Iron Men and War Machines
It smells a bit like a kittie toot right now, I don’t know what it is about small mammals that gives them such potent gas output. If I could train our kittens I imagine I could register them as chemical weapons. Not what I wanted to talk about tonight but certainly something worth mentioning.
Just watched Iron Man 2 for the first time and there was something in it that settled with me a little too well. The political games that were played in it where Tony Stark was nearly robbed of his creations by seedy politicians who had close connections with other corporate interests.
What I find most odd is that the film presents it in an utterly believable fashion. This should bother people, seeing the parody and seeing how close to home it actually hits. The use of emotional manipulation to get support behind man handling individuals for profit, and worse still war profiteering. It was hauntingly reminiscent of the Halliburton scandal during the Bush period.
What bothered me second was the unmanned weapons in the film, I imagine most people who keep up with news recall the unmanned drones which recently got found with Keylogger viruses on them. If you haven’t seen the film by now I’m going to be spoiling it a bit but this was all probably in the promos. Anyways, the idea of someone taking control of robotic weapons and using them against civilians or against the soldiers who belong to their very army is a serious issue.
A machine will likely not miss a shot, it won’t think twice, and the person controlling it will be far too far away to feel even the smallest sense of human emotion about the issue. I loved the film, but being reminded of our headlong rush into remote control killing machines made me mighty uncomfortable.
As war has become more distant a prospect it has become much easier to wage. Soldiers rarely think twice when killing a building full of people is just a matter of loading up a drone fighter and having it fire at a certain set of coordinates.
So consider this a double whammy post, if you haven’t seen Iron Man 2 I would recommend it, enjoyable film, and be wary of any military which adopts unmanned war machines. There needs to be some level of fear for the aggressor, it is bad enough that Congressmen send economically disadvantaged people to die in other countries, worse still that many of them are disadvantaged because of laws those congressmen and their predecessors passed, but when that last wall comes down, the need for human to wage war, all resistance to the prospect is lost.