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Germans disappointed by Obama over attacks

The Local · 13 Jun 2012, 11:26

Published: 13 Jun 2012 11:26 GMT+02:00

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The US enjoyed a huge surge of popularity within Germany in 2009 when Obama succeeded President George W. Bush – after a barnstorming appearance in Berlin while he was still candidate.

But the 64 percent favourable opinion of the US shown in Germany in 2009 has dropped to 52 percent today, according to a survey conducted by the Pew Research Centre. Its researchers asked 1,000 people in Germany, and similar sized sample groups elsewhere for the report published on Wednesday.

The Obama era has coincided with major changes in international perceptions of American power, the Centre said in its report – and in particular, US economic power.

Solid majorities in many European countries name China as the world’s economic leader – with Germany leading the field with a 62 percent share of people who say the Chinese are top dogs in the world economy.

The study continues to say that unease is being caused by American military action, in particular the drone strikes on terrorism suspects that have become a hallmark of Obama’s more recent strategy.

Although 62 percent of Americans approve of the campaign, in 17 of 20 other countries surveyed, more than half the people disapprove of it. In Germany just 38 percent of those asked approved, with 59 percent saying they disapproved. France was even more opposed though, with 37 percent in favour and 63 percent opposed.

However, Germans and Europeans want to see Obama re-elected in November, with the French most enthusiastic with 92 percent keen to see him have a second term, followed by the Germans with 89 percent in favour.

It would seem the attitudes people have towards the US generally are linked to how they feel about the President – with the percentage of people in Germany, France and Spain who have a positive view of the States remaining at least 20 percentage points higher than it was in 2008.

Story continues below…

Yet there seems to be a certain complacency, or possibly lack of interest since the election four years ago which brought Obama to power. Then 56 percent of Germans said they were following the race to the White House closely, whereas now that figure is just 36 percent.

The Local/hc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

12:05 June 13, 2012 by frankiep
A NOBEL PEACE PRIZE winner using flying, radio controlled robots to kill people from the sky as if in a video game? What's the problem?
13:14 June 13, 2012 by BobbyBaxter
I do not have a problem with known terroists being 'taken out'. Why should it matter that it is done with Drones? Costs a lot less and far more safe than sending a manned aircraft. Given half the chance, these terrorists would use these types of weapons indiscriminately.
13:15 June 13, 2012 by pepsionice
To have a US senator swear in as President, and barely eight months later give the guy a peace prize.....was a serious screw-up. Gitmo is still open, and this robot-war is something that you can't imagine. The comical side of this is that you likely have four more years of this, and the same events continuing.
13:36 June 13, 2012 by MIKE LOUGHNANE
what did people expect? obama is just another crooked chicago politician with flower speech.
14:33 June 13, 2012 by Emason
In average 90 Civilians have been killed with a 1 terrorist. which means you have to kill first 9000 people including children, women and unborn babies you you just want to kill 100 terrorist who are not even involve in a single terrorist activity they are just supporting them or defending their lands from the foreign invasion.

It clearly shows that if you kill civilians they will turn against you which is the major cause of increase in terrorists you cant make peace by killings. and for the sake of what? finding Osama? after 9/11 Taliban's clearly said that if you have any evidence about Osama and his Company about his involvement in the Terrorist attacks on US land provide them prove them they will personally help them to get him and same they did in Iraq killed more than 1M people and then just some statements that they wont be able to find any WMD's there. Lame!!
14:52 June 13, 2012 by raandy
I agree these drones are terrible,a small version of a air bus 330 or a boing 727.

We should sit down with these folks and work out an agreement that both sides can ascribe to.Forgive and forget that is how we should deal with these people.I doubt that they would be satisfied with Pakistan as they all ready own most of it.

I would imagine that most Americans are really concerned how Europe thinks about them, Obama should make this an issue in his bid for reelection.
15:10 June 13, 2012 by finanzdoktor
Don't worry, Germany, we are disappointed here, too. On second thought, let's all worry, since we could have four more years of double-speak from Herr Prezident Obama.
15:27 June 13, 2012 by catjones
For all the Obama critics, I wonder what your remarks would be had McCain-Palin won.
15:33 June 13, 2012 by melbournite
"significant opposition to the US use of drones to target and kill terrorists"

What terrorists? In the last little flurry of drone attacks in Waziristan they murdered at least 25 people to supposedly get one man - whom is still alive and just posted videos to prove it.

Even still we will never know if they do ever administer justice - because there isn't any. No courts, no lawyers, no juries.. just secret kill lists, secret kidnappings, secret torture and assassinations. Obama models himself on no democrat I know, it looks more like Stalin is his role model
15:38 June 13, 2012 by Herr Rentz
This idiot isn't everyones "erstwhile hero".

This president has done more to destroy the United States that the three preceeding presidents before him. All in under four years.

I hope those that voted for this criminal are lovin' that hope & change.
15:56 June 13, 2012 by cathbad_2468
I disagree with most of the posts here. First of all, NATO is at war with terrorist networks. As a member of NATO, Germany has a responsibility to use its national power to identify, disrupt, and destroy terrorist networks, since the collective defense clause was invoked after 9/11. An attack on one is an attack on all. That is our common value.

Thus, Germany is in a state of war against terrorist networks that target NATO countries. Al-Qaeda is one of these networks.

When we are at war we have every right to target the operational control of the group. We can target commanders, foot soldiers, facilitators, and anyone else who helps the network. Indeed, as opposed to conventional armies, the offensive capabilities of terrorist groups are not concentrated in masses of soldiers, infrastructure, or equipment, but in individual people. They are therefore legitimate targets for killing.

We do not have an absolute moral requirement from killing non-combatants. We have instead a requirement to 1. Know what we are shooting at 2. The military value of the target compensates for the risk to civilian lives. Consider, for example, a particular terrorist's contribution to a network makes it possible for the network to eventually kill 1000 additional people. Killing 10 civilians if that means eliminating the terrorist becomes acceptable in war since we are actually saving 990 lives.

