“Human Rights is a lefty term”, say rightwingers

A reader at one of the News Ltd right-wing blog sites comments (and is subsequently endorsed by the blog owner in an update to the post):

The term Human Rights is a lefty term and is collectivist it its essence – so someone being awarded a Nobel Prize for advocating human rights is leftism rewarding leftism.

The problem is that only individuals can actually have rights, while humans having rights is terminological rubbish – why does a collective term, human, require rights? To protect it from non humans?

Individual rights are anathema to leftists, hence the emphasis on “human” rights, but as long as you and your fellow journalists keep calling it human rights, then you are, unwittingly, giving support to leftism etc.

It’s not just referring to the blogger in question as a “journalist” that’s amusing in that screed – the bit about the word “human” being “collective” is also hilariously asinine – but is it true that mainstream conservative opinion now openly deplores the notion of human rights? Not just disagrees on how best to protect them, but opposed to the very idea? Really?

That seems like a bit of an own goal, I must say.

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166 responses to ““Human Rights is a lefty term”, say rightwingers

  1. baldrickjones

    Well actually, this is just two people….so calling it mainstream conservative opinion is like saying that you speak for everyone on the left.

    From my discussions with others and general understanding, the main conservative issue with “human rights” is that it is designed to make the majority bend to the will of the minority – issues like the fuss over the “bikini banning” at the council pool due to a muslim function are at the forefront of this type of thought.

    Also there is much conjecture over what is a “right”. Is housing a right? Does that mean that the government has an obligation to give everyone a house, less their “human rights” are being infringed on? There is also a lot of argument about what is a right and what is a responsibility of the individual.

  2. Glad you feel that “mainstream conservative opinion” disagrees with Bolt and supports human rights, with some dispute over what those rights actually are. At least you agree with the concept.

    BTW the “bikini banning” thing was for one afternoon or something, and it’s bloody old news. Why’s it being revived all of a sudden?

  3. Splatterbottom

    Bolt’s commenter has a point here. Once upon a time it was easy to support human rights. Sadly, the term ‘human rights’ has now been stretched and contorted into a politicised term for the advancement of the leftist agenda. The anti-semitic sewer known as the UN Human Rights Council has precious little to do with human rights at all. It is probably better for those who mean to refer to basic individual liberties like free speech and due process to not use the term ‘human rights’ to avoid confusion.

    As to the bikini thing, it is just one more example of the craven desire of politically correct dunces to take it up the arse from islam. Islamic societies are extremely backwards when it comes to recognising personal freedoms, and Australia should resist any such attempts to move our society back to the 7th century.

  4. No, Splatterbottom it is just as easy to support human rights today. The problem is that too many on the right of the political spectrum have deserted the field, not that it has been “stretched and contorted into a politicised term for the advancement of a leftist agenda”.

  5. Wisdom Like Silence

    hu·man (hyoomin)
    n.
    1. A member of the genus Homo and especially of the species H. sapiens

    right (rt)
    adj. right·er, right·est
    1. Conforming with or conformable to justice, law, or morality
    2. In accordance with fact, reason, or truth; correct: the right answer.
    3. Fitting, proper, or appropriate: It is not right to leave the party without saying goodbye.

    I don’t get it. Are libertarians martians?

  6. Splatterbottom

    Organisations like the UN Human Rights Council have disgracefully abused the concept of human rights. For the avoidance of political chicanery, it is better to be clear exactly what rights are being talked about. Used in the context of the UNHRC, the term only evokes disgust.

  7. zaratoothbrush

    All SB’s posts do for me is remind me that I need a haircut.

    As far as {human equals collectivist therefore bash lefties} goes, I say you can never have enough laughing stocks, ’cause living in this world means you need a lot of cheering up.

  8. Wisdom Like Silence

    He’s been on a bit of a decent run as of late, buti it’s nice to see him returning to form. If only Katich would deign to do the same…

    But I understand what he’s saying. Human Rights has been warped to leftists idealism, making it a misnomer. But the idea of human rights, rights for humans, is not wrong?
    It’s still ridiculous, but I get it.

  9. Splatterbottom

    Rights for humans is a worthy concept, but the worthwhile rights are ultimately individual rights. We need a separate vocabulary when aggregating groups of people for the sake of simplicity. Often considerations relevant to individuals are very different, and the language appropriate to individuals when appropriated to describe groups leads to wrong conclusions.

    Further, the misappropriation of common words for ideological purposes usually results in them being devalued and losing their specific meaning as they are become integral code for the socialist agenda. ‘Racism’ has little do with discrimination on the basis of race anymore, and encompasses some fairly trivial acts, and ‘sustainability’ makes my skin creep every time I hear it.

  10. It’s pretty simple really. The conservatives hate the term “human” inserted before “rights” because it reminds them that the rights are meant to be applicable to all. That the rights derive from something more basic, permanent and universal than their petty ideology.

    Their entire worldview appears to rest on blatant double standards, whereby rights that they claim for themselves are somehow not applicable to others (muslims, gays, women etc). They have to go with “individual” rights since it’s the only term that enables them to discriminate against their enemy of the day.

  11. Splatterbottom

    Mondo:

    Their entire worldview appears to rest on blatant double standards, whereby rights that they claim for themselves are somehow not applicable to others (muslims, gays, women etc). They have to go with “individual” rights since it’s the only term that enables them to discriminate against their enemy of the day.

    Geez Mondo you sound like me on a bad day, only more illogical! It goes without saying that individual rights are universal.

    Your quote is a classic example of exaggeration and over-generalisation. It is hideous, bilious and wrong.

    There is also a bit of inconsistency in your choice of victim categories as the most egregious abuses of the rights of gays and women are in primitive cultures such as those that constitute most of the muslim world.

  12. I think you’ve hit the nail on the head Mondo. It’s the reminder of universality that they find intermittantly inconvenient.

    I’m not quite sure what distinction they find in ‘individual’. Possibly something bat-shit crazy like ‘human’ is a ‘collective’ ie socialist, term.

    What next, will they be railing against collective nouns? School of fish, NO!, they are all individuals!

  13. SB, of course your skin creeps every time you hear the word sustainability, its a well understood symptom of mental retardation. But don’t panic, there are groups out there designed to help sufferers like yourself find people with similar brain deficiencies, such as the National Party or the board at Gunns.

    Human Rights are what they are, as Wisdom Like Silence wrote above, two easy to comprehend words with a clear meaning. The rights humans afford each other, or a shorter version of ‘Don’t do upon others what you don’t want to have done to yourself.’

    From my observations the concept of human rights has proponents and disbelievers on both sides of the isle, left or right. I have met some very conservative people who do recognise and respect the dignity of other people just as much as I try to, and I have met so called lefties who, unless it came to their pet cause, couldn’t give a fuck about others and their rights.

    In many cases the arguments are not about acceptance or denial of human rights, but on how to interpret them and more often than not, how to enforce those rights. Take Afghanistan for example. Both sides of the political spectrum fathom that fundamental Islam and its followers, such as the Taliban, are opposed to human rights as we perceive them. The disagreement arises the moment you start talking about ways to improve the situation for Afghan people. With bombing raids or not!

    Or the hullabaloo in our western societies about burqas. Some conservatives intent on not allowing women to wear them in public do so in the believe that women sporting such traditional outfits are forced to do so by their oppressive fathers and husbands, and as such see themselves in the role of liberators, wondering how the hell the pseudo human rights lobby and bleadin hearts in the Greens party can support Muslim womens’ desire to wear the head cover.

  14. Rights for humans is a worthy concept, but the worthwhile rights are ultimately individual rights”

    So the right to life should only be afforded to individuals, not to humans in general? That’ll fuck up the right to lifers!

  15. “There is also a bit of inconsistency in your choice of victim categories as the most egregious abuses of the rights of gays and women are in primitive cultures such as those that constitute most of the muslim world.”

    Luckily, we don’t judge ourselves by their standards then.

    This is the same faulty logic used to justify the US’s torture: “Sure, we shoved broom handles up their arses and threatened to rape members of their families, but at least we didn’t be-head them on camera like those sicko terrorists!”

  16. It goes without saying that individual rights are universal.

    Hilarious stuff SB – but you’ve got everything around the wrong way as usual. What actually goes without saying is that human rights apply to all individual humans – it’s sort of inherent in the definition of the term.

    Individual rights, rather than deriving from someone being human, derive from some unspecified authority (thus allowing the conservative to pick and choose according to their personal agenda). It’s easier to strip someone of their rights if you don’t simultaneously have to prove that they’re not a human being.

    Take Anwar Al-Awalki – the firebrand cleric whose murder SB was advocating last week. Presumably SB is content to waive this man’s right to life, free speech and a trial because he believes that Al Awalki has somehow forfeited them through his speaking of dangerous words.

    A strange position for someone who believes that individual rights are universal? Not really, because it was obviously a bullshit statement to begin with.

  17. Wisdom Like Silence

    Everyone’s getting so personal 😦

    What about SB’s right to not be discriminated against?

    Actually, no. SB is right! Fuck his right not to be discriminated against! It’s just a minority, in this case one person in the world trying to dictate terms to the rest of us!

    4 ShAmE

  18. Splatterbottom

    Nawagadj, by referring to what we actually mean, which is that rights are afforded to all individual humans, the possibility of group attribution error and the defects of utilitarianism are more easily avoided.

    Juan ‘Don’t do upon others what you don’t want to have done to yourself.’

    Good to see you have adopted the Christian approach to ethics.

    “I have met so called lefties who, unless it came to their pet cause, couldn’t give a fuck about others and their rights.”

    I’m not all surprised at this.

    As to the burquas, clearly that is a matter of choice for the women concerned, although reports of intimidation should be investigated and dealt with.

    Buns, I was merely remarking about Mondo’s odd grouping of victims, and the relationship between them. Nothing wrong with that, is there?

    Mondo: “ Presumably SB is content to waive this man’s right to life, free speech and a trial because he believes that Al Awalki has somehow forfeited them through his speaking of dangerous words.”

    You are having an off day, Mondo. Constructing straw men does you no credit at all. It is not about what al Awlaki preaches, but the fact that he is a command and control operative of al Qaeda responsible for terror attacks that have killed people, and that he is still active. By your logic the person who gives the orders is innocent provided someone else does the dirty work!

  19. It wasn’t so long ago in segregationist America and apartheid South Africa and Nazi Germany (not to mention 80s and 90s Rwanda) that the distillation of centuries of dehumanising world views (not just opinions) was elevated to officialdom; ie, that people existed who were less of human beings than others, or not even humans at all.

    Because of our proximity to these shameful times, it is likely that a large proportion of humanity still thinks that there are people who are “less than human” simply because of their ethnicity or sexuality. The increasing acceptance of the “Out of Africa” theory, including the amazing scientific revelation that all of humanity are likely to be descended from a mere two thousand or so individual survivors of the worst ravages of an Ice Age, will slowly change this but it is up to all of us to maintain the pressure on those who would believe otherwise.

    Having a Universal Declaration of Human Rights is a part of this pressure. And no, it doesn’t arise from feel-good lefty politics but a raw acceptance of the horrific crimes and injustices that were committed from the Second World War onwards – which is when (and why) the UN was created in the first place.

  20. Good to see you have adopted the Christian approach to ethics.

    Nothing Christian about it SB. Christians don’t want to be bombed, and yet they produce bombs, give orders to use them and are the ones dropping them on innocent civilians. To hell with those hypocrites.

  21. Presumably, in SB’s view, Paine meant to call it “Rights of a Man”.

  22. Splatterbottom

    RM, the Universal Declaration of Rights is under attack mainly by islamic countries, who prefer instead their own barbaric code based on sharia law.

  23. Wisdom Like Silence

    Too right.

  24. Splatterbottom

    The fact is Juan, that the rule you quoted is merely a variant of the Christian doctrine of doing unto others as you would have them do unto you. You should recognise your Christian heritage.

    Nawagadj, Paine was the twat who made excuses for the terror of the French revolution, notwithstanding that he was almost killed by it. Edmund Burke, on the other hand got it right, presciently predicting that it would end with the tyranny of generals. No surprise here.

  25. “..Universal Declaration of Rights is under attack mainly by islamic countries…” – SB

    And the hard-right in the west.

    Conservatives of the world unite!!

  26. Why is it that when people complain about anti-Semitism they always seem to also mention about how savage those Muslims are. Well almost always … am I generalising here?

    There are problems with Universal Human Rights, but it is not because we don’t have them, but because we actually need it codified in the first instance. Surely we should know when something is wrong, and should not a declaration to tell us it is?

    Another negative is that when a right is declared, it requires someone to enforce that right. The only people with the power to enforce them are some of the worst human rights abusers on this planet today. So, the right not to be tortured becomes the right to prevent torture, which in turn becomes the right to bomb torturers, including the right to cause collateral damage.

