Sunday, February 5, 2012


Former President George W Bush and Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff inspect a Predator Drone---Photograph by Jim Watson AFP Getty Images

LA Times---“Police employ Predator drone spy planes on home front.”
“The drones belong to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, which operates eight Predators on the country's northern and southwestern borders to search for illegal immigrants and smugglers. The previously unreported use of its drones to assist local, state and federal law enforcement has occurred without any public acknowledgment or debate.
Congress first authorized Customs and Border Protection to buy unarmed Predators in 2005. Officials in charge of the fleet cite broad authority to work with police from budget requests to Congress that cite "interior law enforcement support" as part of their mission. [ From 12-10-11 article]”

So there you have it.  The remote control drones of war are amongst us.  And a Federal Aviation Administration bill just has just passed which can greatly expand their use.  Unmanned aircraft can be as small as a hummingbird or have the wingspan of an airliner.  Our air traffic is still planning to move from radar to GPS based, yet we now authorize a timetable for a huge increase of drones, unmanned aerial vehicles [UAV’s], in our friendly skies.

These are as yet unarmed, meant to track and capture smugglers, drug traffickers and other bad guys.  But they were developed for war, and can be easily converted for shoot to kill purposes.  The lines between military and police application can certainly blur.  The State Department now increasingly relies on these unarmed drones to control things in Iraq.  Iraqis are outraged by these spies in their skies, and don’t trust that they won’t be used in the future to assassinate, that our diplomacy won’t again become lethal.  Even though they might not pack a weapon, the fact that these machines may be hovering over us, as well as the Iraqis, is disturbing.

Robotic killing is definitely on a roll.  These Predator, Reaper, [aka MQ1 and MQ9] and other birds of a feather,  have migrated from first use in Iraq & Afghanistan, to Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, Libya, and other places little mentioned, like our own USA.  In today’s 1-5-12 Times Herald appears an AP article noting that, as part of Michigan’s Air National Guard base restructuring, Battle Creek is to receive a unit flying MQ-1 and MQ-9 UAV’s.  Although one would assume the actual fighting will be very remote in our current battle fields, it’s not specified if there will be UAV’s in Battle Creek or not.

We are headed down a slippery flight path.  Fighting wars by remote control joystick brings deep untold sadness into the world.  A new technology arises--killing without remorse, automatic, devoid of recognition of any humanity in the enemy, reduced to a video image hundreds or thousands of miles away from the reality.  Modern warfare is on an accelerated path toward enlisting glorified video game machines to do our fighting, our surveillance, our intelligence.

The missile is aptly named "Hellfire"

The rationale for fighting by remote control is that it saves combatant lives.  It’s the same argument that justified the creation and dropping of the atomic bomb.  How much safer has that nuclear bomb technology made the world?  Millions of combatants & civilians have been killed under its pall.  Squabbling over who gets to have the ultimate killing machine was a driving force for Cold War carnage, led to our invasion of Iraq, and threatens renewed Middle East death totals in possible war with Iran.  Can robotic remote control killing machines do us any better?  Can these high flying avenging angels bring us any closer to the kingdom of God?

Satan's fall from heaven

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