Ted Rall by Ted Rall

Ted Rall

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  1. Rad-ish

    Rad-ish GoComics PRO Member said, over 2 years ago

    The proposal to give drone pilots combat medals—despite the fact that the pilots sit safely thousands of miles away from the battlefield—is revealing. Technology is radically altering warfare, and it seems inevitable that military medals will need to evolve, too.
    .
    http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/future_tense/2012/08/drone_pilots_deserve_military_medals.html

  2. MiepR

    MiepR said, over 2 years ago

    Shocked, I tell you.

  3. MiepR

    MiepR said, over 2 years ago

    Radish: thanks for the link. I’m sure all the veterans with amputated limbs and chronic PTSD are very interested in this talk of giving medals to remote drone operators.
    That has got to be one of the stupidest articles I’ve read in some time.

  4. MiepR

    MiepR said, over 2 years ago

    Medals should be about heroism. They should be about risking one’s own self for the sake of others. They should be about unusual and extraordinary selflessness, and they should not be locked into warfare.
    Giving a medal to some drone-operating desk jockey insults everyone who fits into the above category. This idea is not only profoundly insulting to older war vets, but also really stupid. If they want to give brownie points to drone-operators, they should invent another way to do it, if they have any sense, which apparently they don’t. And I don’t even like the military or support any of these wars.

  5. omQ R

    omQ R said, over 2 years ago

    @Rad-ish

    Cheers, Radish; interesting and illuminating.
    I’m curious to hear the defence of this mode of combat in Yemen, Afghanistan & Waziristan in Pakistan. I mentioned this study a couple of weeks ago while making quite clear my position about this on this forum and, surprisingly, I even had folks from the left actually defend this practice.
    How does that song’s lyrics go?: “Home of the brave…?”
    Must make you all proud, beat upon your chest and salute…something.

  6. Michael wme

    Michael wme said, over 2 years ago

    First, under US law, everyone killed by a drone strike (or any other use of lethal force ordered by the President of the US) is guilty of being a criminal enemy terrorist. So the Stanford-NYU study is legally wrong.


    Second, the US government has a deep, abiding respect for innocent life, and if the US government felt forced to kill anyone, that is a fortiori proof of guilt.


    Third, the US government has Top Secret evidence of the irrefutable guilt of every single person killed in those drone strikes, information not available to the Stanford NYU study, so there is absolutely no way they could prove the innocence of anyone killed. So the report is traitorous and evil. The US government always tells the TRVTH, the whole TRVTH (except for the classified bits), and nothing but the TRVTH (except for stuff needed to mislead the enemies of the US)


    Fourth, the US is the greatest Force for Good in the world, so those it kills were all, without exception, agents of Evil.


    To paraphrase Trudeau’s comment about the Israelis killing Palestinians from many years back, the US is only killing evil terrorists: men terrorists, women terrorists, and baby terrorists.


    And only 1-in-50 Americans has the slightest qualms. In the New York Times, an article about the drone strikes (pro, of course) allowed comments, and the big argument was about how much credit Obama deserved for the actions of those brave American heroes who are keeping the world safe from evil. The Obamabots said we must be grateful to Obama, or we’d all be dead in our beds from terrorist attacks. The Right Wing said that, since he’s a native Kenyan, the US military refused to accept him as CinC, and he deserves none of the credit. (Gail Collins reports that most Republicans agree that Mitt has been acting CinC since ’09, and deserves the credit.)


    And almost everyone who commented on the article agreed that those piloting the drones were great heroes!

  7. SwimsWithSharks

    SwimsWithSharks GoComics PRO Member said, over 2 years ago

    I’m pretty sure that 1 in 50 ratio is way better than the conviction rate for Gitmo detainees.

  8. mikefive

    mikefive said, over 2 years ago

    The 2% is actually the number killed classed as “militant leaders”. (page 31) Worst case scenario from data sources for this report seems to be 34% (881 civilians of 2,562 total deaths—Page 45). Best scenario was 5.3%. (2,716 “militants”, 152 civilians, 130-268 “unknowns”) Also page 45. The rest of “Chapter 2: Numbers” concerns commentary on the numbers that is worth reading. As you can see, these numbers vary wildly.

