Warfare continues to become more professional and dehumanized every day.

The purpose of Extraordinary Edition is being revisited for winter, headed into 2013. U.S. foreign policy, Central Asia and the Middle East remain key focal points. Economics and culture on your front doorstep are coming into focus here.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

The demonization of a viewpoint: drones are inappropriate for legitimate warfare

Quoted in a May 6 Sify News (India) article describing Times Square bombing suspect Faisal Shahzad's conversations with Connecticut neighbors.

But last year, Shahzad's fixation on U.S. policy in the Middle East was evident at a house party in leafy Shelton, Conn.

Neighbor Dennis Flanner said a brooding Shahzad was staring at the TV news in a room packed with drunken partygoers.

"They were talking about those drones blowing things up in Afghanistan," Flanner, 18,said. "He was the only one watching it. Everybody else was just having a good time."

At one point, Flanner said, a reveler told Shahzad to loosen up and have some fun. Shahzad wasn't having it.

"They shouldn't be shooting people from the sky," Shahzad replied, according to Flanner. "You know, they should come down and fight."

Note: so what we're seeing here is if you believe the UAV drones are somehow unfit to the rules of engagement or otherwise a cowardly or inhumane way to engage people who may or may not be enemy combatants; if you disagree in any way with the facts these machines are operated from a distant location by CIA agents and independent service providers on a corporate-government contract, then you agree with all terrorists and all terrorism. If you are of Middle Eastern decent or related to people of Islamic faith (racial, religious and ethnic discrimination), you are certainly not doing enough to distinguish yourself from terrorists.

Do such arguments sound fair to any degree? If you were attempting to defend yourself under the given circumstances against these arguments, do you think you would be able to prove your position outside of wrongdoing or malicious intent?

For now, I'm glad this is appearing in the Indian press and not on Yahoo News or USA Today.

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