I am sick of drones. The police want to use them… the RAF is buying more Reaper drones which will be deployed in Afghanistan but controlled from bases in Britain… and now France is sending drones to Mali, to help kill insurgents and whoever else is in the target area at the time.
I understand why armed forces like drones – they can carry out dangerous missions without risking the lives of aircrew, and they can patrol huge areas without risking pilot exhaustion. So yay yay, we can do war stuff without risking the lives of our patriotic forces (some people might say that using drones is cowardly as the pilots are safely on home turf. But obviously that isn’t a view I share). But while the drones keep the fighting at arm’s length, the Afghani population are still dying because of the airstrikes. One very obvious problem is that a guy piloting a drone via a TV screen and a PlayStation control pad is going to make errors that a real life pilot in a plane could avoid simply because he is there, seeing stuff with his own eyes. There’s been enough “collateral damage” (ie senseless slaughter of innocents) already. If we want to fight the people of Afghanistan, we should send real live people there,not glorified remote control planes armed with horrific weaponry.
A civilian killed by a drone is just as dead as one bombed by a manned plane. His family is destroyed just the same. Is this how we want our “heroes” to be remembered, as men who fire missiles at civilian targets while relaxed in a base back in Blighty? Because that is how they’ll be perceived if the use of drones escalates – there are enough people around to make sure that is how history written, from bloggers in the West and from children orphaned by a bomb dropped from a drone. Lions and asses.