Friday, 17 September 2010

War games

In front of a computer screen sits a young man, he uses a joystick to aim and shoot. So far nothing strange, it happens all over the world. What is new is that this time a man really dies when he shoots. This is the newest weapon in the American arsenal. They are usually refered to as drones, unmanned small aircrafts with advanced weapon systems. You may say it is war, people die in wars. However, this is problematic in several ways.

The killings do not really take place in a war. The killings are more like death penalties for suspected terrorists without any trials and they have hit innocent civilians. Furthermore, this takes out the personal aspect of war, one guy presses a button and another guy in another part of the world dies. To me it is very disturbing. According to New America Foundation over 1000 have been killed in drone strikes, many of which are civilians. The U.N.'s senior official for extrajudicial executions, Philip Alston, said the United States should explain the legal rationale for the CIA's campaign of drone strikes in northwest Pakistan, which he characterized as "a vaguely defined license to kill" that has created "a major accountability vacuum."

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