Sunday, January 12, 2014

Jan 15-20: Wisconsin Lobby Day Against Drone Warfare

Wisconsin Lobby Day Against Drone Warfare
January 15-20, 2014
Organized by:
Wisconsin Coalition to Ground the Drones and End the Wars
Wisconsin Network for Peace and Justice

To participate or for more information: Joy First

Drones are immoral, illegal, and ineffective
What Should Members of Congress Do?

*Between 3500-6000 people (over 200 have been children) are killed by drones in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Yemen, Somalia, and other places around the world. (Bureau of Investigative Journalism. )
*Only 2% of those killed are high-level targets. (Living Under Drones.  Study by Stanford and NYU Law Schools. )
*Drones constantly flying overhead are terrorizing entire civilian populations. (Living Under Drones.  Study by Stanford and NYU Law Schools. )
*US soldiers involved in the drone program have high rates of suicide, PTSD, and anxiety.

*Drones are a violation of international law – the UN Charter, the Geneva Conventions, the Hague Conventions, and the principles of the Nuremburg Tribunal.  They also violate the U.S. Constitution, international human rights laws, the laws of war, and the law applicable to the use of inter-state force. 
* The people who are killed have not been given any kind of due process.  They have not been charged, tried, or convicted of any crime.  They are summarily murdered by our government.
*In a report to the UN Human Rights Council, UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial executions, Philip Alston, has said that the use of drones by the CIA amounts to, “a license to kill without accountability.”
*The Supreme Court of Pakistan has declared that U.S. drone warfare is a war crime.

*Drones are not making the world safer.  Many people being attacked by drones operate by the rules of tribal law and when someone in their tribe is killed, they are obligated to take revenge. 
*Yemeni activist, Faera Al-Muslimi, testified before Congress and said that one drone strike instantly radicalizes people against the United States in ways that al Qaeda propaganda never could.
* At the Code pink “International Drone Summit” in Washington D.C. in November, 2013 a member of the Pakistani Parliament reported that 74% of the people consider the US an enemy.


More and more stories coming out from people whose lives been shattered by drones.

One story was told by a thirteen-year-old girl who had been out selling gum with her father in Afghanistan.  When they returned to their village, they found their home demolished.  They found the pieces of her mother and two of her brothers scattered on the ground and in a tree.  The trauma rendered her father mute, and the girl became responsible for the rest of her family.  She led them into Pakistan where she begged on the streets to try and make money to support her family.

Another story is about a ten-year-old daughter who died with her mother in a drone attack.  She was clinging so tightly to her mother when she died that the family could not separate them and they were buried together.

Entesaar al Qadhi is a young politician from Yemen who reported at the International Drone Summit in Washington, DC that they didn’t even know who al Qadhi was until the US came.  She said, “We don’t support terrorism.  Why must we suffer terror attacks?”  She wants what everyone wants – to live in her home in peace.


**Remember that Wisconsin has a military base where drone training is being conducted.  Volk Field has just opened a $4.5 million drone training facility.  We can demand an end to funding training for drone pilots at this Wisconsin base.

**We can demand that Congress better exercise real oversight over the drone program – whether it’s done by the military, the CIA, or private contractors.  In order to do so members of Congress need to receive pertinent information, whether it’s classified or not.

**We can demand an end to funding for the drone warfare program worldwide.

**As we approach the mid-term elections this fall, we will make drone warfare an election issue, letting members of Congress know that they must assure constituents that they will do everything possible to stop this illegal, immoral, and ineffective program that not only denies people around the world their human rights, but also makes us less safe in the long run.

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