    Codified conventions to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons have now morphed into the right to bomb nuclear proliferators … and so on … and so forth.
    I am not sure if this is the intention, but then again, it may well be …

  27. The Golden Rule is ancient and in its various forms older than Christianity SB, its a common maxime in many religions.

  28. I believe the Christian version is “Love your neighbour as yourself.”

  29. “The fact is Juan, that the rule you quoted is merely a variant of the Christian doctrine of doing unto others as you would have them do unto you. You should recognise your Christian heritage.”

    Hmmm,

    38″You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.'[a] 39But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. 40And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well.

    The problem with these so-called Christians is they pick and choose to suit themselves. Like that idiot Pastor Terry Jones, he rails against homosexuality because it is forbidden (Leviticus) yet he chooses to trim his beard which is also forbidden (Leviticus).

    The problem with Christianity is the Christians that claim to practise it, more often than not they are liars and hypocrites.

  30. I bet he quietly enjoys a bit of shellfish every now and again, too.

  31. Splatterbottom

    Nawagadj, the reason the UN Human Rights Council is so debased is the unseemly alliance of OIS counties and the soft left appeasers of the pro-sharia contingent.

    Johd, “There are problems with Universal Human Rights, but it is not because we don’t have them, but because we actually need it codified in the first instance.”

    A general statement of principle is a necessary first element. Codification is also necessary, and is what the signatories ought to proceed to do after signing on to the general prinicples. The real issue is how to ensure they do so, and then comply with their codes. Until people stop thinking they are ethnically or socially special, and stop subdividing the world into more and more countries, we are not going to make much progress on that.

    Juan: “The Golden Rule is ancient and in its various forms older than Christianity SB, its a common maxim in many religions.”

    Good to see you are on the same page as the Christians, Juan.

    Zoot: “The problem with Christianity is the Christians that claim to practise it, more often than not they are liars and hypocrites.”

    That is about as smart as tarring all Muslims with the al Qaeda brush, Zoot. Most Christians are ordinary people going quietly about their lives trying to live according to the principles of their religion and to make the world a nicer place.

  32. I’m just sick of so-called Christians singling out the apparent sin of homosexuality whilst committing plenty of sins themselves. Like I say they’re a pack of hypocrites who choose to ignore the teachings of Christ so that they can engage in bigotry.

    “Let him who is without sin cast the first stone”

    I’d probably pretend that I was a Christian myself if I thought that those who proclaim to be Christians actually practised what they preached, after all Jesus taught and stood for some great stuff.

  33. “Most Christians are ordinary people going quietly about their lives trying to live according to the principles of their religion and to make the world a nicer place.”

    Your anecdote doesn’t match my experience, then again, it might just be the loud mouth Christians who are a pack of hypocrites giving all you good ‘uns a bad name, maybe you should disown them? Get all the homophobes and other various bigots to start their own church.

  34. It is not about what al Awlaki preaches, but the fact that he is a command and control operative of al Qaeda responsible for terror attacks that have killed people, and that he is still active.

    And this has, of course, been proven to your satisfaction SB? Charges have been laid, evidence has been presented and then tested in a fair court? Or have you just happily swallowed idle media speculation fed by anonymous government and military sources?

    Your willingess to unquestioningly accept untested accusations as a sufficient basis for total abandoment of the right to a fair trial demostrates just how ‘universal’ those rights you’re touting really are.

    In reality there’s nothing universal about the conservative notion of individual rights, other than the fact that they delight in taking them away from the big scary enemy du jour.

  35. “Your willingess to unquestioningly accept untested accusations as a sufficient basis for total abandoment of the right to a fair trial demostrates just how ‘universal’ those rights you’re touting really are.”

    Exactly. It’s really staggering that all but the most naive can possibly do this, given (as I mentioned earlier) how wrong the US has been with so many big things in the so-called “War on Terror” – from the non-existent WMDs, the claims about Iraq trying to gain access to uranium to produce nuclear weapons, to Iraq having a working relationship with Al Qaeda, to the hundreds of the “worst of the worst” who have been released from Guantanamo without charge. What sort of extreme authoritarian would accept unquestioningly the US government’s self-serving assertions about Al-Awlaki in the face of all that bullshit? How gullible would you have to be to do that?

  36. Good to see you are on the same page as the Christians, Juan.

    SB, what is it with you and Christians? Were you an altar boy who got abused and then told by the lusty priest that if you don’t go out and continuously promote the Bible he’ll come back for some more splatterbottom? Man, build a bridge as they say.

    Historically, Christians have been responsible for some of the worst human rights abuses ever committed. And to this very day, they flock to church on Sunday, complain about refugee arrivals on Monday.

    To quote Kev Carmody:

    […]
    He’d fight with Joe Hill and Waleca
    Mandala and Friere
    Try to free the third world’s millions
    From hunger and despair
    He’d stand with the peasants
    At the pock-marked walls
    They’d haul him in on bail
    He’d condemn all forms of apartheid
    And he’d rot in their stinking jails.

    He’d denounce all dictatorships
    And Mammon’s greed
    And the exploitation of others for gain
    He’d oppose the nuclear madness
    And the waging of wars in his name
    He’d mix with prostitutes and sinners
    Challenge all to cast the first stone
    A compassionate agitator
    One of the greatest the world has known

    He’d condemn all corrupt law and order
    Tear man made hierarchies down
    He’d see status and titles as dominance
    And the politics of greed he’d hound
    He’d fight against
    The leagues of the Ku Klux Klan
    And the radical, racist right
    One of the greatest humanitarian socialists
    Was comrade,
    Jesus Christ.

    In other words SB, should the story of Jesus have some truth to it, and should he really one day return, say tomorrow, into our so called Christian society, chances are he’d be locked up in no time, arrested for trespassing and throwing a tantrum in some gold laden church. Then he’d tell’em that he is the son of god, so they medicate him and stick the man in the lonny bin.

  37. Jesus was also a lefty, SB despises lefties and yet is a Christian????

  38. Jesus had little or nothing to do with what has come to be known as Christianity, let alone the preposterous monolith of the Catholic Church. It was hijacked by heretic-hunters the moment he was gone, and they never looked back.

  39. Splatterbottom

    Mondo, what has a trial got to do with this? Al Awkali is not able to be arrested, much less tried. Are we to wait until he hands himself in? Are you going to take responsibility for his next attack, or just run interference for him? The fact is that there is a war going on, regular terrorist attacks are being conducted, and people are dying. I don’t recall Yamamoto being tried before the order to take him down was given, and I don’t see the need for a public trial of al Awkali, especially since he is not likely to show up for it. It is enough that the President has credible reason to make the decision. If he hasn’t he risks being charged with murder.

    Do you think that Obama just woke up one day, and decided to off al Awlaki, or do you think there might be more involved? You arguments are pathetic. You have made no attempt to critique the process that is in place, or suggest anything approaching a reasonable alternative.

    Buns, why don’t you stop frothing and wanking for a moment and make a sensible suggestion for dealing with al Awkali? You can’t have a trial before taking every operational decision in the middle of a war.

    Jesus wasn’t a political activist. He spoke directly to the hearts of individuals, encouraging them to love one another, and to live good lives themselves.

  40. “Buns, why don’t you stop frothing and wanking”

    Coming from you with your ridiculous rhetoric that made me giggle.

    “Jesus wasn’t a political activist. ”

    But he was a lefty, like the people you despise. Jesus wouldn’t be impressed by those who claim to be Christian would he SB?

    By the way SB you don’t normally ignore me, why aren’t you rebutting my posts? Can’t?

  41. Mondo, what has a trial got to do with this? Al Awkali is not able to be arrested, much less tried.

    All hyperbole aside for a second – are you really comfortable taking the view that accused terrorists who are difficult to arrest (which must be just about all of them) should just be killed instead? Is the scope for abuse in this system not obvious to you?

    Are you going to take responsibility for his next attack, or just run interference for him?

    There’s that presumption of guilt again SB. At the moment Al Awkali hasn’t even been charged with any crime, let alone been established as a terrorist mastermind – yet you approach this issue as though he is definitively guilty of terrorist acts and worthy of death. Yet more evidence that the ‘individual rights’ you champion as universal can be discarded at your convenience.

    Under a ‘human rights’ approach every human would have a right to be tried by a jury of their peers regardless of whether they are a scary muslim accused or terrorism or not.

    It is enough that the President has credible reason to make the decision.

    Good lord – who knew you were such an authoritarian SB!! You’d be right at home in Castro’s Cuba or Stalin’s USSR. If the President says he’s guilty then who needs a trial!!

    If he hasn’t he risks being charged with murder

    Except that Obama has claimed the State Secrets privilige to protect his decision from judicial review. So there’s no risk of a murder charge since the courts are barred from even reviewing the evidence that Obama is relying on to make his decision to execute the guy. Were you not aware of this?

    You have made no attempt to critique the process that is in place, or suggest anything approaching a reasonable alternative.

    I honestly didn’t think that was necessary since the alternative is so obvious. Catch him and try him in ordinary court for his alleged crimes – you know, that pesky human right about being entitled to a trial.

  42. “Jesus wasn’t a political activist. He spoke directly to the hearts of individuals, encouraging them to love one another, and to live good lives themselves.”

    Exactly, SB, which is why I said he had nothing to do with Christianity, or as the estimable James Hillman called it, Christianism. He would not recognise it, and he would execrate it.

  43. Splatterbottom

    RobJ there were three of you on about the same thing, and I addressed your issue. Jesus was about personal redemption, not political action. I don’t think it is right to put political labels on him.

    Mondo: “Catch him and try him in ordinary court for his alleged crimes – you know, that pesky human right about being entitled to a trial.”

    The problem is that al Awlaki is in Yemen, working for al Qaeda, planning and organising terror strikes. Al Qaeda is at war with the US, and it is quite appropriate to put out a capture and kill order on him.

  44. SB’s splatter got posted and my post is still in moderation! Favouritism!

  45. “Jesus was about personal redemption, not political action. I don’t think it is right to put political labels on him.”

    But SB, he was a socialist you don’t want to put the label on him because it exposes your hypocrisy. What did he think of the money lenders (capitalists)? Why do you worship Jesus yet describe other leftists and their ‘followers’ with such contemptuous bile? How do you reconcile your religion with your politics (you aren’t a centrist).

    I reckon I’m more Christian than many that claim to be Christians and I’m an agnostic…. Who just happens to be someone who identifies with Christ’s teachings,.

  46. Come on Rob, you know Jesus advocated blowing the shit out of terrorists!

  47. The problem is that al Awlaki is in Yemen, working for al Qaeda, planning and organising terror strikes.

    So you’re absolutely determined to treat Presidential decree as conclusive evidence of guilt are you SB? You’re comfortable slandering this man as a despicable Al Qaeda terrorist based on nothing more than anonymous media sources and Obama’s assurance that he’s seen secret evidence (that neither you nor any court is allowed to review).

    I guess all your railing against authoritarian government was simply hollow posturing. Put a nice clean-cut American face on it, and a scary muslim on the other side, and suddenly SB’s desperate to gulp down the government kool-aid.

    This, more than anything, highlights the lie that is your professed commitment to ‘universal’ individual rights.

  48. “Mondo, what has a trial got to do with this? Al Awkali is not able to be arrested, much less tried. Are we to wait until he hands himself in? Are you going to take responsibility for his next attack, or just run interference for him? The fact is that there is a war going on, regular terrorist attacks are being conducted, and people are dying. I don’t recall Yamamoto being tried before the order to take him down was given, and I don’t see the need for a public trial of al Awkali, especially since he is not likely to show up for it. It is enough that the President has credible reason to make the decision. If he hasn’t he risks being charged with murder.”

    What an ugly corner you’re apparently happy to paint yourself into.

    Mondo gets called upon to take responsibility for Al-Awlaki’s “next attack” (anybody else miss his previous ones? me too) and the sole basis for this is he doesn’t support the radical claim the President is making to summarily execute the guy based on executive decree that he is a Really Scary Terrorist! Wow.

    It doesn’t matter whether or not you see the need for a trial for Al-Awlaki, SB. Whether he gets a trial or not is not to be determined by a show of hands. It is required by law. We don’t apply the law where it seems like a good idea and disregard it when it doesn’t, as much as right-wingers would like to. Once again for the retarded, there is no war going on between the US and Yemen. We are not talking about capturing soliders on a battlefield. There is no battlefield in Yemen. The US can’t make the entire world a battlefield by declaring a War on Terror for the rest of time – and the “War on Terror” can only be endless, unless one believes that there is some finite number of terrorists out there who will all have been either captured or killed some magical day down the track (which surely no sane person genuinely believes). Aside from being patently nonsensical, the idea that the entire world can be a battlefield has been rejected by US courts. So please get over your discredited and inherently idiotic belief about that.

