US Veterans organizing against drone killings


Richard Moore

US drones kill 100’s children daily. Former US military personnel resistance

    Former US military personnel formerly announced Thursday that they are leading American human rights defenders to gather in Washington DC in March for solidarity with both foreign and domestic collateral damage in the US war on terror and for civil disobedience in defense of the U.S. Constitution.

    The American killing of innocent civilians, including hundreds of children daily with drones, and human suffering in the U.S. while funds divert to the pentagon, is driving Veterans For Peace to lead another protest in Washington DC to mark the illegal and amoral invasion of Iraq.  As occurred in the December en masse civil disobedience, the former U.S. soldiers and other human rights workers will refuse to move once stationed in DC.

    The US and allied forces have killed 100,000 Iraqis, mostly children and innocent women and children, and have sacrificed the lives of almost 5,000 American soldiers.

    In a written statement released Thursday, Veterans For Peace spokespersons, Mike Ferner and Tarak Kauff called the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan “imperial wars” while the same war is waged against Americans at home.

    Collateral damage includes the million of Americans having their human rights violated to pay for committing genocide elsewhere.

    Last year’s March demonstration drew 10,000 including soldiers who ripped off their badges and dog tags in defense of the U.S. Constitution. In December, Chris Hedges addressed the crowd with a historical oratory in which he said:

    When you put your body on the line and you say you won’t let this happen anymore and you’ll do whatever it takes to make that happen, it’s something spiritual. – (Rebellion at White House victory for hope (video),” Dupré, D., National Human Rights |

    Organizers of the March 2011 protest anticipate an even stronger show of resistance than the last two gatherings.

    American collateral damage

    Ferner and Kauff stated:

    U.S. drones rain missiles down on innocents in Pakistan; hundreds of children die daily in Afghanistan because of the war; contrary to what the President says, the occupation in Iraq continues.  The devastation and misery caused by these wars has not even begun to be addressed.  Rather than bringing democracy and freedom to the people of Iraq and Afghanistan, the U.S. is destroying their countries — perhaps beyond repair.

    We should not think that the destruction and suffering unleashed by war is limited to Iraq and Afghanistan.  Individuals and whole cities here at home become “collateral damage.”  Millions of people are thrown out of their jobs and then out of their homes.  Pressures cascade onto state and local governments as the stagnant economy and frustrated voters further decrease funds for essential services.  Our infrastructure isn’t bombed, it just slowly rots.

    This time when the human rights workers descend on DC on March 19, 2011, the U.S. military veterans including those from organizations Iraq Veterans Against the War, March Forward!, Vietnam Veterans Against the War and Veterans For Peace will again gather at the White House in solidarity to demand peace.

    The former military is being supported by ANSWER, Fellowship of Reconciliation, CODEPINK, United for Peace and Justice, World Can’t Wait, Peace Action, and the War Resisters League.

    The veterans are also supporting Bradley Manning as a hero. They stated they believe his incarceration, under conditions to torture and are calling for “immediate end to the cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment of PFC Bradley Manning during his military confinement.”

    “As veterans, we well understand and cherish the obligation of military personnel to refuse illegal orders and beyond that to prevent and expose war crimes. We know there is no excuse for following illegal orders,” stated Ferner and Kauf

    “We understand the need for justice. Our demand is clear, straightforward, and undeniable. Bring to justice those who committed war crimes, not those who report them—who heroically refuse to be a part of state-inspired mayhem and murder.”

    In December, when the former military personnel protested in DC, the following poignant statements were made:

    The speeches were over. There was a mournful harmonica rendition of taps. The 500 protesters fell silent. One hundred and thirty-one men and women, many of them military veterans wearing old fatigues, formed a single, silent line. Under a heavy snowfall and to the slow beat of a drum, they walked to the White House fence. They stood there until they were arrested.”—Chris Hedges

    We have become a killer nation and our economy is addicted to endless war spending. The Congress and the White House have been taken over by the corporate oligarchy and they have drowned democracy.”—Bruce Gagnon

    Fascism depends on pacified citizenry

    The human rights defenders organizing action to end illegal invasions and foster needs of Americans at home recognize that “America’s corporate rulers understand that their power depends upon a subdued, sedated and manipulated public—a public fed lies and fantasies that can, when needed, be manipulated by fear or coercion.”

    “But as the uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt show us, the people can triumph over entrenched power, lies, fear, and coercion,” stated Ferner and Kauff.

    “Forty-four years ago at Riverside Church in New York City Martin Luther King said, ‘Our only hope today lies in our ability to recapture the revolutionary spirit and go out into a sometimes hostile world declaring eternal hostility to poverty, racism, and militarism.”’

    The March 19th protest is planned to be the largest former military personnel-led, nonviolent, public civil resistance to the White House in the history of the United States.

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