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Drones are the way to go

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Re: Drones are the way to go

Postby hobbyguy » Feb 10th, 2013, 10:02 am

The core of the issue with drones surrounds their transition from observer status to combatant status. Rather inevitable, just as manned aircraft transitioned from "observers" to true combatants in WWI. I'm sure that there were many cavalry officers who considered the things (aircraft) to be, well, "just not cricket".

Can't say as I blame the Pakistani folks for being upset. We'd not be very happy if the US deployed these killing machines in Canada.

The question of the legitimacy of assasinations by governments is key to this, not so much the weaponry per se. Can any government claim legitimacy in targeting individuals in foreign countries, or their own country, for assasination? Doesn't really matter if it is done with Drones or Navy Seals.

Can't be Pollyanna about this, as there are some pretty bad folks out there.

But who decides? If you don't have the death penalty for domestic criminals (think folks like Clifford Olsen, for whom I think a 29 cent solution would have been appropriate), how do you square that? If you do have the death penalty for domestic criminals, there is a judicial process (however flawed), how do you square that with some "senior official" in the CIA making the call?

Don't want to do this at all? Think about the fair and legitimate process of the Taliban deciding that Ameer Mallala was dangerous to their way of thinking? Would those folks respond to reason and ethical argument? I think not.

Jihadists and other bad guys don't give a hoot about process. They simply make a reactive choice, and try to impose their will by violent means. Arguably, folks who promote such indiscriminate violence, death and destruction are not part of any civil society. They move in quickly and melt away when faced with a 'fair" fight - pretty much the definition of cowardly bullies. The reaction is that they are not deserving of any due process.

However, if we are to maintain civil society, then a due process must exist. Otherwise, they have a win in their efforts to undermine civil society. But how to provide such a process without completely surrendering to the reality of these folks who hide in failed or failing states (sorry Pakistan, but you seem to be slipping into that category)? "Boots on the ground" doesn't seem to work, and you can't apprehend them and provide trials. But you can just let them do their thing.

Drone attacks kill a lot fewer civilians than "boots on the ground".

Messy though. But in a messy world.

It will be interesting to see what evolves from the current discussion of drone policy in the US.
We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both. - Louis D. Brandeis
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Re: Drones are the way to go

Postby steven lloyd » Feb 10th, 2013, 10:16 am

Great post hobbyguy. Great points made. Certainly, those people and governments that support the cowardly tactics of terrorists as you have described have little moralistic high ground in making any critical comment on the use of drones. And I’m including those who “melt away when faced with a fair fight”, blow themselves up in tactics designed to kill innocents, or hide behind their own citizens while attacking their enemy. War creates collateral damage, but unlike terrorist attacks, drone strikes are not carried out with the intent to solely cause collateral damage among non-combatants. Despite what ethical arguments might be made, drones have and are proving themselves to be highly efficient in taking out high value targets with far less chance of collateral damage than a “boots on the ground” mission.
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Re: Drones are the way to go

Postby kibbs » Feb 10th, 2013, 10:19 am

Drones work better.They are showing that drone killing can be traumatic to the pilots to.Drone technology has become so simple that it wont be long before the enemy has them to.Then it will be drone wars.
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Re: Drones are the way to go

Postby steven lloyd » Feb 10th, 2013, 10:25 am

kibbs wrote: Drone technology has become so simple that it wont be long before the enemy has them to.

We already have the technology to shoot missiles out of the sky – something many people used to say would be impossible (like trying to hit a moving bullet with another bullet). I suspect shooting drones out of the sky will not be too onerous a task. We also have staging grounds overseas for our drones (these things don’t fly over oceans – yet), and I don’t think Mexico, or even Cuba wants to be identified as a country a drone strike was launched from.
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Re: Drones are the way to go

Postby kibbs » Feb 10th, 2013, 10:36 am

We also have staging grounds overseas for our drones (these things don’t fly over oceans – yet), and I don’t think Mexico, or even Cuba wants to be identified as a country a drone strike was launched from.

you could load one in a pickup drive it to downtown Toronto and take out the cn tower .No missile could stop that.They are just radio controlled planes using gps.Any one could build one in a barn.
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Re: Drones are the way to go

Postby steven lloyd » Feb 10th, 2013, 10:44 am

kibbs wrote: you could load one in a pickup drive it to downtown Toronto and take out the cn tower .No missile could stop that.They are just radio controlled planes using gps.Any one could build one in a barn.

What type of ordance on you going to carry on your home made drone kibbs ?
Enough to put a black smudge on the side of the tower ?
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Re: Drones are the way to go

Postby kibbs » Feb 10th, 2013, 10:58 am

What type of ordance on you going to carry on your home made drone kibbs ?
Enough to put a black smudge on the side of the tower ?

if you can build a drone a misile cant be that hard either
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Re: Drones are the way to go

Postby steven lloyd » Feb 10th, 2013, 11:07 am

okee dokee :127:
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Re: Drones are the way to go

Postby SurplusElect » Feb 11th, 2013, 9:30 am

hobbyguy wrote:Jihadists and other bad guys don't give a hoot about process.


Now that drone strikes are a legitimate process, neither do we.

We target homes and blow them up, wait 2 hours until people show up to evacuate the wounded - then bomb the house again. Anyone thinking we were "above that" prior to drone strikes needs to realize why these people are fighting us in the first place. They brought the fight back to us, and we walked all over our "values" in the process. They have already won.

Drone attacks kill a lot fewer civilians than "boots on the ground".


