RANGER AGAINST WAR: Murder, Inc. <

Monday, May 09, 2011

Murder, Inc.


Well I'm hot blooded, check it and see
I got a fever of a hundred and three

Come on baby, do you do more than dance?

I'm hot blooded, I'm hot blooded

--Hot Blooded
, Foreigner

--Why'd you do it? Why did you kill him?

--He had bad breath

--Murder, Inc. (1960)

When Smith attacked Mr. Clutter

he was under a mental eclipse,

deep inside a schizophrenic darkness

--In Cold Blood, Truman Capote

________________

February 1, 1968, B. G. Loan, Chief of the Vietnamese National Police, executed what was a guerrilla, Vietcong soldier or terrorist (take your pick, as this designation is irrelevant to this discussion.) Whichever, the recipient of General Loan's attention was shot dead on a Saigon street corner.

This was called field adjudication at the time, and in a perverse way this shooting was understandable and strangely appropriate. The killing was done in hot blood during a period of extensive combat.


However, this photo was a galvanizing moment which enabled the U.S. to pivot against the war.
From 1 Feb 68, there was not a fart's chance in a windstorm for the U.S. to win the war in Vietnam. Even though the execution was explained as a consequence of guerrilla activity and war crimes and due to a pervading wartime mentality -- despite any possibly legitimization of the act -- the pure violence was a turn-off to the American public.

The stark reality of the brutality was the final straw which broke the American voter's backs. That one death symbolized the futility of the shooting match in a black-and-white manner, in a way that no amount of debate could achieve. Gen. Loan's photographed action was the beginning of the end.


That was 43 years ago, and now
we allow a U.S. president to issue a death warrant without anyone blinking an eye. In 1968 the U.S. public recoiled from the sight of a naked street-corner execution; in 2011, we exult at a presidentially-ordered murder of a thug in cold blood, no better or worse than a VC member on some Saigon street corner.

Why the recoil then, the approval now? The only difference is that Loan had the stones to pull the trigger himself in broad daylight. Why do we glorify a once and future president when both are akin to cold-blooded killers, something we once found so repugnant in the not-so-distant past?


Are we so disconnected from our national policies that we accept this violence in passing as business-as-usual? What does it mean to be an American today vis-a-vis war and assassination?


The lesson from Loan's/Obama's assassination is that any government with a tenuous hold on a situation will resort to desperate acts. Though the South Vietnamese restored short-term order via brutal tactics, NOTE: Saigon no longer exists.

When regimes execute people on street corners the end in nigh. Gang-style executions are symptomatic of bankrupt policies. If the U.S. was being successful, it would not have to resort to such activities.

[cross-posted @ milpub]

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39 Comments:

Blogger Ghost Dansing said...

girl with a gun...

Monday, May 9, 2011 at 4:50:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

G.D.,

Oh, my -- your choice has summed it up, now, hasn't it?

Monday, May 9, 2011 at 6:20:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Underground Carpenter said...

Hi Lisa and Jim,

"Why the recoil then, the approval now?"

Trumpets, of course, as per your great Voltaire quote last post.

Ghost Dansing,

You're kinda weird, but damn! You know your tunes!

Dave

Monday, May 9, 2011 at 7:54:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Not UB L said...

Hmm..comments? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TbZLxh3RRK0&feature=player_embedded

Tuesday, May 10, 2011 at 3:05:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Blackhawk said...

"Even though the execution was explained as a consequence of guerrilla activity and war crimes and due to a pervading wartime mentality -- despite any possibly legitimization of the act"

Jim,
The 'recoil issue' of that photo taken 43 years ago was it was made to look what it wasn't. What wasn't explained was this was enemy soldier assigned to the 2nd Go Mon sapper battalion who infiltrated the Vietnamese Officer BOQ at Tan Son Nuit AFB base and proceeded to murder every man, woman, and child they found. Caught in civilian cloths in the BOQ, General Loan was justified by wartime law in shooting him on the spot. That bastard photographer Nolte got his pulitzer prize for that photo. The unarmed murdered women and children never got a footnote in history. Screw public recoil at wartime violence, easy to judge in the safety of your armchair. OBL lived by the sword and died thanks to SEAL team 6.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011 at 12:54:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

BH,
I roger your transmission and i acknowledge all your points. Please reread what i wrote and understand that i do not/ did not condone the vc, or ubl's actions.
What i'm saying is that field adjudication is not a successful technique.
VENGEANCE IS NOT JUSTICE.
In the Saigon incident i fully understand Loans actions which were hot blooded ,and something that both of us understand.
Shooting the vc was as useless as killing ubl.
If we are christians we are not living by the sword. Somehow christ just didn't go around whacking people with swords. Why does forgiveness and turning cheeks keep popping into my mind??
I always welcome your input.
This was cross posted at milpub and you may want to see the comments posted there.
jim

Tuesday, May 10, 2011 at 1:10:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Deryle said...

