Mike Landrum’s Speech at the UUA General Assembly Regarding Drone Policy

Throughout history the American Military NEVER fired the first shot.

That proud tradition vanished when George W Bush invaded Iraq—preemptively and with false assumptions.

Our continuing drone policy, also known as Lethal UAV’s is a extension of that mind-set,

and one of the biggest disappointments of the Obama Administration.

The moral ambiguity of these secret killings should be a clear call for a statement of conscience from Unitarian Universalists everywhere.

In 2013, Obama created a Task Force at the Stimson Center, asking for proposals and recommendations on the use of drones.

Their report, issued in 2014, outlines eight concrete recommendations, concluding that US drone policy should be transparent, accountable and consistent with long-term US national security goals.

In 2016, Stimson issued a report card showing the administration’s failure.

Targeted killings of terrorists is one thing, but the “blow back” from unintended civilian killings in Pakistan and Yemen is “a potent recruiting tool for terrorist organizations.”

We are calling for the immediate implementation of the Stimson Task Force recommendations.

We have a real opportunity in just a few weeks.

The White House has agreed to a meeting on July 14 on this topic with major religious leaders from all denominations.

We feel it is vital that we be represented there as well.

We have learned that UUA president Peter Morales will be out of the country on that date;

Therefore, we are calling for the appointment of an Ambassador for Disarmament, Peace and Security to speak truth to power and advocate for our principles and our conscience.

Let’s return to our traditional military values of honor, courage and integrity!