Targeted Killings (US vs. Israeli)

Even After U.S. Yemen Attack, Administration Renews Objections to Targeted Israeli Killings

Is there any logic in this? The circumstances seem pretty identical to me.

The only difference that I can think of is practical. The US may feel that they can actually win with this strategy, making it worthwhile, while the Israelis won’t win, making it a policy that antagonizes without accomplishing enough. But even if this is the case, US criticism has to be considered in a completely new light.

There is no difference, but it doesn’t hurt to take a public stance against Israeli actions. I don’t think for one moment that Sharon would be surprised by Boucher’s remark, or that it would upset him.

Anyone note the irony in name of the Swedish foreign minister critical of US action against the terrorists in Yemen

Consistency or legality on this thing doesn’t bother me all that much. Certainly blowing up supposed AlQida agents in Yemen looks, tastes and sounds a lot like Israeli snipers shooting supposed Hammas agents in the occupied territories. The distinction is that the companions of the guys blown up are a long way away from the US while for Israel they are right next door and intermingled with the Jewish population.

What does bother me is the extent to which this legitimizes assassination. If we start or continue to assassinate our adversaries don’t we invite or incite the use of similar tactics against the United States and its leaders with no small danger to ordinary citizens (like me) who have the misfortune to be in the area when one of these things goes up? This is beyond the moral aspect of the whole thing and the fact that we will inevitably hit the wrong people sooner or later. It just seems to me that this sort of approach doesn’t make us any safer. This game is, after all, played on a tit for tat basis. Having used this particular method we better be prepared to have it used against us.

For example, it the Predator drone attack in Yemen serves as an object lesson for Sadam and a warning that there may be buzz bombs following him around, doesn’t it seem likely that Sadam will do something really dangerous in the face of this threat? Can Sadam think that the best chance he has of getting out of this in one piece is to throw everything he has at Israel now before the situation gets any worse for him or to put out a contract on the President? Do we really want to deal with that if we don’t have to?

That’s the point Izzy, It’s not a moral stance but a practical one. Knocking off Al Qaeda leadership is in fact pretty likely to be somewhat effective, while the IDF sharp shooters are just as likely to aggravate the situation, thus being rather counterproductive and ineffective.

I fail completely to see any irony. Maybe the fact that I am native of the country ion question and fluent in the language spoken up there confuses me. What did you mean grieny?

Anna is a fairly common name in Europe. Lindh is a totally Swedish and happens to be an old spelling of ‘lind’, the Swedish noun for the tree tilia cordata, which in English gives Small leaved Lime or Linden in the vernacular. The tree in question is associated with national romantic conceptions and became popular in Sweden during the 19th century. As far as I know Ms. Lindh is neither Jewish nor Muslim. Being one of those party broilers that has never held a real job in her life (she was the head of the Social Democrat Youth movement until she went into government the first time at age 25) she is however somewhat of a Socialist politico bitch.

Sparc

Sparc, I think grienspace was referring to her sharing a surname with John Walker Lindh, the American caught fighting with the Taliban.

Ah, that makes sense…

Sparc, I noted that possiblity in the OP. Still, as I said, it puts a different spin on any criticism. As this criticism can only be given on practical grounds, and not on legal or moral grounds. And once it’s just a matter of practicalities, it becomes more unwanted advice than anything else. Every country has to decide for themselves what will work in confronting the problems facing them.

I see nothing wrong with targetted killings of enemies of the USA. In fact, it was BillClinton’s reluctance to allow this, that caused OBL and his ilk to indulge in the targetted killings of American citizens. Once people like him realize that they are marked for death, and that it doesn’t matter where they try to hide, we will see a marked reduction in violence. Sitting back and allowing Americans to wear bullseyes on their backs willjust encourage terrorism. It reminds me of when some russian diplomats were kidnapped in lebanon a few years ago-the KGB seized all of the terrorists families, and killed them. They then told the terrorists-“this is what will happen to you, and the rest of your families, unless you release our people”. Guess what-the russians were released!

In the case of armed conflict I disagree, especially when we happen to be talking of allies, but even when we are speaking of our potential enemies. Any national conflict, most certainly the one we are speaking of, has negative impact on world stability. Therefore, it is in the interest of every nation that another nation involved in conflict resolves this conflict in such ways as to not further jeopardize world security. Thus it is most certainly the business of the US, the EU and for that matter Jordan, Egypt, Myanmar, Bhutan, Andorra, Kazakhstan, Venezuela or any other godforsaken nation on Earth how Israel conducts herself in this respect.

Sparc

There is another point:

[Lina Inverse] If memory serves, Yemen is a low-key ally of the US, and somewhat anxious to get the super-radical Islamic fundamentalists out of their country. Hence they probably are working with the US to take down what they see as a rabid dog who should not have been on their turf.[/Lina Inverse]

Of course. For that matter, even the way a country deals with local issues can sometimes have an effect beyond its borders. Making it the interest of other countries. But it is of primary interest to the country directly affected, and their judgement holds sway.

Soooo Izzy… in the end you’re saying that it’s OK for the US to disagree and protest and it’s within Israel’s rights to blatantly ignore this and act as they will? I think you’ll get some support from international law on that one, with the addition that it is only so as long as no conventions or laws are thereby violated. For that matter I’ll agree with you. I’ll also state that I think that the Israeli government (whatever’s left of it) are muttonheads for not seeing how obviously right we are on this one, but that’s an altogether other debate.

