Four former U.S. Air Force drone operators issued a public letter on Wednesday warning that the United States' ongoing targeted killing program "is one of the most devastating driving forces for terrorism and destabilization around the world."
As my heart gently weeps o
Boeing and the rest of the drone lobby will be upset if this letter doesn't get downplayed by the DC politicians and the corporate media. Time to divert more taxpayer money to crisis management consultants to handle this. Hopefully these whistle blowers won't be locked in a gulag or need to flee to Russia or take refuge in an Ecuadorian Embassy.
It next to impossible to live a life where one does not have regrets and wish that in decisions made one could have a do over.
As people we have to come to a time and place where we understand that joining a military where the main purpose is to KILL other people , if we are people's of conscience there will be those regrets and that trauma.
It is not a noble act of service from day one. It is anything but.
At sporting events and in newscasts, at political speeches and on forums such as this far too many get somber and place hands over hearts when the words "served in the military " are used.
This speaks to indoctrination. This is being taught to our children and for reasons that have absolutely nothing to do with "freedom and liberty"
Thank you true patriot soldiers. A few days ago, a friend googled "why do people kill each other?". 7 reasons surfaced and the first was revenge.
I think revenge is at the top of the list of 7 for good reason. I wonder sometimes how I would eventually react if my family or my love ones were slaughtered in this manner. This goes beyond simple tribalism we once talked about. The Middle East mess is in large part based on revenge. Us non-consenting civilians have known this use of drones would only escalate
The above headline is a no brainer. But you have to appreciate these drone pilots speaking the truth for once. But, unless Obama is indicted for war crimes as the head drone killer...nothing will change because unlike these drone pilots, Obama has no conscience; otherwise he would have stopped this murderous, drone program that has murdered so many innocent civilians, a long time ago.
Yes, I agree that the drone program is: " one of the most devastating driving forces for terrorism and destabilization around the world".
But good pilots, that is the whole idea!
With air strikes being conducted by Russia, France, and the U.S. there must be an immense number of civilian casualties. Fighting a war from the air is very messy and imprecise and this provides ISIS with great opportunities for recruiting. High civilian death counts has never bothered us before during wartime so I don't see the contents of this letter having any effect on policy. I do applaud their attempt though.
You said it andrew,
Drones are dishonorable. The drone cubical operator (not really a pilot by any stretch of the imagination) has no skin in the game. A real pilot in war can be shot down and made a POW and this fact tempers your enthusiasm for revenge of media-invented outrages.
Also, a drone "pilot", although technically a USAF pilot, has no real experience beyond autopilots and cannot protest by refusing a mission. He'll just be jerked out of his cubicle and replaced by another mindless video game warrior. A real pilot with his azz in the airplane can abort the mission in mid-flight, or refuse to shoot at civilians. Not so with a drone operator with management looking over his shoulder the whole time. If a drone operator protests killing innocent kids, the drone is just put into a holding pattern and another less-scrupulous killer takes over his joystick.
I had a drone test pilot and the head of the whole drone program for neighbors. Both were nice guys. Both were using the bloodthirsty Christian religion to justify what they were doing.
I didn't trust either one of them. Religious people who rationalize war are not people you trust. One wanted to fly my real airplanes since I had five of them in my hangar. I told him as politely as I could, I couldn't shoulder the liability. I'd already heard what a terrible pilot he was in a real airplane by others!
If you would have told me back then we'd be using these technologies like Nazi Buzz Bombs to terrorize whole countries, I'd have replied you didn't know what you were talking about.
These drone protestors are real heroes in my book. Good luck to them.
Imperialist amerikas drone murders are terrorism! As to instability, the drone murders are helping to drag the empire into the abyss!
Empire propaganda, in the schools, at sports events, nightly "newzzz" its all insidious evil.
When the killers at My Lai were approaching the women and children hiding in a trench, an American helicopter saw what was happening and landed between the villagers and the approaching killers. The helicopter pilot aimed his rifle at the American soldiers and prevented the helpless civilians from being executed. All of those under his protection survived that horrific day.
