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72% of Xbox 360 Gamers Approve of "More Military Drone Strikes" 446

Posted by timothy
from the ok-but-what-about-pepsi-drinkers? dept.
An anonymous reader writes "During the latest presidential debate, Xbox 360 owners were being polled live, as the debate was progressing, on a number of different questions, and asked to answer 'Yes,' 'No,' or 'Don't Know' using their gamepad. Out of these questions, one particular question produced a surprising result: Xbox 360 owners were asked 'Do you support more use of drone aircraft to attack suspected terrorists?' 20% answered this question with 'No'. 8% answered 'Don't know.' And a whopping 72% answered the question 'Yes.' This raises an interesting question in and of itself: Is the average Xbox 360 player at all aware that drone strikes in countries like Pakistan cause a serious number of civilian deaths on a regular basis? Or do Xbox 360 gamers live in a parallel, game-inspired universe, where a real world 'Drone Strike' is something seriously cool, just like it is cool to use it in popular games like Call of Duty? In other words, does playing simulated war games like COD on a game console on a daily basis, and enjoying these games, cause gamers to become blinkered to the at times seriously dire real world consequences of using military tactics like drone strikes for real?"
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72% of Xbox 360 Gamers Approve of "More Military Drone Strikes"

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  • Or... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 25, 2012 @10:56AM (#41764731)

    Or, perhaps they feel using a drone to make an attack, rather than risking American soldiers, is the better choice?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 25, 2012 @10:57AM (#41764737)

    The more correct question is "Are civilian deaths lower from drone strikes than from conventional military action?"

  • WTF?? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 25, 2012 @10:57AM (#41764741)
    What a horrible summary for one, and two, how the fuck is this news????
  • Perhaps (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Ukab the Great (87152) on Thursday October 25, 2012 @10:58AM (#41764757)

    The gamers understand it's unrealistic to expect civilians not to get killed, and the best that you can really do in any war is to not go out of your way to kill them like the Nazi's did.

  • Re:WTF?? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 25, 2012 @10:59AM (#41764765)

    News? It's intentionally inflammatory linkbait.

  • by concealment (2447304) on Thursday October 25, 2012 @11:00AM (#41764789) Homepage Journal

    Regarding drone strikes on terrorists, we need to know what our other options are:

    1. Let the terrorists live.
    2. Send in a SEAL team to kidnap them.
    3. Assassinate them by some other means.

    Would these create more civilian deaths?

    Is it worth taking civilian deaths on our side, through terrorism, to avoid civilians deaths on the other side?

    Despite all the pretense of morality, voters are going to side with sending screaming death down upon these people if there's a chance that some of our people are going to get killed.

  • by singingjim1 (1070652) on Thursday October 25, 2012 @11:01AM (#41764797)
    Geezuz....no agenda in this "news" story. How about it's because gamers know the efficacy vs. collateral damage of drone strikes and accept the numbers? Genuis whoever approved this as a /. story. It's going to be the hottest topic of the day probably.
  • Re:Or... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Squiddie (1942230) on Thursday October 25, 2012 @11:02AM (#41764823)
    We should also consider the fact that gamers are not exactly a monolithic group. There's a lot of twelve year olds that scream bitch at you when they beat you. I doubt this has anything to do with the game and more with the baseline of the gamer group. Ask a group of children the same question and you'll get similar answers.
  • Needs more context (Score:4, Insightful)

    by mooingyak (720677) on Thursday October 25, 2012 @11:05AM (#41764867)

    Do most of the Xbox poll questions come anywhere near other polling on each topic? If not, is their an observable leaning? Is that lean towards liberal views, conservative views, just plain 'Yes', or something else? Are they just way off in all sorts of random directions?

    And once you've got all that covered, how does that 72% compare to polling on the same topic done by other polling methods?

  • Re:72% For Obama (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 25, 2012 @11:06AM (#41764875)

    Given his record, a vote for Obama is a vote for more drone strikes. And I'm guessing a vote for Romney is also a vote for more drone strikes.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 25, 2012 @11:08AM (#41764919)

    I bet close to 72% hit whatever button they normally use to acknowledge some popup in order to get to their game/netflix. I'm betting it was either A or X. Put "yes" on left button and you'll have vastly different results.

  • Re:Or... (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Simon Brooke (45012) <stillyet@googlemail.com> on Thursday October 25, 2012 @11:12AM (#41765003) Homepage Journal

    Or, perhaps they feel using a drone to make an attack, rather than risking American soldiers, is the better choice?

    So it's OK to kill women and children, provided they're dark skinned, far away, and can't shoot back?