    If there were an award for disingenuous editorial cartoons, this one would have to be one of the top nominees for that award.

  9. mikefive

    mikefive said, over 2 years ago

    @Michael wme

    “Fourth, the US is the greatest Force for Good in the world, so those it kills were all, without exception, agents of Evil.”

    In the movie “The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly”, “The Good” wasn’t that good. He just wasn’t as bad as the others. Take your pick.

  10. lonecat

    lonecat said, over 2 years ago

    What counts as terror and what counts as a legitimate military action?

  11. omQ R

    omQ R said, over 2 years ago

    @mikefive

    said “If there were an award for disingenuous editorial cartoons, this one would have to be one of the top nominees for that award.”

    I’d say you are being rather disingenuous, too.

    From the website http://livingunderdrones.org:
    “Drone Strike Accuracy and Effectiveness in Hampering Armed Violence”

    Excerpt:
    “Strikes that kill low-level fighters are of dubious value to US security interests. This is particularly true in light of revelations that the US counts all killed adult males as “combatants,” absent exonerating evidence.In other words, claims that drones have killed hundreds of low-level fighters may well mask the deaths of civilians.”
    Source:
    Secret ‘Kill List’ Proves a Test of Obama’s Principles and Will
    - NY Times 2012-05-29

    " It is also because Mr. Obama embraced a disputed method for counting civilian casualties that did little to box him in. It in effect counts all military-age males in a strike zone as combatants, according to several administration officials, unless there is explicit intelligence posthumously proving them innocent.

    Counterterrorism officials insist this approach is one of simple logic: people in an area of known terrorist activity, or found with a top Qaeda operative, are probably up to no good. “Al Qaeda is an insular, paranoid organization — innocent neighbors don’t hitchhike rides in the back of trucks headed for the border with guns and bombs,” said one official, who requested anonymity to speak about what is still a classified program.

    This counting method may partly explain the official claims of extraordinarily low collateral deaths. In a speech last year Mr. Brennan, Mr. Obama’s trusted adviser, said that not a single noncombatant had been killed in a year of strikes. And in a recent interview, a senior administration official said that the number of civilians killed in drone strikes in Pakistan under Mr. Obama was in the “single digits” — and that independent counts of scores or hundreds of civilian deaths unwittingly draw on false propaganda claims by militants.

    But in interviews, three former senior intelligence officials expressed disbelief that the number could be so low. The C.I.A. accounting has so troubled some administration officials outside the agency that they have brought their concerns to the White House. One called it “guilt by association” that has led to “deceptive” estimates of civilian casualties.

    “It bothers me when they say there were seven guys, so they must all be militants,” the official said. “They count the corpses and they’re not really sure who they are.” "

  12. omQ R

    omQ R said, over 2 years ago

    @mikefive

    pointed out “In the movie “The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly”, “The Good” wasn’t that good. He just wasn’t as bad as the others. Take your pick”
    The latter two, thanks.

    May I also ask why is it that Americans seem to take their moral cues from movies? This isn’t the first time I’ve had Americans on this forum suggest movies as a source or basis in establishing their points of view or morals.
    May I therefore suggest a book by William Lederer and Eugene Burdick? They’ve made a couple of movies from it: “The Ugly American”

  13. furnituremaker

    furnituremaker said, over 2 years ago

    Dresden…Hiroshima

  14. denis1112

    denis1112 said, over 2 years ago

    furnituremaker said, about 1 hour ago

    Dresden…Hiroshima
    London,Rotterdam,Coventry,Warsaw,Helinski,Beijing,Shanghai,Belgade and Wesel to name a few more.

  15. denis1112

    denis1112 said, over 2 years ago

    What would Ossama have done with a B 52 on 9/11/2001?He just used airliners to attack civilians.He did attack the Pentagon but that wasn’t as effective as the world trade center.I have to wonder what they were thinking.They thought the response would be the same as if the dems had been in charge.Harsh language but not much else.

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