They are marvels of technology, but I don't want them here.
The (Remote-Controlled) War at Home
How activists are trying to bring the moral implications of drone warfare to light.
by Valerie Schloredt
Nearly a third of the aircraft used by the United States military don't carry pilots, according to a new Congressional report. The aircraft are drones, and their pilots are often thousands of miles away, controlling them remotely from bases in the United States.
One such base is the Hancock Air National Guard Base, located near Syracuse, N.Y. Ed Kinane, who lives nearby, says that since strike drones are operated from the base, his home area of New York state is, from a moral perspective, “in the zone of war”—a reality he and other peace activists don't feel they can ignore.
On April 22, at the entrance to the base, Kinane and 37 other activists wrapped themselves in white cloth splattered with red, and staged a die-in. They were protesting the base’s role in operating drones over Afghanistan—the unmanned aerial vehicles are designed to target terrorists and insurgents, but they also take a heavy toll on the peace and safety of unarmed civilians. The protesters attempted to deliver a citizen indictment for war crimes to the base, and were arrested on charges of disorderly conduct and disobeying a legal order.
Countering these needs further thought. Barrage balloons? Would shooting them down be self-defense?
While not referring to myself, there are a number of arms in this country. Arms do have a function in preserving life against government excesses. Against an unmanned aerial encroachment, this may be a situation for acceptable self-defense using a tool of violence.