3-18-12 Stopping the US Drone War: A Chilling Feature of the US War of Terror, Expanded by Obama Administration to Include Targeted Assassinations Print

War Criminals Watch panel at the 2012 Left Forum held in New York City.

Under the US global war of terror, 40% of the US budget goes to preserve and expand the US empire, killing people in the Middle East to protect a global system of exploitation. As an integral part of the terror program, drones are a weapon of choice. The Obama administration is coordinating drone strikes in at least six countries: Yemen, Somalia, Libya, Pakistan, Iraq, Afghanistan. In fact, these drones are being used eight times more by the Obama administration than by the Bush regime, in programs run by the military and the C.I.A. Obama’s Office of Legal Counsel argues that such strikes are legally justified under international law, basing its argument on the Bush doctrine of borderless, endless “war on terror.” On an almost daily basis, drones circle miles above Earth, following targets. The pilots may live and work out of Colorado or on a base in upstate NY or even in some other part of the world. In this new warfare, the pilot does his killing and then goes home for dinner with his family, remaining removed and aloof from the death and destruction caused by his work. When a home or other location is targeted, the drone cannot tell if there are civilians or insurgents in the vicinity – yet everyone who’s killed is called an insurgent.

Zohra Ahmed: Zohra Amed is a student at Fordham University School of Law and a member of the Pakistan Solidarity Network.

Ed Kinane: Ed Kinane has worked to “out" the Reaper drone at NY’s Hancock airbase and is one of the "Hancock 38." Ed has been arrested for protests against Guantanamo and in support of Bradley Manning and served two federal prison terms for direct actions against the School of the Americas. In 2003 he spent five months in Iraq with Voices in the Wilderness. He has traveled in Africa, Palestine, Iran & Latin America. This summer he spent 30 days in Afghanistan. His articles have appeared in Truthout, CommonDreams, etc.

Moderator - Debra Sweet: Director of World Can't Wait