It's a cold logic but it's the right one. Consider also that these militants are breaking the rule of warfare that they clearly distinguish themselves from the non-combatants by wearing some type of uniform or distinguishing mark. They are also not supposed to hide among non-combatants. We absolutely must place some moral responsibility on the terrorist in the killing of the non-combatants as well.

As for the 'killing 90 civilians to get one terrorist', I'd like to get evidence on that. Are you saying that militants make up 10% of all the people killed in a place like Iraq, or are you saying that the US kills 90% civilians in its raids? I don't believe that 90% of US kills are civilians. What evidence do you have of this?

Finally, many millions of people have suffered in Iraq. Did you know that 99% of the killings were done by other Iraqis? If Iraqis are adults then they are responsible for their own choices, not the US. Which is it? Are they responsible adults or are they children?
16:19 June 13, 2012 by raandy
cathbad I give you credit for your position,but most peoples perception of terrorism is what they have viewed on the screen or read in the news. I am afraid it is going to be a hard sell.
16:44 June 13, 2012 by MrPC
Cathbad is exactly right. Its the germans who are acting like children when they expect war against savages to be bloodless. Either you leave yourself open to attack or you hit the bad guys with everything you have. When the next muslim terror attack strikes in germany the folks who protest the US' aggressive posture will have nothing to say.
16:55 June 13, 2012 by cathbad_2468
I was just thinking that when most people hear about a drone attack they understandably feel empathy for the non-combatants. They don't even know who the target was or why it justified the strike. It's unfortunate because they aren't able to get all the information to make a judgement either way. Maybe they would change their minds if they got more of the facts.

If there is one thing I hope people see is that this isn't the US's war. It is NATO's war. As a result we should as NATO citizens have open discussions about what we are and are not willing to do as a group. Preserving people's faith in the alliance and its mission is the most important thing.
17:03 June 13, 2012 by neunElf
The reason many Europeans favor Obama is that his policies, mimicking the failed welfare states of Europe, will lead to the further decline of America.

Misery loves company.

Nothing a good European social democrat hates more than seeing a successful, market based economy.
17:38 June 13, 2012 by IchBinKönig
Given the outcome of the EU, Is anyone surprised that Europeans love Obama? He's exactly their type of Politician.

To all the Idiots saying that there will be 4 more years of Obama, PLEASE put your money where you mouth is. Of all your countless bad/wrong leftist predictions @theLocal.de through the years, this has got to be one of your worst. Right up there with 'Oil is going to start trading in Euros'. Honestly, I can't remember when theLoco.de crew actually made an accurate prediction. We'll see.
18:40 June 13, 2012 by SchwabHallRocks
Cathbad - Thank you for your cogent remarks. They are rarely found on this blog.

It's an ages-old philophical question: do I kill 10 innocents to save 11, 100, or 1000 innocents?

Did the French, Dutch, Begiums, etc. complain when the British and Americans killed many 1000s of their innocent peoples (via aerial bombing, artillery, etc.) during WWII to liberate them from the Germans? No.

But, to kill 10 Afghans to save 11 or 100 or 10,000 from Al Qaeda or the Taliban, or worse when the retribution starts after NATO leaves, is suddenly a crime.

What has changed? Why is this different?
19:03 June 13, 2012 by Beachrider
The USA has a key issue. One of its allies, Pakistan, is not helping with ending the dominance of terrorists. Pakistan is almost as close an ally as Turkey, in the Islamic world.

We weren't going to get OBL with overt assistance from Pakistan. That was clear.

It was just-that-critical that we get OBL and isolate aQ.

I regret the problem for the non-involved in Waziristan. We didn't get into this until 100 TIMES as many Americans were killed in the USA.

The political structure of Waziristan needs to match their capacity for anger. The two contradictory approaches need to get together for a solution.
19:05 June 13, 2012 by schneebeck
@ MrPC, comment #13

"When the next muslim terror attack strikes in germany the folks who protest the US' aggressive posture will have nothing to say. "

I hope that attack does not happen. If it does happen I think, on the contrary, they will have something to say:

"the U.S. shouldn't have been so aggressive then this would not have happened"

They stick their heads in the sand and talk, and talk, and talk, and talk about their enlightened, "superior" ideas.

But sticking one's head in the sand to avoid danger doesn't work, it's a myth.
19:14 June 13, 2012 by cathbad_2468
@SchwabHallRocks : I'm just guessing at this but I think that many Europeans in those days trusted the US's intentions, but not so much now. That and also the alternative was a more pressing menace to them.

It's probably a communication problem more than anything. It's up to the US to better explain its actions to the population of its NATO allies. Personally I believe that if people truly understood what we are about we wouldn't have this much resistance.
20:13 June 13, 2012 by PNWDev
@Emason #5

Do you actually think Islamic terrorism is a 21st century phenomenon? Newsflash for you, Muslims have been killing and conquering ever since Mohammed founded the religion in the 7th century. Long before there were drones, or an Israel, or any U.S. foreign policy, or even oil, early Arab-Muslims were converting other Arabs and non-Arabs by the sword. Indonesians are not Arabs, yet they are Muslim. Afghans are not Arab, yet they are Muslim. East and West Africans are not Arab, yet many of them are Muslim. Take some time to review the first 4 centuries of how Islam spread to the non-Arab peoples. Islamic terrorism has always been here.

@ pepsionice #3

Yes, a major screw-up for sure.

The only comical thing about Obama was the, Showtime for the Sheep, speech at Tiergarten Park in Berlin where thousands ignorantly cheered for a man they knew nothing about. And today, an 89% favorable rating with Germans? Really? At least we have proof that political ignorance is still alive and well in Germany just like it was in the USA November 2008 (and still is). And these 89% are basing their views on what? A picture in a paper? A cutesy speech?

