Moral Corrosion of Drone Warfare

Exclusive: The U.S. government uses drones to eliminate risk to its soldiers and thus domestic opposition to war, but that heightens the moral imperative to challenge the remote-controlled killings, says ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern.

By Ray McGovern

Required by court order to appear before a judge in Syracuse, New York, on July 12, some out-of-towners had already arrived there when the court granted the prosecution’s last-minute request for more time to prepare its case against us, the Jerry Berrigan Brigade, for our nonviolent witness against drone warfare on Jan. 28, 2016. A trial date is likely to be set in a month or two, or perhaps three (so much for our Sixth Amendment right to a speedy trial).

A Predator drone firing a missile.

Back in January 2016, we stood behind 30 larger-than-life-sized wooden silhouettes of Syracuse peacemaker Jerry Berrigan, who died at age 95 on July 26, 2015.

A widely loved and respected educator, Jerry – like his brothers Dan and Phil – was himself larger than life. Even in his early 90s, Jerry could be seen braving the elements, witnessing against the extrajudicial killings enabled by Hancock drone base in Syracuse.

Jerry was asked at one point if there were anything he would change in his life. “I would have resisted more often and been arrested more often,” he said.

On Jan. 28, 2016, we – the Jerry Berrigan Brigade – brought images of Jerry to the gates of Hancock as a tangible reminder that this is where he would have been standing that day, putting his body on the line to say a clear, physical “NO” to killing. Jerry’s widow and daughter were there with us, cheering us on.

Most Americans are blissfully unaware that, from states-side drone bases like Hancock, drone “pilots” – with a push of the joystick, a click of a mouse, or simply a keystroke – can incinerate “suspected terrorists,” on the other side of the globe WITHIN THREE SECONDS.

Thanks to a media that is heavily influenced by what Pope Francis (speaking before Congress in 2015) called the “blood-drenched arms traders,” it’s largely a comfortable case of out-of-sight-out-of-mind. However, the more the killing is hidden, the more we feel a moral imperative to bring the killing out into the open and appeal to the consciences of U.S. citizens – including those of drone “pilots” many of whom have moral qualms about what they are being ordered to do and end up with bad cases of PTSD.

Many of us protesters – Catholic Workers and Jewish grandmothers alike – take our cue from anti-war activist Rabbi Heschel, who braced us all with this admonition: “When injustice takes place, few are guilty, but all are responsible. Indifference to evil is more insidious than evil itself.”

Rabbi Heschel got that right. And Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. reassured us that “the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” But how long and how to make it bend?

Seventeen-plus months since our Jerry Berrigan Brigade witness at Hancock, we cannot avoid wondering just how long it will take for our case to find justice. Nor are we sure what kind of “justice” will befall us. Whatever it is, though, it will be a small price to pay, when one considers the price paid by families who slip into the crosshairs of drone-fired Hellfire missiles.

Some well-meaning soul suggested we consider apologizing – a notion far from our minds. Were we to issue an apology, it would be patterned on the one given by Jerry Berrigan’s brothers Dan and Phil and the others of the Catonsville Nine, who burned draft cards with homemade napalm 50 years ago at the height of the war in Vietnam:

“Our apologies, good friends, for the fracture of good order, the burning of paper instead of children, the angering of the orderlies in the front parlor of the charnel house. We could not, so help us God, do otherwise. For we are sick at heart, our hearts give us no rest for thinking of the Land of Burning Children.”

Good Friday Witness, 2017

“Justice” is likely to be meted out more quickly to those of us who decided that Good Friday this year would be a fitting time to honor the memory of innocent victims of Empire, given what happened to Jesus of Nazareth when he challenged Empire. This time nine nonviolent resisters, including from Upstate Drone Action and Catholic Worker, were arrested at the main entrance to Hancock drone base witnessing against Hancock’s role in drone killings.

Done “pilots” launch an MQ-1 Predator unmanned aerial vehicle for a raid in the Middle East. (U.S. military photo)

Three hung on large wooden drone crosses representing victims of U.S. drone strikes in seven majority Muslim countries. Eleven others held smaller drone crosses headed by the phrase, “DRONES CRUCIFY,” each followed by one of these: Children, Families, Love, Peace, Community, the US Constitution, UN Charter, Rule of Law, US Treaties, Due Process, or Diplomacy (in all, 14 “Stations of the Cross”). All the crosses were confiscated by Base personnel.

Perceiving a need to explain our Good Friday action we issued a statement, that includes the following: 

“Good Friday commemorates the crucifixion of Jesus. Recognizing that 70% of our nation identify as Christian, we come to the gates of the Hancock drone base to make real the crucifixion today. As Jesus and others were crucified by the Roman Empire, drones are used by the U.S. Empire in similar fashion.

“In Roman times, crosses loomed over a community to warn people that they could be killed whenever the Empire decided. So, too, our drones fly over many countries threatening extrajudicial killings upon whoever happens to be in the vicinity. On this Good Friday, we recall Jesus’ call to love and nonviolence. We’re asking this Air Force base and this nation to turn away from a policy of modern-day crucifixion.

“What if our country were constantly being spied upon by drones, with some ‘suspected terrorists’ killed by drones? What if many bystanders, including children, were killed in the process? If that were happening, we would hope that some people in that attacking country would speak up and try to stop the killing. We’re speaking up to try and stop the illegal and immoral drone attacks on countries against which Congress has not declared war.”

(A five-minute video of Nativity Scene Action at Hancock, the theme of which was: “If Herod Had Drones, Jesus, Mary, and Joseph Would Have Been Incinerated.”)

Several of those arrested on Good Friday, including me, were the same “perps” awaiting trial for the action of our Jerry Berrigan Brigade action a year and a half ago. But the judge hearing this more recent case told us when we appeared before him on July 13 that he will now set a trial date for us Good Friday protesters.

Other Witness Against Drones

Over the last couple of years there have been many protest actions and arrests at one of the most important drone bases – Creech AFB in Nevada, where many from many parts of the U.S. and abroad have demonstrated against the brutality of drone killing.

Life-size cut-outs of Jerry Berrigan arrayed to blockade at Hancock airbase in upstate New York on Jan. 28, 2016. (Screen grab from YouTube video)

Lesser known are actions in other parts of the country to raise awareness of the expansion of drone bases in localities like Des Moines, Iowa. There the Des Moines Catholic Worker and Veterans For Peace have launched a campaign to call attention to the drone assassinations in which the 132nd Wing of the Iowa Air National Guard plays a role from Des Moines airport. There have been several arrests, trials, and convictions.

