You're implying that we just killed a quarter million people with no context, reason, and that we did so intentionally.
No I didn't, I was doing it in the context of the Iraq war where they're understood to be excess deaths.
You're also attributing all deaths to our actions when the responsibility has to be spread around to include the taliban, various terrorist sponsors, and natural forces like famine etc that kill people without any direct human volition.
I glibly dismiss the question because it isn't intellectually valid.
If you want to talk about death tolls in war zones we can do that. But laying all the death's at our feet like we intentionally killed all those people, had no reason to in, and we are solely responsible is invalid.
It's a standard methodology. Over the period X deaths would normally be expected instead Y occur, Z=X-Y is roughly the number of excess deaths attributable to your actions. You're not as nearly guilty as someone who pulled the trigger but in a debate of whether an act contributed to the greater good the fact remains that Z lives were lost due to that act is completely relevant.
Wrong, we tried to actually rehabilitate Russia. We would not have funded their space program or made so many diplomatic gestures if we wanted to treat them like an enemy.
There was even serious talk about inviting them into NATO.
As to surrounding them with enemies... all we wanted to do was secure the self determination of past victims of their aggression. Our intention was not to threaten Russia but to give other nations a chance at freedom, modernity, and prosperity.
NATO was an alliance formed to counter Russia, it's easy to see why inviting former Warsaw pact members into NATO would be viewed as a hostile act.
So your suggestion when NATO members invoke our aid to deal with a relevant operation in their territory and put diplomatic pressure on the US to provide logistical and tactical support... we should do nothing?
It's not just the conflict itself but the internal dialogue. You don't think other countries are listening when presidential candidates talk about invading other countries like it's no big deal?
As to the legitimacy of Israel... it is no less legitimate than any other power in the middle east.
I didn't say it was illegitimate, I said that its creation was a legitimate target for criticism as a very ugly form of colonialism (lets treat the land owned by these brown people like they're not even there and let some white Europeans settle it). And their current settlement policy is so indefensible I don't know that I've actually seen anyone ever defend it.
What nation do you hail from?
As to innocent people getting killed in a war... that is not unique to the drone strike.
As to collateral damage ratios... we spend more money and effort avoiding collateral damage than any other power in world history.
In WWII the axis powers inflicted a 3-1 civilian-military death ratio, and that includes the holocaust.
The 10-1 ratios in drone strikes that I cited, which are the only decent estimate I could find, are not something to brag about.
And even if they were lower than usual they're only acceptable if the acts themselves are necessary, I find it dubious that these actors in other countries are particularly legitimate terrorist threats.
What is also plain to me is that our heart strings are being played upon here. You say what you think will effect us emotionally and psychologically.
Were I a soulless monster you would not be telling me these things. You cite civilian causalities because you know it effects me and you know I care.
See, I am aware of myself. I don't cite this becuase I don't care but because I make a point of stepping outside myself and getting the bigger picture. You are attempting to manipulate me with pathos.
I don't like it when people use arguments on me that are designed to work on a child or a peasant. I am neither.
Re-read what I said, I wasn't 'm not appealing to your heart strings, I was talking about the bigger picture.
The drone strikes are counterproductive because of the ill-will they inflict by causing mass collateral damage.
In war, you use the best tools your people have to execute the missions. Our enemies have large numbers of deluded religious zealots. I will not casually sacrifice my own soldiers just so you feel some "fair" ratio of kills to deaths is met.
Ideally I want 100 percent of the enemy dead to 0 US soldiers lost. That is my ideal in war.
Many of the people upset with the US use of drones wants something like a 1:1 ratio of US dead to enemy dead. I completely and categorically reject that as being an acceptable goal.
Anything that improves the US K/D ratio in combat without other serious and reasonable issues should be employed. If we send our people to war, we owe it to them to give them the best chance to complete their missions and come home to enjoy the peace.
If we can use killer robots that will engage the radicals largely mitigating US troop losses... then I will do it.
You're still missing the point I'm talking about... which is kind of my point in arguing against the drones and autonomous weapons.
It's not just US dead vs enemy dead. It's US dead vs all the different categories of people who are killed or harmed by military action. Because you dehumanize the enemy (not a criticism, just human nature) you don't really give those other people the proper weight and are way too eager to deploy military force.
The point of having US military personnel in harms way isn't to have them harmed, it's to have people realize their at risk and so give some consideration as to whether the conflict is actually worth it.