As for your 4 more years comment, clearly you must have been in Tiergarten Park that day because I can assure Obama is one-and-done.
20:19 June 13, 2012 by SchwabHallRocks
@Cathbad - Agreed. From the Iraq War II to Obamacare to... U.S. leaders have a difficult time explaining their actions to their citizens or the world.

I suspect it is because they perceive the US populace as incapable of understanding "details."

To this day, I remember Richard Nixon making a TV presentation and using charts (!) to explain why he was setting the speed limit at 55 mph to save gas, in 1973 after the first oil chock. When is the last time you saw a President use a chart to explain anything?
21:54 June 13, 2012 by Patrick4141
So Germans do not like the U.S. to hunt down and kill terrorists? FK em if they don't like it.
21:57 June 13, 2012 by Leo Strauss
Fake paradigms provide talking points to distract you:








state terrorist/`rogue` independent state-sponsored terrorist ;)

TV off and...

Reality of the current Obama regime:

Patriot Act 1, 2 in full effect

Military Commissions Act in full effect

NDAA -US citizens imprisoned indefinitely without trial and

Posse Comitatus- gone!

warrantless wiretaps

Extraordinary Rendition (kidnapping people around the world)

Black CIA Prisons

Torture is legal

Assassination by Executive Order without trial of anyone, including American Citizens (Obama has a `kill list`)

Waging war in Libya and other countries by executive order without seeking Congressional approval (War Powers Act of 1973?)

And now back to our program already in progress...
22:03 June 13, 2012 by charlenej
I have no problem with drones. It's not perfect, but there aren't many other options.

As for OBL, I'm glad he's dead and proud of special-ops for killing him. Pakistan was hiding him and then had the nerve to get all indignant about special ops going in. I don't trust Pakistan at all.
22:33 June 13, 2012 by Leo Strauss

`I have no problem with drones. It's not perfect, but there aren't many other options.`

You have no problem with murdering targeted individuals who are proclaimed to be `terrorists` without oversight or trial, not to mention the women, children and other innocent people who are blown to bits in the process.

That speaks volumes about your character.

How about not flying drones over a sovereign country and ally in order to murder its citizens? Could this be an option?

Check in with us here later when the drones over the US start taking out civilian targets.

The fact that you believe the Osama bin Laden-SEAL team 6 fairy tale is also very telling. I have a few bridges in Brooklyn that I would like to sell you, please enter your credit card number on your next post. Trust me, I`m with Homeland Security. ;) By the way, whatever happened to that SEAL team 6?

Are you an American? Did you read my post? Do you understand what you have lost and what the stakes are?

And you don`t trust Pakistan? XD
23:06 June 13, 2012 by SchwabHallRocks

Do you have a point? Or do you expect the rest of us to "connect the dots?"

Please share the OBL-Seal 6 fairy tales. I am not aware of them.

BTW, I think the drones are Obama's way to make a non-decision: kill terrorists (for the right) but don't use humans to kill (for the left). Howwever, to be clear, the drone strikes have dropped of dramatically in 2012 and have been decreasing, starting 2011 (yes, I know... who does the counting?)
01:57 June 14, 2012 by narfmaster
@Those upset at Obama...

Let me just say, the guy has only been there for three years, was handed a US on the verge of another Great Depression as well as in massive debt, and has had a congress which not only won't cooperate, but just tries to shut down anything he tries to do, even if it is what the opposing party wants to do (like lower taxes!). Still, with all of that, I can think of some successes:

1) START treaty with Russia, resulting in a drastic reduction in nukes on both sides. This means cheaper Uranium for nuke plants, less money spent maintaining the nukes, as well as a safer world.

2) Universal health care. Everyone is required to have health care, but that care and insurance is still privately provided. Previous medical conditions must be covered.

3) CAFE standards revamped. These standards hadn't been changed since the 1980's (which is just sad). Especially needed with the high price of oil.

4) Cash for clunkers. The US was heading into a second great depression and the government had to spent its way out. One way to do so was to get people to exchange their old cars for new ones that are more efficient.

5) Economic stimulus package. This helped to keep the US from experiencing a second great depression. Most of this money went to science research, particularly energy research, as well as basic infrastructure.

6) Death of OBL. Wasn't easy and people tried for a couple of decades to take him out. Obama did it.

7) Ended Don't Ask, Don't Tell.

8) Ended the war in Iraq

9) Killed the Space Shuttle, which wasn't advancing our knowledge of space or helping us get anywhere in space

That's just off the top of my head. Maybe people here aren't 100% happy with some of these, but the majority are hard to argue against.
03:50 June 14, 2012 by Bilderberg
@narfmaster......you do make some good points. Obama did walk into an atrocious situation. I don't think McCain would have had any good ideas for dealing with the financial crisis.....and I don't think he should have been given the opportunity. He isn't any brighter than w.

That being said, I take issue with the manner in which the police state has progressed in the USA. That situation must change or we might all need to worry about being the innocent, or the target, for the next drone attack.

@cathbad_2468: maybe your cold logic would be willing to offer yourself up as the next innocent when the drones begin to be used on US citizens, at home?
04:29 June 14, 2012 by narfmaster
@Bilderberg...I totally agree with you about the police state problem. Maybe I'm wrong, but it seems to me every government in the US since the 1980s has pushed the US further in that direction. Maybe it started earlier. I don't know. The war on drugs seems to be linked to it, though. Before drugs were an issue, cops kept a 45 and rarely used it. Now they wear kevlar and carry assault rifles, shooting first and asking questions later. But when there are drug dealers with automatic weapons who are willing to use them, you need some protection. Perhaps if drugs were legal and taxed we wouldn't have this problem. We might have OTHER problems, but I'm not sure those problems would be worse.
05:11 June 14, 2012 by PNWDev

Great, we now have confirmation Chris Matthews read thelocal.de
05:21 June 14, 2012 by cathbad_2468
@Bilderberg : From your comments I gather that you look at drones as extrajudicial killings. Am I right? My position is that these killings are not extrajudicial. They are acts of war against enemy militants in foreign territory.

