Sunday, February 19, 2017

Drone use not heroic —and in Wichita, we will work to stop it

An open letter to The Wichita Eagle:

I read with disgust the article "How Wichitans fight in Combat from here." The whole article makes a hero out of a woman who sits in a nice safe room and kills people she never met in person thousands of miles away. Heroic! considering how easy our technology has made war these days it seems more cowardly to me. Our troops no longer have to meet the enemy on  a battle field, we just push a button and they are gone.
The article uses clever words like "the neutralizing of 92 high value individuals." I think the more common word is either to kill or murder.
We are talking about a fight in someone else's country where people have lost their nation, sovereignty and their national pride. Some of those combatants are not just Taliban. Some people there have joined in the Taliban's fight because they want the foreigners to leave. That especially goes for the many factions of resistance in Iraq and other parts of the world where this country feels free to impose our standards on them against their will. We impose democratic puppet regimes that ignore these people's own dynamic interest, culture and national needs.
Not only is their resistance justified, these machines kill members of their families, including young children and innocent civilians who happen to be there at the time these bombers go off.
I can't understand how a country that claims to be for "freedom and democracy" and a "beacon of hope in the world" can rely on technology that makes a button pushing soldier judge, jury and executioner. We are doing all of this because we have the ability to do it—Not because there is any moral grounds for it. It has never been justified to take over someone else's country just because it serves our needs.
I'm not alone in this complaint. A lot of people in Wichita are concerned about the use of unmanned drones to kill people. 
Steve Otto

Film: National Bird
Friday, March 3, 7:00 - 8:45 pm

At the Peace and Social Justice Center
1407 N. Topeka 

Wichita, KS  

National Bird is a 2016 documentary film directed by Sonia Kennebeck with executive producers Wim Wenders and Errol Morris. It was shown at the Tribeca Film Festival and the Berlin Film Festival, and it was reviewed in Variety and The Guardian. It will show on PBS Independent Lens on May 1, 2017.

National Bird follows the dramatic journey of insiders who are determined to break the silence around one of the most controversial issues of our time: The secret US drone war. The film gives rare insight into the American drone program through the eyes of veterans and survivors. Plagued by guilt over the killing of faceless people in foreign countries and suffering from PTSD, the veterans decide to speak out publicly, despite the possible consequences.

No comments: