Bizarre article on drones
Posted on November 18, 2011
One week ago today, The Huffington Post marked Veteran’s Day with a wide range of articles that covered everything from what you can do to help veterans to a story about a couple who returned to Normandy to renew their wedding vows.
Yet the Post published one essay that struck me as bizarre: “Who Then Shall Mourn Our Drones?”, by Michael Vlahos. Vlahos remarks that Veteran’s Day has historically been about recognizing the sacrifice of others and renewing our resolve to defend and fight for values such as liberty. He then writes:
During the past decade, unmanned vehicles of all sorts, but especially flying drones, have been replacing living American soldiers and airmen. These robot warriors — really a form of spirit possession by human pilots often 10,000 miles away — are increasingly taking the fight to the enemy. They are fighting for us.
Years’ hence our robots, perhaps as autonomous, sentient beings, and our new “volunteers,” may become our nation’s representative — or better yet, the state’s instrument — in battle. So years’ hence, when we come around to future Veterans Days, will we commemorate those American robots whose heroic termination was made for us? Will we reconsecrate the “hallowed ground” where they gave “the last measure of devotion” — and where we experienced a “rebirth of freedom” from their sacrifice of sacred rare earth metals?
Who then shall mourn our drones?
Is it just me, or does Vlahos imply that advances in warfare that reduce human casualties are actually undesirable?