More Peace Actions for the End of War in Afghanistan are needed
As we approach the ninth anniversary of the disastrous invasion and occupation of Afghanistan, we call for decentralized international days of action October 7-10 to bring U.S. and NATO troops home. We call for a ceasefire, negotiations and the withdrawal of foreign forces.
The U.S.-NATO phase of the Afghan War has been predictably deadly and counterproductive since the beginning. Even U.S. military leaders now concede that there is no military solution to what is at its core an Afghan civil war. Yet, in an era defined by the highest levels of unemployment since the Great Depression of the 1930s, instead of investing in job creation and provision of essential social services, our governments are flushing colossal amounts of taxpayers’ money down the drain of a futile, murderous and destructive war.
Rather than “winning hearts and minds”, the war and long-term foreign military occupation have alienated the Afghan people and fueled deepening and increasingly widespread armed resistance by local communities and the fractured Taliban.
A new civilian UN mandate in Afghanistan is needed to create and develop human security.
A growing majority of Afghans no longer see U.S. and NATO forces as liberators. Instead, they see Western occupiers as the primary cause of their insecurity and suffering and want them to leave. As the international press reports, “a drumbeat is starting to sound across Afghanistan in favor of talking to the Taliban”.
Instead of the promised peace and security, Afghans are suffering an ever-growing civilian death toll. The corruption of the increasingly unpopular U.S.-imposed warlord/Karzai government, which controls little more than the capital Kabul, is now infamous. The 2010 presidential election has been universally condemned as a fraud. Massive increases in poppy cultivation have further corrupted the Karzai government, warlords and the Taliban, who use the drug trade to maintain their privileges and finance the continuing civil war. By allying with minority non-Pashtun warlords to overthrow the Taliban in 2001 and making them the foundation of the Karzai government, the majority Pashtuns were further alienated from the rulers in Kabul. And, with the exception of Kabul, the values shared by warlords and the Taliban have meant few or no changes for women.
Forty years ago, a Vietnam veteran asked “how do you ask a man to be the last man to die in Vietnam?” We ask, how do you ask an Afghan civilian or US/NATO soldier to be the last to kill or to be killed in a war that should never have been fought? Especially when secret peace negotiations have begun among Afghans and internationally. Especially when limited government and national resources are needed for 21st century job creation, social services, and infrastructure development?
We therefore call for decentralized international days of nonviolent action October 7-10 urging a ceasefire, Afghan and international negotiations, and the urgent withdrawal of all foreign military forces from that beleaguered nation. With actions from vigils, banner drops, conferences and meetings with government officials to teach-ins, demonstrations and civil disobedience, we can move our governments to end this catastrophic war.
Bring the troops home! Now!
The “ICC No to War – No to NATO” consists of:
Reiner Braun (IALANA, Germany), Claire Chastain (Collectif national unitaire OTAN-Afghanistan, France), Petros Constantinou (Stop the War, Greece), Ludo De Brabander (Vrede, Belgium), Arielle Denis (Movement de la Paix, France), Joseph Gerson (American Friends Service Committee, USA), Jana Glivická (No Bases Network, Czech Republic), Kate Hudson (Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, UK), Hans Lammerant (vredesactie, Belgium), Judith Leblanc (Peace Action, USA), Vitor Lima (PAGAN, Portugal), Annie McStravick (Collectif national unitaire OTAN-Afghanistan, France), Agneta Norberg (Swedish Peace Council, Sweden), Tobias Pflüger (Informationsstelle Militarisierung, Germany), Claudine Polet (Comité Surveillance OTAN, Belgium), Elsa Rassbach (Code Pink, USA), John Rees (Stop the War, UK), Andreas Speck (War Resisters International), Michael Youlton (Campaign for a Social Europe, Ireland)
For further information please contact: email@example.com
or visit: www.no-to-nato.org
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