Letters to the Editor

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WAR: Drones moving into new territory

Letter by Justin Earick, Tacoma on June 12, 2012 at 3:35 pm with 77 Comments »
June 12, 2012 3:35 pm

The war on terror has birthed us a bundle of drones, dispatched in Yemen, Iran, Somalia, Libya, Pakistan and Afghanistan.

The Pentagon currently employs 7,000 unmanned aerial vehicles, and asked for $5 billion in 2012 congressional budgetary drone spending alone.

Drones allow opportunistic circumvention of boots-on-the-ground politics, while further disconnecting the American public from the 1 percent serving in combat.

Now we’ve had success pursuing the top 30 al-Qaida on the kill list, with CIA claims of zero civilian deaths since May 2010. But “signature strikes” policy dictates attack based not upon positive identification, but behavioral patterns. Plus, all military-aged male casualties are posthumously declared militants.

Abdul-Rahman al-Awlaki, born in Colorado, was specifically targeted and killed by UAVs in Yemen for his crime of having radical kinfolk. Reports of strategic double-tap strikes? Hopefully unfounded.

President Obama’s initial drone endeavor accidentally killed 19, all civilians. Nearly 300 strikes later, upward of 3,000 people – including 800 civilians – have been killed, according to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism.

As Afghanistan winds down, the Federal Aviation Administration Modernization and Reform Act (2012) welcomes commercial drones. The FAA projects 30,000 domestic drones and has reportedly issued 285 certifications for 82 approved drone models (including nano/hummingbird drones) mostly as Patriot Act surveillance apparatus.

The Seattle Police Department and the state Department of Transportation are “permitted drone operators.” A Reaper M-9 drone recently assisted North Dakota authorities in apprehending cattle rustlers.

Regarding commercial drones, no one saw airliners as munitions until 9/11. Could terrorists hijack Walmart’s inevitable drone fleet? Seems like low-hanging fruit in this Stuxnet era of cyber-warfare.

Can we talk about this please?

Leave a comment Comments → 77
  1. “Commercial drones? Privacy issues aside; No one saw air-liners as munitions until 9/11. Hi-jacking Wal-Mart’s inevitable drone fleet? Seems like low-hanging fruit in this Stuxnet era of cyber-warfare.”

    That was the intended verbiage.

    And Abdul-Rahman al-Awlaki was born in Colorado in 1995, making him an American citizen…

  2. SwordofPerseus says:

    Another sign that the end of the USA is near…Nothing we do short of mass protests and a total re-taking of Congress will halt this.

  3. Drones are the star wars version of the gunboats of the 1800’s.

  4. SwordofPerseus says:

    I believe it is the 21st century’s answer to big brother, army’s of “robot” drones autonomous just like robo-cop. All of the worst predictions of the science fiction writers are coming true in our lifetime. Just think if the US would use it’s genius for good instead of evil…

  5. took14theteam says:

    Tin foil for everyone……

  6. Another sign that the end of the USA is near…Nothing we do short of mass protests and a total re-taking of Congress will halt this.

    You are aware this is Obama’s policy right? And the dems still control the Senate so… are you suggesting you’re voting for the green party this time?

  7. All of the worst predictions of the science fiction writers are coming true in our lifetime. Just think if the US would use it’s genius for good instead of evil…

    Never mind.

  8. yes, this IS obama’s policy, which was initiated by bush. bush oversaw 50+ drone attacks. same as the bailout, solyndra, leaving iraq, patriot act, guantanamo… lots of things started under bush and were continued or expanded under obama. neither side is absolved of responsibility., especially when this is most certainly chicken-hawkish policy at its worst.

    i am extremely hesitant to criticize my own team, loyalty and party-principle would do not condone such criticisms. but i cannot and will not idly abide by these detrimental policies regardless of the practitioners.

    we have accepted the assassination of american citizens abroad without need of prosecution. now we see these drones being deployed domestically. are you not concerned?

  9. sumyungboi says:

    jellee: “yes, this IS obama’s policy, which was initiated by bush.”

    You gotta be yankin’ my lariat! :)

    NEWSFLASH!! Bush isn’t the president anymore. He was voted out because people wanted “hope and change”, remember?

