Dec 01, 2009
While many Americans spent their Thanksgiving holiday sitting around
the table feasting on turkey and slumbering over the TV to watch
football, members of CODEPINK Women for Peace used this Thanksgiving
holiday to raise awareness about the war in Afghanistan.
Creech Air Force Base, just north of Las Vegas, is the headquarters
of the Air Force's Predator and Reaper "hunter-killer" unmanned aerial
vehicles (UAV), commonly called drones. The base is one of the
epicenters on the war in Afghanistan.
November 24, a dedicated group of CODEPINK women began holding a
creative non-violent presence outside of the east gate of Creech Air
Force Base every morning in the shivering desert cold and warm
afternoons. The nine-day presence included a mourning mother's costumed
funeral procession with child-like coffins, a four-day fast, climate
change action and civil disobedience. They were joined and supported by
members of the Las Vegas faith-based, veterans and military family
Each day they witnessed, young Air Force pilots commuting into the
base to fly the UAVs to scout over the Pakistan and Afghanistan border
and launch Hellfire missiles into the region often missing their
intended targets, resulting in the deaths of many innocent people
including children. Most problematic are attacks in regions where
coalition forces don't even go and most of the dead are civilians.
There is a disturbing contrast between aggressor and victim. The
aggressor zooming around Las Vegas in a posh automobile, living a
luxurious life style and launching missiles onto a target that is far
away and the victim located in a village or inside a building on the
Afghanistan Pakistan borders. There are over 200,000 people in
internally displaced camps (IDP) in Afghanistan because of US
bombardment and war. The number one enemy in Afghanistan is poverty.
For many of those holding a presence outside of Creech Air Force
Base, there is a look of total disbelief, confusion, and sadness. As
the US troop presence in Afghanistan increases, the unmanned aerial
vehicles (UAV) program will ramp up.
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