As President Barack Obama spent his last day, January 5, in Hawaii, representatives from Hawaii Peace and Justice and World Can’t Wait protested his assassin drone program and lack of effort on Palestinian issues in front of his Hawaii vacation home.
Drone protests in the United States over the past three years have had an effect on reducing the number of drone strikes and the deaths of civilians. The Bureau of Investigative Journalism (BIJ) reported on January 4, that probably due to public criticism, that “civilian deaths fell sharply in Pakistan in 2012, with Bureau data suggesting that a minimum of 2.5% of those reported killed were civilians – compared with more than 14% in 2011. This suggests the CIA is seeking to limit non-militant casualties, perhaps as a result of sustained criticism.”
BIJ states that another reason for a decline in Pakistani strikes and civilian casualties may have been growing hostility. Some 74% of polled citizens said they view the US as an enemy, and that Pakistan was the only nation favoring Mitt Romney for US President.
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Anti-American feelings in Yemen continue to grow with the increase in drone attacks in that country. Al Qaeda in the Arab Peninsula last week issued a bounty of three kilograms of gold for the assassination of the US Ambassador to Yemen and a bounty of 5 million rials or $23,350 for the death of an American soldier.
US citizen protests against the American drone assassination program will continue in 2013 in the Arc of Justice march in Washington, DC on January 21, the day of President Obama’s inauguration.
Protests in New York, California, Nevada, New Mexico, Missouri, Hawaii, Maryland, North Dakota and Wisconsin are planned for later in 2013.
About the Author: Ann Wright is a retired US Army Reserve Colonel and a former US diplomat who resigned in 2003 in opposition to Bush’s war on Iraq. In the autumn of 2012, she travelled to three areas where drones are killing civilians-Pakistan, Gaza and Afghanistan. She has qualified as an expert witness in drone trials in Nevada and Missouri. She is the co-author of “Dissent: Voices of Conscience.”