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42 of 56 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A 'Must-Read'
This new book by leading American anti-drone activist and CODEPINK co-founder Medea Benjamin is a must-read for anyone interested in the bitter reality of the ongoing US drone wars. It will be of interest to researchers, journalists, activists, ethicists, legal analysts, and the general public.

Any initial fears that this is merely a sensationalistic,...
Published on May 14, 2012 by John S. Uebersax

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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Agenda driven
I was hoping for a book that was simply factual and spoke with in depth knowledge about this newly developing field/weapon. While I appreciate the human elements to the authors arguments, I felt she relied to heavily on emotional appeal from the reader to make her point, than on solid facts. I happen to know a great deal on this topic and was not impressed by the many...
Published 7 months ago by William M Cerat


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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Agenda driven, April 15, 2014
I was hoping for a book that was simply factual and spoke with in depth knowledge about this newly developing field/weapon. While I appreciate the human elements to the authors arguments, I felt she relied to heavily on emotional appeal from the reader to make her point, than on solid facts. I happen to know a great deal on this topic and was not impressed by the many factual mistakes made. These mistakes lead me to question the authors credibility in the few areas brought up, that I had not previously been aware of. With that said, I wouldn't recommend the book. It is a mix of accurate and inaccurate information driven by agenda. I'm not arguing for or against the authors position with relation to the growing field of unmanned aviation, I simply don't think this is the best source for you to look to if you are truly interested in gaining an understanding of this newly developed field/weapon.
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42 of 56 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A 'Must-Read', May 14, 2012
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This review is from: Drone Warfare: Killing by Remote Control (Paperback)
This new book by leading American anti-drone activist and CODEPINK co-founder Medea Benjamin is a must-read for anyone interested in the bitter reality of the ongoing US drone wars. It will be of interest to researchers, journalists, activists, ethicists, legal analysts, and the general public.

Any initial fears that this is merely a sensationalistic, superficial analysis of the problems of drone warfare quickly vanish as one begins reading. With over 300 notes and citations, the book supplies an unparalleled, sweeping perspective on the entire problem, alluding, in one way or another, to all the main issues. It contains a lot of details about drones that probably hadn't occurred to you before. (For example, did you know that drone-launched Hellfire missiles travel faster than the speed of sound? A strike victim doesn't even hear them coming.)

Overall it's an excellent, and perhaps essential starting point for research on US drone warfare.

The style is extremely readable, without loss of depth or impact. Medea Benjamin has an amazing command of the facts, a consequence of her sheer passion and commitment to the topic. There is no political agenda here -- it is not marred by 'leftist' or 'rightist' prejudice. Rather, what comes across is an intense humanitarian motivation. She is writing from the heart, with pure and trustworthy instincts, accompanied by a high degree of intellectual and journalistic skill.
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30 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Big Brother Wants To Party and He's Right Outside Your Bedroom Window, April 28, 2012
By 
cvairag (Allan Hancock College) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Drone Warfare: Killing by Remote Control (Paperback)
Of the many horrors unleashed under the rubric of national security, perhaps none is as immediately and intimately threatening, or as revealing of the mindset of the 1% and their politically sympathetic camp-followers,as the radical expansion of drone warfare over the past decade, especially by the Obama administration. At least hundreds of innocent civilian lives have been lost, mutilated, or destroyed in military operations where bombs are dropped by robotically-manned aircraft, launched and directed to remote targets, by play-stations operated by U.S. military personnel, often former computer "gamers" from U.S. air bases situated halfway around the world from their victims.
In this immaculately documented study, an inimitable, true heavyweight, long-term critic of U.S. social policies (I hesitate to use the word "foreign" here), details the dreadful history of what is now the norm, the cutting-edge, if you'll have it, of U.S. military strategy and speculates on its future.
This last part ought to be of particular interest to the general reader: how drones are currently either in use or planned imminently to be in use by domestic security operatives and local law enforcement agencies for domestic survellience on - well - you've got it - the old enemy - the enemy within - the ones who are mentioned in the opening lines of the Constitution! And plans are in the works for not only survellience...
Our eyes our opened to the danger of drone proliferation: there are currently over 400 outstanding orders to be filled, and not only from U.S. military clients!
Not only is the extent of drone damage documented here - but the criminal insensitivity of such killings - where often the identity targets, and the actual degree of the victims' culpability remains unknown. This concept has been expanded by the Signature Kill type operations discussed in a book that is incumbent upon every American concerned about personal survival to actually take time out to read.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Unfocused and kind of messy, but it still offers some very valuable insight into how we fight armed conflicts at this moment., March 28, 2014
It's not the most polished or focused book imaginable, but Benjamin is first and foremost a peace activist, not an investigative journalist. To her credit, the parts of the book that focus on Drone warfare: how it developed, how much money is involved in their production (hint: it's A LOT), how they are used, and the basic ethical/legal dilemmas involved in secretively killing people from the sky thousands of miles away receive a marginally thoughtful summary, and she obviously put a lot of research (though nowhere near enough to make this book as powerful as it could be) into the topic.

