EYE Confessions of an angry young
drone By Pepe Escobar
PARIS - These are tumultuous times in
Droneland. Some bewildered United States drones
are actually mired in second thoughts about their
god-given mission - as expressed in detail to
author and blogger David Swanson.  They even
founded their own awareness group - DAWN (Drones
Against War Now).
remain downright defiant. Like this hunter/killer
Predator, equipped with Hellfire missiles and
sat-guided bombs who, on a strategic partnership
visit to Paris, escaped to the chic cabinet of
renowned Lacanian master Dr Bernard-Henri Puant in
Saint Germain, not far from the Cafe de Flore of
Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir fame, where they
engaged in an impromptu psychoanalytic session.
The Predator was in Paris to manifest his
support for extreme right-wing National Front
leader Marine Le Pen ahead of Sunday's French
presidential election run-off. He was trying to
Madame Le Pen his
competence as a trusted ally able to target the
Islamicization of French society.
Puant may claim a world first; he managed to put a
drone on the divan. No one would ever be aware of
the contents of their sensitive conversation had
the Central Intelligence Agency - which had Dr
Puant under surveillance - not intervened. But
then the file was conveniently leaked to Medialand
as an effort by the embattled Nicolas Sarkozy
campaign to discredit the heavily politicized
drone. The tactic may yet backfire.
follows is a rough transcript.
Puant: - Relax and drone downstream.
What's on your mind?
patient: - Doc, I'm swingin', big time.
I'm a lean, mean, killing machine, the Almighty
Predator, unleashing the Will of the Lord from on
high. I got 10 million likes in my Facebook page -
and counting. Check my infrared, my radar, my
thermal ... Nowhere to hide, baby! Enemy
insurgents, beware, 'cause I'm coming to get ya!
All over. Even in the good ol' United States of
We got 63 secret, well, now not
so secret, sites already - and counting. We are
already one in every three US warplanes; by 2020
we will be an army of 30,000! We are a $30
billion-a-year industry - and counting. No less
than 56 government agencies - and counting -
depend on us.
Lobbying is swell - we got
our 507 corporate members of the Association for
Unmanned Vehicles International raising major
hell. Congress set up a caucus especially for us!
Congress opened up all US airspace to us!
And my steel brothers, wow! Catwalk pros,
Doc Shadowhawk's outfit now sports grenade
launcher or shotgun, not to mention tear gas and
rubber buckshot. Soon we will be nuclear! So
everybody out there, better behave - and keep your
eyes on the skies!
But there must be a problem, otherwise you
wouldn't be here.
That's right, Doc. And that concerns all
those miscreants saying we're sort of, like,
illegal killers. C'mon, we are model workers! We
never complain. We never sleep. We don't engage in
commie protests. These people don't seem to have
listened to my mentor Mr Brennan [White House
counter-terrorism advisor John Brennan]. 
He said that war is hell, and that, I
quote, "Sometimes you have to take life to save
C'mon Doc, we're good, clean,
law-abiding citizens serving a higher purpose. If
these people could just find some time to hang out
with us, we could all share some trust and
understanding. No beers, no, I don't drink.
And talk about our handlers! Such a hard
life in those climate-controlled trailers ... They
all love quality time with the family and a good
night's sleep. Because next will be another tough
day in front of the monitors, the console, the
joystick. So many terrorists, so little time ..
Dr Puant: This means you're
very proud of what you're doing.
Drone patient: Of course I'm
proud! I'm proud that we are in Afghanistan,
Pakistan, Libya, Iraq, Somalia, Yemen. Got all
those nice secret bases in Africa and the Arabian
Peninsula - and the Seychelles as well, for our
MQ-9 Reaper brothers. Gotta fight all those evil
al-Qaeda spin-offs in Somalia and Yemen!
So what if we are targeting countries
where technically the US isn't at war? The White
House says we gotta do Yemen - so we do Yemen!
