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OP-ED: The Case and the Movement Against Armed Drones
These drone wars are not a reduction in war-making but an expansion. They're underway in nations the United States was not previously at war with. They're beginning to result in the addition of ground troops, the opposite result of the image we have in our heads of drones taking the place of ground troops.
Drone pilots in Afghanistan have been targeted and killed. Drone pilots in the United States suffer PTSD at higher rates than real pilots.
Drone victims are 98% innocent civilians according to a recent Stanford/NYU study. The other 2% are targeted victims of murder without charge, trial, due process, or in many cases even knowledge of the target's name.
Drones buzzing over houses traumatize children before they kill them. That those children are (in most cases) not American hardly diminishes the immorality.
Drones are rapidly being developed and deployed by other nations. It is time for Americans to ask themselves: Do I support the equal right of other nations to kill with drones in the United States? And if not, why not? And how can I apply a different standard to my own government?
Did you know that the White House has refused to allow Congress, the institution charged by the U.S. Constitution with making every law, to see its legal reasoning that supposedly justifies killing men, women, children, Americans, and non-Americans anywhere on earth without any charge or trial?
Did you know that even the current president believes no Republican president should ever be allowed the powers he has himself created?
The following organizations have decided to do something about this:
Antiwar.com Arlington Green Party Bill of Rights Defense Committee Code Pink Fellowship of Reconciliation Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space Interfaith Communities United for Justice and Peace Jeannette Rankin Peace Center KnowDrones.com LA Laborfest The Northampton Committee to Stop War RootsAction.org Sitkans for Peace and Justice Veterans For Peace Veterans For Peace Chapter 27 Voices for Creative Nonviolence WarIsACrime.org Women Standing
These groups have decided to urge:
- the United Nations Secretary Generalto investigate the concerns of Navi Pillay, the U.N.'s top human rights official, that drone attacks violate international law -- and to ultimately pursue sanctions against nations using, possessing, or manufacturing weaponized drones;
- the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Courtto investigate grounds for the criminal prosecution of those responsible for drone attacks;
- the U.S. Secretary of State, and the ambassadors to the United States from the nations of the world, to ratify a treaty forbidding the possession or use of weaponized drones;
- President Barack Obama, to abandon the use of weaponized drones, and to abandon his "kill list" program regardless of the technology employed;
- the Majority and Minority Leaders of the U.S. House and Senate, to ban the use or sale of weaponized drones.
You can join this movement and put your name on the petition being delivered to those authorities. It will take you 10 seconds or so, right here: http://act.rootsaction.org/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=6180
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David Swanson's books include "War Is A Lie." He blogs at http://davidswanson.org andhttp://warisacrime.org and works as Campaign Coordinator for the online activist organizationhttp://rootsaction.org. He hosts Talk Nation Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @davidcnswanson andFaceBook.