By Debbie Gregory.
Drones are controversial when used as weapons in the U.S. war against terrorism in countries such as Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen. Military officials defend using the aircraft to combat enemies, and say that every effort is made to limit civilian casualties. Opponents contend the unmanned strikes result in the deaths of countless innocent people, including children.
That’s why a group of military Veterans have taken on the U.S. in this new age argument, running ads to boycott the use of drones. These ads directly ask Air Force operators to stop flying the aircraft.
The commercials are airing this month in Northern California communities near Beale Air Force Base, which is home to the Golden Hawk reconnaissance drones.
At a cost of approximately $6,000 each, the purchasers include the Veterans Democratic Club of Sacramento County and the Sacramento chapter of Veterans for Peace. In each of the 15-second spots, images of drone operations are seen, with an explosion aftermath of civilians digging through rubble. One ad, which is only being run after 10 p.m., shows images of dead and mutilated children.
Both videos show on-screen messages that read, “Drone killings violate law and morality,” and can also be seen on YouTube. The spots are being shown during popular shows on major cable channels, including AMC, CNN, Comedy Central, ESPN, Fox News, and HGTV.
The campaign began last month in the Las Vegas TV market near Creech Air Force Base, which is home to Predator drones.
Col. Douglas Lee of the 9th Reconnaissance Wing at Beale expressed support for the First Amendment rights of drone opponents “to freely express their opinions.” He added that using unarmed drones saves lives.
“The intelligence we collect provides national leaders strategic information and knowledge resulting in decision advantage, which (helps) ensure our national security.”
Supporters are raising funds so that the ads can be expanded to the Sacramento, New York and New Mexico markets.
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Military Connection: Graphic Anti-drone Ads Run on TV: By Debbie Gregory