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[US Foreign Policy] is still practicing drone diplomacy

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  • Styrofoam SammichStyrofoam Sammich WANT. normal (not weird)Registered User regular
    If half of those people were military youre still looking at a program that murdered as many civilians as militants.

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  • KelorKelor Registered User regular
    Obama’s process of designating males at or above a nebulous military age as enemy combatants to hide civilian deaths is well documented.

    I don’t know that going down the “but how do we know they didn’t deserve to die because they weren’t the intended targets” path is the route to take here to excuse US war crimes.
    The documents show that the military designated people it killed in targeted strikes as EKIA — “enemy killed in action” — even if they were not the intended targets of the strike. Unless evidence posthumously emerged to prove the males killed were not terrorists or “unlawful enemy combatants,” EKIA remained their designation, according to the source. That process, he said, “is insane. But we’ve made ourselves comfortable with that. The intelligence community, JSOC, the CIA, and everybody that helps support and prop up these programs, they’re comfortable with that idea.”
    According to one secret slide, as of June 2012, there were 16 people in Yemen whom President Obama had authorized U.S. special operations forces to assassinate. In Somalia, there were four. The statistics contained in the documents appear to refer only to targets approved under the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force, not CIA operations. In 2012 alone, according to data compiled by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, there were more than 200 people killed in operations in Yemen and between four and eight in Somalia.

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  • PhyphorPhyphor Building Planet Busters Tasting FruitRegistered User regular
    Do you have a link that isn't paywalled?

    Not the intented target does not necessarily mean civilian.

    https://theintercept.com/drone-papers/the-assassination-complex/

    The real problem is that nobody knows if they were civilians or not, or even who they are at all. If they are male and dead in a drone strike they are labelled as enemy killed in action

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  • Phoenix-DPhoenix-D Registered User regular
    And that policy is, in fact, bullshit. It still doesn't mean that literally everyone not directly targeted was innocent either.

    The definition of "war crime" is still not "military action I don't like".

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  • ZavianZavian universal peace sounds better than forever war Registered User regular
    edited July 28
    Nazis would target armed partisans, and in doing so, would achieve innocent civilian death rates of 90% because they didn't give a fuck about civilians. Just like the US government. We're just the top bully that has nukes so no one speaks out.

    And yes, Curtis Lemay and Truman were also war criminal scum, Truman taking particular joy after dropping nukes on civilian population centers.

    Zavian on
  • DarkPrimusDarkPrimus Registered User regular
    edited July 28
    Phoenix-D wrote: »
    And that policy is, in fact, bullshit. It still doesn't mean that literally everyone not directly targeted was innocent either.

    The definition of "war crime" is still not "military action I don't like".

    So like, is there a certain number of civilian deaths required to count as a war crime? Anything under that is just a war misdemeanor or something?

    "Sorry you feel bad that wedding party got hit by a Predator missile but statistically speaking some of those wedding guests were probably insurgents so you can't really get mad about it."

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  • ZavianZavian universal peace sounds better than forever war Registered User regular
    Zavian wrote: »
    Nazis would target armed partisans, and in doing so, would achieve innocent civilian death rates of 90% because they didn't give a fuck about civilians. Just like the US government. We're just the top bully that has nukes so no one speaks out.

    And yes, Curtis Lemay and Truman were also war criminal scum, Truman taking particular joy after dropping nukes on civilian population centers.

  • ZavianZavian universal peace sounds better than forever war Registered User regular
    also if you're defending bombing weddings and funerals, then double tapping the rescue teams and ambulances, maybe rethink your bloodthirst and consider if the US government bombed a wedding YOU attended and massacred your family because some cousin was a domestic terrorist

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  • KelorKelor Registered User regular
    edited July 28
    Obama wrote:
    “Turns out I’m really good at killing people. Didn’t know that was gonna be a strong suit of mine.”

    Hale can start his sentence parallel to whenever Obama starts his.

    Edit: Give me Clinton, Bush and Trump too.

