Thursday, March 25, 2010

Send In The Drones


I will speak about something which an evolutionary psychologist, Satoshi Kanazawa, wrote in the magazine, Psychology Today. He asks why "we" (America and its allies) aren't winning our various wars around the world. "We" should be winning them easily because we have far the superior technology. It should be, for "us", a "slam dunk".

But Kanazawa says there is one thing that "they" (the amorphous enemy) have more of, than us. It is hate. "They" have more hate for "us" than "we" have for "them".

Why?

Kanazawa thinks the reason is our political correctness. In the past we won our wars because we hated the enemy purely and intensely. So we called them "Japs" "Krauts" and "Gooks". We dropped bombs not only on them, but on their wives and children too. This is why we won both world wars inside four years.

But the wars which we are fighting today are without end. There is no sign that we are winning. The implication is that nothing will change unless we go back to our intense and visceral hate of former times.

If it is a fact that "they" hate us with an intensity which "we" don't reciprocate, what could be the reason? Is it because "we" have inflicted more suffering on "them" than they have inflicted on us?

Consider Iraq. Between 1991 and 2003 "we" imposed severe economic sanctions on the people of Iraq. How many Iraqis died as a result of these sanctions? Maybe up to 1.4 million. Then there was the invasion of Iraq in 2003 and the subsequent guerrilla war. The numbers of dead? Perhaps 100,000; perhaps 1,000,000. Who knows exactly. Whatever the number, it is big.

Consider 9/11. A terrible day, we all agree. The 3,000 dead, a tragedy. In revenge "we" invaded Afghanistan and killed between 12,000 and 32,000 people, most of them ordinary innocent people.

"We" have killed between one and two million of "them" over the last twenty years, and "they" have killed 10,000 of "us". Therefore it's easy to see why "they" would hate "us" far more than "we" would hate "them".

Dear reader, perhaps you are an American. You live in a little house in a little town. You have the Stars and Stripes fluttering proudly in your garden. While you do your vacuuming and wash your dishes, you sing to yourself "The Star Spangled Banner" because it's the most beautiful song you ever heard.

What would you think if thousands of foreign soldiers invaded America, and that they have killed a million Americans and bombed your house? I'm sure you would feel such a hate for these foreign soldiers that you would kill them all.

Now do you understand why, in the foreign lands you occupy, your enemies might hate you with a burning intensity?

I will speak now briefly of the Drone. It is an American aeroplane with no pilot inside. The Drone is used in Iraq and Afghanistan. The "pilot" sits in a comfortable chair in an air-conditioned office in the Nevada Desert. He looks at television screens in front of him. They show the topography of the ground below the Drone. When the pilot sees people on the screen who are acting suspiciously, he presses a red button. This releases a rocket from the Drone which kills the suspect persons.

What is the problem, you might think? The people killed were merely armed combatants. Unfortunately, 30% of the people who the rockets kill are innocent civilians. If you are an American, I ask you again, what would you think if your enemies across the ocean did the same to you?

Think of the comfortable life of any "pilot" of any Drone which hovers in the skies above Afghanistan and Iraq. Good pay, regular hours, an air-conditioned office. Whenever he wishes, he can drink a bottle of ice-cold Coca Cola. For lunch in the office cafeteria he can eat a gigantic hamburger and mounds of French fries. And he can finish his meal with more ice-cold Coca Cola.

After lunch, the pilot - his stomach filled with hamburger, fries and Coca Cola - returns to his office where he continues pressing red buttons which fire the rockets at people on the ground in Iraq and Afghanistan.

At five o'clock each afternoon when the pilot returns home, his wife asks him, did you have a good day at the office?