Ground All Drones is a committee of Women Against Military Madness (WAMM) created to address the use of drones, particularly armed drones. Drones are developed worldwide, not only by the U.S. but by other nations as well. In the U.S.unarmed surveillance drones could be used to spy on citizens, a clear violation of our Fourth Amendment Rights. The current focus of this committee is on the use of weaponized drones.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

WAMM Annual Meeting with Ann Wright "Standing Rock to Palestine; Eyewitness Report on U.S. Wars at Home and Abroad"







Join WAMM for their spectacular WAMM Annual Meeting! Put on by the WAMM Board every year.

Saturday, March 4th
from 10am - 1pm
St. Mark's Episcopal Church
519 Oak Grove Street
Minneapolis, Minnesota


Keynote speaker: U.S. Army Colonel (Ret.) and Former State Department Officer and Peace Activist Ann Wright!



Wright is a 29-year veteran of the Army and Army Reserves who rose to the rank of Colonel.
During that time, she earned a law degree from the University of Arkansas and a master's degree in National Security Affairs from the U.S. Naval War College. In 1987, Wright became a U.S. diplomat and in the course of her State Department career, she served as Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. embassies in Afghanistan (which she helped open following the 2001 U.S. invasion of Afghanistan), Sierra Leone (an embassy which she helped close and then reopen again due to a civil war), Micronesia and Mongolia.  She also served at U.S. embassies in Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Grenada, and Nicaragua. She received the State Department’s Award for Heroism for her actions in evacuating Americans and members of the international community during the civil war in Sierra Leone in 1997.

She resigned from the Department of State on March 19, 2003, in opposition to the Iraq war. Since then, Wright has worked to end US wars, lecturing and traveling all over the world. She is the co-author of Dissent: Voices of Conscience.

Wright’s post retirement career as a peace activist has greatly benefited from her prior Foreign Service experience, her diplomatic skills and international expertise. In recent years she has traveled throughout the world, including to a number of conflict-burdened areas of the world in peace missions: Gaza, West Bank and Israel, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, Cuba, North and South Korea with Women Cross the DMZ, and visits to Okinawa and Japan as well as participating in Gaza Freedom Flotillas, including the 2016 Women’s Boat to Gaza.


We therefore expect she will be able to update us on these situations, her first-hand experiences as well as her opinions as to potential solutions more fully and accurately than our domestic news services and most other foreign policy commentators.

PLUS
WAMM Annual Report written and performed by Phyllis Goldin and Wanda Brown
Raffle Prizes!
Light Tasty Brunch!
Spoken Word!
Membership Renewal!
ACTION Cards!
Meet New Board Members!

FFI: contact the WAMM office.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Reports from Yemen - 8 year old granddaughter killed



From The Intercept January 30, 2017 by

In 2010, President Obama directed the CIA to assassinate an American citizen in Yemen, Anwar al-Awlaki, despite the fact that he had never been charged with (let alone convicted of) any crime, and the agency successfully carried out that order a year later with a September 2011 drone strike. While that assassination created widespread debate — the once-again-beloved ACLU sued Obama to restrain him from the assassination on the ground of due process and then, when that suit was dismissed, sued Obama again after the killing was carried out — another drone killing carried out shortly thereafter was perhaps even more significant yet generated relatively little attention.

Two weeks after the killing of Awlaki, a separate CIA drone strike in Yemen killed his 16-year-old American-born son, Abdulrahman, along with the boy’s 17-year-old cousin and several other innocent Yemenis. The U.S. eventually claimed that the boy was not their target but merely “collateral damage.” Abdulrahman’s grief-stricken grandfather, Nasser al-Awlaki, urged the Washington Post “to visit a Facebook memorial page for Abdulrahman,” which explained: “Look at his pictures, his friends, and his hobbies. His Facebook page shows a typical kid.”

Few events pulled the mask off Obama officials like this one. It highlighted how the Obama administration was ravaging Yemen, one of the world’s poorest countries: just weeks after he won the Nobel Prize, Obama used cluster bombs that killed 35 Yemeni women and children. Even Obama-supporting liberal comedians mocked the arguments of the Obama DOJ for why it had the right to execute Americans with no charges: “Due Process Just Means There’s A Process That You Do,” snarked Stephen Colbert. And a firestorm erupted when former Obama press secretary Robert Gibbs offered a sociopathic justification for killing the Colorado-born teenager, apparently blaming him for his own killing by saying he should have “had a more responsible father.”

