June 30, 2011

Supporters of our war resisters gather in Toronto.

The following report is from Bruce Beyer:

I first met John Liss here in Buffalo in 1967.We became friends quickly in the months before he left the States and went to Canada. When I went underground and fled to Montreal, John was instrumental in helping me get to Stockholm. Last night was the first time I'd seen since the mid seventies. What a thrill to introduce him to my daughter Elizabeth and wife Mary.

In a large, three story brick building, nestled into a shaded residential neighborhood two blocks from Toronto’s Spadina Avenue bustling Chinese community, sixty people gathered to show their support for the War Resisters Support Campaign (WRSC) on Wednesday evening, June 29. Housed on the third floor of this Canadian Steelworkers Union Hall are an array of peace, justice, and human rights organizations including the Campaign office. The Canadian Steelworkers Union has been a long time supporter of the call for humanitarian asylum for American soldiers seeking refuge from American interventionist war. (FYI: The American Steelworkers Union recently gave Iraq Veterans Against the War a $10,000 grant to help fund their Wounded Warriors Project).

This Canadian union doesn’t give lip service to Iraq war resisters. They are actively involved in financially supporting the WRSC efforts to win asylum for Americans who for reasons of conscience have refused to continue to participate in the war and occupation of Iraq. By helping to underwrite rent, telephone expenses and printing costs, the Steelworkers have stood squarely behind the efforts of the Campaign as have so many other progressive Canadians.

On this gorgeous June evening, as the bustle of Toronto streets began to subside, my wife Mary, out daughter Elizabeth and I joined with Vietnam era draft resisters and deserters, Iraq war resisters, Quakers, Bradley Manning supporters, and stalwart members of the Campaign to share a simple and delicious meal. The purpose of the evening was to raise much needed funds for the Campaign’s ongoing efforts, but it turned out to be an evening of far greater importance.

There were no “hard rock speeches”, just a simple sharing of support and information. The event began with the introduction of recently reelected Parkdale New Democratic Party (NDP) Member of Parliament, Peggy Nash. Ms. Nash represents the ridin (electoral district) with the largest concentration of Iraq war resisters in all of Canada. She spoke of the NDP’s solidarity and support of Iraq war resisters and took the time to thoughtfully answer questions. We were entertained by the lush songs of longtime Campaign supporter Sarah Marlowe and the beautiful vocals of Kimberley and Alyssa Manning. (Alyssa is the amazing attorney who so ferociously represents Iraq war resisters.)

As a Vietnam era draft resister, I am drawn to support Iraq war resisters simply as an act of solidarity. In each of the resisters I have come to know over the past seven years, I see a bit of myself, my parents, and so many other Vietnam era resisters. I know what my refusal cost me and my family. I know only too well what it is costing these young, courageous resisters to the Iraq war as they struggle to survive in a political and legal limbo with such far reaching international repercussions.

Imagine living your life under the threat of being deported and jailed. How do you maintain a balance between living and fear? How do you survive the pressure of supporting yourself or your young family and maintaining a positive outlook? If you are like Jeremy Hinzman, you have been doing this for the last seven years, every day, every week, every month. At any moment, each of these resisters may be ejected from Canada and thrown into some US military gulag to be harassed and punished for refusing to kill people.

To sit in a Canadian union hall, with a roomful of Canadians who have come together to raise funds to support a group of young American war resisters is absolutely without parallel. These Canadians have wrapped their arms around our sons and daughters! On every level - emotionally, spiritually, and financially - they have given their love and support to these courageous young military veterans who have chosen to lay down their weapons. They have asked nothing from their American counterparts.

The War Resisters Support Network, a Task Force of the Western New York Peace Center is proud to stand with our Canadian friends. We are proud of our geographic location in history. We are honored by our members who resisted the Korean war. We are proud of out assistance to young men and women who fled the US because of their opposition to the illegal, immoral, and unjust war in Vietnam. We are proud of our members who ransacked draft board offices in the sixties and destroyed Selective Service files. We stand beside our members who risk imprisonment for their opposition to drone warfare and targeted political assassinations.

We cannot let the Canadian people carry the support of our resisters alone. Iraq war resisters are in Canada, jailed, or living underground for us. We must be here for them!

PS: As I wrote this, I received an email from the Campaign saying they raised $2,390.00 last night.

