Jim Fetzer, a former Marine Corps officer, has published widely on the theoretical foundations of scientific knowledge, computer science, artificial intelligence, cognitive science, and evolution and mentality.

McKnight Professor Emeritus at the University of Minnesota Duluth, he has also conducted extensive research into the assassination of JFK, the events of 9/11, and the plane crash that killed US Sen. Paul Wellstone.

The founder of Scholars for 9/11 Truth, his latest books include The Evolution of Intelligence (2005), The 9/11 Conspiracy (2007), Render Unto Darwin (2007), and The Place of Probability in Science (2010).


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Obama violates US and International Law in Pakistan

DISCLOSURE: The views expressed herein are views of the author exclusively and not the views of VT, VT authors, affiliates, advertisers, sponsors, partners, technicians or the Veterans Today Network and its assigns. The views belong exclusively to author Jim Fetzer.

by Jim Fetzer and Press TV

 

“Imran Khan is taking a courageous and principled stance. . . . Let us hope that other nations will follow his lead.”–Jim Fetzer

 

As an outcry is growing over the increasing use of drones by the United States both at home and abroad, an American professor says President Barack Obama is now “violating not only American constitutional law but international law.”

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan Saturday reiterated that he would order that Pakistan Air Force to target U.S. drones in country’s airspace if people elected him as Prime Minster.

“That’s a courageous and principled stance,” said Fetzer who is an editor at The Veterans Today.

“We know from past experience that vast numbers of civilians who have nothing to do with any political issue are being killed by drone attacks”, he added.


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Fetzer called Obama “morally corrupt” over his support for the controversial program. “It is a violation of international law and the sovereignty of different nations.”


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In addition to drone attacks overseas, Fetzer said that “the situation is becoming quite ominous here in the United States where some 30,000 drones have been authorized,” and added that he doubts they are “merely for surveillance purposes.”


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The United States has carried out more than 360 assassination drone attacks in Pakistan since 2004, killing about 3,500 people, according to a recent study by the London-based Bureau of Investigative Journalism.

 

On the Ethical Conduct of Warfare: Predator Drones

Among the most intriguing questions that modern technology poses is the extent to which inanimate machines might  be capable of replacing human beings in combat and warfare.  The very idea of armies of robots has a certain appeal, even though “The Terminator” and “I, Robot” have raised challenging questions related to the capacity for machine mentality and the prospect that, once they’ve attained a certain level of intelligence, these machines might turn against those who designed and built them to advance their own “interests”, if, indeed, such a thing is possible.  In an earlier article, “Intelligence vs. Mentality: Important but Independent Concepts” (1997), for example, I have argued that, while machines may well be described as “intelligent” because of the plasticity of behavior they can display in response to different programs, they are not the possessors of minds and therefore may be capable of simulating human intelligence but not of its possession.

From a philosophical point of view, there are at least three perspectives that could be brought to bear upon the use of the specific form of digital technology known as “predator drones”, which are pilot-less aircraft that can be deployed with the capacity to project lethal force —perhaps most commonly, by missile attacks, primarily — with or without any intervention by human minds.   The first is that of metaphysics, in particular, from the perspective of the kinds of things they are, especially with respect to the question of autonomy.  The second is that of epistemology, in particular, the question of the kind of knowledge that can be obtained about their reliability on missions.  And the third is that of axiology, in particular, the moral questions that arise from their use as killing machines, where, as I shall suggest, there is an inherent tension between the first and the third of these perspectives, which is considerably compounded by the second.

As a former artillery officer, I can appreciate the use of weapons that are capable of killing at a distance with considerable anonymity about those who are going to be killed.  In traditional warfare, artillery has been used to attack relatively well-defined military targets, but has not infrequently been accompanied by civilian casualties, which today are often referred to as “collateral damage”.  An intermediate species of killing machine arises from the use of controlled drones, where human minds are an essential link in the causal chains that produce their intentional lethal effects.  The use of predator drones, of course, is distinct from surveillance drones in this respect, because surveillance drones can acquire information without bringing about death or devastation.  Without those capacities, however, there would be scant purpose in the deployment of predator drones, the existence of which is predicated upon their function as killing machines.

