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Media Bites – US Air Force Ad

July 20, 2009

In this week’s Media Bites we take a look at a recent US Air Force recruiting commercial that features the use of the unmanned drones. We analyze this ad in the context of how the US military uses popular media for targeting youth. We also address how this ad sanitizes the use of Predator Drones that are currently being used in the US wars in Iraq, Afghanistan & Pakistan.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. July 23, 2009 3:34 pm

    It is very hard to critique standoff-war methods, because if you say you are against infinite kill ratios, people will always respond, “So, you are in favor of more Americans coming home in body bags, then?” But an important point to bring up is that, as Hellfire missiles become more accurate, the role of a UAV jockey in directing a Hellfire assault from a UAV is akin to that of a paramilitary commander in directing a CIA/JSOC assassination mission – in fact, when the initial stories of “Dick Cheney’s death squad” came out, many politicians of both parties were willing to go on record in saying that such death squads were no longer necessary in the era of UAV standoff war. And both Republicans and Democrats think this is a good thing. When video gamers are recruited for UAV bases, they are essentially playing first-person-shooter games in real life, except that their adversary is almost entirely without weapons, at least not the sort the U.S. uses. That’s why Global Network’s poster for the October Keep Space for Peace Week shows the UAV and the Afghan family. The message is, “This is not a game, particularly when the rules of the game are so inherently skewed and asymmetrical.”

    Loring Wirbel
    CPIS/Global Network

  2. Jeff Smith permalink*
    July 23, 2009 3:54 pm

    Loring, thanks for the feedback and I like the message about this not being a game. I realize that people might respond to our objections to the use of unmanned drone planes with the idea that it might save US troop lives, but it is a faulty logic, since it doesn’t include any dialogue on what drives US military policy in the first place. I don’t want to see anyone die in warfare, but our Media Bites piece was an attempt to look at the ways in which military recruiters target youth and present a sanitized version of what the documented use of Predator Drones has meant for people in places like Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan.

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