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deconstructing American drones

genkakugenkaku Northampton, Mass. U.S.A. Veteran

Comments

  • ChazChaz The Remarkable Chaz Anywhere, Everywhere & Nowhere Veteran
    edited November 2013
    I can't devote an hour to YouTube right now. Maybe when I get home tonight.

    You found it stunning? In what way? I would apply terms like that to, say, Audrey Hepburn and Sophia Loren, but I don't think you're refering to the film in that way.

    Please expound!

    I, personally, find my country's use of drones repugnant. It makes killing people more like a video game than it already is. It's cowardly.

    And we dare to call others "terrorists" AND have the unmittigated hubris to look down our noses at them.
    riverflow
  • genkakugenkaku Northampton, Mass. U.S.A. Veteran
    @chaz -- Yes, the movie is deservedly long ... not for the Twitter-minded.

    "Stunning" in this case is used in the same way cattle are stunned with an electric shock prior to slaughter: All the cuss words and all the peacenik rhetoric went out the window for me. The effect lay somewhere beyond "blasphemy" or "obscene" or even "insane."
    Chazriverflow
  • ChazChaz The Remarkable Chaz Anywhere, Everywhere & Nowhere Veteran
    Wow! Now I GOTTA see it.

    I have a teaching with Lama Tenpa Gyaltsen up in Boulder tonight after work, but when I get home .....

  • ChazChaz The Remarkable Chaz Anywhere, Everywhere & Nowhere Veteran
    I'm facinated by the technology - it's the geek in me. But I'm with Tosh - spending billions on killing people under our present circumstances .... shit, ANY circumstances ---- is perverse.
  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran
    Tosh said:

    I watched it. The billions of dollars, the brains and ingenuity involved in creating these devices to kill; it's sad isn't it when people don't even have clean water to drink in the world.

    Of course everyone should have adequate clean drinking water.

    Connecting the two issues is silly.

  • genkakugenkaku Northampton, Mass. U.S.A. Veteran
    edited November 2013
    Connecting the two issues is silly.
    @vinlyn -- Unless you are being ironic, I think this statement is sillier still. How silly may perhaps be seen in the movie "Charlie Wilson's War," in which a true-life Texas congressman takes it upon himself to support the Mujahideen rebels in Afghanistan and see those rebels eventually oust the Russians who had invaded. Wilson got the funding for the arms that allowed the rebels to beat back the Hind helicopters and fighter jets that were impervious to lesser weapons. Eventually, in 1989, the Russians pulled out. But when Wilson went back to the secret committee that had funded the rebels and asked for a million dollars to build a school in Afghanistan (after more than a half a billion in arms aid had sailed through), the committee turned him down. Which led to the movie's parting shot:

    "These things happened. They were glorious and they changed the world... and then we fucked up the end game."

    How many schools or hospitals or fresh-water drinking sources do you suppose the cost of a single drone might provide? All that waging a war requires is money and ego. Waging peace requires balls.
    ChazriverflowTosh
  • ChazChaz The Remarkable Chaz Anywhere, Everywhere & Nowhere Veteran
    vinlyn said:

    Tosh said:

    I watched it. The billions of dollars, the brains and ingenuity involved in creating these devices to kill; it's sad isn't it when people don't even have clean water to drink in the world.

    Of course everyone should have adequate clean drinking water.

    Connecting the two issues is silly.

    I'm afraid you're wrong.

    If this country can spend billions creating technology to kill, why are there places where there is no clean drinking water. Why are children going to bed hungry? In this country?

    Why aren't we spending money to make their lives better rather than to try and kill them?

    I know - dead people don't need food and water, right? You can't make a video game out of building a water filtration plant, either.

  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran
    edited November 2013
    That's not why I think it's silly.

    If we cut the drone program today, not one penny of those funds would be transferred to a program to promote safe drinking water around the world.

    Period.

    It didn't happen before the drone program started. It won't happen after the drone program ends.

    Even in our own country, with the water issues we have in the American southwest (including Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, and southern California...not to mention Texas and Oklahoma) are we investing in desalinization plants? Mostly the answer is no.

    Politically, defense dollars in this country are fairly untouchable. And it's been that way since at least 1941...and will continue to be so far beyond my life expectancy.

    Further, I'm not clear why it is the American taxpayer's responsibility to solve the water issues in Central and South America, Africa, and Asia. It's not that those continents don't have enough water; they don't have enough water in all the right places in their continents. Those continents are made up of sovereign nations, and I would suggest that -- for example -- the nations of South America band together and work on their water issues.

    Of course, individuals and charitable groups are welcome to voluntarily donate funds to places around the world for the purpose of providing sanitary water solutions. There have been times I have.
    blu3ree
  • ChazChaz The Remarkable Chaz Anywhere, Everywhere & Nowhere Veteran
    genkaku said:

    and then we fucked up the end game.

    I wonder, would be be spilling the blood of our children in Afghanistan today if we had stuck around to build schools, roads, power lines, hospitals, drill wells, and so on - help them rebuild their demolished country instead of taking a powder and leaving them to the extremists?

