In our last post, we looked at an extraordinary documentary on the menace of drones
It occurs to me: We are about to go to war in Syria because Assad (allegedly) used chemical weapons. Nearly a century ago, humanity decided that chemical weapons are worse than conventional weapons and therefore unconscionable.
But why shouldn't we be similarly revolted by drones?
The particularly appalling thing about this form of warfare is that it isn't
warfare. The drone is the supreme enforcement mechanism of the security state. A drone the size of an insect can follow you wherever you go, transmitting imagery and sound. The moment you do or say anything your masters dislike, another drone can then destroy you.
The Orwellian possibilities have not occurred to many Americans because, so far, drones have been used primarily in remote areas of the world.
Arguably, the drone weapon is worse than the chemical weapon, due to the drone's ubiquity. Potentially, the drone could give a tyrant the ability to act like Billy Mumy in that famous Twilight Zone episode
-- always watching us, always ruthlessly forcing us to think the right thoughts. No gas mask, no hazmat suit can protect you from the eye in the sky.
One day -- and the day may come sooner than you believe -- a powerful person will understand that drones give him the ability to cast off the trappings of democracy.
If sarin is beyond the pale, the drone is beyond the pale.
Pincess Diana championed the movement to rid the world of land mines. Why not a "BAN THE DRONE" movement?
In fact, we've already seen the beginnings of a movement against weaponized drones
. And state by state, there have been efforts (some successful) to ban surveillance drones
Let's get all these movements together. I want ideas on how to organize this thing and go global.
Before you say it -- yes, I know: Even if this movement were wildly successful -- even if you had "ban the drone" resolutions in the UN -- Uncle Sam would probably resist, just as the American government set itself against the movement against land mines.
But imagine how a "ban the drone" movement would change the moral
Think of it: The Iraq war began on the false allegation that Saddam Hussein might
use chemical weaponry. Using a similar justification, Obama wants to intervene in Syria's civil war.
"By what right?" the world should shout back, right into Obama's face. "You
This world will be a better place if nerve agents and Orwellian mechanized spies are considered equally repugnant.
By the way:
Kerry has finally made the inevitable Assad-Hitler comparison
I was wondering when we'd get around to that; the administration has been running behind schedule. As you know, American propaganda has become a very ritualized affair. It's sort of like the Stations of the Cross, or Sheldon Cooper ordering Chinese food on The Big Bang Theory
. Cries of "Hitler! Hitler!
" are usually followed by the tabloid allegation that the new "Hitler" secretly wears dresses. That'll come soon.