June 29, 2011

Border Patrol protesters not guilty, new action targets Wackenhut profiteers

O'odham and Navajo who locked down at Border Patrol last May

Article by Brenda Norrell - Censored News
O'odham and Navajo lockdown protesters were found not guilty today in federal court Tucson! In a separate action, today 16 people were cited for trespass at Wackenhut, the company that profiteers from transporting migrants from the border in buses.

O'odham and Navajo protesters locked down in Border Patrol Headquarters in May of 2010, demanding an end to the militarization of the border and a halt to the abuses of Indigenous Peoples by border agents.

Wackenhut split into two companies earlier, one to profiteer from the transport of migrants at the border with the buses, and another, GEO, to profiteer from imprisoning migrants and all people of color, in private prisons in the US. Wackenhut security is now owned by G4S based in London and profiteers from the misery of migrants and people of color around the world.

Photo: Wackenhut bus at Three Points, Ariz. by Brenda Norrell

AIM's "Jimbo" Simmons on Gaza Freedom Flotilla

Jimbo Simmons is a member of the Choctaw Nation and of the Governing Council of the American Indian Movement, which resists colonization, respects traditional knowledge and self-determination, and raises awareness on issues that concern Indians of the Americas, from racism to protection of sacred sites, the rights of the child, treaties, political prisoners, police brutality, immigration and militarization, climate change and the United Nations General Assembly "Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. He is in solidarity with Palestinians and all indigenous peoples that are subjected to expulsion and ethnic cleansing.

Yvnonne Swan, Indian activist and member of the Colville Indian Nation, said, "I respectfully honor my long time friend and compatriot Bill 'Jimbo' Simmons of AIM West for representing us, the indigenous nations of the Western Hemisphere, as he joins all the people who are rightfully and peacefully protesting the blockade of Gaza. My prayers go up for each and everyone of these courageous and dedicated people and for the Palestine Freedom Movement."

-thanks to Brenda Norrell at Censored News

June 27, 2011

video: S Brian Willson (Feb 21, 2009) "We have to wage peace in the most extraordinary way whether the government wants it or not."

S. Brian Wilson, a Vietnam veteran, discusses how he believes that Americans and our violation of basic moral imperatives is placing our country on an ultimate path of destruction. He wants Americans to stop and consider how we can view ourselves as citizens of the world and not just of the United States.

-thanks to Denver Open Media

See Brian's book tour facebook page:

June 21, 2011

Tim DeChristopher: This Hero Didn’t Stand a Chance

Published on June 20, 2011 by truthdig
Tim DeChristopher
by Chris Hedges

Tim DeChristopher is scheduled to be sentenced in a Salt Lake City courtroom by U.S. District Judge Dee Benson on July 26. He faces up to 10 years in prison and a $750,000 fine for fraudulently bidding in December 2008 on parcels of land, including areas around eastern Utah’s national parks, which were being sold off by the Bush administration to the oil and natural gas industry. As Bidder No. 70, he drove up the prices of some of the bids and won more than a dozen other parcels for $1.8 million. The government is asking Judge Benson to send DeChristopher to prison for four and a half years

His prosecution is evidence that our moral order has been turned upside down. The bankers and swindlers who trashed the global economy and wiped out some $40 trillion in wealth amass obscene amounts of money, much of it provided by taxpayers. They do not go to jail. Regulatory agencies, compliant to the demands of corporations, refuse to impede the destruction unleashed by the coal, oil and natural gas companies as they turn the planet into a hothouse of pollutants, poisoned water, fouled air and contaminated soil in the frenzied quest for greater and greater profits. Those who manage and make fortunes from pre-emptive wars, embrace torture, carry out extrajudicial assassinations, deny habeas corpus and run up the largest deficits in human history are feted as patriots. But when a courageous citizen such as DeChristopher peacefully derails the corporate and governmental destruction of the ecosystem, he is sent to jail.

“The rules are written by those who profit from the status quo,” DeChristopher said when I reached him by phone this weekend in Minneapolis. “If we want to change that status quo we have to step outside of those rules. We have to put pressure on those within the political system to choose one side or another.”


-thanks to Chris Hedges and truthdig

Two day Anti-Drone Protest, an Encampment and Sit-In at Beale Airforce Base (Reconnaissance Drone Base for the Global Hawk Drone

People in Pakistan and around the world will be protesting the drones. Find some people in your community and make a statement. Whether it's two people on a corner with some signs demanding an end to targeted assassinations or a large demonstration -
speak out! Saturday June 25th.