The U.S. assault on Yemeni civilians not only continued but radically escalated over the next five years through the end of the Obama presidency, as the U.S. and the U.K. armed, supported, and provide crucial assistance to their close ally Saudi Arabia as it devastated Yemen through a criminally reckless bombing campaign. Yemen now faces mass starvationseemingly exacerbated, deliberately, by the U.S.-U.K.-supported air attacks. Because of the West’s direct responsibility for these atrocities, they have received vanishingly little attention in the responsible countries.

In a hideous symbol of the bipartisan continuity of U.S. barbarism, Nasser al-Awlaki just lost another one of his young grandchildren to U.S. violence. On Sunday, the Navy’s SEAL Team 6, using armed Reaper drones for cover, carried out a commando raid on what it said was a compound harboring officials of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. A statement issued by President Trump lamented the death of an American service member and several others who were wounded, but made no mention of any civilian deaths. U.S. military officials initially denied any civilian deaths, and (therefore) the CNN report on the raid said nothing about any civilians being killed.

But reports from Yemen quickly surfaced that 30 people were killed, including 10 women and children. Among the dead: the 8-year-old granddaughter of Nasser al-Awlaki, Nawar, who was also the daughter of Anwar Awlaki.

As noted by my colleague Jeremy Scahill — who extensively interviewed the grandparents in Yemen for his book and film on Obama’s “Dirty Wars” —  the girl “was shot in the neck and killed,” bleeding to death over the course of two hours. “Why kill children?” the grandfather asked. “This is the new (U.S.) administration — it’s very sad, a big crime.”

The New York Times yesterday reported that military officials had been planning and debating the raid for months under the Obama administration, but Obama officials decided to leave the choice to Trump. The new president personally authorized the attack last week. They claim that the “main target” of the raid “was computer materials inside the house that could contain clues about future terrorist plots.” The paper cited a Yemeni official saying that “at least eight women and seven children, ages 3 to 13, had been killed in the raid,” and that the attack also “severely damaged a school, a health facility and a mosque.”

As my colleague Matthew Cole reported in great detail just weeks ago, Navy SEAL Team 6, for all its public glory, has a long history of “‘revenge ops,’ unjustified killings, mutilations, and other atrocities.” And Trump notoriously vowed during the campaign to target not only terrorists but also their families. All of that demands aggressive, independent inquiries into this operation.

Perhaps most tragic of all is that — just as was true in Iraq — al Qaeda had very little presence in Yemen before the Obama administration began bombing and droning it and killing civilians, thus driving people into the arms of the militant group. As the late, young Yemeni writer Ibrahim Mothana told Congress in 2013:
Drone strikes are causing more and more Yemenis to hate America and join radical militants. … Unfortunately, liberal voices in the United States are largely ignoring, if not condoning, civilian deaths and extrajudicial killings in Yemen.
During George W. Bush’s presidency, the rage would have been tremendous. But today there is little outcry, even though what is happening is in many ways an escalation of Mr. Bush’s policies. …
Defenders of human rights must speak out. America’s counterterrorism policy here is not only making Yemen less safe by strengthening support for AQAP [al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula] but it could also ultimately endanger the United States and the entire world.
This is why it is crucial that — as urgent and valid protests erupt against Trump’s abuses — we not permit recent history to be whitewashed, or long-standing U.S. savagery to be deceitfully depicted as new Trumpian aberrations, or the war on terror framework engendering these new assaults to be forgotten. Some current abuses are unique to Trump, but — as I detailed on Saturday — some are the decades-old byproduct of a mindset and system of war and executive powers that all need uprooting. Obscuring these facts, or allowing those responsible to posture as opponents of all this, is not just misleading but counterproductive: Much of this resides on an odious continuum and did not just appear out of nowhere.

It’s genuinely inspiring to see pervasive rage over the banning of visa holders and refugees from countries like Yemen. But it’s also infuriating that the U.S. continues to massacre Yemeni civilians, both directly and through its tyrannical Saudi partners. That does not become less infuriating — Yemeni civilians are not less dead — because these policies and the war theories in which they are rooted began before the inauguration of Donald Trump. It’s not just Trump but this mentality and framework that need vehement opposition.