    Anyway, if you guys have any sort of intellectual honesty whatsoever, you’ll be demanding the ousting of Obama, but I’m not holding my breath.

  10. again, i know that facts are stubborn things, but bush oversaw 50+ drone strikes. again, like i said previously, obama has advanced this policy, which is the ENTIRE point of my letter. OBAMA has expanded drone use. but let us not forget the genesis of this policy i.e. bush.

    oh and as a side note, i am self avowed bleeding-heart liberal, and i am openly criticizing our democratic president with significant hesitation. why am i not “demanding the ousting of obama”? i’m not an idiot. and i am not an ideologue. i have an independant mind capable of processing facts.

  11. sumyungboi says:

    jellee: “.. i am self avowed bleeding-heart liberal, and i am openly criticizing our democratic president ..”

    But you’ll still vote for him, won’t you?

    jellee: “.. i am not an ideologue. i have an independant mind ..”

    No, you don’t, you’re a bleeding heart liberal, and a hypocrite. Hope and change only applies when there’s someone in The White House whom you’re told to hate. I know you people better than you know yourselves.

  12. Justin… the way this administration is going, with all of the leaks from dozens of inside sources going to New York Times writer David Sanger, there likely will not be enough classified intelligence surrounding the drone program left to carry out strikes outside of the US.

    But if I were you, I’d keep an eye skyward if this administration gets a (God forbid) second term.

    And it’s only bound to get worse now that there’s a 10-camel reward on Obama’s head.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2157091/Chickens-camels-offered-reward-Obama-Hillary-Clintons-capture-Al-Qaeda-affiliate.html

  13. y’all are hilarious. so i should condemn our democratic (but obviously NOT entirely left-leaning) president in favor of a right-wing chicken hawk? no really, tell me again, because that is Comedy with a capital C. tell me again how i should trade bad for worse…

  14. are you righties really trying to say that if i voted republican, then my military industrial complex concerns would be alleviated? hahahaha. y’all are truly comical

  15. concernedtacoma7 says:

    The comedy is Justin blaming Bush for something he has nothing to do with. Bush is not calling in these strikes. Bush is not targeting US citizens from the sky.

    By blaming him you are attempting to justify what you perceive as incorrect behavior. What insane logic.

    Would it be better under republican leadership? 50 vs 300. You make the call

  16. cancer — bush had nothing to do with drones? really? while you readily admit bushs initial policy of drone strike missions culminating in 50+ drone strikes? interesting…
    do you at all understand the concept of cognitive dissidence?

  17. again, how many times must i state that drone usage has been expanded under obama? how many times?! bush started it, and obama expanded it… how is this complicated?

  18. oh and cancer — domestic drones are of patriot act lineage, not at all of liberal policy, how confused could you possibly be?

  19. concernedtacoma7 says:

    When dems had the WH and Congress, did they change the law? Stop deflecting and making excuses.

    And you are excising policy by using older policy you view as poor.

  20. Are you completely lost? why is this so difficult? u r so conflated… blaming dems for advancing right-wing policy? are you against drones or not?

  21. concernedtacoma7 says:

    No, but you are. Felt passionate enough to write a letter then make excuses. Clarify, how is targeting US citizen right wing when only a dem has done it? How is it right wing when he executed 6x as many strikes

  22. sumyungboi says:

    jellee: blaming dems for advancing right-wing policy?”

    You’re missing his point completely. It has nothing to do with whether bush started drone usage, or whether ct7 is for or against their usage. The fact remains that drone usage has been expanded under obama, and you’re going back to bush to excuse in your mind a bad thing being done by your guy.

    Drones were an inevitable technology. Your guy could have put his foot down, and he didn’t. Bush started drone strikes, but your guy has turned drone usage into his own little killing toy. You must be proud.

  23. yungster….you miss the point by insisting upon making this a partisan issue. The very clear point made by the letter and by subsequent posts is that BOTH Dems and Repubs have furthered this policy. NEITHER Party is willing to stop its growth. To oust Obama for Romney does NOTHING to change this policy.

