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Fri Feb 24, 2012, 10:55 PM

How Drone War Became The American Way of Life

By Tom Engelhardt

In the American mind, if Apple made weapons, they would undoubtedly be drones, those remotely piloted planes getting such great press here. They have generally been greeted as if they were the sleekest of iPhones armed with missiles.

When the first American drone assassins burst onto the global stage early in the last decade, they caught most of us by surprise, especially because they seemed to come out of nowhere or from some wild sci-fi novel. Ever since, they've been touted in the media as the shiniest presents under the American Christmas tree of war, the perfect weapons to solve our problems when it comes to evildoers lurking in the global badlands.
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War would now be fought not for or by the citizen, but quite literally for and by Lockheed Martin, Halliburton, KBR, DynCorp, Triple Canopy, and Blackwater (later Xe, even later Academi). Meanwhile, that citizen was to shudder at the thought of our terrorist enemies and then go on with normal life as if nothing whatsoever were happening. (“Get down to Disney World in Florida. Take your families and enjoy life the way we want it to be enjoyed,” was George W. Bush’s suggested response to the 9/11 attacks two weeks after they happened, with the “war on terror” already going on the books.)
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It couldn’t be more appropriate that the Air Force prefers you not call their latest wonder weapons “unmanned aerial vehicles,” or UAVs, anymore. They would like you to use the label "remotely piloted aircraft" (RPA) instead. And ever more remotely piloted that vehicle is to be, until -- claim believers and enthusiasts -- it will pilot itself, land itself, maneuver itself, and while in the air even choose its own targets.

http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/175507/tomgram%3A_engelhardt%2C_the_arrival_of_the_warrior_corporation/#more

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Response to sad sally (Original post)

Fri Feb 24, 2012, 11:12 PM

1. What else does this Government have hidden, (paid for by tax payer $$$$) that we know

 

nothing about?

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Response to teddy51 (Reply #1)

Sat Feb 25, 2012, 05:48 PM

7. We have no idea how much is in the CIA budget for combat drones, as they're

be able to run operations without any pesky interference of budget restraints.

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Response to sad sally (Original post)

Fri Feb 24, 2012, 11:12 PM

2. As long as the drones help to keep me safe....

I'm all for them. It doesn't matter anyway, they're here to stay. May as well look to the bright side.

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Response to sad sally (Original post)

Sat Feb 25, 2012, 12:03 AM

3. One may concientiously object

 

To the destructive policies dramatically expanded under our "Liberal" President.

But I have to be honest with you Sally. If it was MY son's unit chasing bad guys, I'd be in favor of their deployment.

Their long term use, in terms of technology and policy, has yet to be refined. If we don't find a way to at least somewhat demilitarize our society, I believe that more countries will find themselves under the surveillance and threat of these weapons. Including US.

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Response to cbrer (Reply #3)

Sat Feb 25, 2012, 05:39 PM

6. Wouldn't it be prudent in a civilized society to come up with policy before advancing

at the rate military drones are being used?

Using combat drones gives the US and other governments the ability to assassinate targets without any pretense of being legal. And yes, the continued use of drones by the US in foreign conflicts - particularly countries that the US is not at war with - creates the case for those nations to use them against us; or worse yet, that our country will use them against us (to break up protests, target anyone deemed to be a threat).

As for your son and wanting him to be safe, I understand. Our son was in the Iraq war and we worried for his physical and mental safety every day. However, using military combat drones to kill and destroy desensitizes soldiers to killing, and makes it easy for them to disregard that civilians are also killed in drone strikes.

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Response to sad sally (Reply #6)

Sun Feb 26, 2012, 02:10 AM

8. Everything you said was spot on

 

But I don't remember ever being consulted for policy advice. It is a reflection of the success of our government's fear campaign, as well as a disengagement of many citizens, that allows these and other destructive policies to be used and accepted (i.e. torture).

I'm up for suggestions about demilitarizing. My cupboard is bare.

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Response to sad sally (Original post)

Sat Feb 25, 2012, 12:25 AM

4. They're not done - as soon as the bleeding hearts get over them, they plan to bring them home...

 

"...while in the air even choose its own targets."

I smell marijuana.

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Response to saras (Reply #4)

Sat Feb 25, 2012, 05:22 PM

5. You're correct, and as a society that has accepted the loss of privacy and freedom

because the bogey man evil terrorists are lurking everywhere, and if they're not our government will produce them, over half of the Democrats and the majority of Republicans will accept combat drones flying over our skys. We readily accept the terror and destruction they've produced on other countries. If you can't see 'em, they must be okay, right?
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Combat Drones Soon To Fly Over U.S. Airspace
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While combat drones are not allowed in the U.S. airspace without a special certificate from the FAA, the military is in a fix over the 7,500 military drones deployed overseas, that need to be recalled home.

While the fleet of unmanned robotic aircraft keeps growing and adding to the nation’s arsenal, the Pentagon is working out procedures to enable the Federal Aviation Administration to open U.S. Airspace for military drones.
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Steve Pennington, the Director of Ranges, Bases, and Airspace for the Air Force said that “The stuff from Afghanistan is going to come back,” and that the Department of Defense wanted to use the drones for needs of the nation and that the Department “doesn’t want a segregated environment. We want a fully integrated environment.” This can mean that military drones would be brought under the same rules as other military aircraft.
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While the smaller drones, which are mostly as large as hobby planes may be brought under a system, the question is different for the large Global Hawks, MQ-1 Predators and MQ-9 Reapers which can wreak havoc in the wrong hands.

http://www.jdjournal.com/2012/02/14/combat-drones-soon-to-fly-over-us-airspace/

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