Read it on  The Intercept January 30, 2017

Thursday, December 22, 2016

"Drone Warfare and the Cyborg Soldier: Margins of Masculinities"


      presented by Suzanne Al-Kayali

Saturday, January 7th 

9:30am Coffee

10:00am Program 

Washburn Library

5244 Lyndale Avenue South

Minneapolis

Modern military power has ignited real and virtual changes as nations make war and soldiers perceive themselves as warriors. The role of the soldier has changed with the evolution of technologies, such as drones. Is the hyper- masculine "be-all-you-can-be" soldier being replaced? Suzanne will discuss the role of "masculinity" in contemporary warfare and the development of the new "cyborg" soldier.

Suzanne is WAMM's current director, she earned her Master's degree at Roosevelt University at Chicago in Sociology and Women and Gender Studies.

Sponsored by the Ground All Drone Committee of WAMM 

Thursday, October 6, 2016

UN Condemns US Drone Strike in Afghanistan That Killed 15 Civilians

Published on  Friday, September 30, 2016  by Common Dreams

'I saw dead and wounded bodies everywhere,' said Raghon Shinwari, one of the wounded, from hospital bed in Jalalabad city.

by Deirdre Fulton, staff writer
A U.S. drone strike in Afghanistan killed at least 15 civilians on Wednesday, drawing United Nations condemnation and calls for an independent probe into the attack.
"Funeral of Afghanistan's latest drone strike victims in Nangarhar province," journalist Emran Feroz wrote on Twitter. "Like many others, they will remain nameless & invisible." (Photo: @Emran_Feroz/Twitter)



In a statement, the U.N. Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) said the civilians, all men, "had gathered in a village to celebrate the return of a tribal elder from the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca and were reportedly sleeping in a guesthouse of the elder when the airstrike occurred. Civilian victims of the strike included students and a teacher, as well as members of families considered to be pro-government." In addition to those killed, 13 people including at least one boy were injured in the strike.

"I saw dead and wounded bodies everywhere," said Raghon Shinwari, one of the wounded, from hospital bed in Jalalabad city.

U.S. military sources confirmed the airstrike in Achin, a remote area near the Pakistan border. Brigadier General Charles Cleveland said the U.S. "takes all allegations of civilian casualties very seriously" and was "currently reviewing all materials related to this strike."

In turn, UNAMA reiterated "the need for all parties to the conflict to adhere to their obligations under international humanitarian law" and demanded "a prompt, independent, impartial, transparent, and effective investigation into this incident."

As AntiWar.com noted, "This would mark the second bungled U.S. airstrike in Afghanistan in a little over a week, after a previous incident in which U.S. forces tried to 'rescue' Afghan police on the ground by blowing up their checkpoint and killing eight of them."

And the Guardian pointed out that "[t]he incident happened almost a year to the day after another U.S. airstrike destroyed a Doctor Without Borders hospital in Kunduz, killing 42. After that incident, the U.S. and the Afghan government refused calls for an independent investigation."

 

Friday, September 16, 2016

DRONE  STRIKE  STATISTICS



The U.S. has carried out deadly drone strikes in Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, Libya, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria through military and CIA programs. In the latter three countries, drones are often used for surveillance or in conjunction with other aircraft, complicating the tallying of casualties. Casualty numbers are difficult to gather and vary widely depending on methodology. Estimates by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism of the total fatalities caused by drone strikes are six times higher than the number of fatalities reported by The White House. 

For further information: thebureauinvestigates.com



White House Report (issued July 2016)

    473 Strikes   

Combatants Killed  2,372-2,581   

  Civilians Killed  63-116

                 

                                             
Bureau of Investigative Journalism


PAKISTAN,  2004 onwards   
      424 Strikes 
     Total Killed  2,499-4,001
  Civilians  424-966 
  Children  172-207
YEMEN,  2002 onwards 
     129-149 Strikes 
     Total Killed  555-811
  Civilians  65-101   
  Children 8-9

PAKISTAN, 2016 only 
     3 Strikes  
     Total Killed 11-12  
  Civilians 1

AFGHANISTAN,  2015 onwards 
    401-426 Strikes
    Total Killed  1,948-2,477
  Civilians  75-121  
Children  4-18



Friday, June 24, 2016

Anti-drone rally at US air base Ramstein draws thousands

From D W Germany  © 2016 Deutsche Well

Around 5,000 peace activists protested the use of the Ramstein facility in southwestern Germany for the US-led drone war. A nine-kilometer (5.5-mile) human chain was later formed to demand limits on the use of the base. 

