Antiwar Group Code Pink Gets U.S. Government to Lay Off the Drones for a Few Hours

What Women Really Think
Oct. 5 2012 2:01 PM

Code Pink Goes to Waziristan 

150646156
Code Pink leader Medea Benjamin joins others in a protest in front of a Raytheon company building which they say is building military drones on August 23, 2012 in Largo, Florida.

Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

According to this video summary of the “Living Under Drones,” the report I mentioned last week, there are people in Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas who had not heard of the United States until they saw a drone destroy something. Said people are going to have an unusual take on American culture, because the next thing they’re getting is Code Pink.

Along with thousands of Pakistanis, a few dozen members of the anti-war group plan to take part in a drone-focused protest march led by Imran Khan this weekend, though it's unclear whether Pakistani authorities will allow this. Yesterday the women and other activists met with the acting ambassador to Pakistan Richard Hoagland, who promised that there would be no drone strikes during the rally. Beyond that, Hoagland seems to have found various ways of saying that the drone program is classified and he can’t talk about it. When someone asked how they could have a discussion about the logic and justification of drone strikes if the CIA would not make any details public, Hoagland said “no comment.” 

Advertisement

Interrupting speeches is a political practice of arguable utility, and my sense is that to many on the left, Code Pink is basically the estrogen-fueled equivalent of the drum circle they wish would go away. But it’s not surprising that the people who take pleasure in shouting down speakers are the people who think waltzing into drone country sounds like a good plan. It takes a certain personality type to pay attention to the thing everyone else is effortfully avoiding. In an election year, Code Pink would seem to be poor team players. And ever since Obama took office, they’ve been struggling. “The vast majority of people who were part of the peace movement under Bush have disappeared,” Code Pink founder Medea Benjamin said in May.

Benjamin, who just presented ambassador Hoagland with her book on the subject, wants compensation for the families of civilians killed. The Bureau of Investigative Journalism estimates that there are between 474 and 884 such civilians, of which 176 are children. One imagines that a dollar goes a long way in Waziristan; this does not seem like a strain on American resources. But compensation involves an admission of having exacted harm. And that might still be too much to ask for.

Kerry Howley's work has appeared in the Paris Review, Bookforum, and the New York Times Magazine. She is currently finishing a book about consensual violence, ecstatic experience, and the body.

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

Meet the New Bosses

How the Republicans would run the Senate.

The Government Is Giving Millions of Dollars in Electric-Car Subsidies to the Wrong Drivers

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

Cheez-Its. Ritz. Triscuits.

Why all cracker names sound alike.

Friends Was the Last Purely Pleasurable Sitcom

The Eye

This Whimsical Driverless Car Imagines Transportation in 2059

Medical Examiner

Did America Get Fat by Drinking Diet Soda?  

A high-profile study points the finger at artificial sweeteners.

The Afghan Town With a Legitimately Good Tourism Pitch

A Futurama Writer on How the Vietnam War Shaped the Series

  News & Politics
Photography
Sept. 21 2014 11:34 PM People’s Climate March in Photos Hundreds of thousands of marchers took to the streets of NYC in the largest climate rally in history.
  Business
Business Insider
Sept. 20 2014 6:30 AM The Man Making Bill Gates Richer
  Life
Quora
Sept. 20 2014 7:27 AM How Do Plants Grow Aboard the International Space Station?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 4:58 PM Steubenville Gets the Lifetime Treatment (And a Cheerleader Erupts Into Flames)
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Sept. 21 2014 1:15 PM The Slate Doctor Who Podcast: Episode 5  A spoiler-filled discussion of "Time Heist."
  Arts
Television
Sept. 21 2014 9:00 PM Attractive People Being Funny While Doing Amusing and Sometimes Romantic Things Don’t dismiss it. Friends was a truly great show.
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 21 2014 11:38 PM “Welcome to the War of Tomorrow” How Futurama’s writers depicted asymmetrical warfare.
  Health & Science
The Good Word
Sept. 21 2014 11:44 PM Does This Name Make Me Sound High-Fat? Why it just seems so right to call a cracker “Cheez-It.”
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.