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13/f/taiwan
Member
+940|4783

AussieReaper wrote:

If it wasn't a drone it would be a chopper/A10 etc

I don't agree with targeting people from the seat of one though, there is too much of a disconnect to reality and killing someone is pushing a button from miles away.

Call one in as support, sure. But seek and destroy I don't think can clearly identify each possible threat, hence the civilian deaths.
Exactly. A drone is not just "another weapon," in the sense that it is dehumanizing how we fight wars. Creating a barrier between the weapon and the human further alleviates the moral responsibility in war.

It won't stop the US or any other country from developing robotic technology that fight wars similar to the way drones do. The Pentagon is increasing funding for the drone/robotic program while taking away from other programs. Additionally, we're establishing more military bases in the region specifically to harbor drones. The issue of ethics and legality will be tossed out once it reaches the fork in the road and people opt out for the preservation of American lives no matter how large the casualty rate is for the other side, innocent or not.

As it stands, the CIA runs the drone program overseas, answering only to the President. The Military has no authority when it comes to drone strikes. The way were conducting operations involving drone strikes leaves no room for transparency.

Last edited by 13/f/taiwan (2013-02-14 21:58:07)

unnamednewbie13
Moderator
+1,927|5856|USA

So...it's killing someone over a screen vs killing someone over a screen? You're still killing someone. Being worried about which way is more moral seems to me like it's missing the entire point of morality.
Cybargs
Moderated
+2,268|5800

unnamednewbie13 wrote:

So...it's killing someone over a screen vs killing someone over a screen? You're still killing someone. Being worried about which way is more moral seems to me like it's missing the entire point of morality.
But it's so much safer sitting in a base vs doing a CAS! you never know when you'll get shot down by a random RPG!
https://cache.www.gametracker.com/server_info/203.46.105.23:21300/b_350_20_692108_381007_FFFFFF_000000.png
unnamednewbie13
Moderator
+1,927|5856|USA

Ban submarines.
Dilbert_X
The X stands for
+1,753|5190|eXtreme to the maX

Jay wrote:

The way we're using drones today to conduct undeclared wars is abhorrent. To place that much power in the hands of one man, the president, is obscene. He gets to play judge, jury and executioner and answers to no one. Drones in support of ground troops in a war that Congress has approved of, yes. Drones on their own launching attacks without anyones say-so but the president? No. I understand why neo-cons and hawkish liberals love them: they allow them to carry out their aggressive foreign policy without having to answer to the public. Boots on the ground means casualties, and casualties mean protests and lost elections. Between Yemen, and Pakistan, and Mali, and Libya, our president has widened the scope of the war and pushed his own power far beyond what any one man should ever possess. He is not god, and he should not attempt to play that role.
I don't have a problem with drones, they're a weapon of war, its the way they're being used which is the problem.

Assassinating citizens of a country you're not at war with, without trial, oversight or anything, without being sure you've got the right person or worrying about collateral deaths of civilians is unacceptable according to all norms.

And if the You Ess Ay is allowed to summarily execute people whose opinions it doesn't like why shouldn't anyone and everyone else be allowed to?
Would 'muricans be bothered if Iran, China etc were blowing up people they thought could be people they didn't like who were resident in America, and whenever a school or bus full of uninvolved American civilians were vapourised they'd be ok with it because 'like, its a warzone dude, shit happens'?

It would be bad enough if Obama were sending out death squads to murder suspects, that he's using a different method doesn't make it any better and given the collateral deaths of citizens of a supposedly friendly country its clear this strategy will backfire in the long run.

