Meet Pat Chaffee: November 8 talk in Racine!
This is one of a series of report-backs being done all over the country by participants in the Code Pink peace delegation to Pakistan.
by Pat Chaffee
“My young cousin,” said Azkar, “was a civil engineer. He was helping to build up our country.” Embittered against the United States and NATO for the carnage caused by drones, he joined the militants. Azkar’s cousin knew these people. They were his friends and neighbors. They were teachers, mothers, masons, goatherds. “He trained for two or three years to be a suicide bomber. He blew himself up. Such a loss for Pakistan.”
Paki and I tried to enter into his grief. Of course, in no real way could we do this. How could we understand the anger and hopeless desperation that drives a promising young man to take innocent lives as well as his own, in hope that his action will somehow stop hellfire missiles? How could we understand the sadness and anger of a cousin mourning his deep personal loss as well as the loss for his country?
We could, and did, tell Azhar that we agreed that the U.S. drone attacks are illegal, immoral, and inhumane. We could, and did, tell him that we were two of a thirty-four U.S. citizens who came to Pakistan on behalf of hundreds of thousands of other U.S. citizens who oppose our government’s drone warfare.
The last word, however went to Laureen Booth, a featured journalist at the conference. Laureen shamed the other journalists with her passionate plea: “Please do not focus on the security of participants.” The March was to focus on security of the innocent people in target areas. The purpose of this March was to end drone warfare.”
Patricia Chaffee earned her Ph.D. in English from Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana. She has taught as Associate Professor at Stillman College in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, is a published poet, and has published in literary journals and social justice magazines. Currently, she is a reader/editor for a book manuscript and in the past she has edited articles for the U.S. Government.
See the related post, "Body Pieces" by Pat Chaffee, on the Awake to Drones website.
This is one of a series of report-backs being done all over the country by participants in the Code Pink peace delegation to Pakistan. See also:
My visits to Pakistan and Kurdistan by JoAnne Lingle from Indianapolis on the Indiana Drones Project website.For additional photos of the Pakistan trip, see the Code Pink delegation photo site.