  24. stop trying to convince me that obama uses drones. thats what the letter was about. bush was never mentioned in the letter.

    all of a sudden yall righties start trying to convince me that i should switch sides since i dont agree with obama on this single issue.

    i bring up bushs inception of the drone program to counter that ridiculous argument yall keep trying to make.

    im not blaming bush by any means

  25. averageJoseph says:

    Q = does the CinC have the power stop the use of drones?

  26. sumyungboi says:

    You fail, beerboy, as it was other commentators, not I, who turned this partisan.

    Jellee seemed to have a problem with bush’s use of drones. (among many other things I can safely presume) He voted for obama, whom at the time of the 2008 election was virtually unknown besides some personal connections with racists and terrorists. He had no policy positions whatsoever, outside of some vague references to bankrupting energy companies and cozying up to ahmadinejad, yet leftists voted for him in droves, simply because he had a “D” next to his name, then excuse every single shortcoming because he’s a leftist. I’m not suggesting that you or he vote for Romney, I’m simply pointing out that neither of you are any sort of independent thinker or above the fray. You come to your conclusions and decisions based on your leftist idealism, nothing more. You’ll overlook your guys’ faults, or in this case, acknowledge that you don’t like it, but what will you do about it? For a conservative, you’d howl and your ilk would protest and break storefronts, but for leftists doing _exactly_ the same, you’ll say, gee, that’s not nice, and go vote for him again.

  27. Lynnwoodfats says:

    “1984”, no longer knocking at the door. The door has been kicked in.

    Jesse Ventura is right, the two political parties are just another gang.

    Send a message, vote an alternative this time. Do you think your vote really counts? D or R, it doesn’t matter, nothing really changes all that much. The corporations own both parties. Vote ‘em out.

  28. scooter6139 says:

    prepubescent man – Are you having difficulty reading and understanding this thread? Your above comment dictates you do.

    Who turned this partisan? Someone name oxb0.

    Did jellee blame Bush? Yes, as the genesis of the drone strikes which Obama has made much worse. Both sides are at fault.

    Obama was unknown? Were you out of the country since 2004 or just ignoring all national news?

    “Palling around with terrorist” again? Puh-leeez! Get something new, there is plenty out there.

    Overlook his faults and do nothing about it? Nothing TO do about it besides voting for someones whom I disagree with 90% of what he “says” he stands for. Yes, I will vote for Obama again because the other choice isn’t really a feasible option due to what I have already stated.

    Military spec drones circling US cities is not a good idea to me. It is another step in militarizing our police forces which does not bode well for a free and civilized society.

  29. su — so you are implying that obama is a terrorist, oh and a racist too. its so obvious, the way he’s been suppressing the white man. poor poor white people being shoved to the fringes. if i werent such a pinko id get it. maybe if a conservative were in office… maybe then id be so upset that i would … i dont know? write a letter to the editor stating my displeasure with the policy? nah, i would never do that if a conservative were in office… i had better vote republican next time i think about defense dept overreach, that’ll do the trick.

  30. alindasue says:

    jellee said, “…domestic drones are of patriot act lineage…”

    It’s gotten to the point that I find anything connected to the “patriot” act to be suspect. I’ve yet to find anything good for our country in that act… just more and more excuses to deny people of constitutional rights in the name of “safety”.

    The drones are just a symptom of a bigger problem that I believe you touched on in your letter. We have become detached from our wars.

    First President Bush tells us all to “go shopping” while they brought dead soldiers home under secrecy in the dead of night. Military families grieved while the rest of us wouldn’t even know a war was going on unless we turned on the news at the right moment. It’s a war we weren’t meant to feel lest we start questioning its purpose.

    Now we are sending unmanned drones in to do our attacking for us. Automated systems (“smart” bombs) have always been so accurate before, so why not, right? Positive identification of the target doesn’t matter. Civilians can just be renamed “enemy combatants” and it’s all good. Yeah, right. It’s like war has become just another video game or action flick.

    We, as a society, villianize Sgt. Bales not because he killed 16 civilians – more than that are killed in a normal week – but because he did it in such a way that we were forced to see the families, children, hurt by his attack. It violated the 10+ rating on the video game. It didn’t fit in with the movie script.

