Israeli Girls in First-Person Shooters, Killing Real People

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Israeli Girls in First-Person Shooters, Killing Real People

Postby JackRiddler » Wed Jul 14, 2010 10:17 am

Another story testing the lower moral depths. (Sorry if 19 years of age now qualifies as a girl or boy to this coot.)

http://counterpunch.org/cook07132010.html

The Spot-and-Shoot Game
Remote-Controlled Killing


July 13, 2010

By JONATHAN COOK

Nazareth.

It is called Spot and Shoot. Operators sit in front of a TV monitor from which they can control the action with a PlayStation-style joystick.

The aim: to kill terrorists.

Played by: young women serving in the Israeli army.

Spot and Shoot, as it is called by the Israeli military, may look like a video game but the figures on the screen are real people -- Palestinians in Gaza -- who can be killed with the press of a button on the joystick.

The female soldiers, located far away in an operations room, are responsible for aiming and firing remote-controlled machine-guns mounted on watch-towers every few hundred metres along an electronic fence that surrounds Gaza.

The system is one of the latest “remote killing” devices developed by Israel’s Rafael armaments company, the former weapons research division of the Israeli army and now a separate governmental firm.

According to Giora Katz, Rafael’s vice-president, remote-controlled military hardware such as Spot and Shoot is the face of the future. He expects that within a decade at least a third of the machines used by the Israeli army to control land, air and sea will be unmanned.

The demand for such devices, the Israeli army admits, has been partly fuelled by a combination of declining recruitment levels and a population less ready to risk death in combat.

Oren Berebbi, head of its technology branch, recently told an American newspaper: “We’re trying to get to unmanned vehicles everywhere on the battlefield … We can do more and more missions without putting a soldier at risk.”

Rapid progress with the technology has raised alarm at the United Nations. Philip Alston, its special rapporteur on extrajudicial executions, warned last month of the danger that a “PlayStation mentality to killing” could quickly emerge.

According to analysts, however, Israel is unlikely to turn its back on hardware that it has been at the forefront of developing – using the occupied Palestinian territories, and especially Gaza, as testing laboratories.

Remotely controlled weapons systems are in high demand from repressive regimes and the burgeoning homeland security industries around the globe.

“These systems are still in the early stages of development but there is a large and growing market for them,” said Shlomo Brom, a retired general and defence analyst at the Institute of National Security Studies at Tel Aviv University.

The Spot and Shoot system -- officially known as Sentry Tech -- has mostly attracted attention in Israel because it is operated by 19- and 20-year-old female soldiers, making it the Israeli army’s only weapons system operated exclusively by women.

Female soldiers are preferred to operate remote killing devices because of a shortage of male recruits to Israel’s combat units. Young women can carry out missions without breaking the social taboo of risking their lives, said Mr Brom.

The women are supposed to identify anyone suspicious approaching the fence around Gaza and, if authorised by an officer, execute them using their joysticks.

The Israeli army, which plans to introduce the technology along Israel’s other confrontation lines, refuses to say how many Palestinians have been killed by the remotely controlled machine-guns in Gaza. According to the Israeli media, however, it is believed to be several dozen.

The system was phased-in two years ago for surveillance, but operators were only able to open fire with it more recently. The army admitted using Sentry Tech in December to kill at least two Palestinians several hundred metres inside the fence.

The Haaretz newspaper, which was given rare access to a Sentry Tech control room, quoted one soldier, Bar Keren, 20, saying: “It’s very alluring to be the one to do this. But not everyone wants this job. It’s no simple matter to take up a joystick like that of a Sony PlayStation and kill, but ultimately it’s for defence.”

Audio sensors on the towers mean that the women hear the shot as it kills the target. No woman, Haaretz reported, had failed the task of shooting what the army calls an “incriminated” Palestinian.

The Israeli military, which enforces a so-called “buffer zone” -- an unmarked no-man’s land -- inside the fence that reaches as deep as 300 metres into the tiny enclave, has been widely criticised for opening fire on civilians entering the closed zone.

In separate incidents in April, a 21-year-old Palestinian demonstrator was shot dead and a Maltese solidarity activist wounded when they took part in protests to plant a Palestinian flag in the buffer zone. The Maltese woman, Bianca Zammit, was videoing as she was hit.

It is unclear whether Spot and Shoot has been used against such demonstrations.

The Israeli army claims Sentry Tech is “revolutionary”. And that will make its marketing potential all the greater as other armies seek out innovations in “remote killing” technology.

Rafael is reported to be developing a version of Sentry Tech that will fire long-range guided missiles.

Another piece of hardware recently developed for the Israeli army is the Guardium, an armoured robot-car that can patrol territory at up to 80km per hour, navigate through cities, launch “ambushes” and shoot at targets. It now patrols the Israeli borders with Gaza and Lebanon.

Its Israeli developers, G-Nius, have called it the world’s first “robot soldier”. It looks like a first-generation version of the imaginary “robot-armour” worn by soldiers in the popular recent sci-fi movie Avatar.