Last edited by Dilbert_X (2013-02-15 00:42:33)

#FreeBritney
Cybargs
Moderated
+2,268|5800

unnamednewbie13 wrote:

Ban submarines.
And snipers. Those assholes sit so far away and shoot. No honor at all.
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Uzique The Lesser
Banned
+382|3339

unnamednewbie13 wrote:

So...it's killing someone over a screen vs killing someone over a screen? You're still killing someone. Being worried about which way is more moral seems to me like it's missing the entire point of morality.
why are you being so disingenuous? if you can't see how, sat in a cozy air-conditioned base in arizona, a 15 minute ride away from home, is not radically different on an existential level from being out, deployed, having to face combatants in the flesh... then you have clearly spent too many hours closeted behind the warm-glow of a PC screen, fapping to my little pony. being a soldier means a commitment to enter a theatre of war, to engage in armed combat, and to potentially risk your life. of course, minimizing that last part has always been the ideal goal... but using technology to wage wars and kill national 'threats' (very open term), with no consequence or in-your-gut feeling about it... is dehumanizing. it is literally a virtual war. there was plenty of philosophical eyebrow-raising and asking of tough questions during the time of the first gulf war, which was the first hyper-mediated war, i.e. a war comfortably and effortlessly beamed back to the homeland via cable networks and 24/7 news, with plenty of 'cool!' action-movie-esque footage to show the folks. this is a dangerous way to view war: it removes the severity and solemnity of it, and, as many telling quotidian testaments point to, makes it into a bit of a virtual-reality videogame. killing someone on a monitor from 1000's of miles away, safely embedded in the domestic scenes of your home-life, flattens the visceral experience of war into a mere simulacra of combat. to take another life is the gravest action one human being can enact upon another - it is the absolute endpoint of human agency, on a philosophical level. to make it so easy and casual is to transgress into a seriously dubious ethical swamp, indeed.

you are being so disingenuous. so an attack chopper or a fighter jet has a screen in it, thus 'mediating' the kill somehow. but the pilot is still THERE: the pilot is still existensially (pace sartre, != existential, i.e. derealized and depersonalized) and phenomenologically engaged in the total moment of killing, on a battlefield. in short, it has an immediately felt physical consequence. reducing another person - enemy or no - to a few pixels on a screen, whilst you are sat in a comfy armchair slurping on the large cola and wendy's burger that your runner just grabbed you... is not the same fucking thing. not by any measure. technology has always played a large part in warfare: true. but this marks a whole paradigm shift in how warfare is waged, and its relative ethics. it's a mutant leap akin to the leaps being made in biological/biotech research nowadays: there is simply no paradigm of ethics or normative values existing to guide this activity. without normative ethics, you are potentially going off a cliff into ruin. i think drones are far more significant (and severe) than you let on. no doubt this is in no large part because of the inherent nature of the weapon - they are 'out of sight, out of mind'. american soldiers aren't being deployed and aren't dying in the process of these 'hits', so you don't worry about it. it's why so many vociferous liberals have been so negligent in calling out obama for his drone fetish.

put it this way: if another superpower controlled the rules to the game (political or juridical), and the US was the underdog, using drones... they would likely be declared a war crime, or a crime against humanity. it's because they operate in a supra-legal capacity, with no accountability, closely allied with your covert networks/operations... that they get away with so much. drones are a travesty, imo. for both civil-homeland purposes (i.e. surveillance) and for foreign office/excursions. they entrust people making major and grave decisions with a tool that will offer those individuals a deliciously conscience- and consequence- free alternative. politicians love drones. but, remember, politicians basically have no humanity. especially current-day politicians, which are basically a legal-bureaucrat class with JD's and court experience. they ARE drones. drones who will, naturally inclined to their personal skillset, will look for any way possible to 'win' a war like they will 'win' a case - normally exploiting the grey areas in between the demarcated boundaries. drones are lawyer-shark politicians' best friend. they are an enemy of common decency, and all the 'dignity' that has ever had the temerity to be associated with war.

Last edited by Uzique The Lesser (2013-02-15 08:32:47)

unnamednewbie13
Moderator
+1,927|5856|USA

I'm being perfectly sincere, but if you put it that way, I think we should alter the geneva convention to mandate horses and bayonets for all belligerents and do away with all forms of combat that take place at ranges you'd have to squint to see without the help of machinery. Missile destroyers? Tanks? Aircraft carriers? Satellite photography? Dumbass military bronies sitting pretty on top of their CAS record? Bah, so dishonorable.

