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I am a Drone

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Many years ago Russian poet Georgi Schengeli wrote a poem 'Blerio' about his childhood experience with the exhibition of the first aircraft (some of those were designed by the French designer Blerio). He wrote about the immense hope, the feeling of the new era coming, the joy of a child who believed in the better life ahead. He wrote that they were sure that a new life had come, that all the borders would be decommissioned, that passports and other papers would be discarded and there would be a new way of the people's brotherhood. That was in 1912. The poem 'Blerio' was written in 1942 and its last verse says:

-Now my hair is grey and I have seen a lot

And here I am on the roof under the bombs at night.

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I had a similar feeling lately. It was when several of our media-species discussed the fact that Iraqi insurgents tapped into the computer systems of our killer-drones. I watched that discussion with horror. They talked and talked about the security of the military, the 'problem' of software on the Internet, showed the drone flying and NOBODY said even one word that it was a killing machine, an abomination designed by someone insane, someone who lost all his moral compass, someone, whose place is not even in Hell.

Those toothy species on the screen also lost their moral compass. Somewhere during the discussion (it lasted for an hour!) the running script below said that a drone had just killed 12 people in Pakistan. Did its job. And I imagined some farmer in Pakistan or some Afghani cattleman looking up into the clear sky and seeing a horrible killing machine, something out of this world approaching. He knows that he is defenseless, that he is at its mercy, that his life is no more valuable than the life of some animal hunted from the helicopter. And I can imagine how I would hate all those inhumane species who designed that monstrosity. I can imagine how he would hate us. Now I understand very clearly why they hate us. There is a good reason for it: we are a moronic evil.

In 1944 Russian journalist Vasily Grossman wrote an essay about the Treblinka extermination camp. There he raised a question on who designed it. Someone got a budget, a task, a job to design that facility so that it could handle the capacity. Someone had to calculate the flow of people, the delays, the 'preprocessing', the gassing, the burning, the 'postprocessing.' Someone had to design the plumbing, the gas distributors, the switches, the doors, the gates, the fences, the whole layout. Someone had to certify, to validate, to test and to deliver on schedule. That all was done by the German Civil Engineering organization Todt, the analogue of which is our US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). Their Corps of Engineers designed Treblinka. I have just heard that our USACE is going to help Israelis to build a wall in front of Gaza; that wall will have an underground steel part, allegedly to prevent the terrorists from digging tunnels towards Israeli territory. Sounds like fun. The last time I heard about such walls was when I read about ghettoes. Now we have a Ghetto in Gaza and our engineers are designing walls around it. How do they make those calculations? We could not build a decent levy to protect New Orleans but as for the steel wall far away from us in someone's desert-here we are to the service of the customer. Think about it, folks: if that wall is completed maybe some of those engineers will receive even an award. I am sure the Todt managers received those from Hitler for the job well done. I am sure the drone designers got one too. Oh yes, maybe now they will get a new contract to improve the security of its avionics. See, even the Iraqi insurgents help our economy.

I am a professional. My engineering experience spans through 30 years. I designed power stations, engines, pumps, heat exchangers. I designed things which would last long, work hard, help a lot. Those drones, they can help a lot: they can collect species on the Everest and survey a volcano, they can bring water to the people in the desert and in case of emergency, they can locate the lost people, help in preventing the tsunamis, direct the proper evacuations, you name it. They are just devices, they do what they are told. We made them evil. We made them the agents of hate and death. And now we are them. Those toothy creatures on the silver screen were not humans anymore. Humans do not discuss the killing machines without even a slight remorse. Humans cannot be 'impartial' when it comes to killing. Even in the Nazi Germany they never discussed openly the functioning of Treblinka. They knew what they were doing and they knew the inevitable consequences. They were evil people. We are drones. We had been in denial for such a long time that now we really believe in the delusion we developed. That delusion says that we have nothing to do with death. It tells us that it is OK not to know, it is OK to be a moron. It is OK to talk about Peace and wage War as Obama teaches us. It is OK to come out in a gorgeous dress and calmly discuss the machine that kills without even once mentioning what it does. It is OK to go to the church after that. That's what the delusion tells us.

And here is wisdom: It is all a lie. Those who behave like that are not humans. They are drones. Wake up, stand in front of the mirror and say it loud and clear, "I am a drone. They can send me to kill because I lost my soul.' Say it. Then maybe there is a chance for you to redeem thyself.

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The writer is 57 years old, semi- retired engineer, PhD, PE, CEM. I write fiction on a regular basis and I am also 10 years on OEN.

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