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View Diary: Games aren't violent, but drones are (175 comments)

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  •  You're arguing against all bombing? (10+ / 0-)

    Strange argument. It reminds me of the argument Bill Maher made that got him cancelled from network TV. He said the cowards in the war were those who safely bombed civilian populations. A stealth bomber at high altitude isn't much more dangerous for the pilot than someone using a drone. So, you haven't pointed out any meaningful distinction between drones and manned bombers. Both leave the killer far removed from the killing.

    Also, the idea that a war of aggression or killing innocent civilians is somehow less objectionable when soldiers put themselves at risk makes no sense to me at all.

    The core issues are:
    1) Killing civilians
    2) Wars of aggression
    3) The borderless, open-ended war on terror

    None of these issues changed with the introduction of a new weapon of war. This trend of focusing on drones is a distraction.

    •  There is a difference (5+ / 0-)

      When you are facing an enemy on a battlefield, you are putting yourself at risk and thus your actions are more understandable in the case of a mistake.  Society is also more reluctant to risk the lives of our young adults for reasons we aren't in support of.  

      Drones do not have any of this.  They can easily be deployed to places we aren't aware of conflict.  The pilot is never in any danger, unless you count carpal tunnel.  The low moral cost that comes with drone usage increases the likelihood of their overuse.  There is much less attention on them, which means almost no oversight even when used to assassinate teenage Americans who have never shown an indication of supporting terrorism.

      •  So you're against cruise misiles? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        louisprandtl

        The same dynamic exists. Zinn made the same argument about bombing decades ago. This is a reality of modern warfare for the last several decades. It's not something new exclusive to drones.

        It's hard to argue drones aren't getting attention given the hyper-focus in the media and blogosphere.

        You wrote: "when used to assassinate teenage Americans who have never shown an indication of supporting terrorism."

        When did this happen?

        •  Yes (0+ / 0-)

          I am against warfare except in self defense or the assistance of allies altogether though.  Perhaps it conflicts with the prior statement, but I am not opposed to the usage of cruise missiles or drones in nations we are at war with.

      •  You are ignoring the high rates of PTSD (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        hawkseye, DSPS owl, KenBee

        reported by drone pilots.  There are a whole roomful of people who work with the drone pilots. The drone pilots aren't the ones who make the final call. The subjects are placed under surveillance for a while before any action is taken. The affinity of those under surveillance with the drone operators makes the final act on order significantly difficult for the drone operators. Your theory of low moral cost and the only effect on drone operators is carpal tunnel isn't based upon reality.

        •  It is very different (0+ / 0-)

          I don't disagree with what you are saying, but physically there are no soldiers losing their lives flying drones even if the PTSD rate is comparable.  You can give counseling to a soldier, but you can't bring him back to life or grow him new arms.

    •  What kind of country do you want us to be? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lyvwyr101

      The kind of country that kills people whom the government decides,with no oversight is or might be a threat, or the kind of country where rule of law takes precedence and every one of us knows that we can sleep safe in our beds, safe from fear of being assassinated by our own government?
      I vote for the latter.  And I CAN vote for the latter because I know that my government, whether I vote for it or not, CANNOT kill me because I disagree with it.
      Beware precedent.

    •  Spot On (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lyvwyr101, louisprandtl

      Couldn't have said it better.  The fixation on drones is an annoying distraction from the more pertinent and pressing issues which you enumerated.

    •  I'd guess bombers kill more innocents too. (0+ / 0-)

      Many more.

      "Michael Moore, who was filming a movie about corporate welfare called 'Capitalism: A Love Story,' sought and received incentives."

      by Bush Bites on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 07:41:33 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Drones are part of a slippery slope (0+ / 0-)

      The real start of this was probably when Reagan tried to assassinate Khadaffi via F16, and killed some children and others instead.

      That was the start of the US attacking / assassinating without trial or any legal formalities at all in countries with which there was no declared or undeclared war.  

      Clinton did it too -- to save his @ss from impeachment, he killed some innocents in a factory, again in a country the US was not at war with.

      Bush the 2nd expanded these sort of attacks, and now Obama has expanded them again.

      Drones do make it easier, and therefore are even more likely to be used than F-16s or whatever.

      •  I'm just not happy with the idea that we allow (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Rizzo, shaketheworld

        politicians to kill people, even our own citizens, without any sort of oversight.  They say there's oversight, but then they don't say what it is.  "There has to be immenent threat" that is not actually immenent.  

        Threats can be manufactured by our government when they want them - see the Iraq war for example.  

        Eventually we will make killing so sterile and anonymous that there will be very little consequence.  And with media outlets that don't even bother to investigate any more, what are the chances that any secret killings are going to stop?

        This is bullshit.  We've turned our heads away from any real moral judgments that have to be made in favor of strawman arguments like debating if we can allow gay kids in the Boy Scouts.  The media loves to talk about that shit.  Not so much outrage about death from drones.  

        What happened to the Woodstock Generation?

        One more thing - If you think that this won't change things, just think about this - Do you actually believe that if we had drones in the early '60s that Castro would still be alive?  Don't you think it is a little to easy to justify that kind of killing now?

    •  The only difference is drones appear to be... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      88kathy, DSPS owl, shaketheworld

      ..."budget friendlier" than other options, especially if the focus is narrowed on the very short term such as an annual appropriation. Longer term the very real and unavoidable total costs are the same: creating more enemies and reinforcing current resentments against the so-called Developed World.

      When you are right you cannot be too radical; when you are wrong, you cannot be too conservative. --Martin Luther King Jr.

      by Egalitare on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 08:19:21 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

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