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Sunday, October 6, 2013

Sinister Eyes in the Sky...

Image of an Eye with Wings

Punished by Lightning

In the past, when people lived in times when pthey tended to be more superstitious,, many believed that the gods above could strike you with lightning if you acted in a way that displeased him. This belief might have died off with the old gods if this belief hadn't been adopted the Judaeo-Christian God who had the power to strike those who opposed his will with lightning.
Hopefully, only a few believe that lightning is a divine punishment. Yet, while being struck down by lightning today is understood to be the result of nature,The possibility of being struck down from an overseeing force isn't just a possibility but  a reality happening today in certain countries. However, even if the target was a legitimate target,, the person(s) struck down may be just suspect and thus may be even innocent.
Welcome to the world of remote killing by drones which are, yes, the "sinister eyes" which form part of the title of this entry. Of course, it has been argued that this technology employed, to my knowledge, only by the US is saving the lives of troops who might have died in ground combat missions. Yet, I fear that this kind of new warfare may have negative effects on war in the future.

The Implications of Remote Killing

The first danger is, of course, as remote soldiers become more accustomed to look at the images that they got back as if they were just one of those   "shoot then up" games I used to play in my early teens. Games which, with time, tended to make me more impulsive and insensitive to the act of blowing up things and killing people.
However, while the killing I executed during such games such as Doom and Rise of ├éthe Triads had no bearing in real life, the murders performed during these military missions did affect the lives of those who were struck down and, worse, if they were  innocent, it would also impact their children or families.
In principle, I oppose the idea of war as a solution to any  conflict. However, if there's any justice in war is that, at least before, enemies were confronting each other on almost equal terms. Indeed, in the past, the enemies had the chance to look at each other. Drones encourage the remote soldiers to detach themselves from the enemy  to the point that, one day, they become more casual about the fact they were killing off people living in a place far away.
 Even if those families who had lost a loved one who was killed innocently may find a place in their heart to forgive, our tendency as human beings is to seek justice in the form of revenge.
Despite the fact that only a few innocent civilian lives may have lost their lives during drone attacks, that life is a number only to statisticians who forget that behind those numbers there are people and people who might also have had  an important role in their communities. As more citizens  witness these innocent people die, one should expect the fundamentalists and fanatics ail only gain more supporters to their cause.

Violence begets Violence.

One may find it terrible to consider because so far we still trust the US will make wise use of drones. But, it's a real possibility that in a few years, the enemies of the West, such as radical Islamists will get their hands on drone technology as well convincing the people that they ail be using the technology to "protect" them. What happens then? Would this mean that anyone in the West or the "enemies" of fanatics could become a target of drone attacks? 
One sad fact about this is that the technology that has the potential to improve on our life is also being used to bring more pain into our life.
Nuclear power that is being used to produce energy is also used to create nuclear weapons with the potential of bringing about  a kind of apocalyptic destruction. Medical research to find more effective treatments are also being used to develop germ warfare. The technology that is enabling people to live a better quality of life and help us get more connected is being used to identify and kill remote enemies and destroy innocent lives.
We can choose  on how to use this powerful technologies. However, given the immense destructive power we now possess, future warfare may potentially bring about the destruction of the whole human family. 

Peace: The Only Hope

In light of this, we can no longer continue to resort to war to resolve our conflict. Not just because the rules of war have changed but because our world has radically changed. The only choice we have if we want to save ourselves is if we learn to resolve our differences through peace and dialogue. Of course, there are those who won't listen but we all must make an effort to build bridges between each other.
 For, whether like it or not, we're even more dependent on each other than we were a hundred years ago. Our powerful technology requires us and our leaders to be more responsible and compassionate to the sufferings of people even in countries we might still believe too far away to affect us.

In the world today, peace is the only way forward!

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