Can’t get tonight’s CBS 60 Minutes report shaken free, settled, comprehended. It was on the new military air force unmanned planes that are currently being used over Iraq and Afghanistan. The planes carry missiles, and more importantly, cameras that see in the night, have amazing reception and clarity, and are trained on terrorist activities that can zero down on following a lone gunman. Who can then be blown up by the plane, based on a decision made by the pilot who is sitting at a monitor and control in Nevada, 7500 miles away.
There are many, many questions this type of new combat form raises. Somehow, I still find myself worrying about the most basic one, that of ethics. But is war itself ethical? Is face to face, hand to hand, a more morally correct way to behave in fighting an enemy than one sitting safely away in no danger? Technology always grants the upper hand: firearms beat bows and arrows, cartridge gun beat the time-wasting muzzleloaders, bombs beat cannonballs. How far do we go? Is it leading towards a day where men will not be sacrificed but war instead will be won or lost by a virtual warplay that scores will determine?
Watch the video at this link to CBS. Think about it. Worry.