Rooj Al-Wazir outlines ten reasons for why the American public should be outraged at the drone wars being carried out in their name.
10. Bombing civilian communities and destroying homes, schools, hospitals, and pharmacies, is a form of terrorism. Saying oops and labeling them collateral damage is not OK. They are human beings with stories and histories. These are war crimes.
Example: On Dec 2009, a U.S. Tomhawk cruise missile hit al-Majalah, a village in Yemen, and dropped cluster bombs all over, killing 14 women, including 5 pregnant womEn, and 21 children (the youngest child was only a one year old.) The cluster bombs resulted in two more deaths a year later after it exploded and injured 15 more. No one killed in that massacre was even considered a “militant”*. In other words: this was a war crime.
9. It took diplomatic cables for the U.S. to finally admit that they were launching airstrikes and waging a war in Yemen. They’ve been lying to you despite using your money to pay for these wars.
8. An overabundance of resources including $11.8 billon dollars from our taxpaying dollars are being used to murder innocent people with drones, instead of funding critical needs in our communities (education, jobs, healthcare, etc)
7. Broken families or separated families are the result of our wars, women and children are the most impacted.
6. There is a 50:1 ratio, which means there is somewhere around 50 civilians killed for every “militant”.
5. It’s not just drones that are being used, U.S. airstrikes have involved cruise missiles, cluster bombs, Yemeni planes and other weapons of war. For $1.5 millon our government can either buy 1 Tomahawk Cruise Missle and kill innocent people or it can save at least 30 neighborhood schools from closing in D.C., Chicago, Florida and wherever else we’re shutting down our schools!
4. Check out the spending breakdown of drone and arms manufacturing companies and you will see how our politicians benefit from creating wars. A large number of our congress members have also invested their own money in drone manufacturing companies doing business with the government that profit from the death and destruction in Yemen and Pakistan.
3. It is racism at it’s finest; four Americans would never have been targeted if they were not colored. In other words, if you have brown or black skin, you do not have the same rights as a white person and the government sees nothing wrong with killing you. After nearly two years they’ve finally admitted to the assassination of four Americans, including a 16 year old boy.
2. Using drones at home will give more legal power for racial profiling (stop & frisk), surveillance, detentions and lock ups.
1. Hypocrisy: What if a Russian drone came to your hometown and flew over your skies 24/7, and one day the drone striked and killed 10 of your neighbors and 1 family member and left several others severely wounded because of “suspicious activity”…. What would you do? Because, right now, we are those people creating those experiences abroad. Terrorizing and traumatizing whole communities, physically and mentally, and we won’t even apologize.
Let us strengthen our resistance against the increased drone attacks abroad and also the attacks on our communities at home, and stand in struggle and solidarity with Yemenis, Pakistanis, Afghanis, Palestinians, and wherever else our brutal government is dropping bombs. We must resist these imperialistic wars.
*I put the word“militant” in quotations because the US government counts all adult males killed by strikes as militants.
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