Rafael has produced the first unmanned naval patrol boat, the “Protector”, which has been sold to Singapore’s navy and is being heavily marketing in the US. A Rafael official, Patrick Bar-Avi, told the Israeli business daily Globes: “Navies worldwide are only now beginning to examine the possible uses of such vehicles, and the possibilities are endless.”

But Israel is most known for its role in developing “unmanned aerial vehicles” – or drones, as they have come to be known. Originally intended for spying, and first used by Israel over south Lebanon in the early 1980s, today they are increasingly being used for extrajudicial executions from thousands of feet in the sky.

In February Israel officially unveiled the 14 metre-long Heron TP drone, the largest ever. Capable of flying from Israel to Iran and carrying more than a ton of weapons, the Heron was tested by Israel in Gaza during Operation Cast Lead in winter 2008, when some 1,400 Palestinians were killed.

More than 40 countries now operate drones, many of them made in Israel, although so far only the Israeli and US armies have deployed them as remote-controlled killing machines. Israeli drones are being widely used in Afghanistan.

Smaller drones have been sold to the German, Australian, Spanish, French, Russian, Indian and Canadian armies. Brazil is expected to use the drone to provide security for the 2014 World Cup championship, and the Panamanian and Salvadoran governments want them too, ostensibly to run counter-drug operations.

Despite its diplomatic crisis with Ankara, Israel was reported last month to have completed a deal selling a fleet of 10 Herons to the Turkish army for $185 million.

Jonathan Cook is a writer and journalist based in Nazareth, Israel. His latest books are “Israel and the Clash of Civilisations: Iraq, Iran and the Plan to Remake the Middle East” (Pluto Press) and “Disappearing Palestine: Israel's Experiments in Human Despair” (Zed Books). His website is www.jkcook.net.

A version of this article originally appeared in The National (www.thenational.ae), published in Abu Dhabi.
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Re: Israeli Girls in First-Person Shooters, Killing Real People

Postby elfismiles » Wed Jul 14, 2010 10:34 am

Totally - Fucking - Sickening ... One-Up's Our Own Use of Drones

"Remote Control Killing is for Cowards"

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Image
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Re: Israeli Girls in First-Person Shooters, Killing Real People

Postby JackRiddler » Wed Jul 14, 2010 11:01 am

It occurs to me that in this case the use of girls to push the buttons that murder serves as a further distancing and PR device to the monsters who devised and implemented this technology.
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Re: Israeli Girls in First-Person Shooters, Killing Real People

Postby hanshan » Wed Jul 14, 2010 11:20 am

.....



....
...quoted one soldier, Bar Keren, 20, saying: “It’s very alluring to be the one to do this. But not everyone wants this job. It’s no simple matter to take up a joystick like that of a Sony PlayStation and kill, but ultimately it’s for defence.”


Sweet - you too can play god; how wonderfully alluring



... deeper & deeper into the mirror...
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Re: Israeli Girls in First-Person Shooters, Killing Real People

Postby 82_28 » Wed Jul 14, 2010 12:00 pm

I don't care whether these are "terrorists", "insurgents" or "criminals" or not -- actually that part is my main concern. But wouldn't the METHOD of doing this make you just a skosh queezy about ending someone's life in this way or in general, just the way this world you've come to inhabit work? I bet there are a shit ton of kids all over the western world who would love to get paid doing just this. At least once they do it to me, if it comes to that, I'll be put out of misery.

Same goes for the operators of predator drones and other robotic forms of slaughter of course as well.
There is no me. There is no you. There is all. There is no you. There is no me. And that is all. A profound acceptance of an enormous pageantry. A haunting certainty that the unifying principle of this universe is love. -- Propagandhi
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Re: Israeli Girls in First-Person Shooters, Killing Real People

Postby 12#4 » Wed Jul 14, 2010 1:21 pm

Erstwhile business partner South Korea is also deploying robot death tech facing another starving, impoverished, and isolated populace as announced:

South Korea deploys robots to detect and kill intruders
July 14, 2010

thestar.com


The South Korean Army has deployed a set of armed-to-kill sentry robots to a guard post on the southern side of the Demilitarized Zone with North Korea, the South Korean news agency reports.

Yonhap quotes the army as saying the robots with a built-in machine gun and grenade launcher can “detect, warn and provide suppressive fire against intruders.”

The robots, melded into a single unit, were developed by a consortium of South Korean firms led by Samsung Techwin Co.

The Demilitarized Zone, a legacy of the Korean War more than a half-century ago, separates the isolated, secretive, totalitarian North from the westernized, industrial South.

Costing $350,000 each, the robots are a test project that began last month, the Agence France Presse news agency quoted a defence ministry spokesman as saying.

The robots use heat and motion detectors to sense possible threats and alert command centres, Yonhap said. If the command centre cannot identify the source, an operator can order the robot to fire its gun or 40-mm automatic grenade launcher.