The Prophet John Prine once remarked:
"Jesus don't like killing, no matter what the reason's for."

Y'all help me here:
Just when IS it ok to kill another human?

And why do we kill people who kill people to show that killing people is wrong?

Don't lay no bs about "bad guys "on me either.
I'm no angel--still trying to figure that one out after spending my 21st year killing as many humans as called upon by my "superiors."


Blackhawk: Don't know "nothin' bout no bastard fotographer named Nolte gettin no pulitzer prize" either.
Eddie Adams took the fotograph, of which was said:

"Adams 'wanted people to understand that “Saigon Execution” was not his most important picture and that he did not want his obituary to begin, “Eddie Adams, the photographer best known for his iconic Vietnam photograph ‘Saigon Execution’' .
On Nguyen Ngoc Loan and his famous photograph, Adams wrote in Time:
“The general killed the Viet Cong; I killed the general with my camera. Still photographs are the most powerful weapon in the world. People believe them; but photographs do lie, even without manipulation. They are only half-truths. ... What the photograph didn't say was, 'What would you do if you were the general at that time and place on that hot day, and you caught the so-called bad guy after he blew away one, two or three American people?' ”
Adams later apologized in person to General Nguyen and his family for the irreparable damage it did to the General's honor while he was alive. When Nguyen died, Adams praised him as a "hero" of a "just cause". On the television show "War Stories with Oliver North" Adams called Gen. Nguyen "a goddamned hero!"
He once said, "I would have rather been known more for the series of photographs I shot of 48 Vietnamese refugees who managed to sail to Thailand in a 30-foot boat, only to be towed back to the open seas by Thai marines." The photographs, and accompanying reports, helped persuade then President Jimmy Carter to grant the nearly 200,000 Vietnamese boat people asylum. He won the Robert Capa Gold Medal from the Overseas Press Club in 1977 for this series of photographs in his photo essay, "The Boat of No Smiles" (Published by AP). Adams remarked, "It did some good and nobody got hurt."

Respectfully BH, i guess we have "screwed
public recoil at wartime violence"
We damn sure got ourselves enough of that action going.

Rest of that Prine line goes:
"And your flag decal won't get you into heaven anymore."

There it is,
Deryle

Tuesday, May 10, 2011 at 4:16:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

D,
There it is.
jim

Tuesday, May 10, 2011 at 4:18:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Ghost Dansing said...

hmmm... heaven. there's a thought. a good thought. should have thought that before maybe.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011 at 5:38:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Brooklyn Red Leg said...

In other news, Julian Assange is being rewarded by the Sydney Peace Foundation with a Peace Prize.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/05/10/julian-assange-wikileaks-peace-prize-_n_860113.html

"(Reuters) - WikiLeaks' Australian founder Julian Assange, who enraged Washington by publishing thousands of secret U.S. diplomatic cables, was given a peace award on Tuesday for "exceptional courage in pursuit of human rights."

Assange was awarded the Sydney Peace Foundation's gold medal in London, only the fourth to be handed out in its 14-year history. The not-for-profit organization associated with the University of Sydney, is supported by the City of Sydney."

Tuesday, May 10, 2011 at 10:26:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous William Ranger Hazen said...

