Devastating effect of predator drones
Remember when the campaign slogan used to be, “It's the economy stupid”? Now the dismal state of the US economy is so apparent to even those who are doing well that the statement is taken as a given. It's like noting that grass is green -- everyone is well aware of that fact so there's no need to say it in the first place.
What doesn't get mentioned in the media, and didn't get mentioned in either the recent presidential or vice-presidential debates, despite statements on both sides about the recent attack on the U.S.'s Libyan embassy and how to address it, is our use of predator drones and their devastating effect on the innocent civilians in the countries where we employ them as part of our foreign policy.
Like when we've bombed wedding or funeral parties. Or like the time we “accidentally” dropped a bomb on a school filled with children. In countries where we're unleashing this horror, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Somalia (these are just the ones we know about), they have a 9/11 every week if not a couple of times a week. They lose people they love, family, friends, neighbors; they lose their homes and their livelihoods. No wonder our embassy in Libya was attacked.
The pathetic and downright idiotic film trailer of “Innocence of Muslims” (yes I've watched it), which was blamed in the media for the attack, was not the real issue. In social work therapy, we would refer to this as the “presenting issue” -- the initial reason people come into therapy in the first place. After a few sessions, depending on how astute the therapist is, the deeper reasons for the distress emerge.
We invade predominately Muslim countries, lay waste to their lands and lives, obliterate their infrastructure so that even more people die due to the lack of clean water and medical care, overthrow governments that we financed in the first place, commandeer their resources, pretend we're bringing them democracy then some of our own religious fanatics have the unmitigated gall to paint their holy prophet as a dirt bag. I'll repeat: No wonder our embassy in Libya was attacked. I'm rather amazed at their restraint -- if U.S. interests were being treated this way the U.S. government would have planned and executed an attack long before.
Luckily, we have some people here in the U.S. who are witnessing on behalf of the innocent people killed with this video game warfare financed by our tax dollars. My brother in the peace community, Catholic Worker Brian Terrell of Maloy, Iowa, was just found guilty of telling the government the truth about drone warfare. He was sentenced to six months of prison and will be reporting this Nov. 30 to begin serving his time. None of the people who authorized the drone attacks or who pressed the buttons dropping the bombs which resulted in the killing of children will be charged.
You can call the White House comment line at (202) 456-1111 and register your horror at the slaughter of innocent people being done with your tax dollars. This is a good number to have for future reference -- feel free to keep it.
And despite the fact that I am not privy to either of the major two parties' debate scripts, I'm fairly certain that our foreign policy tactics in the Middle East, the drones, will not be mentioned in the presidential debates either.
Linda LeTendre, a peace activist from Saratoga Springs, blogs occasionally on dailygazette.com.