The Common Good

Has Drone Firepower Conquered Christ's Love?

For centuries, followers of Jesus have wondered how they should relate to states and governments. Recent documents from Amnesty InternationalHuman Rights Watch, and the United Nations bring such concerns to the fore, highlighting the cruel collateral damage of many of President Barack Obama’s personally ordered drone strikes — strikes that according to the president, are legal and in accord with international law, use technology that is precise and limit unnecessary casualties, eliminate people that are real threats, and prevent greater violence.

Rather than considering the humanity of our (perceived) enemies and seeking reconciliation and restorative justice, we default to catching and killing. In doing so, we give the widest berth possible to Jesus's teachings and examples of self-sacrificial enemy love. In both Matthew 5 and Luke 6, Jesus tells us that to love our enemies is to be children of God, for radical love and kindness are his nature and his perfection. Loving enemies is essential to anyone who would claim God as his or her Father. Jesus said, "Love." Not, "Love unless you happen to be the ones in charge and in possession of firepower. In that case, kill the bastards."

We are charged with loving our world indiscriminately, self-sacrificially, and with great humility, and that should always inform our relationship with the state and government.

+Continue Reading

DRONE WATCH: U.S. Reduces Strikes in Pakistan

The U.S. has drastically reduced the number of drone strikes in Pakistan.
+Leave a Comment | Peace & Nonviolence

DRONE WATCH: Courts and Drones

Federal judge questions claim that courts have no role in examining drone strikes that kill American citizens.
+Leave a Comment | Peace & Nonviolence

DRONE WATCH: Spies in the Sky

As lethal drone strikes decline, the use of drones for surveillance increases.
+Leave a Comment | Peace & Nonviolence

DRONE WATCH: Attack in Pakistan Kills 17

At least 17 people were killed in the first U.S. drone attack in Pakistan since May 28.
+Leave a Comment | Peace & Nonviolence

DRONE WATCH: Revenge of the Taliban

Pakistani Taliban kill nine foreign mountain climbers to avenge the death of a Taliban commander in a drone strike.
+Leave a Comment | Peace & Nonviolence

DRONE WATCH: Protest March Arrives in Des Moines

Anti-drone acitivsts arrive at a National Guard base in Des Moines, Iowa, after a nearly 200-mile march.
+Leave a Comment | Peace & Nonviolence

DRONE WATCH: Killing of 10-year-old Angers Yemenis

Drone strike in Yemen kills 10-year-old brother of Al Qaeda leader.
+Leave a Comment | Peace & Nonviolence

DRONE WATCH: Drone Surveillance in the U.S.

Drones have been used for law enforcement surveillance inthe U.S.
+Leave a Comment | Peace & Nonviolence

Sojo Stories: Dirty Wars

Days before President Barack Obama's high-profile speech on drones and U.S. counterterrorism efforts, Sojourners sat down with investigative reporter Jeremy Scahill to take an inside look at U.S.-led covert wars and the drones that have become an integral part of our global “war on terror.”

His thesis?

"After years of traveling in these countries, I really believe that we’re creating more enemies than we’re killing.”

In some respects, drones are simply a new tool of old empire. Scahill, author of Dirty Wars: The World is a Battlefield and producer of the documentary of the same name, now in theaters, calls this an "unending war ... being legitimized under a popular Democratic president, who is a constitutional lawyer by trade.”

Indeed, within five years, the Bush administration's invasion of Iraq for terrorist attacks the country did not commit has transformed under the Obama administration into pre-emptive assassinations halfway around the world, for crimes citizens have not yet committed. The result, Scahill suggested, is our collective complicity to “unending war.”

+Continue Reading