Don't Be Fooled. Airstrikes Are War


What say y’all?

This defining statement is not as pedantic as it may seem. Washington has a well-established history of using sloppy language in civic conversation to pull fast ones on the public. Former President Obama was a master where airstrikes were concerned: By prioritizing air war over ground troops, Obama was able to pay lip service to his campaign-era promises of reform and restraint while, in reality, maintaining and in some cases escalating the very interventionist foreign policy he was elected to repudiate.

During Obama’s final year in office, the United States dropped more than 26,000 bombs in seven nations (Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria, and the four listed above), though for only for three of them (Afghanistan, Iraq, and Pakistan) did the executive branch have anything even remotely resembling congressional authorization for war required by the Constitution.

With President Trump in Obama’s place, the consequences of our messy conception of airstrikes grow more serious still. In his first half-year in office, Trump has ordered airstrikes at five times Obama’s incredible pace. That escalation, coupled with this week’s announcement about the Philippines (not to mention April’s strike on regime targets in Syria, the first of its kind), suggests we are due to see more airstrikes against more targets in more places in days to come.

Don’t Be Fooled. Airstrikes Are War. -


There is so much error in this piece it cannot be accidental.

Air strikes are not “war”, they may or may not be used in war but an air strike in itself is just blowing stuff up; so the nefarious premise is laid and what follows is just as irrelevant.

The Congress did indeed give the President full authority to go anywhere on the planet he deemed necessary to pursue and destroy Terrorists; up to and including Nation States who support or harbor Terrorists.

The Constitution does not require a declaration of war for Congress to approve military action or approve of the Presidents judgment on when and where to use military action; there is no “You cannot fight without a formal declaration of war” clause.

These fallacies have been claimed for so long that people actually thought Trump was going to attempt regime change in Syria just because he blew up the air base where they launched their chemical weapons attack; the idea that he was just saying “The whole world has agreed these are off limits so if you use them I will blow up your crap until I find something that you care enough about losing to stop using chemical weapons”.

Pretty simple really, you would think a publication by an entity called “Reason” would be able to see such simple realities.


Under traditional rules of war, yes it is.

The equivalent in the 19th century would have been a ship off the coast, using its guns to “blow stuff up”, which was considered an act of war.

Attacking foreign people, on foreign soil, with military forces? There’s no other word legally to describe it.

> they may or may not be used in war but an air strike in itself is just blowing stuff up

Which is different from War… how, exactly?

This it technically all we did Kosovo, and that was considered a War.

A “limited war” is still a war.

> Pretty simple really, you would think a publication by an entity called “Reason” would be able to see such simple realities.

Historically, they’re actually correct, and they bring up blowback, which you don’t touch upon.

Tell me RET, are airstrikes rational, if we’re just making people there angry at us, and creating more terrorists in the process?

Should there not be a review to ask if we would be better served by limiting them at the very least?


Go ask the people being bombed if they feel they are at “war” with the United States.

It’s pitiful political semantics to get around inconveniences…like the constitution.

Can you imagine if Canada bombed Chicago and then said “hey, this isn’t war, we’re just blowing shit up!”


Like words mean anything any more.


Bombing something is considered an act of war to those being bombed, it does not equal a declaration of war by the one who did the bombing unless they decide they want war; so far nobody we have bombed has decided to declare war on us and we have not declared war on them.

It seems pretty obvious that both we and the ones we are bombing understand that this is either a disciplinary action for their crimes or because they are allowing Terrorists to operate within their borders.

Liberals want it both ways, when it serves one fallacious argument they proclaim “you can’t declare war on an idea”; then when it serves their next fallacy they say “all military action is war”.

And of course there is never a shortage of “Living Document” Constitutional interpretation that magically makes the Constitution support or oppose whatever fallacy they are pushing.


Which is a Statist-centric position.

When we’re bombing people whom are either stateless, or whom have been abandoned by their state, such as in the case of the Houthi rebels, how exactly would they “declare war” in the first place?

Tell me RET, how do they do it?

> It seems pretty obvious that both we and the ones we are bombing understand that this is either a disciplinary action for their crimes or because they are allowing Terrorists to operate within their borders.

No, that’s sophistic reasoning, and you know it.

Pakistani’s hate the Taliban, and give their own Government wide-berth to fight it; it doesn’t stop them from hating us because of how ******* stupid WE’VE been in picking targets, and shooting up civilians, miles away from any battle zone.

> Liberals want it both ways, when it serves one fallacious argument they proclaim “you can’t declare war on an idea”;

RET, you’re talking out of ignorance. Liberals INVENTED this idea. It was literally started by a man named Williams James, the Founder of “pragmatism” in the late 19th century, and you can find it AT least as recent as Jimmy Carter who waxed philosophically about finding the “moral equivalent of war” in order to rally support for his social programs.

> What James wanted was a way to figure out how to have war without war, to mobilize and galvanize people to drop their petty concerns and interests as if they were threatened by an outside foe. In other words, pragmatists care about what works, and war works. It works at getting people to shut up and listen, to follow orders, to make sacrifices and work together. More importantly, war legitimizes vast expansions of the state.

Goldberg, Jonah. The Tyranny of Cliches: How Liberals Cheat in the War of Ideas (p. 48).

Just… no RET. Just no.


Yeah, those poor Terrorists who we are unfairly dropping bombs on when all they want to do is spread love throughout the world.



The Houthis are not terrorists, they ran the damn Government for God sakes! What they are is a rebel movement against the centralized Yemeni Government, demanding better representation.

It’s all giant mess stemming from how North and South Yemen were artificially forced together 25 years ago, and has been dysfunctional ever since.

