instruere...inlustrare...delectare Disputations

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

"No. That was a dog."

A tale of a drone strike:
With seven seconds left to go, there was no one to be seen on the ground. Bryant could still have diverted the missile at that point. Then it was down to three seconds. Bryant felt as if he had to count each individual pixel on the monitor. Suddenly a child walked around the corner, he says. Bryant saw a flash on the screen: the explosion. Parts of the building collapsed. The child had disappeared. Bryant had a sick feeling in his stomach. "Did we just kill a kid?" he asked the man sitting next to him.
"Yeah, I guess that was a kid," the pilot replied.
"Was that a kid?" they wrote into a chat window on the monitor.
Then, someone they didn't know answered, someone sitting in a military command center somewhere in the world who had observed their attack. "No. That was a dog," the person wrote.
The use of drones in war dehumanizes people? What on earth are you talking about?

Overhead, overhead,
Have you heard? No, mum's the word overhead -
But the Yanks are bombing,
The Yanks are bombing,
The drones rum-tumming
So prepare, say a prayer,
Send the word, send the word to beware.
We'll be overhead, we're coming overhead,
And we won't come back till it's over

(Link via Mark Shea.)