    Where’s your evidence that Al-Awlaki can’t be arrested? What attempts have been made to arrest him? Surely you are not going to rely on US government officials for your claim that he cannot be arrested.

    “It is enought that the President has credible reason to make the decision”? Wow. Really? What can’t he get away with if this kind of meek submission is typical of US citizens? He doesn’t risk being charged with murder, either, and to suggest there’s any risk of it happening is laughable. You can’t be serious, surely. Who is going to charge him? And who is going to be able to prove he didn’t have “credible reason”, whatever that means? There’s no way to prove that, when the US Department of Justice argues (successfully, ordinarily) that such information cannot be disclosed because of “state secrets” issues.

    It is insane that we even have to have an argument about whether the US President should have the right to summarily execute US citizens anywhere around the globe for the rest of time, but it does illustrate how right wing pants-wetting over terrorism which started with 9/11 is not abating with the passage of time. If anything, it is picking up steam. And there’s no better example of it than the complete rubbish you are spouting here, SB.

  49. Splatterbottom

    RobJ, you are entitled to your opinion as to the relationship between Christ and Christianity. Personally I think there is a connection, even if it is only in the aspirations of the church.

    RobJ: “How do you reconcile your religion with your politics (you aren’t a centrist).”

    It seems hard for some people to understand the distinction between the private beliefs and political goals a person may have. My view as that the political system should permit, as far as possible, people to hold and live out their private beliefs. This is a system which maximises personal freedom while protecting citizens.

    A contrary view would be that religion should be legislated as the basis for the political system, such as is suggested by proponents of sharia law.

  50. Jesus was about personal redemption, not political action. I don’t think it is right to put political labels on him.

    Galilee, the region in which Jesus was supposed to have grown up, was known to be rebellious, after centuries of oppression by Babylonians, Persians, Greeks and finally Romans.

    In Jewish life, from what I understand, politics and religion are thoroughly intertwined, 2000 years back possibly even more so than in today’s Israel. Politics is and was seen as the worldly means of instituting God’s will on earth, our modern concept of separation between state and church did not apply. When Jesus held his speeches, collaboration between religious and political institutions was the norm. and hence religious activity had political implications, just as it would have been the case the other way round.

    The Roman governor most likely saw in Jesus and his growing band of followers a danger to Pax Romana, the Rome centric worldview eminent at the time, which partly also explains his execution. So to describe Jesus as non-political I believe is wrong, he certainly was a social activist of sort with a clear idea of what was wrong with a pecking order based on slavery.

    I could imagine that a Jesus in today’s world would speak out about the lousy treatment we afford our fellow humans arriving by leaky boats, make reference to the bombs we drop on civilians in far away places, shake his head in disbelieve at the rate of extinction with which we destroy god’s creation, and piss himself laughing at the ridiculous hats the pope and his cardinals are running around with. No clearer sign needed than them freaks to demonstrate that Christianity is as far removed from Jesus as Coca Cola is from cocaine.

  51. It doesn’t matter whether or not you see the need for a trial for Al-Awlaki, SB. Whether he gets a trial or not is not to be determined by a show of hands. It is required by law. We don’t apply the law where it seems like a good idea and disregard it when it doesn’t, as much as right-wingers would like to.

    A much better summary of what I’ve been trying to say.

  52. Splatterbottom

    Juan the reason Jesus was killed has more to do with the Romans thinking that that might pacify the Jews. It seems reasonably clear that Jesus did not join with the Zealots or other Jewish political groups of the day. His message was quite different to theirs.

    Mondo, what law are you talking about? Are you saying that Obama is guilty of conspiracy to murder? My understanding is that the US President has the legal right to do what Obama has done in this case.

  53. Mondo, what law are you talking about?

    We’re not talking about codified law here, this is a discussion of rights. You, SB, have proposed that individual rights are universal but have then gone on to explicitly illustrate that you don’t really believe that. You are perfectly content to deny Awlaki his right to a fair trial because of completely untested and unproven accusations made against him.

    In other words – you have demonstrated quite clearly that you do not believe in the universality of individual rights. If you did you would recognise Awlaki’s right to trial before his summary execution.

    Are you saying that Obama is guilty of conspiracy to murder?

    That’s not really relevant to this discussion, but as a matter of fact I do agree with the general thrust of that statement. “Murder” is, however, a technical legal term and obviously not applicable unless the killing is unlawful.

  54. Splatterbottom

    Sorry Mondo, when you’ve been blathering on about ‘law’ and ‘illegal’ I thought you were referring to legal rights, and were giving those terms their ordinary meaning. I had no idea that your view of the law was whatever you felt like at the time, rather than what the law actually is.

    Even you, apparently, don’t believe that individuals have the right to a trial before some general orders that they be shot on a battlefield. Here, all we are really talking about is how to deal with enemy command and control in an asymmetric war. You don’t seem to have the flexibility of mind to deal with this issue, or even to contemplate it.

  55. The aspirations of the church? The church’s aspiration has always been nothing more than power and the determination to impose its will by whatever means were available to it. It continues in this mode right down to the present day, and it will always be so. Jesus would have had nothing to do with that sort of shit, and nor would his brothers whose authority was usurped by Paul and his cabal of dogmatic fantasists. Jesus the man is best characterised not as a political activist or as a Galilean rebel, but as a heretical Jew.

  56. It seems hard for some people to understand the distinction between the private beliefs and political goals a person may have.

    It’s not hard to understand that your political leanings and religious beliefs contradict each other. I think it’s you has has difficulty getting your head around your own hypocrisy.

    I’m lucky, my political beliefs don’t contradict my religious one’s because I don’t have religious beliefs. The irony is though, I’m the sort of ‘lefty’ you despise yet my political beliefs are in step with the god that you worship… 😉

  57. Al-Awlaki is not involved in any war against the US. This doesn’t change no matter how many times right-wingers keep saying that he is and talking about the fact that soldiers captured on the battlefield don’t get trials. The US is not at war in Yemen, so there is no “battlefield” there. The “War on Terror” has none of the requirements of an actual war. There has never been a declaration of war by Congress in relation to the War on Terror (presumably because Congress doesn’t want to look stupid declaring “war” on a tactic). The US government has no more authority to shoot Al-Awlaki dead where they find him than it does to shoot dead drug dealers as part of the “War on Drugs”.

    “Sorry Mondo, when you’ve been blathering on about ‘law’ and ‘illegal’ I thought you were referring to legal rights, and were giving those terms their ordinary meaning. I had no idea that your view of the law was whatever you felt like at the time, rather than what the law actually is.”
    Project much?

  58. SB does not appear to understand that law is a complex, uncertain and always changing entity. That something is deemed legal by a court does not make it morally defensible, and it certainly does not mean that the legality will sustained in future. Beating your wife used to be legal.

    It should have been clear that the argument being proposed here is that human rights should be universal (not that they actually are universal in practice) and that laws should be codified to actually protect those rights. The right to trial is one of the most basic premises of a civilised and free society – yet we so often see it denied to the accused by dictatorships, theocracies, and now the United States of America.

    It should also be clear by now that SB’s professed commitment to universal ‘individual rights’ is a hollow sham. This, more than anything, shows the inherent danger of abandoning human rights for ‘individual’ rights.

  59. Splatterbottom

    Bloods, looks like we agree that Jesus was not a political activist or rebel, that he was a Jew, and that his ideas were considered heretical by other Jews. There is hope for you yet.

    RobJ, the point I am making is that religious beliefs are generally private matters, and there is a considerable difference between the rules one may wish to abide as a matter of religious belief, and the laws one sees as desirable for the good governance of society. People often don’t seem to get that the law is a fairly blunt instrument and should generally limit human conduct only so far as it is necessary to guarantee the freedom of others.

    Buns, if what Obama is doing is illegal then presumably he should be tried for conspiracy to commit murder. My understanding that he has the legal right to make capture or kill orders in respect of people organising attacks against the US. Although this is not a conventional war, it does highlight the need to develop some rules appropriate for dealing with this type of asymmetric warfare. I think it is closer to war than it is to ordinary criminal violence.

    Mondo, we are only debating where the line should be drawn as far as killing enemy combatants go. You surely agree that not everybody is entitled to a trial before being killed, such as is the case with gangsters in a shootout, or soldiers in a war. Our difference is a matter of degree not principle, your idiotic posturing to the contrary notwithstanding.

  60. “RobJ, the point I am making is that religious beliefs are generally private matters”

    Really, I thought Christians were supposed to be evangelical, you know, to save those souls who are doomed to an eternity of torment through absolutely no fault of their own, for example a kid, born in Africa, dead by age four, never even heard of Jesus.

    “and the laws one sees as desirable for the good governance of society. ”

    Even when those laws are in direct contradiction to the teaching of your god?

  61. Splatterbottom

    RobJ, preaching is not my style. I live my life according to the values I have chosen, and I talk to my friends about such things when they arise in conversation. I am definitely not interested in telling other people how to live their lives. That is for them to work out themselves.

    As to appropriate laws, these should be debated in society on the basis of the facts as we know them. Theological reasoning is not relevant in that sphere, although it might help me form opinions as to my own conduct.

    The ability to chose and be responsible for our own actions is fundamental to human existence. I would prefer for someone to make their own decisions, however much they differ from mine than to see them hold similar views to mine without having thought it through themselves.

    An unexamined life is not only not worth living it is a negation of our own humanity. Anyway, I’ve made my choices. They seem to work for me. I do keep on thinking about them, and sometimes modify them. That is the best I can do.

  62. My understanding that he has the legal right to make capture or kill orders in respect of people organising attacks against the US.

    1. How is that in Australia? Does the PM have the legal right to give kill orders for people she or he thinks might be planning attacks against Australia?

    2. Does Yemen’s president have the legal right to give such orders in respect of people organising attacks against Yemen, such as Barack Obama?

  63. Splatterbottom

    Interesting questions, Juan. I’ve got no idea how Australian law works in that area. This article from NYT discusses the US situation.

  64. From your linked article:

    …As a general principle, international law permits the use of lethal force against individuals and groups that pose an imminent threat to a country, and officials said that was the standard used in adding names to the list of targets….

    So, someone within the hierarchy decides someone else is an imminent threat to the country, and presto, there is your excuse to have them murdered. International law. Far Out.

    Ahmadi’nejad decides that the Israeli military poses an imminent threat to the country and gives the order to start assassinating Israeli generals. The Chinese rulers can’t help but feel threatened by Uyghur activists and have them deleted. All covered by international law. Love it. Russian intel operatives can murder people at will in Chechnya, the French are allowed to blow up Greenpeace ships, and should someone make a fuss, well hey, they can always argue that their intelligence services detected an imminent threat to the country. Therefore all is kosher.

  65. The NYT article is nothing more than a transcription of the self-serving, unsupported statement of one US government official to the effect that assassinating Al-Awlaki is legal according to international law. Well, gee, he would say that, wouldn’t he?

    Never before in history has any US President claimed the legal right to assassinate American citizens anywhere, anytime, as Obama is doing with Al-Awlaki. Why did John Walker Lindh get a trial? I’m pretty sure it wasn’t because the Bush II administration wanted to do him a favour.

  66. Splatterbottom

    Juan, of course it is blindingly obvious that we should take a few months to have a trial while al Awlaki continues to send terrorists into the field. What’s a few hundred dead anyway?

    Buns:

    1. The fact that is a first doesn’t make it wrong. Your argument on that point is irrational.

    2. As a matter of principle, why is being a citizen different? That is merely an accident of circumstance.

    3. The difference is that Lindh was captured. The order on al Awlaki is ‘capture or kill’. If they capture him they will no doubt try him. The kill part is because he is extremely difficult to capture, and a danger to civilians while he is free. The real shame of it is that innocent people have been killed at his command. There would be more justice if people like you who are fighting to keep al Awlaki alive were killed in the attacks he organises.

  67. “There would be more justice if people like you who are fighting to keep al Awlaki alive were killed in the attacks he organises.”

    How Christian of you.

  68. “There would be more justice if people like you who are fighting to keep al Awlaki alive were killed in the attacks he organises.”

    You really took Bush to heart when he said: “You’re either with us or you’re with the terrorists”

    It must be so easy in your black and white world, you know, not having to think!

  69. Wisdom Like Silence

  70. What is blindingly obvious is that you are evading the subject SB. If US officials are allowed to assassinate people without trial because it is believed they pose an imminent threat to the country, then all other nations are entitled to do the same. Going by that logic, Iran, China, Russia, NKorea, and any other country with murderous psychopaths in positions of power can have dissidents and regime opponents snuffed out in all corners of the earth. All it takes for you to nod in approval is an unproven statement by a government official that there was credible evidence the victim was planning an attack on the country.

  71. “If US officials are allowed to assassinate people without trial because it is believed they pose an imminent threat to the country,”

    Unless you’re a simpleton who mistakenly believes that might is right.

