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The U.S. military will now be offering a medal in drone warfare bravery. Its ranking in the hierarchy of medals is upsetting some (real life) combat vets, who don't quite see operating a drone on quite the same level.

Originally posted to Comics on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 06:50 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  OK, I give up (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shaharazade, gooderservice, Nattiq

    Is this really happening or is it satire?  If the latter, sorry for ruining the joke so early in the thread . . ..

  •  The military loves its medals. And just wait (10+ / 0-)

    until they activate the "autonomous" robots, autonomous meaning "undertaken or carried on without outside control : self-contained."   I.e., Terminator comes to America and they're expected to be ready within the next ten years.   The Global War OF Terror will still be raging.  What kind of medals will the Pentagon award the robots?  That oughta really piss off some veterans.  

    "The Global War OF Terror is a justification for U.S. Imperialism. It must be stopped."

    by BigAlinWashSt on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 07:06:54 AM PST

  •  Sad. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jm214, native, gooderservice, NearlyNormal

    This is about money and war profiteers as well as all the other smoke and mirrors.  Eisenhower had it right.  Beware the industrial military complex.  In this case it is a Brit company that did all the drone surveillance technology.  It is international in scope.

  •  May I suggest an additional medal? (3+ / 0-)

    The Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster(fuck).

    "Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions." - Thomas Jefferson

    by rfall on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 07:24:46 AM PST

  •  There actually have been cases of PTSD (8+ / 0-)

    in drone operators. It's psychologically troubling to do what they do - killing is unnatural and no matter how it's justified the subconscious never accepts it. And even if they refuse to do it (as many have already done), the military will always find someone else to take their place who has been more adequately propagandized.

    Moreover, the problem with drone warfare isn't that the "airmen" aren't really brave like those who personally fly a plane to bomb a city in the middle east. The problem is the murder.

    So, yeah, this is my little reminder to liberals to keep the criticisms focused on the top instead of the bottom. Otherwise it becomes less of a policy discussion and more of a "culture war" debate.

    •  Eloquently stated! (0+ / 0-)

      Your comment was much better written than mine and reflected my concerns!

    •  asdf (7+ / 0-)

      It's psychologically troubling to do what they do

      I would guess that it is also  'psychologically troubling' for those at the pointy end of the drone's ordinance.

      and this is my reminder to non Liberals such as yourself (by inference) that there is plenty of blame for the whole of this particular food chain - both top and bottom.

      •  Clearly (1+ / 0-)

        the point is to blame people and not to change anything.

        Liberals' tendency to criticize horizontally is what I was referring to. When the powers that be get nervous, they put the pole down the middle of a crowd and tell each side to get mad at the other side. Liberals do participate in that (though not to the extent that conservatives do).

        Why not get mad at the people in charge of the kill program and try to recruit the people who are put in the position as killer? (I don't know where you're coming from, but part of the problem might be that there's a Democrat all the way at the top?)

        There are people in the position of killer here (and people with them in their families) who could be plenty critical of the program if everything wasn't painted in "Your family member is awful!" terms.

        I'm thinking of Thich Nhat Hahn and how he worked with American Vietnam vets recovering from... destroying his country and killing the people he knew.

        Or: Saying that war is one people destroying another to take their shit is painting too rosy of a picture. It's one people destroying themselves in the process of destroying another to give the latter's shit to some rich people who didn't lift a finger.

        •  We're going to have to blame the guilty if (0+ / 0-)

          we're going to change anything.

          Why not get mad at the people in charge of the kill program and try to recruit the people who are put in the position as killer?
          Why pretend that no one is mad at the people who created this campaign of terror and are now handing out medals to those waging it?
          I'm thinking of Thich Nhat Hahn and how he worked with American Vietnam vets recovering from... destroying his country and killing the people he knew.
          The victims of crimes have every right to forgive those who have harmed them.  Sometimes it's a great path to healing.

          Are you saying that your village was bombed during this terror campaign and you want to forgive the drone operators who did it?  If so, I'd like to hear that story.

          If not, this free pass you're trying to persuade others to hand out isn't yours to give.

          income gains to the top 1% from 2009 to 2011 were 121% of all income increases. How did that happen? Incomes to the bottom 99% fell by 0.4%

          by JesseCW on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 01:34:59 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Yeah, well, it was the "top" who came up with this (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JesseCW

      idiotic idea.