Honestly, this is a subject which just needs a stronger, more disciplined writer, one who is able to focus in persistently on the ramifications of these machines, and not someone who will hijack their own work with hopelessly naive, 3rd rate reasoning about "just-war theory" and the embarrassingly negligible role that the U.S.'s already hopelessly emasculated peace movement has played in bringing more attention to how totally insane and terrifying the implications of drone warfare are.
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9 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars On Target, April 13, 2013
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This review is from: Drone Warfare (Kindle Edition)
This is a workman-like presentation of the genesis of drones, who manufactures them, and an exposition of the various issues associated with the current state of the art of drone warfare. It is written from a liberal point of view and, in general, is in opposition to the usage of drones to kill people. The effects of drone warfare, if it can be called that, as distinct from murder one, are well described. I recommend it highly as an introduction to a fast-moving, faster-developing change in the way we make other people feel our power.
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16 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WOW - A real Eye Opener !, August 5, 2012
This review is from: Drone Warfare: Killing by Remote Control (Paperback)
WOW - This is not the type of book I would normally read. A friend actually (all but) forced me to read it. And all I can say is, no matter if you are "right" or "left", or have no interest in politics and warfare at all, this is an absolute must-read book.
Shocking and informative - a real eye opener. Buy it here, borrow it from a friend, or check it out at from the library. Truely, one of the most important books I have ever read.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Tiresome Rant, October 5, 2014
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OK, I guess. Kind of beat the subject into submission through redundancy and repetition.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Convincing Polemic On Drones, June 16, 2013
By 
Brett A. MccUlly (Washington, DC, USA) - See all my reviews
Medea Benjamin is a well-known activist. She founded the activist organization CODEPINK and has disrupted the speeches of NRA head Wayne LaPierre, as well as speeches on drones and counterterrorism policy by then-Homeland Security Adivisor John Brennan and the President himself. Hence the positions she takes in the book are of no surprise.

Drones, or unmanned aerial vehicles, while given to some occasional constructive uses, are bad for the US, for their victims, and for war more generally. Benjamin overturns some widely held assumptions on drones. First that they are cheap: often, they are prone to large cost overruns, as was the case with Northrup Grumman's Global Hawk. In addition, they crash often, necessitating larger quantity purchases by the military.

More importantly, however, targeted assassinations via drones are immoral and illegal. The Obama administration has vastly expanded their use, including against US citizens. Benjamin addresses a key criticism of leftist agitation against drones: that they are merely a means to kill, no different than cruise missiles or jet fighters. She argues that they are indeed distinct from other weapons: they make war easy, by avoiding US casualties; they "emasculate" the enemy, which is of great importance in honor-bound cultures such as the Federally Administered Tribal Region of Pakistan.

The summary given in Drone Warfare of the targeted killing program's illegality is good though not as exhaustive as, say, Zeke Johnson's testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee (April 16, 2013). In addition, she does not go into very much detail on specific drone bombings targeting schools, funerals, and first-responders. Instead, most attention is (nonetheless importantly) paid to the usual victims: poor Pakistanis and Yemenis, those who often have little to nothing to do with militants and terrorism.

As one of the first books of its kind, Drone Warfare provides important lessons on drones and drone warfare, and helpfully lists example of those protesting their usage. While not comprehensive nor 'balanced' (as some might like), Drone Warfare ought to change some minds.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sense and sensibility!, May 7, 2014
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I admire the author, Medea Benjamin. I have seen here grilled on Thom Hartmann's "The Big Picture", the best, most in depth political show on television in my opinion that delves into politics and much more including drone warfare and climate change. How would you like it if a foreign government sent drones to take out drug traffikers or terrorists, and your innocent children, spouse, neighbors and friends were killed under the ill-conceived concept of "collateral damage". President Barack Obama is much better than neocon Hillary Clinton or Mitt Romney would have been, but he was not the progressive that we believed he would be, especially when he refused to process Wall Street CEOs, torturers, and continued drone attacks that promote new generations of Muslims to hate and terrorize us. After reading Drone Warfare, I am even more convinced that it is an ill-conceived program that taints what we are supposed to be about: Liberty & Justice for all! Kudos for Medea Benjamin!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars We have lost our way., June 2, 2014
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This review is from: Drone Warfare (Kindle Edition)
Ms Benjamin has the courage of her convictions and lays out the facts clearly why she feels so strongly about the drone killing program. Medea has been a hero of mine ever since I watched a video of her interrupting John Brennan's "pack of lies" press conference. It was sickening to listen to him saying that there have been no civilian casualties from the drone program. Ms Benjamin spoke the truth and was physically dragged out of the room. The image of her with her hands and feet pushing back against the door frame like a monkey while continuing to yell the truth is burned into my consciousness. Seriously, brutally killing people with sky-robots is immoral as well as counter-productive. It has been a singular recruitment tool for the terrorists. Why not? How would you react to a loved one being blown to bits by a Hellfire missile?
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Drone Warfare: Killing by Remote Control
Drone Warfare: Killing by Remote Control by Medea Benjamin (Paperback - May 1, 2012)
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