If you are proposing that perhaps the US government could use these drones against its own people here in US territory then of course I join you in opposing it, just as I would oppose the US navy running air raids against my home town. That being said, I believe the purpose of our military is to protect us from foreign security threats, and to that end they should be able to carry out operations overseas.

Let me point out that if these targeted individuals would just surrender we wouldn't need to send in the drones at all. They could surrender to a European country that wouldn't allow extradition or rendition. I would support that. We just want them out of commission. If they want to do that without getting killed or their families potentially killed that's entirely up to them.

I noticed you made a comment about our sending drones into the territory of an ally. Pakistan is not our ally. They are our adversary whom NATO needs right now in order to have access to Afghanistan. The fact is that they harbored Osama bin Laden who attacked a member of NATO and is therefore an enemy of all of NATO. I think they knew he was there; why else would they punish the person who reported his location?

Al Qaeda deliberately targeted non-combattants on 9/11. Where is your indignation against them?
08:01 June 14, 2012 by Landmine
Double standards, the V1 rocket was good enough for Germany....
09:18 June 14, 2012 by Bilderberg
I think that cold logic regarding these situations is acceptable to some people, but only as long as the horrific consequences of the behavior in question are only impacting "others." I would venture to say that we're these drone attacks to happen to you, and yours, in the US, you might have a very different perspective. None of us really knows when a state will declare any of us an enemy and/or consider our behavior an attack upon the state. There is far too much ambiguity in how the laws are written and the rules applied. This is ultimately dangerous for all of humanity. I certainly would never want my mother or siblings to pay the ultimate price for something my father may have done, because as we all know, many things are done outside the confines of the family. I am certain that your spouse does not know everything you do and it would be a great atrocity if she had to suffer any consequences for your behavior. One reality of war is that the enemy, and all others associated with the enemy, become dehumanized in our mind. That Is the only way that we are able to kill. However, it is imperative that we do everything possible to hold criminals, and not their family, accountable for crimes. Neither you or I would want the cold logic you speak of to be applied to our family, would we?


I did not discuss an ally in my previous post.

And, I did not say that I have no indignation.......I,did not discuss that issue.
10:19 June 14, 2012 by AlexR
I am not disappointed by Obama, he does exactly what I was expecting him to do, that is, nothing groundbreaking really.
15:01 June 14, 2012 by Leo Strauss

I listed the false paradigms that are used to distract people from reality. Let`s call this the noise.

Then I listed the most horrendous policies of the Obama regime that have totally dismantled the US Constitution and have completely turned America into a brutal empire abroad and a police state at home:

LEGAL kidnapping, indefinite detention, torture, assassination (killing people), aggressive `preventative` war by executive decree, and all of this without due process, trial, or oversight of any kind. Let`s call this the signal.

Now do you get my point regarding Obama? Have you connected the dots?

I hope that I have at least spilled some dots onto your page if you are still wondering. :)

From Obama to Osama:

I reject the official narrative of Osama bin Laden from 9/11 through to his death(s?).

If you would like some more information regarding his `take down`, or any other aspect of the Bin Laden story, then please do some digging and reading for yourself. If after that you still believe, then please give your credit card # with your next post too. It`s all good- I flew one of the SEAL Team 6 copters into Pakistan for Disney. ;)

Remember, It is the mark of an enlightened man, that he can entertain a concept in his mind without accepting it. Please go forth, my friend, and try it. :)

Lastly, your claim that people in western European countries didn`t complain about their civilian deaths due to Allied Bombing is as astounding as it is false. Then as now, no one is listening. Just read some of the posts supporting the murderous CIA drone attacks in Pakistan, a sovereign and allied state. They just don`t get it. Anyway, I suggest that you pick up a few books on Caen or Monte Casino while you are researching Mr. Bin Laden.

PS It`s time to take down your Jessica Lynch poster. :)
16:11 June 14, 2012 by cathbad_2468
@Bilderberg : I would not want to be a victim in a war nor would I want my family to be victims in a war. That is exactly why we are conducting attacks against terrorist networks. They deliberately target non-combatants all the time.

Nobody said that war is pleasant or that it is anything other than the last option. Like I said, if the terrorists would simply surrender it would save everyone a great deal of pain.

So why don't you call on these militants to surrender themselves to a country that promises it won't execute or torture them, nor turn them over to a country that would? Problem solved.

I notice that you have not yet placed any responsibility on the militants for hiding out among non-combatants. You have a group of people who won't actively target non-combatants deliberately using their own family as human shields yet for some reason we bear all responsibility for what happens next?

Fundamentally I disagree with the idea that the US and any other NATO country that acts to defend itself is automatically responsible for every consequence that occurs. Aren't the militants adults who are capable of bearing responsibility for their own actions?

I don't share your fear that the US might use its weapons against its own citizens. It seems to me to be unfounded. We've had the world's most powerful military for the last 70 years and no dictators yet.

It was @LeoStrauss who said that Pakistan is our ally. I was replying to that.

It seemed to me that you lacked indignation as you seemed to not put any responsibility on the militants. I'm trying not to say 'terrorist' as it is a loaded word, but that's essentialy what they are.

@LeoStrauss : The US doesn't waterboard anyone and doesn't torture anyone. 80% of the inhabitants of Guantanamo are ready to be released, however there are no countries that will take them. I got this information from 60 minutes.

We can certainly hold combatants for as long as we want if they pose a threat to us. Of course there should be some hearing to see if the facts bear out in each case. Given that the US is ready to release 80% of its detainees you can be sure this kind of review is in fact happening.

