Aware of the US Reaper drone attack that killed 10 civilians in the Ahmadi family on Aug. 29, 2021, in Kabul, Afghanistan, PeaceWorks-KC is joining the national day of protest on Nov. 29. The theme for the protests is “Don’t Turn Away,” meaning we do not forget the attack 3 months ago and we hold the Pentagon, our government, and ourselves responsible for the ongoing drone warfare. Among the Ahmadi family members killed were seven children. We will meet at the main entry to Whiteman AFB, holding a witness for peace from 9:30 to 10:30 am. The last time we were there, we parked our cars down the road and walked to the public right-of-way at the entry into the base.
Two persons are heading up our KC-area carpooling. Call them if you wish to carpool, leaving about 8am: Henry Stoever, 8405 W. 88th Terrace, Overland Park KS 66212, (913) 375-0045 (cell) and Ann Suellentrop of KC KS, 913-271-7925 (cell). Whiteman US Air Force Base is at Knob Noster, MO 65305, and the suggested route is taking Missouri Highway 50 East, toward Knob Noster, and using exit MO-23 for the route to the base. A nature park about one-quarter mile from the base has public bathrooms and an alternative parking space.
Whiteman Commander Daniel C. Diehl in his online welcome states, “As America’s premier bomber force, the 509th Bomb Wing supports, maintains and operates our nation’s only stealth bomber — the B-2 Spirit. … Our mission is to execute strategic nuclear operations, lethal global strike and combat support — anytime, anywhere!”
Here are comments from Brian Terrell, who will join us from the Strangers and Guests Catholic Worker Farm in Maloy, IA, and who has protested drone warfare repeatedly:
“Not only are drone operators trained at Whiteman, the Air Force 20th Attack Squadron is involved in around-the-clock remote control combat missions with the MQ-9 Reaper drones. Because the Pentagon won’t say who fired the fatal missile and from what base, it is possible that the missile that murdered the Amhadi family was launched by a click on a computer at Whiteman. We don’t know if it was, but it is a serious question. Our friends in upstate drone action in Syracuse, New York, where the NY Air National Guard flies drones out of Hancock Air Base, went to Sen. Chuck Schumer’s office with the question, ‘Hancock: Who Killed Ahmadi Drone Victims?’
“While seeking accountability and transparency, I think that our protest should be about claiming our own responsibility for the killing that is going on. We can and should reach out to the men and women who are carrying out these attacks not to obey what are clearly illegal orders but not blame them exclusively. Like it or not, Whiteman is OUR base and the drones flown and Hellfire missiles that kill from there are OUR drones and missiles. All US citizens are responsible, especially if we pay the taxes that pay for these weapons and to the extent that we vote for the politicians who pass the appropriations and who don’t hold the military leaders accountable.”
Copyright 2021, Jane Stoever, Henry Stoever, Ann Suellentrop, Brian Terrell, Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike 4.0 International License.