    Kelor on
  • TefTef Registered User regular
    Phoenix-D wrote: »
    "Not intended target" and "innocent civilian" isn't a Venn diagram with complete overlap. Nor is every air strike a war crime, no matter how loud and obnoxious you get about calling it one. Remember your Nuremburg trial example came after a war that involved saturation bombing of cities, which was "fine".

    Incredibly stupid and counter productive, yes. Badly targeted and often immoral, yep. War crime, not so much.

    Just because they weren’t prosecuted doesn’t magically make it not a war crime. Dresden is an easy example. The victors write the histories etc.

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  • Phoenix-DPhoenix-D Registered User regular
    DarkPrimus wrote: »
    Phoenix-D wrote: »
    And that policy is, in fact, bullshit. It still doesn't mean that literally everyone not directly targeted was innocent either.

    The definition of "war crime" is still not "military action I don't like".

    So like, is there a certain number of civilian deaths required to count as a war crime? Anything under that is just a war misdemeanor or something?

    "Sorry you feel bad that wedding party got hit by a Predator missile but statistically speaking some of those wedding guests were probably insurgents so you can't really get mad about it."

    I mean the conventions make exceptions for attacking hospitals if they're "legitimate military objectives"
    Intentionally directing attacks against buildings dedicated to religion, education, art, science or charitable purposes, historic monuments, hospitals and places where the sick and wounded are collected, provided they are not military objectives;

    https://www.un.org/en/genocideprevention/war-crimes.shtml

    But the actual one you want is:
    Intentionally launching an attack in the knowledge that such attack will cause incidental loss of life or injury to civilians or damage to civilian objects or widespread, long-term and severe damage to the natural environment which would be clearly excessive in relation to the concrete and direct overall military advantage anticipated;

    And "clearly excessive" is a really, really high bar.
    Zavian wrote: »
    also if you're defending bombing weddings and funerals, then double tapping the rescue teams and ambulances, maybe rethink your bloodthirst and consider if the US government bombed a wedding YOU attended and massacred your family because some cousin was a domestic terrorist
    Phoenix-D wrote: »
    "Not intended target" and "innocent civilian" isn't a Venn diagram with complete overlap. Nor is every air strike a war crime, no matter how loud and obnoxious you get about calling it one. Remember your Nuremburg trial example came after a war that involved saturation bombing of cities, which was "fine".

    Incredibly stupid and counter productive, yes. Badly targeted and often immoral, yep. War crime, not so much.

    Incredibly stirring defense, isn't it? Not agreeing with your overwrought frantic name calling isn't defending something else. Sorry.

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  • KelorKelor Registered User regular
    Nah, you’re kind of defending war crimes here Phoenix.

    Obama himself has admitted civilians were killed by his drone strikes that shouldn’t have been.

    He also prosecuted the person who revealed that the CIA was torturing people in black sites (which resulted in over 100 people seriously injured or dead) but was adamant about not prosecuting the torturers themselves.

    So doubly fuck him.

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  • DarkPrimusDarkPrimus Registered User regular
    edited July 29
    You... understand that the US military obviously has an incentive to tell us that every target they drone strike is a "legitimate military objective," right?

    And as was already pointed out on this page, they take the supervillain approach of defining all males above a certain age as "enemy combatants."

    What it boils down to is you are defending the United States attacking groups of civilians by saying that no, it's fine, because the government pinky swears that there were so many "legitimate military objectives" they just blew up that any "actual" civilian causalities they cause fall "within acceptable limits." It's real easy for them to claim these sorts of things because, y'know, it's the military. Ain't much in the way of independent oversight going on there. Nobody's reviewing the tapes except the people who signed off on the operation and have absolutely no motivation save their own conscience to say it was not justified. Daniel Hale's 11-page letter to the judge says as much: He could no longer suppress his own humanity to carry out repeated attacks against groups of peaceful, unarmed people and so felt morally obligated to inform the public that this was happening. And for his troubles, he's been given a sentence more than ten times longer than that soldier who Trump pardoned got for being found guilty of committing an honest-to-goodness war crime.