...because it would be illegal and a act of war to send troops into these countries. Also, civilian deaths are extreme in drone strikes. Unconfirmed information leads to a strike on a house and there is no way of telling who is inside. I challenge this statement. Troops on the ground would not lob grenades into homes with unknown occupants because they would have to check inside afterwards - the proximity to the carnage. A guy in a air conditioned office 4000km's away can push a button and not blink - and hit a McDonald's Drive thru on his way home and not have to think twice about it.
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Re: Drones are the way to go

Postby hobbyguy » Feb 13th, 2013, 10:30 pm

Surplus, I agree that the necessity of the drone actions poses some really difficult moral and ethical problems.

Perhaps the first moral and ethical question to ask is: Do you just let evil folk (like the Taliban that tried kill Ameer) just walk away?

The conclusion I reach, and bear in mind that I deplore violence, is basically "live the sword, die by the sword".

The difference with drones is that a drone is a much longer range weapon than the AK-47's or IED's these jerks like to use, and with which they kill hundreds every day, and destroy the lives of hundreds more.

Hard choices, and unpleasantly messy - but to stand by and do nothing doesn't seem to be an attractive option.
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Re: Drones are the way to go

Postby SurplusElect » Feb 14th, 2013, 8:28 am

hobbyguy wrote:Perhaps the first moral and ethical question to ask is: Do you just let evil folk (like the Taliban that tried kill Ameer) just walk away?

Hard choices, and unpleasantly messy - but to stand by and do nothing doesn't seem to be an attractive option.


How about first identify why these people are engaging in terrorist acts.

...because "the west" has been engaging in terrorism against them for at least half a century.

So right now you say - these men are evil - therefore we must "put aside our good ways" and be evil like them to defeat them.

First problem - we were always evil like them.
Second problem - they want us to shed our values and ways - it exposes the hypocrisy that we "believe" we are good- yet we engage in terror campaigns around the globe.
Third problem - We're afraid, they're not. We doubt, they believe. It will never stop until we do.

Watch the leaked "Collateral Murder" video. Listen to what Osama Bin Laden said in regards to why he did what he did. You wont stop them by illegally bombing their families and children. That breeds the next generation of terrorists. Right now there are probably 100,000+ fatherless 5-12 year old children in Iraq with a chip on their shoulder and guess where they are setting their sights?

When you fight evil with evil - when you "win" whats left?

Evil.

Serious questions. Hard questions.
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Re: Drones are the way to go

Postby hobbyguy » Feb 14th, 2013, 10:32 am

I agree that western countries really don't have much of a "moral high ground" in many respects.

However we are trying to get past the systematic horrors that have dogged our pasts. Our culture makes it harder and harder to hide abusive and reprehensible situations. Many of the institutions that have perpetuated oppression and abuse are slowly eroding away. Too slowly, but slowly. Residential schools are gone (but not forgotten). Things like the Irish Magdalene laundries are going. We are confronting these things.

My observation is that the Jihadists want to perpetuate what we know are abusive situations, codes of behaviour, and institutions.

They want theocracy. I can not think of a single theocratic that stands up to any kind of moral and ethical scrutiny.
They don't want education, especially for women. Why? Because education is the water that erodes the mountain of intolerance they come from and want to perpetuate.

Western society has a long way to go, but in general has come a long way. These guys don't even want to get on the path.

If they choose to take up the sword, then we have little option. If they choose to put down the sword, then I would hope that we have come far enough to do the same. We do need to be very cautious though, as there are folks who like the sword, and will promulgate lies in order to use it (WMD in Iraq comes to mind).

I do agree that it will a long time to heal the wounds. But they can heal, Viet Nam comes to mind as an example of healing wounds - but it will probably take a generation.

In the mean time, using drones makes it tough on these characters, and minimizes the damage.
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Re: Drones are the way to go

Postby SurplusElect » Feb 14th, 2013, 1:27 pm

hobbyguy wrote:They want theocracy. I can not think of a single theocratic that stands up to any kind of moral and ethical scrutiny. They don't want education, especially for women. Why? Because education is the water that erodes the mountain of intolerance they come from and want to perpetuate.

Western society has a long way to go, but in general has come a long way. These guys don't even want to get on the path.


Ah, but they have the right to their own society. We now delve into cultural questions. While they refuse to educate women, we chose to whore them out to sell cars and cell phones. Who is better?

They want to be left alone, we want their land because it valuable - and thus - we demonize their society in order to justify our actions.

In the mean time, using drones makes it tough on these characters, and minimizes the damage


Obviously I disagree. Now "the enemy" has free range to use drones against us - that is - targeting our people in our own land. This is all circumventing due process, mind you. No courts, no rules. Not only that - one drone strike that takes out a few children breeds how many new terrorists? We already have turned a entire country that harbors these people "against us" by flying into their airspace with drones and to take out Osama Bin Laden. Now Pakistan will never help the US. Ect ect.

Did the Iraq war make things safer - we will find out when the children of Iraq grow up, wont we?
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Re: Drones are the way to go

Postby Captain Awesome » Feb 14th, 2013, 4:04 pm

hobbyguy wrote:In the mean time, using drones makes it tough on these characters, and minimizes the damage.


Pretty much. Without getting into discussion on why war is bad and how violent the world is...

Drones are only tools. You want to kill some terrorists - doesn't really matter how it's done - with drones, planes, or parachuting Marines into battle and cutting their heads off with knives. End result - bad guys are dead. If they make it safe to do - hey, by all means use drones ....
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Re: Drones are the way to go

Postby SurplusElect » Feb 14th, 2013, 4:08 pm

Nuclear bombs are tools. Lets just illegally drop them on countries. We might kill some children and innocents - but better than risking our own troops. It worked in Japan.

...it could never come back on us, right?
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