Military-style Drones Reported On 63 Bases In The USA
By Danny Schechter
New York, New York: It's easy to understand why Presidents, politicians and the military love robots. They don't talk back. They follow orders. You press a button and they do what they are told. They are considered so efficient, and so lethal.
These modern killing machines represent science fiction reborn as science "faction.'
Robots and drones don't burn Korans or pose with the heads of their captives on the battlefield. (Robots also don't protest wars.) Lose the human factor and you get silent but deadly total destruction.
And that's why drone warfare has become such a weapon of choice. You have video game jockeys sitting on their asses in front of consoles of digital displays at an Air Force base outside Las Vegas, targeting suspected terrorists in Afghanistan. After a couple of quick kills, they take the rest of the day off.
It's only later, that we get the reports of civilians decimated as collateral damage.
These new lethal toys are used both for surveillance and targeted assassinations. They are still being used in Pakistan over the objections of their government and the people who President Obama calculates he need not be responsive to.
The drones have become a symbol of his toughness, a power he has not shown at home as Tom Englehardt reports on TomDispatch.com
"If Obama is the president of next to nothing on the domestic policy front, he has the powers previously associated with the gods when it comes to war-making abroad. There, he is the purveyor of life and death. There, he is -- to use a term that has largely disappeared since the 1970s -- the most imperial of our recent presidents."
And now, the President is complicit in bringing these weapons home.
In Congress, according to Code Pink's Media Benjamin, there's even a bi-partisan caucus to encourage more building of drones cheered on by the military industrial complex. She has just written a book about it. She told me, "instead of having a caucus to feed preschool children, they decided it was more important to have a Drone Caucus and that's because all the manufacturers in their districts are funding them."
I asked Medea if this is more evidence that President Eisenhower was right when he warned of a growing military-industrial complex?
"Eisenhower was so right," she replied, "and he was so right when he said it steals money, it robs us of food for our children, of healthcare for our parents, he was so right. And it's just worse and worse. And you get the little puppets in Congress, and I'm in Washington now, so I see these little puppets, and wish that they were like the NASCAR drivers that got to have their corporations on their suits, but they don't rule America. The corporations obviously rule America.
"And when it comes to war and peace, those corporations are so powerful that they've kept us for the last decade and more and if we don't do something about it, they will keep us more for the next decade."