    A small part of me wonders if Sgt. Bales, in his senseless act, didn’t do us all a favor by returning human faces to the atrocities of war…

    In regards to President Obama, sumyungboi said, “But you’ll still vote for him, won’t you?”

    Lacking any viable better alternatives, a large number of us probably will. Mitt Romney isn’t going to get us out of this mess. I’m still looking at the alternative candidates, but haven’t found one yet that’s still running…

  31. “NEWSFLASH!! Bush isn’t the president anymore. He was voted out because people wanted “hope and change”, remember?”

    Wrong. He served the two terms allowable. It was a constitutional amendment pushed by Republicans way back. Remember?

    The people voted against Sarah Palin for President

  32. sumyungboi says:

    jellee: “poor poor white people being shoved to the fringes.”

    You are an offensive racist. I mean that in all seriousness.

  33. yeah, i must be a serious racist, like all the rest of those racist liberals who voted for obama.

  34. CT7 is only against drones and they use when Obama uses them.

    Sumy – you prefer we expand boots-on-the-ground? Drones are just one tool Obama has used better than Nameless. Obama has also used US airpower, intelligence gathering, and special operation forces to protect American.

  35. “Bush isn’t the president anymore. He was voted out”

    I got a news flash for YOU boi, bush the failure wasn’t ‘voted out’.
    His failed policies are with us still however.
    The world doesn’t end and start again with an election, no matter what he drug addict on the radio tells you.

  36. concernedtacoma7 says:

    Xring, I said I was NOT against the use of drones.

    You armchair generals had no idea how the military picks targets and gains positive ID. Nor should you, then the enemy would have the same information. But to imply it is a hasty process disregarding accuracy or civilian damage is flat dishonest.

    Targeting US citizens or using drones stateside is a completely different issue with different concerns.

  37. sumyungboi says:

    jellee: “i must be a serious racist”

    Yes, you are. when you make foul racist comments against anyone, you’re a racist. White people are less human than anyone else. You are completely offensive.

  38. sumyungboi says:

    xring: “you prefer we expand boots-on-the-ground?”

    Nope, never said I was against the use of drones in warfare, although I do have a problem with domestic, police state use of them. The letter writer and several other commentators here seem to, though, and if not for that wascly wepublican, George Bush, they’d have never been invented and subsequently enticed obama to use as his killing toys, apparently.

  39. BlaineCGarver says:

    Do you hate drones and love red light cameras? Just saying….
    BTW, hang with fleas, and you’ll get sprayed.

  40. averageJoseph says:

    I really thought it was a simple question…

    Q = does the CinC have the power stop the use of drones?
    .
    What speaks volumes is when we start to hear progs using the “vote an alternative this time” mantra.

  41. Dude, you are the only one throwing around this racist nonsense. U r the one who said Obama pals around with terrorists and racists. Then u accused me of being offensive and racist since I support our black president. Where do u get these utterly nonsensical ideas from? Completely cognitively dissident

  42. alindasue says:

    BlaineCGarver said, “BTW, hang with fleas, and you’ll get sprayed.”

    It’s better to get the fleas off the dog with careful combing than to poison the whole dog.

    However, much as I love dogs, we aren’t talking about dogs – or fleas. We are talking about humans. That’s something that seems to get lost in this whole drone warfare discussion.

    You can appeal a red light ticket and win. You can’t “appeal” a bomb.

  43. alindasue says:

    averageJoseph said, “I really thought it was a simple question…
    Q = does the CinC have the power stop the use of drones?”

    I don’t even know what the question means. What is “CinC”?

  44. MarksonofDarwin says:

    Here’s the deal.
    I really, REALLY hate partisan arguments, and generally stay away from these threads. There is no question that jellee, aka Justin, is a proud Democrat and considers himself liberal, but what he’s doing here is shining a light on a dangerous precedent that none of us should ignore.

    If I may cherry pick from an earlier comment he made on 6/12 at 8:10pm:

    “… but bush oversaw 50+ drone strikes. again, like i said previously, obama has advanced this policy, which is the ENTIRE point of my letter. OBAMA has expanded drone use….”

    I think what’s sticking in some people’s craw is the fact that he mentions that Bush started drone use, but that Obama expanded on their use. To quibble over the origins of their use, is to miss the point entirely, imnsho!

