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Comment Re:This was not a screw-up (Score 1) 397

You got another solution?

Bombing cities on the other side of the world is not going to convince the inhabitants that your culture is better or more "moral". Let's try not doing that for a change.

Who cares what the population wants if the taliban are the only game in town with guns?

Poli and Military Science fun fact: a dictator will retain power until his support drops below 20%, because of coordination issues. You need more then a handful of people to over-throwe the government, and if each one you talk to adds a 25% chance of snitching you're screwed. The Taliban have that 20%, and since they're willing to die for their cause (like ISIS in Northern Iraq, they took Kunduz with a much smaller force then the government, largely because nobody on the government side was willing to risk their lives), they win the Endmic Warfare-types battles that dominate Afghanistan.

stoning rape victims for adultery in God's name

I'm atheist and believe that all governments based on religion are the truest evil in the world. I'd like to see the Muslim extremists go too. That isn't likely to happen in my lifetime. At any rate, groups like the Taliban cannot keep returning unless they have support from the people around them. Afghanistan is not the U.S.

Now, what I would advocate for is to open our borders to refugees running from the wars we've started.

Your use of ad hominems is immature.

I'd like a lot more open immigration policy myself. But that's less likely then a stable Afghanistan with no Sharia Law*. Right now the GOP is freaking out that Catholics from Mexico might vote for a welfare state the size of the one that Mexico tries to have (they have universal health care, and it doesn't work too well because they can't afford it), how do you think they'd react to semi-literate Muslims who all have cousins in the Taliban?

*Strictly speaking we have some elements of Sharia law. If two Muslims sue each-other, and want to use Islamic Law to settle the dispute, they can hire a Sharia arbitrator, and we can't stop them.

Comment Re:This was not a screw-up (Score 1) 397

Horseshit yourself.

MSF is not a friendly. It is not an ally. It's not a military unit fighting the Taliban. If you'd called them friendly, an ally, or tried to station a liaison officer in their hospital, a week ago they would have been the first to tell you to go fuck yourself because to do their jobs they need to be seen as neutral. Thus the Military is characterizing the incident as "collateral damage" rather then "Friendly fire."

The actual friendlies were either Afghan police or US Special Forces (the New York Times story implies there were SpecOps guys on the scene) were looking at the hospital building, and they were claiming to take fire from the hospital.

And you're saying that they should trust that a) the MSF has not lost the hospital to the Taliban while said Taliban controlled Kunduz, and b) the US Air Force should immediately trust a guy from a building we're bombing (because Afghan police told us to bomb it) when he pinky swears he's not Taliban over the phone.

Comment Re:This was not a screw-up (Score 2) 397

Dude why are you so angry? Have a beer and chill out.

I'm not really angry, but I do not suffer fools gladly.

And, IMO, if you're in a debate on morality on the internet, and your response to "but if we do what you say 37,000 innocent people will die every year forever" is to say "chill out" you're a fool.

I don't think you understand the meaning of the term morality.

As this Kunduz debacle proves, it would be virtually impossible for a US-Air Force-free Afghanistan to keep the Taliban from taking over.

Obviously, the Taliban IS taking over. 14 years of bombing runs haven't prevented it. So, your suggestion is to keep bombing cities? It doesn't work.

You got another solution?

One that doesn't involve standing by while the Taliban massacre tens of thousands and saying "at least it's not our fault, let's go get drunk."

their interpretation of the Koran is very heavy on the "kill them all and let God sort them out" principle.

Does that include bombing hospitals and then chalking it up to "collateral damage"? Because that's what we just did.



It involves stoning rape victims for adultery in God's name, and then acting really surprised when their cousins react by turning the province into a war zone. During the war male medical personal are inevitable targets for kidnapping (good ransoms, and the chaos created makes the local Governor look weak), and female medical personal are no longer employed.

Comment Re:Summary is flat out WRONG (Score 1) 395

Note that under your interpretation, if a police officer sees someone committing a rape he can't arrest the guy until somebody comes down from the station with a warrant because arrests are "seizures."

No, arrests aren't seizures, and no, a police officer doesn't need a warrant to arrest someone. Constitutionally speaking, they do need a warrant to search and/or seize, just as the 4th amendment stipulates. Or else any government actor can do anything they want along these lines, as long as someone, somewhere, is willing to say "Well, hey, Cletus, that seems reasonable to me." In which case, as I have pointed out previously, there is no reason for the 4th amendment to exist, because it it utterly meaningless under such an interpretation.

