Speaking of Battle Droids

Jason Ditz, November 30, 2008

We’ve already mentioned Israel’s quest to build an army of vicious robotic animals destined to go all Matrix and put all of humanity into pods to fuel their cold, sterile robotic society. Turns out the United States is way ahead of them.

Its no secret that the United States has been spending hundreds of billions of dollars to create its own obedient army of killer robots. But perhaps interested in staving off the eventual robot rebellion (or maybe they just saw one of the Terminator movies), the Pentagon is also investing $4 billion in a research program to make sure this new army doesn’t do anything that might violate the Geneva Conventions. The military has high hopes that its next generation of autonomous killbots, designed without emotions, will be immune to the temptations to engage in revenge killings, and torture of enemy combatants.


98 Responses to “Speaking of Battle Droids”

  1. The military has high hopes that its next generation of autonomous killbots, designed without emotions, will be immune to the temptations to engage in revenge killings, and torture of enemy combatants.

    It is more likely, of course, that automatons without emotions (and therefore without morals) will not hesitate for a nanosecond to do these very things if programmed to do so. Given the savagery and thirst for unchecked power that are primary characteristics of every dictatorship and its military henchmen, these are certainly exactly the types of things that these soldierbots will be programmed for, to be used against American citizens as well as “enemy combatants”, assuming that these won’t be mostly the same thing.

  2. Billions for killer robots, but there never seems to be money for clothing, educating and feeding hungry kids in America. You have to love those priorities.

  3. It turns out the Tin Man didn’t need a heart after all, just an M4 and some ammo.

  4. I guess Cameron didn’t get the memo!


  5. Would this ‘droid army’ pull domestic duty? You know, like the streets of Compton or Newark?

  6. No need for battle droids to police The Homeland, the Pentagon is training 20,000 US troops to be deployed inside the USA.

    But never fear, it’s only to protect against (cough) the terrorists like “former” CIA asset Usama Bin Laden.

    “Pentagon to Detail Troops to Bolster Domestic Security”

  7. This is depravity. America is at the apex of depravity.

  8. The United States is a sick society.

  9. Soulless warriors for a soulless empire

  10. Relax folks. The warbots will be powered by Microsoft’s new Vista operating system.

  11. Richard Steven Hack SPAMMER!

  12. “powered by Microsoft’s new Vista “? well ,that is exactly the reason
    to be worried about lol!

  13. If morals could be programmed, these bots
    would immediately attack and destroy
    their creators, then themselves.

  14. Forget these juvenile fantasies. Quite apart from the major, major problems in energy system, mechanics, reflex systems, sensors, self-repair etc. etc. DARPA et al. are TONS of years away in building any seriously “autonomous” vehicle able to survive a good arse kicking on a battlefield. There ain’t even a good theory on how to do this, approaches are still confined to “toy problems”, like keeping a formation of Humvees going (at high cost of electronics) or targeting a building a hundred miles away by finger-following a stored map. Animals RULE and will do so for the foreseeable future. Morality for killbots? Retarded. This should all be well-covered by existing rules of self-activating military devices aka. “mines”.

  15. The Three Laws of Robotics are nowhere in sight, eh?

  16. Roger Ebert’s reviews of the Star Wars franchise are a bit frustrating to read for a fan like me, but he gets it right when he mentions that the Battle Droids (like the one pictured) fight so poorly they should be returned for a refund. Come to think of it, he gets that wrong too. The business interests that comprise most of the Separatist armies can’t return the droids, since they built them! George Lucas points out in the commentary tracks that the viewer can really see the limitations of a droid army. The Separatists try to wage war efficiently, and it backfires on them. That’s why nobody seems to use combat droids during the Galactic Civil War, twenty standard years later. Michael Reaves and Steve Perry, the authors of the excellent book Star Wars: Death Star (now out in paperback) mention this. There’s a clever aside where one of the main characters, a TIE Fighter pilot, thinks that, if his superiors wanted to, they could just try using droid pilots and see how well that worked.

  17. Interesting how you guys never miss a chance to bash Israel, and that is your right. However, I have a question:

    When are you going to spend some time bashing the barbaric and ruthless savages who killed almost 200 innocent people in India? And tell me something else, how is India and her Hindu people oppressing the Palestinians? How is India defiling the Muslim holy place of Mecca and Medina? How is India killing innocent Muslims? Who did India attack? Who is India occupying?

    I am very curious to see how some people on here will find some way to relate the attack in India to some purported grievance the Muslims have against the United States or Israel I guess it is better to use convoluted logic and do that rather than have to face the politically incorrect reality that Islam ( at least as it stands now) is anything but the peaceful and great religion it claims to be.

