You’ve reached the activism portion of today’s show. Now that you’re informed and angry, here’s what you can do about it. Today’s activism: Drone Pilots, Please Refuse to Fly.
Drone news has been focused on domestic surveillance and potential delivery service methods for the past couple of years. Perhaps people are desensitized or unable to garner interest in violence against those overseas, or perhaps stopping a now routine military practice seems impossible.
But drones are deadly and still in use under the Obama administration. According to estimates from the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, about 6,000 people have been killed by U.S. drones in Pakistan, Yemen, Afghanistan, Somalia, Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya. Of that 6,000, 230 are estimated to be children.
Since John McCain’s Senate Armed Services Committee is busying itself trying to keep the 122 remaining prisoners at Guantanamo from being released and the Commander in Chief seems unwilling to curb the use of drones, military veterans have teamed up with the organization Know Drones to appeal directly to the pilots who fly them.
Graphic 15-second ads depicting the drone operations video screen, an explosion, civilians searching through rubble after the drone attack, and images of children killed were produced and paid for by KnowDrones.com and members of Veterans For Peace, Sacramento. The voice over says, "Drone pilots, please refuse to fly.”
Nick Mottern, coordinator of KnowDrones, explained the purpose of the ads and why they are calling for help to continue airing them: "We produced this spot to make the point as powerfully as possible that drone killing is horrifying, illegal and immoral. The President and the Congress refuse to respect law and morality and stop US drone attacks, so we are asking the people who are bear the burden of doing the actual killing to put a stop to it.”
You can support the KnowDrones effort by visiting their website — KnowDrones.com — and donating and/or sharing the ads on your networks. Their campaign is being distributed to local cable companies and networks through coordination with activist social justice ad agency Information in the Public Interest, so a $25 donation can buy a spot on CNN and as little as $50 a spot on MSNBC.
It’s time the public engaged with this issue as drone killings are done in our name by our government with our tax dollars. If more veterans and enlisted military can be encouraged to speak out and supported as they do, drawing in people across political parties and affiliations will be easier and could help make this a campaign issue next year.
Support "Show the Real Truth to United States TV Audiences" via KnowDrones and Veterans For Peace, Sacramento
"John McCain: The Most Hypocritical, Opportunistic and Untrustworthy Senator” by Steven Rosenfeld at Alternet
Hear the segment in context:
Episode #918 "War is a racket (Foreign Policy)"
Written by BOTL social media/activism director Katie Klabusich