uruknet.info
  اوروكنت.إنفو
     
    informazione dal medio oriente
    information from middle east
    المعلومات من الشرق الأوسط

[ home page] | [ tutte le notizie/all news ] | [ download banner] | [ ultimo aggiornamento/last update 02/02/2015 03:56 ] 68349


english italiano

  [ Subscribe our newsletter!   -   Iscriviti alla nostra newsletter! ]  




[68349]



Uruknet on Alexa


End Gaza Siege
End Gaza Siege

>

:: Segnala Uruknet agli amici. Clicka qui.
:: Invite your friends to Uruknet. Click here.




:: Segnalaci un articolo
:: Tell us of an article






Do drone attacks make life and death worth less?

Jonathan Cook

27drone3842919423_f73bc37856.jpg

The National, July 27, 2010

The thousands of US officer reports from Afghanistan appearing on Wikileaks yesterday show how technology can imperil a military’s secrecy and operations. But there is another side to that relationship. The technologies used by militaries to kill by remote control, which are becoming increasingly sophisticated and prevalent, are transforming warfare.

A senior United Nations official recently warned of the emergence of a "PlayStation mentality to killing", conjuring up an image of armies on the battlefield being replaced by unseen, nerdy teenagers spraying bullets and missiles with joysticks as wantonly as they already do when playing video games. Israel is one of the pioneers of these technologies. The first remote-controlled machines were surveillance aircraft built to fly over Lebanon in the early 1980s, as Israel invaded and then occupied the country for 20 years. Today Israel is the world leader in developing and selling unmanned aerial vehicles – or drones, as they have come to be called.

Israel’s disproportionate role in researching and developing this technology should not surprise us. Despite being a tiny country with a small population, Israel has had vast sums of military aid thrown at it by the United States. As a result, its regional ambitions have sometimes outstripped the human resources available to carry them out.

Israel has also had the benefit of more than four decades of ruling over the Palestinians, an occupied population on which to test the technology. Its latest piece of kit – called Spot and Shoot – involves joystick-controlling machine-guns mounted on towers around the Gaza’s perimeter fence.

For a highly militarised society, such developments have proved incredibly lucrative. The growing demands of the global homeland security industry are being met by small specialist Israeli companies, usually run by former generals, whose business is devising hardware to keep suspect groups and populations under surveillance and control. It only takes a small additional step to customise these machines to eliminate the suspects. Drones seem to fascinate and appal us in equal measure.

Most of us, however, instinctively recoil from the idea of killing by remote control. Why does it so offend our sensibilities? One suggestion is that it violates ancient codes of chivalry. Should the warrior not be forced to confront his opponent directly before dispatching him? In executing someone remotely, do we not strip them of the respect they deserve for fighting and dying in a different cause?

Such reasoning is overly romantic. Mortal combat has not been the norm in warfare since long before joysticks were invented. In fact, remote-control killing is just the latest stage in the evolution of waging war from afar that probably began with the bow and arrow, and has progressed through the gun, tank and warplane.

Remote killing does, however, justifiably arouse deep-seated fears about a future in which machines not only do the killing for us but decide who dies – or even turn against their makers. What limits should be placed on automation: should machines only carry out operators’ instructions, or should they be allowed a degree of independence? And in cases of mistakes, who is to be held accountable?

While valid, these concerns are largely hypothetical. Unmanned machines are – for the time being at least – still operated by humans. Is there really a moral difference between a drone operator firing a missile using a joystick and a pilot doing the same seated in a cockpit? It is not clear that there is.

A more significant ground for our revulsion is that automation makes killing cheaper. Shlomo Bron, a retired Israeli general and now a defence analyst, says the demand for remote-controlled machines is stoked by the large savings in defence costs. A drone operator can be trained in a day; a pilot may need years of expertise to fulfil the same mission.

It is this cheapening of life and death – financially, politically and socially – that ultimately appals us, because it makes state-sponsored killing easier and therefore far more likely.

What is to deter our rulers from waging wars if few, or no, practical costs accrue? Typically, fighting comes to an end only when the price – in treasure, blood or domestic political damage – becomes too high to bear. Remote killing could be a prescription for endless wars.

