Today, Brave New Foundation released a short video documenting religious leaders coming out against the use of Just War Theory to defend President Obama’s drone policy.
Franciscan Friar Joe Nangle said it well:
"How can we hold our heads high when remote-controlled, killer aircraft like drones are raining death and destruction on populations half a world away from our borders, on women, men and children who pose no threat to our safety and well-being."
Rev. Dr. Paul F.M. Zahl said "The use of remote-controlled drones to assassinate targeted persons without charge, trial, or even at least the chance to surrender is about as un-Christian a maneuver as I can imagine."
Today, March 19th, 2013, marks the tenth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq. Ten years later, the dust has not settled but the cost for this war is becoming clear. In a report released by CostsofWar.org it is estimated that 134,000 Iraqi civilians and over 4,000 American soldiers lost their lives due to the war in Iraq. They also estimate that the Iraq war will have cost the U.S. over 6 trillion dollars. In the end, it is hard not to ask ourselves, what is it that we achieved?
Currently, the pentagon is spending billions of dollars on defense contractors, wasteful projects such as the billion-dollar-a-plane F-35, and wasting billions in Afghanistan. Is this where our country’s priorities lie? Is this how we want to spend our tax dollars? Killing innocent civilians and waging wars based on lies and deceit? For the past 10 years, Robert Greenwald and Brave New Foundation have tried to address these questions.
Since 2004, Brave New Foundation has released several full-length documentaries and dozens of short videos to reveal the truth about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Films like Uncovered: the Whole Truth About the Iraq War, Iraq for Sale and Rethink: Afghanistan have connected the dots and presented the facts so viewers could decide whether or not this course was right for our country.
Yet, ten years later and we're still asking the same questions. In September, we released a video to accompany a report by human rights law experts at Stanford and New York University law schools. The report, entitled “Living Under Drones” presented a first-hand testimony from Pakistani civilians on the humanitarian and security costs of escalating drone attacks by the United States. The report uncovered civilian deaths and the psychological/social costs of this policy - where people are literally scared to leave their homes because of drones flying overhead 24 hours a day.
It is a hard fact to swallow that after 10 years, we’re seeing the same policies, the same wasteful spending, and the same failed philosophy that we can kill our way to safety.
March 2013 marks the tenth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq. Over the weekend, Robert Greenwald, founder and director of Brave New Foundation, spent some time on the Ed Schultz radio show to reflect on the occasion.
The two recalled how the mainstream media failed to critically examine the narratives pushed by the Bush administration regarding weapons of mass destruction. With high profile leaks coming from inside the White House, the media should have spent more time questioning the reliability of the information and less time printing and broadcasting it as fact.
Once the truth came out about WMDs, we collectively vowed to never let it happen again. However, as we find ourselves in the midst of a shadowy drone war that has killed at least 178 children as well as an ongoing war against whistleblowers, we have to ask ourselves, have we really learned from the lessons of Iraq? Click the link to hear the discussion.
The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have come at a great cost to the American people. Thousands of men and women have died in uniform in the war zones, and billions of dollars have been spent on the wars. The wars have caused the deaths of thousands of civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan, and they have arguably had a destabilizing effect on the Middle East. It seems that the only ones benefitting from the wars have been defense contractors. Over the last decade the United States has outsourced much of the wars. Defense contractors have built bases, shipped supplies, cooked food, cleaned uniforms, and provided security. Many of the functions that used to be performed by the military have been outsourced to corporations such as Halliburton. However, we don't always get what we paid for.
The levels of power in Washington, D.C. are pulled by those with the most influence or those that can buy the most influence. Rep. Buck McKeon has a significant amount of influence as Chairman of the powerful Armed Services committee. McKeon's is one of the most strident defenders of the military-industrial complex, and his corporate campaign donors have purchased his influence to protect their industry.