Violence as a way of achieving racial justice is both impractical and immoral. It is impractical because it is a descending spiral ending in destruction for all. The old law of an eye for an eye leaves everybody blind. It is immoral because it seeks to humiliate the opponent rather than win his understanding; it seeks to annihilate rather than to convert. Violence is immoral because it thrives on hatred rather than love. It destroys community and makes brotherhood impossible. It leaves society in monologue rather than dialogue. Violence ends by defeating itself. It creates bitterness in the survivors and brutality in the destroyers.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Last night I was listening to the radio and came upon a show where they were talking about the drone strikes that have been made under the Obama administration. I usually steer clear of national news stations, because I feel like they’re always biased, one way or another. This broadcast drew me in, though, because it began by calling out all Presidents, regardless of their party lines, as being war criminals if they supported indiscriminate drone strikes on foreign powers.
I was shocked.
I mean, I spent years studying politics in college, and researching war criminals -- people like Jean-Paul Akayesu
in Rwanada, and Slobodan Milošević
in Bosnia. But Nixon? Bush? Obama? Maybe I don’t like
them, but I never even thought of putting them in the category of “war criminal.”
So I listened more. And it’s absolutely awful.
For those of you that don’t know, a drone is a unmanned airplane that drops bombs on a region. The plus side -- they diminish the loss of life of American troops. But on the other side, we find that hundreds of innocent civilians are dying because of these strikes. In 2001, the cluster bombs
that were dropped by drones on Afghanistan were yellow, just like the food parcels that were dropped there. The unfortunate result? Children would grab an unexploded bomb, thinking it was food, and die. In the time since Obama took office three years ago, it is estimated that between 282 and 535 civilians were killed, including more than 60 children
If this were happening
in the United States, there would be riots in the streets. When other leaders act like ours have, they are brought before an international tribunal for crimes against humanity.
It breaks my heart that children are dying and yet we can stand by and allow it to happen. And yet I don’t know what to do. So, this is my attempt at making a difference -- at the very least, I want to say that I don’t agree with this happening.
By the way, don’t think that this is just the Obama administration. This has been happening for years and years. And we, as Americans, as the champions of freedom, shouldn’t stand for it. Just because we are stronger doesn’t mean we have to play the bully. And in the end, all this violence is only going to reap more violence.
Terrorism isn’t just the result of angry people that hate America. Terrorism is the result of ignorance, of inequality, and of intolerance. And when we sit around and think that the way to solve the problem is just to kill the terrorist (and maybe a few of their family members along the way?) it becomes obvious that we don’t understand the problem. We need to get to the roots of this issue in order to really make some change.
If you want to do something -- tell your friends, tell your family, tell anyone you talk to. Let them know that our politicians are not using moral means -- and let them know the consequences that could come of that. Educate yourself. This isn’t going away any time soon and the sooner people are aware of the problem, the sooner we can truly make a difference.