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January 4th, 2013

Test Your Savvy on Religion

After those intricate tests on Religion, New York Times' inquisitive journalist Nicholas Kristof reported: "And atheists were among the best informed about religion."

This is why we are atheists.
The author of this realistic piece - Michael Brenner - would be very unhappy if drones didn't exist and didn't kill. He would have not had an opportunity to write his excellent article!!!!!

He mentions "Obama's approval" as if the hapless President of the US could disallow the use of drones. How could Obama deny business to companies that support him, not only with votes but also with donations to his Party?

Where was Michael Brenner - probably not yet born - when his Government started to use UAVs, (unmanned aerial vehicles). These toys, also known as drones, have been a feature of aviation for much of its history, though overlooked.

The earliest recorded use of an unmanned aerial vehicle for war fighting occurred on August 22, 1849, when the Austrians attacked the Italian city of Venice with unmanned balloons loaded with explosives. In those days, the Austrian Press reported: "Venice is to be bombarded by balloons, as the lagunes prevent the approaching of artillery."

Although balloons do not meet today's definition of a UAV, the concept remained and once winged aircraft were, the idea to fly them unmanned for military purposes followed naturally.

The first pilot-less aircraft were built during and shortly after World War I. The "Aerial Target", first used in 1916. This was followed, in the same year by the Hewitt-Sperry Automatic Air-plane, invented in the US by Elmer Sperry and Peter Hewitt. Their invention was known as the "flying bomb".
In 1917, the Automatic Air-plane was flown for representatives of the US Army. This led the army to commission a project to build an "aerial torpedo", resulting in the Kettering Bug, which first flew in 1918. (but was ready too late, after the end of the war).

After World War I, three Standard E-1s were converted as drones. The Larynx was an early cruise missile in the form of a small monoplane aircraft that could be launched from a warship and flown under autopilot; it was tested between 1927 and 1929 by the British Royal Navy. This led to the development of radio controlled pilotless target aircraft in Britain and the US in the 1930s.

In 1931, the British developed the "Fairey Queen" radio-controlled target from the Fairey IIIF floatplane and in 1935 followed up this experiment by producing the "DH.82B Queen Bee", derived from the De Havilland Tiger Moth biplane trainer.
During this period the U.S. Navy, continuing work that reaches back to 1917, also experimented with radio controlled aircraft. In 1936 (!!!!) the head of the research group used the term "drone" to describe radio controlled aerial targets.
The first large-scale production, purpose-built drone was the product of Reginald Denny. (Royal Navy Corps) He is also known for his acting career in the USA and for inventing the first radio control model aircraft.

Denny then developed - in 1935 - a target drone, the RP-1, for the US Army. This was followed - in 1938 - by the RP-2 and by RP-3 and RP-4 in 1939.
In 1940, Denny and his partners won an Army contract for their radio controlled RP-4, which became the Radioplane OQ-2. They manufactured nearly "15,000" (!!!) drones for the army during World War II.

And I stop here for lack of time. But I'd like to ask Mr. Brenner the following: do you think that ordinary missiles, bombs, grenades, landmines, bullets, etc, kill the right people?

Mr Brenner, use your pen to campaign against militarism, not against Obama. I bet you one million dollars, if you were the President of the US, you would be doing exactly the same as poor Barack.

Two sides of the same coin

Again our Brigadier misses the main part of the facts. He rightly says ".... Karzai regime installed by Washington..." If he realized that that not only Afghanistan's regime, but also Pakistan's and India's are ALL installed by Washington, the Brigadier will understand immediately why the area is in the mess it is.

Retired Brigadier Asif Haroon Raja doesn't seem to understand that Washington doesn't help ANY country in the world. They only do what they think will benefit USA.

Pakistan's secret war in Baluchistan

Mr Ghaffar Hussain doesn't seem to understand that this:
"Since the establishment of the Pakistani state in 1947, there has been a Baluchi nationalist movement seeking greater autonomy, more royalties from natural resources and, in some cases, complete independence from Pakistan.",
which he writes and which of course is true, is exactly what the world wants.

"Since 1947" Mr Hussain writes. Well, Mr Hussain, the Israel/Palestine conflict is of the same age (just one year younger) and like Bluchistan/Pakistan, have not solved their problem.

This is because Arms Trade Laws dictates those problems should not be solved.