Send In The Drones?

Nick Turse of TomDispatch, writing on Michael Moore’s friends’ blog, tells us about the unmitigated catastrophic failure that is drone warfare. There is much substance in this article, but the following paragraph caught my eye:

Despite a decade of technological, tactical, and strategic refinements and improvements, Air Force and allied CIA personnel watching computer monitors in distant locations have continually failed to discriminate between armed combatants and innocent civilians and, as a result, the judge-jury-executioner drone assassination program is widely considered to have run afoul of international law.

Anyone who thinks for five minutes about the technological problems involved in controlling an aircraft half a world away, let alone launching a Hellfire missile from it toward (one hopes) an enemy target, would realize that the very idea is insane. And indeed, since the program’s beginning over a decade ago, drone after drone has crashed, often with disastrous results. But there’s money to be made, and who’s going to tell them to stop the program? Not the designers, builders or even the pilots, all of whom benefit from killing people on the ground… no matter whether those people may be friend or foe, military or civilian.

Even if you can find it in yourself to justify the wars of aggression the United States insists on fighting, surely you cannot justify these airborne civilian-murdering devices. War is wrong, but some warfare… by drones, for instance… is pure evil.

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  • upyernoz  On Tuesday January 17, 2012 at 3:27 pm

    on the contrary, drone warfare is a huge success. they are expensive high-tech weapon systems that happen to make war both easier and lower the political costs of engaging in conflicts (i.e. unmanned drones mean low risk of american casualties). which means more wars and more orders for expensive drones!

    remember these are made by for-profit military contracting companies. from their perspective, it’s totally win-win.

    • Steve  On Tuesday January 17, 2012 at 5:29 pm

      Precisely, ‘noz. Eisenhower was almost right: his predicted “military-industrial complex” has turned out to be a “military-industrial-governmental complex.”

      Considering his use of drones out of proportion to all previous presidents, will history cast Obama as “the first drone President”?

  • MandT  On Tuesday January 17, 2012 at 10:33 pm

    The idea that presidents without a scintilla of military experience can kill by robots without a second thought, or assassinate human beings from an absolute decision, including American citizens, is no greater proof that democracy is dead in America. These exercises in semantics merely cover what I call immoral and evil. Two old fashion words that perfectly describe our ‘exceptional’ world empire.

    • Steve  On Tuesday January 17, 2012 at 11:11 pm

      MandT, the real irony, to me, is that the drones work so badly as pieces of technology that they are more evil than ever as weapons… they kill all kinds of people apart from their intended targets. And yes, they do it from half a world away, directed by people who are themselves not vulnerable to anything short of an ICBM attack, which in this day and age is unlikely. But there is no greater sin than hubris, and if Obama continues his push-button war against people half a world away, he may make more enemies than even his technologically adept army can handle. He may yet generate some more terrorism for America to have a war on.

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