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September 30, 2011

Comments

Barbara

Kathy,

You have a very limited knowledge of history.

Rick Ballard

Definitely Sylvia grade stupid - not worth a pixel unless you're a dedicated masochist. The ground has been covered here at least twenty times in the past.

Narciso,

Who's left on the "This Hellfire's for you." list? Aside from unknown Libyan Ali Babas, of course.

Ignatz

--It's Allied soldiers and the German army on the beaches of Normandy.--

Is it Dresden and Hamburg and Berlin and Tokyo?

centralcal

Hey Clarice! You really have to read this tweet from Mark Knoller:

Mark Knoller
At fundraiser in Maine, Mrs Obama rallies supporters: "We are going to work our butts off to make this right. So we need you behind us."

Anybody seen bgates? Man oh man, what he could do with that quote!

Ignatz

--Anybody seen bgates? Man oh man, what he could do with that quote!--

I'm not sure we even need him for that one, cc.
Kind of stands on its own.

Clarice

That is quite an opening for bgates, CC.

Threadkiller

I confess, narciso, I was fixing your link. You were first to market. ;-)

narciso

The pickings start getting a little slim, Rick, Zawahiri, Shukrijumah, our own local boy, they were pumping up Al Siri, but his
expertise, is somewhat overrated.

Janet

The Dar al-Hijrah mosque is pretty close to me. That whole area of Falls Church is heavily Muslim & seems to be getting more so...like Dearborn, MI.

centralcal

Is it just me? When I see photos like these (too large to post here), I get the heebie jeebies - reminders of the years we watched Michael Jackson "transform" himself before our eyes, over a period of only a few years.

Michelle close-up 1

Michelle close-up 2

Danube of Thought

I see no evidence or textual support offered for the above claim

The textual support in this country since ratification is the presidential war-making power set forth in the constitution.

There is no prohibition whatsoever in any of the laws or customs of war against inflicting civilian casualties other than intentionally. If you know of one, tell us where it can be found.

Neither is there any prohibition against firing upon the enemy, or bombing him, while he is asleep. If you know of one, tell us where it can be found.

Among the questions Kathy has elected not to answer are these:

If Awlaki had joined a foreign army at war with the US, would he be entitled to due process in determining whether or not we could shoot him, or could we just shoot him outright?

If his wearing of a foreign uniform is demmed sufficient warrant to shoot him, would you contend that he should nevertheless be allowed to explain himself before we shoot him.

Should the fact that Awlaki is not in uniform (which deprives him of certain Geneva Convention rights) afford him greater rights under American law?

Would you risk American lives to capture him?

Rick Ballard

Narciso,

It's almost as if the existence of Predators diminishes the the thrill of being a loud mouthed exponent of terrorism. I noticed that happening with Hamas after Yassin was awarded his raisins.

Ranger

Kathy,

Were you so worked up about this when Bill Clinton was bombing Belgrade, which was well over 100 miles from the "battlefield" in Kosovo?

Are you this worked up about NATO targeting Qadaffi?

Any enemy military base, anywhere is a legitimate target during hostilites. Collateral damage is permitted, as long as the means of attack are proportional to the target.

Any military service member, anywhere, is a legitimate target during hostilities (unless they are clearly marked medical personel), until they surrender, desert, or are discharged from service. If they surrender, they become a protected person. If they desert or are discharged, they are treated as any other civilian.

Perhapse you should read up on the law of war before you try to discuss it.

DebinNC

I can't imagine Laura Bush or any other FLOTUS, including Hillary, rallying a public gathering to "work our butts off".

Janet

She really does look different, centralcal.

Kathy Kattenburg

Then FDR should have been impeached and tried as a war criminal for the bombing campaigns against Germany and Japan.

For the bombing campaigns against Japan, yes. For the bombing campaigns against Germany, Churchill should have been in the dock. It was mostly England that bombed the German cities, you'll remember.

Kathy Kattenburg

Kattenberg on War

Kattenburg.

Kathy Kattenburg

Were you so worked up about this when Bill Clinton was bombing Belgrade, which was well over 100 miles from the "battlefield" in Kosovo?

Yes, as a matter of fact.

Are you this worked up about NATO targeting Qadaffi?

I was, when they were.

