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The U.S. has been engaged in drone warfare since 2002. Drones armed with Hellfire missiles or bombs have killed people in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen, and Somalia, and possibly in other countries. There have been at least 370 drone attacks in Pakistan alone.

On Dec. 12, 2013, 14 civilians were killed and 22 injured when U.S. drone strikes destroyed five vehicles in a wedding party in Yemen. The U.S. has issued no apology or any admission of responsibility. The Yemeni Parliament has voted unanimously to ban drone flights in Yemeni airspace. A former U.S. deputy chief of mission in Yemen has estimated that for every person killed in a drone strike, 40 new enemies of the U.S. are created.

Our use of weaponized drones poses several other dangers to the United States. We give up any claim to high moral or legal ground. (Iowans have a special stake in drone warfare. Our Iowa Air National Guard 132 is being converted to an armed-drone-control unit.) Despite assurances of transparency and accountability, the truth about U.S. drone warfare has come not from our government, but from family members of victims, courageous journalists, determined lawyers, foreign NGOs, and officials and citizens of target countries.

Their stories and testimony are presented often with great risk, and the recent, full-length film Unmanned: America‚Äôs Drone Wars is an excellent example. It will be shown in 1505 Seamans Center on at 6:30 p.m. today.

The showing is sponsored by the University of Iowa Center for Human Rights, Veterans for Peace, Iowa Physicians for Social Responsibility, Johnson County Green Party, and PEACE Iowa.

John Jadryev, president
Veterans for Peace, Chapter 161

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