  72. Splatterbottom

    Rob J, I didn’t say it wouldn’t be a tragedy if al Awlaki’s supporters were killed. But it seems reasonable if civilians are to be killed in another al Awlaki attack, it might as well be those who worked to stop him being neutralised.
    Juan, I don’t regard totalitarian regimes as legitimate or having the same rights as democracies. The real question in the case of al Awlaki is whether the US has sufficient reason to target al Awlaki, and whether they need to prove that to you.
    As I said previously on this thread, we need to re-think the approach to asymmetric warfare more generally, and this issue in particular. In the meantime, Obama, acting on the advice of the National Security Council, and under the authority of congress has decided to take out al Awlaki.
    In the case of a terrorist leader who has plotted a series of attacks, who is practically impossible to arrest and who is still in the field, it is best to go with the current arrangements until a better system is devised. That system should not include a protracted or public trial. The basic idea of dealing with an imminent threat is to act quickly, and not to disclose information which may assist him and his kind in the process.

  73. I read what you said SB, you would think it justifiable that your country people like buns3000 would be KILLED because they don’t buy the bullshit that you do about Obama’s authority to get people assassinated.

    Of course you framed it as buns3000 being a supporter of terrorism but that’s because you’re either being disingenuous or stupid.

    You can wriggle as much as you like but you’ve already demonstrated that you are a total hypocrite.

  74. You surely agree that not everybody is entitled to a trial before being killed, such as is the case with gangsters in a shootout, or soldiers in a war. Our difference is a matter of degree not principle

    Hardly. Acceptance of the individual right to self defence and the concept of death during actual warfare isn’t even close to supporting the right of Executive Government to order people assassinated far from any battlefield, outside of a declared war, on the suspicion that they’ve said things that might indicate they’re a terrorist .

    Once again you cannot escape from the fact that you clearly don’t believe in the universality of rights SB. You, like all Right-wingers, delight in stripping rights away from people as soon as you’re assured by an authority figure that the person is evil and doesn’t deserve those rights.

    In the case of a terrorist leader who has plotted a series of attacks

    And you keep on demonstrating the truth of my claim. You have seen no actual evidence that Awlaki is a terrorist mastermine – none – you’re simply asserting his guilt because the US Government telling you he is guilty.

    Once again I’m amazed to see you supplicating yourself to executive authority like this. You really would have made a good, party-loyal Russian citizen – you could have explained to others wondering why their neighbor disappeared that the government has assured you that he was an evil terrorist who needed to be killed to keep everyone safe.

  75. That should obviously be “mastermind”

  76. There would be more justice if people like you who are fighting to keep al Awlaki alive were killed in the attacks he organises.

    What a despicable, low life, snivelling little coward of a man you are.

    I haven’t fought to keep anyone alive. I pointed out the indisputable fact, namely, that as a US citizen, Al-Awlaki has a right to life that his government can’t take from him without due process. Only in the bizarro world of extremist morons like you does this amount to fighting to keep him alive.

    You see, on my side of this argument, there’s the law and the US Constitution. On your side, there’s nothing but pants-wetting extreme right fantasy.

  77. I missed that buns – sad to see the authoriy-revering SB now yearning for the death of those he disagrees with.

    Conflating support for the application of legal due process with support for the accused person is a pretty standard tactic for the dishonest polemist. SB claimed to have discarded this approach after seeing it applied to David Hicks, but apparently he’s forgotten about that.

  78. Why is everyone all so surprised at Splatterbottom’s defence of extra-judicial murder? He’s a Christian. I’m only surprised -given what the Bible advocates- that he isn’t calling for the genocidal invasion of the Middle East, salting the earth, and carrying away all the women who have not known a man.

  79. Wisdom Like Silence

    Hang on there fuck faces. I’m all for calling out religion on its merits, of which there are few, but don’t target just one, especially in a personal attack.

    All religions are dangerously intolerant and presumptive. All of them.

  80. Why is everyone all so surprised at Splatterbottom’s defence of extra-judicial murder?

    Because he’s always tried to paint himself as a Libertarian who abhors government over-reach.

  81. “, but don’t target just one, especially in a personal attack.

    Riiight, but you see SB is a Christian, there’s not much point telling him how fucked up the other religions are, he’d agree. Also, I take issue with ‘personal attack’ I’m just pointing out hypocri….bugger it, I’ll be generous, inconsistencies

  82. Splatterbottom

    RobJ: “Of course you framed it as buns3000 being a supporter of terrorism but that’s because you’re either being disingenuous or stupid.”

    You are being disingenuous or stupid or just unable to read. I didn’t say buns was a supporter of terrorism! The point is simple enough, buns is supporting some alleged right he has invented of al Awlaki not to be put on a capture or kill list. Clearly that is support for al Awlaki, but nowhere did I state that buns supports terrorism.

    Mondo: “Once again you cannot escape from the fact that you clearly don’t believe in the universality of rights SB”

    Neither do you, unless you believe their needs to be a trial before anyone at all is killed by government action. All we are debating is the particular circumstances in which this may occur. The difference between us is small but your hubris and hysteria is huge.

    Buns: “I haven’t fought to keep anyone alive”

    Then why are you arguing that the US should not kill al Awlaki? Aren’t you prepared to own up to the consequences of your actions?

    B: “Why is everyone all so surprised at Splatterbottom’s defence of extra-judicial murder?”

    The point is that extra-judicial “murder” happens frequently in war, and in the course of police work, and by citizens themselves in self-defence. We are only debating the circumstances in which it is permissible.

  83. Then why are you arguing that the US should not kill al Awlaki?

    Because the US Constitution guarantees him the right not to have his life taken from him by the US government without due process. Nobody is arguing that there’s no right to shoot him dead on a battlefield in a war. How many times do you need this explained to you?

    You are at least a couple of key events shy of your longed-for offing of Al-Awlaki: a declaration of war by US Congress, and Al-Awlaki taking up arms on a battlefield in the course of that war. This is the law. Sorry you find it so inconvenient.

  84. “You are being disingenuous or stupid or just unable to read.”

    “I didn’t say buns was a supporter of terrorism!”

    Hmmmm

    “There would be more justice if people like you who are fighting to keep al Awlaki alive were killed in the attacks he organises.”

    Nah just a supporter of Awlaki who you believe is a terrorist, so a supporter of a terrorist isn’t a terrorist supporter?

    SB, here’s a tip, we’ve only got to scroll up to see what you wrote, you can claim you didn’t say stuff, you can wriggle and squirm but it’s in black and white and unfortunately for you, you don’t have the power to remove it.

  85. Neither do you, unless you believe their needs to be a trial before anyone at all is killed by government action.

    Careful choice of words there SB – “Government action”. You’re deliberately defining what’s happening as generally as you can so that a government sanctioned worldwide assassination program can be lumped into the same category as an order to shoot back during wartime.

    The two fall into fundamentally different categories. I can tell you with absolute certainty that I do not support the executive’s right to kill (or imprison) civilians without a trial under any circumstances. It is, to put it mildly, a relatively fundamental requirement of a free and fair society.

  86. “The point is that extra-judicial “murder” happens frequently in war”

    Might is right, might is right.. Rah rah rah……

    Do you know what extra judicial means? It certainly does not mean legal or right, yet you support it.

    For you SB

    “Extrajudicial punishment is punishment by the state or some other official authority without the permission of a court or legal authority. The existence of extrajudicial punishment is considered proof that some governments will break their own legal code if deemed necessary.”

    “We are only debating the circumstances in which it is permissible.”

    When is it permissible? If it were permissible it would be……… LEGAL!

  87. “The NKVD troika and Special Council of the NKVD are examples from the history of the Soviet Union, where extrajudicial punishment “by administrative means” was part of the state policy. Other Soviet Bloc secret police organizations like the East German Stasi, Romanian Securitate and Polish ZOMO have also used it from time to time.”

    Hmmm, after all his anti left frothing and ranting it turns out that SB is a fan of Stalin’s methods! And, he claims to be a Christian.

  88. And, [SB] claims to be a Christian.

    That’s okay. Lots of fascists were, and are, Christian.

  89. B, they’re so-called Christians, those that just make it up as they go along aren’t actually Christians, OK, they may be Christian hypocrites….. at best.

  90. All religious folk make it up as they go along; ’tis the nature of the thing. I think the argument you’re trying to make is also known as a ‘No True Scotsman.’

  91. Wisdom Like Silence

    All faux religious folk make it up as they go along, see United States of America.

    All truly religous people stay faithful to their doctrines. Which are generally sickening manifestos of world cataclysm and punishment, a looking glass on the psychology of hateful, ignorant tribes that have heaped their thousands and thousands of years old suspicion and fear on the rest of us.

  92. Splatterbottom

    Buns: “ This is the law. Sorry you find it so inconvenient.”

    The law is, as I understand it, that Congress has authorised the killing of al Qaeda operatives, and there is an overriding power in the president to order killings in cases of imminent danger, and the constitution does not override this position. All we arguing about is whether al Awlaki represents an immanent danger.

    The relevant question is not whether you or I know sufficient information to form that view, but whether Obama and the National Security Council have that information. The restraint on them getting it wrong is that they will be liable for their actions if they do.

    I don’t see a real problem if some other mechanism is adopted, but I don’t think that includes a trial. The defendant will not be able to defend themselves, and a trial negates the need to move quickly in times of immanent danger.

    RobJ I get that extra-judicial means without the approval of a court. This means that every killing by the state without court approval is extra-judicial, including killing enemy soldiers or criminals. There is no real argument that in some cases this is justified. Once you admit that, we are only really arguing where the line is to be drawn.

  93. “Extrajudicial punishment is punishment by the state or some other official authority

    That pretty much rules out self defence which is quite legal, ie it is already catered for in law. But no doubt you will disagree and take the view that Bush/Blair & Howard did that a pre-emptive invasion based on bullshit is self defence. After all you take the Prez’s word as gospel!

    “including killing enemy soldiers”

    RoE’s will cover that in a legal war. By your reckoning it would be completely OK for China to invade us, make AU a big battlefield and kill us all (we’re all potentially soldiers). Hell, just declare Australia a terrorist nation and nuke us, as far as your concerned it would be justified, as would the death of buns3000 just because he’s got better morals than you.

    “Once you admit that, we are only really arguing where the line is to be drawn.”

    Hmmmm, the line? legal —-l-i-n-e—- illegal! I already know where to draw the line.

  94. I’ll just make it clear SB, I believe (as do many others) that by it’s very nature, extra-judicial killing is wrong. That you’re cool with it comes as no surprise but it should just be another prompt to you that you aren’t a centrist, you’re more akin to a fascist going by the stance you’ve taken in this thread.

  95. I don’t regard totalitarian regimes as legitimate or having the same rights as democracies.

    What country you regard as having what rights is beside the point SB. What matters is that this differentiation is not being made in international law. All Countries either have rights or they don’t. The moment the US assumes the right to organise extra judicial executions in places abroad, the same right would also apply to other countries such as Russia, which by the way considers itself a democracy. In other words SB, you supporting the notion of the US being within its rights to assassinate people at will without trial and evidence means you have to accept this policy of targeted killings by any other government. Or alternatively have a reasonable answer to the question what statute exactly it is that lends the US exclusive privileges to perform such acts?

    The real question in the case of al Awlaki is whether the US has sufficient reason to target al Awlaki, and whether they need to prove that to you.

    Sure, they can send a drone and have a pimple faced kid in Kentucky press the button on his joystick to unleash the missile that blows up the mud hut he is sheltering in, and possibly a few kids and other innocent bystanders, the usual eggs and omelet kind of stuff. Who is to stop them? They don’t have to provide no proof for the guilt of the guy or the innocent victims deserving to die. Who is to demand it? Sure they have the right to kill any person on planet earth some meat head within the command chain deems a danger to the US. Who is there to deny it? No one.

    But who is there is the rest of the world, watching and taking note. And when the Chinese follow suit and bump off Uyghur activists in Sydney, or maybe Sri Lanka sends some crack troops to eliminate the threat from Tamil tigers that made it to Darwin, then I will meet you here to join you in your song about how there is nothing to worry about as surely they must have had a good reason.

  96. Splatterbottom

    RobJ: Literally, extra-judicial means outside (the authority of) the court.

    “That pretty much rules out self defence which is quite legal”

    Make up your mind whether this is an argument about legality. It seems that targeting al Awlaki is also legal, so that point doesn’t help you.

    “But no doubt you will disagree and take the view that Bush/Blair & Howard did that a pre-emptive invasion based on bullshit is self defence.”

    This is irrelevant drivel. The discussion is about a decision Obama made on the advice of the National Security Council.

    “After all you take the Prez’s word as gospel!”

    More irrelevant drivel.