  • Re:Or... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by jhoegl (638955) on Thursday October 25, 2012 @11:14AM (#41765039)
    With the constant "civilian shielding" enemies use. I would say that both are difficult, but one in particular does not put American soldiers at risk and in stressful and frustrating situations.
    Drone attacks may cause civilian casualties, but then so do terrorists.
    I dont see one good solution here.
  • Re:Or... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Desler (1608317) on Thursday October 25, 2012 @11:14AM (#41765041)

    Which is why the article mentions, but glosses over during their tirade, that other polls have shown 62% support on a similar question to the general population. That the difference is only 10% from a biased sampling is quite interesting.

  • by omfgnosis (963606) on Thursday October 25, 2012 @11:14AM (#41765053)

    4. Determine the conditions that inspire people to become—or, more importantly, support—violent extremists who threaten us and our values, and mitigate or eliminate those conditions.

    Most people have the good sense to support that option, especially in recognizing that those conditions themselves fundamentally threaten our values as well, if it's presented as an option. It's so far from the dominant discourse that we end up facing the false choice you've presented.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 25, 2012 @11:16AM (#41765087)

    An even more correct question would be "Do approve of the executions of suspects prior to due course of law and a conviction?"

    Why are we killing SUSPECTS exactly?

  • by Andy Prough (2730467) on Thursday October 25, 2012 @11:16AM (#41765091)

    The more correct question is "Are civilian deaths lower from drone strikes than from conventional military action?"

    No - the more correct question is - why are 12-year-old boys being polled about American military policy? I think you would have gotten a similar 72% positive response to the question: "Should America's President be a 9th degree Ninja warrior with high-power rifle and demolition skills instead of a businessman or lawyer?"

  • by lxs (131946) on Thursday October 25, 2012 @11:17AM (#41765101)

    I remember an online discussion I had about the Collateral Murder video. This guy took the stance that the civilians killed shouldn't be in a war zone. When I tried to convey the idea that the war zone came to their homes by asking my counterpart to imagine Chinese helicopters circling his neighborhood shooting American civilians (in precisely these terms), he accused me of distorting the argument by bringing emotion into it.

    Apparently empathy for people from a different part of the world is in short supply with some people. Especially online.

    Truth be told, I'm as guilty of this as the next person. When I read about shooting sprees in the US, I don't really care beyond the sensational aspects. I should, but I don't.

  • Re:Or... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by daem0n1x (748565) on Thursday October 25, 2012 @11:20AM (#41765149)

    I dont see one good solution here.

    How about going home?

  • Re:Or... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by XxtraLarGe (551297) on Thursday October 25, 2012 @11:22AM (#41765191) Journal

    I dont see one good solution here.

    How about not being in Afghanistan or any other Middle East country in the first place?

  • Re:72% For Obama (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Quiet_Desperation (858215) on Thursday October 25, 2012 @11:23AM (#41765197)

    Will you vote for Obama or Romney?
                        Obama [ 72% ] Romney [ 23%] Not Sure [ 5%]

    Where's the "Neither Of Those Assholes" option?

  • Re:Or... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by fustakrakich (1673220) on Thursday October 25, 2012 @11:24AM (#41765223) Journal

    Which makes them fucked up.. The key word is 'suspected', not confirmed or any other hard evidence. These strikes are murder. There is no other way to describe it.

    Remember, these are the same people who think the 1st Amendment goes too far [firstamendmentcenter.org]... We see it in practice with the press's timidity on the issue. Fascism permeates...

  • Re:Or... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MightyYar (622222) on Thursday October 25, 2012 @11:31AM (#41765349)

    You take something as overwhelmingly popular as drone strikes on terrorists and then filter out the women by conducting the polling with a game machine... I think that pretty much eliminates any mystery. There's a push in the press to show the horror of drone strikes on civilian populations, but I think to the average Joe it is hard to tell how the horror of drone strikes is any worse than the horror of a Seal raid, conventional bomb, or cruise missile.

    Personally, I can understand how it must feel to have this buzzing drone overhead, knowing that it could fire off a missile at any moment. It must be scary as hell, but more importantly, it must make you feel powerless and impotent - I can totally buy that they bring out the inner terrorist in people. That said, I'm not "against" them on principle - I just wonder if they are being overused. It's hard for me to make the call, since I don't have the information that the President does. The fact that Bush and Obama both made the same decisions when given the same facts is both reassuring and unnerving. Clinton didn't have drones, but he loved to fire off Tomahawks.

  • Re:Or... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 25, 2012 @11:34AM (#41765409)

    The only confirmed terrorist is one that already has committed a terrorist act, as a former military who served in Afghanistan I would rather not wait till they took a shot at me or tried to blow me up thank you very much.

  • Re:Or... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Hoi Polloi (522990) on Thursday October 25, 2012 @11:47AM (#41765609) Journal

    Anyone we shoot with a drone is a terrorist by definition. Didn't you read the manual?

  • Re:Or... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by fustakrakich (1673220) on Thursday October 25, 2012 @11:54AM (#41765707) Journal

    Those 'suspected terrorists' are only trying to protect their homeland from outside invaders. Self defense is a birthright, of everybody's, not just Americans.

