For the holiday shopping season, Maisto International, Inc. released a toy model of the United States Air Force's RQ-1 Predator drone. The toy is a 1:97 scale die casting of the famous military hardware.
The RQ-1 Predator is an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) which the Air Force describes as a MALE (medium-altitude, long-endurance) UAV system. It can serve in a reconnaissance role and fire two AGM-114 Hellfire missiles. The aircraft, in use since 1995, has seen combat over Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bosnia, Serbia, Iraq, Yemen, Libya, and Somalia. It is remote-controlled by humans so is therefore not an autonomous aircraft. The drone is controversial because it has been responsible for many civilian deaths, including at least 178 children.
"This is the best toy ever. Finally, 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!"
"Whether your violating constitutional rights at home, or bombing children abroad, this toy's perfect for all clandestine missions! Double tap strike to triple your pleasure and casualties!"
"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 in Pakistan. I mean, if the government sanctions murder, it must be OK, right?"
"What better way to teach your child geography than to show them how a Predator drone can be used anywhere in the world for spreading state sponsored terrorism!"
"Nothing teaches your kids about the fact that they may one day be the target of an extra-judicious execution by executive order via a flying death robot from the movie Terminator, than this beautiful piece of replica toy war crimes."
Are such toys appropriate for children? Can current U.S. foreign policy regarding drone strikes be justified? I report, you discuss.