    “RoE’s will cover that in a legal war. By your reckoning it would be completely OK for China to invade us, make AU a big battlefield and kill us all (we’re all potentially soldiers). Hell, just declare Australia a terrorist nation and nuke us, as far as your concerned it would be justified, as would the death of buns3000 just because he’s got better morals than you.”

    Even more irrelevant drivel.

    “I’ll just make it clear SB, I believe (as do many others) that by it’s very nature, extra-judicial killing is wrong. “

    That statement is too broad. Clearly when a cop shoots a crim in the line of duty that is extra-judicial. It may or may not be legal. The fact is that extra-judicial killings are legal in some circumstances. Surely even you admit that.

  97. Wisdom Like Silence

    I think he meant morally, not techincally SB.

  98. Wisdom Like Silence

    The rest of everything he said is still incoherent babbling though. I think he thinks that the law should be moral?

    Lulcatz

  99. “The rest of everything he said is still incoherent babbling though.”

    Like this:

    “…”?

    “More irrelevant drivel”

    Coming from a fascist that claims to be a Christian centrist SB ;). I guess you’ve just run out of your self contradicting rebuttals?

  100. Or this wisdom like silence?

    “Lulcatz”

    I guess you’d know incoherent babble 😉

  101. Splatterbottom

    Juan: “All Countries either have rights or they don’t. The moment the US assumes the right to organise extra judicial executions in places abroad, the same right would also apply to other countries such as Russia, which by the way considers itself a democracy. “

    At least you are addressing the issue RobJ chose to ignore and responded to instead with irrelevant drivel.

    “a pimple faced kid in Kentucky “

    How is this idiotic hyperbole relevant?

    The fact that the US acts in a certain way does not create or change international law. International law already accommodates the US position ie dealing with immanent danger. The same rules apply to all countries. That doesn’t mean they can declare war arbitrarily or kill people arbitrarily as you erroneously posit.

    “Sure they have the right to kill any person on planet earth some meat head within the command chain deems a danger to the US.”

    Are you seriously suggesting that this is what happened with al Awlaki? You could be right about Obama being a meat-head though!

    “And when the Chinese follow suit and bump off Uyghur activists in Sydney, or maybe Sri Lanka sends some crack troops to eliminate the threat from Tamil tigers that made it to Darwin, then I will meet you here to join you in your song about how there is nothing to worry about as surely they must have had a good reason.”

    If terrorists in Australia are attacking China, and Australia is unable or unwilling to do anything about it, then clearly China has the right to take action. This precisely why Israel’s invasion of Gaza was justified, even though they did not go far enough due to their excessive concern for civilian casualties.

    The alternative is to invade the country harbouring the terrorists, which is what the US did quite rightly in the case of Afghanistan.

  102. “At least you are addressing the issue RobJ chose to ignore and responded to instead with irrelevant drivel.”

    I’ve ignored nothing I’m just not going to waste my time on a disingenuous hypocrite.

    “This precisely why Israel’s invasion of Gaza was justified”

    What a laugh! You believe that the death of Buns would be justified because he has higher moral standards than you! You’ve demonstrated time and time again that your concept of justice is utterly warped.

    “which is what the US did quite rightly in the case of Afghanistan.”

    Why didn’t they bomb Germany, Saudi and themselves? Do you believe every piece of bullshit spouted by the neo cons? Are you really that naive? Didn’t you learn from statements like:

    “The smoking gun could be a mushroom cloud”

    “Saddam Hussein could launch a WMD attack in 45 minutes”

    “We know he has WMD, we know where they are they are in and around Tikrit……..”

    And your favourite, the one that persuaded you that buns demise would be justified:

    “you’re either with us or you’re with the terrorists”

    LOL WTF do you know about Justice and truth? Here”s a tip, Jesus is a better teacher than the neocon pricks that you truly worship.

  103. This precisely why Israel’s invasion of Gaza was justified, even though they did not go far enough due to their excessive concern for civilian casualties.

    Either you’re a troll or you genuinely believe this stuff. If the latter, I suggest your right-wing showbag, war-mongering bloodlust might find a more comforting home at some of the more extreme right-wing sites e.g. A Western Heart. You’ve probably discerned what the vast majority of people here think of you.

  104. Hey Jezza – I have a comment stuck in moderation on this thread. Can you release it?

  105. How is this idiotic hyperbole relevant?

    Man, for someone who spews crap like “desire of politically correct dunces to take it up the arse from islam” you ask some stupid questions.

    The fact that the US acts in a certain way does not create or change international law.

    Doh. There I was thinking the godlike US creates international law.

    The same rules apply to all countries.

    Glad we cleared that up.

    That doesn’t mean they can declare war arbitrarily or kill people arbitrarily as you erroneously posit.

    Go back and reread my comment, find the line in which I said arbitrarily, and paste it in your next post.

    In the meantime, let me repeat what I did say.
    * “someone within the hierarchy decides someone else is an imminent threat to the country”
    * “to assassinate people at will without trial and evidence”
    *”to kill any person on planet earth some meat head within the command chain deems a danger”
    None of those phrases mean arbitrarily, or random. To your benefit I guess you are just playing dumb.

    The targets are picked by “experts”, which then leads to Aspirin factories in Khartoum being leveled which by mistake was assumed to be a WMD factory, or an entire nation being “given it up the arse” to use your terminology, countless thousands of dead and maimed people, thanx to trustworthy US gov agencies and your flippin “experts” having fabricated WMD evidence to hide their ulterior motive for invading their country.

    These were the same “experts” you so naively trust, some anonymous faceless tools, part of an anonymous state machine intent to kill for an assumed greater kill.

    Or what if the evidence the judgment and death warrant is based on lies fed by foreign agents or obtained by torture, a practice the US is said to engage in? Don’t you see the slippery slope you are advocating here? Any action taken by power can and will be given a justification and an explanation after the fact, but that is poor solace for the victims of said power.

    Let’s take the case of the shooting of innocent Brazilian Jean Charles de Menezes in the London tube. Undercover London police officers faked vital evidence to cover up their fatal role in what they claimed was a man mistaken for a suicide bomber. Do you remember all the lies? He was running; he wouldn’t stop; he was wearing a heavy jacket; he was carrying a package that ‘looked’ like WMD; he wouldn’t listen to us–all of this and more, LIES. But surely you have a way to ensure that this never happens again; that power never lies to serve its own interests.

    Far better to accept the infinitesimally small risk that “terrorism” will claim your life, much as we accept the fact that we could easily die in a car accident (is there anyone reading this who doesn’t know someone who was killed or horrendously maimed in one?), and spend our energies working actively to change the policies of our and other governments which spawn the will to commit these acts.

    Don’t agitate over terrorism: the individual risk is too small. Group together with other concerned people and educate, organize, lobby, and work in any way you can think of, to change the policies of your government that subjugate other people and cause them to suffer. Work to change the policies of endless, mindless, growth which necessitate the subjugation of others for their wealth. And work for a sustainable ecological planet, respectful of all beings, human and otherwise, so that we can see a future for our children, seven generations out, without hoping for some ‘miracle’ from science to save us.

    If, as you purport, you are really concerned with ‘saving lives’, this will save far, far, far, far, far, far more lives than worrying about a chimerical, crazed, conscious less, conspiratorial, kamikazi killer.

    If terrorists in Australia are attacking China, and Australia is unable or unwilling to do anything about it, then clearly China has the right to take action.</i.

    Alrighty then. China has just branded the winner of the Nobel Peace prize
    Liu Xiaobo a criminal, in other words has a complete different idea of what defines a terrorist than Australia. So one day, when you and Ms SB are having dinner at a Chinese restaurant, the same place an outspoken Chinese regime critic and activist Australia is refusing to arrest is having dinner that night, a Chinese sub launches a tomahawk missile from out at sea and flattens the restaurant. The assassination target wasn't randomly picked, they must have had their reasons, and as you agreed, were within their rights to do so. Ticks all your boxes. I assume you are OK with that, just like the innocent bystanders in al Awlaki's mud hut are OK with being killed. It was for a good cause after all – taking out an imminent threat to another country.

  106. “There is hope for you yet.”

    I’m pleased you think that SB, I have high hopes for myself too, but please don’t think I agree with you about Jesus. I’m glad you don’t preach to others about how to live their lives, at least not this week, because if you did you would tell them to do what you did, which was to become a Catholic. That would be too silly.

    My purpose in pointing out that Jesus was a Jewish heretic was to highlight the contradiction in the Catholic Church’s insistence on its dogmatic authority, and its practice of disciplining those of its members who question it.

    The recent statement by the Vatican that advocating the ordination of women was on a par with paedophilia is a classic illustration of where that kind of madness can lead. I defy you, SB, to show me how the mentality that can produce something like that has anything to do with the life and teachings of Jesus.

  107. Splatterbottom

    RobJ: “Why didn’t they bomb Germany, Saudi and themselves?

    This is indicative of your complete lack of logic. Those countries assisted in apprehending he terrorists and in shutting down terror operations. Thus there is no basis for attacking them.

    “You believe that the death of Buns would be justified “

    Of course that is not what I said, but truth or logic have never been an impediment to your prattling diatribes.

    Buns, what other people think of my comments is neither a measure of their accuracy nor a reason not make them.

  108. Buns, SB might be a trolling tosser at times but he has every right to post here.

  109. “. Those countries assisted in apprehending he terrorists and in shutting down terror operations. Thus there is no basis for attacking them.”

    There was no basis for attacking Afghanistan, 9 years later, quagmire no end in site, let’s keep changing the objectives and hope the electorate will forget (people like you). You reap what you sow. I could go on (allying with child raping, drug dealing warlords, murderous pieces of shit like General Dostum etc etc) but it’s clear you swallowed and still believe the neocon bullshit. I guess you think we should send more troops after all we’ve utterly failed on the original objectives and will continue to fail on the new, made up objectives. I was being flippant with regard to Germany and the US but face facts SB, Saudi produced the terrorists and the finance for 9/11! Saudi Arabia is a terrorist nation that oppresses women, when are you going to take up arms.. Oh that’s right the West sells them arms, SA sells the West oil so they get a free pass!

    “Of course that is not what I said, but truth or logic have never been an impediment to your prattling diatribes.”

    More hypocrisy, from the blood lusting so-called Christian. I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume it’s stupidity. Here’s what you wrote:

    “. There would be more justice if people like you who are fighting to keep al Awlaki alive were killed in the attacks he organises.”

    No amount of wriggling is going to make it disappear.

  110. Buns, what other people think of my comments is neither a measure of their accuracy nor a reason not make them.

    Strawman.

    What I am getting at is that someone who would come to an openly left-wing blog on a daily basis to sprout neocon, right-wing talking points – not to mention wish death upon those who disagree with extreme-right nonsense can only be either a troll, or so mentally deranged as to revel in being hated. Which is it?

  111. “Which is it?”

    He loves being hated. It’s transparently obvious. Why else would anyone in this day and age convert to Catholicism, in public?

  112. Convert to Catholicism? seriously? I’d understand more if one was indoctrinated from birth, one wouldn’t know any better.

    Ah well if it’s good enough for that murderous liar, Blair, it’s good enough for SB.

  113. I’m with you on that, Rob. Lots of us are born into it and spend a good part of our lives struggling to free ourselves, but doing it by CHOICE!?! It’s incomprehensible. Don’t expect SB to enlighten us though, he’s very sensitive about the subject. He knows he’s on a hiding to nothing, and the one thing we all know for sure about SB is that he likes to be in control of an argument. God bless him. The silly boy should never have let that one out of the bag. Must have been a rare moment of honesty, kind of like when Crusader Abbott tells the truth about something and then realises it’s made him look bad so he goes all quiet or tries to cover it up. Maybe it’s a Catholic thing.

  114. Splatterbottom

    Juan my statement was: “The real shame of it is that innocent people have been killed at his command. There would be more justice if people like you who are fighting to keep al Awlaki alive were killed in the attacks he organises.”

    It does not suggest that Buns should be killed. I don’t support terrorists killing anyone. I do support Obama, acting legally, and with the approval of the National Security Council, killing al Awlaki. Some people would prefer this not be done, with the consequence that if they get their way, al Awlaki will not be killed by the US.

    Those people who prefer that al Awlaki is not killed by the US are acting to produce a circumstance where he has more opportunity to conduct terrorist acts. Yet they are unlikely to bear any direct consequence of their actions. Their attitude may be different if they were the ones in the firing line, but it is more likely that some poor schmucks who are not running about trying to prevent al Awlaki being killed will be his next victims.

    It is sad when anyone is killed by a terrorist, but it is prefereable, if anyone is to be killed, it should be someone who as acting to give that terrorist greater freedom to conduct his attacks.

    The purpose of the statement is not to wish anyone dead, but to focus their minds on the consequences of their actions. At the moment they are content in the knowledge that even if their remonstrations lead to someone being killed, it is unlikely to be them.