 

Ontology and Autonomy

 

The important metaphysical — more precisely, ontological — question that arises within this context is the applicability of the concept of autonomy to inanimate machines.  The traditional philosophical conception related to issues of moral responsibility concerns whether arguments by analogy apply.  Moral responsibility for human actions typically requires a certain basic capacity for rationality of action and rationality of belief, combined with an absence of coercion and of constraint.  When humans are unable to form rational beliefs (responsive to the information available to them, because they are paranoid) or take rational actions (which promote their motives based upon their beliefs, because they are neurotic), they may be exonerated from moral responsibility for their actions.  Similarly, when their actions are affected by coercion (by means of threats) or constraints (by being restrained), degrees of responsibility may require adjudication.

 

While human actions result from a causal interaction of motives, beliefs, ethics, abilities and capabilities, counterparts for predator drones do not appear to exist except in an extended or figurative sense.  If capabilities represent the absence of factors that inhibit their abilities from being exercised — as is the case when they cannot fly because their batteries need recharging — then their incapacity to perform their intended tasks could not be said to be their own responsibility.  But insofar as they are designed and built to conform to the programs that control them, it is difficult to suppose that analogies with humans properly apply.  Since analogies are faulty when (a) there are more differences than similarities, (b) when there are few but crucial differences, or (c) when their conclusions are treaded as certain rather than merely probable, absent mentality, it is difficult to conclude that they are capable of the possession of beliefs, motives, or morality.

 

From the perspective of epistemology, the kind of knowledge that can be acquired about these machines is not akin to that of pure mathematics, which acquires certainty at the expense of their content, but rather than of applied mathematics, which acquires its content at the expense of its certainty.  The complex causal interaction between software, firmware, and hardware makes the performance of these systems both empirical and uncertain as the product of evaluating their success in use against the properties of their design.  If they are not engineered in accordance with the appropriate specifications, for example, then the result of their deployment can be fraught with hazard.  The reliability of these systems in delivering their lethal force to appropriate targets can be completely unknown without testing and study, where the conditions of their use in Iraq and Afghanistan makes their probability of success unpredictable.

 

Epistemology and Targeting

 

The most serious problems with their deployment, however, arise from the criteria for determining the targets against which they are properly deployed.  In the language of artillery, sometimes targets are designated as “free fire” zones, where any human within that vicinity is considered to be a legitimate target.  That works when the enemy is clearly defined and geographically prescribed.  In the case of guerilla (or “irregular”) warfare, however, there are neither uniforms to identify the enemy nor territorial boundaries to distinguish them, as is the case in Iraq and Afghanistan, where virtually any group of individuals, no matter how innocuous they may turn out to be, tends to be regarded as “fair game” for drone attack. In military language, of course, it’s all readily excusable as “collateral damage”.

 

How many wedding parties are we going to take out because the drone saw group behavior that it had been programmed to hit?  How often do we have sufficient information to know that we are actually targeting insurgents and not innocents? Surely I am not alone in finding our actions repugnant when I read, “Over 700 killed in 44 drone strikes in 2009” taking out 5 intended targets —140 to 1 — and 123 civilians were killed for 3 al-Qaeda in January 2010. The headlines are ubiquitous:  “CIA chief in Pakistan exposed.  Top spy received death threats; U.S. drones kill 54”, Wisconsin State Journal (18 December 2010), where the American government claims, just as it did in Vietnam, that every dead body was a ”suspected militant”: none were innocent men, women, or children.   Even The Washington Post (21 February 2011) seems to perceive that something is wrong with killing so many people and hitting so few targets.