But tell me, what would your thoughts be if said horses were actually not horses but drones? What are your thoughts on projects like the "Big Dog" drone carrying equipment for us? Does all that extra stuff need to be lugged on the backs of soldiers in order for us to maintain a sense of morality? What about troops sending in camera drones to check out a building before breaking in? Is that fair play? Are they losing out on stress they should rightfully be subject to because they don't have to send a guy in first like the good old days? Should we just go around door-to-door asking if the homeowners are insurgents and then challeng them to honorable duels with well-placed glove slaps if they say yes?
Uzique The Lesser
Banned
+382|3339
again you are using a total fallacy. horses put you several feet above a person, at best (ad)vantage. a drone strike is mediated completely through a VIRTUAL environment, i.e. the aggressor isn't even there, corporeally, and, arguably, by extension, neither 'in spirit' (by that existential, metaphysical, or whatever mystical baggage you go in for). as i said in my post (which you clearly did not read in full): technology and uneven advantages have always existed, yes. horses, ranged combat, tanks, yes. all forms of mechanized warfare that can put you ahead of your opponent. but you are still THERE. you are still connected to the equipment and the actions - agency, praxis, risk, consequence.

honorable duels with glove slaps? you really are a fucking second-rate moron sometimes. i laid out very clearly and in a reasoned manner why drone warfares mark a 'new paradigm', both technologically and, subsequently, ethically. and the best you can reply with is an asinine reductio ad absurdum. well done. please, get a brain and stop wasting my time. you demean yourself with these posts that you think are 'witty' but only show your complete lack of ability to form a proper response.

Last edited by Uzique The Lesser (2013-02-15 12:12:21)

Spearhead
Gulf coast redneck hippy
+731|5774|Tampa Bay Florida
Something that hardly anyone ever discusses is the acquisition of this technology by other militaries in the future.  Drones are not exactly as complex or politically important as nuclear weapons.  There will be a time in the future when people like Kim Jong Il Junior will be using these things against their own people.  Not to mention, using them against us or our allies.
Uzique The Lesser
Banned
+382|3339
i'd be more worried about your own state using them domestically, first and foremost, before pinning all of your fears (typically) on some extreme and marginal bogeyman figure on the other side of the globe. drone contracts are being signed for domestic-civil contracts by private and public bodies alike in the west right now. in the uk a company has already been given the go-ahead to begin manufacturing them for home use. no thank you.
unnamednewbie13
Moderator
+1,927|5856|USA

Uzique The Lesser wrote:

again you are using a total fallacy. horses put you several feet above a person, at best (ad)vantage. a drone strike is mediated completely through a VIRTUAL environment, i.e. the aggressor isn't even there, corporeally, and, arguably, by extension, neither 'in spirit' (by that existential, metaphysical, or whatever mystical baggage you go in for). as i said in my post (which you clearly did not read in full): technology and uneven advantages have always existed, yes. horses, ranged combat, tanks, yes. all forms of mechanized warfare that can put you ahead of your opponent. but you are still THERE. you are still connected to the equipment and the actions - agency, praxis, risk, consequence.
I'm sorry, maybe we should encourage the enemy to infiltrate our military so they can stage attacks in "safe zone" military bases. Fair play and all. I don't know about you, but I can't live with myself knowing that somewhere, there's a sergeant at a keyboard not under mortar fire.