Any enemy military base, anywhere is a legitimate target during hostilites. Collateral damage is permitted, as long as the means of attack are proportional to the target.

al-Awlaki was not killed on a military base, and he was not killed during hostilities.

Any military service member, anywhere, is a legitimate target during hostilities

That is incorrect, but it's a moot point anyway. Al-Awlaki is not a military service member.

Ranger

Al-Awlaki is not a military service member.

Sure he is. He is a member of Al Qaeda, an armed group that has declared war agains the United States, and engaged in acts of war against the United States and its armed forces for over a decade.

Or has their been a cease fire agreement that I missed?

Ranger

And BTW, "hostilities" commence once war is declared, or acts of war are committed, and contiue until such time as there is a formal agreement to end them.

Just in case you're interested, here is a link to AQ's declaration of war:

Al Qaeda's Fatwa

So, under international law, the US has been engaged in hostilities with AQ since 1998. They are still on going.

Jane

Kathy,,

Why not try and animate the left to your cause? Their silence on the issue is deafening. We, OTOH are pretty consistent.

Danube of Thought

"It was mostly England that bombed the German cities, you'll remember."

You might want to look into Dresden.

The questions remain unanswered...

Surely if KathyK's understanding of the laws of war were correct, it would be a simple matter to persuade a federal district judge to enjoin the issuance of any further kill-or-capture orders against American citizens. But her understanding of that law--as evidenced by her failure to adduce support for it--is simply incorrect. It is encouraging that very few in this country share it.

In the meantime, she is in the ecstatic sweet zone of the American leftist: she can advocate for an inane policy without addressing any of its ramifications, secure in the knowledge that it will never be implemented. Thus she can never be held to account for its consequences, and can continue to affect an air of what she thinks is moral superiority.

A circumstance made to order for a fool.

Oh, why do I bother?

What is extremist Muslims' definition of the word 'battlefield'?
============

Clarice

Exactly, DoT. I have developed a severe allerfy to that sort of senseless moral preening.

Clarice

Exactly, DoT. I have developed a severe allergy to that sort of senseless moral preening.

Danube of Thought

The notion that combatants can only be targeted while they are actually in combat, or on a battlefield, is simply incorrect. There is no support for it anywhere in the law.

Jim Rhoads a/k/a vnjagvet

It was mostly England that bombed the German cities, you'll remember.

The US Eighth Army Air Force might disagree with you. It had 47000 casualties 26000 of whom died. I'm sure you'll remember, Kathy, their mission was to bomb multiple German targets during the day. The British carried out their air missions almost exclusively at night.

I am sure you will also remember that the German blitz of England, particularly Coventry, Manchester and London began the air war in Europe. Churchill was not amused and retaliated -- effectively I believe.

Captain Hate

For the bombing campaigns against Germany, Churchill should have been in the dock. It was mostly England that bombed the German cities, you'll remember.

My God the denseness of this hurts to read it. Is Kathy the reincarnation of Gandhi; as in a fan of Hitler?

Danube of Thought

It might be worth noting that no American court has ever been called upon to decide what constitutes due process in Awlaki's circumstance; certainly the Framers never contemplated such circumstances. Were a court called upon to decide the issue, it might very well rule that in such a case the requirement is satisfied by a good-faith vetting by the commander-in-chief of the evidence against him and his assessment of the ongoing danger the subject poses to Americans.

Note that several Shaysites were killed in putting down Shay's rebellion without due process of any kind in 1787 (Articles of Confederation).

narciso

Here's another little token of the late Mr.
Awlaki's consideration:


http://pajamasmedia.com/tatler/2011/09/30/rewind-awlaki-trained-u-s-militarys-muslim-chaplains/#comments

matt

I applaud the removal of Al Awlaki from the field and those who made it so.

Al Awlaki's name came up in relation to most of the terrorist attacks since 9/11 in one way or another. He was the mastermind for several of them.

He made war on the United States so the United States made war on him. Case closed. Don't let the door to hell hit you in the ass.

For some background on him LUN.

