Death by Proxy

I spoke with an American guy after church who is now working in Sweden. He used to be in the Navy as a career officer, and was deployed to Iraq. He left the military, he said, because he began to realize that he was so far removed from what was actually happening. He was not commanding his group, but the targets had been programmed in advance. The crew was just pushing a few buttons. They were not out in combat, but were safely in their offices on deck and were, it seemed, playing computer games. Except when they pressed a button, a missile was actually fired. It hit actual targets. It killed real people, but they didn't see their missiles impact. They had to wait until the next day until intelligence translated the newspapers to see what they did hit.

And he began to have qualms about the targets they were hitting - military buildings, but at night when there was probably only the cleaning crew there, not some military higher-ups; markets filled with civilians; even hospitals. And it was not his decision to bomb this target or that, it was a decision made at a desk far removed from what was happening. He didn't like it, and got out.

This is something that I find very troubling - the military moving towards death by proxy, using things such as drones to attack and kill people from afar, controlled by a kid who grew up playing computer games. Except there, when you restart the game, everyone is "alive" again. These games are lethal. I wouldn't mind them just battling each other with games, as long as they aren't killing real people. But I'm afraid this won't be feasible.

Why aren't we protesting louder about this kind of war?

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