Category Archives: warfare

defending the indefensible

From Foreign Policy magazine:

1. We didn’t do it! (Denials usually don’t work, but it’s worth a try).

2. We know you think we did it but we aren’t admitting anything.

3. Actually, maybe we did do something but not what we are accused of doing.

4. Ok, we did it but it wasn’t that bad (“waterboarding isn’t really torture, you know”).

5. Well, maybe it was pretty bad but it was justified or necessary. (We only torture terrorists, or suspected terrorists, or people who might know a terrorist…”)

6. What we did was really quite restrained, when you consider how powerful we really are. I mean, we could have done something even worse.

7. Besides, what we did was technically legal under some interpretations of international law (or at least as our lawyers interpret the law as it applies to us.)

8. Don’t forget: the other side is much worse. In fact, they’re evil. Really.

9. Plus, they started it.

10. And remember: We are the good guys. We are not morally equivalent to the bad guys no matter what we did. Only morally obtuse, misguided critics could fail to see this fundamental distinction between Them and Us.

11. The results may have been imperfect, but our intentions were noble. (Invading Iraq may have resulted in tens of thousands of dead and wounded and millions of refugees, but we meant well.)

12. We have to do things like this to maintain our credibility. You don’t want to encourage those bad guys, do you?

13. Especially because the only language the other side understands is force.

14. In fact, it was imperative to teach them a lesson. For the Nth time.

15. If we hadn’t done this to them they would undoubtedly have done something even worse to us. Well, maybe not. But who could take that chance?

16. In fact, no responsible government could have acted otherwise in the face of such provocation.

17. Plus, we had no choice. What we did may have been awful, but all other policy options had failed and/or nothing else would have worked.

18. It’s a tough world out there and Serious People understand that sometimes you have to do these things. Only ignorant idealists, terrorist sympathizers, craven appeasers and/or treasonous liberals would question our actions.

19. In fact, whatever we did will be worth it eventually, and someday the rest of the world will thank us.

20. We are the victims of a double-standard. Other states do the same things (or worse) and nobody complains about them. What we did was therefore permissible.

21. And if you keep criticizing us, we’ll get really upset and then we might do something really crazy. You don’t want that, do you?

contradictory stances

Israel keeps changing their story.

First the flotilla victims were IHH (which was suddenly a radical Islamic terrorist organization) and then they were just simply Hamas/Terrorists. First the international protesters were simply uninformed, now they’re Islamic extremists/sympathizers. First the Israelis were going to “deliver” humanitarian aid (see Amira Hass’s views on this one here) and now the Israelis claim  up to 50 on the ship “could have terrorist connections with global jihad-affiliated groups”. I guess if the flotilla was such a publicity stunt, like Israel keeps claiming, they would have taken care to not pack night vision goggles and bulletproof vests (which today you can’t find a source for) and admit terrorists to their ranks, right?

If you can’t see through this I don’t know what to tell you. Israel boarded a ship in international waters (piracy) and killed unarmed civilians with head shots (murder/warcrime) because they are so desperate to keep their Gazan prison tight and secure and starving and hopelesss.

Even though Turkey is talking tough, my guess is that next Israel will be blaming Lebanon. I honestly don’t know at this point. They’re going to keep sending ships and Israel says next time they’ll use “more force”, as if killing up to 20 unarmed civilians  isn’t enough. Turkey threatens to escort the next flotilla with their navy, but we’ll see how NATO responds. Meanwhile, the United States couldn’t be bothered to respond with any kind of indignation past “deep condolences” for the families affected. Business as usual.

Grieving for the Dead

Despite the length of time occupying Iraq, no real voices dare speak of the hundreds of thousands dead. Even this Time writeup stops short of discussing our culture of indifference.

It is not inconsequential to kill 100,000 people. That much life suddenly and violently extinguished must leave a ragged hole somewhere in the universe. One looks for special effects of a metaphysical kind to attend so much death — the whoosh of all those souls departing. But many of them died ingloriously, like road kill, full of their disgrace, facedown with the loot scattered around them. The conquered often die ignominiously. The victors have not given them much thought.

Still, killing 100,000 people is a serious thing to do. It is not equivalent to shooting a rabid dog, which is, down deep, what Americans feel the war was all about, exterminating a beast with rabies. All those 100,000 men were not megalomaniacs, torturers and murderers. They did not all commit atrocities in Kuwait. They were ordinary people: peasants, truck drivers, students and so on. They had the love of their families, the dignity of their lives and work. They cared as little for politics, or less, than most people in the world. They were, precisely, not Saddam Hussein. Which means, since Saddam was the coalition’s one true target in all of this, that those 100,000 corpses are, so to speak, collateral damage. The famous smart bombs did not find the one man they were seeking.

