Droning on…

Imagine. You’re sitting at your computer strafing the “enemy” – which you’ve never seen, and know nothing about. The graphics just make it look nasty. Instead now you see on your screen images like Google Earth, and they are real places inhabited by real people. As in the game you’ve been playing the target is labelled. These are “terrorists” in your sights. You place your cursor on the supposed target and press the button.
The button, it turns out, is a trigger which fires real bullets, or something far nastier from the unmanned arial vehicle that you are controlling from your armchair.
For the politician the UAV, or drone, is a gift from heaven, No more body bags, as the 2000th US soldier dies in Afghanistan. You are fighting your war from the safety of home, thousands of miles away from the war theatre.
Nowhere is safe, drone warfare is part of the new face of war. Legality is a word ignored, as it has been for land mines, cluster bombs and depleted-uranium tipped bullets which account for the deaths and mutilation of men, women and children who might be at the view of your target, except you can’t tell if anyone else happens to be around apart from the supposed “terrorist”, or instead of.
Neighbouring Pakistan is not at war, supposedly, yet drones are habitually attacking targets here. Drones maybe popular with political leaders but their ungrateful constituents don’t like them and are saying so.
In the UK the fight is on with a week planned in October against drone warfare. The Israeli owned factory near Birmingham in the Midlands will once more be a centre of attention. The UK has spent £2bn since 2007 on researching drones.

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