Monday, October 15, 2012

Wrench in the Machine

Veterans For Peace in NYC

Thursday, October 4, 2012


A delegation of thirty-five U.S. activists is now in Pakistan to protest U.S. Predator drone warfare policy, which, according to Code Pink, has killed between 2,500 and 3,330 people since 2004 (a far greater number than our government and media has reported).  These strikes have terrorized the Pakistani people; civilians, adults and children alike, live in constant fear that U.S. drone operators might strike them at any time – day or night.
I personally know seven of the delegates.  I trust them.  I know them as intelligent, thoughtful, and caring human rights activists.  I support their mission, and I pray for their safety.  Having participated in the Gaza Freedom March, and having been involved in the U.S. Boat to Gaza campaign, I know just how important it is to let the world know that there are Americans who oppose American policy and who want peace with justice in the Middle East.  
The delegation will meet with families of drone victims, members of civil society, and politicians; it will deliver a petition to the US Embassy in Islamabad from Americans who oppose the strikes; and it will give funds to help drone victims (especially because the United States offers no assistance to innocent civilian victims of these immoral and illegal drone strikes).  On October 7, these courageous delegates, along with hundreds of Pakistanis, will participate in a caravan of cars and vans on a 6-hour drive from Islamabad to the northwest region of Waziristan, where U.S. drones have injured and killed civilians, to make their collective and international voices heard.   
U.S. drone strikes violate international and U.S. law – furthermore, they have not made us safer; rather, they have turned Pakistanis against the United States, and, according to a new NYU/Stanford study, they have “facilitated recruitment to non-state armed groups, and motivated further violent attacks.”
To become more knowledgeable about this issue, visit Code Pink’s website (; read Medea Benjamin’s book, Drone Warfare; read Ray McGovern’s article, “Silence of the Drones,” (www.consortiumnews/com/2012/10/01/); and read a recently published report from the NYU and Stanford law schools, “Living under Drones.”  To become more active in this issue, sign the delegation’s petition (; donate funds to the victims (; attend the Veterans for Peace commemoration in NYC, on Sunday, October 7, 6:00-10:00 p.m., as the Afghanistan war enters its 12th year (; and, stand and march with like-minded people in New Paltz, on Saturday, October 13,  12:30 p.m., in front of the Elting Library.   

Let those of us who believe in promoting justice for all human beings by working to end our government’s drone strike policy in Pakistan come together, speak out, and say, “NO MORE!”

Helaine Meisler