Master Petraeus [CIA director general David
Petraeus] fought hard to relax the rules of
engagement. He's right. We answer to no one and we
never say we're sorry.
Puant: Yet you must admit there is a
problem with these, how do you call it, "targeted
strikes". What is known as "collateral damage".
Schools in Pakistan hit by Hellfire missiles. Or
the 16-year-old son of al-Qaeda operative Anwar
al-Awlaki; he was a US citizen.
Drone patient: What about
our "collateral damage", Doc? We also have a
heart! It hurts me so bad to think that one of our
brothers crashed in Iran - and those evil mullahs
eviscerated his body, instead of burying him in
the sea, like we did with Osama bin Laden, and
then showed it to the Soviets and the Chinks, and
then went all out for reverse-engineering. They
Doc! And then they say they are
religious people ...
Doc, the president is
a constitutional lawyer. He knows his shit. Our
2010 National Security Strategy says we "reserve
the right to act unilaterally if necessary to
defend our nation and our interests". So the White
House has every right to go beyond "targeted"
assassinations all the way to "signature strikes".
My masters at the Pentagon and the CIA
have every right to call me to duty based on, I
quote, "Patterns of behavior that are detected
through signals intercepts, human sources and
aerial surveillance, and that indicate the
presence of an important operative or a plot
against US interests."
Puant:Tres bien. Now, tell me
about your dreams.
patient: Tell you what, Doc, what's with
the women in this town? Are they hot or what? No
burqas! No chadors! Legs! Lots of
legs! Damn that AfPak hell, damn that Arab Spring,
gimme Paris spring anytime!
To answer your
question, I don't dream of electric sheep, Doc -
that's sooo 60s. But I do freak out about rogue or
frenemy states adopting stupid parliamentary
resolutions blasting me and my brothers. Why, just
because we fly in packs and buzz like bees, biding
our time before we hit them with everything we
got? God, I can't wait for the future of signature
strikes. The whole thing would be so much easier
if these dudes didn't all wear the same bloody
pants and turbans and shit. Why don't they dress
Dr Puant: Any
particular enemies come to mind?
Drone patient: That one-eyed
Taliban leader creep Mullah Omar. We should have
signature-struck him a long time ago. Everybody
knows he lives in Quetta [in Pakistan]. Now we
also know he's been in cahoots with al-Qaeda
terrorists all along - with Bin Laden and
al-Zawahiri, right under our radars.
Dr Puant: Do I sense a
feeling of regret?
patient: Oh yeah, Doc, regrets, I had a
few. Ceasefire in AfPak? Will never work. Unless
we target-kill all of them Taliban. Thank god the
president signed the strategic partnership
agreement with the Afghans. We'll keep at least
20,000 troops over there, and of course me and my
brothers we will be signature-striking any
But what I really regret,
Doc, is that the president didn't trust me to do
the OBL [Osama bin Laden] job. They say he wanted
to be sure we actually got the real OBL, not a
body double. But then they are face to face with
the top HVT [high-value target] of all time. He's
alone, he doesn't have a gun, he doesn't resist.
And they shoot him in the head. Twice. Why not me?
I would have performed a much more cinematic job.
And we would all have the movie to prove it.
Dr Puant: So you are
experiencing feelings of being rejected?
Drone patient: No, Doc, no,
because there's still the final frontier. Africa,
Doc! Can't wait to engage in a closer partnership
with AFRICOM. All that virgin land - crammed with
the most precious minerals anywhere, we gotta take
it before the Chinese do. The battle for Africa is
just beginning, Doc.
Sure, they all look
the same, like those donkeys in Pakistan and
Yemen, but what the hell, we only do precision
strikes anyway. And then, outer space! We will
crush insurgents in outer space, wherever they
are. Achtung, baby - here we come!
Dr Puant: Your time is up.
It's 1,200 - devalued - euros, s'il vous
[Flying out of the window]- Doctor, doctor, gimme
the news! I got a ... bad case of targeting you!