    By some estimates, U.S. drone operations abroad, conducted by both the military and the CIA, have killed between 9,000 and 17,000 people since 2004, including as many as 2,200 children and multiple U.S. citizens.
    Those estimates, however, undercount the true cost of remote American warfare — as Hale noted in his letter to the court last week, the U.S. military has a practice of labeling all individuals killed in such operations as “enemies killed in action” unless proven otherwise.
    Daniel Hale sentenced to 45 months in prison for drone leak https://interc.pt/3zHlarT by
    rdevro, mazmhussain
    The Justice Department also rejected Hale's argument that he was providing a public service by revealing information about covert military operations that had killed civilians. "According to Hale, what he did was legally wrong but morally right," prosecutors wrote. "In analogous circumstances, no one would award such a reduction to a heroin dealer who admitted that he violated the law by distributing heroin, but simultaneously asserted that by distributing the heroin was helping society rather than harming it."

    You aren't a Justice Department-appointed prosecutor who decided the best way to earn their pay was to compare Hale to a heroin dealer. This isn't your job. None of us put you up to this. You decided to leap to the defense of the US military of your own volition.

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  • Phoenix-DPhoenix-D Registered User regular
    Here's an example he uses:

    A man has been identified as making car bombs. Hale doesn't dispute or seem to distrust this judgement at all. What upsets him, instead, is that the attack happened while the dude's family was around. Something the attackers had no way of knowing. Not, even remotely, a war crime. The second example is a bunch of acknowledged al Qaeda members getting blown up. He's upset because two other people happened to be nearby. Also not it. His sentence was in fact excessive; just banning the dude from being anywhere near sensitive material in the future would have been fine.

    The solution to a war being messy is not being at war unless you really have to, not pretending any military operation that isn't 100% perfect is a war crime. You want to say most of the war in Afghanistan and especially Yemen et al were pointless wastes of life that should never have happened, yeah that's about right.
    You aren't a Justice Department-appointed prosecutor who decided the best way to earn their pay was to compare Hale to a heroin dealer. This isn't your job. None of us put you up to this. You decided to leap to the defense of the US military of your own volition.

    Presumably no one is paying you to be a giant goose either, but here we are. That's my last post unless you want to start talking about what I'm actually saying and not what the imaginary posts in your head say.

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  • Styrofoam SammichStyrofoam Sammich WANT. normal (not weird)Registered User regular
    I dont see the utility in trying to forge nuance on this one.

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  • MarathonMarathon Registered User regular
    I dont see the utility in trying to forge nuance on this one.

    Because we don’t live in a world where things are ever just black and white.

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  • Styrofoam SammichStyrofoam Sammich WANT. normal (not weird)Registered User regular
    Marathon wrote: »
    I dont see the utility in trying to forge nuance on this one.

    Because we don’t live in a world where things are ever just black and white.

    Whats being engaged in here isnt really an attempt at better understanding the world

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  • LanzLanz Registered User regular
    Wait how is killing the family of a bomb maker “not a war crime”

    Like, because they were incidental damage? You still killed folks who were civilians.

    To make a domestic analogy: If a mass shooter retreats to his house, and begins shooting police and civilians from inside while his family cower inside, you don’t get to say that it’s “justified” to blow the whole damn house away just to get at him, even if he still poses a public threat!

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  • KelorKelor Registered User regular
    Phoenix-D wrote:
    The solution to a war being messy is not being at war unless you really have to, not pretending any military operation that isn't 100% perfect is a war crime.

    I suppose it was only a matter of time till I saw someone “don’t let perfect be the enemy of good” war crimes.

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  • LanzLanz Registered User regular
    Marathon wrote: »
    I dont see the utility in trying to forge nuance on this one.

    Because we don’t live in a world where things are ever just black and white.

    No, we don’t. But we still have fucking standards, and the murder of civilians isn’t fucking it. This is fucking Neoconservative, bush-era, hard men making hard decisions in the war on terror shit here.

