|Whose stories are we telling about the war in Afghanistan?
On the day following the White House report on the war in Afghanistan that names the war as a qualified success and calls for the U.S. to “stay the course,” we must lift up the alternative stories and reports of this near-decade of occupation, including yesterday’s Veterans for Peace action at the White House.
The other “Afghanistan Report”:
The U.S.-led occupation has done nothing to improve the conditions for people in Afghanistan. Lives also continue to be lost in Pakistan largely as a result of unmanned aerial drone attacks in the undeclared U.S. war in the country.
Hundreds of Afghan civilians continue to be killed by coalition forces each year under the occupation: According to the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, the 2009 civilian death toll, close to 2,412 civilian deaths, was the highest of any year since the fall of the Taliban regime in 2001, and an increase of 24% from 2008. There has been a general increase in violence and civilian deaths because of occupation.
The current Afghan government is implicated in widespread human rights abuses: A Human Rights Watch Press Alert in 2005 stated that up to 60% of law makers in the lower house of Afghanistan’s newly elected parliament are directly or indirectly connected to human rights abuses.
The air-war in Afghanistan has more than tripled since General David Petraeus assumed command over U.S. and NATO troops last summer.
Drones strikes in Pakistan have doubled since 2009, with over 100 this year, and lists of drone targets in Pakistan have been expanded. These strikes have killed close to 500 civilians since the rules identifying targets were loosened in 2008.
Through the end of November 2010, 455 US troops have died in Afghanistan.
The US is spending $120 billion per year on the war, money that is urgently needed at home in our communities and only being used to undermine Afghan democracy and usurp resources that belong to the people of Afghanistan.
From the South Asia Solidarity Initiative: “The Afghan people are capable of creating their own democratic future. Progressive groups and democratic parties in Afghanistan are fighting to reconstruct the peace and safety of their country, and more often than not, are forced underground for fear of their safety…It is from these forces that a larger progressive movement will emerge that could play a role in bringing real democracy to Afghanistan. If the United States continues the occupation, the space for progressive forces becomes increasingly limited.”
Veterans’ Action for Peace:
At the same time that President Obama was announcing the qualified “success” of the war in Afghanistan, hundreds rallied with Veterans For Peace (VFP) at the White House calling on the administration to “Stop These Wars.”
135 people were arrested, including five Board members from VFP, Daniel Ellsberg, Ray McGovern, Collen Rowley, and Chris Hedges.
“We have killed over a million innocent people in these wars and made millions more homeless,” said the former Navy hospital corpsman and VFP President Mike Ferner, adding “Millions of Americans are out of work and literally out in the cold. Clearly, our war economy values empire and death over jobs and real security. We are taking a stand for peace. The troops, mercenaries and drones must come home now!”
To find out more about organizing with WRL, contact WRL Organizing Coordinator Kimber Heinz at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Share this blog
MIKE LEVINSON on Historic Protest Settlement fr… Martha W D Bushnell on On the Ground in Turkey: Repre… dana937 on War Resisters League: Drop the… The End of Passive R… on The End of Passive Revolution… craig steiger on U.S. Tear Gas Still on the Str…
- RT @IraqiTnC: AMSTERDAM: Action to commemorate Al Amiriyah Shelter Bombing: bit.ly/1PHDx5D #AlAmiriyah25 #RememberingAlAmiriyah #م… 9 hours ago
- RT @IraqiTnC: Ali Issa, member of Iraqi Transnational Collective, was interviewed by WBEZ's Worldview in Chicago. Check it out! https://t.c… 9 hours ago
- RT @natpriorities: Here it is: NPP's full analysis of the president's budget for 2017 & beyond nationalpriorities.org/analysis/2016/… https://t.co/YaMMpCh… 15 hours ago
- RT @Justice4Rasmea: "Palestinian activist’s supporters light up social media," and next steps! eepurl.com/bP8Kvb #Justice4Rasmea http… 15 hours ago
- Today, in 1967, the great AJ Muste passed away at 82yrs. "There is no way to peace, peace is the way" @ajmuste https://t.co/5zlkj50RUV 15 hours ago
- RT @wagingnv: Protecting war tax resistance strengthens antiwar movement wagingnonviolence.org/feature/protec… https://t.co/47W1LXKZgu 20 hours ago
- RT @AleidaRio: @warresistersint @resistwar In Okinawa, protesters dig in as work proceeds to relocate U.S. Marine base https://t.co/SMoDtkM… 23 hours ago
- RT @WitnessTorture: "Let them go home..." Witness Against Torture's February Newsletter witnessagainsttorture.com/blog/2016/02/0… #Guantanamo #MuslimsRally2… 1 day ago
- RT @CarleneNYC: Merica' has a long history of poisoning our people. Do your research & take action #FlintWaterCrisis #Lovecanal https://t.c… 1 day ago
- RT @C_Resistance: ANGELA DAVIS. ROBIN KELLEY. FRED MOTEN. @MELONIOUSFUNK. All in convo. Feb 20th in LA. You don't wanna miss this. https://… 1 day ago