  • Re:Or... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Squiddie (1942230) on Thursday October 25, 2012 @11:58AM (#41765779)
    Sure, you don't have to be twelve to have a child's intellect.
  • Re:Or... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 25, 2012 @11:58AM (#41765785)

    Because we weren't in Afghanistan ... Because we actually trained and helped the Taliban

    Not sure if anyone can fix that for you.

  • by SomePgmr (2021234) on Thursday October 25, 2012 @12:01PM (#41765837) Homepage

    It's war, not a courtroom. The burden of proof is a little different and combatants don't get trials.

    There are two questions here, though. Most here would probably say we shouldn't be there at all. But the other question is about the use of drones specifically as a weapon of the military and CIA in the context of fighting wars.

    The GP makes a very valid point. I think we can agree we're not talking about the indiscriminate carpet bombing of Dresden, or dropping an A-bomb. So would everyone be better off if we were using cruise missiles, aerial bombardment by manned aircraft, and marines on the ground? I don't think so, but it's a good question.

    We've spent trillions of dollars trying to take the death out of war, in small increments. And we're better at it than anyone has been since we were fighting with rocks and sticks. Unfortunately, it's something we'll never master and we have to keep asking ourselves if new tech is better or worse within the context of war. That is to say, "always bad".

    And much of it will always have to do with who is pulling the trigger, and why.

    Relevant talk by Malcolm Gladwell on the Norden bombsight (and drone use):
    http://www.ted.com/talks/malcolm_gladwell.html [ted.com]

    It really does cover this issue better than anything we're going to say here.

  • Re:Or... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by CanHasDIY (1672858) on Thursday October 25, 2012 @12:26PM (#41766371) Homepage Journal

    The only confirmed terrorist is one that already has committed a terrorist act, as a former military who served in Afghanistan I would rather not wait till they took a shot at me or tried to blow me up thank you very much.

    Question: What do we call pre-emptive killing Stateside?

    Pretty sure the answer is murder.

  • Re:Or... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by CanHasDIY (1672858) on Thursday October 25, 2012 @12:34PM (#41766527) Homepage Journal

    Because we weren't in Afghanistan and they attacked us.

    You do realize the highjackers on September 11, 2001 were pretty much all Saudi Arabian, right? [wikipedia.org]

    You do realize Osama Bin Laden was a Saudi, right?

    What did the people of Afghanistan do to us again?

    FYI, the correct answer is, "not a goddamn thing we didn't do to them first."

    They hate us. They hate the culture, freedom, religion, color, and superiority of the US. They hate everything the US stands for.

    Who is this mysterious "They" you keep referring to, and what did "They" ever do to me? Or you, for that matter?

    They hate us. They hate the culture, freedom, religion, color, and superiority of the US. They hate everything the US stands for.

    So does the Westboro Baptist Church, but I don't see many people calling for every man, woman, and child who attends the WBC to be wiped off the face of the planet with a damn airstrike.

  • Re:Or... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 25, 2012 @12:42PM (#41766685)

    Because we weren't in Afghanistan and they attacked us.

    Wait, the Taliban attacked us? Wow, it amazes me how misinformed people are. The fact is they just sympathized with the people who did attack us, Al Qaeda. You know, Al Qaeda, the group who formed their anti-US foundation based on the presence of US forces on Saudi soil during the first US Gulf War, which kinda supports the point you were trying to refute. They are, of course, terrible awful people, for more reasons than just expressing sympathy for terrorists, but being terrible and awful doesn't make them the aggressors.

    Because we actually trained and helped the Taliban fight off the USSR, and they attacked us.

    Er, no. As described above, we trained them, then we attacked them. Then they fought back.

    They hate us. They hate the culture, freedom, religion, color, and superiority of the US. They hate everything the US stands for.

    They do hate us, I agree with that. They hate how our troops occupy their countries, how we kill and torture their people/women/children with impunity, how we've propped up petty tyrants for decades in their region. The hate didn't spring up overnight, or even in the past decade--it's been there since we knocked over the democratically-elected leader of Iran and installed a bloody murderous tyrant. They hate what we stand for--and over there, we stand for brutal dictatorships, war crimes, and profiting from their misery. They don't know or don't care that we have an entirely separate set of values for ourselves at home. In fact, if they did know, they'd probably hate us more for our hypocrisy.

    Moral of the story? If a terrorist moves in next door, kill him yourself or move out ASAP.

    Or call the cops, who will arrest him, give him a fair trial and, if convicted, put him in jail where he can't do any more harm. We did that the first time terrorists attacked the World Trade Center, or did you forget? Sure, it didn't stop the phenomenon of terrorism any more than arresting murderers stops the phenomenon of murder. But it stopped those particular terrorists extremely effectively (still behind bars in a normal non-military prison thank you very much, no Blofeld-esque terrorist prison-break attempts), and back then we didn't have to give up the freedoms we were supposedly protecting.

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