As for the other 20% we have to hold them indefinitely as they would immediately become a threat to us if we let them go. They would target non-combatants in the US or other NATO ally. We can't let that happen. This is part of why one of the characteristics of legal combatant forces is that there is a chain of command so that when the commander says "don't fight" the followers obey. Until then we can hold on to them as long as we see fit. These militants are illegal combatants.

We can also kill militants during a state of war. We did not have an official declaration of war, which I think we should have whenever we start offensive operations. However the Congress did pass resolutions supporting our actions in Iraq and in Afghanistan, so it's the same effect.
23:15 June 14, 2012 by charlenej
@Leo Strauss

Yes, I am American.

Terrorists' goal in life is to kill as many innocent civilians as they can in the most spectacularly horrific way possible and then rejoice in it. I really don't think they leave us a lot of options.

I don't know the Seal Fairy Tales or whatever you are talking about. I don't doubt I don't know the whole story. And I don't care about the story. Somebody went in and killed him. Whoever. Good. All I know is that Osama's gone and I am absolutely 1000% glad about that. And I absolutely believe Pakistan knew he was there. I'm fine about someone, whether it be SEAL or tooth fairy going into Pakistan and doing it, given that he was hiding and planning more atrocities and had no intention of surrendering or of ceasing to be a terrorist. Maybe I should have a different moral center on this, but I don't. I was in Manhattan on 9/11 and saw the whole thing, and I see what happens nearly everyday in Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, Somalia,.... I saw what happened on the trains in London, in Mumbai, and then the "smaller things" the minions focus on... the girls who get killed for going to school, getting acid thrown on their faces, it all comes from the same crazy place and brainwashed extremist belief system. And if they want to die for it, good for them, go ahead, but don't take someone else's mom or dad or kids down with them.

Terrorists blow up, shoot, kidnap, and terrorize innocent people every single day for no other reason then to be crazy sociopaths, they do it in other lands, they do it in their own lands, against their own people, against children. I do not care at all what happens to them, quite frankly. I do wish that they could be dealt with in a way that limits innocent people being hurt, and sometimes that doesn't happen, but that's more their fault than NATO's in my opinion.

I don't generally fear the U.S. turning on it's people. This comes up a lot, but I just don't see it happening.

I stand by what I said.
14:00 June 15, 2012 by DickShawnsDiction
See this?

"29. NO Freeman shall be taken or imprisoned, or be disseised of his Freehold, or Liberties, or free Customs, or be outlawed, or exiled, or any other wise destroyed; nor will We not pass upon him, nor condemn him, but by lawful judgment of his Peers, or by the Law of the land. We will sell to no man, we will not deny or defer to any man either Justice or Right."

[Definition of DISSEISE. transitive verb. : to deprive especially wrongfully of seisin : dispossess.]

Nice, isn't it? It's from the Magna Carta. Guess what? BHO repealed it. What a shining light of humanitarianism.


"Terrorists blow up, shoot, kidnap, and terrorize innocent people every single day for no other reason then to be crazy sociopaths, they do it in other lands, they do it in their own lands, against their own people, against children. I do not care at all what happens to them, quite frankly. I do wish that they could be dealt with in a way that limits innocent people being hurt, and sometimes that doesn't happen, but that's more their fault than NATO's in my opinion. "

That's one helluva morality you've got there: it's okay to murder and otherwise terrorize people if they're "foreigners"? So, you're okay with, say, China launching an airstrike on a suburb of Cleveland to hit a suspected arms dealer?

You prove my long-held point that you can't have a Psychopath for President if a large chunk of the electorate isn't psychopathic itself. How else could you be so matter of fact about women and children and innocent men having their heads blown off by robotic death machines? Believe it or not, they had as much right to their lives as you do to yours, despite what you've been brainwashed into believing.

Do psychopaths think of themselves as psychopaths? Clearly not.
14:32 June 15, 2012 by Leo Strauss

I think that you are sincere, so I implore you to please stop watching TV and start reading.


`I don't generally fear the U.S. turning on it's people. This comes up a lot, but I just don't see it happening.`

Now, at the risk of boring those who would rather be watching Chris Matthews OR Sean Hannity, I will repost it on this thread a the third time for Charlene, who must have missed it:

In the USA (your country, Char, in real time) the following things are LEGAL and policy right now:

kidnapping, indefinite detention, torture, assassination, and waging aggressive `preventative` war by executive decree

All of this is done WITHOUT due process, trial, or oversight. This includes Americans and has already been done to US citizens just like you. It is not theory it is policy. You have an Empire and a police state. Germans were executed for water-boarding and launching a war of aggression at Nuremburg. Please read this until it sinks in.

It is clear that you have been very well schooled. No, unfortunately, this is not the same as being educated. They are as different as a tame and wild animal. Anyway, now I know why Glenn Beck has a chalkboard on his show.

Legislators in the US (your country) now wish to pass legislation which would allow the CIA and other agencies to use propaganda on the American people. Until now this has been illegal. They have been doing this anyway for years with the collaboration of the corporate media de facto but now they have the arrogance to make it de jure. Although, with posters like you, Char, I hardly see the need. Operation Mockingbird? Jessica Lynch? SEAL Team 6? Never mind, the film is coming.

`I don't doubt I don't know the whole story. And I don't care about the story. Somebody went in and killed him. Whoever. Good.`

Thank you for outsourcing your intellect and moral obligations to a gang of psychopaths and killers. Please remain seated on the floor in your cave and continue watching the pretty shadows on the wall... or turn off the television and start educating yourself. It is 2012. A good place to start would be to look up `false flag`, for example.

Have a good one.

