Pamela Powers Hannley, a progressive voice for Arizona
Traditionally, war is a messy business– all that blood, sweat, and tears– not to mention danger, death, destruction, dismembered bodies, human suffering, nightmares, guilt, wasted taxpayer dollars, mounting deficit spending… you know the drill. (Pun intended.)
In recent years, the US military-industrial complex has made war less messy and less dangerous, at least for a select group of American soldiers. Drone pilots sit in secure bunkers and, armed with banks of sophisticated computer hardware, “fly” unmanned killing machines.
Drones– killing machines aimed at faceless targets– AKA fellow human beings– thousands of miles away.
No-muss, no-fuss drone warfare is no less deadly, destructive, or perverse than traditional war. It’s just easier and cleaner– just like playing the same violent video game day after day.
Although you hear about drones in the news, there is never any real analysis or detailed reporting of what the US is doing. Recently, Code Pink co-founder and author of the book Drone Warfare: Killing by Remote Control Medea Benjamin gave an eye-opening talk to an audience of about 60 Tucson activists. Personally, I was shocked how deeply entrenched in drone warfare Tucson already is. Davis-Monthan, The University of Arizona, Raytheon, and Fort Huachuca all have ties to the drone business. According to Benjamin, Fort Huachuca trains more drone pilots than any other facility in the world.
Last winter, Mayor Rothschild, then Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords’ office, and the Davis-Monthan 50 held a press conference promoting Tucson and DM as a drone warfare center. (You can see the Tucson Sentinel’s raw raw footage here above and in KVOA’s edited news footage here.) We already have a dearth of good-paying jobs in Tucson that are not connected to the military industrial complex. Why court more? Sadly, when I posted the poll on this story from December, most readers said they’d take a drone job.
Click here for a USTREAM video of Benjamin’s entire one-hour talk. Below is a Loneprotestor video of the event.
Down with drones.
Give peace a chance.