The Houthis fight Al Qaeda, they fight ISIS, as being Shia muslims, they are no friend to either. They equally hate the Saudis who continually put their boot to their necks.

The Saudis, who have become the largest weapons importer in the world to fight the Houthis, and who steadily lose the war anyway due to incompetence. And they call on our assets to hit civilian targets in Houthi cities, who then blame us. Because we absent-mindedly support this **** show of a war.

This is a corrupt regime, invoking the “war on terror” to suppress people with a legitimate grievance against them. And we’ve played right into their hands.

Why are we involved in this sectarian conflict at all? Have you even asked yourself that?

The Houthis aren’t angels, but the only reason they’d hate us, is because we’re currently helping their enemies suppress them.


It also doens’t help, that the AUMF was for against the perpetrators of the September 11 attacks and their “associated forces.”

The Houthis were never associates with Al Qaeda, They’ve always been enemies. There is no authorization to fight them, there’s no clear nationalist interest for us to be fighting them, and yet, we’re fighting them?

RET, if you don’t think policies through, they end up sounding like things they came about through bureaucratic BS. “***Didn’t mean to, but it’s too late stop.***”


The only one not thinking it through is you, your entire argument is based on the tired cliche “The enemy of my enemy is my friend”.

THAT is how we have ended up in the land of “oops, well too late it’s already done” so many times.

Who was that guy who led Iraq against Iran with our help only to turn on us later?

I think his initials were S.H.
Only a fool thinks hating the right entities is evidence that there is no hatred or commitment to harm anyone else who hates those same entities, people hate for lots of stupid and unjustified reasons.


**** no. We don’t have to be allies. We’re not allies with Bangledesh, but it doesn’t mean we fight them or their separatist movements.

Indeed; if anything that’s your logic here. You want to do anything to leverage the Central Yemeni Government as an ally, so you help them do their dirty work in suppressing a minority they’ve mistreated, in the hopes the Government will continue to fight Al Qaeda and ISIS after the rebels are dead or routed.

My point: we shouldn’t be involved in their internal affairs like this. We aren’t fixing their problems, and it doesn’t further our interests. It’s just mission creep run amok; poorly conceived, impulsive warfare.

> Who was that guy who led Iraq against Iran with our help only to turn on us later?

RET? Just do a cursory look at Yemen before you try responding me. You’re struggling in the dark here.

I can say this however; bombing the Houthis for fighting their Government, is like bombing the Kurds for fighting theirs.

Tell me how that makes sense.


Nonsense. The Houthis are SHIA and owe their allegiance to Iran. We’re trying to CONTAIN the spread of Iranian Shia by supporting the Yemeni government. It’s YOU who need to pay closer attention, AS.


“Allegience” is a strong word from people they just agree to receive weapons from, and not a whole lot of them at that:

> Until now, and apart from Tehran’s strong pro-Houthi rhetoric, very little hard evidence has turned up of Iranian support to the Houthis. There has been evidence of some small arms shipments and, likely, military advice from Hezbollah and Revolutionary Guard officers, who may have helped the Houthis in firing missiles into Saudi territory and targeting Saudi vessels in the Red Sea. Meanwhile, U.S. and British military and intelligence support to the Saudi-led coalition exceeds by many factors any amount of support the Houthis have received from Tehran.
> The war is strengthening the Houthis, who have has now taken up the banner of defending the nation against external aggression. In fact, Saudi Arabia has become to the Houthis what Israel has long been to Hezbollah.

The Houthis Are Not Hezbollah | Foreign Policy

We’re involving ourselves in a regional, sectarian conflict, between a Shia Militia, and the Saudis who don’t like having them next door.

… There is no reason for us to fight this war for them, or the central Yemeni Government that alienated the Houthis, and set off this war in the first place.

It’s their mess, that they made, so let them handle it.

> We’re trying to CONTAIN the spread of Iranian Shia

Wrong Dave: Their form of Shia, Zaydi, is closer to Sunnism than the Twelver Islam Iran follows.

They just want to be left the **** alone. They have no interest in becoming an hegemon like Syria, but they’ll do it, if we try to use our military to subvert them in a war they are winning right now.

Why they are winning despite being outgunned and outnumbered? Because the Saudis are idiots with a corrupt military… just one more reason for us to exit. “Allies” who brought on this war, yet can’t fight it.


BS, Slim. You have NO WAY of knowing the extent of support they’re getting from Iran. Where do their missiles COME from? US? Nope. They come from IRAN. It was Iranians who blew up the USS Cole during Clinton’s administration, and it’s Iran who is providing most of the support the Houthis are receiving from outside Yemen.


Dave, the quote came from the article, so read the damn article and quit arguing with me out of ignorance.

They use the same U.S. intelligence that makes the claim Iran is supplying them to start with.

And no Dave, we have no business in a sectarian conflict. None.

The Soviet Union got into all kinds of African republics we didn’t give a crap about. Stating that Yemen, one of the poorest places on Earth with next to no oil, is somehow more important than they were, is obvious bullcrap.

No Dave, this is mission creep, . Bureaucratic machination-policy at its worst.

Actually yes, they capture the material we gave to the Saudis all the damn time.

Because the Saudis are idiots. Yet another reason, we don’t belong in this war.

But So what if they also have Iranian missiles? This war started with Saudis using missiles we made to bomb their capital.

Each side has missiles, each side has a deterrent. Stability ensues. Saudis sue for peace.

Quit reading us into the situation Dave. We don’t belong in this fight. Show humility, and back out of wars we don’t belong in.