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DRONE WARS: THE IRANIANS STRIKE BACK?
Iran has engaged a U.S. Drone Reuters said on Friday. CNN Anchor Don Lemon (who hates Jonah Hill, BTW) described the attacks as occurring ‘earlier this month.” General James “Spider “Marks, (US Army, ret.) told Lemon that the attack was a huge fail and the Iranians were unable to hit the drone with anything. This prompts the question- is there a cooler nickname for a general (or a convict, or a Mafioso like Michael Imperioli in “Goodfella’s”) than ‘Spider’?
This should be no surprise when you consider the fact that, as far as we know at this point, most, if not all drones are subsonic and small. You would need to really be well armed, probably with ‘dumb’ weapons, to hit that sucker. It’s possible that Heat Seeker missiles aren’t all that effective against the somewhat stealthy drones, so we’re talking about executing a pretty damn perfect “gun run” and blowing the thing out of the sky with good old fashioned machine guns. Meanwhile I am not able to tell you if it’s possible to tell if the drone is unarmed before you attack. So you’re risking human to kill a robot. Seems a bad trade off. The Iranians clearly couldn’t care less about their pilots. One of them killed by our robot is probably the thing that will happen next, even if they have to dupe a guy into colliding with one. Let’s face the current Iranian Regime isn’t exactly known for its placement of high value on the lives of their people. In fact if the United States Navy’s interpretation of events is to be believed, they set up their own people to be killed.
In July 1988 a telling incident occurred that, although now well into the rearview, show how ongoing and abiding the hate the Iranian Government has always had for the United States runs as well as the blatant disregard they have for their own citizens. Apparently they baited the United States into what would on the surface seem to be a blatant atrocity. The USS Vincennes, a guided missile cruiser, shot down what radar and the emitter on the target identified as an Iranian fighter jet coming right at a US Naval Task Force in International waters.
What the target really was turned out to be French made Airbus that had a full complement of innocent passengers, including women and kids. This, if true, would mean the USS Vincennes Incident was manufactured by Tehran just to perpetuate hatred against the United States. This is a wise strategy if you are cynical and have no conscience.
During World War 2 citizens of all targeted cities became pretty patriotic because they felt threatened by and outright hated the enemies who were bombing them. It was something so odd sociologists are still trying to figure out exactly why it happened. Those who launched the attacks were looking to terrorize and break the will of the populace’s they attacked. Unleashing thousands of dumb bombs indiscriminately on a city had a counter-intuitive but universal effect, uniting the people being bombed and redoubling their resolve and nationalism. Even people with oppressive, unpopular governments in places like Germany and Russia fell in line behind these unlovable regimes. Think of it as a sort of reverse “Stockholm Syndrome”. This is ALSO a good strategy for Tehran, there’s nothing like an outside threat to unite a populace through “Bunker Mentality”
The Iranian people SO want their current regime gone that there is no avoiding the conclusion that Tehran knows some hating on the Great Satan, which is possibly the coolest nickname for us ANY of our opponents ever have come up with, would buy them some time. Good luck. Only brutal repression keeps these psychos’s in control of their oppressed populace, who almost threw off the yoke in the so called “Green Revolution”, several years ago.
The Iranian action was described as the allegedly unarmed drone having been “targeted” with some sort of weapon by ‘war planes’. Probably a Russian made MiG Flogger, a French Mirage Fighter or even just an old US made F-4 Phantom, or, possibly, a small combat patrol made up of 2 or more of the preceding.
Games without frontiers, War without tears….
So as details keep emerging from the resinous soup that is the Iran-US relationship I am going to engage in some rank speculation.
Why NOT attack a drone if you’re Iran? Your never gonna kill an American. Worst case scenario, some guy at MacDill Air Force Base spits his Sprite all over the screen while he’s trying to eat his Jimmy-John’s Sub on the sly. What is a drone anyway? Well it’s an iPad connected to a model airplane and sometimes armed with missiles. The Iranians have shot at least one of these things down already if they are to be believed (not the safest bet). At any rate we have seen them show off some wreckage that was pretty convincing. I am not so sure they shot it down as much as the piece of crap probably crashed in a sandstorm or something.
What we are really seeing is a move towards remote control warfare on a level only displayed by Skynet from Hollywood’s Terminator franchise. When will the first drone on drone engagement occur? Or; has that ALREADY happened? I would guess not but there’s no knowing for sure. Certainly we have completely sanitize war, at least as it is perceived by most Americans from the limited pictures coming back from places like Afghanistan. The footage is invariably damn near black and white if not infra-red green, so blood is not really visible when theses ‘targets’ get ‘droned’. In the most ideal cases selected for release seem to simply show the guys Toyota blowing up from a point of view that seems at least a quarter mile away at best. Poof! Bye-Bye Bad Man.
Reality has no frame of reference to where this is going, so I am forced to go with a 1967 episode of Star Trek called “A Taste of Armageddon”. The Enterprise forces contact on a planet where they have been at war with a solar neighbor for 500 years. The Enterprise crew marvel at the fact there is no sign of war whatsoever. This intensifies when the planet they are on is ‘attacked’. This is when Captain Kirk realizes the war was in fact a computer simulation and that the ‘casualties” were alive and well and eager as hell to jump into suicide booths so that the war would not turn “real”.
The fear was that war was a problem in itself, but the collateral aspects of war, beyond combat deaths, are even worse. Famine, plague, pestilence; all outside the equation. War was so surgical and precise and its cost so minimized that there was no need to end it. It became a fact of life. No one questioned it. NRA comparisons aside, is it possible we are so sanitizing war that there will be no point in seeking a lasting peace? Why negotiate when you can drone your problems out of existence with the ease of changing the channel.
Oh yeah, you can bet this technology is being used domestically for a variety of reasons.