This is the Age of Weaponized Drones. They are widely used in the war against terrorists and other enemies of the state. Hard facts on the frequency and targets of drone attacks are difficult to come by given the secrecy of the CIA and U.S. military and its allies. Still, more and more concerned citizens are voicing their objection to the widespread use of drones.
Report: From an article from CommonDreams.org, we learn that the Rev. John Antal, a U.S. Army Chaplain and Unitarian Universalist Church minister, has resigned in protest over the United States "policy of unaccountable killing" through drone warfare and the nation's continued investment in nuclear weapons, which "threaten the existence of humankind and the earth." (For more on drone warfare, see the resources listed below.)
In a letter sent to President Barack Obama, Antal, who served in 2012 – 2013 at the Kandahar Airbase in Afghanistan, pointed out that drone warfare strikes "disproportionally kill innocent people and go against our country's high regard for human dignity." His letter concludes with: "I resign because I refuse to support U.S. policy of preventative war, permanent military supremacy, and global power projection."
And so we pray this news . . .
Peacemaker God, in times of war, we often hear people praying to you to help those fighting for their country. Many of these prayers end with the phrase "God Bless America." Our prayer today is for those who are working for peace, who are challenging the tools of war. They, too, need your help to maintain their strength. We offer today the example of the Rev. John Antal, a military chaplain and man of conscience. Give him and us the courage to stand up to the misuse of military power. Grow in us the core principles he has identified as necessary for his faith: justice, equity and compassion in human religions, a free and responsible search for truth, and the inherent worth and dignity of every person. Amen.
Other resources on drone warfare:
- Book: Drone Warfare by Medea Benjamin, a hard-hitting alarm call about the dangers and the inhumanity of killer and spy drones.
- Film: Eye in the Sky, an ethical and immersive film about the collateral damage of drone warfare.
- Film: Good Kill, a heart-rending drama about the human costs of drone warfare on military personnel and victims.