Check the dictionary. "An arrest constitutes a seizure under the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, and thus the procedures by which a person is arrested must comply with the protections guaranteed by the Fourth Amendment or the arrest will be invalidated and any evidence seized during the arrest or confessions made after the arrest will typically be suppressed."

I believe I posted quite a bit of information on what, precisely, the Courts have decided constitutes "reasonable." It's got nothing to do with Cletus. People get searches thrown out all the time, assuming they're wealthy enough to have their own attorney.

The Courts actually have a lengthy list of types of search they consider reasonable.

Yes, the copious malfeasance of our many dishonorable, sophist, oath-violating judges has indeed become well entrenched. But as with slavery, women's rights, the drug war, and a huge host of other things, they are, as they very often are, completely, utterly, and without even the slightest shadow of a doubt, wrong.

Keep in mind I am not talking about what the courts say here. I'm talking about the constitution itself. Which is above the courts, because it defines the government, under which the courts operate. No judge can legitimately say "yeah, but I don't think so, so no." Among (the many) other problems with that is that it is an abject violation of their oath, and as such disqualifies them from holding the position. Of course the reality is that the judges and lawyers have captured the system, and whatever they say goes -- but to claim that this is constitutionally valid is just ridiculous. It's simply the usual banana-republic / despotic rule-making: whatever we say, goes.

Reread the Fourth Amendment. It specifically says that reasonable searches are legal. It specifically authorizes a procedure to legalize unreasonable searches. By use of the legal phrase "search and seizure" it specifically exempts all government information-gathering that is related to the President's Commander-in-Chief power. None of this is Judicial tinkering, none of it is unconstitutional, and none of it was opposed by the Founders or they would have written a very different Fourth Amendment.

I really, truly, feel for the poor fools who have deluded themselves into thinking their Sixth Grade teacher was not lying through her teeth when she described the Founders solely as champions of freedom; and implied that the Constitution was intended to do anything but create a strong enough state-structure to keep the Brits out with exactly enough freedom to keep the hoi polloi appeased. Anti-freedom elements require to keep said hoi polloi appeased were included with nary a blink.

The Fourth is actually probably the worst of the lot. It's sold as a "Right to Privacy," when it's written solely as a restriction on data-gathering for legal proceedings.

Comment Re:Summary is flat out WRONG (Score 1) 395

Let's quote the Amendment here:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects,[a] against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Your right to be "secure in your persons, houses, papers, and effects" "shall not be violated" by "unreasonable searches and seizures". That right can be over-ridden, allowing the unreasonable search or seizure, by a warrant issued "upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

Note that under your interpretation, if a police officer sees someone committing a rape he can't arrest the guy until somebody comes down from the station with a warrant because arrests are "seizures."

The Courts actually have a lengthy list of types of search they consider reasonable. The upshot is that if they see the crime happen, they don't need a warrant to arrest the perp; if they're in a context or place where of course there're searches (like the border) they can search you; if they need to do shit now, without waiting 20 minutes for some guy to show up with paperwork, they can do shit now.

Obviously, if you're too poor to afford a lawyer (as most young black men in the maw of the law are), you're not gonna get an evidentiary hearing so the police can make almost any bullshit interpretation of "reasonable search" blessed by the courts; but it's not unusual for the courts to ban evidence against people who aren't too poor.Also note this is precisely how the Founders intended it to work. They would actually open your mail, and read it, without a warrant.

Comment Re:This was not a screw-up (Score 1) 397

Backwards from your perspective.

Unfortunately for you,. no decision-maker has ever taken it solely from your perspective.

It was Saudi nationals who attacked us over 14 years ago, not Afghani's. Bin Laden was found in a house in Pakistan over 4 years ago, not a mountain in Afghanistan yesterday. So I ask again, why do we still drop bombs on Afghani civilians?

Talk about insane troll logic. Bin Laden was thrown out of Saudi Arabia. Implying that we should punish the Saudis for something they exiled him for is just stupid, and makes the entire rest of your argument sound like it was written by a college sophomore. OBL was in Afghanistan when he planned S11. He fled to Pakistan because we invaded Afghanistan, which sheltered him for the very Pakistani reason that they are unable/unwilling to not hedge their bets where an Islamist leader is concerned.

And the reason we're still there is the other side is still the Taliban, and the government is still millions and millions of Afghani people who risked their lives to oppose the Taliban specifically because we said we would stay until the job was done.