The July issue of the Des Moines Catholic Worker community newspaper, Via Pacis, carries the words of Frank Cordaro, a Catholic priest, before his latest arrest in late May at the National Guard drone command in Des Moines. Frank reached back to the prophet Ezekiel to address the imperative to “blow the trumpet,” saying:

“This protest is an Ezekiel ‘Watchman’ witness. Ezekiel was a priest of the First Temple and only became a prophet after he was kicked out of Jerusalem and sent into captivity in Babylon. Once there, he started to have visions: ‘The Lord said to me, when the Watchman sees the sword coming against the land, he should blow the trumpet to warn the people.’

“The Des Moines Catholic Worker community has been a kind of Watchman for the city of Des Moines on the issues of war and peace for the past 40 years. It’s probably because we Catholic Workers have been protesting US-led wars for over 80 years nationally and 40 in Des Moines. And it’s very personal for me too. I grew up on the south side of Des Moines and this airport is just blocks away from the neighborhood I grew up in.”

Needed: more Watchmen and Watchwomen. A drone base may soon be coming to your own neighborhood.

Ray McGovern works for a publishing arm of the Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington.  He has written about the moral imperative of activism and tries to heed it.  He was an Army officer and then a CIA analyst for 30 years, and is now on the Steering Group of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS).

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80 comments for “Moral Corrosion of Drone Warfare

  1. Cal
    July 16, 2017 at 3:03 am

    Impressive.

    As for how long it takes for “the arc of the moral universe’ to bend toward justice…..it might not bend until the evil doers die and go to hell…..Unless we give it a little help.

    • Sam F
      July 16, 2017 at 5:51 am

      Yes, a good article by a dedicated man who left the military. I was approached to engineer the early drone satellite communications and upon reflection refused, citing the fact that the US has neither the maturity nor the good will to have more advanced weapon systems. But I knew that others would do the job, and have generally suffered a stigma when my reforming views become known in workplaces, so am not sure that it is persuasive. Yet often I am surprised that others oppose US warmongering. We are a minority struggling to teach, against overt and hidden repression, and mass media suppression.

      • Bob Van Noy
        July 16, 2017 at 9:00 am

        Sam F., I, for one, appreciate your decision. GroupThink is always hard to oppose, yet acceptance of opposition is probably the greatest indicator of a truly free society. Thank You!

      • Joe Tedesky
        July 16, 2017 at 11:18 am

        We need more like you Sam F.

      • Joe Average
        July 16, 2017 at 12:06 pm

        Sam F,

        sadly there will always be others to do immoral work. The reasoning that someone else would’ve done the unethical task if one would’ve refused to do it is used to ease the own guilt. Kudos for your decision to refuse to participate in an immoral system. You can sleep well at night, knowing that you didn’t do anything wrong by resisting. I hope your teaching against repression will be heard and put into practice by those who’re listening to you.

      • Sam F
        July 16, 2017 at 7:10 pm

        Bob, Joe T, and Joe A, thanks. Dissent has also a strengthening effect, when one is engaged in activity one knows to be on the right track to doing some real good. Then one feels invincible, at least against hypothetical hazards. Time and aging, the past, and dismal predictions for the national future, no longer matter during major practical humanitarian projects.

  2. Pierre Anonymot
    July 16, 2017 at 3:53 am

    Drones represent the same evanescent morality of their great promoter, John Brennan, ex-Director of the CIA appointed by the CIA’s spokesperson, Obama. Note that Cheney loved them as did the Clinton. Everyone who loves war, its blood, and profit loves drones.

    • Sam F
      July 16, 2017 at 6:07 am

      It is a curious problem that a weapon which in principle could sharply reduce civilian casualties versus invasions, is used instead to conduct expanded secret warfare with no rationale broadly debated and approved, no publicly admitted or very definite policy or goal, and no record of policy success. Just as the institutions of a legitimate democracy became corrupted by economic power to serve oligarchy, so the weapons of defense are used by tyrants to serve oligarchy. The secrecy of modern weapons allows the oligarchy to advance their secret goals.

      Indeed it is the selfishness of this society that drives government corruption and the private love of abuse of military power. The people see symbolic personal revenge for the circumstances imposed upon them by oligarchy, in the wars run by oligarchy at the expense of the people. That selfishness results from control of social education through the control of mass media and elections by oligarchy. We cannot get constitutional amendments to restrict funding of mass media and elections to limited individual contributions, because those are the tools of democracy themselves, needed to promote any reform.

      So reform is not likely to be achieved by education including demonstrations, until a greater part of the people feel threatened by militarism and its costs, but until then the public should be kept aware of the alternative views by heroic demonstrations.

      • Joe Tedesky
        July 16, 2017 at 11:30 am

        A turning point may come when one day in the U.S. the news reports how the police in some American city just took out the wrong family, or there was collateral damage, when the police bombed a house somewhere in Jersey or somewhere like that. This would be the ‘chickens coming home to roost’.

        • Joe Average
          July 16, 2017 at 12:14 pm

          Joe,

          the US police are already taking out the wrong people (Tamir Rice, Philando Castile, …) and it’s reported as well, but most US citizens are still asleep and don’t realize what’s going on. John W. Whitehead has written many articles on this topic. Sadly he doesn’t seem to reach a large audience and his message isn’t spread on a wider scale.

          • Joe Tedesky
            July 16, 2017 at 12:19 pm

            Good point Joe.

        • Sam F
          July 16, 2017 at 7:03 pm

          Yes, I think that a turning point may come sooner than I usually predict (40-80years), due to instability during a period of retrenchment, embargo, and defeated military adventurism. Radically new internet methods of moral and social education, and public debate, may force out oligarchy dominance of public thought and debate. Usually three generations are needed to effect major social change, but two might do it under those conditions. Thanks for your support, Joe.

  3. John Puma
    July 16, 2017 at 3:54 am

    What about the moral imperative to oppose the US perpetual war-for-profit altogether?

    Drones are simply a small component of this proof of the logical, economic, social, political, moral (and a few other modifiers) bankruptcy of the high holy capitalism that has to destroy the persons it sanctimoniously alleges to serve in a mode superior any/all alternatives.

  4. Hamed
    July 16, 2017 at 4:02 am

    The drone in the first article’s picture is not Predator. It’s a MQ-9 Reaper:)

  5. john wilson
    July 16, 2017 at 4:38 am

    Drones and warfare is immoral full stop. However, drones are no more immoral than dropping monster bombs from 30,000 feet that incinerate everything, men. women, children animals etc in a quarter mile radius. They are no more immoral than shelling civilian neighborhoods with field guns situated several miles away. Saying drones are immoral (which they are) suggests that other forms of killing is ok. It doesn’t matter what new invention comes along, man will soon find a way to use it to kill people and electricity is a case in point, because as soon as it was seen how dangerous it is they invented the electric chair!

    • Sam F
      July 16, 2017 at 6:19 am

      Yes, see my reply to Pierre above. Drones offer the means to reduce civilian casualties, but instead have been used to expand secret wars with no publicly debated rationale, no admissible purpose, and no record of policy success.

