Thursday, November 14, 2013

The DC Drones Conference: What I'll Be Thinking About

As I join people from around the world gathering in Washington, DC, for the  2013 CODEPINK Drone Summit "Drones Around the Globe: Proliferation and Resistance" (Nov 16/17) this weekend, here are some of the questions I'll be thinking about.

(UPDATE: To learn what I'm thinking about now that the summit has concluded, see The 2013 DC Drones Conference: 5 Big Takeaways )

Who decides?

If the public will join us in asking the question "Who decides?" about drone executions, I believe they will rapidly come to realize that they are utterly dissatisfied with what the government is saying.

(See Who Decides? (When Drones are Judge, Jury, and Executioner) )

When will we learn the truth? 

Until we have the facts, the U.S. government will continue to dance around the issue.

A new U.N. report makes it clear that the U.S. has to report fully on all its drone attacks.

(See 2014: The Year of Transparency (for U.S. Drone Use)?)

Where is the faith community?

 In particular, when will American Christians begin to see the problem of drones as the threat that it is to everything that they believe in?

After all, wasn't Jesus, himself, a victim of a wrong way of "seeing" by the agents of Empire?

(See Was the Crucifixion a "signature strike"?)

Will U.S. politics in 2014 address the drone problem?

Isn't now a moment when, instead of falling back into our existing habits of trying to change America's war-making ways, we should put our recent experience under a microscope? And ask what we can learn from this experience? Can we make 2014 the year that we sort the wheat from the chaff in Congress? And get the control over war and peace back into our own hands?

(See Election 2014: The Moment of Truth for the US Antiwar Movement?)

Will the opponents of drone surveillance make a difference?

One issue that has a key place in the midterm elections in 2014, I believe, is surveillance.  With each passing day, I am hearing more and more people say that the surveillance issue is something that a wide spectrum of people are deeply upset about. That includes people on the right as well as people on the left -- people who don't usually talk with each other, much less work together for positive change!

(See The Surveillance Issue: The Fulcrum of the 2014 Election?)

POSTSCRIPT: I guess I was still thinking about this question as the conference concluded. Drone Free Zone: At the second annual Drone Summit, Code Pink and Cornel West argue that all lives are equal. in In These Times quoted me the day after: "There is a wing of this movement that is concerned about surveillance; there is a wing of this movement that’s concerned about physical injury to people. If there is one area where there is not always full communication, coordination or agreement, that’s it. . . . If the people who feel most concerned about surveillance are actually successful at sitting together with the people concerned about physical injury, this is going to be an incredibly powerful movement."

Related posts

What I Learned: Five big realizations I'm taking away from the 2013 CODEPINK Drone Summit "Drones Around the Globe: Proliferation and Resistance" in Washington, DC.

(See The 2013 DC Drones Conference: 5 Big Takeaways )

The biggest idea coming out of the 2013 Drone Summit? We will only deal successfully with the crimes being committed using drones when we understand them as part of the much larger war against communities of color . . . .

(See Drone Gaze, Drone Injury: The War on Communities of Color )

Many of us who weren't in Pakistan to participate in the massive rally against U.S. drone strikes participated in this protest by holding rallies where we were (for instance, in London), or by participating virtually via the #PakistanAgainstDrones campaign on Twitter.

(See What Would a Global Movement to Ground the Drones Look Like?)