July 6th, 2009

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12:00 pm - They hate our freedom^H^H^H^H^H^H^H undeclared war
Maybe, just maybe, "they" don't really hate our freedom. Maybe "they" actually hate the way we attack civilian targets inside the borders of countries with whom we are not at war. I mean, it's just a thought. When you're making the news for sending in Predator unmanned attack drones to volley missiles into the funeral of a bunch of people who were killed by - you guessed it, attack by Predator unmanned attack drones, maybe that might piss the survivors and the neighbors off a little more than your "freedom"?

Seriously, why isn't this getting more news coverage? Let me recap:

  • We have not declared war on Pakistan

  • We are using military hardware to attack targets within Pakistan's borders

  • We are attacking civilian targets within Pakistan's borders


Why the hell isn't this raising red flags all over the country? I mean, for crying out loud, have you ever watched a Western? The guys who ride by the ranch firing their guns into it through the walls at midnight are not the heroes of the piece.

I'm really not coming at this from the perspective of a fainting dove: I know the place is a goddamn mess, and there's a lot of Taliban in there. But this just isn't the right way to go about... whatever the hell it is we're trying to accomplish. We should either be getting openly and officially invited in by the Pakistani government, declaring war and doing it our way, or butting the hell out. "Just sorta sending in drones to attack civilian targets with HE missiles", with or without the "tacit" support of the Pakistani government - and with increasingly strident protests from Pakistani civilians - is a direct slap in the face of everything this country is SUPPOSED to be for.


(7 comments | Leave a comment)


[User Picture] From: marys_second
Date: July 7th, 2009 - 12:04 am
Surely we've made some arrangement with the Pakistan government? Even if it's more from the bully position of "let me attack the Taliban on your side of the border or we widen the war to include you. And stop squabbling with India - they're our friend; you're our bitch."

If we don't have an arrangement with their government, then I'm with you 100%.

[User Picture] From: lindapendant
Date: July 8th, 2009 - 12:41 pm
Seriously, why isn't this getting more news coverage?


From: popsalter
Date: July 8th, 2009 - 07:50 pm


You're not listening to the right news? Hardly a Predator strikes goes by without a report of how many "civs" were killed and how the military hssn't followed "protocol" (whatever the hell THAT means) on NPR (I know even they're biased too) which is about all the news I pay any attention to now a days.

[User Picture] From: jimbojones
Date: July 8th, 2009 - 08:19 pm

Re: Maybe...

NPR has a bit of coverage, as does BBC.

But you aren't going to find it on NBC, ABC, CBS, FOX, MSNBC, or CNN. Seriously, google around and look for coverage from American news sources - about the only thing you find, aside from the occasional NPR piece, is Wired crowing about how "lethal" our drone attacks are.

I have to admit, I'm also a little dubious of the value of the whole drone program for real military efforts - as in, a war with another modern power, not beating up on third world dirt farmers. The best of my understanding is, they're almost entirely real-time remote-controlled devices, with little or no autonomous function. Just how hard can it be to jam - or even destroy - the command sensors on the things? By the nature of remote control they are pretty much going to have to be blasting out enough noise constantly to make it obvious where each individual drone is and what general frequency range it operates on; how hard can it be for a modern industrial power to design a "drone blinder" that locks on to any drone in line-of-sight and burns out its receptors with a beam of extremely high-powered energy in the frequency range it listens on?

From: popsalter
Date: July 8th, 2009 - 10:35 pm

Re: Maybe...

Which is why it's NPR in the car and (usually) BBC at home. (being a Ham does have some benefits!)

Dunno, if I were building these things (drones) they'd have a frequency shift key built in, changing frequency every 3 to 5 seconds. Only the controller would have the key and the key would be controlled by the controller to be programmed once so only his console would know what frequencies to be used and how often they changed. The frequency shift would make it very hard to block (short of a massive EMP, which would hardly do the enemy electronics any good.

'Course the military ain't saying, but with the cost of these things they obviously aren't using any off the shelf R/C equipment. (Or ARE they... $150.00 hammers )

[User Picture] From: jimbojones
Date: July 9th, 2009 - 12:03 am

Re: Maybe...

I doubt it's as simple as a frequency shift every few seconds; more likely it's a broad variable-spectrum schema that's constantly moving. But that only helps for making interpretation and simple omnidirectional jamming difficult - it in no way changes what's going to happen if you direct a reasonably tight beam from a 50MW antenna at a sensor designed to receive input from a BROADCAST array several miles away.

It might be hard to jam the signal, but it seems like it should be relatively trivial to entirely and irretrievably burn out the sensor trying to receive it.

From: popsalter
Date: July 9th, 2009 - 02:27 am


But I'm trying to figure the portability of a 50MW transmitter.

Could be an interesting contest: Let's see how many drones I can knock out before my transmitter get's tagged by your ATGM.

Sounds like an interesting scenario to write into the next good war video game!

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