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Friday, September 28, 2012

Piling on Friedersdorf

Conner Friedersdorf writes that he will not vote for Obama, because Obama has ordered indefinite detention without trial and killing without trial (including of a US citizen) and because he is responsible for civilians accidentally killed in efforts to kill  Al Qaeda operatives and Taliban.

I comment

Earlier I commented on how the key issue is "better" not "good".  Also I noted that H Truman (and presumably B Obama) have used the N word.

How silly of me to note (below) Atom bomber Harry Truman's use of the n word.  I just note that when you rule out voting for someone responsible for the deaths of civilians in war you have ruled out voting for (in reverse chronological order) Bush Jr, Clinton, Bush Sr, Reagan, Ford, Nixon, Johnson, Eisenhower, Truman, F Roosevelt, Hoover, Coolidge, Wilson and T Roosevelt.

Ford was resposible for the death of  a few Cambodian civilians killed while US forced tried to rescue the crew of the Mayaguez.  Coolidge had Augusto Sandino et al bombed in Nicaragua. Civilian deaths were a larger fraction of the total in counter-insurgent bombing back then before bombs could really be aimed. I was quite shocked to read an Orwell essay on how people believe in atrocities only if the accused are on the other side -- the examples were all atrocities I knew of plus (alleged) US atrocities in Nicaragua.  I'm not quite sure about Hoover.  

Recall that under Roosevelt and Truman the mass killing of civilians was entirely deliberate.

Basically, no matter how bad their opponents you would not vote for any 20th century US Presidents except for Carter, Harding, Taft and (maybe) Hoover.

As to ordering the killing without trial of US citizens, I don't dare even mention to you that I would have voted for Lincoln who you must detest as the embodiment of evil since his orders lead to the killing of hundreds of thousands of US citizens without trial.

Actually seriously, would you for a moment consider voting for Roosevelt  or even (shudder) Lincoln if the alternative were Romney?   If you would, then why are you so upset by the few tiny steps Obama has taken down their path ?

You are either an absolute pacifist (so absolute that you wouldn't consider voting for anyone who isn't an absolute pacifist) or you are confused.  This post certainly unconditionally rejects making war.

bonus armchair psychology which I didn't inflict on the Atlantic comment thread.

I understand that your background is conservative.  I don't think any liberal could be under the illusion that detention without trial, accidentally (except for FDR, Truman, and Nixon) killing civilians or killing without trial is exceptional in US history.

I think you mentioned that now you can guess what sort of e-mail Glenn Greenwald gets. But I think there is a difference.  He knows that he has to chose between the US Constitution and the US as it has long been (I'd guess as it has always been).

I think your decision is not optimal given the choices we have.  I also think it might be the result of the shock of being raised on myths as are almost all US citizens (and almost all people) and then growing up and facing reality (as most people never do)  .

1 comment:

dilbert dogbert said...

Sometimes when these ideas come to the forefront, my mind wanders to Bonny and Clyde.
When the forces of American behavior control, shot and kill some citizen, say someone in a wheelchair and armed with a pen, there may be a momentary fuss about the act but the usual is to not even note the incident.
In the initial stages of our actions in Afghanistan B52's carpet bombed the place and I don't remember any hullabaloo over the use of 52's from 40,000 feet. Is the difference that the driver of the drone can see who he is bombing or shooting?