Last week as a guest speaker in Flagstaff Arizona sponsored by the local peace community and the University of Northern Arizona I participated on a panel about the U.S. use of drones and one of the panelists from Pakistan asked, “Are Pakistani children of a lesser god?” He discussed how Americans see the children of Pakistanis, Iraqis, Afghans and others in the countries where U.S. forces conduct war as collateral damage and not as victims of terrible violence which must be stopped.
We in the peace movement know that all the children and people of the world are of equal value and the killing of innocent people no matter the reasons, ethnicity, color, creed, nationality and location are equally tragic. In Newtown, Boston, Baghdad, Kabul or the Swat Valley in Pakistan the deaths of children and loved ones have the same outcome, grieving parents, families and friends who have lost that which is most precious to them.
The peace and anti-war movements continue to press for change to end the madness of the U.S. foreign policy of endless and unlimited wars. This month dozens of actions against killer drones have taken place around the country. Activists are out in the streets to remind the world of Bush Administration war crimes at the opening of the Bush Presidential Library in Dallas, TX.
We continue to support Bradley Manning and Lynn Stewart as the government persecutes them; Bradley for attempting to give the U.S. public and the world the truth and Lynne for defending the rights of the least of us including those accused of terrorism. Our work continues full stride confronting injustice and absurdity on many fronts including climate change and a call for nuclear sanity. Thank you for all the work you do and support you give.
When it was my turn to speak, I first apologized for the suffering my government is causing in my co-panelist’s home nation. He appreciated my sentiment, but we both knew words and expressions of regret are not enough. It takes action. This is why the peace and anti-war movements continue to speak out and will not go away. This is why we do what we do and will continue to do so.
May we all see our humanity in each other and stop killing each other.
Michael T. McPhearson