Petition Closed

We are creating enemies and we are being oppressors instead of responsible world citizens. The people of Waziristan live in terror of strikes 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Devastated family members of the dead are pushed into the Taliban, and suicide bombers kill more in protest against our unwarranted attacks.

Letter to
President of United States of America Barack Obama
U.S. House of Representatives
U.S. Senate
and 1 other
President of the United States
Dear Mr. President,

I hope this letter finds you well. I congratulate you on your second term
and hope that we can all do many great things
together.

One of the main components of your job, I know, is
to keep American civilians safe from terrorism here
and abroad. However, as we take necessary steps
to protect our people, it is incumbent upon us to
not become agents of terror for civilians in other
parts of the world.

One thing the whole world is watching is how we
operate abroad. What kind of America will people
of the world see when they read about the drone
attacks that occur in Pakistan? What does it say
about the greatest nation in the world that we are
taking so many civilian lives without warrant and
without mercy? I have seen the video put forth
by Stanford and New York University and I have
read the editorial in the Guardian and I cannot
reconcile the kind, compassionate, noble person I
know you to be with these attacks.

Link to video: http://www.upworthy.com/how-your-
tax-dollars-are-paying-for-al-qaedas-newest-
recruiting-tool?g=2&c=ufb)

Link to Guardian editorial:
https://apps.facebook.com/theguardian/
commentisfree/2012/sep/25/study-obama-drone-deaths

Men, women, and children suffer PTSD and have
disrupted lives every day in the Waziristan region
of Pakistan. People who have never heard of us
before are getting a very different representation
of our country than I think you intend. Families
who have lost loved ones in these strikes are
pushed, by us, into the waiting, recruiting
arms of Al Qaeda and the Taliban. As a student
nurse, I have studied the effects of war on child
development. What results are fractured, broken
people who see violence as an acceptable means of
protest.

As you spoke out against Guantanamo and its utility
as a recruiting tool for militants who already
want to harm us, so should you view these drone
strikes. As a mother of a young child, I would hate
a country that sends unmanned aircraft over my home
day in and day out, striking without warning, and
giving no explanation later. And I would sympathize
with whoever gave me the ability to defend my
family. The people who are joining the ranks of
militants did not start out by hating us. These
people are afraid to attend burials for their dead,
or hold tribal council to resolve local conflicts,
for fear that they could be targeted. You would
never tolerate this on our soil. As a good man, I
don’t think you should tolerate it on others’ soil
either.

It is a hard road you are walking, and I know there
are many difficult choices facing you. But we
cannot continue to create enemies and mercilessly
attack innocents as we have. I beg you as a man
of conscience and decency to put a stop to using
drones. Our technology is rapidly advancing and
warfare is changing, but our ethics and sense of
humanity must catch up to our technology, or we
risk losing the esteem of the world. Please do the
right thing.

Instead of keeping America safe at any cost, these
attacks undermine our national security. They
create enemies where there were none, and they
tarnish our image.

I respect you deeply, and I hope that we can have
an open discussion about this in our country. I
also hope that we can find a way both to ensure
American safety and to be a standard bearer for
human rights in this world. I thank you for taking
time to read my letter. It is my fervent hope that
you will give it some thought, pray over it, and
find a better way.

Sincerely and respectfully,

Rhiannon Sawhney and Undersigned Concerned Citizens