Sorry Jim I do not concur with this article. Only the living get to argue the fine points of vengeance vs justice. I suggest a movie night and a view of that old classic "The Man who shot Liberty Valence." Justice can be a messy bloody affair. One other note... had OBL thrown up his hands and surrendered ST6 would have taken him prisoner and he was killed in self defense. The Famous Vietnam Photo and his demise have nothing in common and is a poor analogy for your essay.
"To prejudge other men's notions before we have looked into them is not to show their darkness but to put out our own eyes".-John Locke

RIP Cousin Steve 9/11

William Hazen

Wednesday, May 11, 2011 at 4:22:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

Ranger Hazen,
You are an old friend and i hesitantly answer your comment. The photo is a poor analogy, i agree, but it's the best i could do. Remember that the photo was a real event and LIBERTY VALANCE was just a movie, and to make matters worse it was a John Wayne movie. These were not much more than Louie Lamore books on film.
I made more cmts on this art. over at milpub.
My reply to you is the same that i always make-EITHER YOU ARE OR YOU AIN'T. You can't be anti war and anti killing and then be proud and happy that we whacked another Terrorist/ suspect.
Well he must be guilty b/c we waxed his ass.
Well GRASS HOPPER it's always nice hearing from you.
jim

Wednesday, May 11, 2011 at 8:27:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Blackhawk said...

Jim,
I do roger your message. I believe we both came home soaked in blood, with memories of loss not easily forgotten. I admire your stand on the PWOT, not many have the courage to stand up to that evil. I also completely understand Christ's message of 'turning the other cheek', it was the most revolutionary message ever uttered. It brought Imperial Rome to it's destruction, I've seen communist and christians in war as a young man and I couldn't tell the difference. I guess I'm not as strong as you. I went to the Milpub website and what caught my eye was someone was calling the bombing of Japan an atrocity. Well, I don't know of this person heard of the Rape of Nanking or the fact that the invasion of Japanese homeland would cost a estimated million US casualties. Hell, most of half million Purple Hearts awarded in Vietnam were minted in '44'-'45'. Thanks for the thought food.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011 at 8:55:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

BH,
I wrote an essay a while back. It was called GUYS LIKE US, You don't need to read it- you know what it says.
We have pride and we have regret.
As for Japan i was the one calling the bombing a war crime on our part. Even Curtis Lemay said that he would've been a war criminal IF WE LOST.
I read the RAPE OF NANKING,and also FLYBOYS recently. The Japs actually ate US FLIERS LIVERS/HEARTS and soft meats. They did so in Nanking also. Remember the death marches and deplorable treatment of prisoners. This is a given, but it does not justify our retalitory brutality. The point is that we are supposed to be enlightened- even in adversity.
I struggle maintaining my position.
jim

Wednesday, May 11, 2011 at 9:20:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Blackhawk said...

My dad was a Flying Tiger with the 74th Fighter Squadron. He came home home with an intact liver only to destroy it years later....Maintain your heading and course, BH out

Wednesday, May 11, 2011 at 10:01:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

Ranger Hazen,
I've thought about your letter for a while now.
I must say that my efforts are humble and in a positive spirit of what used to be America. Used to be!!
If my visual is a poor analogy then this is something that i will gladly suffer.
The entire PWOT was based on the flimsiest of pretext and logic but somehow a dumbass like me is to be held to a higher standard??
Yeah ubl is with the whale shit which is a higher place than where our national dignity resides.
jim

Wednesday, May 11, 2011 at 10:26:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

BH,
About 35 years ago i used to go to the FLYING TIGER REUNIONS that were held in B'ham Ala. They were held in the same auditorium as the Ala Gun Collectors Assoc.
Those guys had some great tales, and they used to bring and display war time memorabilia.
It's interesting that after the war several US fighter pilots became friends with Saburu Sakai. This is a valid teaching point upon which i'll grant you the dignity to make your own conclusions.
jim
Now i know why you were a fly boy. Army type. One each.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011 at 10:32:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Underground Carpenter said...

Hi Jim,

At the risk of being labeled a sycophant, I stand solidly in your corner with your vengeance-is-not-justice comments. I also think your analogy is appropriate.

There's a big difference between self-defense and revenge; between shooting an armed adversary in the chest, and shooting an unarmed man in the back--even if that unarmed man is guilty of atrocities.

I think the biggest problem with the US right now is that most Americans don't consider self-defense their responsibility. They've farmed it out so they needn't be bothered. Keeping a huge standing army and a paramilitary police force is killing America. It invites abuse, which the pols embrace.

Dave

Wednesday, May 11, 2011 at 10:36:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just a query....

What is your opinion of Sherman's march through the South? Your opinion of his action as a stand alone or in context of the Civil War generally.

