Pax Christi Metro DC-Baltimore (PCMDC-B) has crafted a sign-on letter which is scheduled to be published in the August 3 edition of the National Catholic Reporter. The text of the letter is posted below and is attached in PDF format. (A sentence might be added to tie-in the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings since the NCR edition will cover the annual remembrances of those tragic events.)
PCMDC-B invites all Catholics to sign this letter and to contribute $20 to its publishing cost.
To add your name to the ad, please pay by check, mailed to the PCMDC-B office, or pay online at the PCMDC-B website:
- If paying by check, please write exactly how you would like your name to appear (with or without titles such as Dr., Mrs., etc.) when you mail your check. Please send your check, made out to Pax Christi Metro DC-Baltimore (with “NCR drone letter” in the memo line) to PCMDC-Baltimore, PO Box 29030, Washington, DC 20017-9030. All sign-ons paid for by check must be received no later than July 13.
- To pay online, go to http://www.paxchristimetrodc.org/ and click on the Donate button, where you can choose to pay by Pay Pal or credit card. Click on “Add Special Instructions to the Seller” and note that this payment is for the NCR anti-drone letter; if you want your name to appear on the letter differently than it does for PayPal or your credit card, as applicable, please note how you would like your name to appear. Deadline to sign and pay online is July 17.
If you have any further questions on the sign on ad/letter, please contact PCMDC-B.
End drone warfare now
We decry our government’s use of unmanned aerial vehicles (drones) as the new face of war.
Drone killings in countries with which we are not at war—including Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia—violate international law.1 The intended targets may be alleged "militants," but the victims have included hundreds of innocent men, women, and children.2 We are particularly dismayed at reports that the U.S. has used secondary strikes ("double taps") to kill rescuers responding to initial drone strikes and people attending the funerals of drone victims.3
Drones terrorize the communities over which they hover, with residents never knowing when or where a deadly attack may come.4 And by inflaming the local population, drone killings serve as a potent recruiting tool for extremists.5 They perpetuate violence, rather than deterring it.
Drone warfare lowers the costs and risks of launching attacks, making war more likely.6 And it sets a dangerous precedent for other countries. If we would not accept drone strikes by other countries on U.S. soil, neither should we accept drone strikes by the U.S. on other countries’ soil.
The President has made clear his intention to continue using drone strikes, which he claims are legal and moral.7 They are neither. We urge our fellow Catholics and the wider faith community to join us in calling for an immediate end to the use of armed drones. Write your elected officials, telling them to end drone warfare now!
1 Mary Ellen O’Connell, "Drones under International Law," Washington University Law, Whitney R. Harris World Law Institute, International Debate Series, Oct. 8, 2010, http://law.wustl.edu/harris/documents/OConnellFullRemarksNov23.pdf2
3 Chris Woods and Christina Lamb, "Obama Terror Drones: CIA Tactics in Pakistan Include Targeting Rescuers and Funerals," The Bureau of Investigative Journalism, Feb. 4, 2012, http://www.thebureauinvestigates.com/2012/02/04/obama-terror-drones-cia-tactics-in-pakistan-include-targeting-rescuers-and-funerals/.
4 International Human Rights and Conflict Resolution Clinic, Stanford Law School, and Global Justice Clinic, New York University School of Law, Living under Drones: Death, Injury and Trauma to Civilians from US Drone Practices in Pakistan, Sept. 2012, http://livingunderdrones.org/.
5 Jo Becker and Scott Shane, "Secret ‘Kill List’ Proves a Test of Obama’s Principles and Will," The New York Times, May 29, 2012, http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/29/world/obamas-leadership-in-war-on-al-qaeda.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0.
6 Tobias L. Winwright and Mark G. Allman, "Obama’s Drone Wars: A Case to Answer," The Tablet, Aug. 18, 2012, http://www.exacteditions.com/read/tablet/18-august-2012-32394/3/3.
7 Speech on U.S. drone and counterterrorism policy, May 23, 2013, http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/24/us/politics/transcript-of-obamas-speech-on-drone-policy.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0.