The secret of much murder and evildoing is to dehumanize the victim, to make him alien, to make him Other, a different species. When we have done that, we have prepared ourselves to kill him, for to kill the Other, to kill a snake, a roach, a pest, a Jew, a scorpion, a black, a centipede, a Palestinian, a hyena, an Iraqi, a wild dog, an Israeli . . . it’s O.K.

If Saddam Hussein was a poisonous snake in the desert, and he had 1 million poisonous snakes arrayed around him, then it was good sense to drop bombs and kill 100,000 snakes and thus turn back the snake menace.

But, of course, the 100,000 Iraqis were not snakes.

To kill 100,000 people and to feel no pain at having done so may be dangerous to those who did the killing. It hints at an impaired humanity, a defect like a gate through which other deaths may enter, deaths no one had counted on. The unquiet dead have many ways of haunting — particularly in the Middle East, which has been accumulating the grievances of the dead for thousands of years.

And yet even now, self-confessed war criminals run for office in the United States on a populist platform. Are people just standing around wringing their hands? Can it be that Americans are not just callous about the body count but indeed find electoral occasions to celebrate it’s perpetuity?

the american legal system has been rotted out from the inside

How rotten is rotten?

Issue: Whether 18 U.S.C. 2339B(a)(1), which prohibits the knowing provision of “any *** service, *** training, [or] expert advice or assistance,” to a designated foreign terrorist organization, is unconstitutionally vague; Whether the criminal prohibitions in 18 U.S.C. § 2339B(a)(1) on the provision of “expert advice or assistance” “derived from scientific [or] technical … knowledge” and “personnel” are unconstitutional with respect to speech that furthers only lawful, nonviolent activities of proscribed organizations.

And now we have:

Washington (CNN) — A bipartisan group of legislators on Thursday introduced legislation in Congress to strip citizenship from any American found to be involved in terrorism.

If the Terrorist Expatriation Act passes, an American would lose citizenship if found to have provided material support or resources to a foreign terrorist organization — as designated by the secretary of state — or participated in actions against the United States.

Sens. Joe Lieberman, I-Connecticut, and Scott Brown, R-Massachusetts, co-sponsored the bill. An identical bill is being introduced in the House by Reps. Jason Altmire, D-Pennsylvania, and Charlie Dent, R-Pennsylvania.

….

Under the new proposed bill, the Department of State would have the ability to revoke an American’s citizenship based on a person renouncing their citizenship. The individual, Lieberman stressed, would still have the right to appeal the determination at the State Department — or take it to federal court.

When asked how the State Department would make their decision, Lieberman said a person would have declare the intent to renounce their citizenship — but added that information from other sources could also “lead the state department to make that conclusion.”

Anders said the government often makes mistakes in determining a person’s involvement in terrorism. In that case, an American citizen could be rendered stateless if they do not have dual citizenship.

Stephen Vladeck, a professor of law at American University Washington College of Law, said the government defines “providing material support to terrorism” so broadly, “that really the most benign, innocent activity could subject the most harmless Americans to this extreme sanction.”

More on Remote Warfare

Harpers has an excellent article this month on remote warfare.

In it, I find a distinction I haven’t previously considered: the proliferation of remote warfare into nearly all conflicts. Even if not now, in forty years every nation on Earth could own a fleet of drones while the top dogs move to even more “civilized” forms of war.

My second major concern goes to the power of example that the United States is now setting with respect to the use of drones away from an acknowledged battlefield, especially in connection with targeted killings. No weapons system remains indefinitely the province of a single power. Drone technology is particularly striking in this regard, because it is not really all that sophisticated. It seems clear that other powers have this technology–Israel and Iran have each been reported to be working with it, Russia and China could obviously do so easily if they desired, and the same is probably true for Britain, France, and Germany, not to mention Japan and Taiwan, where many of the cutting-edge breakthroughs in robotics actually occur. The way America uses this technology is therefore effectively setting the rules for others. Put another way, if it’s lawful for America to employ a drone to take out an enemy in the desert of Yemen, on the coast of Somalia, in a village in Sudan or Mauretania, then it would be just as lawful for Russia, or China–or, for that matter, for Israel or Iran. What kind of world is this choice then creating? Doesn’t it invariably lead us closer to the situation in which a targeted killing will be carried out in a major metropolis of Europe or East Asia, or even the United States? And doesn’t that move us in the direction of a dark and increasingly lawless world?