Especially if he has a tattoo of Rainbow Dash on his arm.


honorable duels with glove slaps? you really are a fucking second-rate moron sometimes. i laid out very clearly and in a reasoned manner why drone warfares mark a 'new paradigm', both technologically and, subsequently, ethically. and the best you can reply with is an asinine reductio ad absurdum. well done. please, get a brain and stop wasting my time. you demean yourself with these posts that you think are 'witty' but only show your complete lack of ability to form a proper response
Because this argument is absurd. This thread is titled "how do you feel about drones." I feel as if it's just another in the long line of increasingly-efficient nails in the coffin for our species, driven in by an undertaker with a prodigious reach.
Spearhead
Gulf coast redneck hippy
+731|5774|Tampa Bay Florida
Well I of course recognize the possibility of that happening, I was only talking in a hypothetical stance.  I don't think our government would actually use missiles inside our own territory.
unnamednewbie13
Moderator
+1,927|5856|USA

Spearhead wrote:

Well I of course recognize the possibility of that happening, I was only talking in a hypothetical stance.  I don't think our government would actually use missiles inside our own territory.
Great way for a government's popularity to drop to zero: bomb its own people.
Jay
Bork! Bork! Bork!
+2,003|4442|London, England

Uzique The Lesser wrote:

again you are using a total fallacy. horses put you several feet above a person, at best (ad)vantage. a drone strike is mediated completely through a VIRTUAL environment, i.e. the aggressor isn't even there, corporeally, and, arguably, by extension, neither 'in spirit' (by that existential, metaphysical, or whatever mystical baggage you go in for). as i said in my post (which you clearly did not read in full): technology and uneven advantages have always existed, yes. horses, ranged combat, tanks, yes. all forms of mechanized warfare that can put you ahead of your opponent. but you are still THERE. you are still connected to the equipment and the actions - agency, praxis, risk, consequence.

honorable duels with glove slaps? you really are a fucking second-rate moron sometimes. i laid out very clearly and in a reasoned manner why drone warfares mark a 'new paradigm', both technologically and, subsequently, ethically. and the best you can reply with is an asinine reductio ad absurdum. well done. please, get a brain and stop wasting my time. you demean yourself with these posts that you think are 'witty' but only show your complete lack of ability to form a proper response.
Uzi, you hold a very romantic notion of war that has never existed. Even during the middle ages, in the time of supposed chivalry, the losing peasants were cut down like wheat. The nobility were captured only because they held the promise of large ransoms. There's no real difference between launching a missile from a drone, or launching a cruise missile from a submarine, or firing a mortar or artillery shell towards the enemy. It's all indirect fire where you never see 'the face of your enemy'. Whether you think that's fair or not is irrelevant. It's effective, and it's not going away.

Drones as weapons on the battlefield are perfectly fine, they are simply the next evolutionary step in the long tradition of trying to kill your enemy from as far away as possible with the least possible personal risk. Kicking down doors has always been the absolute last resort on the modern battlefield, especially for the American army which has so many technological advantages over their modern enemies. From the invention of the radio, American troops have been taught to move to contact and then call in artillery to do the big damage. Worked very well against the Germans, but it fails in modern urban combat against enemies that move among the populace. Drones just take some of the risk away for the ground pounders and tilt the technological advantage back towards us a bit.

The real problem is political, not romanticism.
"Ah, you miserable creatures! You who think that you are so great! You who judge humanity to be so small! You who wish to reform everything! Why don't you reform yourselves? That task would be sufficient enough."
-Frederick Bastiat
unnamednewbie13
Moderator
+1,927|5856|USA

You don't get it, Jay, when uzique calls someone a moran, he wins.
Uzique The Lesser
Banned
+382|3339
no unnamed, you don't get it. i laid out a pretty rational and fleshed-out answer, and you 'riposted' in absurdities. i called you a moron because you were reducing yourself to the rhetorical level of a moron. if you are sincerely blind to that fact and lack the basic self-knowledge of your own self-abasement... then that is your problem. at least jay is responding with a criticism of my post's actual reasoning; you responded like a child with frivolous irrelevancy. nowhere am i calling for 'dulce et decorum est...'. nowhere am i saying war should be men slapping each other in fancy coats, with lace gloves. all i am saying is that the complete physical withdrawal of the human element of drone warfare makes it very ethically complicated. all other technological ad- or disad- vantages are merely 'on the playing field', so to speak. drone warfare, to borrow another idiom, isn't even in the same fucking ballpark. either you didn't read all of my post to get that (fairly simple) argument, or you were being an idiot for the sake of it. thus i called you a moron. thus i didn't even need to announce my 'winning'. you failed yourself.