Thanks
Jay in N.C.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011 at 10:51:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

Dave,
I just must be a dumb ass b/c i cannot understand the contradictory nature of the celebration over ubl's death.
The POTUS is now a tough guy and 60% feel he's the man.
My head spins like LINDA BLAIRS.
jim

Wednesday, May 11, 2011 at 10:55:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

Jay,
In the context of the larger war Shermans march was a total war precursor. Grant/Sherman/Sheridan were the chief proponents, and they won.
After the war the Native Americans got a goodly dose of this tactic.
jim

Wednesday, May 11, 2011 at 10:59:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Among the detritus in my head is a fragment that inclines toward the idea that a short, brutal, decisive war is to be preferred over a long, brutal, indecisive war. That fragment is coupled with another that inclines toward the idea that the enemy needs to be thoroughly convinced that he has been defeated. Assuming one can achieve that result, only then does "winning hearts and minds" become possible and positive.

?

Thanks in advance for any light or guidance you might offer.

Jay in N.C.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011 at 12:17:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous William Ranger Hazen said...

Thanks for the replies Jim,

To humbly restate my point...OBL was shot in an act of Self Defense. Not Executed...Not Assassinated...

Why did I suggest you See "The Man Who Liberty Valance"? Because of the Story. It's the PERFECT analogy of the struggle for justice over evil men and for your Blog Post.

I am far more "liberal" Than You my Friend.:) Believe Me... and Obama does not get a pass on anything. I try the best I can to judge everything on the facts and it's merits. Obama never issued an "assassination order" but a Kill or CAPTURE Order.

The National Security State... Near World Economic Collapse... The Rise of Corporate Fascism... Two and 1/2 Wars....

We live in interesting times Ranger Buddy and I am glad we're in this together (You too Lisa! :)) Speaking our minds and going against the grain (sadly) of so many of our peers.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011 at 12:57:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

Jay,
I'm not a hearts and mind kinda guy.
As we used to quip-if you grab em by the balls their h&m will follow.
Pls remember that we've made warfare completely indefinable in modern parlance.
Nothing we've seen since the resurgence of US military pride ie. since Reagan even remotely resembles war.
All we've seen are goat fucks.
jim

Wednesday, May 11, 2011 at 1:20:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

RH,
Yep i agree-it was an act of self defense.
40 seals armed to the teeth, and one ass hole in his nightie night clothes. Oh yeah, i forgot - the wives were hostile too.
Not exactly the Son Tay raid, but hey-WTF.
Yes we are Ranger Buddies, as there are far too few of us .
jim

Wednesday, May 11, 2011 at 1:27:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Underground Carpenter said...

WRH,

"OBL was shot in an act of Self Defense."

Really? Who went gunning for whom? And on the little planet I like to call Earth, a kill order is the same as an assassination order. Capture? Puh-leeze!

I never heard a definitive "kill count", but there was mention of a woman killed. Was she armed? Did Obammy have to send in Lon Horiuchi to shoot her? She probably made a "furtive movement", or "lunged" at them. Totally self defense.


Jim,

My head is spinning too.

Dave

Wednesday, May 11, 2011 at 1:32:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous William Ranger Hazen said...

So UGC and Lisa. How many men would you send under the nose of the Pakistani Armed Forces and in violation of their sovereignty? Knowing that there was a better than 50/50 chance the mission would fail to find Bin Laden and that the unit could find it itself both cut off and overwhelmed... Both in the compound and surrounded by hostile Forces armed with heavy weapons? Hindsight is 20/20 and I consider both your queries to be cheap shots taken out of ignorance of the high risks involved in conducting these kinds of missions. Man I wear between everyone on the right sniping and whining about Obama's supposed lack of leadership and the lefts whining about the death of a mass murdered who CLAIMED responsibility for 9/11 and a host of other mass murders and was plotting up until the very moment he took a few bullets for being stupid enough to think he could take on a SEAL... I sometimes wonder why both sides think I am on the other. Sigh the curse of fact finding as a basis for opinion sometimes involves attacks from all quarters I guess. BRING IT LOL

Wednesday, May 11, 2011 at 4:20:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Brooklyn Red Leg said...

@WH - "How many men would you send under the nose of the Pakistani Armed Forces and in violation of their sovereignty?"

Not necessary to send in our military in violation of the very Rules of War we've used against others in the past. The solution was offered years ago: Letters of Marque & Reprisal. They allow specific actions against specific individuals (both against property and individuals).

