Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Drone Warfare

"We appreciate what the Americans have done to help build our country..." confided Mohamed from Afghanistan. He qualified by saying "...its just that we don't accept their policies." He was referring to the unmanned drone attacks on civilians. These drones, launching hellfire missiles, are used to reduce American exposure to combat or fight in areas inaccessible to ground troops. The level of anger in Afghanistan is raising at the judge, jury and execution without due process. Many civilian casualties are a by product of this method of warfare. Pilots fly the drones like a computer game and pull the trigger to destroy life while sitting in air conditioned offices thousands of miles, if not half a world, away. Stories also abound of the drones flown over Mindanao's islands looking for 'terrorists'.

These and many other tales of people working for positive, peaceful change, demonstrate the challenges facing global peacebuilders. The Mindanao Peacebuilding Institute 2009 included people from thirteen nationalities and many more ethnicities. Course offered by MPI include basics in peacebuilding and conflict transformation in addition to more advanced courses like mediation skills, trauma healing and religious peacebulding through dialogue.

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