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  • JusticeforPlutoJusticeforPluto Registered User regular
    edited July 29
    It's a poor analogy because war doesn't work like that. Other wise everyone would bring their families on ships, bases and the frontlines cause suddenly you can't target them?

    Edit: like if you want to make the case that the military should of done a different move less likely to result in deaths go a head, but the idea that if civilians are near an active threat you can't take action just doesn't hold up.

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  • zagdrobzagdrob Registered User regular
    edited July 29
    Kelor wrote: »
    Phoenix-D wrote:
    The solution to a war being messy is not being at war unless you really have to, not pretending any military operation that isn't 100% perfect is a war crime.

    I suppose it was only a matter of time till I saw someone “don’t let perfect be the enemy of good” war crimes.

    This is an incredibly uncharitable take.

    What is and isn't a war crime is pretty well established by international law and well defined. Collateral damage is not a war crime edit- in all cases - and is explicitly not a war crime in some cases.

    So you can consider any warfare a war crime in which point there isn't really anything to discuss in that respect.

    You can argue that the standards should be much stricter and I agree. But war crimes has a specific definition it is simply wrong to argue that applies to all warfare.

    zagdrob on
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  • Styrofoam SammichStyrofoam Sammich WANT. normal (not weird)Registered User regular
    I dont think requiring a colloquial use of war crime to adhere to what actions a country has legally agreed to take is very useful.

    Like arguing its only murder if the state said it was illegal.

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  • LanzLanz Registered User regular
    edited July 29
    It's a poor analogy because war doesn't work like that. Other wise everyone would bring their families on ships, bases and the frontlines cause suddenly you can't target them?

    Edit: like if you want to make the case that the military should of done a different move less likely to result in deaths go a head, but the idea that if civilians are near an active threat you can't take action just doesn't hold up.

    1) No, because everyone bringing family as a sort of humanitarian hostage situation doesn’t make much operational sense outside of hypothetical thought experiment cruelty exercises, because it turns out having untrained family running around and getting in the way kind of doesn’t help your military action

    2) Yes, interventions that are not “launch a drone missile (no, not even the sword missile put that back right now DoD) at the target” are better, but the problem is that involves things that the US civilian populace are less comfortable with like active units on the ground and the risks that come with employing ground troops, even special forces. There are wide swaths of articles and studies written on the way the advent of drone warfare has depersonalized warfare, made actions that would have been harder to stomach in previous eras more feasible, etc.

    Like the opposition to these things used to be standard for Progressive Democrats, even here on these boards. It’s really fucking weird to see them suddenly supported now, for someone who’s been posting in D&D since the bush era.

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  • DarkPrimusDarkPrimus Registered User regular
    edited July 29
    Phoenix-D wrote: »
    Here's an example he uses:

    A man has been identified as making car bombs. Hale doesn't dispute or seem to distrust this judgement at all. What upsets him, instead, is that the attack happened while the dude's family was around. Something the attackers had no way of knowing. Not, even remotely, a war crime. The second example is a bunch of acknowledged al Qaeda members getting blown up. He's upset because two other people happened to be nearby. Also not it. His sentence was in fact excessive; just banning the dude from being anywhere near sensitive material in the future would have been fine.

    The solution to a war being messy is not being at war unless you really have to, not pretending any military operation that isn't 100% perfect is a war crime. You want to say most of the war in Afghanistan and especially Yemen et al were pointless wastes of life that should never have happened, yeah that's about right.
    You aren't a Justice Department-appointed prosecutor who decided the best way to earn their pay was to compare Hale to a heroin dealer. This isn't your job. None of us put you up to this. You decided to leap to the defense of the US military of your own volition.

    Presumably no one is paying you to be a giant goose either, but here we are. That's my last post unless you want to start talking about what I'm actually saying and not what the imaginary posts in your head say.