PS: I was there for 9/11 too. I am the anonymous cameraman who just happened to be filming when the first plane hit. Shhhh. It`s our little secret. ;)
14:48 June 15, 2012 by DickShawnsDiction

"Operation Mockingbird? Jessica Lynch? SEAL Team 6?"

My favorite is probably "The Gulf of Tonkin". What's yours? Too soon to comment on "Tucson", I think.

PS Say "Hi" to Milt for me...
15:46 June 15, 2012 by Leo Strauss

Hey DSD, thanks for taking the time.

You made some good points. Do these Chickenhawks and TV Heads ever turn the map around, as the saying goes, and think about how it would feel to be on the receiving end of these drones? Probably not. As you point out, and as soulless people like Char freely admit, the hypocrites are all gung-ho as long as it is happening `over there`. Without Schadenfreude I say that it won`t be long until our little couch commandantes get a taste of it stateside. They seem to find tasers and police brutality funny, so combat drones over Cleveland should be the Laugh-O-lympics for these folks.

I think that your comments on psychopathy were also spot on. They are in charge and are now stocking the police forces and other security agencies with tried and true sociopaths from the ranks who have proven themselves in Af and Iraq. Not the decent vets who refused to obey illegal orders-- I mean the real killers. As for the electorate, they may not be true psychos, but will develop psychopathic tendencies symptoms over time if exposed to the freaks long enough. Then the psycho values become the norm.

Favorite false flag or op. Hmmm. How about GLADIO? Watched George Clooney-Tunes in the American a while ago. It was all about that GLADIO-MK Ultra thang. Love how its just in your face these days.

Anyway, have a good one. Will say `Hi` to Milt. It is very hot where we are.

PS: I don`t mean on the Bushs` Paraguay estate. :)
16:06 June 15, 2012 by cathbad_2468

You said "horrendous policies ... that ... have completely turned America into a brutal empire abroad and a police state at home"

If America were a police state at home we would not be allowed to have this discussion and if it were a brutal empire abroad this discussion would not be necessary.

You create a number of straw man arguments :

1. The US tortures. The fact is that we do not. During the Bush administration 3 people were waterboarded. Gen Hayden, head of the CIA, ended it in 2003. My source is ABC news.

2. Waging war by executive decree. The Congress approved both our operations in Iraq and in Afghanistan. It is a defacto declaration of war. If it were, as you say, an executive decree with no oversight, I'd be in the streets protesting too.

3. It sounds to me like you are saying that our 'assassinations' are extrajudicial killings. I have already addressed this. Our killings are legitimate acts of war.

4. You say that the US acts without oversight. Did you know that President Obama personally signs off on every single militant killing? Not only that, he has refused some targets. Is that a lack of oversight? 80% of Guantanamo inmates are cleared to leave. How would that be possible without oversight?

As far as I know, Germans were never executed for engaging in aggressive war. They were executed for various war crimes, but not for the war itself. Please provide examples that we can check. Since you are making the claim, you provide the proof.

You are now attacking my education level, which you know nothing about, instead of my positions. Since this is all you have left why don't you just concede defeat?
17:45 June 15, 2012 by Leo Strauss

Now I know how Spiderman feels trying to talk sense to Carnage. ;)
20:12 June 15, 2012 by cathbad_2468

I'll take your last comment to mean that your intellectual quiver is out of arrows. Let's call it a day.

Thank you for helping me to demonstrate once again that the extreme left is just as ignorant and irrational as the extreme right.
21:18 June 15, 2012 by Leo Strauss
@ cathbad

`Thank you for helping me to demonstrate once again that the extreme left is just as ignorant and irrational as the extreme right.`

You`re welcome. Now please remind me, which extreme were you championing? :)

Also, I did not put up straw man arguments, as you claim, I stated propositions based on facts. Please learn about the Straw man and other fallacies here: http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacies/

`You are now attacking my education level, which you know nothing about, instead of my positions.`

I have never attacked your education level, were attacking an educational level even possible, so why are you reacting in this manner? I will refer to you as Herr Doktor Doktor, if that will improve your self-esteem.

`If America were a police state at home we would not be allowed to have this discussion and if it were a brutal empire abroad this discussion would not be necessary.`

Huh? These statements are completely arbitrary and in no way refute the fact of American Empire and police state.

And what about this?

I wrote that in the US there is now `Assassination by Executive Order without trial of anyone, including American Citizens (Obama has a `kill list`)`

And you countered: `You say that the US acts without oversight. Did you know that President Obama personally signs off on every single militant killing? Not only that, he has refused some targets.`

cathbad, Executive Order MEANS that Obama signs off on it- he gives the executive order!

Do you really want me to continue with this, or have you fallen into Alpha brainwave trance in front of ABC/60 Minutes?

Hit me back Carnage, if you want more.:)
01:20 June 16, 2012 by cathbad_2468
@LeoStrauss : We are in a state of war against Al-Qaeda and the Taliban. The Congress authorized the use of force against those groups. NATO invoked the collective defense clause for the first time in its history. They are groups who continually and actively target non-combatants and NATO citizens. I challenge you to refute this. Or perhaps you believe that Al-Qaeda wasn't really behind 9/11?

I challenge you to actually refute any one of these points. Up until now you have chosen not to.

You think my statements are completely arbitrary. Let me spell out it for you. If the US were a police state, then you and I would not be allowed to discuss this online, period. Try doing this in China or North Korea. If the US were a brutal empire abroad, we would have no terrorist problem. We would simply either kill or enslave the Afghan population. It could be done at a much less cost to us than our current strategy.

Your problem is that you simply refuse to give the US any credit, and want to give the Taliban and Al-Qaeda, a group of extremist mass murderers who would enslave you if they had the chance, every benefit of the doubt, even when it is completely irrational to do so.

