My letter to the editor was published in our local paper, The Times Record, today. Just as I was posting this I learned about US drones killing another 45-50 people in Pakistan as they were attending a funeral of people who had recently been killed by these Unmanned Aerial Vehciles (UAV's). Click on the link in the headline above for the BBC story. This situation is totally out of hand and Obama has to take responsibility. That is, if the peace movement, has the courage to call him on it.
The national media made a big deal about President Obama killing a fly. His “I got the sucker” was even compared to a similar moment by honest Abe Lincoln.
But sadly little time in the national media is spent describing the tragic consequences to hundreds of innocent civilians in Afghanistan and Pakistan who have been killed by United States unmanned aerial vehicles, or “drones” as they are popularly called.
These drones are directed by military space satellites and flown by U.S. soldiers sitting at computer terminals inside Creech Air Force Base near Las Vegas, Nev. The Air Force named these drones the “Predator” and the “Reaper.” The pilots watch in “real time” as cameras on the drones send back images from the war zone and in split-second time a button is pressed and missiles are fired. Is it the Taliban? Is it a wedding?
Can there be the slightest doubt that this “hands off” way of killing today is absolutely repugnant? What does it say about us as a nation that we can cavalierly kill from a distance with little conscience or public outcry?
It’s as if we are just killing flies.
Bruce K. Gagnon, coordinator, Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space, Bath