    Indeed, your post, where you quote the military's justifications for killing civilians- something they did not admit to until the leaks made it impossible to continue to deny, so then they tried talking about how they weren't "clearly excessive" numbers of civilians causalities - speaks for itself.

    As I have said many times before about many different instances: Nobody owes the government any benefit of the doubt, nor should they. Calling people out who carry water for the government is not "being a goose," even if the people insist they aren't actually carrying water for the government, just pulling a "well technically."

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  • LanzLanz Registered User regular
    edited July 29
    Also it’s not exactly a great idea to define what is and is not a war crime by what the US says is and is not, given we are literally the nation that has a law arguing that if one of our soldiers should ever be tried in the International Criminal Court at The Hague, we are authorized to invade to rescue them from the ICC.

    That alone should give you pause as to the legitimacy of the US state’s opinion on what actions of its are and are not war crimes.

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  • JusticeforPlutoJusticeforPluto Registered User regular
    I would agree but if one wishes to use an alternative definition it is help full to state what it is.

    Cause right now I feel the working definition is "causing civilian deaths through indifference" is a war crime, which would mean just about every war and every leader of said wars are war criminals?

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  • zagdrobzagdrob Registered User regular
    I would agree but if one wishes to use an alternative definition it is help full to state what it is.

    Cause right now I feel the working definition is "causing civilian deaths through indifference" is a war crime, which would mean just about every war and every leader of said wars are war criminals?

    Tbf,

    But naming every case as a war crime is completely contrary to the definition of war crime.

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  • LanzLanz Registered User regular
    edited July 29
    I would agree but if one wishes to use an alternative definition it is help full to state what it is.

    Cause right now I feel the working definition is "causing civilian deaths through indifference" is a war crime, which would mean just about every war and every leader of said wars are war criminals?

    https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/10/23/explainer-what-is-a-war-crime
    According to the United Nations, a war crime is a serious breach of international law committed against civilians or “enemy combatants” during an international or domestic armed conflict.

    A war crime occurs when superfluous injury or unnecessary suffering is inflicted upon an enemy. In spite of the outrage caused by the bombing of a school or a country’s TV station, such actions do not necessarily amount to war crimes. Such bombing will only be a war crime if the extent of civilian casualties resulting from the attack is excessive compared to the military advantage gained from the attack.

    In contrast with genocide and crimes against humanity, war crimes have to occur in the context of armed conflict.


    With this in mind, the earlier reporting is that 90% of those killed were not the intended target. With this in mind, yes, we can then say that the “extent of civilian casualties resulting from the attack [was] excessive compared to the military advantage gained from the attack” and is a war crime

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  • DarkPrimusDarkPrimus Registered User regular
    edited July 29
    Now for some reason I'm recalling the Mỹ Lai massacre, and how the government initially reported it as "128 Viet Cong and 22 civilians" killed in a "fierce fire fight," and how the events only came to light years after the fact thanks to journalistic reporting tipped off by a soldier who was morally concerned about the lack of investigation through official channels into the massacre, and how the government established a task force to figure out how to "control the situation" of it becoming public knowledge - which included publicly pillorying the helicopter crew that tried to intervene and stop the mass murder of hundreds of unarmed civilians and were even called traitors by the Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, and how of the twenty-six soldiers who were charged with criminal offenses, only one of them was ever convicted of any criminal charges, and how he got his initial life sentence knocked down to three-and-a-half years of house arrest.

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  • GnizmoGnizmo Registered User regular
    Lanz wrote: »
    I would agree but if one wishes to use an alternative definition it is help full to state what it is.

    Cause right now I feel the working definition is "causing civilian deaths through indifference" is a war crime, which would mean just about every war and every leader of said wars are war criminals?

    https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/10/23/explainer-what-is-a-war-crime
    According to the United Nations, a war crime is a serious breach of international law committed against civilians or “enemy combatants” during an international or domestic armed conflict.

    A war crime occurs when superfluous injury or unnecessary suffering is inflicted upon an enemy. In spite of the outrage caused by the bombing of a school or a country’s TV station, such actions do not necessarily amount to war crimes. Such bombing will only be a war crime if the extent of civilian casualties resulting from the attack is excessive compared to the military advantage gained from the attack.