You have yet to condemn terrorists for 1. refusing to wear distinguishing uniforms which is their duty under the rules of war or 2. insisting on hiding out among non-combatants. Both of these things are against the rules of warfare. That's part of why they are illegal combatants and wouldn't be entitled to the same protections that the North Korean soldiers would be entitled to if we captured them in a war.

Your claims make absolutely no logical sense but they make perfect emotional sense. This is a common pattern among leftists, who are not liberals. Liberals want freedom for all. Leftists want to fight an authority figure. This is why liberals are infuriated by the Taliban's targeting children and throwing acid in girls' faces, yet the leftist doesn't bat an eye at it. That's because the leftist's goal is to rebel not to liberate.

What type of people are leftists? In my experience they are for the most part under the age of 30. In their mind they are still rebelling against the authority figures in their lives. They are so fixated on rebelling that they see anything powerful as some type of threat. If my theory is correct most leftist organizations (those that are fixated on fighting a 'power' rather than correcting a wrong) should skew young, and in fact they do.

When I consider your illogical "powerful people are automatically bad" arguments, your schoolyard taunts, and your references to comic book characters, I come to the conclusion that you are probably under the age of 25. If this is so, and I hope it is (so that your real age matches your mental age), then all we have to do is wait a few years until your frontal lobes fully mature (which happens around 25) and you will come to your senses.
10:39 June 16, 2012 by Leo Strauss
Ok cathbad, let me address point 1:

1 The US tortures. Torture is the policy of the US Government from the Office of the President on down. Beginning days after 9/11 and in the months that followed legal experts began to build their case for torture by first stripping prisoners of their rights under US and International law. After a series of legal memos, at the end of 2001, their position was that:

`federal courts have no jurisdiction and cannot review Guantanamo detainee mistreatment or mistaken arrest cases. It further stated that international laws don't apply in the "war on terror."`

And then here, claiming that prisoners had no protection under international law:

`On January 18, 2002, Bush issued a "finding" stating that prisoners suspected of being Al Queda or Taliban members are "enemy combatants" and unprotected by the Third Geneva Convention. They were to be denied all rights and treated "to the extent....consistent with military necessity." Torture was thus authorized. The 2006 Military Commissions Act (aka the "torture authorization act") later created the Geneva-superceded category of "unlawful enemy combatant" to deny them any chance for judicial fairness.`


Please stop watching ABC and go online to read the hundreds of articles and reports outlining the Bush regime`s justification of torture, culminating with former President Bush himself stating that it was correct to water-board detainees and that he would do it again. Water-boarding is torture and it was done more than three times, my friend.

Here for a list of OFFICIAL US torture techniques:


Let me leave it to International law expert Francis Boyle to summarize what it means to strip US prisoners of their rights: `this quasi-category (created a) universe of legal nihilism where human beings (including US citizens) can be disappeared, detained incommunicado, denied access to attorneys and regular courts, tried by kangaroo courts, executed, tortured, assassinated and subjected to numerous other manifestations of State Terrorism" on the pretext of as protecting national security.`

Cathbad, there is massive evidence compiled by many credible agencies, whistle-blowers, survivors, and lawyers that demonstrates beyond a doubt that the US tortures officially. I haven`t even started with the CIA black prisons and torture outsourcing.

Don`t delude yourself into thinking that torture is justified because the US and NATO are fighting The War on Terror. The War on Terror? Sorry, you can`t declare war on a tactic. Secondly, if these so-called terrorists are not soldiers then try them in a criminal court with due process.

If you want me to continue you will have to post again, but please hold your fire until I can address your original 5 points.
15:29 June 16, 2012 by cathbad_2468
I will post so that you can continue.
17:51 June 16, 2012 by Leo Strauss
2 Waging war by executive decree

I am a fan of the US Constitution and believe that it should be upheld and defended. I do not wish to see an American Caesar.

Under Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution, the President must go to the Congress to obtain a declaration of war although it is within his prerogative to repel attacks against the United States should there be a clear and present danger. The last time that the President obtained a declaration of war was during World War Two.

As you know, the Congress did not issue a declaration of war for the either the Korean or the Viet Nam War, even though the United States was never in danger during those conflicts. Therefore the House and Senate passed the War Powers Resolution of 1973, which effectively restricts executive military action authorized by the President to 90 days.

Since then the War Powers Resolution has been invoked by Congress at times; while at other times the Congress has granted its approval to the President`s action. In this tug of war I am firmly on the side of Congress.

You are correct to note that the Congress did authorize President Bush for the military action in Af and Iraq.

My problem is with the military action in Libya, where Obama clearly violated the WPR, and what all this could mean in the future:

`May 20, 2011, marked the 60th day of US combat in Libya (as part of the UN resolution) but the deadline arrived without President Obama seeking specific authorization from the US Congress.[11] President Obama, however, notified Congress that no authorization was needed,[12] since the US leadership was transferred to NATO,[13] and since US involvement is somewhat limited.`


`No authorization was needed`. Worried yet?

Also in May, 2011, when asked by Rep Walter Jones if the President would ask Congress to authorize his wars in the future, `the Secretary of War, Leon Panetta, said Obama will ¦quot;seek international permission¦quot; to launch new wars.¦quot; ` http://www.infowars.com/its-official-presidency-now-a-dictatorship/

`International permission`

From whom? NATO or the UN? What about the American people?

Is Obama going to go to Congress when the bombing starts in Syria?

Who is overseeing the CIA drone attacks in Yemen and Pakistan? Aren`t these also acts of war?

This is what I meant by war by executive decree.