You're bringing up 9/11 like it just happened. It was 14 years ago. Over 2300 U.S. troops dead and over 22,000 U.S. troops wounded. Many thousands more dead and wounded Afghani civilians (children) caught in the middle.

Insane troll logic part two:
As this Kunduz debacle proves, it would be virtually impossible for a US-Air Force-free Afghanistan to keep the Taliban from taking over.

If the Taliban take over civilian casualties go through the roof because the Taliban only follow their interpretation of the Koran, and their interpretation of the Koran is very heavy on the "kill them all and let God sort them out" principle.

Which tends to lead to political unrest, and in the context of a supposedly-Koran-based-theological state political unrest = warfare.

We do have a moral reason to leave -- hospital patients are being bombed by American forces. Just think about that for a moment. Accident or no, if it were an American hospital that was hit, it would not be called "collateral damage" and you would be outraged. And of course, incidents like these make Daesh, et al., stronger not weaker. Backwards thinking indeed.

If you look at Afghani history since the coup of '78 it's been constant warfare. War deaths have averaged 37,976-56,337 depending on whether you believe the low estimate or the high estimate. In the 14 years we had ground troops the high estimate is 98,290 for all sides, and all 13 years. That average is under 8k a year. In the nine months since we pulled out the ground-pounders it's 11,361.

So your argument basically boils down to "These 19 people shouldn't have died, so we should pull out and let 37,000 other people die every single year, bhecause at least our hands will be clean."

Comment Re:In other news (Score 1) 397

Here's the thing:
I'll believe my military did a lot of bad shit if you can show me a motive. For example, we embarked on multiple murderous bombing campaigns against the Japanese mostly because of racism (notably, we refused to use similar tactics against the Nazis on the basis they would not work).

There is no motive for blowing up a hospital. Even if somebody in DC had a thing about MSF, they had to know it would be the top story of the counter-offensive and they'd get canned.

OTOH, getting through to NATO officials in Kabul is not gonna get a bombing campaign called off quickly unless they're the exact guys involved in the actual bombing. Getting through to our official in DC will also not stop the bombing, unless the official in question is one of a) the President, b) the Chair of the Joint Chiefs, or c) the Secretary of the Air Force. And 2 or 3 AM Saturday in Afghanistan is roughly 6 or 7 PM Friday in DC, which means none of those guys is going to be easily reachable at his office, and they were doubtless dealing with the operator at the switchboard.

I'm stunned they got results in less then an hour.

Hell, did you read your source? The reason they were bombing it in the first place was "The Afghan interior ministry said a group of 10 to 15 militants were found hiding in the hospital."

So the bureaucracy has to deal with a guy on the phone, from the hospital, saying "we're civilians please don't kill us", and balance that against the Afghan troops (identified in other sources as police) swearing up and down that there's a squad-level unit in the hospital killing them. If that guy on the phone is lying then dozens of Afghan troops will die, and your mission will be compromised forever because the survivors won't trust you. If the troops are lying you have a hospital full of corpses. Which means that maybe the safe bet is to not bomb, OTOH the troops are known quantities who have been vetted by your bureaucracy. The guy in the building is an unknown quantity who may Taliban. You have no clue because all you've got is a voice on the phone.

In other words, just because the news story you read has one side of the story (in this case, the MSF's firm, and so far unconfirmed, claim that there were not 10 to 15 Taliban in their building), a bunch of commentary on an issue tangentially related to this (the Red Cross Guy, for example, is linking the attack to others on their personal, and most of those are done by the Taliban), and a throw-away line about why we actually did it the logical conclusion is not that our military are mindless butchers who kill without reason. The logical conclusion is that you should read something from somebody who elaborates on that one line.

Look man, bottom line:
This is a war. People will die. Many of them will be innocent. The first report, from both the military and the civilians, will always be one-sided, because neither the military nor the civilians are magical psychics who can figure out the other side's case without hearing it. Generally there's elements of truth to both.

I suspect in this case what will come out is that the Afghan Police were making it up out of spite. They have the motive to lie, and get the building destroyed. OTOH, MSF personal may not have seen, or heard, a fireteam or three on the roof, and have 19 very good reasons to be extremely adamant in their contention that said fireteams did not exist.

Comment Re:This was not a screw-up (Score 1) 397

It got approved because the Afghan Police specifically asked for it to be leveled. They alleged that the hospital was being used as a firebase:

The Ministry of Defense said “terrorists” armed with light and heavy weapons had entered the hospital compound and used “the buildings and the people inside as a shield” while firing on security forces. Brig. Gen. Dawlat Waziri, the ministry’s deputy spokesman, told The Associated Press that helicopter gunships fired on the militants, causing damage to the buildings.

