Printer Friendly - One last try. Living Under Drones or Why I Can't Vote for Obama.


One last try. Living Under Drones or Why I Can't Vote for Obama.
Posted by ErikJ972 2012-09-30 11:03:31


Posted this before but it double posted as a blank post.
NYU/Stanford released a joint report on drone strikes that is destined to receive no attention from the msm this election cycle. It was a hard read for me because although I haven't agreed with everything he's done I've been a pretty fervent Obama supporter. After reading this I can't vote for him in November.
From the report:
" In the United States, the dominant narrative about the use of drones in Pakistan is of a surgically precise and effective tool that makes the US safer by enabling "targeted killing" of terrorists, with minimal downsides or collateral impacts.
This narrative is false"
"Drones hover 24 hours a day over communities in NorthWest Pakistan, striking homes, vehicles and public spaces without warning. Their presence terrorizes men, women and children giving rise to anxiety and psychological trauma among civilian communities.
The US practice of striking one area multiple times, and evidence that it has killed rescuers, makes both community members and humanitarian workers afraid or unwilling to assist injured victims."
The report goes on to detail how the Obama administration labels all military aged males as combatants. This makes any gathering of boys 14 and up a potential target.
The report also takes on the media.
"Journalists and media outlets should cease the common practice of referring to "militant" deaths without further explanation. All reporting of government accounts of "militant" deaths should include acknowledgement that the US government counts all adult males killed by strikes as "militants", absent exonerating evidence."
They found that only 2% of those killed have been high level targets and the civilian causalities have been much higher than the administration will acknowledge. Drone strikes have increased anti American sentiment and increased recruitment in extremist groups.
This makes Obama a war criminal on the level of George W. Bush. After reading this report I can't see how I can possibly cast a vote for Obama in November.
Jill Stein 2012

One last try. Living Under Drones or Why I Can't Vote for Obama.
Posted by Kad 2012-09-30 11:17:24


While the use of drones is excessive, I do have to ask... who will you be voting for?

One last try. Living Under Drones or Why I Can't Vote for Obama.
Posted by ErikJ972 2012-09-30 11:19:29


I think it's beyond excessive. I also think if Bush was doing this my fellow progressives would be marching on the White House.
I'll be voting for Jill Stein.

One last try. Living Under Drones or Why I Can't Vote for Obama.
Posted by Phyllis Rogers Stone 2012-09-30 11:20:00


I respect it. I don't like or agree with it, but I respect it. My vote is as much against Mitt Romney as it is for President Obama, but I have hopes that in a second term, the President may actually be able to make more strides in the areas I found him lacking.

One last try. Living Under Drones or Why I Can't Vote for Obama.
Posted by ErikJ972 2012-09-30 11:23:56


I used to feel that way Phyllis. But that report literally made me sick to my stomach. And there's no evidence that Obama faced any internal pressure to ramp up drone strikes like this.
Plus Jill Stein is on the right side of every issue I care about.
Romney and Obama are almost the same candidate.

One last try. Living Under Drones or Why I Can't Vote for Obama.
Posted by SNAFU 2012-09-30 11:32:33


A vote for Jill Stein is a vote for Romney. Plain and simple.

One last try. Living Under Drones or Why I Can't Vote for Obama.
Posted by ErikJ972 2012-09-30 11:38:58


Sorry Snafu but I'm done thinking like that. Why should I feel obligated to vote for someone who is doing something so vile? Why should I cast my vote for a President who is not only doing this but has escalated the devastating war on drugs, signed the NDAA, sold out unions, and put wall street executives in charge of wall street reform?
Nothing will change as long as people keep buying into the illusion of choice the corporate media is shoving down our throats.
For me a vote for Obama would be immoral and cowardly.

One last try. Living Under Drones or Why I Can't Vote for Obama.
Posted by FindingNamo 2012-09-30 11:43:34


The drones are horrible. Obama has made some dreadful decisions. People need to vote the way the honestly feel.