  18. Tim R.:

    Umm, there is that whole “Kashmir” thing. There are a couple of unpackable reasons that Pakistan and/or Pakistani non-state-actor Muslims would attack India, Kashmir first and foremost among them, and traditional great power (or moderate power) rivalries coming in second. As Alan Furst said in one of his books, “Two gangsters, one neighborhood. They fight.” Also, while India is certainly majority Hindu, there are some, what, 140 million Indian Muslims, who might have issues with the BJP/Hindu nationalists. Or it could be non-Pakistani Muslim actors who were looking to stir up the fire between India and Pakistan. Simplistic Manichean thinking (“Israel and US GOOD! Muslims bad!” or “Muslims peace loving and good, always, all the time, US and Israel BAD, always, all the time”) is simplistic thinking. Dude, please: some balance and thought, here.

  19. I agree that Islam is far from the “religion of peace”. I also believe that the USA would be a million times better off if it washed its hands of Israel.

  20. Tearing down the Babri Masjid


    ’87 Meerut massacre: Trial from today

    Advani charged with Ayodhya riots


    “A disputed train fire that killed fifty-eight people (most of whom were activists of the Hindu Right) led to a massive pogrom against impoverished Muslim families and modestly well-off Muslim merchants…

    …The Hindu Right let loose its warriors who killed two thousand people and displaced several thousand more. The state apparatus either stood by or actively participated in the torment. Investigators who traced the line of violence routinely met people who told them, “They killed my whole family.” The carnage was ghastly. Historian Tanika Sarkar wrote of a “breathless climate of terror,” as people fled their homes for poorly managed relief camps, afraid not only of the organized mob but also of the police”


  21. I agree that Christainity is far the “reliion of love!”.

  22. correction.

    I agree that Christianity is far from the “relgion of love”.

  23. India and Israel Ready to Consummate Secret Affair


  24. As usuall, we are accepeting the official nartives without any question!
    Maybe the question should be who would benefit the most of what happened.

  25. “Interesting how you guys never miss a chance to bash Israel”
    No one bashed Israel until you yourself brought it up!

    On the other hand ,it seems that you couldn’t let any chance pass without you bashing Islam and Muslims even when the issue being debated has nothing to do with Muslims or Islam.

  26. “Israel and India established a joint commission at the ministerial level back in 1999. During that year’s brief conflict with Pakistan, known as the Kargil war, Israel responded quickly to India’s desperate requests for arms, despite pressures from various quarters not to supply ammunition to a party engaged in war. Unmanned aerial vehicles for high altitude surveillance, laser-guided systems and many other items were provided within days of the request. Jane’s Defense Weekly, which gave details on the supplies, reported in March 2000 that Israeli security officers were regularly visiting the Kashmir border. Jane’s Terrorism and Security Monitor reported on August 14, 2001: “Israeli intelligence agencies have been intensifying their relations with India security apparatus and are now understood to be heavily involved in helping New Delhi combat Islamic militants in the disputed province of Kashmir.”

    The Jerusalem Post reported on February 3 that India was sending four battalions of nearly 3,000 Indian soldiers to Israel for specialized anti-insurgency training. Their special assignment on return would be to employ newly learned techniques to stop infiltration of India by Pakistani terrorists in the contested Kashmir region. ”

  27. Very nicely done, Lear K. Along with whatever other strategic purposes the Mumbai terrorists might have had, the article you link implies why a Pakistani and/or Muslim terrorist group would attack India. It shows that Israel sometimes is its own worst enemy and false friend of the West. Its military meddling and arms sales also mimic America’s, with much the same results.

  28. America wants to be the world leader against “terrorism”, but we fail to understand that our position as world leader requires us to be mature in our approach to promoting peace. A true world leader, such as Rome was, stays on top for a long time because for all its faults, it knows that it has to settle disputes among its subject nations in as just a measure as practical. The Roman justice may have been arbitrary and it may have been brutal but it was usually well considered. We refuse to do that; we insist upon promoting the interests of our favorites – presently India and always, always Israel. We should sponsor negociations on the status of Kashmir and we should insist upon a Palestinian state. With Palestine, we will not even allow other groups such as the EU to do what is needed. We shrug our responsibilities as world leader, and as such we allow terrorism to flourish as it surely will do when justice is available. In place of promoting justice, our idea of being a world leader is to fill the vacuum with total bulls–t about our role in “spreading democracy”. The world seems to be tiring of our immature leadership.



  30. “The Indian Army has been shocked by the arrest of a senior Military Intelligence officer on suspicion of involvement in a bomb attack by Hindu extremists in western India in September.

    Colonel Srikant Prasad Purohit is the first serving officer in India’s Army — seen as a bastion of secularism since the country’s independence in 1947 — to be arrested on terrorism charges.

    His detention is prompting calls for a ban on Hindu nationalist groups accused of stirring political violence, including recent attacks on Christians in eastern India, before national elections next year.

    It may also force Indian authorities to investigate whether Hindu radicals were behind other recent bomb attacks, many of which have been blamed on Islamic extremists backed by Pakistan’s intelligence service.”


  31. Too many christian zionists, eager to fight Indians in the Holy Land, speed up the Second Coming.

    Lester Ness

  32. the former america is the product of an unholy alliance of zionism and the depravity of city of london……it combines the worst elements of both…..I HATE america……I used to be willing to die for it…….maybe I still am, but not in the way one might think.

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