Las Vegas Sun

October 21, 2014

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Letter to the editor:

Time for America to get proactive

Another view?

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I don’t understand all the problems lawmakers in Congress are having with our use of drones against terrorists in the Middle East and in North Africa. As I see it, when a U.S. citizen joins a terrorist group such as al-Qaida or one of its splinter groups, he forfeits any rights he might have had as a U.S. citizen.

Whether declared, we are at war with al-Qaida. As the group continues to try to harm this great country, we must use any means we have available to protect ourselves. It is our duty.

For years the United States has been reactive. When a terrorist group attacks, we react and try to find the people or group that did it. I would suggest that we start to take a proactive course.

With all our intelligence-gathering satellites and drones, we should know exactly where all — or at least most — of their training bases are. Why don’t we use these drones or any other means we have and attack these bases before they have a chance to attack us? Maybe this approach would eliminate or reduce the attacks such as we just had in Libya.

We didn’t start this war, but I think we should use any means we have available to end it.

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  1. You can be proactive as long as you're sure of your target and objectives. But the invasion of Iraq was a case of proactivity on steroids that enabled religious divides in that country, removed Iraq as a neutralizing element to Iran in the region, and cost a lot of lives and a lot of money for no net gain in our security.

  2. Enough of the due process argument for traitors and killers who happen to be US citizens. They have chosen sides in a war and are enemy combatants.

    Time to put the Benghazi nonsense in the rear view mirror as well. Unless there is some GOP agenda to keep this non-event percolating in Congress. Oh yeah, there is an agenda: all things Obama.

    There are far more important issues in this fractured country to address. March 1st is immanent. The sequester is finally here, and nothing will be done to stop it. Obama will be blamed but the true perpetrators are the members of the HR and Senate, on both sides, that allowed, by their votes, to let the Budget Control Act become the default "budget" of the United States.

    Meanwhile, in the Senate, it's the same old same old. The "deal" on filibusters between Reid and McConnell failed within a month of agreement. Now, we have a "lame duck" Secretary of Defense (Panetta), and a cabinet nominee for that posistion (Hagel) a victim of partisan GOP BS. They will now attempt to solve the impasse in the Senate by TAKING A 10 DAY RECESS! These congressional a**hats should wear paper bags over their heads while "in session" and particularly when they cash their bloated paychecks.

  3. Two words for you: Nagasaki and Hiroshima. Those bombs were the latest in technology too. But they did not just kill the enemy. They killed and maimed hundreds of thousands of innocent Japanese men, women, and children. Just like drones are do.

    CarmineD

  4. Comment removed by moderator. Inappropriate

  5. "Enough of the due process arguments..." Ready to give up some of your rights for the "greater good" are you Gary? I live up in the heart of the radical [and sometimes violent] right....the Order, freemen, Posse Comitatus, et al. If the feds identify a Tim McVeigh or Robert Matthews, violent men who seek to do harm against the US and its citizens, could we launch drone strikes against their homes in Idaho or in NE Washington? I mean really, what's the difference between remotely blowing up a camp meeting in Yemen and blowing up one in Idaho? A terrorist is a terrorist right?

  6. "We have a constitution for a reason. To protect the rights of the individual from the mob."

    brtaylor -- actually the Constitutions are more to protect the rights of individuals from government. It's what separates our republic from being a pure democracy, which history shows can quickly degenerate to mob rule.

    "Enough of the due process arguments..." Ready to give up some of your rights for the "greater good" are you Gary?"

    wharfrat -- each of us has the right to give up our own rights. What so many fail to understand is not only what their rights are, but they don't get to make that choice for the rest of us.

    "The foundation of the freedoms we enjoy as Americans is the U.S. Constitution, the longest surviving constitution of any nation in history. To be civically unaware is to diminish our freedom, but knowing our history makes us all better Americans." -- George Nethercutt Jr., former Congressman in his book "In Tune with America"

  7. Comment removed by moderator. Inappropriate

  8. "I don't understand all the problems lawmakers in Congress are having with our use of drones against terrorists in the Middle East and in North Africa."

    O'Connor -- OK, I'll have another crack at you without being "inappropriate."

    My earlier point is your mentality seems to be like way too many historic vigilante groups, especially prevalent in post-Civil War America, who acted out what they alone decided was "right." The promise of our Fifth Amendment to all of us is our government is mostly powerless to deprive any PERSON of life without due process of law. That means any post-execution public announcement stirs up the mob, but it's how tyrannies operate.

