-establishing a [Wahhabi]caliphate, with the ultimate goal of unifying the entire Islamic World.

9/11 had many goals:
1: Making the US leave the Arabian Peninsula
2: A recruiting tool- there are many Jihadi groups, but a "spectacular" attack against the Great Satan moved them right up to the tippy-top of the pile
3: Allegedly a goal was the economic collapse of the US/West
4: 1, 2 & 3 were strategic goals, killing as many people as possible was a primary TACTICAL goal meant to effectuate the strategic goals.
   3962. formerly dp Posted: April 19, 2013 at 11:51 AM (#4419323)
I don't see any way you can reasonably say that maximizing civilian deaths was not one of the goals.
I'm comfortable with "one of the goals"-- I'm not comfortable with "the goal."
   3963. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 19, 2013 at 11:51 AM (#4419324)
You don't find it interesting to brainstorm what you would do if you're in his shoes to save your ass? Its a rather difficult fix he finds himself in.

I'm shocked they were still in the country, much less the city.

They had ample time to escape if they had planned it better.
   3964. Misirlou was a Buddhist prodigy Posted: April 19, 2013 at 11:51 AM (#4419325)
Unless I'm confused, snapper's been quite consistantly on the extreme "few" end of how many civilian casualties one can justify in a military action.


Wasn't he the one who wanted to use an AC-130 in Benghazi?
   3965. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 19, 2013 at 11:52 AM (#4419326)
I'm comfortable with "one of the goals"-- I'm not comfortable with "the goal."

Fine. It being one of the goals makes the attack completely immoral.

Just like Bomber Harris' fire-storm raids that sought to destroy German morale by killing the workers.
   3966. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 19, 2013 at 11:55 AM (#4419328)
Wasn't he the one who wanted to use an AC-130 in Benghazi?

To defend US personnel under direct attack? Absolutely.

If US military or diplomatic personnel are under imminent threat of death, the calculus shifts dramatically vs. retaliatory or preventive strikes. Just like soldiers in the front line aren't held to as strict standards of avoiding civilian deaths as Generals plotting airstrikes.
   3967. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: April 19, 2013 at 11:56 AM (#4419329)
But we're not at war with Yemen, or Pakistan. ####, a lot of Afghanis didn't even know the WTC had happened when bombs started dropping in their back yard, because telecommunications there are simply nonexistent in some parts of the country. So, yeah. "Hearts and minds" and all that good stuff, or else you're just breeding future generations of terrorists.


I'm fine with a hearts and minds argument. I support it 100%. But my point is that no military action will be seen as 'legitimate' by its targets. That seems an impossible bar. I would be fine with a standard that limits us to military actions that are seen as legitimate by neutral third parties.
   3968. formerly dp Posted: April 19, 2013 at 11:56 AM (#4419330)
Fine. It being one of the goals makes the attack completely immoral.
Again, according to the arbitrary standard you're asking those you're in an asymmetrical power relationship to abide by. You're making it out to be a moral imperative-- but it's completely self-serving for someone in your situation.

To defend US personnel under direct attack? Absolutely.
Glad to see that Christian moral compass is pointing you in the right direction.
   3969. Ron J2 Posted: April 19, 2013 at 11:57 AM (#4419332)
#3591 No they weren't. They were given sanctuary by the previous regime and weren't tossed out because of hospitality traditions. They were not (contrary to Rickey!'s claim above) at all tight.

So you can argue "sheltered by" and make a case for war that no nation on earth objected to. But that doesn't mean that you couldn't have paid the locals to get out of the way (the Taliban is not and never has been a monolithic organization. Much more a collection of primarily Pashtun tribal groups and as such it's totally viable to pay them to stay out)

The US chose to take out the Taliban because ... well aside from harboring Bin Laden (big enough deal to be sure) they were a pretty awful group.

Thing is that Afghanistan has an awful lot of Pashtuns and in a lot of respects the Taliban represented the progressive elements (yeah I know, tough to believe). In other words, kill or force into exile Mullah Omar and there's absolutely no reason to expect things to change for the better.

   3970. dlf Posted: April 19, 2013 at 11:58 AM (#4419333)
What other goal could possibly be achieved by flying airliners, fully laden with fuel, into office building containing 10,000+ civilians, at the time of day you could expect them to be most full?


Not trying to justify the acts one bit, but if the strategic aim was primarily to kill the greatest number of civilians, they could have flown the airplanes into Univ of Michigan / Alabama / Florida / Ohio State football stadiums on any given Saturday in the fall and increased the deathtoll by 10x. The Trade Center had symbolic importance to AQ in addition to an overwhelming lack of concern for the death of civilians.

