Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Nuggets From the Slop Bucket

Let's see, what happened in the blogosphere while I was away?

Kenneth Anderson reported on robot spiders, soon to be gathering intelligence on the battlefield. Though, his post seems to take for granted BAE Systems' line that they will "save thousands of lives." Gather countless bits of intel, perhaps, but whether lives are saved or lost as a result is in the hands of weapons-bearers and state-makers.

Nicholas Gevosdev at the Washington Realist suggested that R2P doctrine might be applied only to nondemocracies, as a way of gaining support from Southern democracies like South Africa and India. Commenters seem skeptical the idea would sell, but give little consideration to whether it's ethically preferable.

According to Daniel Graeber, the USG has rejected Omar Khadr's defense that he was a child soldier when he tossed a grenade at a US soldier in a firefight. A shame and an outrage, but I wonder if his defense hasn't missed the boat by focusing on Khadr's age. The USG wants to try him for murder, but he was in a firefight. Hello.

And Dan Drezner writes admiringly, and erringly, of Hillary's stick-to-it-ness:

"her performance over the past few months has managed to shift perceptions about her in ways that salvage her reputation as a politician of national standing."
This is nonsense on stilts. Her refusal to drop out of the race has been widely interpreted (falsely in my view) as hurting her party. Her seemingly self-serving intransigence against all reason has recalled the worst of bull-headedness in recent Presidents. That voters now value reason over cowboy antics as a result of the failures of the Bush presidency is the evident in this week's primary results and will become blindingly obvious in November.


hank_F_M said...

Welcome back.

When I was on active duty and just arrived at my duty station the sergeants got together and explained what they called “real tactics.”

Never send a man to do a bullets job – bullets don’t have families

I would think a robot would be a good third option, especially if non-combatant civilians are around.

Could you suggest any links for R2P, pro and con, tht would be more informative than Wikipedia?

Thank you

Diodotus said...

I like this quote. You make a good point that spies' lives might be saved. I was thinking about the implications o the intel re. targeting and such. Better, cheaper intel could make it easier to kill.

Your question about the Responsibility to Protect (R2P)is a good one. Here's a link to start with, but I'll throw together a post expanding a bit on the debate pro and con shortly. Cheers.

hank_F_M said...


That looks like an interesting link.

I was thinking more of civilian casulties, in case it turns out what is hiding in a suspisous positon turns out to be civilians.

Diodotus said...

Ah, I misinterpreted you. I imagined the alternative to robots would be putting warriors in harm's way, not blazing away indiscriminately. What undue trust I place in our troops.

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