Two U.S. presidents and a reality show host announce deaths of terrorists in amusing montage

Originally published at: Two U.S. presidents and a reality show host announce deaths of terrorists in amusing montage | Boing Boing


You can dress it up however you like, but it’s still state-sponsored assassination.


One of the many, many disturbing things about Trump is how frequently he talks about dogs as creatures deserving of contempt and abuse.


That’s not even the most disturbing part. These kinds of strikes almost invariably kill innocents that happen to be in the area, and given the circumstances I’m sure that was the case this time.

Blowing up a cave in the middle of nowhere when your enemy isn’t currently attacking you is bad enough, but launching two missiles into a downtown area?? That’s definitely not justifiable.

Edit to add:
Maybe, per another report, the missile they used was a non-explosive type that didn’t kill anyone else. I certainly hope that’s true.


Assassination is the fast gun of any state in the world that has the power to do it discretely or in good service to the wider community.

The post rhetoric is just rhetoric.

[there is mild sarcasm in this comment but the intent is strong]

Such a big difference language to appeal to the professional/adult vs. emotional ends of the spectrum.


One of these three spends a lot of time talking about the person killed, with an uncomfortable amount of enthusiasm (“I got to watch a lot of it!”) whereas the other two talk about much more somber elements around the killing.

It’s a lot like listening to a child vs adult, I’m afraid.


AGM-114R9X missiles are laser guided kinetic kill weapons that carry no explosives. They deliver a 45kg cluster of six blades to an area roughly the size of a double door. They were designed to precisely target a specific person while minimizing the risks to others nearby.

I’ve seen tweets (completely unconfirmed) that the son and son-in-law of Taliban Interior Minister Sirajuddin Haqqani (owner of the safe house) were also killed in the strike. But the White House press briefing contradicts this, saying “We are confident through our intelligence sources and methods, including multiple streams of intelligence, that we killed Zawahiri and no other individuals.” In the same briefing, the official also stated "there were zero American personnel on the ground in Kabul. " So they must be relying on local sources of information.

The report also states the scene was scrubbed by Haqqani Taliban members immediately after the killing, presumably to hide evidence that al-Zawahiri had been there.


In this case Trump is more honest about what’s happening

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Watching the Obama part now I remember how Fox News made up a montage of all the times in his speech where used the word “I” or “my”, trying to make it seem like he was claiming it as a personal victory, when in the complete speech he gives all the credit to the men involved throughout the military and intelligence departments, and phrases much of it as being a government operation, not his operation.


There’s nothing amusing about this, IMO.


Keep it classy, USA.

At least Russia doesn’t hold a press conference when they assassinate someone.

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It might be better if they did.

“Today we poisoned XXX because we didn’t like what he said.”
“Today we flattened the entire block, because we thought someone was in a building.”

Instead, everyone has to guess.

At least there’s no question here. There’s no speculation that it was a freak accident. No blanket denial. Everyone is clear about what happened. Like it or not, there’s no question about what occured.


Is that somehow better than this?

Where it’s expected that the president HAS to explain what happened, what we did, how we did it, how it was planned, when it was approved, how we validated and tried to not have collateral damage, and all this with an incoming congress in half a year that would absolutely love to open hearings on him for the slightest thing?

Countries that govern by force will always use assassination as a tool in their playbook. And all the countries on the planet govern by force. Would you rather explanations and second guessing be socially required, or would you rather we just pretend like we don’t do it at all?

There’s nothing glorious about this and I don’t know why sites are getting all into how cool the kinetic kill weapon was and all that. But I DO think when the president unilaterally decides someone is going to die without a trial, that I want this to be a country where he at least has to get up and justify it. And I hope we expect that for EVERYONE that this decision was made for.


It is not impossible to live in a world where no one in your government is unilaterally executing anyone else. Let’s try and get to that world, instead of discussing flying knives and/or the scriptwriting of the press conference.

This whole thing is sad and not wonderful.


Barack 90% Obama sure could give a speech.

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Equally, there appears to be no reflection in Western media over whether it’s ethical or legal. I listened to a news bulletin today that flipped from uncritical fawning over this state-sponsored assassination, to a story about western politicians bemoaning that Russia isn’t treating its prisoners of war appropriately. The irony was completely lost on the newsreader.

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Although not the head of state, why not juxtapose the former head of the State Department’s reaction to the assassination of an actual head of state:

It must have been praise from Kissinger that motivated Clinton to gloat and celebrate.

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Died like a dog is a fairly common english idiom. I don’t know if it’s worth reading into more than that.

A few generations ago maybe but not in modern times. And it’s hardly the only time Trump has likened people to dogs in attempts to demean and dehumanize them. It’s one of his most common go-to insults.