Drone Warfare: There has to be a different way

Beale Protest

Yesterday I was interviewed  by Alan Stahler on KVMR about why I engaged in nonviolent direct action and was arrested at Beale last October.  (You can listen to the Podcast below.)  In the interview, Alan said, “Using drones must save American lives.  What’s your objection to them?”  My initial answer:  “It may be that using drones save American lives, but there has to be a different way.”

The U.S. Drone Warfare Program is flouting the rule of law, killing thousands, terrorizing whole communities, and making enemies.  There has to be a different way, a way that can lead to mutual concern and lasting security for people in the United States and in countries around the world.  There has to be a way that can lead to peace.

U.S. drones have killed thousands of people, mostly civilians, including hundreds of children.  Yes, our drones go after alleged terrorists.  We have kill lists, made up of individuals who have been approved by the president or the CIA for targeted killings.  But our drones do not only go after particular individuals.  The majority of U.S. drone attacks are “signature strikes”  based on looser criteria.  In some areas, any man of military age is considered a militant and a legitimate target.

Drone strikes often result in civilian casualties.  Hundreds of children have been killed.  Friends of mine who have traveled to regions under fire by drones describe an atmosphere of fear and terror, children having nightmares, people afraid to gather in groups, go to funerals, or send their children to school.   Whole communities are being terrorized.  We are not only causing great harm to people in the communities we target, but making enemies and creating a cycle of violence that may last for generations.

All of this is taking place outside of both U.S. and international law.   The United States is setting an example that other countries will surely follow.  Over 75 countries now have drones.  Some of these drones have weapons, others are surveillance drones, which can easily be weaponized.  The United States is leading the way toward a global drone arms race.

U.S. drone warfare is not making the world more secure, but more dangerous.  Those who are directing U.S. policy on drones are acting out of a vision of the future based on an endless War on Terror waged across borders, under cover by the CIA and Joint Special Forces, using whatever advanced technologies are available in an attempt to dominate the world.  Many of us reject this vision, and are working under the influence of faith in a higher vision, the vision of a peaceful, just, and sustainable world.

Drone warfare?  There has to be a different way.

Pocast of Alan Stahler’s interview with Sharon Delgado

For more information about the impact drone strikes are having upon communities, read the transcript of Farea Al-Muslimi’s testimony in the US Senate.  He claims that rather than fighting terrorism, US drone strikes in his country are fueling it.

Keep up with this court case and other issues by signing up to follow Sharon’s blog.

Drones and Space Warfare

Drones use space2

People who are concerned about the increasing use of unmanned drones by the United States point to the immorality of killing people without due process, the loss of innocent life, and the illegality of targeted assassinations.  I raise an additional concern:  the use of drones as an integral part of a plan by the United States to dominate the earth from space.

Drone warfare is space warfare.  While drone operators are seated at their computer terminals, satellites map the terrain, guide surveillance and armed drones, and target those who are to be killed thousands of miles away.  U.S. Space Command incorporates drone warfare into its overarching strategy, outlined in its Vision for 2020.  The plan is to dominate the earth from space and to protect the global economic order by establishing a global satellite surveillance and positioning system and space-based weapons including lasers, not only for defensive but also for offensive purposes.

According to Vision for 2020,  this strategy will enable the United States to gain the “ultimate high ground” of space in order to enforce its will. The goal is: “Dominating the space dimension of military operations to protect US interests and investments. Integrating Space Forces into warfighting capabilities across the full spectrum of conflict.”

I included information about Vision for 2020 in my book, Shaking the Gates of Hell, because this vision is directly at odds with the vision of a more hopeful future and because the U.S. military-industrial complex is the primary enforcement mechanism for corporate globalization.

The overarching goal of U.S. military planning is not simply the defense or protection of U.S. citizens. The current push toward U.S. political, economic, and military dominance is directly related to the goal of an integrated capitalist global economic system.   As Thomas Friedman said (although the references are somewhat outdated):

“The hidden hand of the market will never work without a hidden fist. McDonald’s cannot flourish without McDonnell Douglas, the designer of the U.S. Air Force F15. And the hidden fist that keeps the world safe for Silicon Valley’s technologies to flourish is called the U.S. Army, Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps. And these fighting forces and institutions are paid for by American taxpayer dollars.”

Contact me for a free download of  “The Iron Fist:  Enforcing Corporate Globalization,” which is Chapter 14 of Shaking the Gates of Hell.