Kill list

Will global dominance of the 5-Eyes military be called terror?

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In March 2015 there was a ›› Hacker News discussion  [1] on the US kill list and what happens when ›› -by mistake- the wrong were killed. 


My posting in the discussion was this:
With killer drones, to kill only the bad guys is the most important factor — until the Swedes (or Turkmens or whoever) start to hunt and kill "only the bad" of the Americans in Kentucky.

Addition 2016-06: 15 months later more details on the topic (in this case assassinations in Pakistan) were revealed,
(again causing a discussion at Hacker News):

Hillary Clinton approved CIA drone assassinations with her cellphone, report says
Image credit: REUTE RS/Kevin Lam arque

To work through a kill list is applied for gaining and protection of power since the ancient world.  The number of examples from history is endless. Here are some infamous massacres in conjunction with a kill list:

goya vampires

1814, Francisco de Goya, Vampires . etching, detail

What do these historical incidents (incl. the drone war) have in common?

  • They are about working through a kill list.
  • They are about power and about elimination of rivals / elimination of threat to power.
  • They are criminal acts - they are repugnant to law, martial law or general international law.
  • They are linked with conspiracy and with either cover-up/ secrecy or perversion of justice.
  • At the time the massacres happen the perpetrators don't face any force that could directly investigate the outrage or bring these acts to justice.
matthias gerung

1550, Matthias Gerung,  The Three Devils and their Gospel.  woodblock print, detail. [10]

The drone war. - What differentiates Obama's/ Israeli's drone war from past incidents?

  • Arrogance -- They don't call it Criminal Acts or Perversion of Justice or (what it indeed is) Assassination.  They call it simply Extrajudicial Killings.
  • Permanence -- Even the 12 years of Nazi regime were more a bloody deed than an established shape. [3] -- The permanence of the drone war is an established shape. Its never ending kill list can only be compared with the permanence of the Gulagsystem's kill list.
  • High-tech -- Systematical and industrial extermination of certain groups of poeple who share a certain paradigm -- under highly organized use of
    • omnipresent surveillance apparatus
    • machine algorithms  (search in data bases)
    • elimination industry  (drones and fire control systems)
    • inescapable propaganda
  • Ultimacy -- It is very likely the first world-spanning superpower will be the world's final one. -- The century before WW2 is called the era of imperialism. But when you listen to geo-politicians like G. Friedman imperialism will rise in the 21st century more ruthless than ever seen. [4]  The power that will possess the most control over the world for the next thirty years will possess global dominance [9] for ever -- in my view for the following two reasons:
    • The power that reaches first a certain point in perfection of its instruments will be able to hinder all other powers for ever to keep up  (the dictators dream as such). That point is in the pipeline. [5]
      Let's say drones  -tiny as fruit flies-  will be able in an event of war to carry some atoms of plutonium or psychotropic drugs to its subjects (target: nasal cavity). [6] The scenario is this:
      One day somewhere  -let's say in Iran-  politicians and generals get up in the morning and can't remember what their job is. Phones don't work, radio stations, gas stations, railways - nothing works. All hard disk drives are empty. Under complete blindness and defenselessness a prepared political shift will take place. -- That shock will be the lesson for the world for ever. [7] And no one else will ever try to gain the same military abilities. Because the dominant power knows their thoughts. -- For the minor cases of resistance the drone war simply goes on.
    • After the global dominance has settled there will be no much time left for power struggles, and no much interest in fighting. Because the collapse of the ecosystem Earth will severely set in in the 22nd century with panic and misery. In the 23rd century only the elite of the dominant power  –the arch-enemy of mankind–  will survive. [8]
EXCLUSIVE: The Drone Papers reveal the inner workings of the U.S. assassination program.

What will be the future of the kill list?

Its processing will be more calm, more everyday, more everywhere
To try to kill Castro or Arafat was expensive and caused diplomatic fallout. From the death of Hammarskjöld in 1961 to the death (from cancer) of several Latin American political leaders fifty years later not much changed in this field.
And even today's highly organized extermination industry that operates in Afghanistan, Pakistan etc. (the drone war) is not really satisfying. It creates unwanted din, smoke and sensation (literally and in international law).

The truly change will perhaps happen by an anticipated shift - a combination of a technical and a mental shift:  When flies are wheeling beneath your ceiling light you will not know whether that are poison killer drones or not. - The point is you will not care because you can't escape anyway.

It will switch from a positive to a negative kill list
When the collapse of the ecosystem Earth and the death of mankind advance in the 22nd century the kill list will switch from a positive to a negative list. - Listed are not anymore those who should die but those who should survive.

Today in the 21st century we don't get the essence of the kill list fully right. - Surely, it is a matter of life and death who is on the list and who is not - it is terror. But the essence is something else.
The question for the nations on earth is to tolerate or not to tolerate there is a kill list, to tolerate or not to tolerate there will be finally an elite in the 23rd century that holds the processed global kill list in its hand when the last humans die.

* * *

To answer the question from my subtitle:  It will not be called terror. There will be no one left over who would do so.

image via tr, Turkish Radio and Television

[1]  In the light of the book release Kill Chain: Drones and the rise of the high-tech assassins by Andrew Cockburn, March 2015
Followed by the later book release Rise and Kill First by Ronen Bergman, Jan 2018
Book review by Jennifer Szalai, The New York Times
From historical/ chronological perspective the topic of the latter (Ronen Bergman's) book comes first.

[2]  An evidence for the (in the West uncommon) assumption the USA are a source of terror (training of squadrons and export of terror -- in addition to own U.S. activities).

[3]  The Nazi regime was crazed action. (To declare war on America and Russia at the same time is a clue for that.) The lastingness of the 'Tausendjähriges Reich' was self-hypnosis.

[4]  George Friedman : This is only chapter three in history of US imperialism.

[5]  Already in 1945 some scientists (including John von Neumann) of the Manhattan Project considered this point within their grasp. -- At that time there was still a difference between US gov. and the "elite strategists/ think tanks" (which today have taken over in the US).
As is well known the Russians said shortly afterwards 'Not so fast' and presented their own nukes.

[6]  List of  WEB LINKS  about MICRO DRONES  (as autonomous weapons):

[7]  This scenario sounds a bit too naive to take over a nuclear power. (It would be too risky to confuse the control over nuclear weapons this way.) - But in combination with a-bit-at-a-time tactics surrender of all nations is achievable.
(And with the help of propaganda it will not be surrender but liberation.)

[8]  My analysis how the evolution of the chosen ones could go on after death of humanity

[9]  A rhetorical diction. - As we know there is only one power with the strong (and declared) ambition of global dominance. The real point is the time span to get there.

[10]  Background image of this page: Cover of "The H-Bomb and YOU", 1955 (via , courtesy Ethan Persoff ).