January 28, 2013
Critics of the U.S.'s use of unmanned missile-firing robot aircraft overseas have a found a novel forum for airing their grievances: the Amazon.com product page for a toy version of the American Predator Drone. Many of the Amazon write-ups have a sarcastic tone similar to the faux-adoring reviews aimed at the site's more pathetic products, like "Bic for Her" pens and banana slicers. But given the controversial and deadly nature of the drone program, these comments pack a bigger punch. This one is typical: "My son is very interested in joining the Imperial forces when he grows up. He says he's not sure if he wants to help police the homeland or if he wants to invade foreign countries. So I thought a new Predator drone toy would be a nice gift for him." Another reads: "I really wanted to show my toddler that it's okay to murder people and still come out a 'hero' as long as you're in an air conditioned trailer remotely operating a Predator Drone 10,000 miles away." There are lots of swipes at President Obama, such as: "I can pretend that I'm a winner of the Nobel Peace Prize! It's like I'm sitting right there in the White House with my very own kill list!" For me, the most unsettling text of all is the manufacturer's note that the product is "for age 3 and up." That seems awfully ironic, seeing how everyone else seems to think such devices—even in toy form at 1:97 scale—really aren't kid stuff at all.
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