Monday, September 02, 2013

Ban the drone

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.

So far.

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 landscape...

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 use drones."

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.


Twilight said...

BAN THE DRONE! Yes! Please!
First thought entering my mind when the talk about chemical weapons and red lines started was "How can CW be worse than drones?" For some reason (hobbled media?) Hardly anyone pushes this point.

A drone-related red line on behalf of We The People ought to be drawn for the Prez.

Anonymous said...

In addition to the cities mentioned in the link, Seattle police got their drones jones slapped down earlier this year by the major, after outraged citizens complained. Of course, it's an election year for the mayor, which may have something to do with his decision (yeah, call me cynical).

NW Luna

cracker said...

Banning drones is an excellent goal, but given the ascendance of the mil/intel/industrial complex in US society, my guess is the possibility of that happening any time soon is about the same as that of Israel signing the nuclear non-proliferation treaty and admitting they have several hundred nuclear weapons.

Yes, Assad is Hitler, and the next obvious step is that Obama is an anti-Semite if he doesn't destroy Syria and Iran just as Israel has ordered him to do, even though the Syrians are actual Semites. It was predictable that this propaganda balloon would be floated by Secretary Kerry (whose grandfather's surname was Kohn). Kerry is still using the discredited photo from the BBC in his sales presentations for genocide that purports to show rows of dead Syrians who are victims of chemical warfare, although the picture is of Iraqi war dead from ten years ago.

Speaking as one who has great
dislike for President Obama and who disrespects him mightily, I have to admit he is in a very tough spot. The pressure being leveled against him by the Zionist lobby must be unimaginable, but there have been signs for some time that pressure is also flowing back from the leadership of the US military, who are probably getting tired of fighting "wars" for another country after a dozen or so years of it. Obama is caught in the middle. Can he risk a Seven Days in May scenario? Can he hope to be outvoted in Congress? Not likely since Israel can control 65-70 votes in the US senate on any given day. Can he just muddle along, stall, and hope for some kind of relief? That may not be a good plan. The last US president who seriously opposed Israeli aims was JFK.

Anonymous said...

Tom Junod's article in Esquire last year, "Obama's Administration Killed a 16-Year-Old American and Didn't Say Anything About It. This Is Justice?" (July 2012) ended with the observation that if military commander "A" thinks he has the right to assassinate anybody he considers a terrorist, then military commanders "B" through "Z" have the same right if they consider "A" a terrorist.

American Exceptionalism has predictably morphed into "might makes right--what can you do about it?"

Anonymous said...

The rebels are like Hitler