One last try. Living Under Drones or Why I Can't Vote for Obama.
Posted by tazber 2012-09-30 12:05:32


I agree with Namo in that you should vote your heart and not be shamed into doing otherwise.

Having said that I'm not an Obama fan at all, but since I won't vote Republican he gets my vote by default.

But I am at best unimpressed with Obama, and at worst deeply disappointed in him.

One last try. Living Under Drones or Why I Can't Vote for Obama.
Posted by FindingNamo 2012-09-30 12:26:57


I love a lot of things he's managed to get done despite the persistent obstructionism of the person Margo Howard refers to as Galapagos-American Mitch McConnell and his gang.

I also HATE a lot of what he does. Permanent detention. The drones.

One last try. Living Under Drones or Why I Can't Vote for Obama.
Posted by SNAFU 2012-09-30 13:00:04


Oh, I am not a big fan of ObamaI see him the lesser of two evils. By all means vote you beliefs! I question though the the validity of the individual vote.I am begining to believe it is merely a facade, that the electoral college can go against the popular vote and that elections can be and are bought.

One last try. Living Under Drones or Why I Can't Vote for Obama.
Posted by JerseyGirl2 2012-09-30 13:11:34


Until a third (or fourth or fifth) party can gather enough support to be a threat, it will remain that a vote that isn't for a republican is for a democrat and any vote that isn't for a democrat is a for a republican. It sucks. I hate that we only have two to choose from, but at this point it's the truth. That said, it's never going to change if people don't support other parties. I have no clue what the solution is.

One last try. Living Under Drones or Why I Can't Vote for Obama.
Posted by Marianne2 2012-09-30 13:16:23


^ I agree with this. Part of them problem is this 2 party system. Yes, we do get the independent candidates, but they are most likely never going to win unless enough people are fed up with the big parties.

One last try. Living Under Drones or Why I Can't Vote for Obama.
Posted by Kad 2012-09-30 13:25:33


It also doesn't help that the third-party candidates aren't featured in the presidential debates, and their visibility is generally quite limited. The average voter won't even know who the other options are until they see them on the ballot, and by then it's too late.

One last try. Living Under Drones or Why I Can't Vote for Obama.
Posted by NYadgal 2012-09-30 13:44:26


It makes the Nobel Peace Prize a pathetic joke.

A strong third party is so desperately needed... a strong alternative to the current two.



One last try. Living Under Drones or Why I Can't Vote for Obama.
Posted by ErikJ972 2012-09-30 13:49:53


I agree a strong third party is needed. And I think the "a vote for a 3rd party candidate is a vote for Romney" is a big obstacle to that ever happening.

One last try. Living Under Drones or Why I Can't Vote for Obama.
Posted by Mr Roxy 2012-09-30 15:27:03


If Obama gets in again, he can do what he wants as he has no worry about reelection. He could of course do that as he has shown he has no respect for the constitution and at times uses it as a doormat.

Hopefully at least one house of congress with stay republican to keep his excesses in check. It is called checks & balances gang.The man has no feelings. A kodak moment for him was calling the death of a US ambassador overseas " a bump in the road" Bet it makes the deceased families feel really great.

The last time we had problems with our embassies under siege was that great Predient Jimmy Carter also a democrat . Hmmm

One last try. Living Under Drones or Why I Can't Vote for Obama.
Posted by ErikJ972 2012-09-30 15:29:57


You expect a Republican congress to keep drone strikes in check?!? You really are delusional Roxy.

One last try. Living Under Drones or Why I Can't Vote for Obama.
Posted by Kad 2012-09-30 15:30:16


Isn't it past your bed time?

One last try. Living Under Drones or Why I Can't Vote for Obama.
Posted by Playbilly 2012-09-30 16:34:20


If we had elections based on popular votes, the Republicans would steal every election. I'm not confident of the viability of fairness with the GOP-run companies which make voting machines. Being a pragmatist, I won't vote for third party. Nader. Anderson. Perot. Enough for me.

