Source: The Independent
The development of lethal autonomous weapons systems (LAWS) that select targets without human intervention could violate fundamental principles of human dignity, according to one AI expert.
Stuart Russell, professor of computer science at the University of California, Berkeley, highlighted in the journal Nature the ethical decision faced by the artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics communities about whether to oppose or support the development of such systems. (more…)
August 23, 2011
MEDIA ROOTS– Last year marked the tenth anniversary of America’s invasion of Afghanistan, officially making it the longest war in US history. Now that Osama Bin Laden is finally confirmed dead, the federal government’s logic of continuing the occupation remains unclear.
Initially, the Bush administration irrationally insisted that any sovereign nation harboring terrorists was itself complicit in “terror” and therefore open for pre-emptive US military action. This rationale is absurd– just because one criminal might be living inside of a particular country doesn’t make that entire country guilty of the criminal’s crimes.
In 2002, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld was quick to tell CNN that US forces had successfully pushed the Taliban and Al Qaeda out of the region, and reports reveal that Osama Bin Laden hadn’t even been in Afghanistan since 2001. Additionally, a White House spokesperson recently admitted that there hasn’t been a terrorist threat in the country for the last eight years.
So what has the US been doing in Afghanistan for the last decade?
War has always been about two things: resources and control. Alongside the supposed surprise discovery of Afghanistan’s $1 trillion wealth of untapped minerals, it’s more than coincidental that before the US invasion, the Taliban along with the UN had successfully eradicated the opium crop in the Golden Crescent. Now 90% of the world’s heroin comes from Afghanistan.
As reported by Global Research:
Heroin is a multibillion dollar business supported by powerful interests, which requires a steady and secure commodity flow. One of the “hidden” objectives of the war was precisely to restore the CIA sponsored drug trade to its historical levels and exert direct control over the drug routes.
Immediately following the October 2001 invasion, opium markets were restored. Opium prices spiraled. By early 2002, the opium price (in dollars/kg) was almost 10 times higher than in 2000.
In 2001, under the Taliban opiate production stood at 185 tons, increasing to 3400 tons in 2002 under the US sponsored puppet regime of President Hamid Karzai.
While highlighting Karzai’s patriotic struggle against the Taliban, the media fails to mention that Karzai collaborated with the Taliban. He had also been on the payroll of a major US oil company, UNOCAL. In fact, since the mid-1990s, Hamid Karzai had acted as a consultant and lobbyist for UNOCAL in negotiations with the Taliban.
In today’s globalized world, one can’t discount the role that multinational corporations play in US foreign policy decisions. Not only have oil companies and private military contractors made a killing off the Afghanistan occupation: big pharmaceutical companies, who collectively lobby over $250 million to Congress annually, need opium latex to manufacture drugs for this pill happy nation.
Read full article about Afghanistan: Endless War for Resources.
Written by Abby Martin for Media Roots
There is a lot of unrest in the US on how our government has been handling matters lately. Should the riots in England serve as a warning for the US? Spending on wars and cutting social programs are things that both the US and UK are doing. Luke Rudkowski, an independent journalist, and Kathryn Dill, lead reporter for Truth March, tell us if the US will be seeing riots of their own and how the US could potentially prevent them.
Follow Lauren on Twitter: http://twitter.com/LaurenLyster
Media Roots Radio- US Imperialism, Spying, Self-Censorship, Building Communities by Media Roots
MEDIA ROOTS– This discussion covers US imperialism: wars, costs, media and government propaganda; the culture of self-censorship and the erosion of privacy in the US; information as power and how communication is an important tool to strengthen and build communities.
The above timeline is interactive. Scroll through it to find out more about the show’s music and to resources mentioned during the broadcast. To see a larger version of the timeline with clickable resources go to the soundcloud link below the player.
If you would like to directly download the podcast click the down arrow icon on the right of the soundcloud display. To hide the comments to enable easier rewind and fast forward, click on the icon on the very bottom right.
For more information go here.