Thursday, December 20, 2012

'Did We Just Kill A Kid?' Drones dehumanizing war from afar.

An Air Force crew in New Mexico directing drones over Afghanistan resulted in the death of a child who walked into view too late. The missile had already been fired. A 2 to 5 second normal communication delay sealed the child's fate - too late to stop. ['Did We Just Kill A Kid?' — The Six Words That Ended A US Drone Pilot's Career].

We have gone from waging war face-to-face to thousands of miles separation in a video game arcade environment where decisions to kill are made remotely. Attacking and killing the enemy is no longer a matter of personal confrontation and decision making.

Checkout the image in the story showing the "windowless container" from where the drone operators conduct their military operations. One suspect that just out of range of their comfortable chairs is the canteen. And, after their shift is over - the on base clubs stand-by with the cold brews. Another day of comfortable and depersonalized killing. Possibly too their spouses and kids are waiting at home. How was your day dear?

The use of drones may turn out to be a two-edged sword. The technology is not that sophisticated that it can't be readily engineered. One wonders just how impervious our airspace is to drones operated from afar. With the proliferation of drone technology - can we be assured that they they always be used for good. Surely killing children is not good.

Proliferation? Drones in Portland? Oh yes. Spying the Friendly Skies: Drone aircraft used for recon in Afghanistan are now in Portland. And in the US, "American police officers may soon be able to use unmanned aircraft not only for surveillance, but also for offensive action. The drones may be equipped to fire rubber rounds and tear gas." [Drones over US to get weaponized – so far, non-lethally].

And you think traffic cameras are an invasion.

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