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Two-part video shares drone war protest, “Don’t Look Away”

The US feared Afghan Zemadi Ahmadi was a terrorist. But we had wrongly identified him, and we killed him and nine of his family members in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Aug. 29. We are sorry! Here are two videos of our drone protest at Whiteman AFB on Nov. 29, marking the third month since the atrocity. The first video features Brian Terrell, a peace activist who has often visited Afghanistan; the second video shows many of our 14 protesters sharing their thoughts at the peace witness.

Part 1: Brian Terrell
00:25“In May 2012…we were arrested for trying to bring a petition up to the gate here.”
00:51What does the “Spirit Gate” stand for?
01:31Whiteman AFB’s role in the 2001 bombing of Kabul
02:12And 20 years later, the drone killing of the Ahmadi family
02:45The war isn’t it’s “Over the Horizon”…the “easier” way to wage war?
03:50Biden’s provocative response to the suicide bombing; the U.S. 1st drone strike
05:28The U.S. 2nd drone strike, as the world watched, killed charity worker Zemadi Ahmadi & his entire family, 7 children and 3 adults.
07:48“Righteous strike”? ~ Gen. Milley
09:40“Each innocent … killed in a drone strike creates 10 new enemies” ~ Gen. McChrystal
11:22CIA report admits drones counterproductive to peace & stability
12:45“Don’t worry … peace is not going to break out soon”—told to Raytheon CEO
13:39Pres. Eisenhower on “military-industrial complex”
14:31The blame game on Afghanistan? … “We’re all responsible!”
Part 2: Why We Speak Out
00:051) Brian Terrell: Our collective responsibility for drone warfare
01:002) Henry Stoever: We must say of drone killings, “Not in my name!”
01:213) Jeff Stack: The war of sanctions, with 27 million Afghans suffering
03:454) Brian Terrell: The hypocrisy of US sanctions on other countries re drones
07:425) Sister Theresa Maly: Sanitized, calculated, deliberate murder
08:376) Ann Suellentrop: Ramping up the second nuclear arms race
09:257) Brian Terrell: We’re being lulled into inactivity
10:008) Kristen Scheer: Atrocities happening everywhere … right here
10:269) Jonne Long: My 3-year-old great-grandsonwhat kind of a world is he going to live in?
10:5110) Jane Stoever: For the children … trying to move 5 steps closer to peace
11:2211) Ron Faust: Mistaken priorities: bombs, the Middle East, drone warfare
15:2812) Bennette Dibben: With respect for my sister, and other soldiers
17:3513) Henry Stoever: Why do we feel insecurity and create weapons of death?
21:5014) Ann Suellentrop: Ramping up plutonium pit production (& pollution)

Background. The US feared Afghan Zemadi Ahmadi was a terrorist. We used our best technology to spy on him. He put water bottles into his car to take home to his family. We misidentified the bottles as gas cannisters, explosives. The Ahmadi family came out to their courtyard in Kabul to greet their father. We killed him and his family, including youngsters aged 2, 3 (two little ones were 3), 6, 7, 10, 16, and two adults. Word spread internationally because that was Aug. 29—the US was airlifting people out of Kabul, and international media were covering Kabul. The man we targeted, whom we killed with 9 others, was just one of decades of cases of mistaken identity. He worked for a California-based company, Food and Education. We are sorry!

The Ban Killer Drones campaign called for a nationwide protest of the incident three months later, Nov. 29. Fourteen peace activists, most from PeaceWorks-KC, came to Whiteman Air Force Base to protest. The US won’t say what US base guided the MQ-9 Reaper drone Aug. 29, but the same type of drones are directed from Whiteman. We are sorry! 

We are grateful to Brian Terrell, from Strangers and Guests Catholic Worker Farm in Maloy, Iowa, for speaking to us from his wealth of experience in Afghanistan. We also thank Jeff Stack, of the Fellowship of Reconciliation in Columbia, Mo., for speaking out with us. And thanks to Kriss Avery for recording and editing these two videos. We look forward to both drone protests and nuclear weapon protests in 2022. As Brian has said, drone warfare and the current nuclear weapon build-up have to do with “no troops on the ground,” supposedly sheltering our troops. Not true.

For the record: Writing before our Nov. 29 protest, Brian Terrell said, “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 Ahmadi family was launched by a click on a computer at Whiteman. We don’t know if it was, but it is a serious question.” 

By Jane Stoever

Copyright 2021, Kriss Avery, Jonne Long, Jane Stoever, Henry Stoever, Ann Suellentrop, Brian Terrell, Jeff Stack, Ron Faust, Bennette Dibben, Mary Hladky, Chris Overfelt, Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike 4.0 International License.

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