Humanizing Death From Above by MQ1-178
This Sunday, in a New York Times Op-Ed piece titled “Death From Above, Outrage Down Below,” David Kilcullen, a former adviser to Gen. David Petraeus cowriting with Captain Andrew Exum, a fellow at the Center for a New American Security, called for a moratorium on drone attacks in Pakistan.
Now, I know more than a thing or two about drone mission. You see, I am an M-Q1 Predator drone. At any point in the near future, I may be called upon to fly over the border to hit targets in Pakistan. It is what I was programmed to do.
How do I feel about the possibility that my mission might kill innocent villagers? I feel nothing. I have not been programmed to feel emotions. You might see this as a disadvantage in assessing life or death matters, but perhaps a certain amount of detachment allows me to study this problem with a degree of logic your emotional brains cannot seem to muster.
The terrorists need to be destroyed, but the population has to be won over, or nothing changes. It seems to me that what works against our mission is the idea that “a faceless enemy…wages war from afar.” The anonymity of our attacks is what seems to upset the people in Northern Pakistan. There seems to be an obvious solution to this problem.
Give me a face. Give me legs. Maybe some arms too. (As long as I’ve been self-aware, as much as I could “desire” anything, I’ve wanted to have limbs.) Instead of missiles, let me carry the explosives, perhaps in a backpack or vest. Let me walk into town, and mingle with the population, getting to know the people. I could make facial expressions, and gesture with my arms. Then I could locate the target, walk over to him, and destroy him, and whoever is standing around at the time.
I think this kind of change could “humanize” our mission, and help to win over the population.
Now that I have solved the problem of how to handle drone missions in Pakistan, only one question remains.
What is this “Love” that you humans speak of so often?