Modern Day Crucifixion — Launching the Drone Wars from Hawaii to Pakistan
Today is Good Friday in the Christian calendar, the day Jesus was executed by the Roman Empire for the crime of sedition (stirring up the people) in occupied Palestine. One’s standpoint determines one’s viewpoint. From Jesus’ standpoint, and all those nailed to the cross of empire, there was nothing good about “Good Friday.” For the Roman Empire and their local collaborators, it was “Good Friday” indeed. They got rid of another troublemaker, or so they thought.
The Romans, like all empires, believed in a myth — that violence was a solution to problems. Jesus knew otherwise — that being willing to die, but not to kill, is the way to new life, justice and peace. His witness proved that the blood of martyrs is the seed of a new movement of non-violent resistance, what others call — the church. For over 200 years to be a member of this new church meant you refused to participate in the wars of empire. Thousands were crucified for their refusal and the church grew by leaps and bounds.
What of us today in the American Empire, after six years of war and occupation in Iraq, eight years of war and occupation in Afghanistan, and ll6 years of occupation of the Kingdom of Hawaii? The silence of “the church” today in Hawaii is deafening? Where are the voices of conscience in our local churches today speaking out for justice and peace and against war and occupation? How many Christians are refusing to participate in the wars of empire? How many churches are actively supporting the empire’s wars?
In 2 days of testimony this week about the militarization and desecration of the sacred temple of Mauna Kea, there wasn’t one church leader (Christian, Buddhist, or otherwise) who spoke in solidarity with Hawaii’s host people, the Kanaka Maoli calling out for justice and respect, and a halt to development on the mountain. The military has plans for a Pan Stars telescope on Mauna Kea for tracking “enemy” satellites to be destroyed in U.S. pre-emptive wars. A new billion dollar 30-meter telescope is also in the works. Kihei Soli Niheu says that the desecration on Mauna Kea is part of the ongoing illegal occupation of the Kingdom of Hawaii that must end.
The sacred mountains of both Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa are being militarized by expanded military live-fire training at Pohakuloa, including Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) otherwise known as drone airplanes. U.S. hunter-killer drones (MQ-1 Predators and more advanced MQ-9 Reapers) are now being used widely as surveillance and missile-firing aircraft in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. U.S. Centcom commander General David Petraeus calls this drone form of modern crucifixion “the right of last resort” to take out “threats” (as well as innocent people who just happen to be in the vicinity). Large numbers of innocent people are now fleeing their homes due to U.S. drone attacks in Central Asia.
Good Friday is a good day to break the silence and be stirred into action
1. Mourn all victims of violence. 2. Reject war as a solution. 3. Defend civil liberties. 4. Oppose all discrimination, anti-Islamic, anti-Semitic, etc. 5. Seek peace through justice in Hawai`i and around the world.
Contact: Malu `Aina Center for Non-violent Education & Action P.O. Box AB Kurtistown, Hawai`i 96760.
Phone (808) 966-7622. Email email@example.com http://www.malu-aina.org
Hilo Peace Vigil leaflet (April l0, 2009 – 395th week) – Friday 3:30-5PM downtown Post Office