Sunday, April 28, 2013

Get The Word Out: #Drones Kill, Generate Terrorists

Source: Carter F. McCall | Bangor Daily News
Lisa Savage gives a presentation on "wielding the mighty pen to make the world a better place." She used her protest of the United States military's use of drone warfare as an example. Hope Festival attendees were asked to write down one thing they will do to make the world a more peaceful, sustainable place and encourage to give presentations on what they wrote.
Maine's newest senator Angus King was reached by Yemeni writer Farea Al-Muslimi's testimony in the historic public hearings on drones this week. King reportedly said in an interview with Kathleen Hunter of Bloomberg:
By using armed drones to kill suspected terrorists overseas, the U.S. runs the risk of generating more terrorists, King said. 
“That’s the dilemma,” he said. “I saw a story last night of a guy from Yemen who basically said the drones radicalized his village, and they were always pro-American. That’s a tough call because the drone program has been very effective in essentially decimating al-Qaida.”
It's not a tough call because the contradiction he identifies -- that drones both "generate" and "decimate" terrorists -- exists mostly for people who believe Pentagon briefings tell the truth about al-Qaida and other aspects of the endless "war on terror." And Angus did not even dignify Farea with a name. But at least he listened to the testimony and spoke out about it to a journalist.

The 19th annual HOPE festival was yesterday. This event is organized by the vibrant community presence, the Peace & Justice Center of Eastern Maine. It's a chance to get together with people you know and new people, especially college students. A woman I used to teach with turned up as the mother of Eric, one of the leading lights of the University of Maine at Orono on campus Peace Action group, and the friend of another young organizer, Shannon Brenner, with whom I shared the podium.

While tabling we got a lot of signatures on the Free Bradley Manning petition also, and that was even before my speech about how we all need to be information workers now, and my shout out to Bradley and the information he shared with us all. Farea Al-Muslimi is in the same category as I place myself, Bradley Manning, and many readers of this blog: information worker.

Earlier in the day, a young woman who came to the CODEPINK table asked if we knew of any resources like books on "how to talk to military wives." She was an ex-military wife herself and she said it was hard to find the words to share an anti-war perspective from within that "brainwashed" world. 

Her current male friend, a National Guard member, agreed. "I don't believe in war but I needed the paycheck and I didn't think the Guard would be fighting other countries, " he explained.

Does anyone know of books, websites, articles that I might share with this woman? If so, please respond in a comment and I will pass it along.

I'm not going to go into an analysis of how this "brainwashing" works because I find it too dispiriting. Suffice it to say that I cringe when my nieces and great-nieces share sentimental dreck on facebook like photos of young boys in camo saluting combat veterans in an airport with the giant word GRATITUDE underneath. 

The young women doing the posting are not even in military families. They are just drinking the brand USA Koolaid from the always overflowing propaganda fountains.

That is why our job as information workers is critically important in the 21st century. You keep it up and I will, too.

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