There never was a good war or a bad peace. ~Ben Franklin
This week’s killing of Osama bin Laden marks a morbid milestone, one that challenges us to freshly examine the legacy of 9/11 and the Global War on Terror.
The death of one man will not bring back the thousands killed on 9/11 or the hundreds of thousands killed as a result of US actions in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Yemen, and elsewhere. This moment offers us all an invitation to turn from violence, retribution, and war, to embrace peaceful alternatives.
This is the time for a speedy withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan as a first step in bringing this decade-long tragedy to an end. Sadly, right now some legislators are trying to expand the war on terror.
We have to make a choice between war and peace.
Please write your member of Congress now to insist they oppose H.R. 968, and tell them now is the time to end — not expand — the wars.
H.R. 968, introduced by Rep. Buck McKeon, chair of the House Armed Services Committee, would allow the President to wage war against anyone deemed associated with al-Qaeda and the Taliban anywhere in the world. It would effectively prevent the closure of the prison at Guantanamo and other military prisons while increasing the military’s power to target organizations they claim are affiliated with terrorism, and to detain people — including US citizens — indefinitely, all without judicial or congressional oversight.
While the news focuses on this week’s killing, this proposal is moving forward with little public attention or response. We expect the sponsors will move to insert it into other defense legislation soon, and then it may be too late for Congress to hear from us.
The time to act is now.
Peter Lems and Mary Zerkel
American Friends Service Committee
PS: Please see our Wage Peace Facebook page and the Afghanistan 101 blog for further analysis and updates..
follow-up on that event in OKC posted here on this network, 3 years ago, with Greg Mortensen:
Western leaders have taken particular pride in supposed advances in Afghan education since the defeat of the Taliban in 2001, in schools built and students enrolled by the millions. (The U.S. Agency for International Development alone spent $934 million on Afghan education in the last 12 years.) But UNICEF reports that almost half the “schools” supposedly built or opened have no actual buildings, and in those that do, students double up on seats and share antiquated texts. Teachers are scarce and fewer than a quarter of those now teaching are considered “qualified,” even by Afghanistan’s minimal standards. Impressive school enrollment figures determine how much money a school gets from the government, but don’t reveal the much smaller numbers of enrollees who actually attend. No more than 10% of students, mostly boys, finish high school. In 2012, according to UNICEF, only half of school-age children went to school at all.
Advances in Afghan health care have been another source of Western donors’ pride. But dramatic claims that 85% of Afghans now have access to basic health care turn out to mean only that something called a “health care facility” exists in 85% of Afghan districts, many of which are enormous. Tens of thousands of Afghans now have “access” to health care facilities only because they fled their war-torn provinces for refugee camps on the fringes of major cities. The country’s high rates of maternal and infant mortality have slightly improved but remain among the worst in the world. You have to wonder if Washington couldn’t have turned all that MRAP money to better purpose.
The Forgotten War: 12 Years in Afghanistan Down the Memory Hole
By Ann Jones,
October 02, 2013
event posts for that 2010 event looked something like this (before Ning changed terms of service) - sorry for dead links :
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