What I find frustrating is the attempt to artificially create "equivalencies." It is true that drone strikes kill innocent civilians, but it is not true that the United States is engaged in a pattern of wonton destruction as alleged. Nor do anecdotal accounts of tragic events demonstrate anything. AND failing to account for the actions of the counterparty (Taliban/Al Quaeda) is what creates a false narrative. Obviously if someone kills someone is self-defense it is homicide, but legally it is referred to as "justifiable homicide." To ignore the "justification" is to ignore reality in favor of a position.

When I said that no evidence had been presented, I meant exactly that. The allegation is that the United States is engaged in wholesale violation of international law; which has not been proven by any stretch of imagiation. Individual acts which result in unintended (even if foreseeable) consequences does not a pattern of violations demonstrate. Individual acts of homicidal rampages does not demonstrate a policy to commit them. Allegations of rape, torture and murder have been made without support, or any evidence - except certitude - that it is the "policy" of the United States. That is what I am objecting to.

When I engage in a discussion, I like to marshal facts, laws, etc. in support, rather than try to respond to barefaced allegations. The analysis provided at the outset of the discussion is seriously flawed - even if there are kernels of validity contained therein. Rather, the author starts with a premise and ignores any countervailing facts or policies that might undermine his assertions. I found it facile and logically wanting.

If we are to engage in real discussion about war crimes, we have to start with the legal standards. That is not how this discussion has proceeded. Do I think war crimes have been committed? Undoubtedly. Do I think that U.S. policy has been wrong? Frequently. But, I have never been one to ascribe to Either/Or, With me/against me, black/white dichotomous assertions, which usually kill discussions and obviate any rational discussion. To make the assertion that U.S. policy is, in the main, war criminality, is simply not a serious way of engaging the topic. What proceeded from there has been largely hyperbole, fallacious dichotomies, and unreasoned (and unsupported) allegation. That is not the kind of discussion that interests me. There is subtlety and nuance to be had, and agreement to be reached, but not when it is attempted by relying upon positional sophism.

Unfortunately, I will be away from the keyboard for the rest of the day, so I will be unable to engage further until tomorrow.


A well reasoned argument is like a diamond: impervious to corruption and crystal clear - and infinitely rarer.

Here, as elsewhere, people are outraged at what feels like a rigged game -- an economy that won't respond, a democracy that won't listen, and a financial sector that holds all the cards. - Robert Reich