After all, we do remain the world’s largest arms dealer! I strongly encourage you to read it.

Related:

Why America Will Stop Winning, part 1: Weapons

this is the new boss just like the old boss

I can’t imagine how much someone can get done in a hundred days being president, but I’ll say at this point Obama continues to disappoint.

A giant oil slick has been spewing out of the Gulf of Mexico towards Louisiana (still recovering from Katrina six years later), Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida. Vital fishing industries will be devastated and the ecosystem will be spoiled twice in ten years. Who’s to blame?

I’d suggest Halliburton, who just finished laying the final coats of paint on this rig before it exploded.

Lawsuits point to cementing in rig disaster

(AP) – 1 day ago

HOUSTON — Although no cause has been determined, oil services contractor Halliburton Inc. says it finished a cementing operation 20 hours before a Gulf of Mexico rig went up in flames.

Halliburton is named as a defendant in most of the more than two dozen lawsuits filed by Gulf Coast people and businesses claiming the oil spill could ruin them financially. In one lawsuit, two Louisiana shrimpers claim cementing contributed to the explosion.

Halliburton said Friday it had four workers stationed on the rig, performing several tasks, including cementing — a process of applying cement and water to a pipe used to prevent the wall of the hole from caving in during drilling.

According to a 2007 study by Minerals Management Service, cementing was a factor 18 of 39 rig blowouts in the gulf between 1992 and 2006.

The fact that after all the crookery in Iraq and Afghanistan, this monstrous vulture of a corporation is able to work on such sensitive infrastructure like oil rigs! Off the coast of our country! This is the corporation that kept on poisoning and electrocuting Our Troops, right? The guys who kept shoveling money into their deep deep pockets while Iraqi hospitals and schools collapsed in on themselves? And let’s not forget our deepest burning Patriot’s shame – New Orleans.

I can tell you Obama has disappointed me because even through Guantanamo is open, even though a secret ruthless war is being raged against the majority, Obama can’t even give Halliburton the pink slip. And their shoddy work continues to bankrupt America. Throw these guys in jail already! B-b-but how can he do that, you say. Well, a single man got them all up and encamped in our system, so one single man should be able to toss them out!

Occupation Humor

Haaretz reports that settlers in Gush Etzion are protesting the Israeli apartheid wall that is supposed to cut through the land south of Jerusalem. In fact, the land is slated to be built into a new colony and I guess the settlers don’t want a big ugly wall running through the center of their “neighborhood”!

The Givat Yael company has launched a public campaign to persuade the Defense Ministry to reroute the separation fence southeast of Jerusalem to enable construction of a new neighborhood beyond the Green Line.

Environmental organizations, residents of the Arab village of Walaja – which abuts the planned neighborhood – and settlers from Gush Etzion have all joined the campaign, saying the fence’s present route is destructive both to people and the environment.

The fence could also crush Givat Yael’s chances of ever being built, as it cuts the new neighborhood’s planned area in two, reducing the land value.

Danny Tirza, a former top Defense Ministry official who planned the separation fence, today suggests moving it so that all of Walaja is on the Israeli side. The company had asked Tirza to propose an alternative fence route.

The present route is harmful to both Palestinians and the developers, he wrote in a document for the Givat Yael company, which Haaretz has obtained.

As currently proposed, the fence would be ineffective for security and detrimental to nature, Tirza wrote about the route he himself planned. The new route would improve security and eliminate local Palestinians’ “sense of suffocation.” It would also minimize the environmental damage and enable Givat Yael to be built, as well as being shorter and cheaper, he said.

“This route is good for both Jews and Arabs,” he asserted yesterday.

The greens and the settlers are holding a joint demonstration against the fence today. Palestinians have also demonstrated against the fence in recent days, at times clashing violently with security forces.

Businessmen Benny and Danny Cohen, who bought 2,500 dunams in the area 20 years ago, have been trying for years to promote the Givat Yael project, consisting of 13,000 housing units.

But the plan is expected to rouse the American administration’s ire, and is thus not likely to be implemented in the next few years.

