In the 1980’s, there were a handful of movies with the premise that remote-controlled warplanes of some sort would be the wave of the future. Project X, where Matthew Broderick oversees a program of chimpanzees in military flight simulators, comes to mind. So does the dreadful Robin Williams film Toys, where kids are being indoctrinated with war video games so that they can one day wage the real thing from their consoles.
Well the future is now, apparently.
This morning I learned that we have a secret drone base somewhere on the Arabian Peninsula and that the CIA is there piloting these unmanned aircraft and taking these Al Qaeda sonofabitches out whenever they pop their heads up out of their desert hiding holes. We’ve seen them doing this in Pakistan as well in the War on Terror and I much prefer it to having our boys and girls in uniform over there in harm’s way.
This week in Yemen they nailed the guy who directed the attempted airplane bombing from Christmas Day in 2009, among other crimes, sending a drone with hellfire missiles after his convoy.
Maybe the mass design and manufacture of robots really is our way out of this economic malaise, military drones and otherwise…
Here’s the New York Times:
WASHINGTON — Anwar al-Awlakidid not leave much of a trail, frustrating the American and Yemeni intelligence officials pursuing him over the last two years.
They believed they finally had found him in a village in southern Yemen last year. Yemeni commandos, equipped with tanks and heavy weapons, surrounded the hamlet, but he slipped away, according to a Yemeni official. In May, his pursuers targeted him in a drone attack, but narrowly missed him and other members of his entourage as they drove across a desert.
The search for Mr. Awlaki, the American-born cleric whose fiery sermons made him a larger-than-life figure in the shadowy world of jihad, finally ended on Friday. After several days of surveillance of Mr. Awlaki, armed drones operated by the Central Intelligence Agency took off from a new, secret American base in the Arabian Peninsula, crossed into northern Yemen and unleashed a barrage of Hellfire missiles at a car carrying him and other top operatives from Al Qaeda’s branch in Yemen, including another American militant who had run the group’s English-language Internet magazine.
Read the rest…