    I guess it's a lot more fun to blow shit up rather than to build something.

    riverflow
  • GuiGui Veteran
    edited November 2013
    Nah. It's just that, in the US anyway, death feeds the bottom line better than life does.
    Chaz
  • ChazChaz The Remarkable Chaz Anywhere, Everywhere & Nowhere Veteran
    vinlyn said:


    Further, I'm not clear why it is the American taxpayer's responsibility to solve the water issues in Central and South America, Africa, and Asia.

    Well, our government seems to thinks it's our responsibility to kill people in those regions we deem to be the enemies of peace-loving folk everywhere, whether we're invited to do so or not.

    We are citizens of this planet. As Buddhists we're taught that every single sentient being on this planet was at various times, our father, brother, sister, friend, lover, spouse.....mother. We are the richest country in the world. We can afford to outspend most of the rest of the free world, combined, on defense. We can afford to help these people. As fellow humans, it's our duty, our responsibility, our karmic burden to help them, with our tax dollars. Let those who profit from war pay for it.

    If we have no responsibility to help the people of this world, we sure as shit have no right to kill them.

    Think of the children that could be fed, healed, clothed, educated and sheltered for what one frikkin drone costs.

    Guess you can't make a video game out of that, either.

    riverflowpoptart
  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran
    I suggest you start a thread about world politics.

    As a Buddhist, I urge you to do something about sanitary water sources around the world.
  • ChazChaz The Remarkable Chaz Anywhere, Everywhere & Nowhere Veteran
    vinlyn said:

    I suggest you start a thread about world politics.

    As a Buddhist, I urge you to do something about sanitary water sources around the world.

    This thread is all about world politics because we're using drones to project power around the world. That's politics.

    What makes you think I'm not helping others around the world? I also work towards helping others by supporting candidates that share my convictions. One of those is that we reign in spending and research on devices, like drones, that are only used for killing people and divert those funds to more philanthropic, altrusistic pursuit and policy.



    riverflowpoptartcptshrk
  • howhow Veteran
    The drone issue reminds me of the guns over knives issue.
    Just one more step away from causing folks to have troubling issues with empathy and blood splatter.
    riverflowVastmind
  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran
    Chaz said:

    vinlyn said:

    I suggest you start a thread about world politics.

    As a Buddhist, I urge you to do something about sanitary water sources around the world.

    This thread is all about world politics because we're using drones to project power around the world. That's politics.

    What makes you think I'm not helping others around the world? I also work towards helping others by supporting candidates that share my convictions. One of those is that we reign in spending and research on devices, like drones, that are only used for killing people and divert those funds to more philanthropic, altrusistic pursuit and policy.



    Fair enough.

  • genkaku said:
    And Americans wonder why so many Muslims are angry with the US...? But they're brown people in some godforsaken desert, so they don't count I guess.

    If the shoe was on the other foot, wouldn't Americans be upset and angry?

    DUH.

    poptart
  • riverflow said:

    genkaku said:
    And Americans wonder why so many Muslims are angry with the US...? But they're brown people in some godforsaken desert, so they don't count I guess.

    If the shoe was on the other foot, wouldn't Americans be upset and angry?

    DUH.

    And the same geniuses who think drones are good foreign policy are flying these things in our airspace in the name of keeping us safe...


  • On the other hand, the “good” thing about drones is their relative precision. Imagine that in WWII it would have been possible to take out the German and the Japanese political/military leadership with relatively precise weapons like cruise-missiles and drones.
    Could that have prevented the destruction of entire cities?

    I don’t want to promote any type of weapon here, but if military conflict is inevitable and world-peace is an illusion; the precision of the weapons we have at our disposal is something to be happy about.
    vinlyn
  • zenff said:

    ... if military conflict is inevitable and world-peace is an illusion...

    Says who?
    riverflowVastmind
  • riverflowriverflow Veteran
    edited November 2013
    zenff said:

    Imagine that in WWII it would have been possible ...

    Oh, you mean this?

    image

    The Germans already had their equivalent of drone strikes-- it was called the V2 rocket and they rained down on English cities and elsewhere in Europe, killing thousands of civilians.

    And besides, many US drone strikes have hit their targets, sure-- striking children, weddings, etc. Yes the weapon is very precise, but what is the US military aiming at?

    The assumption is that with precision weapons (which only ONE side has) means that only select strategic military locations or leadership positions would be targeted. Drones have not been used thus far in this fashion. War has never been about "targeting leadership" all rhetoric of "surgical strikes" notwithstanding.
  • I don’t know what triggered my response; maybe it was the idea that supplying poor children with clean drinking water is such a good idea compared to executing drone-attacks.

    I just thought that the use of drones should be judged in the proper context; the context of armed conflict.
    Compared to the destruction of say, Dresden or Hiroshima, these drone-strikes are relatively civilized.
    vinlyn
  • zenff said:

    these drone-strikes are relatively civilized.