Nowhere has the danger become more apparent than in Gaza, where not only has Israel imprisoned the Palestinians behind walls but is starting to create an infrastructure of automated armed guards. Gaza’s skies are filled with drones, its coast is patrolled by remotely-controlled boats, and its walls topped by unmanned machine guns.

But why must these systems be operated by relatively expensive Israeli conscripts? Why not farm out the job to workers in the equivalent of a call centres in other countries, as has occurred with so many services in our globalised economies?

It sounds like a scene from a dystopian horror film, but it may not end there. If governments lose authority and legitimacy, may they not one day consider turning those remotely controlled guns and missiles on their people too?

Jonathan Cook is The National’s correspondent in Nazareth. He is the author of Disappearing Palestine





:: Article nr. 68349 sent on 28-jul-2010 13:42 ECT

www.uruknet.info?p=68349



:: The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website.

The section for the comments of our readers has been closed, because of many out-of-topics.
Now you can post your own comments into our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/uruknet




Warning: include(./share/share2.php): failed to open stream: No such file or directory in /home/content/25/8427425/html/vhosts/uruknet/colonna-centrale-pagina-ansi.php on line 385

Warning: include(): Failed opening './share/share2.php' for inclusion (include_path='.:/usr/local/php5_4/lib/php') in /home/content/25/8427425/html/vhosts/uruknet/colonna-centrale-pagina-ansi.php on line 385



       
[ Printable version ] | [ Send it to a friend ]


[ Contatto/Contact ] | [ Home Page ] | [Tutte le notizie/All news ]







Uruknet on Twitter




:: RSS updated to 2.0

:: English
:: Italiano



:: Uruknet for your mobile phone:
www.uruknet.mobi


Uruknet on Facebook






:: Motore di ricerca / Search Engine


uruknet
the web



:: Immagini / Pictures


Initial
Middle




The newsletter archive




L'Impero si è fermato a Bahgdad, by Valeria Poletti


Modulo per ordini




subscribe

:: Newsletter

:: Comments


Haq Agency
Haq Agency - English

Haq Agency - Arabic


AMSI
AMSI - Association of Muslim Scholars in Iraq - English

AMSI - Association of Muslim Scholars in Iraq - Arabic




Font size
Carattere
1 2 3





:: All events








     

[ home page] | [ tutte le notizie/all news ] | [ download banner] | [ ultimo aggiornamento/last update 02/02/2015 03:56 ]




Uruknet receives daily many hacking attempts. To prevent this, we have 10 websites on 6 servers in different places. So, if the website is slow or it does not answer, you can recall one of the other web sites: www.uruknet.info www.uruknet.de www.uruknet.biz www.uruknet.org.uk www.uruknet.com www.uruknet.org - www.uruknet.it www.uruknet.eu www.uruknet.net www.uruknet.web.at.it




:: This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more info go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
::  We always mention the author and link the original site and page of every article.
uruknet, uruklink, iraq, uruqlink, iraq, irak, irakeno, iraqui, uruk, uruqlink, saddam hussein, baghdad, mesopotamia, babilonia, uday, qusay, udai, qusai,hussein, feddayn, fedayn saddam, mujaheddin, mojahidin, tarek aziz, chalabi, iraqui, baath, ba'ht, Aljazira, aljazeera, Iraq, Saddam Hussein, Palestina, Sharon, Israele, Nasser, ahram, hayat, sharq awsat, iraqwar,irakwar All pictures

 

I nostri partner - Our Partners:


TEV S.r.l.

TEV S.r.l.: hosting

www.tev.it

Progetto Niz

niz: news management

www.niz.it

Digitbrand

digitbrand: ".it" domains

www.digitbrand.com

Worlwide Mirror Web-Sites:
www.uruknet.info (Main)
www.uruknet.com
www.uruknet.net
www.uruknet.org
www.uruknet.us (USA)
www.uruknet.su (Soviet Union)
www.uruknet.ru (Russia)
www.uruknet.it (Association)
www.uruknet.web.at.it
www.uruknet.biz
www.uruknet.mobi (For Mobile Phones)
www.uruknet.org.uk (UK)
www.uruknet.de (Germany)
www.uruknet.ir (Iran)
www.uruknet.eu (Europe)
wap.uruknet.info (For Mobile Phones)
rss.uruknet.info (For Rss Feeds)
www.uruknet.tel

Vat Number: IT-97475012153