Obama apparently doesn't sign off on drone strikes now, CIA just does it themselves


Did he ever say no to one anyway?

And why is it relevant that this time one of the innocent victims was American?

“As president and as commander in chief, I take full responsibility for all our counterterrorism operations,” the grim-faced president told reporters as television cameras broadcast his words. “I profoundly regret what happened,” he added. “On behalf of the United States government, I offer our deepest apologies to the families.”

I wonder when he is going to apologize to the ?thousands? of other families who also had innocent family members killed in US drone strikes?

When Will Obama Apologize for All the Other Innocent Victims of Drone Strikes?


Taking full responsibility would entail confessing to war crimes and accepting the punishment. What he actually means is that he’ll be grim-faced on camera when he condones murder.


However, even if he really is fully responsible, he’s not solely responsible. This isn’t about individuals making unethical decisions, but about an entire system.

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It’s about both, I think. It’s true that no one is solely responsible, but the system can’t exist without individuals making unethical decisions.


This problem isn’t exclusive to drones. A pilot dropping a bomb would have had the same result. Instead of worrying about drones and who authorized what, let’s just stop dropping bombs on countries we are not at war with.


what, let’s just stop dropping bombs on countries we are not at war with.

We’ll probably be at war with Yemen, and Pakistan, and Libya, and …, then.

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I’m not so sure there is the political will to declare war on an actual nation. Wars against abstract concepts that can never be won is the name of the game these days.

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How abstract is ISIS?

Are we at war with ISIS? I do remember this:
“We’re engaged in a counter-terrorism operation of a significant order. And counter-terrorism operations can take a long time, they go on. I think ‘war’ is the wrong reference term with respect to that.” - Secretary of State John Kerry

ISIS is real and the countries they are attacking are certainly in a state of war. In fact, ISIS is trying to form a nation. They are far from an abstract concept. I just don’t remember them attacking the U.S. or the declaration of war against ISIS by congress.


The “Golden Bough” book describes some indigenous societies where the leader serves the term, and then is sacrificed to the gods.

A variant, where the leader who starts a war gets ceremonially killed after his term could do a lot of good to all of us. If the civilians’ lives are worth the sacrifice, the politico’s one certainly has such worth too.


I was thinking the same thing at first. But the difference is that drones are a “risk-less” option from the standpoint of the military deploying them. That makes it easier to send them out more frequently with less oversight and properly vetted intel since no pilots are at risk. At least that’s my guess.


Not very surprising. He was probably getting carpal tunnel syndrome from signing all those things.


Two Tribes

Because the American government doesn’t really care if it kills non-Americans*.

*unless we kill some citizen of a close ally.

Pretty abstract.

Are they a terrorist group? Yep.
Are they a government? In some areas, yep.
Are they a religious movement? Yep.
Are they different things to their different opportunistic members? Yep.
Are they firmly convinced that they are exceptional in the world? Yep.
Are they openly doing terrible things in the furtherance of their cause and their individual goals? Yep.

Are we? Well, not openly.

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Wordy, as comics go. (Also, contains spoilers.)

Order of the Stick #763

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As that was more complicated than I remembered, I’ll point out that what brought it to mind was the idea that someone might cheerfully agree to the bargain that they’ll die at the end of their term, knowing they can be a tyrant until that moment.


That would be why he’s not bothering any more.