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Drones should be bigger issue than they are

October 30, 2012
The Alpena News

Drones barely mentioned in debates. We may think of them as overgrown model airplanes, but they come in different sizes. Planned are drones as small as humming birds, or as tiny as a bee that can fly through a window or through building ducts. They'd be released as individuals or in swarms. Fancy going to bed at night wondering if a horde of armed mechanical insects might fill your immediate sky and perhaps home in for a photo-op or something more lethal.

Drones are in early stages of development, but do drop out of the sky. They crash a lot. Millions are being spent by our military-industrial complex to develop this new so-called impersonal warfare. In the works are quiet drones which give no warning of their approach by the whir of an engine, will be truly unmanned, and able to "think" for themselves.

Imagine Pakistani, Afghan, Yemeni, and Somali women and children, the elderly, and what men are left, trying to go about their lives every day - sweeping the yard, shopping for food, going to work and school - constantly in fear of attack by U.S. drones.

We're leaving Afghanistan, but our military has building projects still underway -one building devoted exclusively to the subject of CIA drones as the new way of waging war.

We will vote for our best presidential candidate, and preferably not on the basis of a single pet issue. Yet, most drone development has occurred under President Obama's watch, and hawkish candidate Romney once proclaimed emphatically he will not hesitate, if elected, to attack Iran preemptively if "the need" arises - the latter just so immediately precipitous and fraught with U.S. exceptionalism and male bragadocio.

Then the right's declared vow to get that [black] man out of the White House, gives great pause.

Elaine Thompson




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