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View Diary: Drones are the napalm of our time. (96 comments)

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  •  if memory serves, napalm was developed as (11+ / 0-)

    an anti-personnel weapon during WWII and used with ferocity during our island hopping campaigns where there was a limited civilian population.  This was vastly different from VN where most of the action was around small population centers.  However, if we are to remember what we really did in that dirty "little" war, I would also add  in Willie Pete or white phosphorous, a tried and true weapon from WWI which could "out-terrify" beyond the means of napalm's jellied gasoline.  I would also mention Agent Orange, which was 2 4,T; 24, D and their cousins, as another dirty trick we pulled on the Vietnamese people which left a ticking genetic time bomb of birth defects in our wake.

    OTOH, the conservation of forces is an old idea, developed in the  context of the Civil War by Sherman, Sheridan and Grant to destroy enemy supply sources and deny resources to the enemy in the name of preserving your own troops.  As Sheridan (I think) said of the Shenandoah campaign, that if a crow wished to fly over the valley after his campaign the crow would have to carry its own rations.

    That is the seductive appeal of conservation of forces in the concept of Total War as played out in the Indian Wars through to Hiroshima.  drones are seductive because they are safe and no one we know gets killed.  The revulsion against VN began because the KIA, MIA, and WIA lists grew long enough that soon many of us knew someone who was lost in that damned war.  With drones, not so much so.

    •  Part of the evil of drones is that they are used (29+ / 0-)

      against people who are defenseless against them in areas where our own forces are not present nor in any present danger.

      Another factor is the killing of civilians just so that we can carry out an international execution -- and that only is true when we know the identity of the target.  In the cases when we are "profile killing" -- people we don't know but we think their behaviors as seen on the other side of the world through not completely clear video images and who seem suspicious -- then we don't even have a clue. We're just killing to be killing. Because we can. Because we have weapons. Because we want to do so.

      Boys carrying in firewood mistaken for men with weapons.  Even if they were men with weapons, they weren't anywhere near US forces or even potentially so. Men working in fields with hoes and shovels mistaken for men with weapons. Men gathering for tea or food.  Wedding parties. Funerals.  We just blow them all up.

      The president has defined any male over the age of 16 as a militant. We are "justified" in killing them all.

      The entire thing is absolutely repulsive.

      "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

      by YucatanMan on Tue Dec 03, 2013 at 08:07:09 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yes, seemingly safe ... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      aliasalias, PhilJD, SpecialKinFlag

      ... and the blowback, when it happens, is simply another terrorist act which justifies more use of drones because we didn't use them aggressively enough to wipe out those terrorists which were recruited thanks to the blowback from the drone strikes.

      This is why I do not support expansion of light water reactor nuclear power in the US ~ we keep jamming sticks into hornet nests overseas, and sooner or later some of those hornets are going to make their way here.

      Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

      by BruceMcF on Tue Dec 03, 2013 at 12:27:40 PM PST

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