The Challenge: How To Kill Faster, and From Farther Away

Added on by PS Cat02.

Every day, Bunny and I try to find at least a little bit of time to sit and chat about what we'd like to see happen during our lifetime. Sometimes we discuss desirable futures that lie beyond our approaching deaths. We know we won't be able to achieve all of it - in fact, much of the things we end up talking about invariably involves the efforts of many others we aren't even in communication with. But still, we think it's important to keep our eyes focused on the future even as we do our day to day work with our minds and bodies rooted firmly in the present.

One of the reasons why we started making time for this kind of (symbolic?) conversation a few years ago, was the realization that our ideological adversaries have been engaged in this kind of productive-dreaming for a long time. They've got the process institutionalized. And while we may not want the same things they want, we are very impressed with their ability to make their dreams come true. Just a few examples: the machine gun, the atom bomb, the ICBM. Now the professional dreamers at the Pentagon are imagining up a new class of weaponry - it's called PGS, short for Prompt Global Strike. Given their creativity and the enormous material resources they have at their disposal, I would not be surprised if eventually PGS becomes real.

Illustration from  Popular Mechanics ' Render Room.

Illustration from Popular Mechanics' Render Room.

Basically PGS works like this: 1) You find out - somehow (satellite, unmanned spy drone, or even some old-fashioned form of "intelligence" gathering) - that there is a person or a group of people somewhere, doing something, that you'd really like to kill. They can be thousands of miles away or even on the other side of the planet. 2) You input your "intelligence" into a computer, which then feeds the information to a super-high-speed missile, and press the big red 'DIE' button. 3) The missle launches, travels to its far-away destination via the exoatmosphere at hypersonic speed, then falls down on the unsuspecting target (and, presumably, any other non-lucky non-targets in close proximity) and *poof* - the 'target' is 'neutralized'. It's kind of like an ICBM, except WAY faster, non-nuclear, and the target doesn't necessarily have to be big and stationary (like a whole city, or a military installation) in order to be shot at.

The Pentagon says "we" "need" a weapon system like PGS because of the "ever-evolving" "nature" of "threats" to "national security". No mention of how complicated things get when our so-called enemies are forced to live under a purpose-built umbrella of instant death of human design. I wonder, do these Pentagon guys really want to live in the world they are creating? I don't mean that rhetorically, I really do wonder that in the most practical way.

Feeling more than a little creeped out,


[ note from Bunny: I think you are missing the point on the question of motivation. To be able to strike down a rival person or group of people without having to actually fight them - can humans resist such God-like powers? ]


[ Pinky: I think there are plenty of human beings who would be happy to resist that kind of "power". ]


[ Bunny: This is an example of why you like human beings way more than I do. ]


[ Kim: How come you guys keep saying "human beings" when it's the U.S. that's actually making most of this stuff? ]


E-mail response from one of our readers:

Dear Cats, Thanks for your thoughts on the omnipotent killing device our military is planning. Unfotunately, we have a simillar system now known as UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle). These can be flown in Afghanistan yet operated from Virginia, USA. Imagine that, fly an unmanned plane around half way around the world, locate a target and "Take them out" all with just a joy stick. Then, hop in the car and hit Arbie's for lunch and maybe run the Mustang through the car wash on the way back to the office. To kill some more. The problem I see is this fellow in Virginia keeps mistaking Wedding Parties in the dessert for terrorist meetings. It must be that the thinking is - who the heck would have a wedding in a dessert? They must be terrorists! (from Ian)

Pinky: Funny you should mention UAV. About a year ago (or was it two? I can't even remember correctly) we were in the desert outside Las Vegas on the way back from visiting NTS (Nevada Test Site - by some standards the most heavily atomic-bombed place on this planet). We kept seeing these weird airplanes in the sky, at the time I remember thinking they looked like really big paper airplanes. After getting home we did some research and found out that those were MQ-9 Reapers flying out of Creech Air Force Base, Indian Springs, Nevada. We live so close to a major component of the U.S.'s War On Terror, "Remote Control Division", and didn't even know it.

The saddest part of this story is the death and dislocation this program has imposed on innocent civillians in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. It continues to be wrapped in an enormous lie, and most American people could care less. UAV stories here and here. ~ p.