Edit: was there anything discovered about the intended destination of the flight that crashed in the Pennsylvania field?
   3971. formerly dp Posted: April 19, 2013 at 11:59 AM (#4419334)
But my point is that no military action will be seen as 'legitimate' by its targets. That seems an impossible bar.
It's not, though. Iraqis after the invasion-- there was a line that some were OK with the US stepping up to. But there were actions the US took that stepped over that line-- that were seen as illegitimate.
   3972. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: April 19, 2013 at 12:00 PM (#4419337)

I'm shocked they were still in the country, much less the city.

They had ample time to escape if they had planned it better.


Agreed. They either must've really believed they wouldn't get caught, or were planning a suicidal reign of terror. Given that they bolted as soon as good pictures came out, I lean toward the former. I think these guys, particularly the younger one, may have Raskolnikoved.
   3973. Misirlou was a Buddhist prodigy Posted: April 19, 2013 at 12:03 PM (#4419342)
Not trying to justify the acts one bit, but if the strategic aim was primarily to kill the greatest number of civilians, they could have flown the airplanes into Univ of Michigan / Alabama / Florida / Ohio State football stadiums on any given Saturday in the fall and increased the deathtoll by 10x. The Trade Center had symbolic importance to AQ in addition to an overwhelming lack of concern for the death of civilians.


I agree with the latter, but the former is a lot more difficult for an unskilled pilot. Chances are he would have overshot and killed a bunch of empty cars.
   3974. Dale Sams Posted: April 19, 2013 at 12:04 PM (#4419343)
You don't find it interesting to brainstorm what you would do if you're in his shoes to save your ass? Its a rather difficult fix he finds himself in.


If this were a movie...cut my hair with the scissors I got from the convienence store, find a bum in the sewers, put my ID on him, take his, pipe bomb him, and contact the Chechen website mentioned earlier for an exit strategy.

Then two years later Jack Ryan finds me and personally executes me.
   3975. Greg K Posted: April 19, 2013 at 12:04 PM (#4419345)
There are lots of people who are intellectually gifted but relatively helpless when it comes to practical judgment or real-world logistics.


I went to school with plenty of them.

I am currently living with one, and my only room-mate moved out a months ago.
   3976. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 19, 2013 at 12:08 PM (#4419347)
Again, according to the arbitrary standard you're asking those you're in an asymmetrical power relationship to abide by. You're making it out to be a moral imperative-- but it's completely self-serving for someone in your situation.

I didn't make up the standard. It's hundreds of years of evolution of thought across many nations.

Glad to see that Christian moral compass is pointing you in the right direction.

You have a higher moral responsibility towards the people you ask to go in harms way.
   3977. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: April 19, 2013 at 12:09 PM (#4419348)
If this were a movie...cut my hair with the scissors I got from the convienence store, find a bum in the sewers, put my ID on him, take his, pipe bomb him, and contact the Chechen website mentioned earlier for an exit strategy.

Then two years later Jack Ryan finds me and personally executes me.



I think his path depends on if he has an accent. If he does, he needs to get to NYC where there is a huge Russian/Central Asian population that he can disappear into. He needs to lay low in Boston until the roadblocks and such are gone, then steal a car and drive down here (I presume any public transportation is not going to be available). And then he needs to grow as much facial hair as he can manage, dye and cut his hair and . . . even then, he's gonna get recognized with that schnozz and that chin. I can't figure a way to get him out of the country or to a plastic surgeon. And even though he can probably get construction work without papers in NYC, he'll be recognized.
   3978. zenbitz Posted: April 19, 2013 at 12:10 PM (#4419349)
If they wanted to maximize civilian deaths, shouldn't they haven targeted OSU stadium on game day? With multiple planes?
   3979. Dale Sams Posted: April 19, 2013 at 12:12 PM (#4419351)
Am I seeing pictures of actual soldiers searching Boston? That's..uhh..unusual isn't it?
   3980. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 19, 2013 at 12:14 PM (#4419353)
If they wanted to maximize civilian deaths, shouldn't they haven targeted OSU stadium on game day? With multiple planes?

See [3973]
   3981. BDC Posted: April 19, 2013 at 12:15 PM (#4419355)
Sam makes excellent points. If 9/11 was a crime, then it was inexcusable; if it was "war," as became the popular definition per Bush & Cheney, then, well, cities get bombed in warfare, and their bombers are combatants with Geneva rights and so forth. By the logic of war, it's as evil to just assassinate those who planned the bombing as it would have been for Germans to execute captured bomber pilots during WW2.

