Drones are the napalm of our time.

I've been thinking about that a lot lately.

I'm reading a terrific book by David Maraniss, "They Marched into Sunlight," which traces two different-but-not-so-different events which occurred at the same time in October 1967: The historic anti-Dow demonstration in Madison and a horrific ambush of American troops in Vietnam. I arrived in Madison the next year, and "Dow" was already legendary, the first real police riot which targeted anti-war white college kids, in the Midwest anyway. Just the one word was enough to define the time and place where the anti-war movement changed forever.

All the arguments used to rationalize the use of drones by the American military were once used to justify the use of napalm as well... in a different Democratic war.

After all the rationalizations have been mouthed, this is what the supporters of drones are defending:

There were pieces of my family all over the road..."  From his pocket, Jan... produced a color photo... It showed the girl's disfigured face, her mouth and lower jaw blown away. Jan said the girl was horribly burned and blinded in both eyes, lost her left arm and needed reconstructive facial surgery.

Haisha is 4 years old. She's a lucky survivor of our Democratic drones... the sister of other little girls who survived Lyndon Johnson's napalm.

Neither drones nor napalm are simply weapons like any other. They are instruments of terror. Once upon a time, we seemed to have learned the lesson of napalm. It's unfathomable to me how many Americans, even self-styled "liberals," are unable to remember at all.




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Which recalls to me ...

BruceMcF's picture

... rewatching the resetting of the Heart of Darkness in Vietnam:

"We didn't find one of them ...", "... it smelled like, Victory".

I'm sure that we also don't hear about drone strikes that don't actually kill a single terrorist as dozens or hundreds of non-combatants die. But the video game like camera footage as the missiles strike ... it may have nothing to do with actual victory ... but it looks like victory.

Some day this War On Terra's gonna end.

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End the Drone War Now

aigeanta's picture

My mom was always so shocked by Kent State. I will have to look into Madison.

It is really tough to watch Democrats supporting Obama's drone policy. I never thought I would see the day when those alive during Vietnam would sanction such horrendous activities. But really, at one end, there is loss of sensitivity to violence due to our cultural environment, and on the other, there is secret proxy war and classified technology.

How can we inspire more compassion from and at the same time reveal our own atrocities to the people who collectively have the power to cease such practices?

During Vietnam, it was a wave of popular music and art, combined with the journalistic access and broadcast technologies to reveal the atrocities committed in that war, inspiring a massive counter-culture movement, that finally ended it.

During our era, we have all the eyes and ears at our fingertips, but no critical mass is developing. Is it because our popular culture is so fragmented?

I am really interested in exploring this topic further. Thank you for your post.

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