As we embark on a peace delegation
to Pakistan to protest the Obama administration's drone warfare, some
people tell us that with all the turmoil around the hated Innocence of
Muslims film, this is a terrible time to go. We don't take the risks
lightly, but we also feel it's critical—precisely at this moment—to show
the Muslim world that there are Americans who want relations of peace
and friendship, not religious insults, drone strikes and military
We will be in Pakistan from September 28-October 14 to meet with drone
victim families, lawyers, academics, women's groups, representatives of
major Pakistani political parties and US officials. On October 7 we will
join Pakistani political leader Imran Khan, drone victims, tribal
elders and thousands of locals in a peaceful march to Waziristan
protesting U.S. drone strikes that have killed between 2,500 and 3,330 people since 2004.
Since the US provides no assistance to innocent victims, we are
collecting funds for their rehabilitation, including prosthetic legs.
One of the people we will help is 16-year-old Sadaullah, from North
Waziristan, who lost an eye and both legs in an attack on his home. “I
had a dream of becoming a doctor, but now I can't even walk to school,”
said Sadaullah. whose story is related in Medea's book Drone Warfare. We are trying to raise $5,000 to help the victims, so please consider making a donation.
We will also be taking petitions
to the US Embassy in Islamabad, so make sure you have signed. We would
like to deliver 5,000 signatures to the Ambassador, and right now we
have just under 2,000. Can you help us reach our goal?
The 40 American delegates
range in age from 23 to 85, hail from cities across the United States
and represent students, writers, doctors, political analysts, veterans
and artists. What binds us is a conviction that drone strikes are
immoral, illegal and counterproductive, and that we must be ‘citizen
diplomats' who model the policies we want our government to put forth.
Read more about the delegation in Medea's latest article on Common Dreams and check out Living Under Drones, a new detailed report by NYU/Stanford law schools.
Back at home, anti-war groups will be marking October 7, the 12th
anniversary of the war in Afghanistan, with protests around the country.
Check here to see where they are planned, or add your own. You can also follow our Pakistan trip by going to www.droneswatch.org.
With hope for peace,
Medea Benjamin and Ann Wright
P.S.- Help us spread the word! Share our petition on Twitter and Facebook.