    Bloods: “He loves being hated. It’s transparently obvious. Why else would anyone in this day and age convert to Catholicism, in public?”

    I don’t care much what other people think of my opinions. I made a decision to become a Catholic because I thought it was the best way to live my life. So far, I am happy with the consequences of that choice.

    I should also point out that quite often I agree with the general tenor of comments here on particular issues. Others I disagree with. I prefer a direct style of argument to provoke discussion so we can get to the real issues more quickly. I’ve tried commenting in other forums, but I enjoy this place more, and learn a lot about other views here. How is that a bad thing?

  115. Spin away, sicko. Your words are there and their meaning is plain. Bit late to try and weasel cowardly out of them, you total coward.

    There would be “more justice if people like [me] … were killed in the attacks [al-Awlaki] organises”. So you don’t support terrorists killing people, but if and when they do then there would be more justice if people like me were their victims. Got it.

    At any other blog I have ever been to, wishing death on some like this would have merited an instant and well-deserved banning. The sooner you crawl back under your rock and leave the rest of us to have a civil discussion here, the better.

  116. “How is that a bad thing?”

    You’re asking me? I was the one who said you had every right to post here, if you recall.

    I think the problem some posters here have with you is that you say you “learn a lot about other views”, but you rarely concede a point and sometimes get very spiteful with people who disagree with you. Personally, though, I sometimes admire the dignity with which you respond to abusive posters. So there is hope for you too. Just make sure you try to avoid that Pell person. He’s a bad influence.

  117. Splatterbottom

    Buns: “So you don’t support terrorists killing people, but if and when they do then there would be more justice if people like me were their victims. Got it.”

    That seems fair enough, given that you are the one that wants to stop the US from killing al Awlaki, which is pretty much the only action that can be taken against him right now. The fact is that you are happy fighting for the right of the terrorist not to be killed, safe in the knowledge that is likely that if he strikes again it will be some other poor schmuck that dies. Then you whine like a baby when I suggest that it would be more just if you wore the consequences of your action rather than some innocent person you don’t know, and don’t care about.

    Note again, I don’t want anyone to be killed, not even you, but I do feel more sorry for the people whose lives you are endangering with your idiotic illogical proposals. The president’s job is to use his powers to protect his people. I am pleased he is taking it seriously.

  118. Splatterbottom

    Bloods, it was a bit of a rhetorical question, said with a sigh. I’m glad you stuck up for my right to post here. I’d be fairly gutted if I couldn’t.

    I enjoy the cut and thrust of discussion, and I don’t take it personally when I get sharp responses. Maybe I’m insensitive, but at the end of the day I’d hope we could all one day have a beer and a laugh about the foibles of human nature.

    I have conceded some points in the past, but not many people here do that at all. I might even concede I was too close to the line with buns, but I have been jousting with him for years, and I thought he would understand that I didn’t want him or anyone else killed. I didn’t actually say that I wanted him killed, but he has chosen to feign outrage and carry on like a prat.

  119. Juan my statement was: “…” It does not suggest that Buns should be killed.

    Thats a discussion you are having with Rob. You got us confused there.

    But let me chime in here, as it ties in with my last comment. Seeing that you have no problems with states authorising extra judicial executions, should China or Russia ever have people assassinated abroad and innocent civilians die in the process, hopefully it will be militarists like yourself. Does that sound fair?

  120. I’m not endangering lives, though. Al-Awlaki may do, but I’m not responsible for his actions. It is silly to suggest otherwise.

    I’m also not sure what my “idiotic illogical proposals” are. I haven’t proposed anything, really – much less something idiotic or illogical. I just pointed out some indisputable facts, such as that Al-Awlaki has a Constitionally-enshrined right not to be killed by the US government without due process. That’s uncontroversial. And as I have said many times, there’s no argument that he can be shot dead as a soldier on a battlefield. But there’s been no declaration of war by Congress, which means legally there’s no war. Again, there can’t be any dispute about that either as far as I can tell, but if I am wrong about that then I’m sure you will link me to something showing that Congress actually did declare war, or some legal authority for the proposition that the US can actually be legally at war without a declaration of war by Congress. Or a legal cite for the proposition that the whole world is a battlefield, or that the battlefield is wherever the President says one alleged terrorist is at any given moment.

    It goes without saying there’s no battlefield in Yemen, in the traditional sense. US soldiers aren’t engaged in fighting there, right? So you are arguing something novel – that there can be a “battlefield” in Yemen in circumstances where there are no hostilities in progress. You get that that’s a controversial proposition, don’t you? If you’ve got some authority for that – any kind of legal precedent at all – then do share it with us. Until you do that, there’s no reason for anyone to take your unsupported arguments remotely seriously.

    And your claims that I would see things differently if relatives or friends of mine were likely to be victims of terrorist attacks, aside from being unprovable, are beside the point entirely. Just like it is irrelevant for me to say you’re free to advocate for assassination of American citizens anywhere, anytime, based on mere allegations that they have been involved in terrorism, safe in the knowledge that none of your friends or family are going to be among those killed. Remember that the only information you have on Al-Awlaki is what you have been told by the US government. You’re aware, I’m sure that hundreds – literally hundreds – of innocent men have been released from Gitmo without charge after being held there for years, right? You’re aware of that, I’m sure. It’s not like they haven’t been wrong about these things over and over again. These guys would all be dead if you had your way.
    I think if innocent men have to die because authoritarians want the US goverment to be able to assassinate people based on mere allegations – which, as we’ve repeatedly seen, often turn out to be wrong (these innocent men released from Gitmo having been completely wrongly described by Rumsfeld as “the worst of the worst”) – then you’ll probably agree there would be more justice if they were people like you, SB, who supported these killings.

  121. Splatterbottom

    Juan: ” Seeing that you have no problems with states authorising extra judicial executions, should China or Russia ever have people assassinated abroad and innocent civilians die in the process, hopefully it will be militarists like yourself. Does that sound fair?”

    It does. Of course that would apply only where Australia was unwilling or unable to to deal with the threat to those countries, so it gives me an incentive to elect sane and competent governments.

    Buns: “I just pointed out some indisputable facts, such as that Al-Awlaki has a Constitionally-enshrined right not to be killed by the US government without due process. That’s uncontroversial.”

    What is controversial is that you think this means that the capture or kill order on al Awlaki is illegal. Presumably if you are right Obama will soon be charged with conspiracy to murder, and convicted.

    One problem you have is a very limited idea of what constitutes war. Clearly it is a concept that must be adaptable to changes in technology and circumstance. The rise of asymmetric warfare is only possible when relatively few people can inflict massive damage, previously achievable only by a state.

    The relevant concept in international law is “immanent danger”. As to declarations of war, see here.

    I also don’t know what the concept of “battlefield” has to do with things. Is the enemy’s headquarters or military bases or munitions factories part of the battlefield?

    I don’t think the test for executive action is mere allegations. In Obama’s case they had testimony from one terrorist that al Awlaki trained him, and al Awlaki’s email correspondence with another.

    Gitmo is not relevant to this discussion, although it seems that many prisoners there were released when no good case could be made, even though at least 70 have returned to their terrorist ways. No one has been killed by executive order at Gitmo.

  122. “It does. Of course that would apply only where Australia was unwilling or unable to to deal with the threat to those countries,”

    Imagine China bombed the Melbourne Film causing collateral damage (which means killing innocent bystanders) festival for harbouring Rebiya Kadeer because China reckon she’s a terrorist? You’d have no problem with that would you SB?

  123. Splatterbottom

    Is she a terrorist? How many terrorist atrocities has she directed? How did she get into the country?

  124. “Is she a terrorist? How many terrorist atrocities has she directed? How did she get into the country?”

    Of course she isn’t a terrorist (IMO) but if a head of state says she is (eg Wen Jiabao), and orders she be killed (without a trial) then you’d agree?

  125. I don’t think she’s a terrorist but I don’t speak for the US or Taiwan:

    [“Taiwan denied a visa to Mrs. Kadeer in Sept 2009, alleging she had links to the East Turkestan Islamic Movement, classed as a terrorist organization by the United Nations and USA.”]

  126. Splatterbottom

    The position of al Awlaki is quite different in that he is a terrorist who poses an imminent threat to the US, and Yemen has agreed that the US can target him.

  127. So if China and NZ agree then it’ll be OK to order her death without a trial? All they’ve got to say is that she poses an imminent threat then that’ll satisfy you?

    Or is it OK to pose an imminent threat to China but not to the US?

  128. Splatterbottom

    I’m pretty sure they have to do more than just ‘say’ it. I’ll leave it to you to explore the intricacies of international law.

  129. Gitmo is not relevant to this discussion, although it seems that many prisoners there were released when no good case could be made, even though at least 70 have returned to their terrorist ways. No one has been killed by executive order at Gitmo.

    Your boundless capacity for credulity is mind-boggling.

    If they were released without charge, they’re innocent at law. And if the US didn’t even have enough to try for convictions at military commissions rigged in its favour, or simply detain them indefinitely without charge (which they can do pretty much with impunity), you can bet there was nothing on these guys at all. Which means they can’t “return to their terrorist ways”; they never had terrorist ways.

    So you googled to find out how many of these released detainees “returned to their terrorist ways”, which took you to the relevant wiki page. Then you looked for the biggest number you could find on the page, which was 74. Best not to use the actual figure, lest we all realise you are quoting from the wiki page, which notes that the figure came from a New York Times article that was later discredited and for which the paper later published an apology. Oh dear. The sole source of the claim that 74 had “returned to their terrorist ways”? That’s right, the Pentagon – the same folks who wrongly accused these detainees of being terrorists in the first place. It’s amazing that the Pentagon could go on making accusations against these men with a straight face and expect to be taken seriously, but it just demonstrates the problem with the US media – that they see themselves as mere stenographers for government propaganda. Luckily for them, most of the US citizenry seems to be as unquestioning of such propaganda as you are, SB.

    I think this quote from Mondo describes you best (and will be my last word on the subject):
    Once again I’m amazed to see you supplicating yourself to executive authority like this. You really would have made a good, party-loyal Russian citizen – you could have explained to others wondering why their neighbor disappeared that the government has assured you that he was an evil terrorist who needed to be killed to keep everyone safe.

  130. Splatterbottom

    Buns: “Which means they can’t “return to their terrorist ways”; they never had terrorist ways.”

    Now that is credulity!

    Truly you are living example of the leftist/islamofascist alliance in full effect.

  131. Another thing SB probably doesn’t understand, it isn’t terriorism to target invading troops, even if one is an insurgent.

    Tell us about the ‘terrorist’ acts that the 70 released from Guantanamo Bay returned to? Now SB remember, shooting at or even using IEDs against an occupying force is not terrorism.

    Aaaaah I get it, a terrorist is anyone the US President says is a terrorist?

  132. They (neo-cons) had to make up a new term – ‘unlawful combatant’, that way they could ignore both the Geneva Conventions afforded to PoWs and also ignore the law of the land which covers terrorism which is a CRIMINAL act and as such should be dealt with by the police and criminal justice system.

    The two CIA guys in Mazar al Sharif were by the US’s definition ‘unlawful combatants’ they had no uniform or identifier, why weren’t they arrested? Double standards? you don’t say……

  133. In all honesty I’m a little stunned.

    Of all the people I would expect to see bowing at the feet of executive power, SB would have to be one of the last. That he’s actually gone so far as to unquestioningly support a non-reviewable government assassination program, and to mindlessly parrot government/military claims as though they are absolute truth, is however a true revelation.

    I guess if you scare someone sufficiently they will abandon all principle – all you need to do is convince them that your actions are necessary to keep them safe.

  134. By the way Buns – through your support for the rule of law and the fair application of justice to all human beings you have identified yourslef as part of the ‘Islamofascist alliance’.

    Whilst I’m not entirely sure what this little piece of propoganda is supposed to mean, I think that’s code for: SB thinks your commitment to democratic principle ought to be abandoned in the present instance because, in his view, it will indirectly assist people that the government has told him to hate and fear.

    Is anyone left with any doubt at all as to why SB prefers ‘individual’ rights to ‘human rights’?

  135. Splatterbottom

    RobJ, as far as I can tell IEDs are just mines. I don’t think planting IEDs in a combat situation amounts to terrorism per se. The issue with insurgents is whether they abide the Geneva conventions themselves, and if not, to what extent are they entitled to the protections offered by those conventions? The term ‘unlawful combatant’ is used to describe fighters who are not fighting according to the Geneva conventions. They are not soldiers, and they certainly aren’t civilians.

    I’ve got no idea which CIA people you are talking about, whether they were wearing uniforms, whether they were combatants, or anything else about them.

    Mondo, an essential pre-condition of democracy is the ability to defend society against its enemies. The police force can only go so far towards this. In other cases a military solution is required.