    For me, the point is that our domestic police force is looking into using drones. In fact, they’ve already been used here in the US. Something that Justin (aka jellee!) mentions in his letter. This is very troubling, and should be something we all agree on and speak out about. Unless, and until the citizenry voice our displeasure at this practice, those in power, regardless of their party affiliation, will continue their use.

  45. CT7,
    I earned my knowledge of military affairs the hard way – on active duty in a war zone.

    There is no problem with using drones in this country for law enforcement or other civil purposes as long as the military and the CIA are not involved.

    US Citizens are not allowed to service in an armed force that is at war with the US.

    Sumy – The Predator Drone entered service in 1995 – five long years before SCOTUS selected Bush to be our first un-elected president.

    AJo – simple answer yes – CinC has the power to not use drones. But, Why Would HE?

    Alindasue – CinC = Commander in Chief = the President.

  46. sumyungboi says:

    jellee: “U r the one who said Obama pals around with terrorists and racists.”

    Yes, I did, and that is indisputable.

    jellee: “Then u accused me of being offensive and racist ..”

    Yes, I did, and you are.

    jellee: “.. since I support our black president.”

    Had nothing to do with it, racist.

    jellee: “.. he’s been suppressing the white man. poor poor white people being shoved to the fringes.”

    An ignorant, offensive, and racist comment, made by a racist.

  47. Hahahahaha. You need to go back and read it again. Do u have no sense of sarcasm? I also called myself a pinko commy if you recall. U r hilariously thick.

  48. sumyungboi says:

    You never joke about race with racist remarks jellee. You are an insensitive and offensive racist.

  49. yep, you must be right. how could i have not known this before? black girlfriends, black roommates, listening to al green and curtis mayfield all these years. how could i have not noticed all this time how racist i really must be. me and all these other liberal racists supporting our black president, it must be a big conspiracy to cover up all the underlying feelings of hate and bigotry. its so obvious, why has no one ever called me a racist before, then i would have realized this sooner. i guess i should thank you for helping me see my true feelings.

    in case you still cant tell, its called sarcasm smart guy.

    i was sarcastically AGREEING WITH YOU when you implied obama is a racist terrorist, which you continue to do. rather than confronting the blatant undertones of YOUR comments directly and call you out as a bigot, i chose to use humor to hopefully shame you into dropping this whole conversation. especially since drones have exactly nothing to do with race. i chose to sarcastically agree with your statements so you would hopefully see how ridiculous they are, and i offered more “evidence” to your theory on obama as a racist terrorist.

  50. sumyungboi says:

    jellee: oh, I had a black friend, how could I be racist?

    So you started out with completely racially insensitive and offensive remarks regarding white people, and now you’re showing your racism toward blacks. Seriously, this is getting more and more offensive. You really ought to come down off of your racial superiority pedestal.

  51. fine, you’re not gonna give this up?

    u said obama hangs out with terrorist racists.

    well?

  52. thats where this all started.

    explain yourself

  53. sumyungboi says:

    I said that obama had connections with terrorists and racists. This is indisputable.

  54. averageJoseph says:

    I’ll rephrase for alindasue…

    Q = does the Commander in Chief (if anyone still doesn’t get it, that would be Obama) have the power stop the use of drones?

  55. concernedtacoma7 says:

    Watching this leftist dance is quite humorous. Another example of the left trying to downplay BHOs past.

    He present does not provide much either.

    45 minutes worked yesterday. Embarrassing.

  56. I didnt say I had a black friend once, everyone has at least one black friend (“one of the good ones” they’ll say). I said lived with black people, not a black person, black people. I love black people. I’ve had relations with black people. My dad bought me a boombox and christain rap CDs when i was nine years old, and a Ken Griffey Jr. rookie card. Racism was not allowed by any means in my household strictly because my blues-guitar playing father would not allow such a thing to happen. My father is from Georgia and is very familiar with racism, so he would tell off my older relatives, strangers, whoever, at a moments notice to even a hint of racism around his kid.

    But non of this matters. I’m bouncing my head off a brick wall trying to convince some guy who casually throws around his theories about how Obama obviously hangs out with terrorists and racists, that I’M not the racist?

