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Obama has proposed sending 30,000 more US soldiers to escalate the wars in Afghanistan.

We at Peacework Magazine published a special issue on Afghan Peacemaking (our December 2008/January 2009 issue). In Peacework, we strive to highlight "Global Thought and Local Action for Nonviolent Social Change." Most of us in the US have a lot to learn about Afghanistan.

There are no easy answers. Listening to peace advocates from Afghanistan is vital. In this issue, Abdul Aziz Yaqubi of the American Friends Service Committee in Kabul discusses the challenges for the population, caught between men with guns on all sides. Malalai Joya describes how she was illegally kicked out of the Afghan Parliament for calling warlords, "warlords." Afghan women describe how they are documenting and challenging violence against women.

More details and links to the articles below.

For North American perspectives published about Afghanistan in this issue, September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows, which was founded to make the point that vengeance is not wisdom, and has continued to reach out to try to prevent other families from around the world from suffering the losses they endure, has compiled an invaluable primer for US peace activists. Joseph Gerson calls on the US to pull troops out. Metta Spencer interviews an advocate of using Afghanistan's poppies to make pain-relieving morphine instead of heroin. A US soldier bound for Afghanistan declares his conscientious objection to war. Finally, an organizer with United for Peace and Justice's Afghanistan Working Group provides us with ideas about how we can help end the occupation of Afghanistan.

Links to the articles follow:

Building on Afghanistan's Traditions of Peacemaking: An Interview with Abdul Aziz Yaqubi, who wrote "We're caught between warlords, drug lords, the government, international armies, and the Taliban."

Afghan Parliamentarian Confronts War: Malalai Joya Risks Her Life to Speak for Human Rights by Sam Diener. Joya said, "Despite death threats and attacks, I will not stop telling the truth."

Violence Against Women in Afghanistan: Documenting Prevalence, Organizing for Change by Lauryn Oates Diya Nijhowne. "62% of women surveyed survived multiple forms of violence."

The US War in Afghanistan: A Primer for US Peace Activists
By Madelyn Hoffman, Kelly Campbell, Jesse Laird, and Alexandra Cooper from September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows. "The death toll is rising."
(see also the full report from the Families available for free download.

Alternatives to the War in Afghanistan: Don't Escalate the War -- Pull Troops Out by Joseph Gerson. "Peace is negotiated between enemies."

Poppies for Medicine in Afghanistan: A Potential Balm for Numerous Ills by
Metta Spencer. "Don't eradicate poppies. Use them to relieve pain."

US Soldier Refuses Deployment to Afghanistan: CO Declares War "Flat-Out Murder"
by Sarah Lazare. Blake Ivey declared, "I won't go."

and

Ten Ways To End the Occupation of Afghanistan: Inform, Educate, Agitate, Organize
By maTT De Vleger. "To organize, we need to inform ourselves and share what we learn."

Originally posted to samdiener on Wed Jan 14, 2009 at 12:24 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  tip jar (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Marcion

    for the brave advocates of nonviolence in Afghanistan.

  •  this war exposes America's innate militarism (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ohcanada

    Nobody anywhere close to the mainstream would ever consider a non military solution. They can't even imagine what one could look like - what, you mean just doing air strikes?

    Law is a light which in different countries attracts to it different species of blind insects. Nietzsche

    by Marcion on Wed Jan 14, 2009 at 12:39:21 PM PST

    •  even more importantly we reject any other (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Marcion

      solution. Even with our UN partner, Germany, in Afghanistan we cannot accept a nonmilitary option. GWB wanted them to move troops to south Afghanistan to take some of the pressure off US troops from hostile action.

      Germany balked, unless the US agreed to modify its tactics, reducing the emphasis on military and emphasizing economic development. Such hearts and minds projects have succeeded in the Balkans where the German army has extensive experience in dealing with mutually hostile populations.

      However in the US, we are informed that the Taliban are antiAfghan forces (they are not Afghans?) the same the Anbar Sunnis and Mahdi Army were antiIraqi forces (and not Iraqis?)      

  •  Any good government for Afghanistan ... (0+ / 0-)

    ... needs order first, doesn't it? I would go with Obama on that one ...

    Enlightenment and Responsibility

    by anaxiamander on Wed Jan 14, 2009 at 12:40:42 PM PST

    •  In our own image (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Marcion

      Afghan tribal leaders were capable of governing before the west meddled...thats the Loyal Jirga approach.

      Meddling in Afghanistan for the past hundred years...(2 million dead under Russian occupation) has done nothing for the people of Afghanistan..Perhaps they deserve as much opportunity as NATO to try.

      Imperialism and colonialism never went anywhere..we always know better than the locals.

      Why not try to sort out Congo first..they have four million dead.

      Think Tank. "A place where people are paid to think by the makers of tanks" Naomi Klein.

      by ohcanada on Wed Jan 14, 2009 at 01:00:20 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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