    Now according to your logic, the US should immediately cease drone attacks on terrorists (because none of them have been tried), and should countermand all orders to kill al Qaeda terrorists. Further Obama should immediately be put on trial for conspiracy to murder.

    I have a different view. These days technology has made it possible for non-state actors to wage asymmetric war against states. The people who conduct such campaigns, particularly the commanders and leaders should be targeted in the same way that enemy leaders are targeted in a war. In a war the executive has considerable powers to conduct the war without going to court every time a bullet is fired, or a target selected.

    In this case congress has authorised the targeting of al Qaeda operatives, and al Awlaki was targeted with the approval of the National Security Council.

    Is your objection procedural – i.e. that we just need better or more transparent checks before a person like al Awlaki is targeted? If so, does that need to be made public, and must it be dragged out for months in a public trial? Or are you against this sort of thing unless the target puts on a uniform and behaves more like an orthodox commander?

  136. “I’ve got no idea which CIA people you are talking about, whether they were wearing uniforms, whether they were combatants, or anything else about them.”

    That comes as no surprise. John Walker Lindh? The Massacre? General Dostum? Ring any bells????

    Maybe you should go and read some history before spouting your rubbish. It’s clear to me that you mostly don’t have a clue.

  137. Splatterbottom

    Maybe if you want to mount an argument you should actually mention the relevant facts, and provide a reference or two. I am not going to do your work for you.

  138. “Maybe if you want to mount an argument you should actually mention the relevant facts, ”

    No, I like it that you are ignorant, it amuses me, it’s not my job to improve your knowledge of Afghanistan. I’ve given you a few terms to Google! I highlighted a situation where unlawful combatants were operating on behalf of the US, they weren’t in uniform, they most certainly were not civilians, they caused a riot that resulted in a massacre. It’s well documented and it humours me that YOU would raise the Afghan conflict (15 October, 2010 at 9:26 am) which you clearly don’t know much about, you’ve just swallowed the one liners and sound-bites.

  139. Now according to your logic, the US should immediately cease drone attacks on terrorists (because none of them have been tried), and should countermand all orders to kill al Qaeda terrorists.

    The use of force on an active battlefield is very different to an assassination program carried out far from any actual conflict. The US is perfectly entitled to engage its enemy during armed conflict, but extending that authority to encompass the assassination of specific individuals anywhere in the world (except within the US of course), at any time based on secret non-reviewable military information is an apalling abuse of power.

    If the US has evidence that Awlaki is a terrorist mastermind then they should arrest and try him in court. This basic precept of western justice and democracy should not be ejected simply because someone in uniform says ‘boo’ or “it’d be easier to just kill him”.

    SB – this presidential power is new as far as the US is concerned. Your attempts to portray it as business as usual are simply non-factual. Bush somehow managed to fight terrorism for 8 years without invoking a Presidential right to assassinate his own citizens without trial – Obama barely made it halfway through his first term.

    The US is now sprinting down the slope of authoritarian government (and on a bi-partisan basis). Obama may not be a ‘murderer’ under law, but he should be utterly ashamed that he is the first President to issue such an order.

  140. Splatterbottom

    RobJ the CIA guys were not combatants, they were there to interrogate captured terrorists. Lindh got his trial. I thought you would be happy with that.

    Mondo: “If the US has evidence that Awlaki is a terrorist mastermind then they should arrest and try him in court.”

    And how do you think they might be able to do that? Send a few cops over to Yemen? Seems you are happy enough in the knowledge you have made a demand that is impossible, knowing full well that al Awlaki will continue to organise terror attacks on the US.

    “Obama may not be a ‘murderer’ under law, but he should be utterly ashamed that he is the first President to issue such an order.”

    Why do you think the fact that al Awlaki is a US citizen makes any difference in principle?

  141. “RobJ the CIA guys were not combatants, they were there to interrogate captured terrorists. Lindh got his trial. I thought you would be happy with that.”

    Yeah they were pistol whipping and threatening the alleged terrorists, I thought I already explained to you that to target an occupying force is NOT terrorism, I guess you need to hear it from a neocon before you believe it though?

    Anyway, these two non-uniformed, non-civilian goons lost control, one of them got killed and all hell broke loose in the fort, many of the captives were killed from within the fort and by UK special forces shooting them from outside the fort.

    The US called in an air strike and blew up their Northern Alliance (scum, criminal, child raping, drug dealing) allies by mistake.

    The remaining prisoners were thrown into shipping containers, to avoid suffocation the NA kindly made some air holes…… with bullets (these are our allies, they are scum, as bad as if not worse than the Taleban). Rumor has it that these prisoners were then murdered and buried en masse, when an investigation team wanted to inspect the site of the alleged mass graves they were blocked…. By US marines.

    “Lindh got his trial. I thought you would be happy with that.””

    Yeah, just goes to show that there’s no need whatsoever to not use the existing criminal justice system. Lindh was an ‘illegal combatant’ but he got his day in court.

    ” happy with that”

    I’m disturbed at the atrocity carried out ion our name at Mazar Al Sharif.

  142. And how do you think they might be able to do that? Send a few cops over to Yemen?

    The US military is perfectly capable of capturing it’s alleged enemies. If they have the capacity to kill Awlaki then they obviously also have the capacity to catch him. It’s idiotic to assert that it’s “impossible” to catch him.

    knowing full well that al Awlaki will continue to organise terror attacks on the US.

    SB – this seems to be the crux of our disagreement.

    I’m only going to repeat this to you one more time as I’ve said it enough above: it has not been proved that Al Awlaki is plotting (or has plotted) any terrorist attacks. Your assertions of fact in this regard are nothing of the sort, and are based solely on anonymous government and military allegations, none of which have been proved (or even tested). You are parroting the official US Government line without having a skerrick of proof that any of it is true.

    Just like you, I don’t actually know if Awlaki is plotting attacks or not. The idea that he should simply be killed because the CIA says he probably is, is abhorrent to me.

    I suppose the danger posed by the United States’ implementation of a worldwide assassination program based on executive decree is only obvious if you accept that untested government/military claims are inherently untrustworthy.

    If, on the other hand, you believe everything the government tells you then you’ll probably just see the program as bad guys getting what’s coming to them.

  143. Splatterbottom

    RobJ: I thought I already explained to you that to target an occupying force is NOT terrorism,

    Apart from the fact that you appear to be incapable of thought or of providing anything approaching an explanation about anything, the fact is that the Western forces now in Iraq and Afghanistan are there at the invitation of the governments of those places, and as such are not occupiers. Of course when they carry out actions against Western forces, that is not terrorism, but their willingness to target civilians marks them out as criminal terrorists.

    And why are you whining about some captured Taliban prisoners being killed when they mounted a violent insurrection against their captors. The shame of it all is that a CIA officer had to be murdered by them. Killing Taliban and al Qaeda is a good thing. If they adopt a ‘die before surrender’ policy we should accommodate them. The world will be a better place.

    Mondo: “If they have the capacity to kill Awlaki then they obviously also have the capacity to catch him. “

    How on earth is that obvious? What exactly would you have them do, invade Yemen?

    “it has not been proved that Al Awlaki is plotting (or has plotted) any terrorist attacks.”

    I don’t see how you can require a government conducting a war to prove, to your satisfaction, the basis of every instruction they give. The way it works is that the government and the military pursue their military objectives, and if someone oversteps the line they are prosecuted. In the case of al Awlaki there is ample on the public record, including al Awlaki’s own statements to suggest that Obama has got it right in this case.

    I know you think this is merely a police matter, not a war. My view is that it is much closer to a war and given that al Qaeda and its jihadist allies have decided that the whole world is the battlefield, and citizens are legitimate targets, they should be captured or killed wherever possible.

  144. SB, targeting soldiers in a war zone is not terrorism. I know you don’t understand but I’ll press the point anyway because it further exposes your idiocy and ignorance.

    “you appear to be incapable of thought or of providing anything approaching an explanation about anything,”

    Riiiight. How are you going with the examples of former Guantanamo detainees returning to the battlefield as ‘terrorists’? Seventy you said, what are their names? What did they do?

    “Western forces now in Iraq and Afghanistan are there at the invitation of the governments of those places, ”

    LOL Iraq, the US decided who could and couldn’t stand in an election (debaathification, yet another neocon fuck up – god those people are stupid). Afghanistan’s elections were utterly corrupt, Karzai is utterly corrupt, we are propping up a corrupt govt in Afghanistan which recently legislated for Afghan men to be able to starve their wives if they don’t put out.

    Yeah we’re there at the invitation of puppet govts. Sure we’d leave Afghanistan if the govt asked us to, it’s the perfect out, thing is if we didn’t want to we wouldn’t, that you think we would further highlights your ignorance and naivety.

  145. “The shame of it all is that a CIA officer had to be murdered by them.”

    He was an unlawful combatant by the US’s own definition, as far as you’re concerned he had no rights. You don’t believe in universal human rights anyway so what do you care that he was killed?

    Taleban are complete pricks, I don’t have any sympathy really, thing is I realise that whilst the Taleban are brutal I would contend that our allies, the Northern alliance are worse, I don’t expect you to agree but it’s rather clear that you are quite ignorant on these matters. Idiots buy into the ‘enemy of my enemy’ rationale..

  146. How on earth is that obvious? What exactly would you have them do, invade Yemen?

    How exactly do you propose the US kill him – invade Yemen? Seriously SB, the answers to these two questions are the same.

    I don’t see how you can require a government conducting a war to prove, to your satisfaction, the basis of every instruction they give.

    That’s obviously not the argument I’m making. We’re talking here about an extrajudicial executive assassination order issued outside a declared warzone against a civilian. Equating this very specific circumstance to “every instruction given ” in war is quite plainly ridiculous.

    As I’ve already noted – far from being an ordinary part of warfare (as you are trying to assert) this order is unprecedented in recent American history.

    In the case of al Awlaki there is ample on the public record, including al Awlaki’s own statements to suggest that Obama has got it right in this case.

    I guess you and I, SB, have a different interpretation of justice. “Ample on the public record” is not sufficient evidence to justify a State sanctioned execution in my opinion. You appear to have a lot more faith in government/military assertions than I do.

  147. Splatterbottom

    RobJ: “SB, targeting soldiers in a war zone is not terrorism. “

    I already agreed with this when I said: “Of course when they carry out actions against Western forces, that is not terrorism, but their willingness to target civilians marks them out as criminal terrorists.”

    And Spann wasn’t a combatant at all.

    While I accept that the Northern Alliance does not stick to our standards of conduct, the fact is that they support some of our objectives in this battle, and it is not necessary or desirable to start fighting them right now.

  148. Splatterbottom

    Mondo: “this order is unprecedented in recent American history.”

    Ah, the question you won’t answer. In what sense is it unprecedented, and how is US citizenship relevant to the underlying principle at stake her?

    In fact, the order is not unprecedented in that the US regularly targets terrorists in Yemen, and has even killed a US citizen in doing so.

    Yemen is a centre of terrorist command and control, and ongoing terrorist attacks are planned and organised from their. That is why the underpants bomber stopped off for training with al Awlaki before he boarded a plane to the US.

    “How exactly do you propose the US kill him – invade Yemen? Seriously SB, the answers to these two questions are the same.”

    Really?? The US has already managed to kill terrorists in Yemen by drone fire. It didn’t need to invade Yemen to do that, did it? But given it does not have authority to put police on the ground there, how can it arrest people?

  149. but their willingness to target civilians marks them out as criminal terrorists.

    SB, – A NATO air strike in Afghanistan killed as many as 33 civilians. Are NATO troops therefore criminal terrorists?

    And how do you think they might be able to do that? Send a few cops over to Yemen?

    Well, the US didn’t have to invade Italy to snatch a terror suspect of the street. Does the term “Extraordinary Rendition” ring a bell?

  150. The US has already managed to kill terrorists in Yemen by drone fire. It didn’t need to invade Yemen to do that, did it? But given it does not have authority to put police on the ground there, how can it arrest people?

    Did the US have Yemeni authority to kill people in Yemen via drone fire?

  151. Splatterbottom

    Ah Juan you are such a truculent fucker. Are you saying NATO deliberately targets civilians? If not what is your point?

    And now you are now supporting rendition? No doubt you will be campaigning hard to overturn the convictions of those involved seizing the guy in Italy.

    I understand the Yemenis approved of the targeting of al Awlaki. They seem to work closely with the US in their internal struggle against al Qaeda, but that doesn’t seem to extend to US troops on the ground.

  152. Ah Juan you are such a truculent fucker.

    You are welcome.

    Are you saying NATO deliberately targets civilians?

    SB, were efforts made to confirm the people travelling in the minivans were insurgents? No. They just blew them up on the suspicion that they may be Taliban. NATO troops might not deliberately target civilians, but they certainly don’t care about them either.

