“Without our stalwart presence year in, year out, it’s too easy, given U.S. mainstream media, for the public to forget that the U.S. has embarked on deliberate corporation-profiting perpetual war — a cowardly and Islamophobic war on numerous fronts. Those are wars not on terrorism, but of terrorism. And it’s too easy for Hancock (air force base) drone operators, leading their sequestered, classified, indoctrinated, computerized, often barely adult lives to forget they help perpetuate the maiming and killing — all the while risking PTSD.” — Ed Kinane, Syracuse, N.Y., peace activist quoted in “Truthout”
U.S. drones are spying and dropping bombs on Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia, Pakistan and Libya, according to Wikipedia. As human beings below are crushed or blown up, the “pilot” of the unmanned aerial vehicle may be miles and miles away from the death and terror human targets undergo.
For example: “Meet the Gray Eagle, a hulking drone with a 56-foot wingspan that packs four Hellfire air-to-surface missiles and can stay aloft for a full 24 hours with its thrumming diesel power plant. Fort Carson (Colo.) has a dozen of the drones and they will soon be ready for war,” according to the Colorado Springs Gazette.
“I watched him bleed out,” said Brandon Bryant, 27, who served as a drone operator from 2006 to 2011 at bases in Nevada, New Mexico and Iraq, in an interview with NBC News foreign correspondent Richard Engel. Bryant revealed that he helped kill 1,626 people from a computer screen and watched them die. He now suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder.
In our “We’re No. 1!” society, this warfare may be appealing to the White House and the public because the kill ratio is remarkably lopsided — no U.S. troops have to die and thousands of so-called militants as well as civilians have their lives obliterated in bloody deaths with no chance for justice.
Aren’t the drone operators victims, too? Their lives may be forever compromised by their memories. Won’t the day of reckoning arrive? Aren’t we engendering the wrath and indignation of more and more of the world’s citizens by our unilateral, imperious behavior?
And it is all secret. Hiding the truth from the enemy means hiding it from the U.S. public.
No country has the right to dominate the planet. We must push our government beyond these travesties of justice and humane values.
The Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center’s “Peace Train” runs every Friday in the Colorado Daily.