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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review April 21, 2010 / / 7 Iyar 5770

If pilotless drones hit us, deaths will be visible

By Nat Hentoff




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | In the liberal British newspaper, The Guardian, available online worldwide, "The 'Obama doctrine': kill, don't detain" (April 11), Asim Qureshi reports "a completely new trend has emerged that, in many ways, is more dangerous than the trends under Bush." President Obama's "extrajudicial killings and targeted assassinations … have taken the death count well beyond anything that has been seen before."


Indeed, as the Wall Street Journal (April 14) reported ("(Defense Secretary Robert) Gates says civilian deaths test war strategy") civilian casualties by U.S. drones are "a cause of public anger in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as in Pakistan."


However, during the growing controversy here about these unmanned Predator and Reaper drones, not enough attention has been paid to the possibility of a future battle between our robots and those of our enemies.


In the May issue of a magazine in which I continually find out how much I don't know — "Discover: Science, Technology, and The Future" — there is a report which Jurgen Altmann of Dortmund Technical University in Germany warns, "With up to 50 nations around the world developing military robots, aerial drones could ultimately square off against each other."


Because there has been so little discussion in this country about a future robotic war, I strongly recommend that members of Congress, the president and the rest of us read the extensive section on "The Robot Revolution" in the May issue of "Discover" — especially Mark Anderson's "The Terminators," in which he emphasizes how much money and research the United States is devoting to this new technology transforming the nature of combat as well as the far away humans involved in it.


I was not aware that "National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2001 mandated that by 2010 (here we are now!) one-third of the military's combat aircraft be unmanned and that by 2015 one-third of all combat vehicles be unmanned."

Letter from JWR publisher

As I recently reported, there is a strong push to make the drone planes autonomous by equipping them with "a conscience" so that each can decide when to launch the Hellfire missiles.


"To qualify for full-fledged combat roles," Anderson writes, "autonomous robots would have to master the art of discrimination, recognizing schools, hospitals, and city centers (where civilians cluster) — and distinguishing a bomb-packing insurgent from a book-toting schoolboy before firing a shot."


Anderson goes to introduce a dark scenario of possible future robotic dysfunction. He summons from the New School (on the street where I live in New York City) Peter Asaro, co-founder of the International Committee for Robot Arms Control.


Says Asaro: "glitches in an autonomous aerial drone that lead to accidental missile strikes may not be easily distinguishable from a drone's 'intentional' missile strikes. The more politically tense the situation, the more likely that unpredictable military actions by autonomous drones could quickly descend into all-out warfare."


The International Committee for Robot Arms Control was also formed by professor Altmann of Germany, ethicist Robert Sparrow from Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, and robotics researcher Noel Sharkey at Sheffield University in Britain. After days and nights of intense debate, they drafted a founding document, declaring: "Machines should not be allowed to make the decision to kill people."


Obviously, President Obama does not agree, nor do the 50 or so nations developing autonomous drones and other military robots.


In this country, there have been few voices of alarm. Predictably, among them is former constitutional law attorney Glenn Greenwald, a trenchant analyst at Salon.com (often quoted elsewhere on the Web).


He is aware, and as I have reported, that Dennis Blair, director of U.S. intelligence, said explicitly that American citizens are on the drones' lethal target lists if they are believed to be involved in terrorism (Reuters, Feb. 3). At least one citizen has been included in a Yemen attack.


Greenwald, referring to Obama's increasing warrantless surveillance of us, charges: "Here you have Barack Obama not merely eavesdropping on or detaining Americans without oversight, but ordering them killed with no oversight and no due process of any kind."


He then adds a crucial point: "The reaction among leading Democrats and progressives is largely non-existent. … Just imagine what the reaction would have been among progressive editorial pages, liberal opinion-makers and Democratic politicians if this story had been about George Bush and Dick Cheney targeting American citizens for due-process-free and oversight-less CIA assassinations." (Salon.com, commondreams.org. April 8).


And at last, a liberal Democrat in Congress has spoken up — Ohio Rep. Dennis Kucinich, "Kucinich: White House assassination policy is extrajudicial" (The Nation, April 15).


"I don't support it — period. I think people in both parties that are concerned about the Constitution should be speaking out on this."


Added the Nation: "He has sent several letters to the Obama administration raising questions about the potential unconstitutionality of the policy, as well as possible violations of international law, but has received no response." And very disappointingly, "Several Democrats refused, through spokespeople, to comment on the assassination plan when contacted by The Nation, including Senator Russ Feingold."


I, too, tried to reach Feingold, but got no answer from his usually responsive press secretary.


In a future column, I shall return to robotic warfare's dangers — including to us. Will the enemy put consciences in their drones as we are doing? And, as Mark Anderson reminds in "Discover" magazine: "The spotty record of artificial intelligence research does not inspire confidence."


As for the U.S. citizenry, Justice Louis Brandeis warned of the dangers to liberty from "an inert people." And not only inert about drones.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.


Nat Hentoff is a nationally renowned authority on the First Amendment and the Bill of Rights and author of several books, including his current work, "The War on the Bill of Rights and the Gathering Resistance". Comment by clicking here.

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