    • July 16, 2017 at 1:47 pm

      Edison convinced Sing Sing to implement the electric chair in order to disparage Tesla’s AC current ( as opposedto DC championed by Edison).

  6. July 16, 2017 at 7:17 am

    Fucken America should be embargo until its dumb people wake up and clean up the mess in Washington. Boycott everything made in that sick country ! (Including its peoples)

    • doray
      July 16, 2017 at 11:01 am

      Not all of us stuck in the empire support its evil, Jean-Claude. I’m a decades long activist starting with the Vietnam invasion when I was 16. Please don’t lump all Americans in with the murderers of our government. I would LOVE to find another country to live in, but few will take me at over 60 now. Also, there are few nations that don’t follow the US into its invasions, and when they do, they open themselves up as being its enemy as well. Look what happened to Libya, Syria, Yemen, Honduras, El Salvador, Bolivia, etc., etc., etc.. I speak out EVERY DAY in some form against the evil this government perpetuates. I figure, like those in the article, that will eventually make me an enemy of this state, but I will never stop speaking out and protesting the new Hitler of the world.

      However, I do agree that the US should have sanctions inflicted on it. I’d be willing to make that sacrifice if that action would get its evil ways in check. Boycotting products made in America means no burgers or weapons will be exported, being as how that’s about all we manufacture here, but cutting the IMPORTS is a great idea, and might have the right effect.

  7. Randal Marlin
    July 16, 2017 at 7:46 am

    Many years ago during the Vietnam war, a reporter on board a US warship described how a gunner would be pushing a button that would fire shells that would kill enemy soldiers on the ground. The gunner was in air-conditioned comfort, watching movies for entertainment, sipping a milkshake or something. After pushing the button there would be a short interval and someone on the ground would radio an estimate of how many KIAs (Killed in Action) the shelling had accomplished. The gunner was totally nonchalant and invited the report to push the button himself, an invitation he refused. I remember reading this Newsday account with a certain feeling of horror. The drones multiply that same feeling many times over. Where, in all of this, is a sense of moral responsibility? The button-pusher is just following orders. The order-giver is not actually carrying out the deed.
    We need more reporting from the side of the victims, and more accounting from the order-givers, and more accounting from the people who elect those whose policies allow for what is literally, to appearances at least, an unconscionable activity.

    • doray
      July 16, 2017 at 11:40 am

      “We need more reporting from the side of the victims,…”
      Seeing the Vietnam invasion on TV every night made the American people finally march in the streets and demand the invasion be stopped. Now, it’s “illegal” for them to show coffins with dead soldiers in them, much less the slaughter those soldiers inflicted on innocents. Google images like “Fallujah Babies,” And “children killed in Iraq,” are available and should be shown on a daily basis.
      Honestly though, I’ve been kicking and screaming and talking and walking and protesting til I’m blue in the face and Americans just don’t give a rat’s ass about those we slaughter by the bajillions. That quote by Rabbi Heschel is all about apathetic Americans, “When injustice takes place, few are guilty, but all are responsible. Indifference to evil is more insidious than evil itself.” Sadly, that describes the vast majority of America. There was an anti-war march on Washington in 2007 in which 300,000 people marched. There were awesome demonstrations like the one CodePink did with thousands of pairs of shoes of all sizes, each with the name tag of someone we murdered with our bombs in Iraq. Little baby shoes, kids shoes, elder’s shoes. Barely a blip on the corporate media radar. When the evil ones own the media, they get to tell whatever lies it takes to fervor up the ignorant population, just like Hitler did. There are defense contractors on the executive boards of many corporate media outlets. The corporations own and operate their lying machines, and Americans are too nationalistically stupid to realize they’re being duped into bringing on the end of the planet in myriad ways. If the wars don’t kill us, the climate will. They don’t have a clue. They wave their false flags of freedumb and erroneously claim we’re the best, so “f” the rest. Sadly, Trump really does represent the majority of America – ignorant, arrogant, and apathetic to any suffering but their own personal issues, like not being able to find the cord to their iPhones, and who’s going to win the “Bachelorette.”
      Democracy Now! reported that Erik Prince, (Mr. Mercenary Soldier Salesman), wants to send his professional soldiers to Afghanistan so the American people won’t be upset at sending troops back there. That’s how they’ve gotten away with not having a draft. Also, massive military contractors, like Cheney’s Halliburton, get billions for providing what soldiers used to do themselves (food and shelter), so more bodies can be freed up for killing. They’ve gotten this slaughter thing down to a smooth operation to placate the American people into falling for perpetual war while their own nation falls apart at the seams. They have no clue they’re being socially engineered to vote and cheer against their own best interests.

      • Joe Tedesky
        July 16, 2017 at 12:04 pm

        Your post could possibly be the most hard hitting post on this comment board today. I can only urge others to read your words doray and contemplate to what your words mean. You are right the media isn’t going to make the same mistake the government made years ago when it wasn’t able to control the media, like when Walter Cronkite said Vietnam was a loss cause. I wish I had the answer, but I don’t. Although you made an impression on me, so I guess word of mouth will have to do for now.

        Pour yourself whatever it is that quench’s your thirst, and enjoy your day doray…hey that rhymes.
        Joe

        • Joe Tedesky
          July 16, 2017 at 12:20 pm

          To be clear Sam F experiences are hard hitting also.

      • Neil Nuttree
        July 16, 2017 at 1:11 pm

        Humans, as we are now, are selectively bred for war and aggression, and even though our brains are wired rewards for kindness and compassion, our march has most rewarded the ruthless and greedy.
        To the victor go the spoils. And spoilage is contagious.
        The rewards for such behavior can be nullified by offering something better? It may take generations but it starts with person-person tolerance and compassion, and person- fictitious person questioning intolerance.

        • Joe Tedesky
          July 17, 2017 at 12:01 am

          You know Neil, the biggest regret to how our country has used it’s mighty leverage, is a blunder to the evolution of man/womankind. The U.S. during this reign of military might could have had the leverage, and the global resources to bring every nation to the table for peace. Instead of selling arms, we would be in charge, along with other nations, of taking the arms off the world market. For the U.S. it will be a lucky coincidence of fate, if the world’s next military power will take a page out of our current U.S. Foreign & Military policy, and bring the hammer down on us. So even beyond emotion, this misusedleverage is incalculably stupid.

      • Dave P.
        July 16, 2017 at 9:02 pm

        doray: Very heartfelt comments. I wish your voice can reach all American homes.

