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Increased use of drone planes raises questions

Published: Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012 1:15 a.m. CDT

After reading the book “Drone Warfare: Killing by Remote Control” by Medea Benjamin, I asked a friend whether he knew what a drone was. He said, “One hell of a weapon.”  The U.S. and other nations around the world love them.

Drones began as surveillance devices, but have now revolutionized the way wars are fought. A drone can fly or hover like a buzzing bee above a possible enemy target and destroy it from halfway around the world, seemingly without endangering friendly soldiers.

Drones have become one of the Pentagon’s largest weapons growth systems. However, the public is becoming aware of its shadow side. Check the Internet.

The following are reasons to question the use of drones:

n They make war acceptable since no body bags disturb the public.

n While Pentagon expenses continue to grow, the State Department budget diminishes.

n Diplomacy and negotiation are less used.

n Revenge for those killed stimulates more terrorism.

n Common people learn to fear the buzz of drones and are often mistakenly targeted.

n The use of drones in civilian areas throughout the world is increasing.

n Personal privacy is being lost.

n The United States has no monopoly on drone research, manufacture and usage.

n Drones are relatively cheap.

n Contractors like Blackwater (now named Academi) provide their services.

n The morality of drone usage is an issue. For example, isn’t it questionable to destroy a suspect in Yemen by a drone-directed missile?

n The reputation of nations that use drones is questioned.

Folks around the world are calling for worldwide control of drones.

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