Via Salon, Glenn Greenwald on the Pentagon’s effort to build an aura of valor and bravery into postmodern, video game-style warfare in which villagers are blown up like bugs:
The effort to depict drone warfare as some sort of courageous and noble act is intensifying: The Pentagon is considering awarding a Distinguished Warfare Medal to drone pilots who work on military bases often far removed from the battlefield.
So medals would be awarded for sitting safely ensconced in a bunker on U.S. soil and launching bombs with a video joystick at human beings thousands of miles away. Justifying drone warfare requires pretending that the act entails some sort of bravery, so the U.S. military is increasingly taking steps to create the facade of warrior courage for drone pilots:
The Air Force has been working to bridge the divide between these two groups of fliers. First off, drone operators are called pilots, and they wear the same green flight suits as fighter pilots, even though they never get in a plane. Their operating stations look like dashboards in a cockpit.
Whatever one thinks of the justifiability of drone attacks, it’s one of the least “brave” or courageous modes of warfare ever invented. Indeed, the whole point of it is to allow large numbers of human beings to be killed without the slightest physical risk to those doing the killing. Killing while sheltering yourself from all risk is the definitional opposite of bravery.