Press TV has done an interview with Leah Bolger, with Veterans for Peace, in Oregon, to get her takes on drone strikes carried out by the US military in Muslim countries.
What follows is a rough transcription.
Press TV: What is Washington’s justification about the legality of its drone strikes?
Bolger: Well, Washington says that everyone that they target are militants. So they feel like they are justified in killing those people but the fact is the United States doesn’t know who they are killing with these missiles. They are 500 lb missiles that are launched from drones and they kill indiscriminately. We know that thousands of people have been killed, we know that hundreds of children have been killed. And so the United States doesn’t know the identities of the people and in fact they don’t know who they are killing. So they tell us that they are killing militants or rebels, or extremists but the fact is, if they were to admit that they were killing civilians, and children, then they would be admitting that they are culpable and guilty of war crimes and that is why the United States will say that everyone they kill is a militant.
Press TV: Indeed, you touched on a very important point, that the main concern is the majority of victims of these drone strikes are civilians. But the thing is that how is Washington going to be held accountable?
Bolger: Well, that is something that the world community needs to take on. Because the United States has acted with impunity, although they are party to the Geneva Convention. These drone strikes have violated many provisions of the Geneva Convention yet the United States is not held to account. The global community needs to bring up resolutions, censure statements against the United States in a global forum... the United Nations. The United States should be held to account and it is up to the global community to do that.
Press TV: And why is it that the United States has focused its drone campaign in only Muslim countries and hardly any non-Muslim countries?
Bolger: Well, I am afraid that the United States needs – quote – an enemy to keep its military machine rolling along; and since 9/11 the enemy that we have... we as a country... have deemed an enemy are the extremist Muslims and unfortunately the United States media, American media has built this up into a big fear mongering campaign so that Americans are being taught now, through the media, that Islam is our enemy and there could be nothing further from the truth. We need to educate the American public.