Ignatz

--It was mostly England that bombed the German cities, you'll remember.--

Thanks for prodding my memory, Kathy.
I guess I can discount what my father, a crew chief on B-17s from 1941-1945 in the 8th and 15th air forces, based in England, North Africa and Italy, told me for fifty years about the countless harrowing and bloody raids on German and Eastern European cities like Regensburg and Ploesti and Hamburg his planes and crews made time after time after time.
Now that I think about it no doubt he should have been prosecuted too, since the 'just following orders' thing holds no water right?
Twit.

A Big Man, your Dad.

Ah, Iggy, isn't Ploesti why they had to try for Stalingrad, a bridge too far?
==========

Cecil Turner

Actually, on Dresden she's mostly right. Bomber Harris ordered the "dehousing" raids that resulted in a firestorm. The 8th AF mostly hit the rail yards. (Well, mostly.)

On the larger topic, I'd note a surprising amount of consistency. Most of us who think this is war have little or no problem with targeting an enemy combatant (I sure don't). Those who think it's not a war object. I'd submit their view of war is a bit ridiculous (esp. the tripe that GWBush had any major innnovations in the field of irregular warfare), but at least it's internally consistent.

The only one I found surprising was Appalled. If you accept Awlaki as a combatant (and presumably unlawful), I was wondering why you'd object to trying him in a tribunal (presumably in Gitmo).

Danube of Thought

Yes. Ploesti was the site of an enormous oil field that was of great strategic importance to the Nazi regime.

Cecil Turner

The notion that combatants can only be targeted while they are actually in combat, or on a battlefield, is simply incorrect.

Besides that, it's clueless. The basics of military strategy is to match your strengths to your opponent's weaknesses. Catching him at unawares (and preferably in bed, as Ranger noted), is not only authorized, it's actively encouraged.

narciso

Yes, it was the argument that qualified Al Nashiri for a tribunal, (even one of the indictments involved the French Tanker M.V.Libourg,) but the others deserved a civil
trial, including KSM.

Something like that.

Right, DoT, Ploesti was functionally their only source of petroleum. And wasn't Stalingrad in the path to middle eastern oil? I'm too lazy to look it up.
=======================

Jim Rhoads a/k/a vnjagvet

God bless your dad, Ig. I just read Unbroken, and it was eye-opening. While it involved B-24s in the Pacific Theatre, the descriptions of bomber duty and the high casualty count I sure were applicable to the European Theatre as well. Catch 22 and Twelve O'Clock High barely scraped the surface of the frightening true story.

I am in awe of those 18-30 year olds from all walks of life that faced the daily strain of flying over enemy territory in what were essentially flying coffins.

Jim Rhoads a/k/a vnjagvet

If the issue is whether Al Queda members are criminals or enemy combatants I challenge those contending they are criminals and not enemy combatants to provide supporting facts for that contention.

I don't expect anyone to take me up on my challenge. Kathy?

Cecil Turner

And wasn't Stalingrad in the path to middle eastern oil? I'm too lazy to look it up.

There's lots of debate about this one, but my take is that Stalingrad was a supporting objective that became a primary one after Hitler interfered (and not actually necessary to reach the Caucasus oil fields . . . though IMO it probably would've been to secure them).

In any event, the "bridge too far" descriptor is generally reserved for Arnhem, which was the most remote objective for Monty's "Market Garden" operation (a bold but unsuccessful attempt to seize a route for armor units into northern Germany to ensure a quick end of the war).

Reno 911.

Obviously criminals, Jim. The Kathys of this world expect the Yemeni Police Force to arrest him.
=======

Dennis D

Sorry but while I personally have no issue with the killing of this Islamic Wacko I do take issue with the inconsistency of Obama who opposed Waterboardingm bashed Bush over Jose Padilla yet he orders a summary execution of an American Citizen.

Jane

I think that's the whole point, Dennis.

Danube of Thought

Well, things having slowed down a bit on this Friday night, let us go OT a bit.

Separated at birth?

Donald Pleasence:


Terry Francona:

Frau Ami

The district superintendent who hired me to teach in the town where I live was a crew member in the American bombers that flew over Cologne *daily* in order to systematically destroy the city. He related that despite the cathedral's close proximity to the Rhine bridge and the train station (right, daddy?), they were to avoid the cathedral as much as possible.