Interior Ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqqi said 10 to 15 “terrorists” had been hiding in the hospital at the time of the strike.

“All of the terrorists were killed but we also lost doctors,” he said. He said 80 staff members at the hospital, including 15 foreigners, had been taken to safety. He did not say what sort of strike had damaged the compound.

Around 2pm the Taliban seized the medical compound, according to Sarwar Hussaini, the spokesman for the provincial police chief.

“Fighting is continuing between Afghan security forces and the Taliban,” he said.

Comment Re:This was not a screw-up (Score 1) 397

This isn't Google maps. This is war. It's way too chaotic to trust automatic measures.

The Taliban had taken over Kunduz. this means they could easily have killed the entire MSF staff, taken them hostage, or simply informed that them the roof was going to be a machine gun nest for the foreseeable future. Your entire automatic no-kill map should have been wiped out the minute the Taliban took the City.

The machine gun nest thing is precisely what the Afghan Police told the Air Force happened.

  So the interesting question in this little fuck-up isn't "Why did the US Military fuck up?" it's "Were the Afghans lying through their fucking teeth about taking fire from the hospital, and if so why did they do that?"

Comment Re:This was not a screw-up (Score 1) 397

"probably" seems too much of a leap from the available information, I think "possibly" would be more accurate word to use at this time.

From what I can tell, it's likely there was no internal US Military mistake. At all. Maybe an Afghan one, tho.

Afghan forces asked us to blow up the building. We blew up the building. This is the bottom bit of the story.

Then it turned out that it was a hospital said Afghan forces were pissed at because the hospital treated Taliban. They are also still alleging the Taliban had taken over the hospital and was using it as a firebase.

Comment Re:This was not a screw-up (Score 1) 397

You're looking at this precisely backwards.

"Do we have a moral reason to be involved in this country?" Is only a relevant question before you go in. And in September or December 2001, it was pretty clear that the only way we were going to get Osama out of his mountain hideaway was an invasion.

Now the question is "Do we have a moral reason to leave?" And the answer to that question is almost always no, because there's a government full of people who are significantly less objectionable then the enemy, who are depending on us to not be executed on international TV in the name of Daesh.

Comment Re:Coca Cola (Score 1) 568

That is actually available. The glass bottles of "Mexican Coke" you see everywhere taste different because they used Cane Sugar. But those are only sold in 12 Oz sizes.

Pepsi is better. There's 20 Oz, in Cherry, Vanilla, and standard. Sometimes there's 12 packs of cans. In theory they're "Limited Time" items, but avaliaboilty around Cleveland has been going up.

Comment Re:GOOD GRIEF! (Score 1) 568

Or read the calorie count, paying careful attention to serving size. The Oreo serving size for example, is typically 2 or 3 cookies, not the half the package you're actually going to eat.

Food companies will always have a very good motive to include things that are sugar but aren't called sugar, because sugar is very tasty but people have figured that industrialized food production means we eat too damn much of it, and therefore they avoid it. But 150 calories is 150 calories, no matter whether you call it sugar or "nectar of the cane."

Comment Re:This was not a screw-up (Score 1) 397


We'll have to send somebody to Kunduz to try and figure out whose full of shit, for political and ethical reasons. But until that guy gets there and finishes, and/or a lot more info becomes public we don't really know what went on.

In the mean-time, it is both extremely tragic, and not surprising. It's a war, not a bake sale. People die.

Comment Re:Summary is flat out WRONG (Score 1) 395


Case law is clear. Border control can search your ass on the border. That's why they can look for weed in your car at the border crossing. It's called the Border Search Exception.

It's less clear then I thought about the ability to rifle through your electronic doohickeys, because the Ninth Circuit (which deal with cases from Cali), has ruled that the Feds need a a "reasonable suspicion" to read your damn hard drive, but they have failed to explain what that shit means. It's entirely possible they'll rule Mayor Silva is fucked if DHS turns up kiddy porn or something.

Reread the Fourth. It's quite specific. The algorithm is that if a search or seizure is unreasonable, your right to privacy applies, and that right can only be over-ridden by warrant issued by the Courts. In the absence of an "unreasonable search or seizure" you have no Fourth Amendment rights.

A rock store eventually closed down; they were taking too much for granite.