If Drones Struck America


Imagine this:

Today is the day of your sister’s wedding.  You are riding to the location of the wedding ceremony along with your family and close friends in a caravan of four cars.  It’s a beautiful, happy day.  As you ride, practicing the speech you will make in your head, you hear an explosion that shakes you to the core.  You see fireballs erupt outside the window and craters are all that remain of three of the cars that held your family.  Shock and horror are the best descriptions of how you are feeling.  And then questions come.  Who did this? Why?  What if the answer was the US government, and because someone in one of the cars was suspected of doing something against the US?  Would that be an acceptable answer to you, or your family? Would that be acceptable to others in your community?  Would that be acceptable to Americans at large?  That is pretty hard to imagine happening here in the US, right?  Well what if our military has already performed that exact strike in another country in the world?  Is it still wrong, and outrageous?  Or is it just? Or is it just a part of the world in which we live?

I came across an excellent opinion piece that talks about this scenario, which occurred  recently in Yemen.  At least 17 people have been confirmed killed in a drone strike on a wedding convoy.  Read the article here: If a Drone Strike Hit an American Wedding We’d Ground Our Fleet

This has to stop.  The US can’t indiscriminately kill civilians with drone strikes or by another other means.  It is only adding fuel to the fire we are claiming to put out. Even the soldiers who carry out these strikes feel the torment of their actions, as you can hear and read about in this article (with video) from cnn.  From the article:

“Regarding fears of civilian casualties, he describes an occasion in 2007 when he saw a figure running toward a building in Afghanistan seconds before the impact of a missile he had aimed at it. The small shape looked to him like that of a child.
He says he and a colleague asked an intelligence observer on the mission about it.
The response? “Per the review, it’s a dog.”
Bryant says he was sure it wasn’t a dog. In the end, he says, the report of the strike mentioned neither a dog nor a child.”

Humans deserve better than this.

Things you can do:

Amnesty International has a pretty good grasp on how messed up the drone situation is.  They have created a pre-formatted letter which will be sent electronically to President Obama, your local senator, and others in the government, urging them to prevent extrajudicial executions – all you have to do is fill in your contact information here.  If you would like to send a similar letter urging investigations into the death of civilians by drones, click here.  If you just want to read more info and reports from Amnesty International about the use of drones, click here.  If you have other links or resources concerning drone usage or how to petition against it, let me know.

What are drones?

Drones are unmanned flying machines capable of surveillance and firing missiles. Using drones for surveillance  was pioneered by Israel in the 1970s and 80s.  Iran was the first to use armed drones during their Iraq-Iran war in the late 1980s.  The US military has widely adopted drone usage since the Gulf War. They have been deployed by the US with regularity during the “War on Terror,” killing militants alongside civilians with little backlash.