Monday 27 February 2012

Thugs with Joysticks VS Thugs in Jackboots



Through the ages, the idea of soldiers barging into homes, pillaging, raping and killing, has stricken fear into the hearts of the oppressed. 

Before and during the Wars of Independence in Scotland, English lords and their forces plucked defenseless women from their homes, killed everyone else, then burned the structures to the ground. 

During the US Civil War, militia in search of food and supplies invaded the homes of unprotected women and children.

Back in Nazi Germany, folks lived in fear of jackbooted thugs kicking in their doors and searching their homes to find contraband or hidden fugitives. 

Since 1968, the armed forces of the United States has been actively practicing Civil Disturbance Planning in conjunction with the police and the National Guard. 

Even today, the US military practices kicking down civilian doors while executing drills in Germany in a facility in Baumholder designed to be similar to an American apartment building.

Thugs in jackboots (TJB) are a very realistic fear.  Should martial law be declared, today's citizens might expect to be rousted from sleep by groups of "authorities" searching for weapons and food supplies.  The National Guard could come calling, rounding up occupants for a ride to the nearest FEMA camp.    Outright assassinations of patriots (i.e. "terrorists" ) are a very real threat in this world that could become a reality.

The TJBs have a couple of weaknesses that could be the salvation of the citizens of America. 

They are people, looking into the eyes of other people.  There is hope that their own humanity might override the orders they've been given.  Not every police officer, soldier or guardsman is an evil bully at heart.  While there are sadists, bullies and power-hungry elitists in these groups, there are also sons, daughters, mothers and fathers.

Furthermore, this type of thug is physically vulnerable.  TJBs can be intimidated or psyched out.  They can be injured or killed.  We, as their victims, may be outgunned but we at least have the potential to be able to defend ourselves against a home invasion of this nature through intelligence, perseverance and strategy.

More frightening to me are the Thugs with Joysticks.  (TJS).

Picture every angry teenage video game addict you've ever seen.  They've been bullied, humiliated and harrassed throughout their 4 years of high school.  They've gone home and played the most violent video games available as a way to release the tension of that anger.  They play for hours and rack up mind-bending scores and kills.  It means nothing, it isn't real violence - its just sublimination on a socially acceptable level.

Now, give those boys10 week of basic training and the controls to a Predator drone.  Poor fitness and vision won't matter.  Only the skills earned from hours with a joystick in hand are needed.  Meet the new fighter pilots.

Our lives will be in the hands of 19 year old video game addicts.  We will be heat signatures on a screen.  We won't have faces.  We won't be able to reason with them or implore to their better judgement. We can't hide our children under the bed. 

We'll be nothing more than animated targets on a video screen.  By removing our very humanity, the engineers of these drones have removed the last vestige of guilt and restraint that separates the killer from the target.

The TJSs could be a thousand miles away, leaving them with no concern for their personal safety.  Citizens can't defend against unmanned aircraft. The best they can hope to do is shoot them down, which results only in temporary safety until another drone is launched and sent their way.  The pilots of drones have no reason for personal fear whatsoever, leaving them with a psychology of invincibility that would be impossible to penetrate.

The United States Senate has opened up our skies to allow 30,000 drones to take flight by the year 2020.  Forget the armed thugs that may burst into your home.  The new risk is being surveilled, targeted and taken out by angry teenagers who have been desensitized by years of playing violent video games. 

Personally, I'd rather take my chances with the dudes kicking down my door.

1 comment:

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