But, one should vote for a third party if that's where her heart leads her.

One last try. Living Under Drones or Why I Can't Vote for Obama.
Posted by PalJoey 2012-09-30 17:04:23


There will be a FIVE-party system before there is a three-party system.

And none of them will be strong.

There will be the Democrats, the Republicans, the Progressives, the Conservatives and the Libertarians.

The country will be ruled by temporary coalitions, the way most European countries are.

And every once in a while, a charismatic leader will emerge to coalesce three of the five parties into a movement. If we're lucky, that movement will never be fascistic.

One last try. Living Under Drones or Why I Can't Vote for Obama.
Posted by strummergirl 2012-09-30 17:05:30


In a perfect world (well, in my perfect world) Bernie Sanders would be the face of a strong third party of the left that is disappearing thanks to Democrats following the Republicans who have consistently move the goal-post to the point the electable Democrat would be a fantastic Republican in the 1940s and 1950s.

I need to vote for Obama frankly because I cannot trust Romney whatsoever because who he surrounds himself with as a cabinet will be 10x scarier and untrustworthy if getting wunderkind Ayn Rand fan Eddie Munster as his running mate is any indication. But still, I think there are going to be people elected to the next Congress who are crazier as much if not more than the last Congress who may well challenge this Congress is doing nothing except block any legislation Obama could want on his platform. I mean, if people are going to argue against defense cuts in times of peace in the next budget, I might scream.

The drones are terrible and inhumane (and I say this as a person who is personally more hawkish in foreign policy), but there needs to be a stronger consensus built in certain circles of the Democratic party (can the progressive caucus grow a backbone?) in bringing the question to the floor of Congress. Because the Republicans are certainly not going to bring it up. They are, not surprisingly, numb to foreign policy right as their party's candidate is numb to give a real foreign policy platform.

So yeah, let me have the triangulating, third-way almost not even centrist guy over the helmet hair guy who has no principles except for his own wish-fulfillment.

One last try. Living Under Drones or Why I Can't Vote for Obama.
Posted by NYadgal 2012-09-30 18:53:03


PalJoey, you paint a frightening picture...

One last try. Living Under Drones or Why I Can't Vote for Obama.
Posted by JoeKv99 2012-09-30 21:33:39


I happen to know Jill Stein is a racist homophobe who kills kitten with a hammer.

Wait maybe that's just some BS I made up to advance my agenda!

One last try. Living Under Drones or Why I Can't Vote for Obama.
Posted by JoeKv99 2012-09-30 21:37:44


But seriously folks....

War is hell. Part of what we elect a president for is to make the hard awful decisions. If a drone strike prevents another 9/11-- or the terrorizing of a million Pakistanis for that matter- well, I'm pro drone strike. I think Obama is a smart guy with a good mind and he's not sending drones to kill kids because he's bored on a Friday afternoon.

And you should read some of the AWFUL things the Germans said about the HORRIBLE US air force bombing their peace loving civilians during WWII.

One last try. Living Under Drones or Why I Can't Vote for Obama.
Posted by SNAFU 2012-09-30 22:25:40


^

That!

One last try. Living Under Drones or Why I Can't Vote for Obama.
Posted by Kad 2012-09-30 22:52:53


I have to agree with that piece that Joe posted, and some other independent research on my own.

It's the "least bad" choice.

One last try. Living Under Drones or Why I Can't Vote for Obama.
Posted by PalJoey 2012-09-30 23:23:28


Remember, Erik, that using drone strikes to kill terrorists was Obama's alternative to capturing them and subjecting them to enhanced interrogation.

The only other alternative would be leaving them alone, which almost no politicians or military leaders, Republican or Democratic, seem to be in favor of.

So before you vote for a third party, knowing that it might be a close election, what would you do?

