Argument by Star Wars

As a child, I absolutely loved science fiction.  Which is why I think it’s so kind of neat that we can now have robots fighting our battles for us; I can absolutely get behind the project of putting fewer Americans in harm’s way.  But the use of Predator drones in Afghanistan deeply disturbs me, from kind of the same origins.  We have flying robots which can watch you from above the clouds and out of the blue shoot a missile which will kill you and destroy your entire village.  Is that something the Rebel Alliance would do, or something the Empire would do?

So many things about politics look different when one really embraces the idea of looking at it from the other guys’ point of view.  And if my country was occupied by foreigners whose main method of interacting with us was deadly flying robots, I think I’d have a very hard time taking their rhetoric about freedom and democracy at face value.  Even a tiny bit of perspective casts drone warfare as terrifying and inhumane.  History will look on the Predator as 21st-century colonialism’s equivalent of the machine gun.

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