    What? We killed civilians? Ah well, a quick apology to Karzai by some meathead general, a few thousand dollars paid in compensation to survivors, and hey presto, all good again. Ready to blow up the next wedding party.

    For the number of Afghani civilians killed by US led military actions estimates range from 5’000 to 9’000. Thats a hell of a lot of deaths SB, considering they were not the target. We don’t target civilians, but we kill them anyway.

    And now you are now supporting rendition?

    Don’t change the subjct SB. The US had no authority to snatch people of Italian streets but did it anyway. But when it comes to Yemen, they suddenly need authority? You are a joke man.

    I understand the Yemenis approved of the targeting of al Awlaki.

    So, it is your understanding that the Yemeni government has refused to arrest Awlaki or allow US forces to aprehend him, but gave the OK to US drones with hellfire missiles flying over their country to take him out? Got sources?

    From what I can gather, there are efforts being made by Yemeni forces to get hold of Awlaki but the government refuses to hand over Awlaki should he be arrested, so I doubt they agreed to have him assassinated. As a matter of fact, according to this Reuters article, the Yemeni PM blatantly denies the US the right to act within his country:

    SANAA, May 30 (Reuters) – An assassination on Yemeni territory of a radical Muslim cleric wanted dead or alive by U.S. authorities would be unacceptable, the Yemeni prime minister said on Sunday.

    U.S. President Barack Obama’s National Security Council recently gave the CIA the green light to kill Anwar al-Awlaki, a U.S.-Yemeni citizen whom they accuse of having links to al Qaeda and who is believed to be in hiding in southern Yemen.

    “We will absolutely not accept that,” Prime Minister Ali Mohammed Megawar told Reuters in an interview.

    “We are a sovereign country.” […]

    Either you make shit up as you go along (my guess) or you have sources contradicting the above.

  153. Splatterbottom

    Juan, it seems the US has an on again/off again relationship with Yemen when it comes to al Awlaki.

    As to the civilian deaths, that is likely to be higher when you are fighting a crazed enemy who has no respect for civilians lives. It is not pretty. I feel for the Aussie soldiers who have been charged for what appears to be a straight-forward incident where they had no real choice.

  154. Did you actually read the article you linked? The CS piece does not state that Yemen has authorised the killing of Awlaki. Quite contrary:

    […] Yemen appeared to balk this weekend at a recent US authorization to capture or assassinate Anwar Al-Awlaki, […]

    What it does say though, is that Yemen had asked the CIA for help in apprehending the man:

    […] Yemen reportedly asked the CIA for help in apprehending Awlaki just prior to the Fort Hood shooting, but the CIA said it lacked enough evidence. Now, the tables are turned.

    Got that SB? Yemen is not interested in US drones killing Awlaki, but would have been prepared to arrest him with CIA assistance. In other words, the exact opposite to your assertions.

    I feel for the Aussie soldiers who have been charged…

    That pretty much sums you up SB, feeling sorry for the soldiers who killed Afghan children, but not a word about feeling sorry for the people whose kids got murdered.

    Which kind of brings us full circle and back on topic. You are a right wing nut case with little to regards for human rights. Unless of course they are Aussie soldiers.

  155. “I already agreed with this when I said: “Of course when they carry out actions against Western forces, that is not terrorism, but their willingness to target civilians marks them out as criminal terrorists.””

    But SB you claimed:

    “many prisoners there were released when no good case could be made, even though at least 70 have returned to their terrorist ways.”

    I ask again, what are their names, what did they do that constitutes a terrorist act. More importantly what terrorist act did they commit before being locked up in Guantanamo Bay?

    “And Spann wasn’t a combatant at all.”

    He wasn’t a soldier, he wasn’t a civilian, he was running around a battlefield with a gun? I understand that a **neocon lover like yourself are incapable of reason.

    **the neocons that you (also) worship are atheists by the way who recognise religion as a great tool for controlling the idiot masses.

  156. Splatterbottom

    Juan, you seem to have missed the point I was making. I cited the CS Moniter article to show the “on again/off again relationship” the US has with Yemen when it comes to combating terrorists. The bits you have quoted make exactly that point. Thank you.

    RobJ, your overweening stupidity is almost endearing. There is a list of some of them here.

  157. First line from your link:

    “In 2004, the US government claimed that newly released captives from Guantanamo Bay detainment camp “returned to the battlefield”

    First ‘returnee’

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abdullah_Mahsud

    What terrorist act did he commit BEFORE or AFTER being incarcerated at Guantanamo Bay? From the link:

    “n Waziristan, Mehsud was believed to be behind the kidnapping of two Chinese engineers from the building of the Gomal Zam Dam, which left one hostage dead during a botched rescue attempt. He was also alleged to have been behind an attack on Pakistan’s Interior Minister Aftab Ahmad Sherpao that killed 31 people.[1]”

    Second returnee from your link:

    “Maulvi Abdul Ghaffar is frequently cited as an example of a Guantanamo captives who tricked their way out of imprisonment, so they could “return to the battlefield.” Vice President Dick Cheney cited Ghaffar as a justification for continuing to detain suspects at Guantanamo.[3]”

    Dick Cheney? LOL – Since when was ‘returning to the battlefield’ an act of terrorism?

    Could you please provide some evidence of terrorism? I mean I haven’t got time to trawl through wiki, and after all you’re the one making the claim the onus is on you to back it up.

    You wrote earlier:

    “I already agreed with this when I said: “Of course when they carry out actions against Western forces, that is not terrorism, but their willingness to target civilians marks them out as criminal terrorists.””

    Yetr And your latest post contradicts that on the one hand you claim to agree that targetying troops who have invaded is not an act of terrorism, on the other hand Cheney makes a spurious claim that an ex-detainee is alleged to have returned to the battlefield and all of a sudden your agreed definiton of what a terrorist is goes out of the window.

    overweening stupidity

    From the one who contradicts just about every single post he makes in the same thread. Riiiiight.

    PS – you also have difficulty understanding the words, ‘alleged’ and ‘believed’, how stupid of you! 😉

  158. Ah, the question you won’t answer. In what sense is it unprecedented

    Well – I can’t believe I need to explain this – but it’s unprecedented in the sense that it has no precedent. No US president in living memory has ordered a US citizen to be assassinated without trial. That is simply a fact.

    how is US citizenship relevant to the underlying principle at stake here?

    It’s not relevant to the principle at stake – the US should not be free to simply assassinate people (citizens or non-citizens) anywhere it wants in the world without judicial oversight or meaningful control.

    I raise the citizenship issue only to highlight how much further the US has slid into authoritarian rule under the nice face of Obama: they now even accept the extrajudicial assassination of their own citizens as long as the President and his compliant media tell them that the person deserves it.

    Really?? The US has already managed to kill terrorists in Yemen by drone fire. It didn’t need to invade Yemen to do that, did it? But given it does not have authority to put police on the ground there, how can it arrest people?

    LOL. You’re such a sucker for military propoganda SB. Think about what you’re saying – that Yemen is happy for the US to pilot unmanned drones around their airspace and fire rockets into their neighborhoods in attempts to assassinate Awlaki, but they won’t allow a US special forces team in to extract him?! Just think about how completely nonsensical that claim is.

    Yemen reportedly asked the CIA for help in apprehending Awlaki just prior to the Fort Hood shooting

    Lo and behold – what a fucking surprise. Yemen, as common sense and basic logic would dictate, is happy to work with the US to capture Awlaki. At the very least co-operation would clearly be possible.

    Your enthusiasm for gulping down great wads of military-issued issued nonsense about the war on terror is hilarious.

  159. “Your enthusiasm for gulping down great wads of military-issued issued nonsense about the war on terror is hilarious.”

    He takes Dick Cheney’s word at face value too, the guy who claims that waterboarding isn’t torture.

  160. Splatterbottom

    RobJ: “Could you please provide some evidence of terrorism? I mean I haven’t got time to trawl through wiki, “

    I gave you a link. If your not happy because the info there hasn’t been adjudicated by a court, or if you are just too lazy to go through it all, I can’t help you further.

    Mondo: “It’s not relevant to the principle at stake”

    Then why make a song and dance about it?

    Mondo, the order on al Awlaki is to ‘capture or kill’ him. No doubt they will do the former if it is reasonably possible and failing that, the latter.

    Unlike you I take the continuing campaign of bombings and terror by jihadist groups seriously. I have nothing but contempt for people who want to stretch and twist arguments about due process and international law to favour terrorists and give them more freedom of operation.

  161. Then why make a song and dance about it?

    Are you serious SB? The answer to this question was provided (by me) in the paragraph immediately after the one you excerpted from:

    I raise the citizenship issue only to highlight how much further the US has slid into authoritarian rule under the nice face of Obama: they now even accept the extrajudicial assassination of their own citizens as long as the President and his compliant media tell them that the person deserves it.

    Did you miss that or something?

    Unlike you I take the continuing campaign of bombings and terror by jihadist groups seriously.

    What an idiotic strawman SB. I take them seriously too – I’m just not prepared to embrace Executive kill orders as part of that fight.

    I have nothing but contempt for people who want to stretch and twist arguments about due process and international law to favour terrorists and give them more freedom of operation.

    Indeed – and I have nothing but contempt for those who seek to jettison key foundations of our free, just and democratic society simply because the government has cowed them into accepting authoritarian rule.

  162. “I gave you a link. ”

    You made an assertion that terrorists released from Guantanamo Bay returned to terrorism, the link doesn’t back up your assertion, it’s full of terms like “believed“, alleged and “battlefield“.. The onus is on YOU to back up your assertion, so far you’ve failed, that’s no surprise you’re just making things up as you go along, contradicting yourself along the way.

    “e just too lazy”

    Actually I have work to do, if you’ve read the link yourself (which I doubt) you shouldn’t have to much trouble pasting the relevant proof that backs up your assertion. Cheney said so just doesn’t cut it.

  163. And before you try and wriggle out of it, here’s your original assertion:

    Gitmo is not relevant to this discussion, although it seems that many prisoners there were released when no good case could be made, even though at least 70 have returned to their terrorist ways. No one has been killed by executive order at Gitmo.

  164. I take them seriously too – I’m just not prepared to embrace Executive kill orders as part of that fight.

    Just to clarify – before SB plays semantics with this statement – it is extrajudicial kill orders that I have a problem with.

    I actually don’t have a problem with the US killing its terrorist enemies – I just believe that it should have to prove that the target is actually a terrorist before doing so.

    Simply saying “we have secret information that proves they’re guilty, but nobody is allowed to review it except us” may be good enough for SB, but it’s not good enough for me.

  165. Splatterbottom

    Mondo: “Did you miss that or something?”

    No. I think that point is irrelevant to the principle under discussion. If you want to use to take a cheap shot at Obama, that’s fine with me.

    “I have nothing but contempt for those who seek to jettison key foundations of our free, just and democratic society simply because the government has cowed them into accepting authoritarian rule.”

    I don’t see the executive power issue as being as black and white as you do. In particular I recognise that executive power expands in wartime to enable the prosecution of the war. The difference between us is whether the quasi-war with jihadists should be treated like a wartime situation. I think that to a large degree it does. You can make all the assumptions you like about me being cowed by fear, but I have come to my conclusion based on my own reading of the situation.

    I understand your arguments, and feel a little uncomfortable about the conclusion I have reached, mainly for the reasons you have set out in your comments, but in the end, I don’t have a problem with al Awlaki being targeted. I think the the fact that the president is acting on advice and with the approval of the National Security Council is all that you can expect of a wartime leader.

    RobJ, you will see the word “seems” in the bit where you quoted my words above. I don’t want to get all epistemological on you, but the fact is that I don’t have proof beyond reasonable doubt for many of the propositions I put. Nor is that required for the purposes of bloviating on blogs. However there is a reasonable basis for my comments, and your childish squawking has done nothing to convince me that my claims are wrong.

    For example your latest obsession is with the word ‘battlefield’. Now we have agreed that Taliban fighting soldiers is not per se terrorism. What you neglect is that the Taliban don’t limit themselves to fighting soldiers and their attacks on civilians mean they are also terrorists.

    Anyway, I have enjoyed this discussion but will now take my leave of it as we appear to be going around in circles.

  166. “RobJ, you will see the word “seems” in the bit where you quoted my words above.”

    Wriggle wriggle.

    “For example your latest obsession is with the word ‘battlefield’.”

    I got the word from the link YOU provided.. Wriggle and squirm..

    “Anyway, I have enjoyed this discussion but will now take my leave of it as we appear to be going around in circles.”

    LOL – you came here, made assertions you couldn’t back up, ran out of wriggle room, now you squirm off. See ya SB, it was a pleasure, exposing your hypocrisy and love of despicable pricks such as Dick Cheney! (Well maybe you don’t love him but your happy to peddle his bullshit!)

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