In the week of October 23rd, the “Racism Rationalizes Murder” commercial began running on cable channels in Hampton, VA, Fort Smith, AR and Syracuse, NY, all communities with drone control bases. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0oTfmEhT5II
Within two days, we received the following tweet, containing the most common question that we receive in response to our opposition to drone attacks and to drones carrying weapons of any kind:
@pbnine: @KnowDrones I really don’t get your commercial. U think we should send our Troops to do what drones can do. Not a good strategy. Can’t fix stupid m…
Here is an answer:
Afghanistan appears to have suffered more drone attacks than any other nation, based on information gathered by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism. The first U.S. drone attack ever occurred there on Oct. 17, 2001, one day after the U.S. invasion. In spite of the heavy level of drone assassination and ground support missions, the U.S. is having to introduce thousands of more troops into Afghanistan in a war headed into its 17th year.
One can argue that rather than stopping attacks against American troops, the drone attacks have created more people wanting to kill Americans and force Americans out of their country. This was a concern voiced by former U.S. commander if Afghanistan, retired Gen. Stanley McChrystal https://www.justsecurity.org/6054/general-stanley-mcchrystals-statement-drone-warfare/?print
In the interview noted above, McChrystal says drones should continue to be used, but the concerns he voices about the impact on drone killings on the minds of people in drone kill zones seems to be borne out not only in Afghanistan but in Yemen, now involved in a hugely tragic war after being heavily bombarded by U.S. drone assassination and cruise missile attacks for years before the current war exploded.
We must understand that drone assassination by the U.S. and Israel, the only nations that have systematically used drone assassination, began being used in an attempt to subdue people who were totally defenseless against drones, people with no missile defense capability and people with no air forces. Further, it is essential to note that those targeted for assassination have been people objecting to invasion and all dwelling in places rich in resources and or strategic locations where the U.S. wants control. The U.S. military resource and location wars of which drones are a central part are related to getting resources on the cheap to benefit corporate leaders and having nothing to do with “fighting terrorism”. The people in the nations under attack know this, even if most of the American public may not.
Additionally, we must note that all drone assassination and attack missions have been conducted against people of color, people who have never been tried for a crime for which they have been executed. This is the situation in the U.S. in which police have killed African-American and Hispanic people.
The U.S. drone assassinations violate international law, and we must face up to this. International law is created not only to protect targeted people but to establish standards of behavior that protect all people, including U.S. citizens who might be targeted for drone assassination by another nation.
The U.S. sometimes argues that drones are used to provide air support for ground operations, but here again, we have to recognize that these ground operations are in fact, without exception, being conducted against indigenous people on their own land by forces trained and paid for by the U.S. and/or U.S. troops. These are the same type of war that the U.S. tried to conduct in Viet Nam using Vietnamization, and using drones will only make these tragic, tragic mistakes last longer because drones makes it seem to the American public that the wars can be conducted without U.S. troops going into harm’s way.