But, that said, there is a long tradition of controversy about the military legality and morality of bombing cities – including, early on, a sense that bombers were inherently war criminals (Sven Lindqvist's History of Bombing is essential reading on that issue). And (as we've seen even in this thread) it's still unresolved. And even when the targets are clearly military, there's something wronger about a surprise attack in peacetime than a bombing during a state of war. Pearl Harbor was a true military action, but it's always been seen as far more deplorable than the Japanese attack on Midway (which wasn't infamous at all, in a military-justice sense).

Edit for clarity

   3982. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 19, 2013 at 12:15 PM (#4419356)
Boston Bomb Suspect's Dad Tells Him to Surrender, Warns ' Hell Will Break Loose' if Son Dies


http://abcnews.go.com/US/boston-bomb-suspects-dad-tells-son-surrender-hell/story?id=18995936#.UXFtGbXU-5c

Terrorists' Dad making it sound like the apples didn't fall far from the tree.
   3983. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 19, 2013 at 12:18 PM (#4419358)
Sam makes excellent points. If 9/11 was a crime, then it was inexcusable; if it was "war," as became the popular definition per Bush & Cheney, then, well, cities get bombed in warfare, and their bombers are combatants with Geneva rights and so forth. By the logic of war, it's as evil to just assassinate those who planned the bombing as it would have been for Germans to execute captured bomber pilots during WW2.

There's still a distinction between legitimate war and illegitimate war.

A revolution can be a war, but the revolutionaries are usually not deemed legitimate combatants.
   3984. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: April 19, 2013 at 12:18 PM (#4419359)
I think his path depends on if he has an accent. If he does, he needs to get to NYC where there is a huge Russian/Central Asian population that he can disappear into. He needs to lay low in Boston until the roadblocks and such are gone, then steal a car and drive down here (I presume any public transportation is not going to be available). And then he needs to grow as much facial hair as he can manage, dye and cut his hair and . . . even then, he's gonna get recognized with that schnozz and that chin. I can't figure a way to get him out of the country or to a plastic surgeon. And even though he can probably get construction work without papers in NYC, he'll be recognized.


Apparently he has "hardly any accent." Not sure how far that would get him. I feel for the innocent people with accents in Boston until this guy is caught.
   3985. Dale Sams Posted: April 19, 2013 at 12:18 PM (#4419360)
Warns ' Hell Will Break Loose' if Son Dies


Pretty sure that alone can land one in Gitmo.
   3986. Greg K Posted: April 19, 2013 at 12:19 PM (#4419362)
1: Making the US leave the Arabian Peninsula
2: A recruiting tool- there are many Jihadi groups, but a "spectacular" attack against the Great Satan moved them right up to the tippy-top of the pile
3: Allegedly a goal was the economic collapse of the US/West
4: 1, 2 & 3 were strategic goals, killing as many people as possible was a primary TACTICAL goal meant to effectuate the strategic goals.


I always understood one of the goals of 9/11 was to get the US more involved in the Arab world. IE, provoke a response which in turn increases anti-American sentiment in the Arab world and develop some popular support with the religious extremists and topple the secular governments of the Arab world.

Of course that's not exactly based on extensive research or anything, so not saying I have great confidence in that interpretation.
   3987. Dale Sams Posted: April 19, 2013 at 12:21 PM (#4419363)
I do hope someone is getting ample footage of all the abandoned streets for the next last-man-on-Earth movie.
   3988. The Fallen Reputation of Billy Jo Robidoux Posted: April 19, 2013 at 12:31 PM (#4419366)
My current theory is that all of their education has separated "learning" from "reality". The former you do in order to get grades and promotions but it has no bearing on the latter. So, when presented with a very simple device, used in concepts they have studied for exams, they can't connect the two.


I've thought about something similar, and I think the difference is between understanding the logical connection between the words and concepts, and understanding the underlying physical processes. Attorneys like myself may have to understand a particular subject area (say, how car brakes function) for something, but not beyond rules/logical relationships. (The underlying physical processes are left to experts.)

The trap is that often attorneys think because they can grasp the former, they understand the latter.
   3989. BDC Posted: April 19, 2013 at 12:31 PM (#4419367)
There's still a distinction between legitimate war and illegitimate war

True enough. Partisans, spies, and combatants who use inappropriate deceit forfeit some rights (ideally speaking, of course).