“I realize that at the moment, the neighborhood is irrelevant,” Danny Cohen said. “But I believe it will rise even if we wait another 10 years. There will be no choice but to build it,” to accommodate Jerusalem’s need for new housing, he said.

The proposed neighborhood would be built in the city’s southeast, near the Malha mall and the Biblical Zoo. The plans, which were drawn up six years ago, call for a major residential area that would ultimately house some 45,000 people, as well as commercial areas and a sports club.

Defense officials yesterday blasted Tirza’s proposed new route, saying it violates the principle that the fence must be as close to the Green Line as possible to avoid annexing Palestinian lands and people.

“It is not proper for the man who planned the fence, and defended its route in court, to suddenly become a businessman and attack the route,” one defense official said.

The Defense Ministry commented: “The fence was approved by the government and the court. The planned route provides the best security solution and causes the least harm to the Palestinian community and the environment.”

My favorite part of this story is how the settlers feign concern for the Palestinians and their “sense of suffocation”. Personally, I think if they cared about that they probably wouldn’t have a fence or a blockade in place. If they were so concerned about negative feelings, why the occupation? Perhaps the more pressing concern is the “environment”. Make me laugh twice! It’s the pathetic excuse the Jerusalem municipality comes up with when they argue they don’t want to build in parts of West Jerusalem because it could harm some fluffy bunnies hopping along merrily in the hills. It follows that Palestinians are lower than fluffy bunnies, as they end up being tossed to the curb in the rabbit’s stead.  I suppose this means the settlers are incredibly sensitive people, as they’re worried about both the environment and the Palestinians!

Why the obsession with our enemy’s “weak women”?

Recent recantations in the news have included an American Special Forces report of 3 women victims of an Afghan “honor killing”. As it turns out, the women were killed by US Forces who then proceeded to dig bullets out of their bodies, stab them, and stage a cover-up. Yet it had been an easy story to swallow. Aren’t we all familiar with the weak image we have in our minds when thinking of Afghan women? Honor killings – a unique cultural/religious attribute – must be a widespread phenomenon indeed.

Another story that’s been circulating since the recent tragic Moscow subway bombings has been of female suicide bombers and their possible motivations. Women have been suicide bombers since the documented creation of the tactic. Women from all cultural backgrounds have perished as suicide bombers. Considering the diversity of the subject, wouldn’t it be difficult to pin down enough common motivations to write a short Salon article about it?

Don’t worry, our friends at Salon have written a very embarrassing article all about female suicide bombers, calling them victims, abused, depressive, mentally ill, etc… everything but politically motivated. The truth is that studies show suicide bombers don’t fit the profile described in Salon at all.

Existing research reveals a marked absence of major psychopathology among “would-be” suicide attackers; that the motivation and dynamics for choosing to engage in a suicide attack differ from those in the clinical phenomenon of suicide; and that there is a rational “strategic logic” to the use of suicide attack campaigns in asymmetric conflict.    Silke (2003/91) argues that “as with other terrorists, there is no indication that suicide bombers suffer from psychological disorders or are mentally unbalanced in other ways. In contrast, their personalities are usually quite stable and unremarkable (at least within their own cultural context)” (p. 94). Israeli psychology professor Ariel Merari is one of the few people in the world to have collected systematic, empirical data on a significant sample of suicide bombers. He examined the backgrounds of every modern era (since 1983) suicide bomber in the Middle East. Although he expected to find suicidal dynamics and mental pathology, instead he found that “In the majority, you find none of the risk factors normally associated with suicide, such as mood disorders or schizophrenia, substance abuse or history of attempted suicide (92).”

– From Psychology of Terrorism by Randy Borum, p.33

In contrast, the Salon article articulates:

Berko’s study, which is previewed in today’s Haaretz, paints a disturbing tableau of the inner world of female suicide bombers, the vast majority of whom “were exploited by the terrorist organizations, by close friends or even by their own families, and were pushed into carrying out terrorist attacks.” It appears that women’s motives for such attacks are rooted less in ideology than in histories of physical, mental, and sexual abuse within their own families. Their motives rarely involve free will, but rather blackmail or the hope of redemption for sexual indiscretions through violence and self-sacrifice.

…..

In Berko’s view, female suicide bombings have as much to do with a sort of proactive “honor killing” as they do with classic (and stereotypical) “Islam vs. the West” terrorism.

Back to the honor killings, back to putting women in a box and taking away their agency. Back to portraying them as reactionary members (victims) of society. At the heart of “honor killings” is the heart of all other domestic violence we in the West are often too familiar with. We do not consider domestic violence survivors to be reactionary members of society, do we?

