Tuesday, February 19, 2013

What's the State of War, today?

The chattering classes are all worked up about the War on Terror killing American citizens.  Not mentioned much is that Obama doesn't do War on Terror.  He calls it something else, I forget what.  No matter what Obama calls it, he's been doing some really warlike things.  That raid on Bin Ladin, and all those drone strikes in Pakistan and Yemen certainly aren't regular Constitutional law enforcement.  They are acts of war. 
   In actual fact we have been treating Al Quada like an enemy nation-state ever since 9-11.  We have been waging war against them, and the laws of war permit damn near everything.  Under the laws of war we can bomb cities, torpedo ships, shoot enemy soldiers, execute enemy spies, shoot down enemy admirals in mid air, herd civilians into concentration camps, and bombard towns.  About the only things the laws of war forbid are poison gas and maltreatment of prisoners.  That leaves a whole range of hurt that can lawfully be applied to the enemy. 
   Once someone determines that so and so is enemy,  the hurt locker is opened, and his ass is grass.  "Someone" is not well defined.  Most of the original inmates of Guantanamo were fingered by Afghani's and turned over the the Americans, who flew 'em out of the country to a warm tropical clink.  Many of those drone strikes in Pakistan are flown based on intelligence from the Pakistani Inter Service Intelligence (ISI) agency.  Which is pure as the driven snow and would never ask the Americans to snuff a personal enemy.
   In real life, "someone" is probably a kill committee of Lt. Colonels and CIA middle management types.  Once these guys declare you to be an enemy, you are in a world of hurt.  Obama may boast that he reviews the kill list personally, but that's pure bragging, he just initials a list that is presented to him.
    And the kill committee right now doesn't seem to care if the target is an American citizen or not.  Which is not as much of a problem as their total liberty to add targets to the snuff list pretty much at will.  I'm thinking we need to regularize the proceeding of the kill committee.  As long as their decisions to add targets are reasonable,  I have no problem with adding US born targets, just so long as they have done enough bad stuff to justify snuffing them and we have decent evidence that they really did what we accuse them of doing.
   In short, we need to make the rules of engagement for the kill committee as tight as the rules of engagement that hinder USMC and Army infantry. 

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