 

We are now invading Pakistani airspace in our relentless determination to take out those who oppose us. From the point of view of the countries that we have invaded and occupied, they might be more aptly described as “freedom fighters”. Since we invaded these countries in violation of international law, the UN Charter and the US Constitution, we appear to be committing crimes against humanity. And the risk posed by our own technology is now extending to the USA itself. A recent article found in Software 26th August 2010 12:26 GMT, “ROBOT KILL-CHOPPER GOES ROGUE above Washington DC!” by Lewis Page, describes a perceived threat to the nation’s capitol as attributable to “software error”. No deaths resulted from this infraction, but perhaps the next time a mistake of this kind will lead to the deaths of members of Congress or of “The First Family” on a picnic outing in the Rose Garden, which will make for spectacular headlines.  Yet we don’t even pause to ask ourselves, “What’s wrong with collateral damage?”

 

Morality and Methodology

 

We cannot know whether or our conduct or that of our machines is moral or not  unless we know the nature of morality. The answer depends upon which theory of morality is correct. There are many claimants to that role, including subjective theories, family-value theories, religious-based theories, and culture-related theories, according to which “an action is right” when you (your family, your religion, or your culture) approve of it. So if you (your family, your religion, or your culture) approve of incest, cannibalism, or sacrificing virgins to appease the gods, such actions cannot be immoral, if one of these theories is true. All these approaches make morality a matter of power, where right reduces to might. If someone approves of killing, robbing, or raping you, then you have no basis to complain on the ground that those actions are immoral, if subjectivism is correct. Similarly for family, religion, and culture-based alternatives. Every person, every family, every religion, and very culture is equal, regardless of their practices, if such theories are true. They thus embody the principle that “might makes right”.

 

As James Rachels, The Elements of Moral Philosophy (1999), has explained, on any of these accounts, the very ideas of criticism, reform, or progress in matters of morality no longer apply. If attitudes about right and wrong differ or change, if that is all there is to it, even when they concern your life, liberty, or happiness. If  some person, family, or group has the power to impose their will upon you, then these theories afford you no basis to complain. While Rachels is correct, as far as he goes, I have sought to establish objective criteria for arbitrating between moral theories that parallel those we have for scientific theories, including the clarify and precision of their language, their scope of application for the purpose of explanation and of prediction, their respective degrees of empirical support, and the simplicity (or economy or elegance) with which that degree if systematic power is attained.   And, indeed, as I explain in detail in The Evolution of Intelligence (2005) and in Render Unto Darwin (2007), there do appear to be parallel criteria of adequacy for moral theories.

 

Theories of morality, no less than theories of physics, chemistry, and such, are also subject to evaluation on the basis of (CA-1) the clarify and precision of their language as a first criterion.  Since the problem of morality arises from the abuse of power, it seems apparent that a second criterion of adequacy (CA-2) should be that an acceptable theory not be reducible to the principle that “might makes right”.  Yet a third, which might be viewed as encompassing empirical content in the form of virtually universal human experience (CA-3) holds that an acceptable theory of morality should properly classify the “pre-analytically” clear cases of immoral conduct — such as murder, robbery, and rape — as “immoral” on that theory; and similarly for “pre-analytically” clear cases of moral behavior, such as (apart from special cases) telling the truth, keeping our promises, and dealing equitably with other persons.  The fourth (CA-4) is that an adequate theory of morality should shed light on the “pre-analytically” unclear cases, such as pot, prostitution, and flag burning but also abortion, stem-cell research, and cloning.

 

Alternative Theories

 

While I address those “unclear cases” in the recent books I have cited, here I shall confine myself to considering the moral status of the use of predator drones, If  we apply the four criteria by focusing on the second, third, and fourth, then the inadequacies of all but one moral theory become apparent. With regard to the four traditional theories I have discussed — simple subjectivism, family values, religious ethics, and cultural relativity — it should be apparent that they reduce to the corrupt principle that might makes right and therefore violate (CA-2).  Since they permit pre-analytically clear cases of immoral behavior to qualify as “moral”, they also violate (CA-3).  Because the “morality” of unclear cases, like the use of predator drones, varies with attitudes, which can differ from person to person, group to group, religion to religion and culture to culture at the same time or within any of those at different times, none of these theories satisfies (CA-4).