      So, yeah, this is my little reminder to liberals to keep the criticisms focused on the top instead of the bottom.
    •  Giving people a medal isn't going to help them (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JesseCW

      with PTSD.

      There's currently a movement to reevaluation the causes of PTSD in the military. It looks like about 1/3 each of loss (seeing friends killed or maimed), fear and violation of moral standards.

      I'd imagine that drone operators all fall into the last category.

      If you select for basically good, moral people and make them do immoral things, of course it's going to make them crazy.

      Medals won't help. Not using drones as terror weapons will.

    •  Do you think the people "at the bottom" created (0+ / 0-)

      this medal?

      Who do you think this comic is being critical of?

      I do wish we saw a tenth of the compassion for the victims of murder that we see for the restless nights experienced by those who carry it out.

      "Just following orders" still isn't a defense.

      income gains to the top 1% from 2009 to 2011 were 121% of all income increases. How did that happen? Incomes to the bottom 99% fell by 0.4%

      by JesseCW on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 01:30:15 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I think that this could really backfire. (0+ / 0-)

    Everyone who serves on active duty contributes to the success of the mission.

    The other issues of drone warfare should not be used to cast aspersions on those who are serving in the military. They are there to do a job and are deserving of our respect.

    •  Are you seriously making the claim that (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      zinger99, unclejohn, DSPS owl

      more than a small fraction of the US military does is "necessary"?

      Strange, strange stuff!!

      •   (0+ / 0-)

        I was simply saying that I thought the cartoon was targeting AD service members. Its poor form to criticise the worker bees.....

        •  I dunno, I've been told repeatedly that (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ffour, zinger99, NearlyNormal

          they're the "best and the brightest" that society has to offer.

          Therefore, you'd think that if they wished to, they could find some less nefarious way to earn a living.

          So, if they opt not too, I'm not too sure they should be so thin skinned . .. .

          •  I don't have much respect for the decision to (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Roadbed Guy, snoopydawg, zinger99

            Volunteer as a mercenary for our plutocratic overlords.

            Deserves it! I daresay he does. Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgement. For even the very wise cannot see all ends. - Gandalf the Grey

            by No Exit on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 08:06:24 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Meh, they probably don't have much respect (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              No Exit

              for you either - what are you btw, a dirty fuckin' hippie type?

              (heh ehhe heh eh ha ah)

            •  Show some charity (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              No Exit

              That viewpoint requires a level of political and moral consciousness, as well as economic choices, that your average recruit just doesn't have.

              An 18 year-old kid from some dying rural town or dangerous inner city, with no other options isn't thinking that hard about who or what s/he ultimately serves when he/she signs up. S/he's thinking "The military will pay for my college, I'll be serving my country, it's not a bad job and it's sure going to be more exciting/safer than this place!"

              At the other end, career military folks value a lot of the same things that liberals do - moral integrity, education, teamwork and personal sacrifice for the greater good. The smartest of them also realize that they're in just about the closest thing there is to a socialist meritocracy that there is on the planet!

              •  I understand doing it for the money. (0+ / 0-)

                But that's the definition of mercenary.

                Given the realities of the world I have the most sympathy for this motive.

                Deserves it! I daresay he does. Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgement. For even the very wise cannot see all ends. - Gandalf the Grey

                by No Exit on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 06:47:56 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

    •  That respect (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      No Exit, gooderservice

      should not be automatically granted just because someone decides to join up. They are still individuals and are still responsible for their actions.

      •  I never saw much worth "respecting" in (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DSPS owl, Major Kong

        blowing people up or in being blown up.

        Maybe it's just me . . . . .  All the "hurrah for our heroic troops!!!" stuff just sounds too much like the propaganda that Hitler and Stalin and other military societies always put out.

        I guess I'm one of the few old enough to remember when progressives were AGAINST military societies, not FOR it.

  •  Yeah, Im startin to get osteo or CTS from my work (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Roadbed Guy, gooderservice, zinger99

    too. Do I get a medal? Or do I have to blow something up on a video monitor while wearing a uniform?

  •  It ain't just drones: "Biologicals" are in the win (4+ / 0-)

    gs too. From the Atlantic, under "Hacking The President's DNA":

    http://www.theatlantic.com/...

    And from a slightly wider perspective:

    http://www.britannica.com/...

