WORD stands against drone warfare

Over 5,000 people have been killed by drone strikes in the last few years, including untold numbers of women and children. The claims of the US government that drone strikes are precisely targeted and result in no civilian death have been proven completely false. A recent joint study by New York University and Stanford University reported that 474 to 881 civilians were killed by drones in Pakistan between June 2004 and mid-September 2012, including 176 children. Some international organizations have even recorded and publicized the names of children that have been killed by US drone strikes in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Yemen. Some were merely infants when their lives were abruptly ended by the push of a button, the action of a soldier who was thousands of miles away.  The US government refuses to disclose exactly who is on their drone-strike “kill list” and how that list is determined. This has allowed the government and military to play judge, jury and executioner for thousands of people all over the world, many of whom are guilty only of living in a region that has been targeted by imperialism.

When trying to sell the American public on an unpopular war, the U.S. government often promotes the idea that they are intervening to protect women’s rights. This was a major justification used in the invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq, politicians declared that we were on a mission to liberate women of the Middle East and Central Asia, that the U.S. Military is spreading democracy for women. So far, all the United States has spread is destabilization, terror and death for the majority of women in targeted countries. The mass numbers of civilian deaths that accompany every drone strike further proves how false this justification has been. Is the U.S. government really trying to liberate women by indiscriminately bombing them, their children and their community?

The very same U.S. politicians who attack our right to control our bodies, the same politicians who slash social programs that feed our families and refuse to intervene when we’re being discriminated against in the workplace—these are the very same politicians suddenly care about women’s rights abroad. The truth is, they don’t care about women’s rights or women’s lives, they care about war and profit.  They launch wars for control of natural resources and the military industrial complex generates billions of dollars in profit for those at the very top. The government is planning on spending $885 million in the fiscal year of 2013 on the purchase of 24 Reaper drones alone.

Where’s that money coming from? It’s coming from our taxes, and is money that would otherwise go to childcare programs, health care, housing, schools—what women actually need. As Dr. King once said in 1967, “The bombs in Vietnam explode at home; they destroy the hopes and possibilities for a decent America.” We cannot allow our tax dollars to continue funding high-tech death for our sisters and brothers around the world.

We want to live in peace with the people of the world. We want an end to “targeted assassinations” that actually kill hundreds of  innocent civilians. We want the money that is being pumped into drone warfare to be used instead on the things that we actually need, things like funding our public schools and providing universal healthcare services for all.  That is why we will be mobilizing women all over the US to march with us on April 13th, in coordination with the call put out by the ANSWER Coalition. Because women all over the US say NO to drones!