Ruben Bolling at 10:00 am Wed, Jun 6, 2012
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MORE: al qaeda • barack obama • DRONES • jumping jacks • terrorism • Tom the Dancing Bug • tomthedancingbug • war
Meet Jeopardy!'s new master--and his controversial strategy [Podcast interview]
True Detective ends its first season as it began: with two indelible performances [Recap: season 1, episode 8]
And yet if he loses, it will be because he “appeases our enemies.” America is fucked up.
That ‘Liberals Are Soft On Defense and Crime’ is simply too True for any messy facts to get in the way….
If he loses it will be the economy, not the war on terror (unless there is some huge attack here on his watch).
Hmm.. not very subtle.
What? The bit about the gum? Definitely should have said that it was sugar-free gum.
He still should’ve been smoking cigarettes… of some kind.
But Its perfectly OK to murder people as long as they’re wearing fancy uniforms. It’s OK to drop bombs on people as long as they’re not evil cluster bombs. Its OK to stab somebody in the stomach with a bayonet as long as it isn’t serrated. Gee, war sure is civilized now that we’ve got this Geneva Convention! Lets ask Thomas Aquinas if this is a just war so we can murder with a clean conscious. Got to keep that Grand Illusion alive.
As long as it resembles a video game it is ok
It’s only murder when it’s illegal.
Can we apply those principles to criminal law in peacetime as well? Shooting your attacker is no different from shooting someone who gets on your nerves?
Is it easy to decide, in a typical war scenario with two sides shooting at each other, which people are the “attackers” and which are the “attacked”? If someone is plotting an attack against your guys, does that qualify as a justification for drone-striking them?
Given that wars exist would you prefer or not prefer that we try to stick to killing uniformed soldiers?
A lot of wars these days are guerilla wars where the “enemy” doesn’t wear uniforms; it might be better to say that we should try to stick to killing people carrying weapons that are likely to be used against the other side in the imminent future. Anyway, I take a basically utilitarian attitude that the best course of action is the one that minimizes the number of people killed/injured, or perhaps the number of noncombatants killed. I don’t know that trying to kill “leaders” with drones actually does that, seems plausible enough that it might (since it prevents them from completing plans that would involve larger numbers of people on both sides) but I’d be open to being convinced either way. Even if I were convinced that as a pragmatic matter it is better to only kill people wearing uniforms/carrying weapons, I would still agree hymenopterid’s basic point that it’s all just varying types of murder, it may just be that in some cases murdering someone is better than letting them live to likely murder others. The fact that it may be a lesser of two evils in this sense doesn’t mean we should try to dress it up in nice heroic-sounding language, “murder” is a more honest way of describing what we’re doing.
hypnosifl, yeah, that was kind of my point even though I couldn’t express it. We have this weird vocabulary about war that is a throwback to times when people believed in trial by combat and divine intervention. Then there is this idea that somehow the trade of professional soldier is more honorable than say, a butcher or farmer. We still see this in the British Royal family’s insistence on “serving” in the military. Because, you know, war is the only proper and fitting pursuit for a prince to engage in. The gentry loves to remind us of how they are our betters.
We should have learned our lesson after the hell of WWI, but the allies just had to have their reparations. They may have said they were punishing the Germans for starting the war, but we know they were only punishing them for losing the war. Just like in ancient times, to the victor went the spoils, nevermind that the debt would lead to the collapse of Reichstag and an even bigger war a few years later. The Gods favor the victor, right?
Why did we kill them? Because they were combatants. Why were they combatants? Because we killed them.
Like the psycho helo gunner in Full Metal Jacket who was randomly shooting everyone he saw. “If they run they are Viet Cong. If they don’t run they are brave Viet Cong.”
The line in full, for pedantry’s sake:
“Anyone who runs is a VC. Anyone who stands still is a well-disciplined VC.”
Joker: “How do you shoot women and children?”
Gunner: “Easy! You just don’t lead ‘em so much!”
“We” is right. If we live in the U.S. and pay taxes.