    And at a slightly larger scale, and maybe even closer to "deployment," the summum bonum of all "good" weapons programs:

    http://www.phibetaiota.net/... Neo would never have made it out of the kindergarten stage, in this coming Matrix...

    http://www.businessinsider.com/... Is "business" waking up? or just waking up to the "profit potential," since all of this is on cost-plus usual-corruption "contracts" with our Pentagram Masters?

    This is our ultimate intelligence test as a species. I bet the result will end up being that "We're so smart we're stupid."

    For all the folks who never met a technology they didn't love, how about that wonderful new area of opportunity? Sharpen your gene scalpels, folks, and learn those nanotechnology skills, and hope that the stuff you create doesn't, like, turn on you all of a sudden -- it's a-comin' at you...

    "Is that all there is?" Peggy Lee.

    by jm214 on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 07:38:15 AM PST

    •  That Atlantic article was one of the (0+ / 0-)

      most idiotic things they've ever published (and actually, that's saying quite alot!).

      I haven't previously seen the other articles you cite, but I hope to be equally entertained later on today when I hope to have time to peruse them . .. .

    •  Ok here is the deal. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      zinger99

      I am tempted to HR you for equating pentagrams with evil. That is a Wiccan symbol, something that is even further removed from this idiocy than Christianity. Please be more careful with your imagery.

      Don't confuse my lack of religion for a lack of spirituality.

      by Mxwll on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 08:17:06 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Is there a Dictionary ot Touchy Terms for us (0+ / 0-)

        ordinary rubes to refer to? Maybe an app that will "XX" out (I was going to say "cross out," but, you know...) all potentially affrontive text, before offense can be take? Some kind of censor that will protect all sensibilities of every avatar here from whatever meaningful comment might be present in the panoply or panopticon that is blogspace and in particular dkos that might step on one prickly toe or another?

        Maybe the symbol and the word I dare not utter can be copyrighted or something, too, so lawyers can be sent out to trash anyone who dares to McMisuse either one...

        And have you noted the articles and commentary that show how ardent Fundamentalist "Christians" have been finding niches in the Armed Services (sic) to build power bases and direct the strategies and tactics and indoctrinations that the military foists on our Troops We Support?

        Please, HR to your heart's content. That's how all the edges and meanings get abraded out of the mix. And in the meantime, the species is headed just where, again? But at least there will be less chance for, you know, being offended...

        "Is that all there is?" Peggy Lee.

        by jm214 on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 09:41:49 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Whatever (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          zinger99

          That one word equated the Wiccan religion with evil, something that has been happening casually for centuries, but by all means, use what ever words you want. Offend who ever you want, because who has time for mutual respect, when, you know, you are pointing out how bad we are as a species. Have a nice day.

          Don't confuse my lack of religion for a lack of spirituality.

          by Mxwll on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 10:21:05 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  way back in the 80's, the Pentagon was (0+ / 0-)

      working on "ethnic bombs" that would use genetically engineered pathogens that would only become active when in the presence of a particular genetic marker that was more prevalent among people of African descent or Asian descent or Middle Eastern descent or whoever the enemy happened to be at the moment.

      Sounds like they're still working on it.

       

  •  And... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NearlyNormal

    And so it goes.

  •  This is done to legitimize drone warfare. (5+ / 0-)

    And they've done quite a good job at it, the majority of the public is in favor of killing people in far away lands with drones.  

    "The Global War OF Terror is a justification for U.S. Imperialism. It must be stopped."

    by BigAlinWashSt on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 08:44:53 AM PST

  •  Do drone (2+ / 0-)

    operators receive combat pay? are they considered to be serving tours f duty? Can they become veterans of foreign wars if they never leave Florida?

  •  Grammar Police, (0+ / 0-)

    these drones are not robots! Those things we see in autombile commercials (etc.) work with out a person at a joystick or any other live operator. Those are robots.

    If a thing is remote controled it is a WALDO (capital letters not required). Have you ever seen a movie where some people are moving toxic materials around through a pane of glass using remote arm like devices? Those devices are waldos. Robots are not remotely controled devices robots are defined as independent of human control. The Mars rovers are robots even though they require limited (limited by the speed of light and distance) human input.

    /grammar police

  •  Gen Petreus got a Bronse Star-Combat V for nothing (0+ / 0-)

    might have been in the Green Zone when a rocket landed near his 1,000 a night hotel suit.