Of course, the truth is that these women possess much more agency than the  imperial apologist can bear to consider. Part of our continued violent presence in that area of the world requires us to “dehumanize the enemy”. Turning female suicide bombers into reactionary actors by “humanizing their suffering” (never at the hands of foreign aggressors!) is dishonest. The Salon articles and others like it never delve into the political motivations of the women. We must assume they have none. Therefore, the most tragic and disastrous act of their political resistance becomes de-politicized.

Links:

What Drives Suicide Bombers?

Psychology of Terrorism by Randy Borum

Afghan women were killed in bungled raid, Nato admits

Inquiry puts spotlight on U.S. Special Forces in Afghanistan

Second Bomber in Moscow Attacks is Identified

Lights Out for Gaza


Gaza’s single power plant ran out of fuel today, blanketing the Gaza Strip in darkness for at least the weekend.
Crossings into Gaza may open in Israel and fuel may be allowed through on Sunday at the earliest. This is in spite of the best efforts of the Palestinian engineers who have kept the plant running despite all number of obstacles in the past.

Occasionally, one has to step back and review the situation completely. So let’s start at the beginning: What sins did Gaza commit to deserve this kind of genocide?

I say genocide because there no longer is a viable future for the people of Gaza. All hopes for that have been dashed by the laboratory conditions of their existence. Gaza is being wiped out. What’s shocking to me is that despite this laboratory being open to public view and participation, Israel continues to wreck fire and brimstone down on the heads of nearly 800,000 children without the slightest concern of anyone stepping in to stop this.


Consider the number of children whose lives have been completely ruined by the effects of constant warfare, poverty, and imprisonment. This is a generation that has only known this kind of existence. A surprising amount of children  require hearing aids because of excessive, constant sonic booms over Gaza. To this, Rannan Gissim said, “The inconvenience that it causes the Palestinian population cannot be measured against the question of life or death for Israelis on the other side.” Do deaf Gazan children really present a life or death situation to Israel? Many are malnourished and losing access to decent health care and even clean water. Excessive salination is causing a breakdown in Gaza’s well-based water supply. Food is only allowed into the Gaza Strip through checkpoints that too often close arbitrarily. Over 30% of Gaza’s airable land is a Shoot-on-Sight No Man’s Land. Just this past week, new clothes and shoes were allowed through the checkpoints.

Gaza has over 800,000 children who are underfed, malnourished, poorly-clothed, deaf, sick, and without any kind of prospects for the future. In addition, now they are also living without electrical power.

I wonder how much longer this will last. I’m appealing to your emotions, but I have to. These are children. I get emotional about children. When I see a few hundred thousand suffering like this, I have to hope you feel the same way I do. Palestinian children are worth just as much as any child on Earth. Why is nothing being done to help them?

Gaza has rockets and tunnels of course. Supplies are smuggled in at fear of immediate death for the workers. These tunnels are routinely bombed and collapse often. While they bring through ingredients to go into a rocket (sugar, for instance), they also bring through supplies and food. They are a necessity for survival. Rockets, on the other hand, are a sick cry of pride. It’s obvious by their construction they are both the proudest and the saddest attempt at resistance. With so little, Gazans can only fashion together rockets that certainly pale in comparison to the lethal power of Israel’s arsenal. They try, though, to do something – anything – to save their children and strike back at their hopeless situation.

If it were you in such a situation, what wouldn’t you do? Can we even comprehend behind our television and computer screens what it might be like to live in Gaza?

The existence of this kind of genocide means that it can happen anywhere. Like smallpox, we have to eradicate genocide completely in order to be rid of it. For the rest of the world, it’s Lights Out for Gaza. Unless we can wake up and truly understand what’s happening, we will end up like frogs in the pan. We will wake up one day and say to each other, wow, remember when there were Gazans?

Links:

Donate to UNRWA

Gaza Health WTO Health Sheet January 2010

The Gaza Strip as Laboratory: Note in the Wake of Disengagement (PDF)

Gaza Power Strip (IEEE report)

Why America Will Stop Winning, part 1: Weapons

During the World Wars, all major players shared the same kinds of basic weaponry. It wasn’t until the creation of the atomic bomb that the scales tipped greatly in favor of one power over another with regards to military technology. As a result, the world’s great powers have been at a quiet military standstill since 1945. Any aggression from a great power against another great power could result in nuclear war. This has kept any major conflict from occurring since.

