by Bob More, Pax Christi Metro DC-Baltimore Chairperson
A big THANK YOU to everyone who signed on to our anti-drone ad to be published in the National Catholic Reporter! The ad has now been finalized, with over 317 individuals and organizations signing on! It will be published as a full-page ad in the paper’s August 16th edition. The support from Pax Christi members and groups, religious communities, and others around the country has been so encouraging—we have signatories from 38 states plus D.C.!
Below is the ad text as it will appear in the NCR (with all the names to follow, listed by state). Because of the large number of signatories, we had to drop the footnotes, but we added a note inviting people to go to our website for the references and for contacts for additional information (those will be posted when the ad is published). The ad concludes by urging readers to write their elected officials, telling them to end drone warfare now. Whether you signed on to the ad or not, we hope you’ll be part of that effort, writing your members of Congress and encouraging others you know to do the same.
Thanks for all you do to spread the Peace of Christ!
We decry our government’s use of unmanned aerial vehicles (drones) as the new face of war.
Drone killings in countries with which we are not at war—including Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia—violate international law. The intended targets may be alleged “militants,” but the victims have included hundreds of innocent men, women, and children. We are particularly dismayed at reports that the U.S. has used secondary strikes (“double taps”) to kill rescuers responding to initial drone strikes and people attending the funerals of drone victims.
Drones terrorize the communities over which they hover, with residents never knowing when or where a deadly attack may come. And by inflaming the local population, drone killings serve as a potent recruiting tool for extremists. They perpetuate violence, rather than deterring it.
Drone warfare lowers the costs and risks of launching attacks, making war more likely. And it sets a dangerous precedent for other countries. If we would not accept drone strikes by other countries on U.S. soil, neither should we accept drone strikes by the U.S. on other countries’ soil.
The President has made clear his intention to continue using drone strikes, which he claims are legal and moral. They are neither. We urge our fellow Catholics and the wider faith community to join us in calling for an immediate end to the use of armed drones. Write your elected officials, telling them to end drone warfare now!
For more information, including references for the statements above and contacts for questions or comments, please visit http://www.paxchristimetrodc.org.