Wednesday, May 09, 2012

The Drone Summit, the Lunchbox and the Invisibility of Charred Children

Wednesday, 09 May 2012 By Hugh Gusterson, Truthout 

A member of the 214th Reconnaissance Group flies a Predator aircraft drone in support of ground troops in Iraq and Afghanistan at Davis-Monthan Air Base in Tucson, March 10, 2009. (Photo: Jim Wilson / The New York Times)
A member of the 214th Reconnaissance Group flies a Predator aircraft drone in support of ground troops in Iraq and Afghanistan at Davis-Monthan Air Base in Tucson, March 10, 2009. (Photo: Jim Wilson / The New York Times)I kept finding myself thinking about the lunchbox.

I was at the all-day Drone Summit in Washington DC organized by Codepink, the antiwar group whose mostly female members are famous for putting on theatrical protests while wearing bold pink. I spent the day listening to human rights activists talking about civilians killed by US drone strikes, lawyers who complained that the strikes violated international law, and scientists worried that the United States is on the brink of automating the use of lethal force by drones and killer robots.

And I kept thinking about the lunchbox.

The lunchbox belonged to a schoolgirl in Hiroshima. Her body was never found, but the rice and peas in her lunchbox were carbonized by the atomic bomb. . .

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