Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Drones killing Pakistani villagers are the visible tip of a looming Robotic Age. 

Will we act, in defense of humanity and Creation, before it is too late? 

     Predator. Reaper. Hellfire. These are the names which the U.S. corporate and military developers chose for their automated killing machines, missile-armed pilotless drones [officially called UAVs or RPGs] now prowling the skies of Southwest Asia, raining death and third degree burn injuries on tribal villagers in Pakistan, as well as in Yemen and elsewhere. The meticulous and highly respected Bureau of Investigative Journalism in London estimates that 2,541 to 3,587 people have been killed by US drone strikes in Pakistan during recent years, 411 to 884 of them civilians, including168 to197 children. Even David Kilcullen, a military counterinsurgency expert and the top advisor to General Petraeus during the Iraq “surge”, testified before Congress in 2009 that these strikes are generating sworn enemies of the US faster than they can be killed, and that the government should “call off the drones”. 

     While more sophisticated planning and smaller Griffin warheads lowered (but certainly did not eliminate, contrary to CIA claims) the number of civilians killed in these strikes, nevertheless the human toll of assassinations and civilian casualties, as well as the precedents of high-tech extrajudicial executions and machine surveillance, remain tragically sobering. Furthermore, the short-term reduction of civilian casualties in one or two countries does not alter the far larger and extremely ominous implications of increasingly automated robotic weapons for humanity and life on Earth. With US war plans for Syria, Lebanon and Iran escalating steadily, the role and human toll of drone strikes is likely to skyrocket, if current plans go forward. 

    The presently deployed drones are only a first small advance guard of far-more sophisticated, numerous and deadly robot legions now being rapidly developed and manufactured by the corporate/military establishment for a little-understood but swiftly emerging new - and possibly terminal - era of human history, a trend massively documented in Brookings scholar P.W. Singer’s 2009 book Wired for War, and reinforced by the research of Dr. Sherry Turkle at MIT. As Sun Microsystems co-founder Bill Joy has written, the accelerating convergence of advanced computer science, robotics, biotechnology, and nanotechnology is putting the very definition, fundamental integrity, and survival of humanity and life on Earth at unprecedented risk … a peril matching and even exceeding the apocalyptic nuclear arsenals built during the mid/late 20th century. 

    ARROWS is a unique network formed in 2009 to challenge the rise of a robotic warfare society. ARROWS coordinated the first conference ever on Challenging Robotic Warfare & Social Control in April 2010, with 125 participants, and has since conducted dozens of educational events from Minneapolis to Portland to San Diego. If you share our concerns, please contact us and join with us in this work of vision and hope for the future, in defense of humanity and Creation. Educational presentations, seminars and workshops are available (along with reviews of past events) – exposing the reality of the emergent robotic/biotech/nanotech matrix, while inspiring effective strategies to short-circuit its power and sustain the natural fabric of life on our planet. The future is now, and the fate of the Earth is in all of our hands. 


ARROWS (Alliance to Resist Robotic Warfare and Society) tierralinda@live.com