It’s Okay if You’re a Democrat

ThinkProgress, compiling a helpful list of Barack Obama’s foreign-policy “successes” to throw at your wingnut relatives, saw fit to include this item:

Obama’s policy: President Obama ordered a drone attack that killed al Qaeda propagandist Anwar Al Awlaki, a U.S.-Yemeni dual citizen.

This is, to say the least, astonishing. As noted, Awlaki was an American citizen. And whatever you might think of his behavior, we have means of dealing with that. Constitutional means. Article III, Section 3, to be precise:

Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.

But fine, we live in Exceptional Times. What’s astonishing is that ThinkProgress doesn’t even bother to sex up the dossier: By their account, we’re supposed to cheer Obama because he took out a propagandist.

We have a simple test for situations like this: Substitute “Bush” for “Obama”, and listen to your gut. If your reaction is the same, you may congratulate yourself on your judgment. But if not, you may want to avoid looking in mirrors, because what you’ll see is nothing but a fucking hack.

Obama’s Foreign Policy Successes [ThinkProgress, via Greenwald]

I’m going to have to disagree here, again, as I usually do when this subject comes up. I am far more troubled by the idea of the U.S. using unmanned drones to assasinate opponents than I am by the idea that we did it to an American citizen. The implication here is that a greater injustice has been committed because we killed an American citizen. Had Awlaki been a Yemeni citizen wih no ties to the U.S., then the implications of this strike would presumably have been less “troubling.”

Taken to an extreme, this stance implicitly justifies the (to me abhorrent) practice of kidnapping foreign nationals on foreign soil and sending them off to third countries for interrogation (or secret CIA prisons). After all, since they aren’t Americans, they enjoy none of the rights and protections our justice system normally affords criminal suspects and so we can do with them as we like.

The way I see it: if the U.S. is justified in assassinating Islamist militants of any nationality, then we are justified in assassinating American Islamist militants. I we are not justified in assasinating American Islamist militants, then we are not justified in assassinating any Islamist militants.

Now the question of whether an assassination of this sort is ever justified is a lot more complex, and, to my mind, depends on the difficulty of taking the suspect alive as well as the threat he poses to the nation, its people and its interests.

@Serolf Divad: Shorter version: it ain’t the meat, it’s the motion.

@Serolf Divad, Beesko: It’s OK, he’s a Muslim.

I’m moving my Black Account to a credit onion this week.

@Capt Howdy: Divert travel reimbursements, small advances, allowances from the Significant Other and we’re talking real money for guy stuff after a while. That’s what I paid for my range time and ammo with the other day when I was supposed to be at the Home Depot. Like I said last week, I could get an AR-15 with my savings. Not having to discuss $$ spent at Tina’s Range Gear (the independent, woman owned gun shop as seen in “No Country for Old Men” I go to) on a bank statement = life is good.

Disclosure: Mrs RML told me to start the Black Account so she would not know what I was spending at gun shops, REI, etc. The girls at the bank were all “we’re telling Mrs RML” to which I said “she told me to open this account.” I’ve acquired three pistols under the Black Program in the last three years, plus the Glock 19 she knew about (purchased when Eric Holder was making noises about banning high capacity magazines; the 9 mm Glock 19 hold 15 rounds).


howdy yerself. after becoming unemployed last spring I cashed out a 401K and took advantage of the ridiculous real estate market by buying, and paying cash (an absurdly almost embarrassingly small amount of cash) for a house and spent the summer working on it. I have been very busy. and I have been having the time of my life. I love doing this kind of stuff and I love the house which is more than one hundred years old according to local lore. (its called the Bamber house and the street I live on is named Bamber because it was the only one here when the street was made). and since I turned 60 last week I consider myself basically retired.
now that its getting cold I may be around on line more as I am left to my thoughts. although there is plenty to do inside I may not do much of it until I actually retire and get my cash payout from the animators union so I can do it right. the inside is not really that bad. it had been maintained so it could be rented as the outside had been neglected for a long time.

@Capt Howdy:

before and after pics. well not really after since there is still much to do but I got most of the stuff done I wanted to get done before winter. the house is build of oak. OAK. not just the framing but the walls and roof. so it will likely last another 100 years.

its small, about 1200 sq ft. but its plenty for me and the dogs. I really love it. more than an acre loaded with giant trees fruit trees and flowers and a spectacular view from the back porch.

@Capt Howdy:
That’s a lot of work. I can see why you haven’t been around.

Sorry about the layoff. I got whacked early summer and haven’t done even a 1/4 as much.

the dogs love it. they have five times as much yard as they have ever had. plus lots of wildlife to bark at.@ManchuCandidate:
not so upset. I was at the time but there are times that everything and every piece of your life falls into place so perfectly that you just know in your bones that is exactly where you are supposed to be that that moment. it feels really good. and I swear to god that if I could I would give the volition ass hats that brought this on a big wet kiss on the mouth, with tongue, for making it happen against my will. and especially for the added bonus of setting things up so that it is virtually assured that I will be collecting unemployment for 99 weeks (by the way at the end of which I can retire since I just turned 60. HA) the cost of living is so low here that my unemployment checks make me upper middle class. (I get close to twice as much as the maximum amount available from the state of arkansas) and since I own the house and the car and all I have to do is buy food gas and pot, not necessarily in that order, I am just fine. thank you very much.

they also have new friends next door who I believe they think are big dogs

@Capt Howdy: As soon as you get your garden growing, you won’t even have to pay for the last.

Totally sweet house! I hope you prune at least some of the fruit trees so they bear better. Unpruned fruit trees give me a sad.

@karen marie has her eyes tight shut:
been told to prune them in february. but they were all loaded down this summer. two kinds of peaches two kinds of apples two kinds of pears on three trees, cherrys and two kinds of grapes.

@Capt Howdy: Cherries are the best but you have to be wicked fast to beat the birds.

@karen marie has her eyes tight shut:

actually the deer got most of everything this year. I may take steps to combat that next year but this one I was enjoying the deer in my yard to much to chase them away. I only got the stuff they couldnt stand on their hind legs and reach.

one day I walked into the kitchen and a baby rabbit and a baby deer were playing tag in the yard while eating peaches off the ground. I thought I woke up in a disney movie.

@Capt Howdy: My parent’s neighbors have chickens. Two less chickens after my parent’s husky discovered them.

(These would be Urban Chickens, which would have been unthinkable when I was growing up in Eugene.)

I wouldnt want to think about what my babies might do to chickens.

@nojo: there used to be chickens that hung out in the hardees parking lot near me. they would mooch french fries until the nascar wannabes out on the three lane casseroled them.

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