  8. MaDarby
    July 16, 2017 at 8:44 am

    Morality has nothing what-so-ever with geopolitics. There is no moral component to international relations, and no one believes there is. No analysts deals with anything but “national interests” these interests have nothing to do with the well being of anyone except those in power. Morality can be summed up in one word, one law, one observation – one “rule” – the law and rule of power. Geo politics and capitalism are about the concentration of wealth eventually by one person or family.

    Please someone show me anything different today from 1000 years ago. It is still ruthless aggression against infidels and a feudal economy in service to the oligarchy.

    The more things change the more they stay the same.

    Morality, decency, democracy, freedoms all came form the enlightenment but there was never an enlightenment for power or business those remained above such weaknesses. Enlightenment of course never applied to the Calvinist extremists, a religion like the others who’s ideology preceded the enlightenment and was essentially unaffected by it.

    All the ideas of the enlightenment where quite skillfully usurped by the high priests in cooperation with the oligarchy to oppress and control the population.

    The high priests and oligarchs are in those positions of vast power because they display the characteristics which are required – unyielding ruthlessness and the pathological lack of any concern for the consequences to others – the powerful simply DO NOT CARE what happens to others, their suffering is of no consequence to them.

    This means that nuclear war is a very real possibility, a billion killed – mah says the oligarchy.

  9. Patrick
    July 16, 2017 at 8:54 am

    War has few rules. The enemy will come with A.I. steered drones. What do you do? Stick with moral principles and get killed or engage the enemy with the same weapons? Think it’s time that we stop being naive. UN-Security council? Again, stop being naive! The UN-SC couldn’t stop usage of chemical warfare, cluster bombs,…so you think that if the enemy first invests hundreds of millions of dollars in an AI-steered drone that they will just promise not to use it? Put away the coke and face reality!

    • Joe Tedesky
      July 16, 2017 at 11:40 am

      Patrick no one is against readiness, but what we don’t like is the illegal abuse of killing innocent people. If you love this country, as much as you seem too, you should not support this random at will killing. I’m sorry, for me, this is not the America I want it to be. Yes, we can prepare ourselves everyday to keep our defenses up, but this aggressive behavior our military now has is not okay, nor is it legally performed. Don’t confuse patriotism with outward illegal aggression. This was the mistake that many well intentioned Germans made during WWII. FDR’s anti colonialism is worth pursuing in today’s world. We can protect, but we don’t have to arbitrarily kill people, in order to be the home of the free, and the land of the brave.

      Hoorah Patrick take care my friend Joe

    • doray
      July 16, 2017 at 12:16 pm

      We have a Department of Defense, NOT a Department of OFFENSE, but that’s what it’s being used for, Patrick. (Notice the absence of a Department of PEACE!) No other nation on Earth has nearly 1,000 military bases around the globe. No other nation invades on false pretenses like we do in the name of protecting American corporate financial interests, many of which are devastating to the lands they’re in. We screw over more people on earth than any other nation by far! We poison peoples’ water, land, and air for profit, and OUR TAX DOLLARS go to protect CORPORATE INTERESTS in doing so! Our government want to take over the planet, and that’s just flat out WRONG! No other nation on Earth invades and slaughters on the scale we do. Our military budget equals the next 18 nations COMBINED! So your argument for cluster bombs, napalm, and depleted uranium being okay because someone else might have them is ridiculous. Most nations against us, are DEFENDING THEMSELVES against our invasions for their resources because the puppeteers who run this nation believe God granted them manifest destiny over the entire planet.

    • Joe Average
      July 16, 2017 at 12:31 pm

      Patrick,

      you’re correct with your statement that “UN-SC couldn’t stop usage of chemicalf warfare, cluster bombs …”. Nobody stopped the US from using chemical warfare (Agent Orange or Napalm in Vietname; depleted uranium in Yugoslavia, Iraq and Syria), “unethical” weapons (white phosphorous – Fallujah) and biological weapons (alternative media reports strongly suggest that biological warfare had been used by the US in North Korea).

    • Sam F
      July 16, 2017 at 1:43 pm

      Be careful of pretenses that we are under attack or likely to be attacked: nothing could be more false, as we have the best natural defenses in the world, and have not been attacked since 1812.

      Developing and building advanced weapons is not a defense, it has functioned as a provocation to escalation.

      I’m sure that you have not found that those who disagree with the bully need to “put away the coke.” Few are what the right wing pretended could be dismissed as intoxicated; that was an excuse of guilty and opportunistic warmongers to deny the truth. They have personal motives to learn rationales for violence.

      You must be listening to antique 1970s rationalizers of violence, usually in the MIC/intel and related industry. I suggest getting away from those pseudo-manly people. It takes far more courage to disagree, even when you have learned the reasons to do so. Think about how few of them dare to disagree in their social groups, even when they have good reason. Unnecessary violence is a cowardly pretense of manhood.

  10. F. G. Sanford
    July 16, 2017 at 9:02 am

    Drone warfare as currently practiced may be reduced to simple terms. It is the practice of firing rocket propelled bombs at third world poverty stricken populations from radio-controlled model airplanes. This practice has been confined to geographic areas in which the US and its NATO allies have never waged a successful ground operation. Never. Drone warfare has only ever been successfully conducted against forces which lack air defenses, radar, radio jamming capabilities, satellite technology and fighter aircraft. Drones rely on satellite telecommunications, a weal link easily overcome by technologically competent opponents. Without getting into the esoterica of “just war” theory, suffice to say that this constitutes an egregious war crime. It violates both proportionality and strategic specificity. In its current mode of employment, it amounts to a “terror weapon”, just as did the V1 and V2 rockets of WWII fame.

    I’m sure that Ray will spend more time in jail than Dick Cheney, John Brennan, et al. That is, unless some technologically capable opponent turns the tables. In such case, the profligate utilization of these weapons has been well documented. Our judiciary condones it, and it is no secret that our executive branch willfully and with official premeditation orders its use. Prosecutors at a war crimes tribunal will have little difficulty amassing sufficient evidence. Fascist regimes require war as a means of economic self-perpetuation. They are not sustainable without it. Two thirds of all the world’s superpowers and many of their technologically advanced allies recognize that current Middle East wars are being fostered to preserve petrodollar hegemony. Economic and military overextension have created a conundrum from which there is no escape. Withdrawal means economic collapse. Continued aggression invites eventual retaliation. Either way, the perpetrators face Nuremberg consequences…and they know it. Sooner or later, some coalition will decide that, as they did in WWII, enough is enough. Otherwise, they forfeit their own survival.

    The strategy we now witness is an attempt to maintain low intensity conflict for as long as possible. In the long run, it will fail. But the perpetrators hope that the end of their natural lifespans will deliver them from a morally deserved appointment with a noose. Time ran out for the Germans. It may run out for Americans too.

