This week we discuss the use of drones for surveillance and warfare around the world, but particularly in Pakistan. April is a month of actions in the US to protest the use of drones. It culminates with a weekend conference and action in Syracuse, NY, home of Fort Hancock Air Force Base where drones are piloted. There is growing resistance in both the US and globally. Our guests are Noor Mir, a citizen of Pakistan and graduate of Vassar who is focusing her research on targeted killings and works with CODE PINK, and Judy Bello of the Upstate Coalition to Ground the Drones and End the Wars and other peace organizations who traveled to Pakistan to meet with families who are affected by drones. Medea Benjamin, author of “Drone Warfare: Killing by Remote Control,” was scheduled to be on the show but had to cancel at the last moment. We included an interview with her.
Relevant articles and websites:
Anti-Drone Movement Grows: Ethics, Legality and Effectiveness of Drone Killings Doubted By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers
Drone Warfare: Killing by Remote Control by Medea Benjamin
Towards a Global Perspective Blog by Judy Bello
Noor Mir – Noor is the anti-drone campaign coordinator for CODEPINK and is based in the Washington, D.C. office, although she calls Islamabad, Pakistan her home. She graduated from Vassar College in 2012 with a major in Political Science and minors in French and English. While studying abroad at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, she took courses on international law and targeted killings and was driven by what she learnt to turn it into a year-long research thesis on drone warfare in Pakistan. Noor is passionate about killer drones, humanitarian law and race relations.
Judy Bello – is active with The Upstate Coalition to Ground the Drones and End the Wars, and with Fellowship of Reconciliation Middle East Task Force, as well as with local peace and justice organizations in her home town of Rochester, NY and is on the Administrative Committee of the United National Antiwar Coalition. Judy loves to travel and experience different cultures. She has been to Iran twice with Fellowship of Reconciliation Peace Delegations, and spent a month in the Kurdish city of Suleimaniya in 2009 prior to traveling to Pakistan with the CodePink Peace Delegation in fall of 2012.
Judy believes that justice and respect for the sovereignty of all nations is critical to building world peace. She also believes that the way to build and more just and peaceful society is for people to reach across international, interethnic, interracial, and intercultural boundaries to get to know one another, thereby forming a global grassroots network of individuals working towards peace and justice, through love and understanding.
Her personal blog, Towards a Global Perspective, is at http://blog.papillonweb.net, with a list of films from Iran, India, and the Near East, a list of some of her favorite Iranian books, and a picture gallery from her travels linked into the sidebar. She also administers the Upstate anti-Drone Coalition website at http://upstatedroneaction.org, and has a blog on the Fellowship of Reconciliation Website at http://forusa.org.