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Monday, January 18, 2010

Let’s focus on the drones

Un-manned drones are killing lots of civilians while those who operate them sit in a quiet stall somewhere safe. These instruments of terror are making war easy and comfortable for those of us who live in the US. It only encourages more wars in more places. And while we stay nice and cozy, innocent civilians are casualties along with whoever the drones are expected to attack.

The following is from Debra Sweet, of The World Can’t Wait:

Outside C.I.A Headquarters, Protesting U.S. Drone Attacks
While driving to protest at C.I.A. headquarters Saturday, a spokesperson for the Pakistan USA Freedom Forum called me to say that Pakistanis agree with our opposition to the U.S. use of un-manned drones in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, and perhaps on other countries. He said these drone attacks only make people oppose the US occupations more, and will drive people into the arms of the religious fundamentalists, and not keep the U.S. safer.
Activist Cindy Sheehan walks with participants in an anti-war protest that she organized outside of CIA headquarters in Langley, Va. on Saturday Jan. 16, 2010. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
Cindy Sheehan organized the protest through
Peace of the Action, a sustained anti-war protest which begins in 8 weeks in Washington. This is the first protest at CIA headquarters in many years, and the first time the anti-war movement united specifically to protest the drones. Joshua Smith gives some of the history and planes U.S. use of drones, explaining that the military is increasingly going to drones instead of manned bombers.
Hearing how the Obama administration is vastly increasing the use of drones; and knowing this is virtually a secret program brought the importance of this first protest to all of us. See Jane Mayer’s piece
The Predator War: What are the risks of the C.I.A.’s covert drone program? (The huge show of police forces, with officers in the woods and cameras trained from every direction on us showed that the government was impressed by our message.)
Since one of the protesters carried a sign saying “Victory to the Taliban” I thought it necessary to make clear that the protest supported neither the illegitimate U.S. “war of terror” on the people, nor the religious fundamentalists of the Taliban, neither of who represent the interests of the people.
Debra Sweet speech Audio.
To take that further, if in fact you support either, you end up strengthening both. I learned much from the way Bob Avakian argues the need to oppose both the “historically outmoded strata among colonized and oppressed humanity up against historically outmoded ruling strata of the imperialist system” in his talk
Unresolved Contractions: Driving Forces for Revolution. Sunsara Taylor brought this to bear on arguments within the US antiwar movement in U.S. Imperialism, Islamic Fundamentalism…and the Need for Another Way.
Obomba: The Audacity of War Crimes
Looking at the crimes of our government as Americans, but as people who care about humanity, we should not be afraid to look squarely at what contradictions present themselves to this movement.
Kathy Kelly of Voices for Creative Non Violence,
told of speaking with a man who survived a drone attack:

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