    80 % of Success is Just Showing Up! CLIMATE CHANGE: The era of procrastination, half-measures & delays is coming to an end; In its place we are entering a period of consequences!

    by Churchill on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 10:50:39 AM PST

  •  Nothing wrong with Drones (1+ / 0-)

    War is war. Guns, missiles, troops, subs, planes, drones, etc.

    What does it matter how the war is fought from a conventional weaponry standpoint? (Not chemical, biological, radioactive)

    The issues revolve around "is this a war we need to fight?" "are we doing what we can to minimize or even eliminate civilian casualties?" "Are we protecting our troops from dangerous missions?"

    How is a drone any better or worse than say, using B-52s for an Arclight strike?

    At least the drones CAN be more accurate (can, not always). They will just get more accurate over time.

    •  They're using missiles in residential (0+ / 0-)

      areas which have massive kill radius's.  You're talking about "accuracy", when  they're basically doing the equivalent of unloading a shotgun blindfolded on a crowded city bus because they're pretty sure the guy they want to kill
      got on a few stops before.

      income gains to the top 1% from 2009 to 2011 were 121% of all income increases. How did that happen? Incomes to the bottom 99% fell by 0.4%

      by JesseCW on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 02:21:27 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I think of the drone that spotted Gaddafi (1+ / 0-)

    It was a US Predator drone that spotted Gaddafi's convoy as he attempted to escape his hometown of Sirte.  The drone launched its own weapons, and guided a manned NATO strike fighter to do the same.  Disabling the convoy, forcing the Colonel and much of his inner circle to take refuge in a nearby hole in the ground.  Directly leading to his getting the full Mussolini treatment by the people he had oppressed and brutalized for 42 years.

    It brought a swift, complete end to an 8-month war that had killed 25,000 people in a short time period, achieved justice for Gaddafi's victims from Benghazi to Lockerbie, and guaranteed Gaddafi's brand of madness would never plague Libya or the world again.

    Thats worth some manner of recognition, IMO.

    Follow Me on Twitter! https://twitter.com/#!/ZeddRebel

    by TarantinoDork on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 11:54:05 AM PST

    •  That's cute. Pretending that the war waged in (0+ / 0-)

      flagrant violation of the War Powers Act is "over".

      We just deployed 100 soldiers to Mali, where that war continues.

      income gains to the top 1% from 2009 to 2011 were 121% of all income increases. How did that happen? Incomes to the bottom 99% fell by 0.4%

      by JesseCW on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 02:22:39 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  We should be careful of mocking the military - (0+ / 0-)

    our economy does not have a lot to offer 19 year olds, so many do not have much choice.

    The medals?  The military hands them out for many things, including participation in campaigns (even if you never got shot at).   Sometimes you'll get a ribbon or medal just for meeting qualifications.  So yeah, the droners deserve their medals.

    Interestingly, the US military has become quite enamored chest candy, to the point where long-serving personnel have a chestful just like a Soviet field marshall.  The UK has much less "medal inflation" and it is not uncommon for German soldiers to have none at all, even senior officers.

    In the US system, the ribbons serve as a sort of resume of accomplishments and skills.  The Germans are content to have rank insignia and colored collars tab to identify your branch of the army.  Add a badge or two for qualifications, und fertig.

    •  Our economy gives 19 year olds many choices. (0+ / 0-)

      One of them is the service - where they are not forced into piloting drones and launching terror strikes.

      Anyone who can qualify to get accepted to that program has lots of other options in our Armed Forces, from working on Humvee's to being a file clerk.

      income gains to the top 1% from 2009 to 2011 were 121% of all income increases. How did that happen? Incomes to the bottom 99% fell by 0.4%

      by JesseCW on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 02:24:26 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Can't they just give them . . . (0+ / 0-)

    . . . more credits/quarters for the video game?

  •  or as a comedian said in the early 80's (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Major Kong, JesseCW

    paraphrased " I heard the air force is hanging out at arcades now, asking 'hey kid, you wanna play for keeps?' "

  •  So, now there's a medal for (0+ / 0-)

    computer games. Will disgraced imperial commanders be expected to fall on their joysticks?

    We cannot win a war crime - Dancewater, July 27, 2008

    by unclejohn on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 03:30:16 PM PST

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