The Cause of the Human

By their nature, drones clear away the ‘fog of war’, and provide some moral clarity. That latter phrase, in the context of war, was given a bad name recently by the Bush administration; liberals pleaded for some appreciation of nuance and subtlety. But the Bush wars, and the whole regime of surveillance and torture that accompanied them, were framed by the constant invocation of the 2001 suicide hijackings, and explicitly grounded in relativistic utilitarianism: we have to bend the rules because of the situation we face. After the atrocities at Abu Ghraib, the standard excuses were trotted out. A few bad apples. War is hell. But war is not hell for a flying robot; and nor is it, pace the human-interest stories in the Western media, for drone operators…

[ read the full paper at academia.edu ]