    • Joe Tedesky
      July 16, 2017 at 11:53 am

      F. G. following up on something we spoke too the other day; this Sunday morning I watched on liberal media MSNBC Joy Reid defend Colonel Ralph Peters against Tucker Carlson’s debating the warmongering half crazed Colonel. To me, this is what’s wrong in our country. That now liberals are the party of hate, and aggression. We can thank Madam Hillary once again for how the Clinton’s keep leading the sheep towards the execution bin. Just utterly amazing how America loss it’s Left influences.

      I’m also wondering to when our U.S. military will go completely robotic. I’m sure that there is a lot of R&D going into this futuristic warfare, and that the unveiling of this kind of war weaponry isn’t far from being introduced. Picture a MOAB being dropped, and a bunch of robots being released on the ground to do the clean up.

      I like how you compare our aggressive mindset to the mindset of the Third Reich. More people should become aware of this, and be able to readjust their perspective. So, keep on keeping on my friend, your words are most valuable, as usual.

      I remember growing up when someone said, look up, what is that, is it a plane, no it’s super man, now it’s a drone.

      Have a good day F.G. Joe

      • Zachary Smith
        July 16, 2017 at 2:57 pm

        Picture a MOAB being dropped, and a bunch of robots being released on the ground to do the clean up.

        Unfortunately the follow-up crew is more likely to be a bunch of uniformed disposables drugged to their eyballs with medications which make them totally fearless. OR, the same crew with tiny brain implants which essentially turn them into “robots” guided by remote control.

        Mechanical robots are expensive, and the fellows who have been swept up in the Top 1% Poverty Draft are most definitely not. Besides, all the R&D has taken place during the last million years of evolution.

        • Joe Tedesky
          July 16, 2017 at 3:57 pm

          You make a perfect argument to no doubt how it work. Drones, and robots, I’m sure are more expensive than some drugged proxy.

    • Joe Average
      July 16, 2017 at 12:42 pm

      F. G. Sanford,

      part of your comment “Drones rely on satellite telecommunications, …” reminds me of an aspect that’s neglected when it comes to the topic of drone warfare. If the German state wouldn’t support the drone warfare (by permitting US military to use the Air Base Ramstein for relaying the signal), the US military would’ve rely on satellites or different countries. I’m still trying to figure out if Germany is a colony of the US or co-perpetrator.

    • Zachary Smith
      July 16, 2017 at 2:51 pm

      Time ran out for the Germans. It may run out for Americans too.

      That’s not the way to bet your money, especially the way things are going in both the US and the world as a whole.

      Our judiciary condones it, and it is no secret that our executive branch willfully and with official premeditation orders its use.

      I’ll add that I haven’t gotten word of any Legislative Branch objections, either. What is happening with the US use of Drones is illegal, but the US is so darned good and pure that we’re above the laws enacted for more ordinary nations. What the dingleberries who started this forgot was that the inexpensive “radio-controlled model airplanes” you spoke of can fly both directions. ISIS is already attaching small bombs or grenades to their drones and dropping them on enemies. It’s all very nice to be on the “giving” end of this sort of murder, but on the “receiving” side the prospect suddenly doesn’t look so nice. Not only US soldiers in their tents and foxholes, but the Big Brass Way Back There can start looking for sudden death dropping from apparently clear skies. The drones are small, and I’d imagine making the smaller models nearly or totally invisible to ordinary radars will be a piece of cake. Their control systems needn’t be easily detectable, either.

      I have a lot of sympathy for Mr. McGovern’s protests against drones, and even more for his tribulations with the prosecutors. As they say, Justice Delayed Is Justice Denied. The Government is ignoring its obligations for a speedy trial and imposing much higher legal costs on the protestors. Also much more unnecessary mental suffering – just because they know that their ignoring the law won’t be ever be held against them.

      That said, the Drones are nothing special in the way of illegal weapons. Anybody firing artillery towards a town or city is just as indifferent to who dies. Ditto for the men in high-level airplanes with big bombs or in fast-moving low-level aircraft with bullets and small bombs. They have no idea who is going to die when their bombs and bullets strike, and neither do the men who ordered them to fly the mission. And Drones are – by way of comparison – positively innocent weapons when compared with the use of depleted uranium in Iraq, Syria, and Yugoslavia. That radioactive dust is going to continue to kill for tens of thousands to millions of years.

      So I’m going to argue that the words “moral” and “morality” ought to be discarded in favor of “legal” and “lawless”. When – as in WW2 – the military chaplains blessed the artillery men and the airmen, wasn’t it reasonable for those men to believe they weren’t doing the right thing in smiting the dreadful enemy? My reading suggests even the bombs themselves often got a full blessing. In the second battle of Fallujah news reports had those military chaplains pulling the lanyards of artillery pieces firing white phosphorus into the city.

      Focusing on “law” and “legality” isn’t going to matter much so long as the US remains a lawless society from top to bottom, but at least it avoids the laser-like focus on a specific weapons system while ignoring all the others which are as bad or worse.

      • Zachary Smith
        July 16, 2017 at 3:04 pm

        *Sigh*

        “…wasn’t it reasonable for those men to believe they weren’t doing the right thing in smiting the dreadful enemy?”

      • Sam F
        July 17, 2017 at 8:52 am

        The terms “legal” and “lawless” as you note are also meaningless standards in this society because the judiciary as well are “a lawless society from top to bottom.” But “moral” and “morality” may be used in a nonsectarian sense, rather than that of the religious few that promote war or find it congenial enough.

        The entire federal judiciary are corrupt from top to bottom, with perhaps a very few hypothetical exceptions. Their only function is to dismiss claims of their political opponents, and then make principled-sounding pronouncements whenever that will benefit their political party supporters. There is no worse locus of corruption than the judiciary. Lying and abuse of office is their lifelong skill and ambition, and the worse and more obvious it is, the more they delight in it. This is lesser known than political corruption, only because the public does not read cases and analyze their idiotic and anti-constitutional rationalizations.

    • Sam F
      July 17, 2017 at 9:16 am

      The US could withdraw completely from the Mideast without any significant effect: the “petrodollar” concept is the invention of zionists, who control US mass media and politicians far more than KSA et al. Buyers of US bonds still have few secure alternatives. We can still buy oil from whomever has it, like everyone else, and as a neutral would have more sources.

      “Continued aggression invites eventual retaliation” and “Economic and military overextension” have certainly created problems, and the sooner the US is contained, embargoed, and forced into severe depressions, the sooner we can restore democracy. Then we can make some social progress instead of wasting our lives and the entire potential of the “free world” in serving the tyrants of oligarchy.