    I need some aspirin or something.

  57. What you know about the End Times Warriors? Dynamic Twins? Gospel Gangstas? Dawkins & Dawkins? You dont’ know nothing about that.

  58. sumyungboi says:

    jellee: “My dad bought me a boombox and christain rap CDs when i was nine years old, and a Ken Griffey Jr. rookie card.”

    jellee: “What you know about the End Times Warriors? Dynamic Twins? Gospel Gangstas? Dawkins & Dawkins? You dont’ know nothing about that.”

    My god, are you even listening to yourself?? Could you be any more cliche in your racism?

  59. Who turned this partisan? Someone name oxb0.

    Uhh… kindly show where my comments were partisan to the extent I blamed anybody.

    Even if you ignore every post prior to mine, you’re way off base in your accusation. You’re not entitled to make things up ust because I disagreed with you about something in a previous thread.

  60. “I said that obama had connections with terrorists and racists. This is indisputable.”

    That is a despicable lie and you know it boi.
    You cons are not worth a bucket of warm spit, but that lie is beyond the pale.

  61. sumyungboi says:

    kluwer, it is indisputable that obama had connections with Ayers, an admitted terrorist. How deep that connection goes may well be in dispute, but it is well documented that obama held his political kick off in Ayers’ home, ergo, he had connections.

    It is also indisputable that obama had connections with the good reverend Wright, and there is nothing subjective about that. Wright is a racist. A committed leftist and obama sympathizer might want to dispute the subjectivity of the term “racist” when applied to the good reverend, but normal people see him for what he is, a racist and race baiter, pure and simple.

    Bottom line, you’ve failed, miserably.

  62. averageJoseph says:

    Q = does the Commander in Chief (if anyone still doesn’t get it, that would be Obama…or Barry) have the power stop the use of drones?

    Erik, Larry, Joan… sumnbody?

  63. joe — anyone egotistical and narcissistic enough to run for the office of “ruler of the free world”? i dont think those types of people are necessarily inclined to cede power to people they likely deem as “lesser” than them (ie other politicians). every other politician in world is less than “leader of the free world”, so why would THAT man? the “leader of the free world”. why would THAT man want to cede power to ANYONE? i dont necessarily disagree with your premise, and i dont mind calling OUR duly elected president “barry” (it’s humanizing to me, not derogatory. to ME at least…), but why would ANY president give up any power without a fight? we dont elect them to be softies…

  64. my president has performed outstandingly in the face of utter obstructionism, blatant disrespect, and outright conspiratorial malfeasance and possible treason by droves of congresspeople.

    now dude’s mama apparently called him barack, so out of respect we all should call him barack. but “barack”? really? who ever heard of a barack? sounds like a mortal kombat character. now barry? i been down with barry white and barry sanders since forever. and barry bonds before he got on the roids. i cant stay mad at barry. barry is the man. barry rocks. “barry” can be seen as a term of endearment. it is much preferred to the “hussein” line some people wanted to push a few years back as a hint toward his supposed “terrorist” heritage…

    but please, if you want to call MY president? and YOUR president? ANY name lesser than his deserved title as OUR president? of the united states of america, Barack Obama, the MAN amongst politicians? creme de la creme? please do so respectfully…

  65. take jackie robinson.

    dude was so great. he’s the ONLY player that NO ONE else can wear his number EVER (once rivera retires at least). except on jackie robinson day of couse, when everyone wears #42:)

    i read the jackie robinson book (stealing home) in 5th grade.

    but look at his numbers. were those really HOF numbers? “never ever wear my number again except on my day” numbers?

    jackie robinson was extremely talented, he lettered in FIVE sports at UCLA. he won rookie of the year and numerous championships for the dodgers. but his individual statistics? numbers?

    who cares?

    jackie robinson transcends numbers.

    it was about the impact he made, not just good numbers.

    jackie robinson is forever revered by us all, for his impact on the game. his grace and his dignity in the face of basically all of his peers. his humility, his patience, and again, his positive impact on the game FOREVER.

  66. alindasue says:

    averageJoseph said, “Q = does the Commander in Chief (if anyone still doesn’t get it, that would be Obama…or Barry) have the power stop the use of drones?

