But seriously, the US military, the us navy particularly, has brought unprecedented levels of world peace to the planet over the past 7 decades.
I agree with you on the US navy. Generally speaking, they've been a powerful force for good in the world over the past seventy years. Trade tends to benefit peace, as Sol pointed out.
It's very hard to agree with you regarding the US Air Force and the US Army. The US Air Force is regularly engaged in acts of terror (the only real difference between be-headings and drone strikes is that one side openly televises their cruelty, the other side hides it out of shame - they both kill a lot of innocent people, they both operate outside of any real legal system). The US Army openly operates kidnapping and torture facilities that are completely outside of the rule of law and in contravention of international law.
Neither of these actions are responsible for world peace (and a fair amount of evidence points to them being a cause of destabilization and radicalization in the world).
There is another difference between our drone strikes and terrorist attacks and that is simple intent. The US military and our policy in general has very different mind set and intent behind it than terrorist attacks. You may not agree with our use of force outside the bounds of or country to attempt stabilize or reshape foreign power balance but the innocents we kill as collateral are a far cry different than intentionally targeting innocent people for execution to send a message.
If you don't acknowledge that difference you are doing a great disservice to those who are trying to keep us safe and make the world safer in general even if it means we chose to take human lives to achieve that goal.
That's certainly what the people doing the illegal executions have been telling you. While I'd like to believe that the people in the US Air Force aren't intentionally targeting innocent Muslims for death and to send a message, I would seriously challenge you to prove it.
This is a program without much transparency, theoretically overseen by congress but run by many of the same people who were exposed for lying to congress about torture programs they previously oversaw (http://www.seattletimes.com/nation-world/cia-drone-killings-get-scant-congressional-oversight/). Much of the decision making surrounding these murders also resides in the hands of the president . . . and the current president of America has advocated murdering innocent people to send a message:
"The other thing with the terrorists is you have to take out their families, when you get these terrorists, you have to take out their families. They care about their lives, don't kid yourself. When they say they don't care about their lives, you have to take out their families".
Trump is a special kind of idiot who does uncharacteristically support torture and acts of retribution against innocent people. This is not a quote I would attribute to any other recent President....
I did not attribute that quote to any other recent President. Just the current commander in chief of your military.
The burden of proof goes both ways. Show me declassified reports where we intentionally are targeting innocent family members for execution to send a message. Show me instances were we intentionally go after entirely non-military targets to scare a countries people into submission.
The US Air Force is currently executing foreign civilians on a regular basis without trial and with secret evidence - we are at least agreed on this. I will agree that I can't prove the intent of the US military. I've never argued that I could, you did.
The only information available about these murders comes from the United States military, who are the perpetrators of these acts. It is not possible for me (or you) to prove anything about intent because access to information is not available. In light of that, it's not valid for you to claim that they have a different intent than any other terrorist organization . . . because you simply don't know.
How far does calling our military strikes terrorism go? We dropped nukes on two Japanese cities filled with innocent people. Are those terrorist attacks?
Yes. The purpose of the nuclear bombings were not to damage military targets but to terrify the Japanese populace. They were very successful terrorist attacks, but I don't see how you could argue they were anything but acts of terror.
If we are a state of perpetual conflict with countries who can't control terrorist activities then what level of retaliation is okay to not be considers terrorists ourselves?
Should we attempt to kill known terrorists with bombs or should we send in a band of middle American 19 year old boys trained as killers to hunt them down and bring them in alive to stand trial risking all their lives? What level of decorum is fitting for people who would behead civilians on live broadcast and send young men into a crowded location wearing suicide vests?
I think that the golden rule is a good way of approaching this question.
Let's say a person lived in the United States and planned and executed a terror attack with several friends on a large office building in North Korea because he didn't believe that the rule of Kim Jong Un. There's little to no communication or sharing of military and security information between North Korea and the United States, so North Korea does several things:
- They bribe people in the US with a 100,000$ reward to report on any neighbour who might harbour ill-will towards North Korea. Then special North Korean forces infiltrate the country and kidnap many of the reported people. They are taken to a North Korean held military base and tortured / held indefinitely.
- North Korea uses information that they receive from unknown sources to bomb what they claim are terrorists living in US cities with drones. Many civilians (and plenty of children) are killed, but North Korea assures the US that they are doing everything they can to minimize casualties. Nearly everyone you know has lost someone to a drone strike . . . and you don't believe that any of them were terrorists.
Now, for you to answer:
1. Do you think that this behaviour by North Korea is OK?
2. Are you comfortable with unknown death from above based on decisions that you know nothing about, on information that may or may not be faulty, and with no oversight that you're aware of?
3. Do you believe that North Korea is acting fairly with the abducted prisoners they're torturing and holding without trial?
Doing the right thing is often hard. It's sometimes dangerous. Is fear and laziness an acceptable excuse for doing the wrong thing?
if you can't or chose not distinguish, between a country using its military to go after individuals we feel are mortal threats to our people and extremists who's only goal is to maim and kill civilians to send a message then I think you are making a false equivalence between our actions and the actions of terrorists.
You are yet again claiming to know the intent of the US military without any basis for your belief other than propaganda.
I think you have a stronger argument if you want to consider whether excessive collateral damage is breading the next wave of terrorism. But it is still collateral damage as long as we are not intentionally seeking to kill civilians and actively trying to avoid doing so.
Again, you are claiming to know the intent of the US military without any basis for your belief other than propaganda.