Bring peace

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Regarding your photograph of the Air Force’s hi-tech drone tested off our coast [“Air Force tests hi-tech drone near Pt. Mugu,” News Briefs, Aug. 16], I can only hope that I would not be the only one in our community outraged at the glorification of this new indiscriminate way to kill people living thousands of miles away. It has been chilling to read the cold, macabre ease with which President Obama and his staff decide who will live and die in U.S. drone attacks overseas, particularly in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia.

The fate of victims is decided by a group of Americans, who don’t speak their language, don’t know their culture, don’t understand their motives or values. The United States purports to represent the world’s greatest democracy, yet we put people on a hit list who are given no chance to surrender and certainly not a chance to be tried in a court of law.

The drone strike campaign has been called “dangerously seductive” because of its relative low cost, no casualties on our side and the appearance of toughness. In reality, drones are a provocative symbol of American power running roughshod over national sovereignty and killing innocents. We all should be agonizing over civilian deaths and environmental destruction caused by these drones.

War has become so acceptable in our society, which in turn has just created a legacy of violence. The truth of our lives would be much better for our spirits if instead of war, death and destruction we focused more on the issues of clean water, environmental protection, housing, food, and health issues—life affirming attributes that bring us peace in our lives and the world.

Valerie Sklarevsky