    In contrast with genocide and crimes against humanity, war crimes have to occur in the context of armed conflict.


    With this in mind, the earlier reporting is that 90% of those killed were not the intended target. With this in mind, yes, we can then say that the “extent of civilian casualties resulting from the attack [was] excessive compared to the military advantage gained from the attack” and is a war crime

    We can't say that 90% of those hit were civilian. We can't ever say what it was because the data is fucking garbage by design. Even still that does not fit the plain reading. It doesn't address ratio so much as military advantage. Kill a million civilians in an attack that lets you win the war? Well you can argue it wasn't excessive because it gave such a huge advantage.

    You might be thinking this is some cold, heartless bullshit. I would then point out that war crimes were defined by rich, old white men of imperial powers. It is meant to let people get away with stupid shit. See Dresden as mentioned earlier in the thread.

  • HappylilElfHappylilElf Registered User regular
    Zavian wrote: »
    Another whistleblower, Daniel Hale, has been sentenced to prison for revealing Obama's US war crimes:
    The documents included a report finding that reliance on deadly attacks was undermining intelligence gathering. During one five-month stretch of an operation in Afghanistan, the documents revealed, nearly 90 percent of the people killed were not the intended targets.
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/legal-issues/daniel-hale-drone-leak-sentence/2021/07/27/7bb46dd6-ee14-11eb-bf80-e3877d9c5f06_story.html

    Now before any alt-right war crime apologists jump in and say 'it's not a war crime because the US govt doesn't view 90% innocent civilians being murdered as a war crime' why don't you save that argument for h8chan. It's the same type of crap you hear from police brutality apologists (yes, nine civilians were murdered by cops, but they also killed one bad guy!). It's fucking disgusting. There should be a post-war Nuremburg trial, and yes, Bush, Obama, Trump and Biden all need to be put up on the stand for KNOWINGLY signing off on these strikes with appalling civilian death rates.

    You want to know why the US has been losing in Iraq and Afghanistan? It's because we've been murdering innocent people over there for two decades. Then knowingly covering it up and prosecuting anyone who reveals the truth. Nazi scum tactics never work.

    Ah yes who could forget the well known prolific alt-right war crime apologist PA forum members who also frequent 8chan.

    DoodmannGnome-Interruptus
  • JusticeforPlutoJusticeforPluto Registered User regular
    I can see how arguments about the terms "excessive" versus "compared military advantage" could be made, and be very tiresome. Like if the bomb maker and his family of 4 died in a drone strike, but his bombs had killed 100 people does that tilt the scales? It's grim fucking calculus.
    Gnizmo wrote: »
    Lanz wrote: »
    I would agree but if one wishes to use an alternative definition it is help full to state what it is.

    Cause right now I feel the working definition is "causing civilian deaths through indifference" is a war crime, which would mean just about every war and every leader of said wars are war criminals?

    https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/10/23/explainer-what-is-a-war-crime
    According to the United Nations, a war crime is a serious breach of international law committed against civilians or “enemy combatants” during an international or domestic armed conflict.

    A war crime occurs when superfluous injury or unnecessary suffering is inflicted upon an enemy. In spite of the outrage caused by the bombing of a school or a country’s TV station, such actions do not necessarily amount to war crimes. Such bombing will only be a war crime if the extent of civilian casualties resulting from the attack is excessive compared to the military advantage gained from the attack.

    In contrast with genocide and crimes against humanity, war crimes have to occur in the context of armed conflict.


    With this in mind, the earlier reporting is that 90% of those killed were not the intended target. With this in mind, yes, we can then say that the “extent of civilian casualties resulting from the attack [was] excessive compared to the military advantage gained from the attack” and is a war crime

    We can't say that 90% of those hit were civilian. We can't ever say what it was because the data is fucking garbage by design. Even still that does not fit the plain reading. It doesn't address ratio so much as military advantage. Kill a million civilians in an attack that lets you win the war? Well you can argue it wasn't excessive because it gave such a huge advantage.

