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War on Afghanistan: Eight Years Too Long

October 7, 2009

Via Madre

On October 7, 2001, the US began a military campaign that, to this day, continues to destroy civilian lives in Afghanistan.  In the days before the bombs fell, MADRE spoke out against the impending so-called “war on terror” and warned:

“What’s needed now is justice, not vengeance.  And killing more civilians will not bring justice – or an end to terrorism.  Ultimately, the only way to end terrorism is to end the poverty and despair that give rise to fanaticism.” (A MADRE Open Letter in Response to the September 11 Terrorist Attacks, October 2, 2001)

We have been told that the war is necessary to prevent al-Qaeda from using Afghanistan as a staging ground to launch renewed attacks on the US.  Yet, General David Petraeus himself acknowledges that al-Qaeda is no longer in Afghanistan. Meanwhile, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace finds that, “The mere presence of foreign soldiers fighting a war in Afghanistan is probably the single most important factor in the resurgence of the Taliban.”

We have been told that the war is necessary to defend Afghan women.  Yet, Afghan women know that their rights cannot be secured at gunpoint.  In fact, the US military is further endangering Afghan women by turning their communities into war zones.  Women are disproportionately threatened by the US/NATO airstrikes and house raids that have turned so many Afghans against the US.  Meanwhile, the war worsens conditions of poverty and insecurity that prevent the formation of democratic public spaces that women need to successfully assert their rights.

The problems that confront Afghanistan, including deep poverty, an epidemic of violence against women and political corruption are largely the results of decades of armed conflict.  They will not be resolved by more warfare. It is time for the US to rethink Afghanistan.

After thousands of civilian deaths and countless communities destroyed, the US must recognize that continued military occupation does not protect US national security and only worsens conditions for Afghan people.

Tell your Congressional representative that eight years is enough: tell him or her to watch the film Rethink Afghanistan, an unflinching look at the weak premises for the war and the toll it is taking on Afghan women and families

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. polly styrene permalink
    October 7, 2009 20:50

    So do they think Al Qaeda will pack up and go home then if they succeed in driving them out of Afghanistan? (assuming they’re really there of course…)

  2. October 7, 2009 21:36

    It’s just an excuse for a base in the region, and a backdrop to allow thieving – as long as the base is needed and the minerals are forthcoming, is as long as the war on the people of Afghanistan will continue.

    “Afghanistan’s natural resources have a quality comparable to the highest-class minerals of the entire region,” said Afghanistan’s Ambassador to the United States Said T. Jawad. “We are grateful to the efforts of the USGS and our Ministry of Mines in allowing global investors an opportunity to receive the latest information on their assessment for more informed business decisions”

    http://thesop.org/science/2007/11/14/undiscovered-resources-in-afghanistan

  3. polly styrene permalink
    October 8, 2009 21:53

    I saw a poster for the times the other week. that said a Taleban fighter will earn about 8 times the wage of an average Afghan male. It was still only fifteen US dollars a week though. So maybe we should just pay them to stop fighting, I’m sure it would be a damn sight cheaper.

    We could buy all their opium and prescribe it to addicts in the UK, thereby killing two birds with one stone,

  4. October 9, 2009 09:15

    But where would be the fun for in that? No little war for the menz to keep them happy and keep the arms dealers in their millions. And we just love to punish addicts – how dare they find their own way of coping with life that doesn’t involve working themselves into the grave?

  5. October 24, 2009 00:02

    Brave New Films is a new media, non-profit organization at the forefront of using video to amplify, create, and tell stories that inform, change attitudes, and motivate people to take action. Our campaigns range from health care reform to corporate accountability to the war in Afghanistan. See http://bravenewfilms.org for more about us.

    We noticed you have run our content or linked to us in the past and we invite you to continue to be an active part of our campaigns. Take a look at the snapshot below for some of our recent work and let me know what interests you.

    Sick for Profit exposes the personal indulgences of health care executives while denying coverage to patients. These failures of the American health care system demonstrate the urgent need for reform. We’ve exposed three of the major insurance companies to date. http://sickforprofit.com/

    Rethink Afghanistan, a six part documentary released throughout the year addressing the issues of the war in Afghanistan. See all segments on the site. http://rethinkafghanistan.com/

    Senator Sanders Unfiltered, a weekly five minute show with independent Sen. Bernie Sanders answering challenging video questions submitted from constituents – unfiltered and direct to you. http://sandersunfiltered.com/

    Please let me know what content interests you and the Brave New Films Distribution team will add you to our email notification list. (Your email will not be shared and you will only get the content that you want to receive.)

    Contact:
    dylansmith [at] bravenewfilms.org

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