One last try. Living Under Drones or Why I Can't Vote for Obama.
Posted by Yawper 2012-10-01 00:02:34


I'm anticipating a day when one of our past or current Presidents travels overseas and gets arrested thanks to his foreign policy actions.

One last try. Living Under Drones or Why I Can't Vote for Obama.
Posted by ErikJ972 2012-10-01 11:25:54


" Part of what we elect a president for is to make the hard awful decisions. If a drone strike prevents another 9/11-- or the terrorizing of a million Pakistanis for that matter- well, I'm pro drone strike. I think Obama is a smart guy with a good mind and he's not sending drones to kill kids because he's bored on a Friday afternoon."
That sounds suspiciously like the type of excuses conservatives used to make for George W. Bush
Plus I think the notion that drone strikes in Pakistan are preventing another terrorist attack is absurd. Did you read the full report Joe? Evidence suggests the exact opposite is happening. Drone strikes are fueling anti-American sentiment in Pakistan, not curbing it. If anything it's making another terrorist attack MORE likely.
Which is just what we need right? Another terrorist attack to justify another pointless war. Who will it be with this time? Iran?

"Remember, Erik, that using drone strikes to kill terrorists was Obama's alternative to capturing them and subjecting them to enhanced interrogation."
I don't think this is any better than enhanced interrogation. In many respects I think it's even worse. The report talks about how drone strikes are terrorizing entire communities 24 hours a day 7 days a week. WE ARE BOMBING RESCUE WORKERS! This is enhanced interrogation on a grand scale.
What's even more sinister than the bombings is that Obama has given himself the power to indefinitely detain and kill American citizens without any type of oversight. Again, if George W. had done this my fellow progressives would be marching on the White House. If we believe the President should have that type of power what power shouldn't he have? Maybe people are OK with Obama having that power because he seems like a nice enough guy. But what he's doing it with it isn't nice at all. And what about whoever becomes President after Obama?
This was not an easy decision for me to come to. I've always been involved in politics. But never like I was for the 08 election. I campaigned for Obama, I made calls, I knocked on doors, and I contributed money I didn't have. But this report on drone strikes was the straw that broke my back. It kept me awake at night.
I certainly don't begrudge anyone voting for Obama. And I do recognize he has done some good things. But I've pretty much dedicated my entire adult life to social justice. And I would feel like a hypocrite casting a vote of Obama. Even if the election is close.

One last try. Living Under Drones or Why I Can't Vote for Obama.
Posted by JoeKv99 2012-10-01 12:11:38


Yep I read it. Did you read the link I posted about how flawed the "research" involved was?

I found the report you posted to be little more than propaganda. No strike that- Propaganda can be smart and well-written.

This report asks people who are being bombed if they like being bombed. Surprisingly, they did not. They felt that there was no justification for being bombed. this leads me to hypothesize that people on the receiving end of bombs rarely approve of the bombing.

You are absolutely welcome to feel it is wrong to bomb people anywhere any time. That's an absolutely valid point of view and most likely, that Green candidate also holds that view and is a good choice for your vote. I'd MUCH rather you vote what is in your heart and how you believe than just stay home saying "they are all the same."

One last try. Living Under Drones or Why I Can't Vote for Obama.
Posted by ErikJ972 2012-10-01 12:24:09


"You are absolutely welcome to feel it is wrong to bomb people anywhere any time."
Except I don't feel that way and I never said that.
What I do feel is wrong is for the President of the United States to give himself the power to indefinitely detain and murder US citizens indiscriminately. I also think it's wrong for the President to use that power to indiscriminately drop bombs on civilians of another country.

One last try. Living Under Drones or Why I Can't Vote for Obama.
Posted by Jim Colyer 2012-10-02 00:55:32


Obama is leading us "forward." Forward into the ground!

One last try. Living Under Drones or Why I Can't Vote for Obama.
Posted by Kad 2012-10-02 00:58:35


Right where you belong.