Anti-Flag have always covered topical political issues, and their latest track shows them taking aim at the use of drone strikes by the U.S. government.
The new track, ‘Sky Is Falling‘, is off the band’s forthcoming record, ‘American Spring‘, which drops on May 25th through Spinefarm Records. The band have also spoken about why they released the song now, and its full meaning, which you can read about below.
“We release this song and video days after President Obama apologized for a drone strike that inadvertently killed an American and an Italian being held captive by al Qaeda in Pakistan. President Obama did the right thing by apologizing to the victims and their families. But otherwise, his apologies fall short of the target.
We call on President Obama to extend his apologies to victims of U.S. drone strikes who do not hold U.S. and European passports. Furthermore, we demand an end to the U.S. drone program.
There are countless innocent victims, families and communities whose lives have been devastated by illegal, out of control, and unaccountable U.S. drone strikes. This onslaught of aggression is sold to the American people as a surgical strike program that combats terrorism and makes the U.S. safer, when its net total result is neither.
During the Vietnam War, U.S. soldiers were under orders to win over the hearts and minds of the Vietnamese people while simultaneously ordered to burn down their villages. For obvious reasons, this policy was a failure. U.S. drone policy is no different, turning innocent people who would otherwise not be in opposition to America against the U.S.
This policy is immoral, unethical and unproductive. Amnesty International has questioned the legality of the U.S. drone program in relation to international law. This song focuses on the fact that dropping bombs on people’s heads is terror, regardless of who is dropping those bombs. Be it a high tech U.S. drone firing munitions without warning or a suicide bomber detonating an explosive vest without warning, instruments of terror are those that keep a civilian population on edge due to the constant threat of attack.”
Furthermore, the band also shared this rather sad story from a young Pakistani boy who survived a recent drone strike to help promote the song.
“As I helped my grandmother in the field, I could see and hear the drone hovering overhead, but I didn’t worry. Why would I worry? Neither my grandmother nor I were militants.
When the drone fired the first time, the whole ground shook and black smoke rose up. The air smelled poisonous. We ran, but several minutes later the drone fired again.
People from the village came to our aid and took us to hospital. We spent the night in great agony at the hospital and the next morning I was operated on. That is how we spent Eid.
Now I prefer cloudy days when the drones don’t fly. When the sky brightens and becomes blue, the drones return and so does the fear. Children don’t play so often now, and have stopped going to school. Education isn’t possible as long as the drones circle overhead.” – Zubair Rehman, 13, Pakistan.
You can watch the lyric video for the new song below, and furthermore, a recent change.org petition has taken off in order to raise awareness of the U.S.’s extensive use of fatal drone strikes.