Among those taking part in the June 11 protest was former German Finance Minister Oskar Lafontaine, who said the US drone program contravenes international law.

He also hit out at the German government's silence on the use of drones from Ramstein, saying it was "schizophrenic" that Berlin is generous to refugees but then gives its support to wars waged by the US.

Initially, around 1,500 people gathered outside the base in a rural part of Rhineland-Palatinate to demand that the base no longer be associated with drone operations.

Public anger growing

Later on Saturday, around 5,000 protesters created a human chain close to Ramstein, the principal US Air Force facility in Europe, close to the city of Kaiserslautern.

Organizers described their protest as the biggest ever action against the US base, insisting that public support against the drone issue was growing.

Green MP Tabea Rössner warned that US drone attacks were radicalizing people in the Middle East, while peace activist Reiner Braun said, "The chain is not complete but it is a sign! Ramstein needs to be shut down."

DW Correspondent Greta Hamann, who covered the demo, tweeted images of protesters holding placards, which read "The majority of people want to live in peace" and "He who sows war, will reap refugees."
 
Whistleblower tells all

Former US drone operator Brandon Bryant first made revelations in "Der Spiegel" magazine in 2013, claiming that Ramstein was a major hub for coordinating Washington's global drone war, which included targets in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen.

He later told a German parliamentary committee that all data from the plane went through Ramstein. However, the drones were not directly steered from the base, he added.

But the German and US governments have repeatedly downplayed the importance of the facility and have evaded direct questions about its role in the drone program.

The rallies, which began on Friday, are due to end on Sunday June 12.

Related article:  Transatlantic relations
Berlin powerless to challenge US drone operations at Ramstein air base

Friday, June 3, 2016

Letter to President Obama

Former U.S. Army Reserve Chaplain Captain Chris Antal reads his resignation letter to President Obama. "I resign because I refuse to support U.S. armed drone policy," Antal wrote. "The Executive Branch continues to claim the right to kill anyone, anywhere on earth, at any time, for secret reasons, based on secret evidence, in a secret process, undertaken by unidentified officials. I refuse to support this policy of unaccountable killing."


June 3, 2016 on Democracy Now.org
TRANSCRIPT
This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.
 
AMY GOODMAN: Reverend Chris Antal, I was wondering if we could end with you reading your resignation letter to President Obama in your own words.

REV. CHRIS ANTAL: I’d be glad to do that.

“Dear Mr. President:

“I hereby resign my commission as an Officer in the United States Army.

“I resign because I refuse to support U.S. armed drone policy. The Executive Branch continues to claim the right to kill anyone, anywhere on earth, at any time, for secret reasons, based on secret evidence, in a secret process, undertaken by unidentified officials. I refuse to support this policy of unaccountable killing.

“I resign because I refuse to support U.S. nuclear weapons policy. The Executive Branch continues to invest billions of dollars into nuclear weapons, which threaten the existence of humankind and the earth. I refuse to support this policy of terror and mutually assured destruction.

“I resign because I refuse to support U.S. policy of preventive war, permanent military supremacy and global power projection. The Executive Branch continues to claim extra-constitutional authority and impunity from international law. I refuse to support this policy of imperial overstretch.

“I resign because I refuse to serve as an empire chaplain. I cannot reconcile these policies with either my sworn duty to protect and defend America and our constitutional democracy or my covenantal commitment to the core principles of my religion faith. These principles include: justice, equity and compassion in human relations, a free and responsible search for truth, a commitment to the democratic process, and the inherent worth and dignity of every person.

“Respectfully submitted,
"Christopher John Antal"

AMY GOODMAN: Reverend Chris Antal, minister for the Unitarian Universalist Congregation now at Rock Tavern, New York, founder of the Hudson Valley, New York, chapter of Veterans for Peace. He has served as a U.S. Army chaplain in Afghanistan, before publicly resigning over the Obama administration’s drone warfare program. He wrote that letter to President Obama in April.