 

The relativity of traditional theories has motivated students of morality to move in the direction of more philosophical theories, which tend to fall into the categories of what are know as “consequentialist” and “non-consequentialist“ theories.  The former classify an action as “right” when it produces at least as much GOOD as its effect as does any available alternative, where what is GOOD is usually taken to be happiness. The problem, however, remains of deciding FOR WHOM that happiness ought to be produced, since it might be the individual, the group, or everyone.  According to Ethical Egoism, for example, an action is right when it brings about as much happiness for you personally as any available alternative. The consequences for others simply don’t count. So Ted Bundy, John Gacy, and Jeffrey Dahmer, for example, are home free — morally speaking — though few juries would be likely to be impressed by the argument that killing gave them more happiness than any available alternative. The violations of (CA-2), (CA-3), and (CA-4), I presume, require no elaboration.

 

According to Limited Utilitarianism, moreover, an action is right when it brings about as much happiness for the members of your group as any available alternative. This is good news for The Third Reich, the Mafia, and General Motors. If no available alternative(s) would produce more happiness for Nazis than territorial acquisition, military domination, and racial extermination, then those qualify as moral actions if Limited Utilitarianism is true.  As in the case of Ethical Egoism, the violations of (CA-2), (CA-3) and (CA-4) appear to be obvious. Classic Utilitarianism, among consequentialist theories, is the only one that dictates the necessity of encompassing the effects actions have upon everyone rather than some special class. But even this virtue does not guarantee the right results. If a social arrangement with a certain percentage of slaves, say, 15%, would bring about greater happiness for the population as a whole  — because the increase in happiness of the masters outweighed the decrease in happiness of the slaves  — then that arrangement would qualify as moral.  Yet slavery is immoral if any practice is immoral.

 

Deontological Morality

 

The problem here is more subtle than in other cases and therefore deserves more explanation.  Actions that benefit the majority may do so at the expense of the minority.  The Classical Utilitarian conception of “the greatest good for the greatest number” should not come at the expense of the life, liberty, or property of the minority — absent mechanisms to insure that their rights are protected and upheld.  Technically, we are talking about a concept of morality that is distributive (as a property of each person) rather than collective (as a property of the group), as I shall explain. Suppose that ten smokers were selected at random by the government each year, put on television and shot. It might well be that enthusiasm for smoking would fall dramatically, that heart and lung disease would diminish, that health care premiums would drop and that the net happiness of society would be maximized. If that were the case, should we select ten smokers at random each year, put them on television and shoot them?

 

If theories that qualify manifestly immoral behavior, such as a slave-based society or random public executions to promote the health of the nation.as “moral” ought to be rejected, then perhaps a non-consequentialist approach might do better.  According to what is known as Deontological Moral Theory, actions are moral when they involve treating other persons with respect.  More formally expressed, it requires that other persons should always be treated as ends (as intrinsically valuable) and never merely as means (instrumentally).  This approach has its roots in (what is technically known as) “the Second Formulation of the Categorical Imperative” advanced by Immanuel Kant, but we can forego such niceties here.

 

This does not mean that persons can never treat other persons as means, which usually happens without thereby generating immorality. The relationship between employers and employees is clearly one in which employers use their employees as a means to conduct a business and make profits, while employees use their employment as a means to make a buck and earn a living. Within a context of mutual respect, this is moral conduct as a feature characteristic of human life. When employers abuse their employees by subjecting them to unsafe working conditions, excessive hours, or poor wages, however, the relationship becomes exploitative and immoral.  These are the conditions that typify “the sweat shop” and explain why they are despicable business practices.

 

They can also occur when employees fail to perform their duties, steal from their employers, or abuse the workplace. Similar considerations apply to doctors and patients, students and faculty, or ministers and congregations, which may explain our dismay at their betrayal.  Perhaps the central consequence of a deontological perspective is the centrality of due process.  No one should be deprived of their life, liberty or property without an appropriate form of certification that punishment of that kind is something that they deserve, which reveals the gross immorality of military aggression, territorial conquest, systematic genocide—and death by the use of predator drones to kill other persons, with only superficial regard for due process in the case of the intended targets and non-existent for everyone else!

