U.S. raid philosophy: There was a threat. What else could we do?

  • Article by: David Rothkopf , Foreign Policy
  • Updated: October 10, 2013 - 7:02 PM

That’s the logic behind an American exceptionalism that flouts international law.

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foneboothOct. 10, 13 7:20 PM

The writer blithely ignores the many efforts by Israel to successfully find, capture, try and execute exiled Nazi officers and supporters over the years. This is not a government we are fighting. These are a large group of religious criminals who hide in the cracks in the pavement, relying on the the world to shame us into letting them get away with it. They prey on their own people. They started this fight. They can stop it anytime they wish. I have no sympathy for criminals of any ilk, religious or otherwise.

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jarlmnOct. 10, 13 8:46 PM

U.S raid philosophy: Obama needs something, anything, in order to act like a tuff-guy to Putin ... what else can he do ...?

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jd55604Oct. 10, 13 8:54 PM

Great article. We can't let a few ragtag religious zealots living in caves scare us into giving our government a blank check that allows them to be in a constant state of war around the globe, depleting our treasury, violating our civil rights and ignoring international law.

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owatonnabillOct. 11, 13 6:28 AM

Mr. Rothkopf's article would have more validity if the countries where the raids have taken place abided by the same law that Mr. Rothkopf insists that America abide by. One need look no farther than Pakistan--ostensibly another American ally--for an example of this. On the one hand the Pakistani government made a great show of supporting America's efforts against al-Qaeda. On the other hand Osama bin Laden lived openly next door to a major Pakistani military base for years. Had America dutifully, as Mr. Rothkopf advocates, adhered to the letter of the law, bin Laden would still be sitting in Pakistan thumbing his nose at America while plotting even more acts of war against us. It is the same with Libya and al-Libi. Anyone who actually believes that the authorities in Libya and in other countries that harbor terrorists are actually sincere in their public statements about helping America end terrorism, has a serious problem with reality. There is no doubt at all that, if these countries were serious about tracking down and punishing the terrorists plaguing American interests hiding within their borders, America would not be resorting to these raids and drone strikes. But they're not. So we do what needs to be done.

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mccovey69Oct. 11, 13 7:51 AM

In this world there is so much duplicity that the idea of any country strictly obeying international law seems a bit of a farce. It would be great if America could play by these rules with the belief that all other nations were going to do the same. But we would get badly burned by our naivete if we took that route. In the real world, terrorists in Pakistan, Libya, and elsewhere are busy building themselves up for more attacks on the West. I guess, according to this article, we should let that happen. Perhaps we should circle the wagons, guard our own shores, and let the rest of the world take care of itself, but then America would be accused of isolationism. Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

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mklundOct. 11, 13 8:40 AM

Mr. Rothkopf is correct. After World War II structures of international law were created with the help of the U. S. In the intervening years, further institutions have been developed - often without U. S. support. We now blithely skirt laws on torture, war, and assassinations. How are we different from "the bad guys" except that we are more powerful? No wonder we create enemies daily! Obama is no different than Bush I and II, Clinton, Reagan, etc. How sad...

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vlombardyOct. 11, 13 9:52 AM

“Terrorism is the war of the poor, and war is the terrorism of the rich.” Peter Ustinov

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free741776Oct. 11, 1312:19 PM

Face it. We are a rogue nation.

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davehougOct. 11, 13 1:06 PM

I can not see letting Bin Laden alone until we got all the papers signed by Pakistan. You can be sure he would have been tipped off. That said, how would we feel if Greece kidnapped a Wall Street banker and threw him in jail for 20 years for his part in the global meltdown???

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jd55604Oct. 11, 13 1:41 PM

"In the real world, terrorists in Pakistan, Libya, and elsewhere are busy building themselves up for more attacks on the West.".......I'm pretty sure the people in those countries you mention think that the West is busy building themselves up for more attacks on them. Their attacks on us are not the result of our peaceful foreign policy. They stem from our meddling in their political affairs, propping up unpopular dictators, invading them, bombing them and occupying their lands. Leave them alone for once. See what happens. We know what a disaster declaring war on half the world has been and the damage it has done to our safety and civil liberties. Let’s try a different approach

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