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News Link • Obama Administration

What Is Cowardice?

• Mark Piggott, Huff Post

The Boston bombers were misguided, misled and loathsome - but were they 'cowards'?

Imagine for a moment you're sitting at your kitchen table making bombs. Knowing that should you sweat too much, or make a sudden move, you will be terribly maimed or killed. Then, later, weaving through the happy crowd: seeing the faces of smiling children. Knowing that if you succeed in your terrible mission, your name will be cursed by millions; and when you are eventually killed (the brothers Tsarnaev may not have been suicide bombers exactly, but they must have known their chances of survival were slim), only then will you discover if the holy men were right about the next life.

Now imagine you are sitting in a reinforced bunker at a secret Virginia location. Someone feeds you a set of co-ordinates which you punch into your laptop. You press the 'send' button, in much the same way you send an email: the drone is launched. In a few minutes, people - hopefully some Mullah, some Taliban jeep, some US citizen deemed beyond the pail - will die. Knowing that if there is 'collateral damage' - wedding parties incinerated, children killed or mangled - you have the full legal, political and military backing of the world's most powerful state.


2 Comments in Response to

Comment by Ed Price
Entered on:

James Bond was soooo honorable. At least he faced his opponents, face-to-face, before he exercised his license to kill.

Revelation 21:8 (NIV):
But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.”

Look at the group the cowards are stuck in with.

Comment by Dennis Treybil
Entered on:

 I remember the gist of George C. Scott's line about automated war near the end of the "Patton" movie, circa, early 1970's.

Such a war misses the point of war.

Of course, Patton was a huge fan of combat.  He thought combat tested both sides for bravery, skill and luck.  The side that prevailed in combat was the stronger side and deserved the spoils.

Drones, a form of automated warfare, combat undertaken by presumably unconscious machines, takes away the struggle, the testing.


M.A.S.H. fans will recall the recurring theme of the bomber pilot who is shot down near his target.  And every last one of them wanders into the 4077th.  They are all appalled by what they see.  From 20,000 feet up it all looks so serene.  On the ground, not so much.


Star Trek fans will recall "A Taste of Armageddon".  Computer simulations identified casualties and individuals walked into disintegration booths voluntarily.  I suppose they could be compared to Socrates drinking the Hemlock. (on steroids)  At least Socrates owned (up to) the consequences of his actions.  The denizens of Vindicar had done nothing except have a bout of bad luck.


Even more isolated from their victims than the joystick operators for the drones are the bankers who control the money that keep all this going.  Back to Star Trek - Shades of "The Cloudminders"


A pattern in history that I picked up from KarenAnne Hall's "Genealogy of the Constitution" is that rulers become isolated from the ruled.  This disconnect eventually brings about abuse(s).  And when the abuse(s) growing out of this disconnect become severe enough, there is a "correction".  About a half-dozen times or so in English history, the "correction" was a "rights document" of one variety or another.

Here on the American continent, the "correction" involved a rights document and a war, some actual bloody combat.

At that time the abusers were not completely out of reach of their victims.

I fear that with drones and fiat money, the abusers are harder to reach, if not already impossible to reach.  A "correction" seems inevitable.  Let's hope that "correction" does not amount to individuals voluntarily walking into disintegration booths of some variety or another.

As far as the article's rhetorical question in the title, "What is cowardice?", I don't know whether to identify these schemes as cowardice or genius.  Be that as it may, I don't see how they can be creative or productive, or life giving.  They are corrupting schemes.  They corrupt both abuser and victim alike.

Yep.  It's time for a "correction".  Here's hoping that correction comes soon and that it of such quality that the general welfare of mankind is promoted thereby.

DC Treybil




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