Today, Kathy Kelly, VFP International Advisory Board Member and co-coordinator of Voices for Creative Nonviolence, the latter being a campaign to end U.S. military and economic warfare, will begin a three-month jail sentence in federal prison for a protest against drones (also known as “unmanned aerial vehicles”) at Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri. Medea Benjamin interviewed her before Kathy turned herself in.
Medea: Can you just say why you have been particularly moved to take action against drone strikes?
Kathy: I think 21st-century militarism is very frightening when you combine the military’s Joint Special Operations Forces with drone and air strike capabilities. The military doesn’t need sprawling bases anymore because they can use these new technologies to control populations and instill tremendous fear. But the use of drones creates resentment and antagonism, and continues to kill civilians.
Wars have been killing civilians for a long time, but with the help of drones, 90 percent of the people killed in wars these days are civilians. The British organization Reprieve reports that for every one person who is selected as a target for assassination by drones, 28 civilians are killed.
The weaponized drones are operated here in the United States in Air National Guard bases and Air Force bases, and with the press of a button they are killing people thousands of miles away in places like Afghanistan. Many people are enamored with being able to send an unmanned aerial vehicle to kill people in another country without a soldier in this country being harmed. But we find that the people operating these drones are experiencing trauma and stress just like soldiers in war zones.
I’m also very worried about drone proliferation, with other countries acquiring these weapons systems. In 1945, only one country possessed a nuclear weapon, and look at the world now. I think the same thing is going to happen with drone proliferation. <Full Interview>
Great video report of San Diego VFP out on the streets of San Diego giving out sleeping bags to homeless vets and others.
Jan 29-30 - Moral Injury and Soul Repair Conference in San Diego CA
Mar 4-6, 2015 - Shut Down Creech - Stop Drone Wars! A Convergence for Peace in the Nevada Desert
Mar 20-29, 2015 - SOAW Delegation to El Salvador
Apr 15 - Global Day of Action on Military Spending in Your City USA
Apr 15 – Apr 19 - Veteran Retreat for those Living With Post-Traumatic Stress in Rhinebeck, NY
Apr 16 – May 2, 2015 - VFP Vietnam Peace Tour
Apr 29 - May 8 - SOAW Delegation to Chile
May 8 - 10 - UNAC National Conference: Stop the Wars at Home & Abroad in Seacaucus, NJ
Aug 5 - 9, 2015 - VFP National Convention in San Diego CA
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