Wednesday, May 11, 2011 at 5:06:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Underground Carpenter said...

WRH,

Since you were obviously in the command room, privy to high-level thinking, sitting next to Hillary, and had all the intel at your fingertips, I stand corrected. You're right and I was wrong. In retrospect I'd have nuked the entire site from orbit. Let God (Our God, the True God) sort 'em out.

I think a president that orders mob hits and launches(and escalates) wars and bureaucracies is far more dangerous than some bearded old man in a shit hole.

OBL, by himself, was never any danger. If he managed to talk young idiots into terror missions, well, he must have said something they wanted to hear. But we never blame anyone but OBL because the young idiots were "following orders" and incapable of independent thought, just like those Navy SEALs.


Dave

Wednesday, May 11, 2011 at 6:49:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous William Ranger Hazen said...

Mr Carpenter Sir,

The information is out there for all of us.. and though my S.O. Experience might give me a little more insight from time to time... I still have to rely upon the same Trivium to make the best guess out of whats available.

OBL was actively planning more terrorist attacks the day of the Raid. Raids in the S.O. "Playbook" are designed to do exactly what that raid accomplished. Disrupt and Destroy Command Elements and kill or capture the Commanders if present. This was a legitimate MILITARY Target and the Rules of Engagement followed the Geneva Conventions. A soldier has every right to defend himself if he perceives a threat. Having some experience in this area (though no where near Jim's or some of the other posters here) I guarantee you had OBL offered to Surrender Our Guys would have taken him alive. There was an interrogation unit back at the Operating Base standing by ready to interrogate him if we captured him. OBL is worth TEN TIMES more alive than dead since he was the head of Al Qwacky. His interrogation would have yielded an untold treasure trove of actionable intelligence. As it was The Raid yielded a ton of Intel and seriously disrupted any operational plans that Al Qwacky had in the near future to attack targets. Knowing this every Al Qwacky Leader left alive is now going to be forced to come out of their rat holes,exposing themselves as they run for another hole, and hence spend all their time trying to stay alive...instead of planning and executing the next operation.

On a side note I find it Ironic that OBL's "Cave" was a million dollar compound in a suburb less than a mile from a Major Pakistani Military Base.

Yup... Even Terrorists can be Hypocrites. ;)

William Ranger Hazen

Wednesday, May 11, 2011 at 9:57:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Underground Carpenter said...

WRH,

I'm a carpenter. I nail boards together. The entire extent of my military experience is what I've read on Ranger's blog. I struggle with the acronyms sometimes. What is "S. O."?

There's information out there, all right, but is it true? I've got more than a few doubts. I think most of what everybody "knows" is either BS or myth or conjecture. I've never heard any specifics on OBL's guilt. It's just something that everybody "knows." Unless OBL personally handed Atta & Associates the box cutters, how can he be guilty of anything but "conspiracy"?

Bush ordered soldiers to murder uncounted numbers of Iraqis and Afghanis on the flimsiest of excuses. Obama continues the slaughter, without even the flimsy excuses. Yet, as Jim pointed out, Obama is now "The Man." And Bush lives in a real million-dollar mansion, with, I'm sure, a lot bigger TV than OBL.

If Obama had ordered an attack on Pakistani military bases, THAT would have been a "legitimate MILITARY Target". OBL is not an elected official and he commands no military. He's just an alleged criminal.

One more point. If you send soldiers halfway around the globe to murder people, it is NOT self-defense.

William, I doubt we'll ever agree on this heated subject. But thank you for keeping things polite while we're in Ranger's living room. You are a gentleman.

Dave

Thursday, May 12, 2011 at 7:41:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

Dave and RH,
Yes we do respect one another regardless of our opposed views. This distinguishes us from other sites that belittle one another.
This blog is like leadership- there is never just one answer or solution.

Dave,
If i ever stop writing for any reason, i'd be comfortable with you writing essays for RAW.
J PRINE did a song about hammering nails in planks.
jim

Thursday, May 12, 2011 at 11:03:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

Just an aside:

Jim wrote 2 cmts. fr. my computer yesterday, so they had my signifier, but he did sign his name -- so Jay and WH, those were not from me. Anytime you see "WTF", it's probably not me.