  11. July 16, 2017 at 9:32 am

    I believe The Ghouls Rule:
    ————————————————–
    The Ghouls of the Earth

    The ghouls of the earth are in control
    To the devil they have sold their souls
    Creators of chaos, filth and war
    Expensively dressed and rotten to their core

    The world stage is their platform
    Where they shake hands and embrace
    You can watch these villains perform
    As they murder the human race

    Their head office is: “The House of Blood”
    The House is white, but conceals the crud
    A place where murders are planned
    A place that plans war in many lands

    The carnage creators feed off the atrocities
    Massive profits are made off bloody ferocities
    Corporate cannibals are vampires in suits
    And all the ghouls are counting their loot

    Criminals and gangsters are in control
    The evil they perpetuate has taken a toll
    Countries destroyed, millions are dead
    Millions are refugees, and millions have bled

    Who will bring justice and truth as well?
    Who will arrest these demons from hell?
    Who will punish them for their satanic role?
    The Ghouls of the Earth are in control…

    [much more info at link below]

    http://graysinfo.blogspot.ca/2017/07/the-ghouls-of-earth.html

    • mike k
      July 16, 2017 at 10:58 am

      Excellent Stephen. Your poems somehow express more than mere prose can do. The feeling is there, and something more also. I wish your poems could be published in a book with illustrations and photographs of some of the atrocities being perpetrated in our world today. I wish your book would become a best seller, and help awaken the sleeping public what is being done in their name, out of their sight. You could title it A Window Into Hell On Earth.

  12. Danny Weil
    July 16, 2017 at 10:59 am

    There needs to be a moral argument against war. The problem it seems, is that this moral argument is wrapped in religion and religions past.

    Forgetting religion, the morality of killing is the issue in question, for all people.

    • Michael Morrissey
      July 16, 2017 at 11:59 am

      Religion and morality have little in common, considering the immoral acts and crimes against Life that have been committed in the name of various religions.
      Heartfelt thanks to Ray for all he and others do, and if “religion” helps them do it, fine. But I for one give the credit to Ray (et al.), where it’s due.

      • Joe Tedesky
        July 16, 2017 at 12:10 pm

        Listening to Ray, I couldn’t help to think of how divided our nation is. Imagine the divide between the Christian community. On one side you have people like Ray, and to the extreme you have these right wing Christian evangelicals. Amazing that so different of ideologies could spring from one book. Maybe we should remain illiterate, and stupid, or at least some of us should be confined to being dumb and happy. I know that’s wrong, but how do we educate the masses?

      • Joe Average
        July 16, 2017 at 12:47 pm

        Michael,

        morality is part of Religions. Judaism, Christianity and Islam are based on the Old Testament. Part of the Old Testament are the Ten Commandments. It’s religious leaders (Rabbis, Priests and Imams) who had been (and still do so) twisting the teachings (for example by declaring others as non-believers and thus not subject to keep to the Ten Commandments). Man is wicked and not the Religions.

    • Neil Nuttree
      July 16, 2017 at 12:32 pm

      Agreed, for all people. The countdown is on for the overpopulation battle between the respect for all life and the love of money. One is a moral, sustainable path, the other the selfish road to species extinction.
      As Zappa famously put it, “the meek shall inherit nothing”: there is a moral imperative for right action to stand against the tide of wealth and power that mindlessly unravels life and creation.
      Or maybe, if the world does survive the human killing frenzy, the incoming power of genetics may present to the supremely wealthy and powerful the ability to deliver a breeding sterility to the superfluous people, and perhaps also the ability to live a long long time. Then perhaps they may have a breathing room to contemplate and correct their immoral ways. Slim chance in a cattle fattened world?

      • Joe Average
        July 16, 2017 at 1:02 pm

        Hans Rosling – physician and statistician – has debunked the myth of overpopulation. You’ll find several of his speeches on youtube. We – in the West – are wasting most natural resources. The idea of an ever expanding economy on a planet with finite resources is contradicting itself. Genetics and all ideas that accompany this technology will most likely end up in Eugenics. According to alternative news sites, the genetic modification of cotton crops (and the need for expensive pesticides) resulted in thousands of Indian farmers being bankrupted and committing suicide.

    • Susan Sunflower
      July 16, 2017 at 1:56 pm

      Most “justified” killing is donie in the name of self-defense … that concept has become unrecognizable when you look at the “war on terrorism”, stand-your-ground laws, and police killings of unarmed civilians who posed questionable (or obviously nonexistent) threat.

      Old enough to remember the claims that, in particular, foreigners did not value human life … and that we cared more about civilians’ lives and “rights” than the leaders of the countries we were bombing … be it Iraq, Bosnia, Syria … Claim is still in use

      The “war on terror” was meant to be a distraction from the utter failure of our national security apparatus that allowed 09/11 … regardless of the success of that same apparatus in thwarting a number of in-motion millennial attacks. 09/11 was quickly recognized to be that “new Pearl Harbor” referenced in the PNAC manifesto, “shock doctrine” put into effect globally … because “extremism in defense of liberty is no vice” … sorry Charlie, that’s not whitewash enough. … that’s what they all say … “I was skeered for my life”

  13. Susan Sunflower
    July 16, 2017 at 12:55 pm

    We are fighting the most appallingly asymmetrical warfare — the most powerful and expensive technology available against guerillas whose arsenals top out at IEDs and occasional Manpads and artillery (although our “generosity” in Syria may have “improved” the sophistication of their stock and their communications) … oh, and we’re — by and large — still losing … even when “we” are winning against forces with no air force. Mosul by reports has not only been demolished, like Kobane before it, reduced to rubble, reports of summary execution of civilians and the Tigris awash with corpses, bound and showing evidence of torture FOLLOW that victory.

    Taking candy from a baby is meant to suggest an easy (but despicable) win … the baby utterly incapable of defending its lollypop and unable to retrieve it bigger, more cunning elders.

    Yes, we had about a decade of report celebrating the “efficiency” of drones, even as reports of mass casualties of wedding parties and funerals and double-taps piled up.

    The Benghazi attack was found to have likely been in retaliation for the drone assasination of the brother of a local militia leader a few days prior … funny how Hillary and Susan Rice failed to mention at the time and it was only dug out in one of the later useless Benghazi hearings.

    More interestingly, we are often using drone strike as “targeted assasination” even though we should have learned by now that not only does “cutting off the head of the snake” barely impact the army, it tends to strengthen their resolve and are used in recruitment … not only do we do not fight honorably, we do not even allow our enemies the dignity of a death in battle — we simply blow them up .. whereever we find them … awake, asleep, eating a meal, driving a car … that’s what having an unlimited budget allows apparently.

    Trying to argue with people about the intrinsic immorality of these battles and these weapons where “our interests” much less “existential threats” are hard to find is depressing beyond words …

    • Susan Sunflower
      July 16, 2017 at 1:04 pm

      The furor over the distribution of tactical nukes across central Europe (NATO countries) has faded to silence … it’s not hard to imagine their use becoming acceptable like drones following a similar several-year-long PR campaign …

  14. July 16, 2017 at 12:59 pm

    More on the “armchair assassins” below:
    December 15, 2012

    Are They Armchair Assassins?

