all goes to show that wars are not won through newspaper articles, but rather
with ideas, soldiers, weapons and munitions. A people wins when it has the prerequisites
to victory, when it wants to win and when it must win. All that is true for
us. This evening we look back along the path we have followed…"
- Joseph Goebbels, "Our
Hitler," Adolf Hitler's birthday, 1941
Let us never forget this moment, and let no future
generations look back with fury and despair at the path we have followed, thinking
that nobody noticed or cared that the Pentagon was building an army of metallic
soldiers for the War of Terror. We shuddered when we saw the unstoppable robotic
killers, devoid of faces and free of compassion, in Attack
of the Clones; but that was long ago and far away, or so it seemed.
The most fearsome thought imaginable – and we were so glad it was only science
fiction – would be an army of storm troopers devoid of human eyes, hearts, or
as the New York Times explains, "robo-soldiers"
are already a reality:
"A prototype, about four feet high, with a Cyclops eye and a gun for
a right arm, stood in a workshop at the center recently. It readied, aimed and
fired at a Pepsi can, performing the basic tasks of hunting and killing."
"Within 10 years, [an Army robotics expert] said, convoys of robots
should be able to wend their way through deep woods or dense cities."
technology still runs ahead of robot rules of engagement. 'There is a lag between
technology and doctrine,' said [Robert] Finkelstein of Robotic Technology, who
has been in the military robotics field for 28 years. 'If you could invade
other countries bloodlessly, would this lead to a greater temptation to
invade?'" (Emphasis added.)
We are living in what fundamentalists and neocons fondly call "the
end times," but what psychologists and theologians call the
culture of death. In trying to understand why men delight in war, Freud
wrote that Thanatos (unlike Eros, love of life) is the love of death, a self-destructive
yet powerful attraction to death's power to bring "peace."
Bush administration is head over heels in love with death, and American
culture is changing rapidly in response. When influential men in the U.S. military
and the mainstream media call killing
"a hoot" and torture
"a fraternity prank" without losing their jobs, the veneer of
"moral values" and "Christian principles" chips away, revealing
what lies beneath.
Gordan Johnson, who "led robotics efforts at the Pentagon's Joint Forces
Command research center in Suffolk in 2003" exclaims,
not afraid. They don't forget their orders. They don't care if the guy next
to them has just been shot,' Johnson said. 'Will they do a better job than humans?
The article concludes,
"Money, in fact, may matter more than morals. The Pentagon today owes
its soldiers $653 billion in future retirement benefits that it cannot currently