I think Obama really was trying to do good – it’s just that he doesn’t have the balls to say no to Big Business – he hides behind carte blanche slogans such as Unity or Hope trying to be a diplomat to everyone. He isn’t a demagogue – he just doesn’t really have the power – but…he does try. That’s why he always has that frustrated/constipated/passive-aggressive look on his face. - https://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=obama+frustrated&ix=h9&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_cp.r_qf.,cf.osb&biw=1557&bih=915&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=isch&source=og&sa=N&tab=wi&ei=UKnPT9GCC6Po2AXdp6jGDA#q=obama+frustrated&um=1&hl=en&safe=off&sa=N&tbm=isch&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.,cf.osb&fp=1&biw=1280&bih=860
same expression, LOL. Dunno, seems to make more sense to me that instead of Obama duping everyone into getting a Nobel and then being as bad as Bush in military intervensions isn’t because he was conspiring to do so all along with a mastermind plan, but simply because he didn’t have real power to begin with. Regardless of what your plans, the decisions are made for the most part based on how fat your wallet is.
So, we shouldn’t blame Obama for the bad choices he makes as president, because he can’t really do anything, but we better make sure to vote for Obama for president, because otherwise Romney will do all kinds of bad things?
There’s a difference between being a demagogue and not having a lot of pull, but you’re right, essentially the difference won’t really be much between the two, and eventually all elections end up in a lesser evil decision. I think that American (and the world’s) political conscience is starting to awaken with all the recent movements and protests, so I’m quite optimistic that the forced dichotomy system will eventually have a wrench thrown in it.
There may be little practical difference in this area between him and Romney, but it’s dead wrong to say there’s little difference. Control over the Executive branch will also determine who gets appointed to the Supreme Court (there will be at least one or two who appointments over the next few years), federal judge seats, the EPA, the NLRB, and probably a hundred other things that I’m not thinking of that will potentially have an impact on people’s lives.
This is especially meant for Slartibartfatsdomino, as to why you should vote for Obama. I’m well to the left of Obama and disagree with him on a lot of things, but better him than Romney making federal appointments.
Good? Dropping bombs in populated areas which kill civilians being glossed over by declaring anyone at the site of the bomb drop a combatant after the fact is good? I dunno but that sounds pretty evil to me.
What if this was not our president but say, President Hu Jintao of the People’s Republic of China? I can only imagine the reaction if he dropped a bomb in a US suburb, killing a dozen people and claiming they had credible information that one of those 12 was a terrorist and the other 11 are combatants due to their close physical location to the suspected location of a known terrorist.
If it’s ok for us to do that, shouldn’t we expect other people to do the same to us? According to our own information, close to 500 terrorists or suspected terrorists reside in the US right now and we have already declared to the world ” If you harbor terrorists, you are terrorists.” making the U.S.A. a valid target under our own terms.
Looking at the numbers, it is the U.S.A. who, on an annual basis, kills more civilians and innocents than all terrorist organizations combined. Are we really going to try to pretend we are trying to do good here?
If you guys want to spend your time reminding the American public that Obama has been involved in killing Al Qaeda, go for it. I really don’t see any down side to doing it.
Gum flavor: Sarcastic Strawberry
or Bloody Berry (Barry?)
wonderful comic ruben! love that you’re on the topic. i wrote a short satirical piece of fiction about drones here: http://bigdeadbat.tumblr.com/post/24513790507/wiphdt-what-if-pakistan-had-drones-too please check it out!
I usually like TTDB but a cold-hearted pragmatist (like me) would contend that in targeting secretive operators (like leaders of AQ), the civilian death toll and associated psychological damage would likely be less for drone strikes than conventional war. Shouldn’t that factor be considered in determining the best course of action?
I’d say the psychological damage is greater with drones than with ground forces. You can be hit with a 500LB bomb at any time wherever you are from a robot at such a high altitude to be unnoticeable for being in the same vicinity as some guy you’ve never met, all controlled by a twentysomthing CIA spook in west Virginia. That sounds pretty scary to me. I think I’d rather see it coming from a soldier busting in my door, instead of suddenly being a puff of red vapor, or maybe some splattered bowels
I’d just like to point out that I’m an INNER HIVE member who last week sent Ruben a suggestion regarding how he sends his comic to us. Ruben acknowledged that request in the most recent INNER HIVE mailing for this comic, saying he had heard from three members about it and so is working on a solution.
Three members was all it took for Ruben to openly acknowledge the issue to the entire group and to work on finding a solution.
I was already a very happy INNER HIVE member, but that just showed me that not only is Ruben an especially talented satirical artist, but also a real class act.
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