Thursday, February 14, 2013

The droning of history

From the #MuslimVDayCard series of Taz Ahmed.

Henry Grabar writes at The Atlantic:
In tactical terms, contemporary drone attacks are far more precise than the pell-mell Cambodia-era bombs. One comparison, though, remains apt: in both cases, the American government has been less than forthcoming about the effect of these weapons on local populations.
The Johnson and Nixon administrations saturated eastern Cambodia with explosives. The records were not released until 2000.
The thousands of people killed so far by drone strikes represent a fraction of the several hundred thousand [Cambodians] who died beneath the B-52s between 1969 and 1975. But the level of fear and anger -- and the opportunity for insurgent groups to harness those emotions -- cannot be so easily calculated.
That U.S. aircraft are engaged in a secretive bombing campaign in nations that are ostensibly friendly, but fundamentally not trusted, is painfully familiar. That Pakistan is nigh-ungovernable state of 180 million people with a history of extremism and an arsenal of nuclear weapons is not comforting.

The Khmer Rouge didn't have social media, they just marched local people through the wreckage. Now, aggrieved people can share photos and video of the devastation instantly.

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