Thu Aug 2, 2012, 10:49 PM
rug (68,778 posts)
The emerging ‘drone’ culture
By Eugene Robinson, Thursday, August 2, 7:51 PMThe Washington Post
The age of the drone has arrived. It’s not possible to uninvent these Orwellian devices, but we can — and must — restrain their use.
As instruments of war, pilotless aircraft have already become essential. The Post reported last year that more than 50 countries had developed or purchased drones to use in surveillance — and that many of those nations were working to weaponize the aircraft. Deadly missiles fired from drones are among the most effective U.S. weapons against the Taliban and al-Qaeda.
There has been far too little discussion of the moral calculus involved in using flying robots as tools of assassination. At the very least, the whole thing should leave us uneasy. Collateral damage — the killing of innocents — can be minimized but not eliminated. And even if only “bad” people are killed, this isn’t war as we’ve traditionally understood it. Drone attacks are more like state-sponsored homicide.
But similar complaints were raised when tanks replaced horses on the battlefield, and nothing stopped the mechanization of war. Drones allow governments to achieve military objectives without putting the lives of soldiers, sailors and pilots at risk. Robots do not bleed and do not vote, so they will do much of the fighting for us.
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Response to rug (Original post)
Thu Aug 2, 2012, 11:26 PM
Bonobo (26,000 posts)
3. People will say that killing is killing...
They will say that war has ever been thus, that it has always been a search for safer and safer ways to kill from a distance.
But this is not true.
Killing should not become so hazard free and easy to accomplish that there is no price to be paid, whether the price is physical danger or merely an acknowledgement of the moral weight of killing.