    That you're not troubled by our government deciding to execute your fellow citizens -- whether by video gaming-like drones or a sniper -- without the balance of a court checking that decision pre-execution, speaks volumes of your mentality. Bluntly, you are profoundly clueless how this republic is to function and worse, what it means to be a citizen.

    "WAR IS PEACE
    "FREEDOM IS SLAVERY
    "IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH" -- the three slogans of the Party from Orwell's "1984"

  9. "What happens when the cartels, al-Qaeda, or Iran start using drones?" @ brtaylor

    Excellent question. What happened when other countries, friend and foe, got nuclear weapons capability like the USA?

    Same same.

    CarmineD

  10. Lets start back in WW2 Japan and Germany were both trying to develop nukes to use on US! We beat them to it. War is nasty and the day of armies fighting armies are coming to an end. Drones are the new weapon of choice and most effective. People better look at the world and figure in North Korea Iran also. I agree being reactive is a wrong way to go. People need to stop believing that other countries or groups would not attack Americans or American soil. Pearle Harbor should have taught us that. Now that we are on the offense the Boo Birds come out. The message being sent to other countries is plain and simple if you harbor Terrorist we will hunt them down and kill them before they kill more Americans. The world has not grown up and will not for a long time. The same GOP Republicans who are now crying about Drones were the ones who were cheering about them after 9-11. You can not have it both ways. The Drones strikes have probable save countless lives and the countries which allow the terrorist to operate there need to be held accountable for any civilian deaths in their country because they are not protecting their own people. No Terrorist no Drones. How ironic when the Terrorist groups and countries have to taste their own medicine they do not like it. 9-11 was our Generations Pearl Harbor Least we not forget so soon.

  11. Here we go again, with the added bonus that this letter is advocating the Bush Doctrine.

    First, I don't think anyone (including myself) has a real problem with the use of drones against LEGITIMATE targets.

    Second, US citizens, regardless of where they are or what groups they belong to, are NOT legitimate targets to be singled out for assassination absent the presence of some form of due process that relies on more than just the whim of someone in the executive branch, no matter how high that person might be. (For extra credit, consider the case where a US citizen is always present alongside a person who IS a legitimate target and it is impossible to avoid taking them out as "collateral damage.")

    Third, the Bush Doctrine (do unto others before they do unto you) was hated by most Democrats. It is still open to debate as to if some conditions cold ever justify it.

  12. It is not possible to protect one person, for any reason, who is working in the same room or compound with and in concert with terrorists, even if they are sleeping.

    If they join an attack or prepare explosive devices, with or without the company of a terrorist group, they are fair game for the same termination that is planned for others. Drones save thousands of innocent lives.

  13. The problem is the complete lack of checks and balances. It surprises me that conservatives that are always talking about the constitution and what the founding fathers intended don't understand this problem.

    Currently the power to decide someone is a terrorist or enemy combatant and should be killed with a drone lies entirely with the executive branch. The founding fathers established checks and balances between the three branches of government for exactly these types of situations.

    The legislative branch needs to pass a law that outlines the process the executive branch must follow when deciding who is a terrorist and must die, and that process must include some sort of judicial review.

    A judicial review requirement is not something liberals made up. It is article III of the constitution.

  14. The rights delimited in the our Constitution are most in need of protection when feelings are running at their highest, particularly when they are directed at a minority.

    The drone assassinations of Anwar al-Awlaki and his son tore to shreds at least four of the amendments to the US Constitution (V, VI, VII, XIV) and one part of the body of the Constitution (Article III, Section 3). Death by fiat. Reminds me of some banana republics, or some of our opponents in WWII.

    KillerB: Good posts regarding this letter. One way or another,drones will bite us in the glutes.

  15. "You can not have it both ways. " @ Barry Regan

    True. And when we resort to the same tactics as our enemies we become just like them. The USA and Americans have always been held to a higher standard of morals and freedoms not just with people and countries we like but with those we don't.

    CarmineD

  16. At least you guys (LV SUN) are consistent in removing "inappropriate" comments, I'll give you that.

  17. Future,

    "Only liberals have a problem"

    What does that make conservatives, if liberals and others are arguing for the support of the Constitution?

  18. What has occurred that has changed American morality and respect for the Constitution, allowing them to find no problem in ignoring both.

    What has created this kind of conditioning effect, an inability to distinguish between diverse realities, and choose for the preservation of our Constitution? If our foundation crumbles piece by piece, we fall.

    It is the responsibility of all citizens, "We the People", to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States for the public good, in or out of the military. It isn't conservatives versus liberals. We can't decide when it appeals to our desires and when it does not in following it.

    It takes a difficult process to change it as well, if the Supreme Court remains interpreters rather than revisionists.