    You might be thinking this is some cold, heartless bullshit. I would then point out that war crimes were defined by rich, old white men of imperial powers. It is meant to let people get away with stupid shit. See Dresden as mentioned earlier in the thread.

    I would say the writers of the Geneva Conventions had good intentions. Where they failed is when they turned around around and decided that the rules only applied to "civilized" peope.

    Gnome-Interruptus
  • GnizmoGnizmo Registered User regular
    edited July 29
    I can see how arguments about the terms "excessive" versus "compared military advantage" could be made, and be very tiresome. Like if the bomb maker and his family of 4 died in a drone strike, but his bombs had killed 100 people does that tilt the scales? It's grim fucking calculus.
    Gnizmo wrote: »
    Lanz wrote: »
    I would agree but if one wishes to use an alternative definition it is help full to state what it is.

    Cause right now I feel the working definition is "causing civilian deaths through indifference" is a war crime, which would mean just about every war and every leader of said wars are war criminals?

    https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/10/23/explainer-what-is-a-war-crime
    According to the United Nations, a war crime is a serious breach of international law committed against civilians or “enemy combatants” during an international or domestic armed conflict.

    A war crime occurs when superfluous injury or unnecessary suffering is inflicted upon an enemy. In spite of the outrage caused by the bombing of a school or a country’s TV station, such actions do not necessarily amount to war crimes. Such bombing will only be a war crime if the extent of civilian casualties resulting from the attack is excessive compared to the military advantage gained from the attack.

    In contrast with genocide and crimes against humanity, war crimes have to occur in the context of armed conflict.


    With this in mind, the earlier reporting is that 90% of those killed were not the intended target. With this in mind, yes, we can then say that the “extent of civilian casualties resulting from the attack [was] excessive compared to the military advantage gained from the attack” and is a war crime

    We can't say that 90% of those hit were civilian. We can't ever say what it was because the data is fucking garbage by design. Even still that does not fit the plain reading. It doesn't address ratio so much as military advantage. Kill a million civilians in an attack that lets you win the war? Well you can argue it wasn't excessive because it gave such a huge advantage.

    You might be thinking this is some cold, heartless bullshit. I would then point out that war crimes were defined by rich, old white men of imperial powers. It is meant to let people get away with stupid shit. See Dresden as mentioned earlier in the thread.

    I would say the writers of the Geneva Conventions had good intentions. Where they failed is when they turned around around and decided that the rules only applied to "civilized" peope.

    I think generally most people in history have good intentions for the horrible shit they did. Good intentions doesn't change shit. They most certainly didn't want to suddenly be held accountable for doing "what is necessary." The problem is, I suspect, they were not the people who would likely ever face the consequences of these decisions. The rules were written to favor those in power by those in power. It is a pretty old story.

    Edit: To put a really fine point on it, there is a reason Hitler is remembered much more fondly in India. Turns out a lot of the countries hurt by colonial powers don't mind as much when those same colonial powers suffer the same fate. The imperial powers were very fucking bad, but we don't like to teach that part of history.

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  • ZavianZavian universal peace sounds better than forever war Registered User regular
    anyone want to defend My Lai as well while we're at it


    using terms and phrases to categorize (usually wrongly based on faulty information) human beings in order to justify their torture/extermination doesn't make it okay, nor does 'it was a war, we were following orders', nor does it justify also murdering everyone in their immediate vicinity.

    and by alt-right war crime apologists, if you think drone strikes against 'terrorists' is appropriate, then you're also in favor of drone strikes against domestic targets and willing to accept 90% 'non-target' causalities. If you're only in favor of foreign drone strikes, that makes you a nationalist and a racist. In either case, you clearly don't give a shit about human rights and the lives of 'non-targets' (which usually means innocent kids and women)

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  • useruser Registered User regular
    It really behooves anyone who wants to maintain moral clarity with respect to what the U.S.'s (and I am a citizen therein) position as a hegemonic power is willing to do to make sure designations such as 'war criminal' don't apply to any agent carrying out their duties on behalf of the U.S.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Service-Members'_Protection_Act

    Being pedantic about whether or not the U.S. is subject to war-crimes is somewhat besides the point when the U.S. has clearly decided that it isn't beholden to any authority that litigates those issues.