Friday 3pm, June 24th, including pm rush hour vigil,
candlelight night protest and encampment.

Saturday morning, following a 7:00-10:00am morning vigil.

Join us for all or part of this important protest!

In solidarity with the planned June 25th, 3rd monthly mass protest by tens of thousands of Pakistanis that have been demonstrating in different cities monthly since April, including holding sit-ins on NATO truck supply routes, and recent multiple surprise protests throughout Pakistan. They are expressing outrage over their government's complicity
with the U.S. "War on Terror" and drone assassination programs. It is estimated that 34,000 civilians have been killed by drone attacks and the U.S. War on Terror. In solidarity with the Pakistanis who are subjected to this violence we say ENOUGH!
Please join CodePink, Veterans for Peace, Peace Center of Nevada County, Military Families Speak Out and others.
Mark your calendars. Spread this around to all of your lists.
Bring 3 others with you. If you can't come for both days, come for one.
Let the Pakistanis know that their lives are as important as ours!
Toby Blome: ratherbenyckeling@comcast.net or call: 510-215-5974
Martha Hubert: mhubert7@earthlink.net
Please note this will be a stepping stone to a July 26th mass protest which
will include direct action at Beale AFB !!!!

BackGround: Imran Khan & PTI (Movement for Justice) announced 3rd Sit-in Protest against US Drone Strikes in Multan, Pakistan on June 25th, 2011
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and Imran Khan announced 3rd Sit-in Protest againt US Drone Strikes in Multan, Pakistan on June 25th, 2011. PTI demands an end to illegal drone strikes that are killing thousands of innocent women & children civilians. These extrajudicial killings are against all International laws, with no arrest, no judge, no jury, no trail, no innocent until proven guilty, just dead.. based on mere suspicion. PTI & Imran Khan requests responsible citizens of this world to stand up against this injustice, as today US is killing suspected militants in Pakistan; but tomorrow any other country will follow suit, killing anywhere else and making this planet a law of jungle, where might makes right.

Please come forward to stand together with Imran Khan & PTI to protest these extrajudicial killings through US Drone Strikes, and to force US & Pakistani government to make a peaceful settlement on this war against terror through negotiations. With 10 years of ongoing war in Afghanistan & Pakistan, numerous civilians killings (34,000 civilians killed in Pakistan only since 9/11), economic disaster for both Pakistan & US and no end to this war in sight; Imran Khan & PTI demands change of strategy to bring peace to this shattered region, rather continuing counter-productive strategy of slaughtering innocent civilians through unmanned machines. Which will prove disastrous for both countries & will rise in radicalization of societies.

June 19, 2011

Ray McGovern tells us why he will be aboard "The Audacity of Hope", the US boat to Gaza and why those who are "not aboard" should be concerned.

Saturday 18 June 2011
by: Ray McGovern, Consortium News | Op-Ed

Israeli soldiers in the port of Ashdod stand next to a ship which was part of a flotilla heading to Gaza, Tuesday, June 1, 2010. The wheelchairs in the foreground were offloaded from one of the ships. (Photo: Rina Castelnuovo / The New York Times)

Despite opposition — and even warnings — from the U.S. government, a group of Americans will join a small flotilla of boats challenging Israel’s blockade of the 1.5 million Palestinians in Gaza. Former CIA analyst Ray McGovern explains why he is joining this protest.

Stuffing my backpack before setting out to board “The Audacity of Hope,” the U.S. boat to Gaza, I got a familiar call from yet another puzzled friend, who said as gently as the words allow, “You know you can get killed, don’t you?”

I recognize this caution as an expression of genuine concern from friends. From some others — who don’t care about Gaza’s plight or who do not wish us well – the words are phrased somewhat differently: “Aren’t you just asking for it?”

That was the obligatory question/accusation at the end of a recent interview taped for a BBC-TV special scheduled to air this coming week as we put to sea to break — or at least draw attention to — Israel’s illegal blockade of Gaza and the suffering it inflicts on the people there.

I also have been cautioned by a source with access to very senior staffers at the National Security Council that not only does the White House plan to do absolutely nothing to protect our boat from Israeli attack or illegal boarding, but that White House officials “would be happy if something happened to us.”