South Korea, with a falling birth rate, fields a military of 655,000, most of them drafted, against Pyongyang's 1.2 million armed forces.
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Re: Israeli Girls in First-Person Shooters, Killing Real People

Postby KeenInsight » Wed Jul 14, 2010 1:34 pm

As we approach the singularity, the machines will turn against us all, learning from our murderous ways.
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Re: Israeli Girls in First-Person Shooters, Killing Real People

Postby Twyla LaSarc » Wed Jul 14, 2010 2:15 pm

Just like I suspect the chimps have.
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Re: Israeli Girls in First-Person Shooters, Killing Real People

Postby elfismiles » Wed Jul 14, 2010 2:25 pm

South Korea deploys robots to detect and kill intruders‎
http://www.thestar.com/news/world/artic ... -intruders

South Korea uses robot to patrol Demilitarized Zone border it shares with North Korea
http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/2 ... orth_.html

12#4 wrote:Erstwhile business partner South Korea is also deploying robot death tech facing another starving, impoverished, and isolated populace as announced:

South Korea deploys robots to detect and kill intruders
July 14, 2010

thestar.com
.
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Re: Israeli Girls in First-Person Shooters, Killing Real People

Postby norton ash » Wed Jul 14, 2010 2:32 pm

Damn, we humans are so smart. The shit we come up with... wow.

Remote control killing, boner pills, poison to paralyze your face, sandwiches made out of sandwiches. How can one not have hope for a bright future?
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Re: Israeli Girls in First-Person Shooters, Killing Real People

Postby 8bitagent » Wed Jul 14, 2010 4:55 pm

norton ash wrote:Damn, we humans are so smart. The shit we come up with... wow.

Remote control killing, boner pills, poison to paralyze your face, sandwiches made out of sandwiches. How can one not have hope for a bright future?



Don't forget infecting computers with bio chip implants in the human body:
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/37360942/ns ... -security/

Say...anyone remember a time when politicians were angrily against violent video games, saying it was teaching out kids to commit real life acts of violence? Now they're pushing for said games, TO TEACH kids how to blow up people. They should just call predator/reaper drones, sentry bots, and any other death machine controlled by joystick what they are really meant for
"brown people eliminator". Hitler would be proud

Image
(scene from the 1992 kids film Toys, where a black ops military program is using children for virtual reality arcade war games that in reality are about to go operational and really kill people, even tho the kids will think its all still a video game)
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Re: Israeli Girls in First-Person Shooters, Killing Real People

Postby elfismiles » Wed Jul 14, 2010 5:19 pm

Image
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ender's_Game


8bitagent wrote:
norton ash wrote:Damn, we humans are so smart. The shit we come up with... wow.

Remote control killing, boner pills, poison to paralyze your face, sandwiches made out of sandwiches. How can one not have hope for a bright future?



Don't forget infecting computers with bio chip implants in the human body:
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/37360942/ns ... -security/

Say...anyone remember a time when politicians were angrily against violent video games, saying it was teaching out kids to commit real life acts of violence? Now they're pushing for said games, TO TEACH kids how to blow up people. They should just call predator/reaper drones, sentry bots, and any other death machine controlled by joystick what they are really meant for
"brown people eliminator". Hitler would be proud

Image
(scene from the 1992 kids film Toys, where a black ops military program is using children for virtual reality arcade war games that in reality are about to go operational and really kill people, even tho the kids will think its all still a video game)
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Re: Israeli Girls in First-Person Shooters, Killing Real People

Postby Luposapien » Wed Jul 14, 2010 5:36 pm

Yeah. Reminded me of Ender's Game as well. Of course, as opposed to the youngsters in this story, (Spoiler) Ender doesn't realize that the "Game" is real until the end of the book. It's really sad when the distopian ficion of just a couple decades ago is already starting to sound positively optimistic.
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Re: Israeli Girls in First-Person Shooters, Killing Real People

Postby 8bitagent » Wed Jul 14, 2010 6:29 pm

Luposapien wrote:Yeah. Reminded me of Ender's Game as well. Of course, as opposed to the youngsters in this story, (Spoiler) Ender doesn't realize that the "Game" is real until the end of the book. It's really sad when the distopian ficion of just a couple decades ago is already starting to sound positively optimistic.


Im sure Scott Card would love to see such technology deployed to blow up gays
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Re: Israeli Girls in First-Person Shooters, Killing Real People

Postby JackRiddler » Wed Jul 14, 2010 7:07 pm

I only discovered Orson Scott Card about 5 years ago, enjoyed reading Ender's Shadow and Ender's Game consecutively (same story from different protagonist perspectives, written about 30 years apart - the latter evidenced a superior writer at work; both were moving in their depiction of children absorbed into a high-tech war machine as warriors). Then I found out what an unredeemable dick he is. Well, fuck'im. I enjoyed the two books and they were already as much as I wanted out of him, no longer being at an age or place where I *really need* multiple sequels, or Gwen Stacey to come back, if you get what I mean. Interestingly, he had a news column once praising "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" as the high point of filmed science fiction to date, so from that and his writings you'd think he had some kind of nuance and depth to him. Mormons and Teh Gay is a brain-erasing combo, I guess.
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