warbotics 2016- Obama releases casualty figure, magic number 116

drone_takeoffhi all. now seems as good a time as any to write on this topic. the dallas killer robot taking out a sniper alarmingly blurs the line between military and civilian/ police use of robotics. but hey, thats always been what americans are good at right? we seem to have long had some pretty “mixed up boundaries” on use of (lethal) force esp compared/ contrast with other countries.

every few years there is a small outbreak or commotion over use of military drones. drones have probably killed a few thousand over the many years that theyve been used. by a massive sleight of hand the military classifies nearly all casualties as “enemy combatants” based on their proximity to the target. hey, tail wagging the dog right? that was an old brilliant satire movie from many years ago that nobody remembers anymore anyway.

anyway within last few weeks, obama officially finally released figures after many years of empty promises and footdragging and theres a smattering of headlines and editorials.[a]

the magic number is 116.

so now we can all just heave a massive sigh of relief, write it down on a yellow sticky note and put it on the refrigerator or whatever. 116 is not that bad. and obama can pat himself on the back for his amazing forebearance and (trying to get the right word here)… restraint. and oh yeah, that favorite military word, precision. oh lets face it whatever number he came up with, hed get all kinds of criticism on it right? clearly its a total no-win sitation for him. and hey, its not his problem in less than a ~½year anyway. whose the next commander in chief anyway? we can be sure either hillary or donald will do a better job, right? 😮 👿

elsewhere, big news: jihadi john was vaporized by a drone.[b] does anyone remember him? he was top news just a few years ago at the beginning of the war. since hes dead now, maybe we can stop the war? but strangely this recent news didnt seem to cause as much impact as the original feverish jihadi john headlines. ah well war is like that. even ISIL execution propaganda seems not to be getting front page news any more. reminds me of those poor pop performers like justin bieber or taylor swift who have to endlessly somehow string together new/ novel sounds/ notes that cause their fans and crowds to momentarily pay attention and gush—or even worse/ more difficult/ an even higher tightrope, new selfie poses by kim kardashian. what pressure. maybe some baby oil? the modern media/internet maelstorm definitely gives new meaning to the phrase race to the bottom.  😮

actually that now reminds me of an old classic shakespeare quote. isnt it strange how his ideas never get old and seem to get refreshed each new generation?

it is a tale of sound and fury, told by an idiot, signifying nothing.

ooh, maybe should not be talking. writing blogs makes me a media producer and requires substantial novelty too.

could one say that the 116 number is so manipulated as to nearly be meaningless aka “signify nothing”? but maybe that is the point. hey, judging by kim kardashian media saturation, in comparison americans dont really care about “statistics” like that anyway right? there are lies, damn lies, and statistics. and in war, the first casualty is the truth….

hey lets face it, war is a sort of collective mass insanity that has persisted for millenia. thinking about it in any detail will melt your brain, give you nightmares and make you go paranoid, insane, and/ or suicidal! (nothing worse than your typical antidepressant side effects right? might sound alarming but anyway with war thats all just variations on a theme!) just ask george orwell, right? its just now that we have extremely efficient, cutting edge technological means of pulling it off. honestly, even with his extraordinary “visionary” sight, it would seem that orwell seriously underestimated the situation and future possibilities (from his pov/ era)…

ok the prior musings are slightly embarrassing to attach to this serious subject, but its just what came to mind. sometimes the (so called) collective consciousness overrides my own.

my silver lining is that hollywood is now covering the subject in a compelling way in two recent movies.[f] ok, ok, its nice to see a few requisite/ plaintive complaints in the media.[d] there was also a very notable wired profile on the origin of the drone program which has been mostly classified until now, so its a huge coup/ scoop for them, but alas nobody else seemed to notice much.[c2] but alas, its a brave new world and new developments are moving very quickly in this area. it looks like as hollywood has long feared/ sensationalized/ warned, Warbotics is the ultimate WarToy™.[e]

picture from [e24]. & how about this quote?

For the Pentagon leadership, innovations like the X-47B are centrepieces of a new wave of military technology that officials hope will keep the US ahead of China and Russia, whose heavy investments in recent years has closed the gap.

dontcha just luv heavy investments closing the gap? that captures the whole systematic, rational sensibility of the big endeavor/ project/ ambition right? hey thats what warfare is always about, right? “keeping up with the joneses”? (just like manhattan project, that classic “hit” from over ½-century ago! even starring our hero the nobel-prize winning feynman with all his silly hijinx!) yeah dont forget, race to the bottom… we’ll all just keep heavy investing to close the gap right all the way up to SKYNET right? (ah hell if get any more cynical will have to start writing for tomsdispatch or antiwar.com)

speaking of hollywood, just thought of this, hasnt anyone thought of doing a documentary on drone warfare? hooey theres a subject begging for multiple treatments and one could easily fill 90m with a lot of amazing stuff!


a. whitehouse/ leaks
b. jihadi john
c. bkg/ profile/ incidents
d. failure/ criticism/ blowback
e. advances/ future
f. hollywood

One thought on “warbotics 2016- Obama releases casualty figure, magic number 116

  1. Kuhulcan

    We are heading towards “Techno-feudalism”, both East and West, and that’s all – only, the East won’t even need the “Democracy” parlance for a justification…


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