Sparc

Apart from your knee-jerk rah-rah stance, can you support that statement with fact?

I can indeed. In 1998 (when your beloved Bill Clinton was president), OBL was detained by the Sudanese authorities. In secret communication with the US State Dept., the Sudanese were willing to extradite OBL to the US-on condition that he (OBL) would never return to the Sudan. Even an idiot could see that iit was in the mutual interests of both the USA and Sudan, that OBL could suffer a life threatening accident while in transit.
A bullet to the head would have saved over 3000 American lives…Clinton bears TOTAL responsibility for 9/11.

Ralph, as I understand your post it is your claim that OBL was picked up by authorities in the Sudan sometime in 1998. The Sudanese told the US State Dept that they had him and asked what the US wanted done with him. The State Dept replied that they had no interest in OBL and Sudan could let him go. Given the lack of a government in Sudan and the US’s relations with Sudan after the “Blackhawk Down” incursion and the general state of the Mid-east in 1998, your claim is setting off my balderdash meter. I’ll call you on it and request some sort of citation on your claim.

Another point on a policy based on assassination, historically it doesn’t work. It didn’t work for Tsarist Russia in the years leading up to the Revolution, it didn’t work for Britain in Ireland following the Easter Rebellion, it didn’t work for Britain in Northern Ireland, it did not work for the Shah of Iran and it is not working for Israel. When faced with a widespread political movement based on popular discontent with a clear enemy the assassination of leaders simply energizes the survivors and makes them even more determined to see the thing through, whether the assassination campaign is clocked with some sort of judicial authority or it is just random state sponsored ambush. It is a foolish and counter productive policy that just invited retribution.

It might work in comic books and in Schwartzenberger/Stalone movies, but it doesn’t work in the real world.

Personally, I have no problem with political assassination. How’s it any worse than any other mode of armed conflict?

IMO, the real crux of the difference between the U.S. instance and Israel is the following:

Collateral damage, folks.

I also agree with the statements made earlier re: weighing whether each individual assassination is helpful. I don’t know the specifics of any of the Israeli episodes; certainly, some may judge that the strikes were NOT helpful, and only aggravated the situation, much as it likely wouldn’t have benefitted the USA to have assassinated Khruschev or Brezhnev back in the day.

Meanwhile, I think few people are happy that the assassination attempt on Hitler failed. An earlier (and obviously successful) attempt would have been welcome, in retrospect.

It should be taken case by case.

[nitpick]

Sudan, Somalia; whatever it takes

[/nitpick]

Hell, I’m from Iowa. I can’t tell the difference. Some days I think I’m in Idaho, other days I think I’m in Ohio. How do you expect me to tell the difference between two African countries both beginning with “S?” Point taken,bizzwire, thank you.

I do not care if it is USA, Finland, Israel, Russia or India, or Brutalistan.

According to the news:

  • 1 (one) suspect is killed/murdered/executed/assasinated
  • 5 (five) almost suspect/fellow-riders/taxi-chauffeurs/innocent idiots/ what-ever are killed/murdered/executed/assasinated/evaporisated
  • this happens in a country that is not in war with the killing/assassining/-executing/murdering, country.
  • we do not know if there is a permission/beforehand-knowledge etc. about this killing or what-ever pre-emptive deed, given to the country where this deed happens.
  • we if there is a permission from that country

So this can be done anywhere, in a country that is an allied in the war against terrorism?
Next stop Germany? There has been a lot of terrorists lurking around. And it is an ally. So just send some "signals to saddam@ that I read somewhere in Internet. Use Apache helicopters and pin-point the “targets”.

And our reactions:
“Consistency or legality on this thing doesn’t bother me all that much.” (What follows in the text after this I can partly understand.)

“Every country has to decide for themselves what will work in confronting the problems facing them.” In any country?

“Personally, I have no problem with political assassination. How’s it any worse than any other mode of armed conflict?”
Next can be some general/polician of Yours, because someone thinks he is “suspect”. That will happen, the terrorists are terrorists, but remember to say this phrase when it happens.

I strongly recommend to take the suspects to a court.
Remember the terrorist-suspects that got freed from the US-base in Cuba.
And as far as I know the rest has not been even prosecuted yet. So why not shoot them and there is no needs for trials? And shoot also the 5 other that happens to be near every suspect?
Ecpecially if it is in a allied country.

Think if Brutalistan would do this in Your country or to Your countrymen, whatever country that is! Soon they will.

There will come an unofficial sheriff (fucking terrorist) down the street and begin to shoot suspects.

Just a reminder of western democracy:

  1. The sheriff takes the suspect to the court.
  2. The court system judges.

Everyone “knows” Milocevic is guilty, but I am glad that he is in an court.
People cant be used “to send a signal to Saddam”. Even very strongly suspected ones.

Btw. Russia has officially now declared that pre-emptive strikes are allowed against terrorist activities. Sigh!

A row of small Brutalistans will follow, and many of them does not even bother to declare anything, they just “send signals”, smoke-signals like indians in old Hollywood movies.

Have a nice day.

They already have. I don’t doubt that it will happen more often.

http://asia.news.yahoo.com/021107/afp/021107021545top.html