Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton watches a demonstration of drone capabilities by U.S. and Ugandan military representatives at Kasenyi Military Base in in Kampala, Uganda, last August.
The U.S. supplies drones and training to the Ugandan military, which they use in their hunt for Joseph Kony and members of the Lord’s Resistance Army, a militant group operating in Uganda and other central African countries.
That’s so cool, the idea that a bunch of young adults in U.S. military bases around the world can apply their video game skills to taking out bad folks. It so stresses how huge the technological gap has become between Us and Them, that Us no longer need to show up to kill Them.
Back in 1945, the U.S. ultimately won the war because we were able to carpet bomb Germany. We all saw those films: the sky absolutely filled up with B17 bombers. Well, now we no longer have to risk the lives of crew members on those dangerous missions. They get to stay home and do it all from afar, while texting their friends and possibly even ordering pizza.
I’ve read the reports of Al Qaeda and Taliban who are afraid to leave the safety of their homes out in those exotic sounding regions of Afghanistan and Pakistan and Whereverstan – because as soon as they come out, say, to buy a pack of cigarettes at the local bodega, or just walk their goat, a satellite picks up their image and a drone driven by an American teenager with great eye-thumb coordination will surely kill them.
This is so Science Fiction, I can’t begin to tell you. I honestly feel that, starting on 9/11, 2001, we’ve all been transported in a Ray Bradbury alternate universe, where everything we knew is gone, replaced by a very different narrative.
And I’m strangely OK with this narrative, OK with our kids staying home to run our wars by remote control. Makes moms happier. Over on our side, of course.