WilliamRH said: "I am glad we're in this together (You too Lisa! :))"

-- me, too :)

Thursday, May 12, 2011 at 11:57:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Telling the truth to the ignorant
only makes a lie of the truth."

--The Venerable Dick Gregory

There it is--again.

Deryle

Thursday, May 12, 2011 at 11:58:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous William Ranger Hazen said...

Understood Mr. Carpenter and Thank You...:)

One last thought...Osama Bin Laden held a press conference in Sudan and declared War on the United States and the West back in the 90's.

So...What is the difference between a Terrorist Declaring War and Killing People and a Nation State Declaring War and Killing People?

Thursday, May 12, 2011 at 12:10:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

William says:

"What is the difference between a Terrorist Declaring War and Killing People and a Nation State Declaring War and Killing People?"

Such a good question, one I was just discussing w/ Jim yesterday.

If a group like the Weatherman or al-Q declare "war", it should not activate the military in response; such groups cannot actually "go to war". They may be scurvy annoyances and criminals who wreak some havoc, but the correct response (even if they say they are "at war") is police and intelligence in nature.

We use the term "war" so liberally. We have a war on against drugs, and one against cancer, but the military won't win them.

Thursday, May 12, 2011 at 12:28:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous William Ranger Hazen said...

Hi Lisa,

In some circles of thought that is the way it's supposed to work. Terrorists are sometimes classified as 'criminals" But what if they're based in Foreign Countries? Attack targets outside of the legal jurisdiction of the country they're at "war" against? I guess it depends on your definition of what a "Declaration of War" is...

>http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Declaration_of_war<

Or The Simple Definition of War

>http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War<

By no means do I use Wikipedia as the final say. But if Some dude declares War (as opposed to a nation state) starts attacking State, Military, and Civilian Targets (The Cole, Embassies, 9/11) Then logically... Under the above two generic definitions... A military response by the country being attacked under this declaration is certainly both justified and legal. There is allot of historical precedent to support this view over the last 200 years. So if we may have a disagreement... It's over whether we are in a "state of war" with Al Qwacky (They certainly seem to feel they are) or... all of the above incidents are nothing more than criminal acts because OBL's formal Declaration of War was not "legal"!
To re-state my opinion Because He declared War and followed this up by carrying out acts of aggression against State, Military, and Civilian Targets... A Military Response by the US was/is certainly justified. And thus he was a legitimate Military Target. To say that he was murdered is a moot point. War is murder. To paint a picture that President Obama is a murderer is nothing more than an emotional argument at best with no real ethical, legal, or moral component. I especially (given Jim's usually excellent rhetoric) found the use of the Vietnam/Obama Photo Offensive... and Right up there with the Tea Party Pasting Obama's face on Hitler and Stalin. If we claim to be "better than that." Then let our conduct reflect it.

Thursday, May 12, 2011 at 3:10:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

Hi William,

This is not the sort of tussle I mean to have with you (esp. not after the fight vids you posted @facebook), but here goes:


RWH says: "(Osama) took a few bullets for being stupid enough to think he could take on a SEAL"

--But OBL never TOOK ON a SEAL; they killed him in cold blood.


RWH: "But if Some dude declares War (as opposed to a nation state) starts attacking State, Military, and Civilian Targets (The Cole, Embassies, 9/11) Then logically... Under the above two generic definitions... A military response by the country being attacked under this declaration is certainly both justified and legal"

-- o.k., but whom do you attack? Is it proper to bring the military might of the U.S. war machine down on "some dudes" who declare war, no matter how duderific they are (thank you, Coen Bros.)?


Even Saddam, a national leader, promised the "mother of all wars", but he didn't exactly deliver, did he? Intent and capabilities are different things.


RWH: "To say that he was murdered is a moot point. War is murder"

-- Yeah, but you don't kill Patton in his sleep; that's not cricket.


RWH: "If we claim to be "better than that." Then let our conduct reflect it."

-- I don't know who or what we're better than, but we shouldn't emulate the moves of thugs; that's not good form.



I remain very glad to have you in the pool of thinkers, and it is a rough deal to get bandied about by both the Right and Left. That has been our fate from the beg :)

Friday, May 13, 2011 at 1:20:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Ghost Dansing said...

it appears blogger has taken us all back to a safer, happier time.

Friday, May 13, 2011 at 3:39:00 PM GMT-5  

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