However, the great powers still fight in smaller deadly wars against non-nuclear powers. I say smaller because their geographical area is lessened. However, the amount of ordinance used in these conflicts greatly outnumbers the amounts of ordinance used during these great World Wars. Despite the fact that the victims of this overwhelming aggression are in no way equal in strength to the great powers, nor do they have access to weapons beyond rifles and RPGs, the great powers have never won a war in this way. Disproportionate distance warfare in this modern age results more often in a crippling and embarrassing loss for the great power than it does for the weaker, less equipped nation. It’s less effective at eradicating targets and threats and far more costly in the long run.

A video has been released recently that shows US forces in Iraq killing 15 innocent people. They joke over the radio with each other as they shoot at the people on the ground from over a mile away in their helicopters. This video was released through a site called “Wikileaks”, and it wasn’t until outrage grew online that major news networks decided to pick up the story. Even then, the video was censored “out of respect” for the families of those killed. What a joke! The video would have remained censored if the Army had its way, just like the photos of Abu Ghraib would have remained censored. Even caskets of dead soldiers are censored in the media, why would snuff videos be allowed? Released in this way, this long after the incident took place and was “cleared” by the Army, will fuel anger in Iraq and all over the world, not only because of the content, but because of the continued denial of the US government and population that their occupation creates such crimes against humanity.

The world powers learned a lesson after Vietnam. Instead of being able to practice their trade legitimately, journalists are now embedded with US soldiers. During the aftermath of the massacre in Baghdad, a Washington Post journalist was on the scene. The first time the paper mentions the possible misconduct by US soldiers, however, was after the Wikileaks release of the video, whereby they mentioned it in passing to promote the journalist’s book about Iraq.

This incident and its response indicates to me that the United States has become too far removed from its own warfare. Pilots in Nevada finish flying drones in Iraq and then drive home to kiss their wives and children. Helicopter gunmen fire thousands of rounds on unarmed civilians from over a mile away. Ask any man on the street in the US and chances are good that he will have forgotten that hundreds of thousands of US soldiers are occupying Iraq. However, ask any man in Iraq and he will remember this fact very clearly unless he is severely mentally ill or incapacitated. It is a reality he lives with every day. An American will see this footage, and they will begin to make excuses for the soldiers firing rounds from over a mile away, themselves as far removed from the violence as the soldier has become through his distance weapons. Most of the rest of the world’s population will see this video and, due to their daily proximity to violence and poverty, will become incensed. Both sides are fighting each other, but only one side lives with reality.

Perhaps the powers that be found it easier to make their populations ignore the war than convince the populations to support it. Since the Iraq war began in 2003, US citizens have responded tepidly at best both in support or in opposition to the war. There are few American citizens  who would be willing to make great sacrifices for their cause. Removed from the violence, miles away in our helicopters, Americans have lost the capacity to understand their bloody actions against the rest of the world. Al-Jazeera runs photos of the bodies and shows uncensored video footage. Wolf Blitzer simply tells you about it before breaking news about Tiger Woods.

Like Willard complaining in “Apocolypse Now”, we are becoming soft in our hotel rooms while “Charlie” crouches in the jungle and gets harder. Our technology has evolved, but our resolve has become weaker. When soldiers become so far removed from the conflict that they lose the humanity of themselves in regard to their targets, they lose the war. It happened in Vietnam, and it will happen in Iraq and Afghanistan. By putting distance between us and our targets, we also lose the moral high ground. In an effort to “save American lives” – while lining the pockets of military contractors who create such technologies – we have made the Other more expendable. After all, our technology has grown to make some soldiers safer, but it has become more deadly and careless towards the target. Like the adoption of carpet bombing Europe in World War 2, the result is mass, needless civilian causalities. The only difference was that the various European countries had the means to adequately defend themselves. The Global South has resorted to suicide bombing.

While US soldiers grow fat on video games and Halliburton all-you-can-eat buffets, “Haji” crouches in the desert and gets harder. Only this is no longer a tactical issue, as it is to some old-guard grunts and generals. This has become a moral issue because our continued callousness results in the death and suffering of millions worldwide without a single pinch of moral consequence, which creates the cyclical environment wherein more lives will be ruined by our ignorance. However, instead of erradicating threats, distance warfare will multiply them, as more hearts and minds are repelled internationally by our standards.