The topic of drone strikes overseas, and, increasingly, closer to home in the United States has been a hot one in recent weeks.
While the United Nations is obviously a highly politicized body that most likely wasn’t designed with the best interests of current world citizens in mind, quality reports and respected officials do come out of the body every now and then that make you realize that there is some integrity in certain levels of the organization, which is unfortunately blocked by the politics of the big nations in charge.
Recent comments made by Christof Heyns, the UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial killings, summary or arbitrary executions, seem to confirm this. Heyns said at a Geneva conference that drone attacks by the United States in Yemen, Pakistan and other places may constitute “war crimes” and that they may encourage other countries to flout international laws.
It’s no secret that the majority of causalities in the drone wars are civilians, and it’s no secret that certain corporations get huge paydays from the use of such advanced technologies. With the U.S. holding unquestioned superiority in the skies, it may seem to many Americans that there is no risk to them personally from these types of attacks.
But Heyns makes some good points. Who’s to say that another world power won’t decide to use these same tactics down the line? Who’s to say that the U.S. won’t continue pushing for this technology at home and in other locales?
We’ve already seen the reports about drones at the southwest border and drones being used for the police/military industrial complex that is beginning to emerge. With the NDAA in effect making the world a battlefield, who knows just how far they will go?
Killing people in Call of Duty on the PS3 with a UAV drone guided by satellite is a good time for everyone involved, but drones and their continued use in real life are serious business. They represent the manifestation of the worldwide battlefield called for in the NDAA and also could represent a Minority Report-style nightmare sometime in the near future if this escalation is allowed to continue. Police staffs are being cut, so investments in more technology and less policing that are acutally humane are just a matter of time.
And there’s the little matter of whether or not drone strikes are actually effective. Just about every strike creates new martyrs, new enemies, and sows even more hatred and discord among the people in the region they target. It’s perhaps the most ineffective way I can think of to “fight terrorism,” an ideology that will only grow as the drones continue to kill dozens and dozens of innocents. No one in the media seems to mention that, but it’s common sense. It just doesn’t work.
But those of us who truly study history both recent and otherwise know that the elite ruling class that have been steering U.S. policy can never have enough enemies when it comes to carrying out their selfish plans.
There’s no limit to how far they’ll push drone technology if a movement to stop them doesn’t begin soon.