They are, I am reliably told, “perfectly willing to have the cold corpses of activists shown on American TV.”

I mention this informal warning for the benefit of anyone who may have harbored hope that the U.S. government would do something to protect us American citizens from the kind of violence used by the Israelis against last year’s flotilla. Better to be up front and realistic about what to expect.

Little Known Facts

–Israel itself helped to create Hamas in 1987 as a Muslim fundamentalist, divide-and-conquer counterweight to the secular Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).

–The bulk of Hamas’s popular appeal — like that enjoyed by Hezbollah in Lebanon — stems not from the crude rockets fired toward Israel, but rather from the tangible help they give to oppressed Palestinians.

And don’t take my word for it. Here’s what James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence, included as a sort of afterthought at the end of his 34-page “Worldwide Threat Assessment” before the House Intelligence Committee on Feb. 10, completely missed, for some reason, by the FCM:

“We see a growing proliferation of state and non-state actors providing medical assistance to reduce foreign disease threats to their own populations, garner influence with affected local populations, and project power regionally. …

“In some cases, countries use health to overtly counter Western influence, presenting challenges to allies and our policy interests abroad over the long run.

“In last year’s threat assessment, the Intelligence Community noted that extremists may take advantage of a government’s inability to meet the health needs of its population, highlighting that HAMAS’s and Hizballah’s provision of health and social services in the Palestinian Territories and Lebanon helped to legitimize those organizations as a political force.

“This also has been the case with the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.”

I hope readers were not shocked by the diabolically clever way these “terrorist” movements garner public support by providing people life-saving medical care.

--It was on that public-service record (and also because of wide awareness of flagrant corruption in the PLO), that Hamas won a key parliamentary election in January 2006, defeating the PLO-affiliated Fatah party. While the election results were not disputed, they were not what the U.S., Israel, and Europe wanted. So the U.S. and the EU cut off financial assistance to Gaza.

–Confidential documents, corroborated by former U.S. officials, show that thereupon the White House had the CIA try in 2007, with the help of Fatah strongman Muhammad Dahlan, to defeat Hamas in a bloody civil war. That, too, did not go as expected. Hamas won handily, leaving it stronger than ever. (See “The Gaza Bombshell” by David Rose, in Vanity Fair, April 2008, for the entire sad story.)

–Israel and Egypt then imposed an economic blockade on Gaza eventually reducing virtually all Gazans to a bare subsistence level and 45 percent unemployment.

–From Dec. 27, 2008, to Jan. 18, 2009, while President George W. Bush was a lame duck, Israel launched an armed attack on Gaza, killing about 1,400 Gazans compared to an Israeli death toll of 13. Israel’s stated aim was to stop rocket fire into Israel and block any arms deliveries to Gaza. President-elect Barack Obama said nothing.

June 8, 2011

Howard Zinn: "Civil disobedience is not our problem. Our problem is civil obedience. . ."

Howard Zinn:

"Civil disobedience is not our problem. Our problem is civil obedience. Our problem is that people all over the world have obeyed the dictates of leaders…and millions have been killed because of this obedience…Our problem is that people are obedient allover the world in the face of poverty and starvation and stupidity, and war, and cruelty. Our problem is that people are obedient while the jails are full of petty thieves… (and) the grand thieves are running the country. That’s our problem."

Second Annual Peter De Mott Peace Trot 5k Memorial Run, Trot, Walk, or Crawl - Ithaca NY, June 19th

Sunday, June 19th, 2011

Father's Day!

Race check-in from 8:30 - 9:45 a.m.
Race starts at 10:00 a.m.

'Blood on the Tracks' Book Tour with S. Brian Willson

JUNE 11 Saturday — Brian will give a brief Sneak Preview talk (no books available yet) at Veterans For Peace Gimme Peace! Fun-raiser, 6:00-9:00 pm, Metanoia Peace House, 2116 NE 18th Avenue, Portland, OR. Book exchange (donate old books; pick up new ones for a few bucks), silent auction & raffle. Potluck. Iced mint tea. Beer & wine available for donation.

JUNE 24 Friday — First public reading and book signing. 7:00-8:30 pm, People’s Food Co-op Community Room, 3029 SE 21st Ave., Portland, OR.

JUNE 25 Saturday — Cycling Tour Kick-off. 8:00 am, near PSU campus (exact location to be announced). Cyclists welcome to join Brian and Joel on their first day’s ride to Newberg, OR.

