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Military drones mirror public retreat

CLOSE GUANTANAMO is being interpreted literally, meaning close just the facility, but move the detainees to illegal incarceration elsewhere. Likewise, BRING THE TROOPS HOME means pacing a withdrawal with an increased deployment of military drones to keep up the killing. That’s what the antiwar voice gets for pandering to the American preoccupation with only our own casualties. The latest Adbusters juxtaposes these surrogate killing machines with the western public’s retreat into virtual communities.

Pblks‘ Douglas Haddow had this to say in the latest issue, about the increasing use of surveillance attack drones, while the US withdraws “troops” from its militarized war zones.

…when we remove the humans from the equation — when war becomes literally inhuman — what’s left to debate? War crimes will become guiltless: a mere twisting of knobs. Slowly, with each OS update, innocent casualties will be curbed to an acceptable level. The Marine will be replaced by the computer programmer — a meek nerd so far from the action as to be absolved completely of its consequences.

With robots off fighting our wars for us, we’ll have nothing left to do but quietly sip our lattes and liten to our iPods. While somewhere, far off in the distance, a drone may or may not be dropping 50kg units of hellfire on some yet-to-be-named combatants. It’s not even post moral … it’s a Zen algorithm that melts steel.

This is a strange indicator of our retreat into the virtual when you consider that our so-called enemies are willing to sacrifice everything, their own bodies and very existence for a chance to kill one or two of our soldiers. We see their tactics as irrational, and they see us perhaps as we already are: machines.

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