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NEW YORK — In response to a court order in a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union, the Obama administration has released a redacted version of the White House document that sets out the government’s policy framework for drone strikes “outside the United States and areas of actual hostilities.”
The Presidential Policy Guidance, once known as “the Playbook,” was issued by President Obama in May 2013 following promises of more transparency and stricter controls for the drone program. But while the administration released a short “fact sheet” describing the document, it did not release the PPG itself, or any part of it.
Blowing people up in a dessert cannot, by any stretch of imagination, make our people safer. It makes enemies and does their work for them. They must save an awful lot of money on propaganda, considering all these civilian deaths and what not.
I have no time for safety what so ever, save that which I provide for myself. If I die a free man, whose nation is not dishonoured, it's name not blackened by nefarious dealings, it's people not bent under the weight of its leaderships stupidity both at home and abroad, then I will die a happy man. I cannot say I would find the same peace, with things being what they are however.
originally posted by: TrueBrit
a reply to: enlightenedservant
So the examples were bad.
The point is that something needs doing about these morons in high places.
Most of the people in charge of those policies aren't in elected positions, so it's not like we can vote them out, recall them, or fire them. And clearly both major "sides" of the political spectrum agree with their collateral damage policies, which is why we've been doing it for who knows how many decades.
The aim of the missions was to track, and when the conditions were deemed right, kill suspected insurgents. That’s not how they put it, though. They would talk about “cutting the grass before it grows out of control”, or “pulling the weeds before they overrun the lawn”.
And then there were the children. The airmen would be flying the Predators over a village in the tribal areas of Pakistan, say, when a series of smaller black shadows would appear across their screens – telling them that kids were at the scene.
They called them “fun-sized terrorists”.
Haas is one of four former air force drone operators and technicians who as a group have come forward to the Guardian to register their opposition to the ongoing reliance on the technology as the US military’s modern weaponry of choice. Between them, the four men clocked up more than 20 years of direct experience at the coalface of lethal drone programs and were credited with having assisted in the targeted killings of hundreds of people in conflict zones – many of them almost certainly civilians.
According to retired Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, a Vietnam veteran who served as chief of staff for Secretary of State Colin Powell and is now a visiting professor of government and public policy at the College of William and Mary, America's drone wars are a call to arms for its enemies. "The way we operate now, it is difficult not to conclude that drones feed terrorist recruitment," he says. "There is a cowardly empire killing them from the skies and the only way for them to fight back is asymmetrical. The things they do seem like heinous acts of terrorism to us, but in fact that is the only option we've left them with.'"
originally posted by: Kandinsky
a reply to: enlightenedservant
We'll never be rid of wars as conflict is a part of the human condition. There'll always be a greedier leader to justify the eternal battle between sword and shield. We'll always have armed forces. That's realpolitik with power being permanently negotiable. That's me acknowledging that I'm neither dove nor hawk - war has always been a part of life.
Still, I agree that both (or all) sides are dragging us down the crooked path. Conflict is escalating with every atrocity committed to the point I've been feeling negative about the future. Not my future, but the one that's left for the next two or three generations.
The Play Book's slippery definitions of combatants/belligerents/HVT/civilian makes anyone fair game under 'extraordinary circumstances.' The terrorist cells and enemies of the West have their own terminology that makes us all equally fair game. It has the potential to polarise the world back into blocs and put millions of people across the world under a system that only worsens.
I worry that nobody has the political will and courage to try and roll back from where we're all headed. It's a fact that no current world leader is capable of brokering more peace and less war. So we're looking 4-5 years ahead with no realistic prospect of entente cordiale or conflict stasis - it's mission creep on all sides.
Honestly, I blame the voters for the this. In many countries, pacifists are seem as weak or cowardly. So the majority of voters intentionally choose people who are belligerent and pro-war. Sometimes, it come from fear or a desire for safety from perceived bogeymen. But other times, it comes from a love of war, a desire to control other countries, and/or the "glory" that comes with being a conqueror.
So we can't really blame politicians for the warlike atmosphere when it's the citizens who seem to embrace war the most.