Could Lincoln Have Used Drones to Fight the Rebellion?

If it’s okay for Lincoln to send the armed forces to kill 260,000 American citizens, without trial, just because they put on the Confederate gray and pointed muskets at us, then what is all the whining about what Pres. Obama has done?

He had evidence that Anwar al-Awlaki was engaged in planning attacks against the U.S. He wasn’t just talkin’ smack, he was helping to plan attacks. No jury decided it was true, any more than they provided a jury trial for each rebel soldier (each a U.S. citizen!) at Gettysburg 150 years ago.

Your analogy lacks uniforms and guns on one end and has a significant amount of innocent dead on the other.

Other than that, it’s excellent.

Not following that last bit, are you suggesting that “innocent dead” only occur during drone strikes, or that they only occurred during the Civil War? Either way, you’re wrong.

Also, the difference between planning terrorist attacks against the U.S., and joining an army that is waging war against the U.S., is what exactly? You realize that when we’re talking about Confederate soldiers, the term “uniform” has to be used pretty loosely, right?

It wasn’t just soldiers who suffered. Both sides in the American Civil War attacked civilian property in an effort to reduce the material (food, horses, for example) available to the enemy.

Lincoln had no more right to invade the south than Obama has the right to assassinate citizens without evidence. They simply assert this power.

The president has the constitutional right to put down rebellions. Killing random people in Yemen without trial during peacetime is slightly different.

Deju Vu all over again!

One significant difference between the two situations is that the Confederates were actually firing at union soldiers. The Confederate States were in “open rebellion”. al Alwaki (or however you spell his name) was not firing on anyone. But, of course, he was not a “random” person in Yemen, either.

First off; no one said Lincoln’s decisions during the Civil War were “okay”. Of course, it was a war based on actual evidence with those actively engaging in combat and attacks. Not plans, but actions.

Drone attacks are based on heresay evidence. Keep in mind they can be executed almost arbritrarily, on US soil and on foreign lands. The promises of Drone strike effectiveness are pure bullshit–just take a look at the Living Under Drones report. 50 innocent killed for every suspected “terrorist”. And the military counts every adult male killed as an “enemy combatant”, which is just blatantly false.

And then you have the problem of Drones and potential camera-technology which tug on our civil rights, specifically our Fourth Amendment. Lincoln, unlike Obama, would not have allowed that sort of technology anywhere near the citizens.

Once the states in rebellion started firing on federal troops on federal land (Ft Sumter) Lincoln had a duty to quell the treason by force. And he did. The traitorous slavers justifiably got their asses shot up. And their descendents, who are not traitors, get to use the first amendment to mouth off a bunch of lies about how their ancestors were not traitors, slaveholders and that the war was not about slavery, despite the various declarations of secession (sedition) from each state legislature specifically stating that it was about slavery and nothing else. The first amendment does protect political lies by everyone, not just the descendents of traitors. Traitors who loved slavery. And for some reason Southerners don’t get why they are held in contempt by everyone else for their slave and treason talk.

What “slave and treason talk” is coming out of the South today?

he didn’t need drones. He had Sherman.

I just saw a band in Missouri recently that had a Confederate flag with the words “If the South would’ve won, we would’ve had it made”* prominently displayed. I’d say that’s pretty treasonous, wishing the Civil War would have went the other way. Anybody versed in history knows that means slavery would have continued too.

I usually give the rebel flag a pass, as I figure it symbolizes a generic “Southern” culture and general rebelliousness. But actually preferring the South had won is taking it a little too far, if you ask me. Might as well say you wish the Nazis would have won.

*I recently found out this was a Hank Williams Jr lyric. Not sure if that makes it any better.

What use are drones against vampires?

That’s a reach, now. Check out the actual Hank Jr. song for some context. It’s not a literal wish that that the CSA would have won the war, it’s 90% celebration of Southern culture (Elvis, smiling girls from Georgia, Kentucky horses, dixieland), 10% social commentary (support for the death penalty and American manufacturing).

ETA: People in the South know that they are relatively poor, and that too many non-Southerners think of them as ignorant, racist, hicks. Southern pride, which the above is an example of, is a reaction to that, not a wish for slavery to have persisted. That idea is long, long gone.

UV search lights act as lasers against the Nosferatu…

(I tried to think of some steam punk word or phrase that Lincoln would have them. “Heat Rays”?)

I hope so. Like I said, I am generally okay with the Confederate flag, but just thought wishing they would have won was taking it too far.

I was born and have family in the South, though I haven’t lived there since I was a kid. So I sympathize with the Southern pride thing, and understand that a Southern drawl doesn’t mean you’re stupid, etc. I can even understand the respect people have for Confederate soldiers, or Robert E. Lee. But actually wishing they would have won seems to go a little far, in my opinion. But thanks for putting it in perspective.

“States” don’t fire at union soldiers, and don’t get killed. People do. So we can’t compare “States” to Alwaki. This is a comparison of rebel soldiers to Alwaki.

Some guy just happens to be marching with some soldiers, and you just ASSUME that he’s one of them and so it is okay for union troops to gun him down without trial? Just happens to be hanging out in the rebel works, maybe just visiting for lunch, and now he doesn’t have any rights any more? But a guy like Alwaki is actively engaged in planning attacks, and he’s supposed to get a trial?

How about the police? They can’t ever shoot anybody without a trial first either, I suppose.

If we take the laws of war in place today and transplant them to the 1860’s, could Lincoln have used drones to fight the rebellion (consistent with the laws of war)? Yes. Of course.

That was an entirely different time.

At that time the use of mines was considered a war crime. In fact, it outraged Sherman(not exactly a pacifist) so much that he used Confederate prisoners as human minesweepers.

Anyway, if people claim they’re soldiers actively fighting in a war then I don’t see why killing them is wrong, whether it’s the members of Black September killed by Israel or some Al Quaeda members killed by the US, or for that matter Admiral Yamamoto.

I can’t help but be reminded of a (probably photofaked) picture I saw of some irate Middle Eastern guys, one of whom was holding a sign reading “Behead Infidels Who Accuse Muslims Of Violence”.