Obama is sorry for drone-killing two Western victims. What about all the other innocents?


#1

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#2

Hashtag #brownlivesmatter, -hell, every life matters, even the ones without a US passport!


#3

Dead brown people aren’t nearly as much of a problem for this adminstration as are brown people in Gitmo.


#4

This amoral, jingoistic, war mongering pathetic excuse for a leader is a fine example of modern politic.


#5

Aren’t all presidents warmongers?


#6

These days… yes. But look at Thomas Jefferson and James Monroe. They created the non-intervention policy that survived until 1899.
Wilson kept us out of war for about 7 years and won his second term with the slogan “He kept us out of war”.

Since WWII… not so much


#7

" They created the non-intervention policy that survived until 1899."

Unless, of course, you count the War of 1812, the Mexican War, the Utah Mormon War, the Spanish-American War, the Philippine War, the Moro rebellion and about three dozen or so Indian Wars.

Other than all that, you’re right – it was a perfect Eden of nonintervention.


#8

Those were defensive or internal and not interventionist.


#9

Not true. After a number of provocations, mainly involving impressment, Indians and trade restrictions, in 1812 the US declared War on Britain, not the other way around. It was a war of American aggression.

The Spanish American War was a war of aggression deliberately launched for territorial expansion. The Mexican war was also about territorial expansion. Specifically, a strip of land that had always be considered part of Mexico became part of American simply because a lot of Americans moved in and colonized it. Rather than negotiate a settlement, James K. Polk declared war and forced a settlement.

You may think of Indian wars as internal but that is retroactively imposing a 20th century perspective. Native American tribes were always regarded as independent nations. That’s why we negotiated treaties with them whereas we never negotiated a treaty with Kentucky or New York City. There’s a very important reason for this. If Native American affairs were regarded as internal, then Native Americans would have had full protection of rights under the Constitution and deliberate government polices of extermination (Phillip Sheridan’s term) would not have been possible. Certainly Red Cloud and Geronimo never regarded themselves as part of the US.

So none of those were defensive, and to the extent that they were about seizing territory by force (which they basically all were to some extent or other), they were most definitely interventionist.Even the War of 1812 partly involved territorial expansion into lands ruled by Tecumseh, who was supported by the British.


#10

The why is very important. During the Napoleonic Wars, the French and English imposed economic sanctions on the U.S. and the English were using impressment to abduct U.S. citizens. That’s not intervention, that’s a sovereign nations reaction to external forces.

Far from factual. They attacked a U.S. warship known as the Main. Cuba wanted independence from Spain and the U.S. was sympathetic. That’s another reaction to external aggression.

Mexico declared war on the U.S. for annexing Texas at the request of Texans.

It’s internal simply because there was no intervention with an outside nation.


#11

I think @pjcamp is referring to the fact that American not only go to wars with other nations, but also committed war crimes themselves; way before WW2.

It was less of intervention, and more of hate crime against the marginalized group of people outside of one’s own culture.


#12

I’m not defending anything other than my statement that the U.S. maintained a non-intervention policy for quite a long time. As for war crimes and hate, that’s another topic entirely.


#13

Uh… We promise we’ll get them next time?


#14

Interesting debate you two are having but this seems like a bit of a stretch. Surely every reaction to external forces is an intervention and every intervention concerning aliens is a a reaction to external forces.
It’s not quite sophistry to try to so delineate the methodologies employed within the context of environmental politik, but I feel it’s shaky because the formulation seems to have emerged from an attempt to strengthen a personal proposition within a debate.


#15

Surely not.
Interventionism is a nation’s activity which is proactive and non-defensive. Therefore, reactive responses cannot be considered interventionist.
Let me put this simply. If you are attacked and enter in to a war as a means of defense, that cannot be considered an interventionist action. If you attack a country without first being attacked then you can be said to have intervened in the course of another nation.


#16

Isn’t this the hinge upon which the debate of modern, preemptive warfare swings?

“We weren’t intervening because they would have constituted a threat had we not been so proactive.”

I’m not attempting to differentiate as a method of undermining an argument, more pointing out that the definitions have become so mired in the politics of war as to be useless labels.

“Against a dark background”


#17

A politician misusing a word to defend their actions does not change the meaning of said word nor does it render the word meaningless. Only the misuse by the politician is meaningless.
When a politician uses the word viable to describe a 5 month old fetus, the meaning of the word viable is not then altered due to its most recent (mis)use.


#18

But when the entirety of international warfare is preemptive intervention without the legal consequences of interfering in the machinations of a sovereign nation, what does that mean for the political reality of all war mongering nations? We bear the responsibility for such misuse and merely using argumentation that defaults to appeals to interpret using the letter of the law or the ‘official’ meaning of a situation is tantamount to sticking our heads in the sand. These types of arguments, wherein people stick fastidiously to definitions which may very well be true but which do not capture reality at all have always struck me as very weak sauce.

If enough people capitulate to the politicians misuse of such terms then by definition the words themselves change meaning. We are responsible for this redefinition in the same way we are responsible for allowing our politicians to perpetuate crimes against humanity without holding them responsible for such. It’s a mess.


#19

So don’t capitulate… The meaning of the word does not change due to political misuse and we aren’t responsible for any redefinition due to misuse. That’s farcicle and without merit. Insisting that words have definite meanings is not sticking our heads in the sands… Accepting the misuse of our language and allowing it to become meaningless would be sticking our heads in the sand. While I generally agree with Wittgenstein’s view on language, I don’t believe that stance is applicable to a discussion on the politcal stance of the U.S. over 100 years ago. No, I think we can use the word as generally defined.

You do realize I was talking about the non-interventionist stance of the U.S. during the 19th and late 18th centuries right?


#21

My defacto capitulation is not without protest but unless I can overthrow a government (I wouldn’t, couldn’t, stop reading my posts damn spooks) myself then I am responsible for those war crimes whether or not I’m a conscientious objector.

And, again, I do not accept such misuse but when everyone else does, by not holding politicians personally responsible for war crimes, the environment of politics and language shifts about us.

I do realise and I’m not really disagreeing with you except to point out that the realities of the modern conception of self-exculpatory warfare uses exactly the kinds of arguments you are using to redefine what it is doing to be legal and moral instead of and criminal and unconscionable.