Don’t Turn Drone Operators Into Heroes

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.

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20 Responses to Don’t Turn Drone Operators Into Heroes

  1. zombieslapper August 9, 2012 at 12:37 pm #

    I was saddened to hear some “progressives” on The Stephanie Miller Show defending the use of drones. Hey, if Obama does it, it must be alright… right? 

    • Brian McKeever August 9, 2012 at 3:24 pm #

      You just hit on why I really want to see Obama lose this November.  Maybe with Romney as President we can stir up some actual outrage at American war atrocities again.  

      • FuckRomney August 10, 2012 at 4:56 pm #

        LMAO, wow it’s hard to believe people still don’t understand that either ‘choice’ is bad whether it’s democrat or republican. It’s always just a steady decline no matter what…

        • stevieb71 August 11, 2012 at 11:24 am #

          That;s the single most important thing for any American to understand.  Your government is occupied by Zionist criminals.  You might not believe/like it – but its as much a fact as the sky is blue.  Until there is a united front against Zionist Judaism, the U.S is going to be a barran wasteland, or a teaming hell similar to Communist Russia during and after the Russian Revolution…the signs of this are already there…

  2. tooCents August 9, 2012 at 1:37 pm #

    Drone operators… what a sack of assholes.

  3. Infvocuernos August 9, 2012 at 1:59 pm #

    So, are these awards like for a high score, or do you unlock a level?  I wonder when they’re just going to connect xbox to these things and let your children run bombing missions in the Afgoo?

  4. Joey August 9, 2012 at 2:00 pm #

    Drone Operators are actually pilots you need to go through aviation school to be one. 

    • Charles England August 9, 2012 at 2:29 pm #

       Who cares what kind of Government Boondoggle school you have to go to operate a drone? What fiat prerequisite makes somebody doing something they’re not doing? A pilot operates his craft while he’s in it. That’s like saying remote control boats would have a docked captain, or google’s big RC car has a driver. No, it doesn’t. It has an operator. It is a machine. This machine is made for killing. It often kills innocents, and indiscriminately. Why are we justifying murder, again?

      • MoralDrift August 9, 2012 at 9:12 pm #

        i agree with you…just i cant stand the word “boondoggle” it is on my top ten list of terrible words

      • Joey August 10, 2012 at 10:43 am #

         Where in that sentence did I say anything about a machine or killing innocents or justifying murder, I was just pointing out they are pilots nothing more nothing less.

    • Camron Wiltshire August 10, 2012 at 9:01 am #

      Not anymore, they are now graduating classes who have no prior piloting experience.
      http://www.corbettreport.com/episode-216-whos-gaming-who/

      Here is a fascinating look at the insidious recruiting dare I say training of future armed forces via the Corbett Report entitled “Who’s Gaming Who.”  Definitely worth checking out, Corbett lays out a searing review of modern recruiting  tactics such as a traveling game carnival/recruitment center for future drone soldiers and pilots…  

    • elwood t August 10, 2012 at 12:06 pm #

      bullshit

  5. Calypso_1 August 9, 2012 at 2:51 pm #

    Do they get to wear anti-G pants w/ their ‘flight suits’?

  6. Will Coles August 9, 2012 at 6:04 pm #

    It’s because of this celebration of cowardice & the total lack of understanding of what war represents that I can’t wait to see this kind of ‘warfare’ visited on the U.S. & it’s soldiers. When that happens only then will you hear what a gutless act this is.

  7. Kimwebb August 9, 2012 at 6:55 pm #

    Drone operators can be considered part of the killing machine just like anyone else who gets a paycheck from the armed services. I don’t care if they kill or not. They are all part of the killing machine called the military and the show can’t go on without them. Wake up, people. Stop joining the military for a paycheck.  If you’re willing to kill for money, you need to have your soul (if you have one) examined.

  8. Anarchy Pony August 9, 2012 at 11:03 pm #

    Clearly I should be given the Medal of Honor for all of my incredible drone missile kills back on Modern Warfare 2, after all, those NPCs and multiplayer opponents posed about as much threat to me in there as the human targets pose to real drone operators.

  9. Jumala August 10, 2012 at 2:36 am #

    they nazi

    • elwood t August 10, 2012 at 12:07 pm #

      worse than nazi – english or jew

  10. Lie_Buster September 22, 2012 at 11:24 am #

    After viciously mass-murdering children in Afghanistan, Yemen, Pakistan, Somalia and wherever else, the mass-murderer clocks out, picks up his own children at the daycare and is home in time for dinner and bed-time stories. Now isn’t that cute. Please don’t tell me ANYTHING about Hitler, Mussolini, Saddam Hussein, Moammar Qaddafi or anyone else until you’re ready to talk about equal and worse criminals in the White House and the joystickers at drone control centers in Arizona.

  11. Lie_Buster September 22, 2012 at 11:24 am #

    After viciously mass-murdering children in Afghanistan, Yemen, Pakistan, Somalia and wherever else, the mass-murderer clocks out, picks up his own children at the daycare and is home in time for dinner and bed-time stories. Now isn’t that cute. Please don’t tell me ANYTHING about Hitler, Mussolini, Saddam Hussein, Moammar Qaddafi or anyone else until you’re ready to talk about equal and worse criminals in the White House and the joystickers at drone control centers in Arizona.

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