as for jay's point about romanticism... i wouldn't exactly say i'm being idealistic. i am implicitly acknowledging that high-falutin' notions of 'honour' and 'dignity' are pretty abstract, whimsical, and tenuously connected to the actual grim realities of war. i already acknowledged that the 'risk reduction' part has always been a top consideration of war strategy. however, i do think completely removing the human-risk element marks a somewhat significant leap (or break), at least in philosophical terms. yes, cruise missiles never had a direct involvement with the target. but being involved in the 'theatre' of war (if such a vague definition will stand any scrutiny) still implies a certain level of danger: of counter-manoeuvrings, staged defenses, enemy weapon systems, etc. you're still 'deployed', basically. sure, the technological playing field is most modern wars has been so tilted that it's unlikely that an american naval ship is going to be sunk, like in the pacific ww2 or something, but still... the point stands. when you reduce things to a tv-screen remote-control simulation of the real thing, with zero risk and zero human presence whatsoever, you 'hollow' out the significance of the act of killing another person. on a phenomenological level there is very little difference between killing someone on a tv screen using a joystick, and killing a black-and-white infra-red target on the gun-ship mission of call of duty. of course people will say there is an obvious practical difference, and, well, it's obvious, duh!... but think about it. there is an infiltration of the real by the virtual here that is quite insidious. it's an ethical swamp, as i said. drones are only the beginning of this. it's not unforeseeable that more and more combat actions will be carried out robotically, or at a safe remove, in the future. i just think that complicates what it takes and what it means to kill another person. and, again, i don't think that is lofty, poetic romanticism. i think it's basic ethics.

Last edited by Uzique The Lesser (2013-02-15 13:03:32)

Jay
Bork! Bork! Bork!
+2,003|4442|London, England
I dunno, I've had rockets and mortars targeted at me (well, not me specifically, but that's kind of the point) and I fail to see a difference between a strike from a drone and a strike from an artillery shell. Either way, it's indirect fire and there is no way for the person on the ground to respond. When I first arrived in Iraq I used to curse the Iraqis for being cowards and wanted them to come out of hiding to 'fight fair', but over time I recognized that the way they were fighting was really the only way they could. If they came out in the open, they'd be hit with tanks, and artillery, and bombs.

Artillery has a range of like 10 miles I think, and all those artillerymen do is plug in coordinates in their computer, have the computer calculate wind speed and trajectory and everything else, and then they push a button to fire the gun. They never see the damage they cause, their only connection to the battle is the boom of the gun and a set of numbered coordinates on a map. They face hardly any danger. They might as well be mechanics repairing the treads on a tank for all the connection they have to the battlefield. Same goes for a helicopter pilot flying several miles away from the target and pushing a trigger on a joystick to end peoples lives that he can only see through ultra-high magnification zoom on a camera. Once you get away from the absolute front lines, everything about war is mechanical and falls well outside of your romantic notions.

unnamed wasn't that far off the mark with his posts, he was just boiling down your romanticism and mocking it with reductio ad absurdum
"Ah, you miserable creatures! You who think that you are so great! You who judge humanity to be so small! You who wish to reform everything! Why don't you reform yourselves? That task would be sufficient enough."
-Frederick Bastiat
Uzique The Lesser
Banned
+382|3339
i still think there's more consequence and more personal responsibility and involvement in firing an artillery gun than in simply being sat in a US air-base with a joystick. it's all very experiential + existential in quite lofty philosophy jargon, but the idea is firm in my head. if i kept reproducing quasi-philosophical tracts here on why i think being sat in nevada/arizona controlling a remote control bomb is somehow 'different' from loading an artillery shell in the rear-lines... well then yeah, it'll just keep being 'rebuked' by ad absurdums. that's because our friend here, unnamed - the guy who said elsewhere recently that he'd "have philosophical chats but don't think d&st could support such a thing" - evidently doesn't have much of a knack for philosophic thinking.
Dilbert_X
The X stands for
+1,753|5190|eXtreme to the maX