    They watch computer screens in cozy armchairs
    Are they Armchair Assassins in their secure lairs?
    Are they operators of death and destruction?
    Are they “legalized” hitmen? Do they have no compunction?

    Some of their “work” hours are nine to five
    They press their buttons and bring death to the alive
    Sometimes they kill children, “but it’s all a mistake”
    An apology will be issued for any “errors” they make

    Collateral damage is the deceptive words used
    When innocents are slaughtered and murdered too
    Some even call this “responsibility to protect”
    Then they praise this hellish and sick effect

    But hey, these are the “good guys,’’ do they sanction murder?
    Where is the law? Are we seeing a disorder?
    Is there no respect for life, and human decency?
    Can killing be “legitimized” instead of being an obscenity?

    Is something very wrong in this world today?
    Can authorized killing be legal anyway?
    No pleas, No trials, No laws, No courts of justice
    Can an illegal death sentence be totally callous?

    Do we have “official” terrorists: name calling terrorists?
    Has murder been incorporated amongst the “best” of us?
    We all better think and perhaps beware
    Are there state approved assassins in comfortable armchairs?
    [more info at link below]
    http://graysinfo.blogspot.ca/2012/12/are-they-armchair-assassins.html

    • mike k
      July 16, 2017 at 10:15 pm

      To these armchair assassins I say, beware lest the light in you be darkness. Please become aware that you are heroes – of the Dark Side. Another good poem Stephen. Keep calling them out!

      • July 16, 2017 at 10:31 pm

        Thanks mike K. I try.
        cheers Stephen

  15. Danny Weil
    July 16, 2017 at 1:58 pm

    The article is wisdom. I want to Socratically deviate, but not really, to talk about:

    The neo-Nazi Daily Stormer’s troll army”, in its latest campaign this morning, now old news, claimed that CNN was blackmailing a “teen shitposter.” By a bideo attributed to CNN by some unknown hacker. CNN is trash, and thus thy and the corporate insane media have laid down the tracks for the rail tracks that will lead right into another Fourth Reich.

    (https://www.splcenter.org/hatewatch/2017/07/05/daily-stormer-troll-army-threatens-cnn-staffers-over-reddit-user-behind-trumpcnn-gif).

    In a recent post,

    Andrew Auernheimer, an international Nazi and editor of The Daily Storm Trooper sates, re: the corporate news propagandist, CNN:

    “CNN, this is your one singular chance to walk back this behavior of public blackmail. You have one week to fix this.”

    Auernheimer’s list of demands includes the public firing of the KFile team, a denouncement of their alleged threats, a $50,000 college scholarship for HanAssholeSolo, and a public assurance that “he and his family will never be harmed by your organization.”

    https://www.splcenter.org/hatewatch/2017/07/05/daily-stormer-troll-army-threatens-cnn-staffers-over-reddit-user-behind-trumpcnn-gif

    This stinks of dead history. It is the rectum of fascism and must be understood and not taken lightly. These people are growing, nationally and individually.

    Liberalism is the scourge that prevents us from eliminaiing these fascist insects. Class struggle now, all the way. As it always has been.

  16. July 16, 2017 at 2:10 pm

    The most unconscionable evil of warfare is that it’s waged against civilians / non-combatants and has always been thus waged. What were, for example, the consequences suffered by the U.K. government for ordering the Royal Air Force’s Bomber Command to target big-city civilian populations via fire-storm technology during the Second World War? None. So it goes, with all governments which engage in warfare. As for civilians / non-combatants, why, chew them up and spit them out! Burn them! Those are the unwritten yet standing orders armed forces are directed to follow when making war. Use of drones as weapons-delivery systems may be immoral and unethical, but who amongst the world’s power elites cares?

  17. Ralph Metzner
    July 16, 2017 at 2:18 pm

    Thank you, Ray McGovern, and your associates of the VIPS, for continuing to take a stand
    and speak out about the atrocities committed by “our” government and military-industrial conglomerate,
    in this latest form of officially sanctioned remote-controlled murder of innocents.
    How easily the propaganda of the war machine quietens our conscience under the veil
    of ignorance and obfuscation!
    Ralph Metzner

  18. July 16, 2017 at 2:35 pm

    I disagree that humans are selectively bred for war and aggression. It is more of a cultural issue than biological, and why argue over it? The human animal has been claimed to be the moral animal, but as I said on another post, other nonhuman animals are doing better than humans with good behavior. Anthropologists have grappled with the question of aggression for a long time and nothing can be conclusively proven that it is innately biological other than selectively defensive. There is no doubt, however, that the human animal, particularly the male, tends toward aggression in certain societal circumstances.

    The world wars had a profound effect on all peoples, especially WWII. But the Bush-Cheney invasion of Iraq seems to have turned around any hope for peace, and that administration opened up Pandora’s Box, in my opinion. A catastrophic mess has been created. All of us who demonstrated against the US invasion were speaking into the wind. And there were millions worldwide.

    Thanks to Ray for his moral courage. I feel I have done little but do continue to speak out. I tend to agree with M Meslin that a boycott of America should be started. The UN is essentially toothless and apparently supportive of warmongering.

    • mike k
      July 16, 2017 at 10:09 pm

      Speaking out counts – for a lot. Imagine what it would be like if no one did it. That would be the triumph of fascism.

    • Zachary Smith
      July 17, 2017 at 12:23 am

      I disagree that humans are selectively bred for war and aggression.

      I sincerely hope Space Aliens haven’t been “breeding” us for war and aggression, but the hypothesis natural selection has been mightily influenced by those factors is a compelling one to me.

      Try to locate The Dawn Warriors: Man’s Evolution Towards Peace – 1969
      by Robert Sidney Bigelow
      to see why I hold that stance. Probably your library doesn’t have such an old book, but the prices of online sellers are low ones.

      The 12/70 review in Physical Anthropology is scathing, and includes the terms “pseudo-Darwinian”, “dubious”, “superficially”, “straw man”, “outmoded”, “naive”, “nonsense”, “cloying dramatic”, “misconceptions”, and “Social Darwinism”. At the end of the review is the crushing revelation that the author is an expert on New Zealand grasshoppers. HOW DARE he intrude on the holy places of Physical Anthropology!

      So I definitely recommend looking up this book.
      :)

  19. Mild-ly Facetious
    July 16, 2017 at 3:55 pm

    American exceptionalism is stretching itself very thin. War is not the answer, but we the people are simply subjects under Imperial Tyrants and warmongering despots.