    What is civilised about cold-blooded murder?
    riverflowChaz

  • IF I understand how they work and what they can do, I think the technology of drones can be very useful in other ways.
    Sure they can be used for war and spying, but they can also be used to survey wild fires, mudslides, or floods from a safe distance. They can be used to find lost people in wilderness areas or at sea. They can be used around active volcanoes or to map out melting ice floes, etc.
    There is no reason to destroy them all and send all that $$ down the tubes- just re-purpose them!
    vinlyn
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    "A toast to the weapons of war: May they rust in Peace."
    Vastmind
  • ChazChaz The Remarkable Chaz Anywhere, Everywhere & Nowhere Veteran
    MaryAnne said:


    IF I understand how they work and what they can do, I think the technology of drones can be very useful in other ways.
    Sure they can be used for war and spying, but they can also be used to survey wild fires, mudslides, or floods from a safe distance. They can be used to find lost people in wilderness areas or at sea. They can be used around active volcanoes or to map out melting ice floes, etc.
    There is no reason to destroy them all and send all that $$ down the tubes- just re-purpose them!


    We already have satellites in orbit that are doing just that, and with much greater precision.
  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran
    poptart said:

    zenff said:

    ... if military conflict is inevitable and world-peace is an illusion...

    Says who?
    History.

    Chaz
  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran
    riverflow said:

    zenff said:

    Imagine that in WWII it would have been possible ...

    Oh, you mean this?

    image

    The Germans already had their equivalent of drone strikes-- it was called the V2 rocket and they rained down on English cities and elsewhere in Europe, killing thousands of civilians.

    And besides, many US drone strikes have hit their targets, sure-- striking children, weddings, etc. Yes the weapon is very precise, but what is the US military aiming at?

    The assumption is that with precision weapons (which only ONE side has) means that only select strategic military locations or leadership positions would be targeted. Drones have not been used thus far in this fashion. War has never been about "targeting leadership" all rhetoric of "surgical strikes" notwithstanding.
    You make some good points. But I would respond by using a phrase that often pops up in our threads. It's all relative.

    When the Germans blitzed London, there wasn't much precision at all. When we dropped the A-bomb there wasn't any real precision. Although not perfect by any means, the drones are more precision-minded than in past military applications.

    I also would point out that AL Queda figures have often used human shields in their living situations.

  • ChazChaz The Remarkable Chaz Anywhere, Everywhere & Nowhere Veteran
    vinlyn said:

    poptart said:

    zenff said:

    ... if military conflict is inevitable and world-peace is an illusion...

    Says who?
    History.

    :screwy:

    All history tells us is that up till now, world peace has never happened. History cannot foretell the future.
  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran
    Chaz said:

    vinlyn said:

    poptart said:

    zenff said:

    ... if military conflict is inevitable and world-peace is an illusion...

    Says who?
    History.

    :screwy:

    All history tells us is that up till now, world peace has never happened. History cannot foretell the future.
    While it's a cliche that history repeats itself, it is nevertheless true that patterns in history repeat themselves.

    Perhaps one day world-wide peace will break out and remain. I wouldn't bet my jockey shorts on it.

  • So what type of Buddhist thinks that because war is inevitable it's ok to go around murdering any foreigners we choose just because we have the technology? That's a serious question, because I'm struggling to understand how you can defend this and still claim to be a Buddhist.
  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran
    So, what type of Buddhist twists the words of others for the purpose of arguing with them? That's a serious question, because I'm struggling to find a place in this thread where I endorsed war.
    zenff
  • We are apes.
    Peace in a society of apes depends on clear power relations. When the dominant ape grows weak (or when its strength is underestimated) there will be trouble.
  • zenff said:

    We are apes.

    Some more so than others it would seem.
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    Stop bitching.
    Take it up several notches, and you're no better than those with their fingers on the buttons.

    If you can't have a decent discussion on topics without resorting to thinly-veiled insults, attacks or what are supposed to pass for clever retorts (just smart-ass, really) I'll start closing threads without warning.

    Apart from that one, that is.....
  • ChazChaz The Remarkable Chaz Anywhere, Everywhere & Nowhere Veteran
    vinlyn said:



    While it's a cliche that history repeats itself, it is nevertheless true that patterns in history repeat themselves.

    Nope, wrong again.

    It's human behavior (individual and collective) that tends towards patterns. This is actually a product of karma, btw.

    History is merely a record of that behavior. Someone taking notes.

  • howhow Veteran
    I thought history was just the story told by whoever survived that behavior.
    Chazcptshrk
  • ChazChaz The Remarkable Chaz Anywhere, Everywhere & Nowhere Veteran
    vinlyn said:

    Although not perfect by any means, the drones are more precision-minded than in past military applications.

    Absolutely right. Modern weapons are terrifyingly precise. The problem lies in those who aim those weapons aren't so precise - morally or ethically.

    I suspect that that level of precision wouldn't matter to much if a person on the receiving end of a Hellfire missile, launched from a drone, was one of your children.

    The thing is, it's not the drones. They're just mindless machines. They go where they're directed and do what the controllers command. It's those people who lack moral compass, who think absolutely nothing of killing innocent people in an utterly cowardly fashion. As MaryAnne pointed out, they could be used to help extinguish forest fires, but it's a lot easier to get funding to kill indiscriminately.
    riverflow
  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran
    Nobody's arguing that point.
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