moda0306 wrote: ↑
Thu Apr 25, 2019 11:15 am
"Support" can be a misleading term. It's not "moral support." It's not selling weapons or allowing the sale of weapons. It's literal military support...
"The Americans are providing targeting intelligence and refueling Saudi warplanes involved in bombing rebel positions."
I saw that. I would be willing to bet money that the US military guys in the targeting cell are not sitting there telling the Saudis "See this, that's a wedding ceremony with a bunch of happy people. We want you guys to go bomb that. When you're done, there is a large force of children playing soccer over here..." But whatever you think, when you're dropping bombs from aircraft, and when the enemy is in populated areas, there will be collateral. But as I've said before, I don't like the idea of drone strikes based on intelligence sources, I suspect they're the cause of a lot of civilian casualties. I think there should be a person on the ground calling it in.
In one respect, President Trump has no doubt kept his word. Trump promised during the campaign to “bomb the shit” out of ISIS and it appears to be one of the few promises he has kept. Trump inherited from Obama an escalating war against ISIS in Iraq and Syria, but both conventional bombing and drone strikes have significantly increased under Trump as a result of his new ISIS battle plan, whose strategy Defense Secretary James Mattis defines as “annihilation tactics.” According to Newsweek, the United States under Trump has dropped a record number of bombs on the Middle East, roughly 10 percent more than under his predecessors. Trump also loosened rules of engagement that protect civilians and, unsurprisingly, civilian casualties from the US-led war against ISIS will, at this pace, double under Trump.
Seems pretty successful, I think the last ISIS stronghold recently surrendered. Was it worth it? I dunno.
I checked out the reference for the claim that Trump loosened the ROE that protect civilians. It may be the case (it was Daily Beast implying they were quoting Trump directly) that he requested “changes to any United States rules of engagement and other United States policy restrictions that exceed the requirements of international law regarding the use of force against ISIS.”
This was probably because ISIS was digging in around and travelling with civilian human-shields so that we would kill civilians when dropping ordinance. This has become a common tactic over the last several decades (and is one of the reasons, along with increased use of aerial bombing, that 4GW will involve more civilian deaths than one would expect given our level of "technological sophistication"). This is what COL Murray was referring to later in the article, and the whole thing makes this point. Even if their guys all get killed, they can win a psyop battle by emphasizing how many civilians were killed too.
https://www.thedailybeast.com/trump-ram ... hadow-wars
moda0306 wrote: ↑
Thu Apr 25, 2019 11:26 am
Did you also notice that your assertion that Saudi's were simply using American-manufactured bombs was incorrect?
No. But I wasn't asserting that, I was referring to the Horton article where HE was asserting that because a US bomb was dropped on a school bus, the US was guilty of war crimes. At least that's what I remember it saying, I can't find it on his site anymore.
As far as the jurisdictional and legalese aspects of war-crime prosecution, I've got to dig into my sources for that. I've heard folks like Chomsky, Greenwald, Horton and a few others go into the actual various layers of legal precedent and procedural machinations of war crime prosecution, but they're not at my fingertips and it's been a while. It's also a bit difficult to suss out actual accusations of war crimes vs digging into the legal machinations of how they would/could/should be prosecuted.
You keep saying various Presidents are or have been committing war crimes by virtue of their policies instead of by doing specific things. So by extension, the military is committing war crimes when it does normal military things to execute the policies. There are some things everyone would agree are heinous: My Lai, Mahmudiya, Serbian soldiers killing civilians with sledgehammers. But if a soldier manning a howitzer kills civilians when he fires on coordinates he gets on a radio, or a pilot providing close air support, it's not a war crime, that's what happens in modern warfare. But it's hard to figure out what aspect from them you think are war crimes. For instance, I went through the NPR article about AFRICOM and clicked through a couple links from it and I still can't tell what you are referring to from them. Might be an Overton Window issue.