Pax Christi USA – PSA e-Bulletin (Pray-Study-Act)



Greetings!

One can hardly pick up a newspaper today without reading about our government’s ever-expanding use of armed drones, whether by our military over Afghanistan or by the CIA in countries where no war has been declared by the U.S.  

 

Our country is leading the way in this “video-game warfare.” Drones can be easily deployed, are less expensive than sending troops or military jets, and entail no risk of U.S. casualties. For these reasons, drone warfare is supported by a large majority of Americans. But drone strikes have killed hundreds of civilians, violate international law, inflame local populations, and serve as a potent recruiting tool for extremists.


A lot of good information is available on the Internet on specifics of the U.S. armed drone program, including their legality, morality, and effects (see the information in this PSA for more links, including a link to a bibliography which we have put together).  In the “Study” section below, you’ll also see an insightful article written by Pax Christi Metro D.C.-Baltimore council member Eli McCarthy.  

We hope you will find this Prayer-Study-Action e-bulletin helpful in your own work to put an end to the use of lethal drones. Let us all say together: Not in our name!. 

  

In peace,

 

Members of Pax Christi Metro D.C.-Baltimore

  

 

PRAY: A prayer to end the use of lethal drones

 
We pray for all victims of U.S. drone strikes and call for an immediate end to the use of lethal drones in Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, and elsewhere.  We ask all those who give orders, operate the drones, and manufacture and profit from the drones for military and CIA purposes to search their hearts and consciences, to hear the cries of the victims, to withdraw their consent from this immoral lethal weapon of terror and policy of assassination, to repent and to beg forgiveness from, and make reparations to, the victims’ families.  We give thanks for groups of peacemakers like the Creech 14, the Hancock 38, Johns Hopkins 9, and many other peacemakers who have been arrested, tried, and jailed for their acts of nonviolent resistance to these murderous weapons, these killer drones, our American death squads of the skies. Amen.
 
 

STUDY: What are drones doing to us?

 
by Eli McCarthy
 
On May 23, the President laid out an updated drone policy to the Administration’s earlier legal argument in February for the use of armed drones. The ACLU responded to the February document with legal critiques. On May 21, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops rightly raised “serious moral concerns” about the drone policy and called us to “consider the longer-term social and political impacts.” Academics have been offering analysis as well, such as Michael Walzer and Maryann Cusimano Love. For the most part these analyses consider laws of war, “just” war theory, and civil rights. However, Cusimano Love’s analysis notably mentions a key limit in that “just” war theory does not tell us how to build peace.
 
Focusing on the “just” war theory as the key frame of moral analysis for armed drones also fails to adequately engage our imagination for practices of nonviolent peacemaking. This focus also lowers our capacity to sustain peacemaking practices, and offers little insight into envisioning the just peace which “just” war theory purports to intend. “Just” war theory also depends on, but doesn’t develop, the “just people” needed to interpret, apply and revise the criteria.
 
But even more significant, “just” war theory doesn’t prioritize or illuminate a more important moral question about human habits. I recommend we shift the primary analysis of armed drones from law, “just” war theory and rights to the question, “what kind of people are we becoming by using armed drones?” The following discussion provides an example of where this ethical approach might draw us…
 
 

 

ACT:  Actions to end drone warfare

If not us, then who?  If not now, then when? We are the NATIONAL CATHOLIC PEACE ORGANIZATION. We need to speak out and educate everyone, but especially our fellow Catholics, on the immorality and illegality of the armed drone program. We recommend that PC regions and local groups review the presentation on drones that Bill Quigley gave last November at the Pax Christi gathering at our annual presence at Fort Benning to protest the School of the Americas. We also recommend that you attend the workshop by Medea Benjamin (co-founder of CodePink) on armed drones at our National Conference in Atlanta this June (and read her book, Drone Warfare: Killing by Remote Control).
 
Familiarize yourself with Bill’s presentation and other materials so that you can speak with knowledge and confidence and educate your local parishes or other groups on the significant evil of the drone program. 
 
Establish (or join an existing) a presence at a local Air Force base, federal building (Justice, FBI, etc.), drone manufacturer, or university working on drone research. Pax Christi Metro D.C.-Baltimore has been holding a monthly witness in front of the CIA in Northern Virginia, where we witness truth to power.
 
Advocate and lobby your local Representative and Senators about the realities of the U.S. armed drone program, its immorality and illegality. We hope to have a sign-on ad in the National Catholic Reporter this summer to reach more Catholics about the armed drone program. We hope that you will sign on with us, both individually and as organizations.
 
We have the opportunity as the National Catholic Peace Organization to proclaim: ARMED DRONES: NOT IN OUR NAME!

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