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Dorothy Cresswell: Can we stop sowing death?

To the editor:

As I grieve with so many about the disturbing verdict of the Trayvon Martin case, I can’t help but see the similarities to our country’s ongoing drone warfare. Both pursue unarmed victims and are justified by the current “laws.” Both kill and learn the facts later.

President Obama is as disturbed as anyone about Trayvon Martin. An innocent person was pursued, frightened, provoked and when he justifiably attempted to defend his life, was killed. The Florida court protected the pursuer, not the pursued. That law should have protected Trayvon. I say, get rid of that dangerous law. So does the President.

However, he, and we (as American citizens) are the George Zimmermans to whomever our country targets in drone warfare in the name of defense and making the world safer. Who are we attacking in this vague boundary-less “war on terror?” What court decides? What judge gives us the right to kill them? Who else are we harming, intentionally and unintentionally? Drones have attacked people in mourning, people meeting to negotiate, rescuers of the injured and children.

Last week’s paper reported that the last Boston Marathon victim finally left the hospital after 49 surgeries. I grieve for his pain and how that tragic event will affect the rest of his life, and those around him. I grieve for all of the victims and their families. It was a terrible thing for innocent people to be bombed. Are we aware that our government regularly drops powerful bombs that our military built to kill and maim from on high?

I attend a weekly interfaith prayer vigil in Amherst where people pray for an end to the violence of drone warfare. As my friend, Bob, at the vigil says: The law is very clear: “Thou shalt not kill.” I am a Christian and I believe that we reap what we sow. Can we stop sowing death?

As a retired kindergarten teacher my heart aches. For everyone, everywhere, who is scared and hurting. My activist self cries, “Stand up. Make a fuss. Children are dying because of us.”

Dorothy Cresswell


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