 

Axiology and Autonomy

 

When we are talking about a so-called “autonomous machine”, then the question becomes whether or not such an entity is even capable of understanding what it means for something to be a person or to treat it with respect.  There are ways to guarantee killing the enemy within a target zone, namely, by killing everyone in it.  And there are ways to avoid killing the wrong target, namely, by killing no one in it.  The problem is to kill all and only the intended targets.  But is that possible? This becomes extremely problematical in the case of unconventional warfare.  In principle, persons are entitled to be treated with respect by following rules of due process, where no one is deprived of life, liberty, or property without having the opportunity to defend them selves.  In the case of the use of predator drones, however, the only processes utilized by autonomous machines are those that accrue from the target identification criteria with which they are programmed.

 

These machines, like other tools including computerized systems, are inherently amoral — neither moral nor immoral — from a deontological point of view. They, like other digital machines, have no concept of morality, of personhood or of mutual respect.  They are simply complex causal systems that function on the basis of their programs. Were these conventional wars involving well-defined terrain and uniformed combatants, their use, in principle, would be no different than high-altitude bombing or artillery strikes, where, although the precise identity of our targets are not always known, we know who they are with high probability.  In cases like Iraq and Afghanistan, our information is partial, sketchy, and all too often wrong.  We are killing around 140 innocents for every intended target!

 

We are taking out citizens of Iraq, Afghanistan, and now Pakistan, which, alas, if research on 9/11 is well founded — visit http://911scholars.org , for example, or http://patriotsquestion911.com — have never threatened us.  So we really have no business being there at all. Yet to this day we continue to hear about the threat from al-Qaeda and from Osama bin Laden, who appears to have died in 2001. We are depriving the citizens of other countries of their life, liberty, and property with no semblance of due process.  This means that our actions are not only in violation of international law, the UN Charter, and the United States’ Constitution but also violate basic human rights. We once believed it was better for ten guilty me to go free than for one innocent man to be punished.  We now practice the policy that it is better for 140 civilians to die than for one suspected “insurgent“ to live.  We have come a long way from Isaac Asimov’s “First Law”.

 

Jim Fetzer, a former Marine Corps officer who earned his Ph.D. in the history and the philosophy of science, is McKnight Professor Emeritus at the Duluth campus of the University of Minnesota. He has published extensively on the theoretical foundations of computer science, AI, and cognitive science.  His academic web site may be found at http://www.d.umn.edu/~jfetzer/

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The views expressed herein are the views of the author exclusively and not necessarily the views of VT, VT authors, affiliates, advertisers, sponsors, partners, technicians, or the Veterans Today Network and its assigns. LEGAL NOTICE - COMMENT POLICY

Posted by on May 1, 2015, With 1812 Reads Filed under Of Interest, WarZone. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

9 Responses to "Obama violates US and International Law in Pakistan"

  1. Chandler  May 8, 2013 at 5:58 am

    This reminds me of the immigration problem. Congress always wants to make another law to fight illegal immigration. When instead of adopting new laws, why don’t we enforce the ones we have on the books.
    This situation is the same. If we don’t do something then we just around typing to each other and not doing anything about it.
    Congress should step up and impeach this man who seemingly believes like the last four or five presidents have, that they are above the law because I am the president with privileges and power. I am untouchable and thus no one can harm me.
    Why don’t we just show him who is the actual bosses of this nation? Why can’t we do that? Are we afraid to step up and do something to save our country from this fellow called Obama.
    I do hope one day someday, “We the People…” kicks some butt. To know that my own president wants to kill me off is disturbing.
    My country is in real trouble. The problem is the culprits are our own people. I once believed in Obama. I thought he would be a breath of fresh air after the previous presidents violated law after law, crushed amendment after amendment almost boasting his power over the constitution, which he did not want thrown into his face.
    So, let’s impeach Obama so we can restore some dignity to our White House, and find us a president who cares about the downtrodden, instead of the elitists. Cares about the poor, hungry, homeless victims of natural disasters that took everything they had away. Lets care about his nation before caring about Israel or another. Lets protect our own infrastructure, our traditions, our American way of life. lets take care of our own people before in other countries.
    Congress! Get a backbone and begin proceedings! The time is long overdue.