If everybody forfeits all their rights to begin with, it's not war, and it's not a criminal investigation either; it's an open shooting gallery. No wonder the zombie apocalypse is the compelling modern American mythos.
   3990. Steve Treder Posted: April 19, 2013 at 12:48 PM (#4419381)
I always understood one of the goals of 9/11 was to get the US more involved in the Arab world. IE, provoke a response which in turn increases anti-American sentiment in the Arab world and develop some popular support with the religious extremists and topple the secular governments of the Arab world.

Whether that particular motive was Bin Laden's or not, it certainly would have been a smart one for him to have. One of the major themes of the protests against the Iraq invasion was that it appeared to be just such a blatant play right into Bin Laden's hands, all the moreso to the degree that it took focus and resources away from the manhunt against him.

It's unknowable, of course, but an interesting question to ponder is the linkage between the Iraq War, the radicalization of young Arabs, and the Arab Spring.
   3991. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: April 19, 2013 at 12:49 PM (#4419383)
I didn't make up the standard. It's hundreds of years of evolution of thought across many nations.


Applied only by those in power, when it suited their interests, and not by those who were fighting the power of the day. By your definition Francis Marion was a terrorist.
   3992. ASmitty Posted: April 19, 2013 at 12:50 PM (#4419384)
The trap is that often attorneys think because they can grasp the former, they understand the latter.


Truth. I did some work in malpractice for a while; all of the doctors fancied themselves lawyers, and all of the lawyers fancied themselves doctors.
   3993. Repoz Posted: April 19, 2013 at 12:51 PM (#4419387)
Seems Alina Tsarnaeva lives right down the block from me.

Media circus in West New York near home of Boston bombing suspects' sister

They couldn't catch Richard Kuklinski in town...but they sure as #### found Alina Tsarnaeva.
   3994. Ray (RDP) Posted: April 19, 2013 at 12:53 PM (#4419390)
Evidence that these guys were all that smart? (I'm not sure if Zop was joking earlier.) It doesn't take much brilliance to build a bomb and drop it off in a crowd. And:

* They didn't hide their faces.
* They didn't escape afterwards.
* They didn't seem to have much of a plan, or even contemplate that they might be ID'd.
* They started the beginning of the end by needing to carjack/rob a convenience store...

I grant it takes some smarts to evade a manhunt of this magnitude for several hours.
   3995. Ray (RDP) Posted: April 19, 2013 at 12:54 PM (#4419391)
Yes. But there's nothing to prevent you saying roughly, "We're going after Bin Laden. Anybody who gets in our way is presumed hostile."


Yes.
   3996. Dale Sams Posted: April 19, 2013 at 12:55 PM (#4419392)
I grant it takes some smarts to evade a manhunt of this magnitude for several hours.


I still have Tommy Lee Jones in my head saying, "He got away???"
   3997. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 19, 2013 at 12:55 PM (#4419393)
Applied only by those in power, when it suited their interests, and not by those who were fighting the power of the day. By your definition Francis Marion was a terrorist.

I'd say partisan and illegal combatant; at least until the US Gov't was recognized by foreign powers.
   3998. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: April 19, 2013 at 12:57 PM (#4419395)
Glad to see that Christian moral compass is pointing you in the right direction.

You have a higher moral responsibility towards the people you ask to go in harms way.

There is no draft anymore. We aren't asking anybody, they are volunteering. The moral calculus, where innocent non-partisans become a lower priority, than people who have accepted to be paid specifically to assume that risk, is reprehensible.
   3999. Ron J2 Posted: April 19, 2013 at 12:57 PM (#4419396)
Ruslan Tsarni (uncle of Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnayev) says, “Of course we are ashamed!”

Calls his nephews, "losers". And is careful to include his brother in the list of losers.
   4000. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: April 19, 2013 at 12:59 PM (#4419400)
Again, not the international consensus. The rules of war state that only nation-states have the right to declare war. Anyone else risks being deemed illegitimate, and can expect none of the rights of legitimate combatants.

Not sure about that. We declared war against a-Q on September 18, 2001. If a-Q is weighty enough to have war declared upon it, it seems entirely inconsistent to say that it can't itself declare war.

Very technically, of course, the AUMF wasn't a formal declaration of war in the old-school sense, but it was an authorization to use force. I see no reason a-Q wouldn't have the parallel right to authorize itself to use force.

And, it stands to reason, that if it could do so on September 18, 2001, it could do so on September 10, 2001. It was essentially the same organization on both days.

The suggestion isn't that a-Q has no right to defend itself against the force authorized by the AUMF, it it?
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