“Are we the baddies?”

Via Ted Rall, I discovered the official insignia of the US Navy’s Executive Office for the Unmanned Aviation and Strike Weapons Program. This is part of the drone program that is responsible for the deaths of so many civilians in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen, and other countries in the region that have generated so much anger and hostility towards the US.

Yes, they decided to use the grim reaper, that ominous symbol of the arrival of imminent death, as their logo. It is undoubtedly appropriate given what they do. But it is shocking in its directness, so unlike the usual government strategy of using euphemisms or fuzzy symbolism to mask the deadly nature of their actions. Cartoonist Tom Tomorrow points out how they usually do things. (Click on the cartoon to make it larger.)

I first thought that this might be a parody and found it hard to believe that it could be true but Jesus Diaz in an article that looked at the history of military insignias confirmed that it was.

This story reminded me of this sketch from That Mitchel and Webb Look.

When I first saw this clip a couple of years ago, I thought that the comedians were making a joke about there being skulls on the caps of the SS troops but Diaz tells me that that both the Nazi SS and the Waffen SS actually had them.