Dresden was a *joint* attack by British, Americans and allied fliers. Hamburg was also an joint Allied attack. Although the British did the bombing of my husband's home town, American gliders landed nearby with supplies. LUN

matt

DoT;

Brilliant. I consider Francona until today on that same level of malevolence that Pleasance did so well. Now that he is no longer there I can think better of him. We Angel fans have a special place in our hearts for any team with the word Sox in their name.

Perhaps the Red Sox and all of those who spend massively on sucking up the talent will all face a time of reflection and ignomy.(that goes for the Yanks especially).

The Angels, on the other hand, are at a nexus of Autrey and a great minor league system. Morales and Wells are but distant cash vacuums, Perhaps Morales will come back, but Wells on the other hand was a boneheaded deal on the level of a Freddy Lynn or Disco Dan Ford.The Cowboy was notorious for his selection of over the hill talent (Robin Yount), but he was a nice guy.

My Angels have lost the architect of Vernon Wells, and in one way I am rejoicing, but I liked Reagins.Perhaps they will find someone in tune with Scoscia. I now have the entire off season to contemplate on the matter.

Rick Ballard

The actual Chesney paper mentioned by TM above provides a fig tree for the decision to do the necessary killing. It's quite detailed and well argued from the international law viewpoint and quite clear regarding not bothering with Constitutional issues.

IMO - a proper decision to serve a Hellfire writ on an AQ rat was made and carried out. Nice shooting.

Dave (in MA)
Perhaps the Red Sox and all of those who spend massively on sucking up the talent will all face a time of reflection and ignomy.(that goes for the Yanks especially).

The Angels, on the other hand, are

...right behind the Sox in terms of MLB payroll, #4 out of 30 teams.

Danube of Thought

As Rooster Cogburn observed, you can't serve papers on a rat. This was a rat writ, writ for a rat.

Pax vobiscum, run 'em up and disk 'em.

Frau Ami

This was one of the cities where the Rhine was crossed at the war's end:

"Shortly before end of the Second World War, the town of Wesel was wholly obliterated. From 1940, it experienced many air raids, but they grew to almost daily attacks from the beginning of the year 1945. On February 16, 17 and 18 of 1945 the devastating, ultimate destruction of Wesel finally arrived. 100 bombers, each with a 6,000 kg.load attacked on the 16th. On the 18th and 19th, 328 bombers dropped their deadly load. The once proud Hanseatic city had its guts ripped out. 7693 dwellings, 8 schools and 3 churches were gone. However, this was not the end. On February 23,1945 the Americans joined in. On the afternoon March 23,1945, in operation "Plunder," an enormous artillery bombardment on the ruins of Wesel commenced, and another 200 bombers battered Wesel with 1,100 tons of bombs and aerial mines. Another city that had stood since the Middle Ages was 98% pulverized, thousands were dead, leaving 2.1 million cubic meters of rubble."


Ignatz

--I am in awe of those 18-30 year olds from all walks of life that faced the daily strain of flying over enemy territory in what were essentially flying coffins.---

Yeah, Jim. My pop, being ground crew, served the entire war, so he had many stories of poor guys on the air crews cracking up as they got closer to their 25th mission. And being there as the 8th was formed, all the way through to the end, he nursed many, many different crews through the process and of course lost about half of them too. An announcement of a Regendberg or a Ploesti raid made for a pretty solemn base. His group was also one of the units which was forced to obliterate Monte Cassino, for no good reason as it turned out.
As far as Dresden is concerned it was just a concentrated effort at what the Brits did throughout the war; area bombing. They area bombed at night and we tried for more precision in daylight. Hamburg lost twice as many people as Dresden did and Tokyo twice that.
I must confess to a good deal of unease at the methods used to bomb with high explosives first followed by incendiaries to purposely create fire storms.
If it isn't against the rules of war it ought to be, but I guess that's kind of a quaint idea in the era of MAD.

narciso

It does seem like overkill, but in keeping with Patton's maxim, about other people dying
for their country.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wesel_Rail_Bridge

Frau Segelflugzeug

Viewing the full image above shows extent of the destruction of Wesel which had been a garrison town since the time of Fredrick the Great.

A reunion of U.S. glider pilots is being held this weekend in Oklahoma.
The gliders were huge beasts. The LUN shows one and highlights Jackie Coogan who flew one in Burma.

