As many of you know, I leave for Pakistan tomorrow as part of the Code Pink Peace Delegation. I want to thank you for your many expressions of support and concern. They -- and you -- mean a lot to me. Thank you!
The official dates of the delegation are Oct. 3-10, the highlight being Oct 7 when we march with Imran Khan in South Waziristan to protest U.S. drone attacks. Khan is the most popular politician in Pakistan today. A former cricket star turned politician, he heads the Movement for Justice party and is perhaps the anti-drone leader of his country. He describes the U.S. use of lethal drones as "immoral and insane" and "a clear violation of international laws and fundamental human rights.” Internationals and journalists from around the world will also be joining this march which is billed to be a march of 50,000!
Our other activities will include meeting with victims/families of drone attacks (in the last 10 days, at least 20 civilians have been killed in Waziristan); government officials; officials of various political parties; peace activists and women's groups. We will also have an anti-drone rally in Islamabad before we leave for Waziristan, joining a caravan of cars and vans from towns along the 6-hour route to our overnight location.
I will try and periodically send short reports but if you're interested in following the delegation activities, all of the press releases will be posted to the http://droneswatch.org/ website and Code Pink's media director "will try to be good about tweeting anything I hear from the ground via @WarDronesOn, with the hashtag #StopDrones."
I also want to urge you to read the scathing report recently released by Stanford/NYU on the impact of Obama's drone campaign. The headline in the Guardian: New Stanford/NYU study documents the civilian terror from Obama's drones. New research shows the terrorizing impact of drones in Pakistan, false statements from US officials, and how it increases the terror threat. See Glenn Greenwald's piece and the report itself:
We are receiving reports that many people in Pakistan are very excited about the arrival of "good Americans." Medea Benjamin, one of the founders of Code Pink and the leader of this delegation, reports that there is an outpouring of support from Pakistanis via twitter, Facebook, email and radio shows. One Facebook comment: "I didn't know that there were Americans willing to speak out against your government's policies. Your gesture has helped change my opinion of Americans."
I am excited and honored to be a part of this 43-member delegation, ranging in age from 23 to 85 ... to be instrumental in showing another side of the United States to the people of Pakistan. Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers.
Blessings and Peace,