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Be wary of what you wish for with drones

September 26, 2012
The Alpena News

Will a factory to make or contribute to the making of unmanned aerial surveillance-armed-assassination vehicles, or drones, locate in the area? Will we sell our souls for jobs?

Admitted, I do not need a job. But in the light of learning more about the aircraft that our government is using in Pakistan's northern tribal regions, and in Afghanistan - all to kill people - a citizen should ask: Do we really want to be part of this?

Already occurring in our perpetual state of war is a shift from unwinnable on-the-ground guerrilla fighting (now stealthily killing an average of one U.S. soldier a day) to the skies with unmanned impersonal aircraft.

Unmanned? No, a pilot sits at a desk before a screen thousands of miles on the other side of the planet, say in Nevada, using a joystick to zero in on a target in Pakistan or Afghanistan.

Not that drones are accurate yet, as with the mythical "surgical strike." Therefore there is considerable "collateral damage," or killing of civilians and innocents.

The worst indictment of drone warfare, however, is that the United States is presently carrying out air "combat" by drones in countries that have no air defenses of their own. Is this fair? Is this bullying, or what?

Countries hate us - not for our "values," or our freedoms, but for our foreign policy - meddling in their affairs to effect "regime change," propping up or assassinating dictators, deposing freely elected leaders, and our documented torture of prisoners. And, this in addition to our building massive military bases in their countries and ringing the world with these empire-building installations. (Is there even one foreign military base in the United States?)

Do we think for a moment that drones will not eventually reach our shores and cities?

Elaine Thompson




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