    Erik, Larry, Joan… sumnbody?”

    xring already answered both your question (and mine) several hours before the last two times you re-asked this same question. Please, go back and read it.

  67. alindasue says:

    jellee said, “now dude’s mama apparently called him barack… barry rocks. “barry” can be seen as a term of endearment.”

    This is getting way off the original topic of those accursed drones which I consider inappropriate for warfare – or police work – in all cases except maybe aerial photography.

    However…
    The proper way to address or refer to a president of the United States is by his title and name. Unless you are a close friend or family member, it is inappropriate to call President Obama by “Barack”, “Barry”, or any other nickname you might apply to him regardless of how you feel about his politics.

    Personally, I have little respect for President George W. Bush (although I liked his father.) Never-the-less, when I write of him I call him by his legal name, George W. Bush (since he is no longer the sitting president), or simply President Bush. Occasionally, when it is needed to differentiate him from his father, I might call him “President Bush, the younger” (since he is not a Junior).

    How a person addresses or refers to a president in his writing says more about the writer than about the president he is writing about. For instance, referring to a president by his given name (or an accepted variation such as “Barry”) shows ignorance of politeness protocols. In the extreme cases where a writer chooses instead to use derogatory terms to refer to a president (“0bummer”, “Tricky Dick”, “the shrub”, etc), that says something entirely different about the writer… and not in a good way.

  68. concernedtacoma7 says:

    Jelly- do you see yourself dancing to defend a partisan view over your original letter?

    I applaude you for the intent of the letter, but your deflections and blame show poor tact. Instead of stating you want a policy changed, you made this guy vs that guy, not about policy.

  69. alindasue – I think it is entirely appropriate to address the former president informally by “W” as his campaign chose to utilize that moniker – indicating that he approved of the use of his middle initial as a way to designate him while differentiating himself from his father.

  70. And yes – it was oxb0 who felt the need to reinforce what was already in the letter – that this was Obama’s policy – while adding “and the Dems still control the Senate” (which really has nothing to do with the policy) – thus turning the thread into this partisan blame game.

    Facts are that Obama has continued, and expanded upon, the same policies that W initiated. To acknowledge the REALITY is not an attempt to deflect blame from Obama. But to refuse to acknowledge reality (that both Parties engage in this) by trying to spare the former president from any culpability is just partisan cheerleading.

  71. And this whole “you’re a racist for claiming that what I wrote was racist” bit is just a stupid waste of time.

  72. averageJoseph says:

    Thanks for the heads up alinda. I suppose you figured out I tend to skip xring’s posts.

    Oh, and thanks for the lesson on the proper way to address the prez. Surely this must be a lesson learned in just the last 3 years. Surely our memories are not sooo short that we have forgotten the disrepect endured by our last prez. Heck, the commentor who posted at 6:55 called Bush “the chimp” more than a few times. So, thanks for the lesson. We’ll see how quickly it’s cast aside the next time a republican is CinC. ;)

  73. averageJoseph says:

    Can we call him “the one”?

  74. averageJoseph says:

    How about Barack Hussein Obama?

  75. averageJoseph says:

    I like Oblame-o. It’s vey fitting.

  76. alindasue says:

    beerBoy said, “alindasue – I think it is entirely appropriate to address the former president informally by “W” as his campaign chose to utilize that moniker…”

    Since President Bush gave permission through his campaign for everyone to call him “W”, then you are correct that it is acceptable to do so in informal situations. The same would apply to referring to President Eisenhower as “Ike”.

    averageJoseph said, “How about Barack Hussein Obama?”

    That is President Obama’s name, although the only times I’ve seem him called anything besides Barack Obama or Barack H. Obama have been in very formal situations (where everyone’s full name would be used)… and in situations where political opponents want to overly-emphasize the fact that his middle name is of African origin, as if such a name were somehow absolute proof that he couldn’t possibly have been born in Hawaii.

    People calling a president by derogatory nicknames isn’t something unique with President Obama. All presidents have to endure it to some degree. President George W. Bush was often referred to as “shrub” or “junior”, but I have not seen any president referred to by nearly as many derogatory names as President Obama has been. However, as I said before, the use of such names says more about the person saying it than anything else…

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