Letters to the Editor

March 19, 2013

Drone strikes illegal, immoral

The predator drone attacks being carried out by President Barack Obama's administration are immoral, illegal, contrary to our values and make us less safe, by fueling hatred of Americans.

A study released in September by Stanford and New York University researchers, found that 1,500 to 2,500 civilians have been killed by these attacks. It also found that only 2 percent of the people killed were connected to terrorism, which means 49 out of 50 of the victims of these attacks were civilians!

In northern Pakistan, where the majority of these drone attacks take place, the traumatic effects of the strikes go far beyond fatalities. According to the report, they have psychologically battered the population. People in these areas live under constant terror of being hit by drones that fly overhead 24 hours a day. This is ruining the local economy because people are afraid to go outside.

These lethal drone attacks violate several articles of the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention, of which the United States and 190 other nations are signatories. How can our nation continue to violate international law and treaties and expect other nations to honor their commitment to them?

We need to show that we are a nation that respects humanity, justice and the rule of law.

JOHN G. LUCAS

Modesto

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