BREAKING: Unleash the Drones


Ethan Gach

I write about comics, video games and American politics. I fear death above all things. Just below that is waking up in the morning to go to work. You can follow me on Twitter at @ethangach or at my blog, And though my opinions aren’t for hire, my virtue is.

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9 Responses

  1. Avatar Kazzy says:

    Question: Would folks be more or less bothered by this plan if it used manned planes? Soldiers in tanks? Soldiers on foot?

    Generally speaking, I wonder if part of the opposition to the drone program is the fact that it uses creepy robots.Report

    • Avatar greginak in reply to Kazzy says:

      I second your question. I’d just say that it is irrelvent what type of flying craft we use. If what we are doing is good then whether it is a two seater, one seater, drone, guy in a tux with a jet pack doesn’t matter. If what we are doing is stupid then, again, the modality doesn’t matter in general.Report

    • Avatar Ethan Gach in reply to Kazzy says:

      I certainly am not bothered by virtue of it being a computer, but rather the indirect impact that the ease and risk minimization such technologies make possibel will have complicating effects.

      For instance, if and when the assumed terrorist is found (you can see CNN for his name and bio), will the existence of the drone make it more or less likely that the U.S. will accept “collateral damange” in its attempts to exact justice and further national security?Report

      • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Ethan Gach says:

        I agree with this. When we minimize risk, it makes taking certain actions far easier. This is ideal in a great number of areas, but ought to at least give us some pause in warfare.

        That being said, I get the sense that a number of folks object to drone warfare (and it shoukd be noted that surveillance and strikes are different) because of the “creepy robot” thing, and not the “makes it easier to kill others through minimized risk” thing.Report

    • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Kazzy says:

      It’s not even “creepy robots”. It’s more along the lines of a remote-control plane with a webcam bolted to the front.Report

      • Avatar Kazzy in reply to DensityDuck says:

        I should have put “creepy robots” in square quotes. For many folks, an RC plane alone is a bit much… Attach a webcam (“What’s a webcam!?!?!?) and you’ve entered “creepy robot”-ville for some folks.Report

  2. The last bit actually is plausible, whatever the way you’re framing it here.

    The likelihood of a spontaneous protest mob managing to lob a rocket at an armored diplomat’s car is…well, not that great.Report

    • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to Nob Akimoto says:

      Rumour has it this assault on the consulate was ginned up by a loose confederation of jihaadi groups called Ansar al-Sharia. This seems to conform to the pattern established long ago in Pakistan and Chechnya: These guys always crop up, like so many mushrooms on horse turds, when a regime loses the ability to control its own writ. Anarchic carbuncles on a nation’s ass, if you will.

      The stupidest approach is to think this was a solid group with a big objective. These are little more than jumped up thugs with a veneer of religiosity. The only solution here is to declare something akin to martial law and put out civilian foot patrols, a-la the Sons of Iraq, to pacify and subdue Benghazi. Get the mainline imams to back these patrols. There will be pushback from the thugs, but they’re probably not a big force in town anyway. If history’s any guide to these things, they’re probably holed up in one specific neighbourhood they’ve managed to subdue, exactly as we’d think of gang turf here in the USA.

      Benghazi’s a long way from Tripoli. Think of the distance between Fallujah and Baghdad, that war we know better. Same forces in play. Libya’s had no end of trouble getting all the militias to disarm the farther it gets from Tripoli.Report