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  • Harry DresdenHarry Dresden Registered User regular
    I dont think requiring a colloquial use of war crime to adhere to what actions a country has legally agreed to take is very useful.

    Like arguing its only murder if the state said it was illegal.

    With a word bandied about like the on a topic like this, war crime should be used by the accurate definition is rather than changing is meaning to score political point. That's what conservative groups like Fox News does to shift the argument in their favour by altering the meanings of words so hey can justify any stance. It devalues the actual meaning and diminishes the atrocity war crimes are in the real world. Since war crimes are a legal definition, so what? The government murdering families with drones remains an immoral act to attack them on. Which would be technically correct, especially since this is about foreign policy - where states define laws. Not all laws created are right but they can't be brushed aside like its nothing on something so barbaric as war crimes.

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  • Styrofoam SammichStyrofoam Sammich WANT. normal (not weird)Registered User regular
    edited July 29
    I dont think requiring a colloquial use of war crime to adhere to what actions a country has legally agreed to take is very useful.

    Like arguing its only murder if the state said it was illegal.

    With a word bandied about like the on a topic like this, war crime should be used by the accurate definition is rather than changing is meaning to score political point. That's what conservative groups like Fox News does to shift the argument in their favour by altering the meanings of words so hey can justify any stance. It devalues the actual meaning and diminishes the atrocity war crimes are in the real world. Since war crimes are a legal definition, so what? The government murdering families with drones remains an immoral act to attack them on. Which would be technically correct, especially since this is about foreign policy - where states define laws. Not all laws created are right but they can't be brushed aside like its nothing on something so barbaric as war crimes.

    You have precisely zero problem calling state sanctioned police executions murders despite it failing to meet the legal definition so no I don't think I'll do this.

    Its easy to hide truths behind calls for nuance or semantic accuracy.

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  • GnizmoGnizmo Registered User regular
    I dont think requiring a colloquial use of war crime to adhere to what actions a country has legally agreed to take is very useful.

    Like arguing its only murder if the state said it was illegal.

    With a word bandied about like the on a topic like this, war crime should be used by the accurate definition is rather than changing is meaning to score political point. That's what conservative groups like Fox News does to shift the argument in their favour by altering the meanings of words so hey can justify any stance. It devalues the actual meaning and diminishes the atrocity war crimes are in the real world. Since war crimes are a legal definition, so what? The government murdering families with drones remains an immoral act to attack them on. Which would be technically correct, especially since this is about foreign policy - where states define laws. Not all laws created are right but they can't be brushed aside like its nothing on something so barbaric as war crimes.

    You have precisely zero problem calling state sanctioned police executions murders despite it failing to meet the legal definition so no I don't think I'll do this.

    Its easy to hide truths behind calls for nuance or semantic accuracy.

    For my part I am more trying to highlight the incredibly low bar you need to clear for a war crime. It feels like 120 years is a little too long to wait between updates. Especially considering what war fundamentally is like half a dozen time during that time period.

  • ShivahnShivahn Unaware of her barrel shifter privilege Western coastal temptressRegistered User, Moderator mod
    As far as I can tell, this thread has become a very angry argument about whether or not words might have multiple meanings, and if there is benefit in avoiding colloquial use of words that also have legal definitions. This is exceedingly tedious and I'm not even sure convinced anyone on this page disagrees with anyone else on anything of substance. Talk about foreign policy and who's being indiscriminately killed by whom, arguments about what words even mean, man, never go anywhere.

    Regardless, you're not allowed to preemptively call people nazis for disagreeing about what legal words mean.

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