JUNE 28 Tuesday — Book-signing event. 5:00 pm, Tsunami Books, 2585 Willamette Street, Eugene, OR 97405. Info: 541-345-8986.

JULY 17 Sunday — Book-signing event sponsored by Unitarian Universalists for Peace–San Francisco. 12:00 noon, First Unitarian Church, 1187 Franklin Street (at Geary), San Francisco, CA 94109.

June 6, 2011

KILLER DRONES IN PLACE OF WAR. Why it is important we work to have them grounded.

I attended a meeting in Rochester yesterday. It was an opportunity for the Hancock defendants to get together and discuss their court dates and strategy. It was also gave the defendants and supporters a chance to discuss future ways to learn and educate our communites about the perils of the drones and what could be done to ground them. Doug Noble presented this short paper in which he does a great job of summing up why we need to stop their deployment in and out of war zones.

Doug Noble, June 5, 2011:

Ever since becoming involved with the protest activities at Hancock Field I have been trying to get some clarity about my objections to drones. A new children’s book on Predator Drones explains, “The US military is always looking for ways to reduce risks for soldiers and to keep pilots safe. This is why unmanned drones are important.” This seems right, but consider that, due to overwhelming US air power superiority, there hasn’t been a US Air Force plane lost in combat in nearly 40 years, and so there is negligible difference in risk between piloting a drone aircraft and flying a fighter jet. Add to this the fact that Predator drones are used most frequently in sovereign nations – Pakistan, Yemen, Libya - with which the US is neither at war nor has any official boots on the ground. So there are no US soldiers to keep safe in these places. It seems that neither US pilots nor soldiers are made safer by most drone deployments. And still their use has skyrocketed.

What is different about this latest weapon of war that we oppose so stridently? True, they are remotely controlled by a risk-free videogame mentality that makes killing easy, even fun, with the trigger as far away our very backyard here in Upstate New York. But anyone who has viewed the Wikileaks footage of young helicopter gunship pilots picking off unarmed civilians, following orders issued in real time from afar, will recognize that this is not unique to drone pilots. Many of us cry out about the horrendous “collateral damage” of drones - the devastating civilian casualties and misidentified targets and technical disasters resulting in countless (because uncounted) innocent deaths. The targeted killing of Al Qaeda leader Baitullah Mehsud, for example, took 16 missile strikes over 14 months, with well over two hundred mistaken deaths.

But if the drones were made more precise and effective, with fewer casualties and more accurate target identification, would we then find them more acceptable? Would drones simply be seen as another weapon of war, whose casualties are not inherently different from such deaths caused by other horrendous weapons of war? Why do we focus on drones as somehow uniquely diabolical?

The answer is this: Predator Drones are not primarily weapons of war, as usually defined, but instead are automated technologies designed for convenient, targeted killing or assassination outside of war zones. As mentioned, the usual targets are in countries we aren’t at war with, far from usual areas of armed conflict, with organized armed groups engaged in intense fighting. .And Predator drones in these countries are not even operated by the US military, but rather by the CIA and its private contractors like Blackwater, acting covertly, without uniforms or legal code and beyond any accountability. The US military has its drones, too, of course, for surveillance and some bombing in Afghanistan, but the real show, now and in the future, is the covert use of Predator drones for large-scale extrajudicial assassination and targeted killing, under the cover of a global war on terror.

Drones, with their low cost and low risk, make targeted killing more convenient and more likely. The recent assassination of Osama bin Laden was carried out by elite special forces instead of drones in order to avoid collateral damage in a heavily populated area and to ensure positive evidence that bin Laden had been killed. But such elaborately orchestrated killings, without the host country’s knowledge, are not feasible for the CIA’s campaign of large-scale targeted killings. That is why drones are uniquely worthy of our attention, because their use has reconfigured war into a worldwide landscape of silent, targeted killings from above, whose victims could be anyone the CIA adds to its hit list of potential threats or terrorists.

There has been an unprecedented increase in CIA assassinations. In 2010 every day witness killing of almost 3 persons in drone attacks, occurring every 3rd day throughout the year in Pakistan. Under president Obama the use of drones in Pakistan has escalated dramatically, from once a week to every other day. Drones are now the weapon of choice, “the only game in town,” And demand for drone technology has been called “insatiable.”

