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  Mar 6, 2012                  

Crisis: The drones of war

  "Cry 'Havoc!', and let slip the dogs of war"
  -- Shakespeare, Julius Caesar

Previous crisis

This is another brief Nederlog in the crisis series. It's theme is future wars in this century, that I expect are very likely to come and also will be quite horrible, though they may also solve - or perhaps "solve" or at least dissolve - many of the current problems (global warming, economic crisis), namely by removing most of the human players, for example by drones of war.

And here is how - which also shows why it will seem very feasible to many politicians, namely without any losses to Our Side, except perhaps in cute gadgets, that can be manufactured cheaply and in large numbers:

        Professor Kumar of Penn State showing
       some of the Brave New World to come (Youtube 16 min)

There is lot more on the theme - I mean drones: small flying objects, possibly directed from the other side of the globe - on the internet, and the reader should realize that what professor Kumar shows, while undoubtedly clever, also is very probably not the latest, and that Real Soon Now one may not be able to say oneself whether what one sees or hears buzzing by in the shade is a mosquito or a drone spying on one, while it also is mapping one's house, as shown near the end of the video.

Indeed, the first deaths by drones have occurred already. Here is a link to a Fox News article of September last that shows how things have changed under "Yes We Can" Obama:

Two U.S.-Born Terrorists Killed in CIA-Led Drone Strike

That is, not only does the U.S. government kill its own citizens these days as if that is a matter of course: It does so by way of drones, if that seems a convenient way to get it done.

Next, here is an article of today on NPR, by someone who has been following the war by drones for six years:

Foreign Policy: My Drone War

I quote from the article, namely its first paragraph and from the body of the article:

"We don't even sit together to chat anymore," the Taliban fighter told me, his voice hoarse as he combed his beard with his fingers. We were talking in a safe house in Peshawar as the fighter and one of his comrades sketched a picture of life on the run in the borderlands of Waziristan. The deadly American drones buzzing overhead, the two men said, had changed everything for al Qaeda and its local allies.


This is how it has gone with the drone war, a beat I have covered for six years, first for Newsday and then the New York Times. By the time I left Pakistan in the summer of 2010, the job had become nearly impossible, though it had always been a dauntingly difficult story to tell. The drone campaign is one of the U.S. government's most secret programs. Although the most authoritative study on the subject, by the New America Foundation last year, calculated that 283 drone strikes had occurred in the Afghanistan-Pakistan border region since 2004, Obama never even publicly acknowledged them until this past January.

It doesn't make me more optimistic: Soon, most of mankind can be taken out or spied on with the help of drones, possibly no larger than a mosquitos, and mass produced for little money, and directed from some bunker somewhere on the globe, by who knows who for who knows what end.

The reason why I am not optimistic? War and history show that whatever can be abused will be abused, by humans, if it seems to assist Our Side, and that will also be deemed Good by Our Side or indeed "God's Will":

"Actions are held to be good or bad, not on their own merits but according to who does them, and there is almost no outrage - torture, the use of hostages, forced labour, mass deportations, imprisonments without trial, forgery, assassination, the bombing of civilians, which does not change its moral colour when it is committed by 'our' side." (The Collected Essays, Journalism and Letters of George Orwell, vol 3, p. 419)

Previous crisis

Corrections, if any are necessary, have to be made later.


As to ME/CFS (that I prefer to call ME):
1.  Anthony Komaroff Ten discoveries about the biology of CFS (pdf)
3.  Hillary Johnson The Why
4.  Consensus of M.D.s Canadian Consensus Government Report on ME (pdf)
5.  Eleanor Stein Clinical Guidelines for Psychiatrists (pdf)
6.  William Clifford The Ethics of Belief
7.  Paul Lutus

Is Psychology a Science?

8.  Malcolm Hooper Magical Medicine (pdf)
 Maarten Maartensz
ME in Amsterdam - surviving in Amsterdam with ME (Dutch)
 Maarten Maartensz Myalgic Encephalomyelitis

Short descriptions of the above:                

1. Ten reasons why ME/CFS is a real disease by a professor of medicine of Harvard.
2. Long essay by a professor emeritus of medical chemistry about maltreatment of ME.
3. Explanation of what's happening around ME by an investigative journalist.
4. Report to Canadian Government on ME, by many medical experts.
5. Advice to psychiatrist by a psychiatrist who understa, but nds ME is an organic disease
6. English mathematical genius on one's responsibilities in the matter of one's beliefs:

7. A space- and computer-scientist takes a look at psychology.
8. Malcolm Hooper puts things together status 2010.
9. I tell my story of surviving (so far) in Amsterdam/ with ME.
10. The directory on my site about ME.

See also: ME -Documentation and ME - Resources
The last has many files, all on my site to keep them accessible.

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