Hit it again if you want me to continue working through you points, but only if it is going to be worthwhile for us both. I am interested to hear your take on all this but it is time consuming.:)
18:01 June 16, 2012 by cathbad_2468
Please continue. Too bad the local has a character limit.
20:04 June 16, 2012 by Leo Strauss
3 Executive Assassinations are legitimate Acts of War

`We did not have an official declaration of war, which I think we should have whenever we start offensive operations. However the Congress did pass resolutions supporting our actions in Iraq and in Afghanistan, so it's the same effect.`

`We are in a state of war against Al-Qaeda and the Taliban. The Congress authorized the use of force against those groups.`

The wars against the Taliban regime in Af and against Iraq in the Second Gulf War are over and new elected governments are now in place. I fail to see how these states, if indeed they ever did, constitute a danger to the United States at the moment. If the US is not at war with these states, then with whom are they at war?

I do not subscribe to the notion that any state can be at war with terrorist groups. A state of war exists between two or more states. I think that if you are defending the concept of a War on Terror, then you are misleading yourself. As I have written, terror is a tactic and not a state. You cannot declare war on a tactic. If you counter that the US is correct to pursue a foreign policy, whereby CIA hit teams and even worse, drones, are deployed into sovereign states where they are used to kill `militants`, as all combat aged males who are killed are branded, then I am afraid that I cannot agree with you. The US sponsors terror and supports terror groups around the world that wreak havoc in other countries, such as Jundallah in Iran. Surely you would not consent to Iran sending drones into the US in order to kill those who are sponsoring, coordinating and committing these terrorist acts? But this is exactly the principle that you are supporting should you be for the so-called War on Terror.

As for whether or not these assassinations are extrajudicial, or `outside of the law`, well that is a question for the American people. Do you believe that the President should be able to kill anywhere, anytime, and anyone, including American citizens, if they are determined to be a terrorist threat?

In Germany we know that the Nazis and the Communists did many things that were not extrajudicial within their states.

4 Executive Assassinations without oversight

We talked over each other here. By assassination by executive order I meant that Obama signs off on the killings without Congressional or any other oversight. I think that we agree that this is the procedure.

Cathbad, looks like we are all alone here. Will write more if you post. One more from me about Nürnberg should do it. :)
20:57 June 16, 2012 by cathbad_2468
In interests of the character limit, I agree with you regarding limiting executive power and also treatment of detainees, with the exception that the Supreme Court does exercise oversight over the detainee issue.

We are war with Al-Qaeda and the Taliban. We should have a public list of networks that we have found to be planning attacks against us and the names of people we believe to be part of those networks. We could then only attack or capture those on the lists.

In the case of so called 'signature' strikes these could be limited to battlezone situations with defined borders. The zone can be in place for a limited amount of time with oversight and periodic renewal.

I think we can declare war against militant networks as well as states. We declared war on the Barbary pirates. At what point did we decide that our hands should be tied because our adversaries are illegal combatants? The Taliban and Al-Qaeda definitely still exist. I claim that our war is against these networks, not the tactic.

There is no basis in humanitarian law (law of armed conflict) for this kind of restriction and I'm interested in whether drone attacks violate humanitarian law.

I take exception to people calling drone strikes 'murder' or 'assassinations'. That implies that they violate humanitarian law. They do not as long as they conform to the principles of 'necessity', 'distinction', and 'proportionality'. In the interest of space I'll refer you to Wikipedia and Google.

I doubt that we are actively harboring people who actively plan terrorist attacks in other countries. If that is so it should not be allowed. Of course I wouldn't want Iran to launch drone strikes, but it wouldn't necessarily be a violation of humanitarian law.

There is nothing in humanitarian law, as far as I can tell, about violations of sovereignty. Most acts of war involve some violation of sovereignty, and at least some acts of war meet humanitarian standards. Just because we kill someone in Pakistan doesn't mean we are 'murdering' anyone from the perspective of humanitarian law. (not saying you are saying that)

I agree that the status in international law about when violations of sovereignty are allowed is undefined. We probably need a new Convention on it. However I don't think all claims to sovereignty are equal. Pakistan doesn't really exercise sovereignty over its tribal areas. If it did, then it could seal the borders and enforce its laws there. I know that in international law a state has to exercise sovereignty to have it recognized internationally. Canada had a dispute with Denmark over "Hans island" in the arctic for this very reason.
22:02 June 16, 2012 by Leo Strauss
The last one for today-

`As far as I know, Germans were never executed for engaging in aggressive war. They were executed for various war crimes, but

not for the war itself. `

Germans were tried and convicted for their specific crimes (as you point out) and then punished, some with the death penalty. I stated that Germans were put to death for the crime of waterboarding (as well as Japanese) and for waging aggressive war. While the former is a specific criminal act, the latter is not and no German was put to death for this specifically. However, Germany itself was convicted of waging a war of aggression, a violation of the Nuremberg Principles, and thus all of the individual actors who were executed were also judged a party to this general war crime:

Principle VI states,

"The crimes hereinafter set out are punishable as crimes under international law:

(a) Crimes against peace:

(i) Planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements or assurances;

Cathbad, I think that I have responded to your main points. If I have refuted them or not, is not the main thing to me. It is the dialogue that I have had with you and with myself.

Have a good one.

PS If you want me to comment on the rest then you will have to post, cuz I guess this is our thread now. :)
23:42 June 16, 2012 by cathbad_2468
Point taken about Germany and Nuremberg.

My final point on this is that drone attacks are not necessarily 'extrajudicial killings' or 'murders', under humanitarian law. I appreciate your comments, but no one on this thread has actually challenged this point.

There are many cases where drone attacks could satisfy the requirements of 'necessity', 'distinction', and 'proportionality' and so therefore be allowable. Some of these militant members contribute significantly to the offensive capabilities of their group which satisfies necessity and the associated risk to non-combatants. Drones are our best way to discriminate between combatants and non-combatants (compared to invasion - read article "My Drone War" by Pir Zubair Shah - the locals prefer drone attacks as it is safer for most villagers) which satisfies discrimination. Finally, we are using the least amount of force which does the job, which satisfies proportionality.

I fail to see how drone attacks are extrajudicial killings which suggests that they are violations of humanitarian law.
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