The US keeps widening the definition of acceptable targets for drone killings. Though the CIA’s methodology is secret and remains unknown, the Pentagon maintains a complex taxonomy of targets and elaborate formulas to determine its kill list, which includes mere foot soldiers, ordinary fighters as well as top commanders. Drone consultant Bruce Riedel likened the drone attacks to “going after a beehive, one bee at a time.” A former National Security Council official has stated, “Not every target has to be a rock star.”The Pentagon’s list of approved targets in 2009 was even expanded to include Afghan drug lords funding the Taliban. More sobering still, the CIA requested and was given permission in 2008 to target not just individuals but also entire locations linked to al Qaeda, turning targeted killings into mass killings of suspected militants in an area.

Is any of this legal? Kill lists maintained both by the CIA and the covert military unit Joint Special Operations Command, using secret criteria, condemn even US citizens to summary execution - without charge, trial or conviction. No standards are disclosed under which someone becomes targeted for death, as the ACLU has found in trying unsuccessfully to obtain this information. Such killing violates US Constitution due process protections as well as international law, which labels premeditated killing of an individual by a government a homicide unless it takes place within an armed conflict. The UN Charter requires there be evident self-defense, Security Council authorization, or invitation by the sovereign host country, clearly missing in the case of Pakistan.

Prior to 9/11 the CIA director George Tenet argued that it would be “a terrible mistake” for the CIA to use a weapon like Predator drones. But after 9/11, Bush’s legal advisers modeled a new rationale on Israel’s use of drones against terrorists in Gaza and elsewhere, arguing that the US had the right to use lethal force against suspected Al Qaeda terrorists in what it called “anticipatory self-defense.” Gary Solis, former director of the law program at US Military Academy, describes the Predator targeted killing program as a “sea change,” a policy that the US had only recently abhorred in Israel. Of course, Israel’s use of targeted assassination goes back at least as far as the 1970s, when it systematically went after and assassinated all the suspects behind the massacre of Israeli Olympic athletes, reenacted in the film Munich.

Israel claimed implausibly back then that its post-Munich assassinations were not for revenge but only for deterrence, as “pre-emptive self-defense.” The US claims, too, that assassinations and targeted killings are very different acts. Assassination is defined as murder and is prohibited by US law. But targeted killing in self-defense is different. The killing of an al Qaeda member is technically not a revenge killing or an assassination, which applies only to politically inspired killings of people who are not combatants. Gary Solis of the US Military Academy says, “Nobody in the US government calls it assassination.” It’s all in the name of deterrence or self-defense.

Journalist Jane Mayer, who has studied the use of Predator drones extensively, insists they represent not just an extension of conventional warfare, but instead “a radically new and geographically unbounded use of state-sanctioned lethal force.” Noam Chomsky, in his recent talk in Syracuse, reminded us that US leaders during World War II identified what they called a "Grand Area" that the U.S. would dominate in perpetuity, including much of the globe. Within this Grand Area, the U.S. would maintain "unquestioned power," while ensuring the "limitation of any exercise of sovereignty" by any nations that would dare to interfere. It would enable US military intervention at will to ensure "uninhibited access to key markets and resources” and "to shape events that will affect our livelihood and our security." The unbounded use of Predator drones for targeted killing in the manner of Rambo or Terminator, justified as self-defense and deterrence in the so-called war on terror, carries this global strategy of world domination into the present moment.

The Center for Constitutional Rights warns of a “boundless war without end.” But this is no longer war at all, as typically defined. And it will not just be perpetrated by the US. More than 40 countries currently fly drone aircraft, and within 20 years there will be swarms of bug-sized drones and many autonomous fighters and bombers in use around the globe.

A UN Human Rights report conceded in 2010 that “a missile fired from a drone is no different from any other commonly used weapon, legal so long as it complies with international law requiring discrimination, proportionality, necessity and precaution.” But the report also states that drones are unique because of their “playstation mentality to killing” that makes “it easier to kill without risk” and so tempts commanders “to interpret who can be killed and under what circumstances, too expansively.” Drone weapon systems, especially as they become increasingly autonomous to the point of making life and death decisions themselves, may well be uniquely dangerous. In fact the UN report concludes that drones might, like cluster bombs and landmines, be banned for being “so cruel as to be beyond the pale of human tolerance.” We are absolutely correct to focus our energies opposing Predator drones, and I hope it’s now clearer why.