#27 Drone Warfare (July 2012)
Drone Warfare and Moral Choice
Something deep inside all of us knows that using drones on others is immoral. In her blog, Drone Warfare and Moral Choice, Dr. Hand says she can "explain remarkably simply why this is deeply immoral. In his book, Living Beyond War, artist and teacher Winslow Myers provides a list of a truth held sacred by many great leaders, thinkers and cultures:'
Buddhism: Hurt not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful.
Hinduism: Do naught unto others what would cause you pain if done unto you.
Judaism: What is hateful to you, do not to your fellow man.
Christianity: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
Islam: No one of you is a believer until he desires for his brother that which he desire for himself.
Sikhism: I am a stranger to no one; and no one is a stranger to me. Indeed, I am a friend to all.
Taoism: Regard your neighbor's gain as your own gain and your neighbor's loss as your own loss.
These are almost universally considered to be the essence of morality. Read the full article
Drone Warfare: Killing by Remote Control
Political and peace activist Medea Benjamin has written a passionate and thorough exploration of the origin, use, and emotional and moral damages of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs)-aerial drones. Drone Warfare: Killing by Remote Control is a powerful argument against their use as weapons. A reader seeking insight will not be disappointed.
The essayist Barbara Ehrenreich writes a trenchant Foreword that puts this kind of warfare into its historical context. Weaponized drones are only the latest inventions that allow us to kill-at-a-distance. Ehrenreich reminds us how in the Iliad the invading Greeks ridiculed the Trojan Prince Paris for his reliance on the bow and arrow. Only cowards, attacking from a distance and afraid of the honorable hand-to-hand, face-to-face combat of heroes, said the Greeks, would abandon the sword for such a weapon.
From slings, to bow and arrows, to catapults, to guns, to bombs, to Tomahawk missiles, we have certainly been making progress in the practice of killing.
Benjamin opens her "Introduction" with heart-rending personal accounts of the horrifying tragedy visited on people in Afghanistan by U.S. drones. "Collateral damage," the antiseptic term used to anesthetize the moral conscience of drone users or the citizens who provide the tax money to construct and deliver drones are transformed for the reader into actual fellow human beings...men, women, and children. This is as it should be: it puts the remainder of the book into its proper moral context.
Serious activists and lovers of peace are encouraged to buy the book, absorb it, and support the efforts of Medea and others who have the vision to stop the use of weapons arguably as inherently evil (powerfully negative for humans) as atomic bombs.
Benjamin, Medea. 2012. Drone Warfare: Killing by Remote Control. New York: OR Books. The AFWW
website offers a lengthy review of Drone Warfare.
Winning the War on War
In his book, Winning the War on War: the Decline of Armed Conflict Worldwide, Professor Joshua S. Goldstein has given us an extraordinarily useful review of the causes of war, a description of its relatively recent decline, and many insights into how we can change some behavior and strengthen other behavior in order to win the war on war. He is a professor at the School of International Service at American University and author of International Relations (10th Edition) and War and Gender. AFWW found especially useful his exploration of the successes of the United Nations and suggestions for how that body could be strengthened to be a major force in ending war.
Goldstein, Joshua. 2011. Winning the war on war: the decline of armed conflict worldwide. New York: Dutton.
We Are All One - Dancing in Moscow
The desire for all of us to be one, to live in peace as one, to end the insanity of war is something positive we need to cultivate. Furthermore, AFWW always seeks to balance the negative with the positive, and the two entries above deal with killing aerial drones, something very negative.
For a treat and to encourage a sense of hopefulness, take a look at this flash mob of Young People Dancing in Moscow to an 83 year old American song written by a Russian born American-Jew (Irving Berlin).
"Action without love is meaningless, and love without action is irrelevant."
A Good Book
Living Beyond War, by Winslow Myers.
Makes a strong case for the maladaptiveness of war, the need for us to develop a sense of loyalty to the human race, and the ways of resolving conflicts nonviolently.
A Good Movie
"The U.S. vs. John Lennon."
He didn't just sing songs. John Lennon was an Activist, Visionary, and Revolutionary. He frightened the U.S. government. Watch and appreciate Lennon's work to lay a foundation for a future without war.
A Future Without War
Believe in it.
Work for it.
And we will achieve it.
These three quick links are to Dr. Hand's core articles on paradigm shift:
To Abolish War
Shaping the Future
Paradigm Shift: Swift and Enduring
How Long Ending War Would Take
Why Women Are the Key to Security
The Nine Cornerstones
AFWW Newsletter Archives