Sputnik: The sale of drones to Germany is aimed to protect the nation from regional threats. What threats are we talking about here and is Germany's security compromised by any regional actor do you think?
Medea Benjamin: No, I mean Germany's talking about needing these drones to protect its own troops that are fighting ISIS, which is so strange because the fight against ISIS* [Daesh] is supposedly winding down. I don't think there is any need that Germany has to have these armed drones and in fact this is something that the German people have been fighting against for a long time, they've seen the use of armed drones by the United States killing lots of civilians and there is quite a large movement against this inside Germany.
Sputnik: So what is this militarization really about what then and why does Germany need those drones now, if what you're saying is the truth?
Medea Benjamin: Well within the military establishment in Germany, in the more conservative parties, there's been an effort, it's been now five years that this debate is going on, the Germans want to have the latest technology that eleven other countries around the world have and it's really just part of keeping up with the neighbors. It certainly does not need these in terms of its own national security, but it shows that the more conservative elements in Germany have now gotten the upper hand in terms of this technology.
Sputnik: How disturbing, therefore, do you find Germany's possession of drones capable of carrying arms in their arsenal? It's very disturbing generally, the drone capability as a killing machine, we should be withholding the sale of this equipment surely, rather than trying to increase its manufacture and selling these items. They could get into all sorts of hands with the possibility now of copying things, what's your take on it?
Sputnik: Germany's previous Euro Hawk drone program was cancelled due to immense cost thing, how different is the situation now with these UAV's (unmanned aerial vehicle)? It doesn't make sense, really, having the program cancelled before. Is it the geopolitical elitism culture that we're living in, taking over again?
Medea Benjamin: Well the Euro Hawk program was a disaster with tremendous cost overruns and a bad plane as a result. Now they're taking the tried and true, the Israeli version and just leasing because they want to come up with their own version in the coming decades, so it's just an example of this global military industrial complex run amuck and unfortunately Germany wants to be part of the global community that has succumbed to the use of drones that keep their own pilots a hundred per cent safe, off in military air bases thousands of miles away while they're able to kill, many times, innocent people in countries far away.
Sputnik: I have to ask about the situation that we've been reporting on today about the chemical bomb being dropped in Syria and again this explosion of geopolitical innuendo regarding the current situation. It's very tense, it's very nervous and lots of experts have been talking about this build up happening over a period of three months, what's your take on it? Are you concerned about this explosion of this geopolitical agenda and now these unconfirmed reports of this chemical bomb being dropped, what's your take on this?
Sputnik: What can we do as a global audience, we're very tense, we're very worried, we're being driven towards conflict by the politicization of an administration that is trying to look after an elitist ideology, we are run by these elitist powerhouses. What can the general audience within the world do about this?
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