Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Voiceless Drone Strike Victims

Nabila Rehman, 9, holds up a picture of the drones. Notice the empty seats behind her?
I don't often comment on here about specific political issues, though I sometimes write on theological ideas and themes that have political implications.  But I find myself deeply bothered by an event that occurred last Tuesday, about which there was minimal coverage in the American media.  On October 29, a Pakistani family came to Washington, D.C. to present to a Congressional hearing about the devastation they experienced when a drone attack killed their mother and grandmother.  You can read about this hearing on the Guardian website here.  I was initially surprised and pleased that Congress had set up such a hearing, encouraged that Congress was actually going to start paying attention to the fact that hundreds of innocent civilians have been killed by American drones in a program that began under Bush but has been ramped up under Obama.

Then I learned that only 5 Congresspeople showed up for the hearing.

As an outsider living in the United States, I have to admit my utter incomprehension that our Congresspeople, and a certain percentage of the citizenry, can get enraged by efforts to bring affordable health care to millions of people (granted, of course, that those efforts have been a mess), but don't appear to care at all that our government is killing innocent people in our name.  I also have to admit frustration with those who support our president so fervently as to be willing to turn a blind eye to the devastation that Obama's drone policies bring to our brothers and sisters in the Middle East and Pakistan.

I'd encourage you to watch a report on the hearing here, and I would encourage you as well to write your representatives to ask them why they did not attend this hearing.  I will be doing so.

And might I also suggest that you write to thank the representatives who actually showed up? They were Rush Holt of New Jersey, Jan Schakowsky of Illinois, John Conyers of Michigan, Rick Nolan of Minnesota, and Alan Grayson of Florida (Grayson actually organized the hearing).

1 comment:

  1. Had it been a homosexual complaining about discrimination against him, I can assure you that much more attention would have been given to him.