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Creech Demonstration Vigil
NDE demonstration against the unmanned drone bombers, Sept. 16

Delivered on September 16, 2008

We come to Creech to speak out against the killing of twenty three in Pakistan by two drone bombers last week. Two drones dropped three bombs on a sprawling complex comprised of a house and a religious school, in the North Waziristan tribal region of Pakistan. Of these twenty three, only ten were thought to be militants, while most were family members of a well-known Taliban leader, including his wife, his sister-in-law, a sister, two nieces, eight grandchildren, and a male relative. An additional fifteen to twenty people were wounded in the bombings, most of them women and children. [1]

We are compelled to speak out against these bombings because the loss of innocent life, especially children, is an abomination to the Creator and a blasphemy against Creation. It is an abomination when it happens in the United States and it is equally an abomination when it happens in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, and elsewhere.

We are compelled to speak out against these killings of innocent lives because we recall our own feelings when American civilians were killed on September 11. We believe that to honor their lives requires us to speak against the violent loss of lives everhwhere.

And we are compelled to speak out at Creech Air Force Base because it is the home of the drone bombers, which represent a particularly glaring violation of our divine imperative to love one another.

The advent and use of unmanned drone bombers means that Man can now engage in combat from the safety of a control station far removed from the battlefield, operating remote controlled killing machines as though he were running a simulation or playing a video game. He can drop bombs on military and civilian targets at virtually no physical risk, save that of carpel tunnel.

This represents a new and heinous assault on the notion of human equality. One no longer needs to put oneself in harm's way in order to inflict harm on another.

We are gravely concerned at the implications that these drones may have for the future of our military's interventions. The lesser the sacrifices that we are required to make to engage in warfare, the easier it will be to justify war and the more likely it will become. While the present technology of the drone warriors is not such that it is able to replace human soldiers on the battlefield, we recognize that American military operations are happening in situations which would have previously been deemed too dangerous. This increase in military activity is deeply disturbing to those of us who understand that our foreign military interventions increase imperialistic hegemony and threaten the prospects of a global democracy.

We are also concerned about the effects that remote killng has on drone pilots. [2] All forms of violence stress and fracture the relationships of those involved, and the reverberations of the routinized drone violence will be felt in other aspects of our culture.

While we are quick to denounce the drone technology being used to take life, we hasten to add our hopes and prayers that this new technology can instead be used to save life. There are situations in which firefighters, bomb squads, and rescue personnel put themselves in harms way to save life. Such nonviolent uses of drones would justify the development and use of the technology.

In speaking out against the drone bombers and surveillance planes housed here at Creech, we do not speak out against any one person in particular. We recognize that we all have the same desires in our hearts. All of us want peace and security. None of us wants to see terrorist acts or civilian deaths. We differ only in how we think this can occur. You believe that peace comes from security; we believe that security can come only from peace. We join you in praying that someday we may have both.



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