Spearhead wrote:

Well I of course recognize the possibility of that happening, I was only talking in a hypothetical stance.  I don't think our government would actually use missiles inside our own territory.
Why not?

I think they would, and they've already used them to kill US citizens abroad, what would the difference be?

The next time a Dorner bobs up you can bet there'll be a drone or tracked robot equipped with 'non-lethal' incendiary missiles, and so the progression will continue.

At the macro level I don't see much difference between Obama ordering a drone strike or sending a SEAL team to summarily execute someone without trial or oversight, whereas he'd go berserk if the Chinese were doing the same to US citizens in America.

Mafia hits and disappearances by the death squads of South American dictators are rightly treated as crimes, the US President doesn't have some kind of exemption from the law which allows him to abduct or kill foreign nationals.

Last edited by Dilbert_X (2013-02-15 16:07:07)

#FreeBritney
Cheeky_Ninja06
Member
+52|5817|Cambridge, England
I get where Uzique is coming from, working from home when you are a drone pilot is a whole new level to having to pack your things and go spend 6 months in the asshole of the world.

I also see the counter argument and the natural progression towards lower risk warfare, after all this is what the public wants and is the only thing that limits current western interference.
Uzique The Lesser
Banned
+382|3339
it's not a missile attached to a drone you have to be afraid of in the US: it's a surveillance camera. drones are used for dual-purposes. nobody is suggesting you should be afraid of your own government bombing you.
unnamednewbie13
Moderator
+1,927|5856|USA

Uzique, look at the title of this thread: "how do you feel about drones?" Looks an awful lot like a subjective question to me. "How do you feel?" In my infinite patience, I feel like I have to break it into segments for you and your vaunted fleshed-out and reasonable answers.

1) Coziness decreases the closer you get to the enemy, and increases the further away you are. I don't dispute this. I can well picture psychological disconnect between killing through a computer screen and killing down the barrel of a rifle. HOWEVER:
2) Whether you're shot to death at point blank, blown up by a drone or get your brains scrambled a roadside bomb, you're still dead. Interaction changes; morality does not. How is that frivolously irrelevant to the topic at hand?
3) I'd like to think that hoping mankind grows the fuck up before we become the cause of our own extinction is anything but absurd.

Ask me again to cry about drones when they start injecting targets with painful, slow-acting poison or spraying crowds of civilians with WP. I'll be just as pissed off as pretty much everyone else. Being irritated if they're used against countries we aren't at war with? Sure, I can see that.

And no, I don't think drones are going to be abandoned any time soon, any more than gunpowder.

Did I say it would be nice to see an active philosophy thread? I did, didn't I. I also said that I doubt it would work here. Let me expand on the reasons:

a) Walls of text pretending to be deep but packed to the brim with pointless insults and snarky remarks.
b) Sarcastic responses to said walls of text, resulting in even more enraged and/or insulting walls of text.
c) Cynical quips and one-liners.

I don't think you're in much of a position to critique my style when you dot 99% of your arguments with things like "stupid," "moron" and "idiot." You want people to take you more seriously? Grow the fuck up.
13urnzz
Banned
+5,830|5581

Uzique The Lesser wrote:

it's not a missile attached to a drone you have to be afraid of in the US: it's a surveillance camera. drones are used for dual-purposes. nobody is suggesting you should be afraid of your own government bombing you.
if my country surveilled me, they'd realize i'm mostly harmless.
Jaekus
I'm the matchstick that you'll never lose
+957|4263|Sydney
"mostly"

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