    Meanwhile, any collaboration with Russia to rid the world of Middle East terror and Saudi funded terrorism is now at the saddening threshold of “AIN”T GONNA HAPPEN” — Shame on US.

    see >> http://www.larouchepub.com/pr/2017/170623_lavrov_message_tillerson.html

  20. evelync
    July 16, 2017 at 4:13 pm

    The “collateral damage” of this obscene practice includes some of the people who are recruited to operate the joy stick.
    It goes against the inner moral fiber of most people, I think, including soldiers who eventually have to face what they have done in moments of “following orders” that kill innocent children, wedding parties, old helpless people and whoever falls prey……
    And some suffer for the rest of their lives facing what they allowed themselves to become.

    They are victims too. And I say this, not to absolve them.Their lives are already ruined. But to point yet another finger at our violent immoral culture and those who drive it in the MIC and the halls of power who are responsible for destroying not only their phantom enemies but their own younger generation trapped and discarded.

    • Susan Sunflower
      July 16, 2017 at 4:41 pm

      The “irony” is that we have no defined objective/mission to which these deaths are “collateral” … our mission in many areas is simply to kill anything that moves that meets our “definition” which covers broadly in many areas all males between the age of 14 and 80 (military age) but in many cases there is no post-action reconnaissance and little to no interest in who/what we actually blew up … it is understood in “warfare” that there is “unavoidable” (even accidental) damage, civilian deaths and injury to critical protected infrastructure (hospitals, schools, water treatment) …

      The American attitude is “whatever …” kill them all and let god sort them out … it doesn’t meet the definition of genocide, but it seems to be a policy of “engagement” until there nothing moving.

    • Joe Tedesky
      July 16, 2017 at 5:21 pm

      These wars are of such tragedy everyone loses. Well almost, excluding the defense industry.

  21. July 16, 2017 at 5:44 pm

    I have nothing to add to the gravitas of Ray McGovern’s article or the many erudite comments here except a reminder that websites like this deserve a stipend of whatever is affordable to keep it going.

  22. turk151
    July 16, 2017 at 8:14 pm

    I was in a coversation recently with an insider, and what struck me was not the extent of the MIC running our foreign policy, that was indisputable. What struck me was the profound stupidity in which our leaders operate. There is no diabolical genius, just alot of very uninformed people, including our current president, doing dumb things over and over again.

    • mike k
      July 16, 2017 at 10:04 pm

      You really cannot overestimate the ignorance and stupidity of our leaders. If they shoot themselves (and us) in the foot, you can bet they will aim higher next time.

  23. Gary Hare
    July 16, 2017 at 10:34 pm

    The drone is the epitome of cowardice. Countries that use the drone to slaughter those that don’t obey the bully’s dictates are reprehensible cowards, and the citizens of those countries who do not protest their use, are spineless cowards. Let’s see how the US squeals when its homeland becomes the victim of these disgusting weapons.

    • Joe Tedesky
      July 17, 2017 at 12:11 am

      Hey Gary, think about Amazon having a CIA contract, and then think about Amazon drones delivering your stuff. I’m not against progress, but hey we got to watch these new technologies and not screw ourselves. Better said than done.

      Vietnam was the Helicopter War, and now whatever you call this last 16 years of war are the Drone/Robotic Wars.

      Just be ready to duck Gary Joe

  24. Kate Ryan
    July 17, 2017 at 12:55 am

    Thank you, Ray for standing up against this “game” & joystick murder.

  25. Virginia
    July 17, 2017 at 4:06 am

    Ray, hopefully the trial results will startle slumbering minds awake to the immoral acts our country so casually engages in. I’ve read that drone attacks have increased 5 fold under Trump over Obama. Nothing will be done about this until the horror of it is self-seen. Thanks for putting your light on a candlestick.

  26. F. G. Sanford
    July 17, 2017 at 9:02 am

    I think y’all ought to go back to Ann Wright’s June 19 article and check out the alternate lyrics I submitted. I guess it didn’t make the “top ten” in the pop charts…but it certainly ranks among F. G. Sanford’s greatest hits. It would make a great tune for the next drone protest sing-along.

    • Gregory Herr
      July 17, 2017 at 5:22 pm

      hope you don’t mind my making it easy:

      Sung to “Ballad of the Green Berets”. I highly recommend the Dolly Parton version on Youtube if you really want to overdose on “schmaltz”. By the way, there’s a really good reason why they station the pilots ten thousand miles from the targets. It ain’t because the air conditioning is cheaper in Colorado.

      Joystick soldiers at a desk
      Battlefield so picturesque
      Killers by remote control
      Fearless men on the Drone Patrol

      Silver wings upon their chest
      They have passed the game-boy test
      There’s no dirt in their foxhole
      They’re assigned to the Drone Patrol

      Trained to handle a joystick
      Rockets fly with one mouse click
      Men who fight from a console
      Courage deep from the Drone Patrol

      Wedding parties are fair game
      Kids and grandmas look the same
      Fired from ten thousand feet
      Missiles spatter human meat

      Centcom and the CIA
      Pick the targets where they play
      Signatures define the strike
      Executions sportsmanlike

      Body parts and putrescine
      Survivors riddled with gangrene
      They don’t smell the battle stench
      From their office joystick bench

      Back at home, a young wife waits
      Her drone soldier met his fate
      He was brain dead, comatose
      In his car from an overdose

      Silver wings upon their chest
      Moral scruples are repressed
      Psychic trauma takes its toll
      Joystick heroes rock and roll

      Murder by remote control
      Seems benign but takes a toll
      Payback prices escalate
      Victims may retaliate

      Joystick soldiers at a desk
      Battlefield so picturesque
      Killers by remote control
      Fearless men on the Drone Patrol

      • F. G. Sanford
        July 17, 2017 at 5:26 pm

        I just wish you could make it viral! Thanks.

      • July 17, 2017 at 9:33 pm

        Kudos Gregory,…that last stanza says it all

        • July 17, 2017 at 9:38 pm

          …and yes, I believe the original kudos go to you, F.G. Sanford

  27. Dr. Ibrahim Soudy
    July 17, 2017 at 12:16 pm

    Is there an anti-war MOVEMENT in America?! If Yes, where can I find it?!…….Please don’t tell me that a protest made of a few tens or even thousands is going to make the EMPIRE worry and change its way especially when WAR has become a WAY OF LIFE for tens of millions of Americans (see how many weapons manufacturers employ as direct employees or subcontractors)……Please tell me that there is more than a few articles followed with many comments and some protests with a number arrested……

    What do I suggest?! ……Peacefully “break up the Banking Empire”…………..Use credit unions, stop using credit cards, and stop being a slave to Wall Street……………..

  28. Skip Scott
    July 19, 2017 at 8:17 am

    The more we abstract the horrors of war, the worse it becomes. We have gone from King Richard the Lion-heart to five deferments Richard Cheney. Who was responsible for more death?

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