Yesterday at the infamous Nes Tziona facility near Tel Aviv, the Israelis rolled out their latest achievement in the art of mass murder.
Behold the Guardium, an unmanned vehicle with cameras, sensors, night-vision equipment, machine guns, and the ability to carry 660 pounds of explosives.
The Guardium, a robotic soldier commissioned by the Israeli military, is the ground equivalent of pilot-less drones used by Israeli air forces.
And, like the drones, the Guardium is operated from a command room far from Gaza, the West Bank, and other areas filled with
resistance fighters "terrorists."
The robot can navigate through cities, traffic, and
intersections, obeying road markings as it goes. It can also patrol borders, since its cameras and machine guns scan 360 degrees at all times.
The control panel includes two large screens and a joystick -- or if the operator prefers, a steering wheel, plus gas and brake pedals that lend the console the look of a video game.
"Any kid who grew up with a PlayStation can learn this in seconds," said Erez Peled, general manager of G-Nius Unmanned Ground Systems, the company that developed the robot.
Each of the vehicles cost 600,000 U.S. tax dollars for the basic chassis -- but with the killing system installed, the price to U.S. taxpayers runs to several million dollars each, depending on which lethal equipment is installed on the robot.
The Guardium will make it easier for Israelis to gun down women and children, since the victims will be mere images on a screen.
More than ever, mass murder will become a "video game."