01.30.12

Private sector pauper bombing

Posted in Crazy Weapons, Culture of Lickspittle, Decline and Fall at 9:57 am by George Smith

The only way to keep the bully from punching you in the nose whenever he likes is to kick him in the nuts. You might get thrashed anyway, or maybe not. If you can land a few shots he may decide the price he has to pay to bloody your nose is too high.

In any case, the bully will continue to violate your sovereignty, so to speak, until forcefully discouraged from doing so.

The United States drone strategy is only pursued against people and countries who, largely, cannot effectively defend themselves. There is no way for them to give us a good one right in the nuts.

And so today we read from the New York Times, the continued use of drones in Iraq whether they like it or not. Further, the paper notes this was revealed in a call for bids to operate the drones, issued by the State Department. That is, bombing paupers is ripe for mercenary defense contracting.

Excerpted:

Mr. Asadi said that he opposed the drone program: “Our sky is our sky, not the U.S.A.’s sky.”

The Pentagon and C.I.A. have been stepping up their use of armed Predator and Reaper drones to conduct missile strikes against militants in places like Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia. More recently, the United States has expanded drone bases in Ethiopia, the Seychelles and a secret location in the Arabian Peninsula.

Over the weekend, Pine View Farm pointed out a story on a navy drone, one developed to be used without a remote pilot’s chair.

It is here.

Published at the Los Angeles Times, the story follows in the mainstream media tradition of never stating the obvious, mostly because it’s embarrassing or unpleasant.

A couple years ago Hollywood produced a summer blockbuster on an autonomous drone. It was a a bad sci-fi-ish adventure/buddy movie called Stealth.

The drone, named “EDI” (pronounced “Eddy”) talked, went rogue, stole all its music off the Internet, and saved the day at the end.

A Wikipedia entry on it drily notes it was a “colossal box office bomb.”


Crap movie. Unlike being stuck in the real, you could walk out of the theatre and tell your friends not to see it.

For the movie, the enemy actually had forces — fighter planes and anti-aircraft flak, not that it did much good.

However, in the real world the US employs drones exclusively in places and on people who can’t defend themselves. Iran included, the high altitude stealth drone being an exception to the rule that cost the country something when it malfunctioned. However, overflying Iran with Predators — which do the lion’s share of the drone work — would seem not to be done.

Increasing amounts of money on robotics technology is used on places and peoples with essentially nothing, either for themselves or in the quiver.

And none of the allegedly wise people who get talked to for these kinds of news stories bring up this matter. Instead they go on about side issues — like “what if a theoretically artificially intelligence-equipped drone makes a wrong killing decision?” Never mind there is already a long history of wrong decisions routinely made by the people directing them.

So as the robots become more sophisticated they are used on those left farther and farther behind in the global economy. This is all written off as pro-active work making Americans secure, guaranteeing there is always some further price to be paid for being in a desperate situation and hating America for all its freedoms (to bomb).

Whether the drones get some petty bad guys or not hardly matters. It just matters that there be an increasing market and budget for them.

Which makes this quote, published at the LA Times, specious:

”More aggressive robotry development could lead to deploying far fewer U.S. military personnel to other countries, achieving greater national security at a much lower cost and most importantly, greatly reduced casualties,” aerospace pioneer Simon Ramo, who helped develop the intercontinental ballistic missile, wrote in his new book, ‘Let Robots Do the Dying.’ ”

Well, the air force and navy — the new autonomous prototype drone is being tested off an aircraft carrier — aren’t doing any dying now.

The only dying, and it’s fairly obvious to all except perhaps the ballistic missile expert, is done by those where the drones are overhead.

There’s no dying to be soaked up by flying killer robots because the United States is not going against the Imperial Japanese Navy or the Luftwaffe over Germany in WWII. And it is not anything remotely like going “downtown,” or flying over Hanoi in the Sixties.

The pirates off Somalia can’t fight back against robotic or manned systems. They can’t fight back in Indonesia or Yemen or in Afghanistan. And the drones operate in Pakistan where there is largely no Pakistani army to say boo to them.

So it’s all rubbish.

There isn’t a conventional force the US is going to fight which could inflict any serious casualties because those with such armed forces aren’t won’t be pushed into a war with us and, further, we most probably won’t be fighting them. These wars are all by the wealthy country with the biggest world military against those who have nothing except their poverty and enmity. (If there is some manner of war with Iran, you watch how quickly it turns into bombing with impunity. And that thought may have something to do with why the mullahs want an atomic bomb.)

This is what made much of the Stealth movie silly. The scriptwriters, unlike our national security experts, had to at least try to sell something on the screen that seemed slightly real. There had to be an enemy to expose the heroes, even the robot one, to danger. They failed but, hey, they gave it a shot.

Our theoreticians don’t even make the pretense of trying. They’ll just take the money whether it’s eventually a colossal bomb or not.


Research funding for bombing paupers takes off.

3 Comments

  1. Chuck said,

    January 30, 2012 at 12:20 pm

    Thus, we have the situation presented that, if you are not on the side of the Imperium, your only effective weapon is terrorism.

    Another order of IEDs, waiter!

  2. George Smith said,

    January 30, 2012 at 12:56 pm

    You noticed the cycle. Since only one side makes money on the deal, its in the interests of the war profiteers to incentivize terrorism. Therefore, more drones yields more profits when other methods, diplomacy, foreign aid, leaving them the hell alone, don’t.

  3. George Smith said,

    January 30, 2012 at 12:59 pm

    You may have noticed the viral story today, another one custom-made to keep up the business. A California surfer/writer, researching a book on pirates got nabbed by … pirates! The pirates want ransom but are now aware they’re targets.