Captain Hate

When I was a yute, I was interested in WW2 and, for some unknown reason, took out a library book on the bombing raids of Ploesti that was written for adults. Despite my reading and comprehension level not being up to the task (I think I was somewhere between 8 and 10) it must've been vividly written because I still remember reading how absolutely huge those oil fields were. They definitely lit that place up.

glasater

Had an opportunity to photograph and elderly gentleman a couple of months ago who I'd known for years as a retired stock broker.
When I was in his office I saw all kinds of photos of aircraft. Found out he had flown B-17s during WWII.
I'm angling for another visit with the excuse of a re-shoot:)

GeoffB

Ignatz puts his finger on the problem here: We've blurred war and law enforcement. And Kathy K's comments are the logical result. Were we still saying, "You're with us or you're against us" and asserting that we were in a war to destroy both the people and the ideology that launched the 9/11 attacks, we could probably make the battlefield extend to any damn place we wanted. But with our non-kinetic military action in Libya, our unmanned drones in Pakistan, our unclosed prison in Guantanamo that is no longer much talked about, etc, we have shown that we no longer have the nerve to acknowledge what we're doing. We want to pretend that this is cops and robbers and we're out getting the bad guys, and not admit, any longer, that 1) we're in a war, 2) there's a reason for it and 3) going to war wasn't just about conservatives getting the vapors and wanting to rag on Muslims.

When a wartime President leads a military that is killing our enemies, that's one thing. When a non-kinetic action President commands secret ops to kill people without due process of law because they're bad people, that's a bit worrisome.

In what way is Al-Awlaki's killing different from Iran tracking down and killing an apostate who has fled to America? The answer, of course, is that for Iran to do so would likely be an act of war, and they're not openly at war with us. But for the distinction to hold, we have to be willing to openly acknowledge that we are at war. And it seems like we've lost the stomach for that.

Kathy is right: By the terms we ourselves have set in order to claim that what's happening today is anything other than the continuation of Bush's wars, we have positioned ourselves in a place where killing Al-Awlaki the way we did is wrong.

Kathy thinks that means we should change our behavior. I think that means we should sharpen our rhetoric and framing. But in any case, to celebrate the death of Al-Awlaki while bemeaning the detention of a person born in America at Guantanamo is incoherent. If the President doesn't have the nerve to defend our prosecution of a war when the polls are bad, he should play the triumphant Commander in Chief when things go well.

Cecil Turner

I must confess to a good deal of unease at the methods used to bomb with high explosives first followed by incendiaries to purposely create fire storms.
If it isn't against the rules of war it ought to be, but I guess that's kind of a quaint idea in the era of MAD.

It is now. It is specifically forbidden under Protocol III of the conventional weapons convention :

Article 2
Protection of civilians and civilian objects
1. It is prohibited in all circumstances to make the civilian population as such, individual
civilians or civilian objects the object of attack by incendiary weapons.
2. It is prohibited in all circumstances to make any military objective located within a
concentration of civilians the object of attack by air-delivered incendiary weapons.
As to MAD being mad, I heartily concur. But at least that's not a situation that arises very often (unlike insurgent warfare).

Clarice

We didn't kill Awlaki because he was an apostate. We killed him because he was waging war against us,

I shot the sheriff, then the deputy shot me.

Interesting, GeoffB, but there is a missing 'not' in your last sentence.
============

Ghost Gliders.

OK, Frau, now I'm gonna see Uncle Fester piloting a glider for the rest of the day.
================

Danube of Thought

In what way is Al-Awlaki's killing different from Iran tracking down and killing an apostate who has fled to America?

We acted with the knowledge and approval of the Yemeni government.

davod

"Pentagon lawyers would study the hell out of such a order before proceeding; since military officers are only sworn to uphold lawful orders, Krugman would be safe until his case cleared an intensive internal review (which it never would)."

????

davod

"We acted with the knowledge and approval of the Yemeni government."

Bin Laden!

Ignatz

Thanks Cecil for yours @ 7:16AM.

Ignatz

As a follow-up, I wonder if a thermonuclear device is considered an incendiary weapon for the purposes of Protocol III.
In any case I wonder who you could find with the nerve to prosecute a country that successfully used one and I wonder if you could find anyone to prosecute in a country that unsuccessfully used one.

Ranger

Just want to point out that Protocol III wasn't put in place until 1980.

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