14 thoughts on “The Perfect Solution for Obama’s Messy Counter-Terror Problem – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. Too close for comfort, Richard. Average reader cannot tell if this is a real proposal, a joke, *IRONY*, or something else. What, after all, was the back-end of “extraordinary rendition” but torture done FOR the USA BY someone else?

    What’s so bad about all this is that the USA gets away with using the term “terrorism” to denote [1] whatever it wants [2] but never anything it does itself, or Israel does, and [3] without regard for the danger, destructiveness involved.

    Thus, we’ll never know if the assassination-by-drone of Mr. X averted another “9-11” or merely a carbomb aimed at a single person (aka murder or terrorism or assassination or act-of-war depending on who does it and who is describing it).

    Would the USA justify using drone-assassination against a drunk driver whose car, weaving around toward (but not yet in) dense high-speed traffic threatens a 100-car pile-up? Isn’t that more dangerous than a single-tqrget assassination? And just as predictable?

  2. Juan Cole seems almost on-point here:

    10. Administration officials are admitting that the drone program, which is allegedly authorized by the 2001 congressional authorization for the use of military force, would be brought into legal question if al-Qaeda were declared defeated, thus putting an ending parenthesis around the AUMF. But I argue that the AUMF is itself unconstitutional, since it went beyond calling for hunting down and punishing the plotters of 9/11 to creating a class of persons (“al-Qaeda members”) who are objects of a Bill of Attainder. You can’t actually declare war on a small civilian organization that is spread over the world. There is no formal definition of an al-Qaeda member, there is no real way to decide who is ‘operational’ and who isn’t, and there is a tendency in the US government to use ‘al-Qaeda’ to describe all militant and/or inconvenient Muslim movements. In fact, the NYT revealed that the US routinely ex post facto puts all young men killed in a drone strike in the category of ‘militants,’ even if it has no idea who they are. Most living actual al-Qaeda members had nothing to do with 9/11 and many are critics of it. The hypocrisy of all this is obvious in Libya, where the US cooperated with Abdel Hakim Belhadj, who became the security director for post-revolutionary Tripoli, even though he could be droned at will by President Obama any day of the week according to current US policy. The entire thing is a definitional, constitutional and legal mess, and Obama should end it all before going out of office.

    1. It’s my understanding that Israel shares this method of accounting for bodies: Anyone killed in Gaza is a combatant, by definition.

      1. By definition they are “terrorists” and/or “infiltrators.”

        Israel should also be tasked with doing the PR work in the wake of each drone strike. It has a few gems in its hasbara bag of tricks: the droned dead were either attempting to “infiltrate,” were planting a bomb, were threatening to shoot someone (Israel will even provide the props – guns, etc. to make it look convincing), or were members of Al Qaeda (Israel has a reputation of accusing many people of being Al Qaeda, including human rights activists aboard the Mavi Marmara).

        It could do the same thing anywhere else in the world. Protecting the empire that sustains its existence should be something Israel would be happy to do, right?

  3. An ongoing and organized campaign of parody would be the perfect foil for a NET WORK of WRITERS to undermine the malevolent pretensions and hypocrisy of the evil empire that rules Israel and steers our Congress to do their bidding.

    1. I don’t know — can drones deliver parody accurately? Who the “pilots” in Nevada be distracted from their targeting?

  4. It’s certainly an interesting proposal Richard. And appropriate. But, why stop with just the counter-terrorism part? The US could “outsource” big chunks of its national responsibilities to the Knesset and its institutions. However, this would increase unemployment in the US drastically. AIPAC, for example, would be unnecessary.

    The US has outsourced its many wars anyway. The profiteers supply fighters and then bills the US taxpayer many times what it costs to field a US soldier in a distant place. As you suggest, Richard, Israel is more efficient in many areas, particularly “counter-terrorism”, the terrorism that arises to counter Israeli terror.

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