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Drone Warfare + Uncle Sam's Pakistan

Program #BENM004-ALIT010.

First Program: Medea Benjamin - Drone Warfare

Drones, unmanned aerial vehicles, are the hottest new thing in the Pentagon’s panoply of weapons. They have been used with lethal effect in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia. Pakistan, in particular, has borne the brunt of the attacks. Many civilians have been killed resulting in intense loathing of the U.S. And now drones are migrating from battlefields abroad to the streets of the homeland. They are begining to be used by police forces which are becoming more and more militarized. The ACLU warns that the use of drones “would profoundly change the character of public life in the United States.” We are moving closer to a surveillance society in which our every move is monitored, tracked, recorded, and scrutinized by the authorities. Drone manufacturers are offering police the option of arming drones with rubber bullets, Tasers, and tear gas. 

Second Program: Tariq Ali - Uncle Sam's Pakistan

Pakistan has long been a close ally of the United States. Forging strong ties with Pakistani military and intelligence services, Washington embraced a series of dictators. It was during the draconian 11-year rule of General Zia ul-Haq that defined the strategic relationship between Washington and Islamabad. Zia heavily Islamicized Pakistan and vastly increased the number of religious schools. Later, the U.S. supported Pervez Musharraf, another military dictator, to the end of his disastrous rule in August 2008. Today, Pakistan is on the edge of bankruptcy. There is massive unemployment, skyrocketing inflation, shortages of food and extensive power cuts. Conditions are ripe for upheaval in Uncle Sam's Pakistan. And Washington's response? It pours fuel on the fire by bombing and attacking Pakistan in pursuit of its so-called war on terror. A war, which many Pakistanis are opposed to.


Medea Benjamin

Medea Benjamin is a renowned peace activist and social justice advocate. She travels around the world and documents human rights violations. She's co-founder of Global Exchange and CODEPINK. She is the recipient of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Peace Prize from the Fellowship of Reconciliation. She is the author of many books including Drone Warfare: Killing by Remote Control and Kingdom of the Unjust: Behind the U.S.-Saudi Connection.


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