  2. ayelyahbenjamin  May 7, 2013 at 4:19 am

    Imran Khan as President will serve the nation of Pakistan well, he is a man of honour.

  3. Dublinmick  May 6, 2013 at 4:08 pm

    That should be an easy vote. Who in Pakistan is going to be against drones killing people in their country? Sounds like a can’t miss platform.

    • Latney Davis  May 6, 2013 at 4:50 pm

      “That should be an easy vote”. In a world where LOGIC not only makes sense, but actually rules policy and reality, YES, a “no-brain decision”. In OUR WORLD, logic/reason are smothered beneath MOUNTAINS of LIES, MONEY, and THREATS from a global cabal that exist to enslave or kill most of humanity.

      LOGIC and REASON are dead attributes and totally useless tools in the present/coming “Alice in Wonderland” version of THEIR REALITY. Turn logic/reason 180 degrees around, add a massive dose of psychotic disregard/power lust, and complete apathy towards humanity …then YOU will be on target with the VERY REAL NWO AGENDA.

      It is an impossible exercise in INSANITY to attempt to understand the IN-YOU-FACE-REALITY in any other potential terms. THEY are already INSANE and thereby unaffected. YOU, on the other hand, must constantly search for the last remnants of SANITY still in existence.

      In the content of those “remnants” will be found OUR only remaining HOPE. Given enough “finders” reinforced by enough REAL action….who knows what the future holds. Perhaps an IRA “green book” that is applied on a “global scale”!

  4. stephanaugust  May 6, 2013 at 10:52 am

    “ROBOT KILL-CHOPPER GOES ROGUE”

    Intersting, “computer error” becomes “computer terror”.

    Scientists are always comparing the intelligence of machines with the intelligence of humans but I doubt they could create robots that are intelligent enough to live independently (without human help) like birds, fish, or whatever. Scientists can not even say if computers must be hundred or thousand times more efficient than the most efficient computer in order to act like a Terminator. But I think we don’t need such an efficient machine because politicians can do that without any intelligence at all.

    Your point “as much happiness for you personally as any available alternative” hits the nail. I argue like that in, um, “discussions” about movies, asking people who say that a movie was dumb but entertaining why they do not watch p**n movies.

    • williammartin  May 6, 2013 at 12:11 pm

      Mr. Fetzer,

      It is clear that the CIA and MI6 “Paid Off” many leaders who in return turned their heads to the killings of their own citizens. Just like the US Congress, which also pushed laws that also now endanger our citizens.

      Like the Israeli premise of attacking Syria is the same premise Japan used for attacking Pearl Harbor, namely, the US was aiding so any aid towards Hezbollah is seen as reasons for attacking.

      Not off article, but the constant claim that Syria’s government allegedly used chemical weapons [is bizarre] when the US and UK and Israel have used hundreds of tons of depleted uranium. Israel has for years used white phosphorus – a chemical weapon – on 100% civilians in Gaza.

      Drones aren’t 100% automated; they still use a operator for steering and bombing. Obama’s “double tap” of bombing emergency aid funerals further violates the rules of war as Geneva shows that Soldiers/Combatants are considered “out of the conflict” when wounded. Why M*A*S*H units and Ambulances are not TARGETS.

      America once known for the greatest military is now as Gordon and others have noted. The most sedated soldiers today who daily commit suicide – spit on by their own DHS and VA as domestic terrorists – and the very alleged freedoms they fought/died for are taken from them. As is the latest in removing Guns from veterans for mental health reasons. The US Soldier was Mentally Healthy enough as a “patriot” to kill for his country but not enough to enjoy the alleged freedoms they fought for.

      Obama’s violation of International law is the tip of the proverbial ice-berg. He signed the NDAA and yet Arms Al Qaeda, de-lists the Mujaheddin from terrorist’s list, sent 1.5 Billion and Jet’s to Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood (WTC 1993) still holding the Blind Sheik of the Brotherhood. Then Biden said – and confirmed by White House and also welcomed by the Taliban – that the Taliban ISN’T an enemy of the US.

