**** UPDATE “Virtual” Drone public information demonstrations begin in the U.S.
“KNOWDRONES” WEBSITE ; http://www.knowdrones.com/
Cocos Oslands, the idyllic Indian Ocean paradise or a drone base.
The sparks began to fly in November when Julia Gillard and Barak Obama announced a “new defense pact” that would see a U.S. military presence in Australia centred on Darwin. Ultimately 2,500 marines would be stationed and the new strategic base would not be affected by defense cuts – this would be the first U.S. Pacific deployment since the Viet Nam war.
A Chinese “People’s Daily” (state owned) editorial commented ; “Australia surely cannot play China for a fool. It is impossible for China to remain detached, no matter what Australia does to undermine its security,” it said. The editorial admonished Australia for relying on China for its economic interests while turning to the United States for political and security purposes.
It would be interesting to be a fly on the wall in the People’s Daily editorial room when the recent announcement hit the headlines that this same alliance was considering the Cocos Islands as an air base for drone flights around the region. As the earlier post “You’re never alone with a drone pt 2” showed, facilitating such flights could mean a partnership in illegal assasinations.
In the space of three years, the Obama administration has built an extensive apparatus for using drones to carry out targeted killings of suspected terrorists and stealth surveillance of other adversaries, from clandestine bases in at least six countries on two continents. Targets have been reported in Pakistan, Yemen, Afghanistan, Iraq, Ethiopia, Seychelles, and Obama is even sanctioning drone surveillance flights over the U.S.A. as “anti terrorism and intelligence operations”. When Obama was sworn into office in 2009, the nation’s clandestine drone war was confined to a single country, Pakistan, where 44 strikes over five years had left about 400 people dead, according to the New America Foundation. The number of strikes has since soared to nearly 240, and the number of those killed, according to conservative estimates, has more than quadrupled. (Washington Post Dec 27 2011)
New Zealand showed how to stand up to America when it banned U.S. nuclear vessels entering its waters. Slurping around the briefs of a failed President trying to re assert himself for the coming election does not become Ms Gillard, this could well become a pact with the devil.