The dishonor of My Lai also included the honor of those men in the helicopter who at risk to their own lives refused to allow the murder of the civilians.
Reading about the letter sent (in the face of retaliation) by these men, I am reminded that human beings know right from wrong and some have the courage to stand fast when standing is a hard thing to do. Chelsea Manning knew right from wrong... so did these men.
And yet, it occurs to me that the only reason they won't be is because their words are totally ignored.
Great post. Thanks for that.
True. However, "God bless the whistle-blowers" for without them--and their testimony--the public would remain entirely deceived.
I would also add that the indoctrination process that calls so many into the armed forces makes use of 3 major components:
- Proof of manhood as theoretically represented through military "acts of courage"
- Proof of patriotism through "serving" one's country through that all important military-industrial complex that's come to fruition as the most dangerous entity in the world
- Religious fealty--since so many churches now posit the equivalent of a Holy War in their sermons and call upon followers to prove their fealty to "the one true god," by killing others (in direct violation of one of the most enshrined commandments--and rules of so-called civilization).
Ignored? Don't believe it! Sites like our wonderful CD and others did not ignore it. That means it was heard by those who wish they could ignore it. Whether in the White House, the Pentagon or Langley... this letter is being discussed. It reflects a change of perspective about using drones. That cat is out of the bag about how effective they were and the negatives they create as this letter shows.
It is because of things like this that the conversation changes from "no one is complaining" to "People around the world are taking us to task on this!" The same thing happened about rendition. Once people are made aware ...they continue to talk about things in the light of the new information or with a different perspective.
I am stating my case primarily against the institution of drone warfare. But I feel servicemen also should refuse to do it, because it's a dishonorable war crime. Drone assignment is entirely voluntary, right? It's something the world condemned in WWII when Hitler killed random civilians in London with unmanned Buzz Bombs and V2 rockets. Now, we are doing the very same thing. It's not good for the longevity of our nation. We don't have to be doing this. It decreases our security as a nation.
Do you agree?
The mental anguish, I'm sure is a Bear. It probably comes from knowing you are a war criminal in violation of the Geneva Convention. The Nuremberg Trials established that "just following orders" was not an adequate excuse for committing war crimes against innocent unarmed civilians.
Added to this guilt, is probably that of the one-sided slaughter. The worst thing that could happen to a Drone Pilot is he could get a paper cut on the flight plan or tip over backwards in his chair bombing children. And the absurdity of Obama declaring every male person in the area an enemy combatant virtually guarantees an endless stream of war crimes against by-standing women and children. Have we no shame? This is not honorable fighting at all.
In real war against a uniformed enemy, I'll tell you what happens. Thousands of people you've never met are trying to kill you. It's very sobering and registers an epiphany deep into your solar plexus, and you realize when the bio-weapons are launched at you that this might be your last day on this Earth. The air is thick with black smoke that gets caught in your lungs and you can't breathe. Fear of death is a very real companion, and it changes your whole outlook on political decisions to go to war instead of diplomacy.
You find yourself asking: Was this barbaric behavior by us really necessary? Who really started this salting of the Earth and why? And after surviving the dangerous ordeal, your health is never really the same even decades after. Desert Storm Syndrome that Uncle Sam denies even exists wracks your body. I've got news for the Uncle. It's real and it destroyed me.
Sorry, killing people on a TV game monitor in complete safety is not the same thing. Which is why it should be illegal for Presidents with their kill lists and for all other government operatives. It's too close to the power of a God for mere mortals to use responsibly.
Once again, a deliberate attempt is made to conflate the callous decisions of leaders AND the MIC with the public.
People like you will argue that when the public is kept in the dark, it still lends its consent.
This is naked propaganda!
Thanks Wereflea, his name was Hugh Thompson and he has a compelling story as a true hero...Here's a link:
He was always a real hero to me. To save a life is ever a goal but to save so many is true glory.
I've saved a few lives in my life. It is and was ...my most favorite thing.