      Then Obama says, when speaking of Bradley Manning, “HE BROKE THE LAW”. What Law? Was Manning guilty of aiding the very enemy that the US today is fully supporting, when we were told Al Qaeda attacked America for America’s support of Israel? Yet in 12 years can anyone name ONCE where Al Qaeda attacked Israel. (A lot closer and military weaker) then the US.

      The whole War OF Terror is a HOAX.

      Even the FBI, TSA, DHS need to be de-funded as it is clear (If Boston was real ‘sic’) that they can’t even domestically do their job’s that Billion’s are spent on.

      It is clear that NO Country the US has invaded has been rebuilt. Tens of Millions sent to those governments to BUY US. Policy that allows the US to kill their countries citizens that are never proven with any evidence from the “Most Transparent Administration Ever.” ANOTHER HOAX.

    • williammartin  May 6, 2013 at 1:19 pm

      I knew that, I have all the videos as YouTube removes them. Policy.

      Google Initiates Global Censorship Policy | SHOAH
      Source:******http://www.shoah.org.uk/2013/04/29/google-initiates-global-censorship-policy/

      As US Drone Strikes Rise in Yemen, So Does Anger

      The cleric preached in his tiny Yemeni village about the evils of al-Qaida, warning residents to stay away from the group’s fighters and their hard-line ideology. The talk worried residents, who feared it would bring retaliation from the militants, and even the cleric’s father wanted him to stop.

      But in the end it wasn’t al-Qaida that killed Sheik Salem Ahmed bin Ali Jaber.

      Yemeni security officials confirmed three militants, along with Sheik Salem and his cousin were killed in the strike last August and that it was carried out by an American drone.

      Source: *****http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/us-drone-strikes-rise-yemen-anger-19093818#.UYgOLEq78uMt

      What Obama doesn’t realize that in bombing with Drones that he bombs “Tribal Villages” Hence everyone is related. Kill 1 and anger 50. Thus US Drones BREEDS Terrorism.

      BTW: Great Article Mr. Fetzer

    • williammartin  May 6, 2013 at 1:24 pm

      I might also say, Since Drones Breed Terrorism that this would further violate the NDAA in giving Support of these “Made in America” Terrorist. 🙂

    • leecahalan  May 7, 2013 at 5:37 pm

      Thanks for the continued fantastic work Jim. Question. What are these drone attacks in Pakistan actually trying to prove? I will attempt to answer that as well as I can but then would love to hear yours and anyone else’s take on the matter.

      My opinion is that the drone attacks in Pakistan could purely be the work of sadists. Those that get their jollies killing people and getting away with it. Reasons:

      The powerful US military force in Afghanistan simply can not feel threatened by a few measly Islamic activists across the border in Pakistan. There is no “Al Qaeda” in the conventional sense either as it was designed in the beginning just as a boogieman to excuse military adventurism and empire building in the Middle East. The exercise of drone bombing attacks is carrying the message to the world: “we will strike you anywhere at anytime and just upon whim. Just for our own twisted, perverse enjoyment of bloody murder. One false move? And you’re dead too”

      There is no oil that i know of in Pakistan. If indeed there was some “legitimate” purpose in these seemingly random attacks? The only excuse possibly leaning towards making some rational sense at all is to scare the Pakistani leadership which holds nuclear weapons. Killing people at whim perhaps designed to make the Pakistan leaders think twice before launching a nuclear attack. or even building more bombs to begin with.

      And while I’m never quite as eager to blame Israel as Prof Fetzer is (almost but not as much) the idea that Israel is the group really pulling the trigger on the drone strikes seems the more plausible motive. And very frightening as it means that Israel has now finally co-opted control of the US military, executive and congressional leadership…

      With respect to Jim F. I just didn’t notice him describing a motive for the drone killings. Perhaps he did so but I just missed it.

      However my idea that Israel really has their mitts on the drone triggers is chilling. Even to a generally pro-Israel person such as myself.

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