The shooting of a general at a training facility is seen as more vile than breaking down the door and shooting into a family home. Beheading one’s victims becomes more disgusting than burning them alive with a hellfire missile or with white phosphorous. And for some reason, I haven’t heard Dick Cheney on the radio saying that ISIS waterboarding is not torture.
If we could somehow put aside the double-standards, what would the picture in Iraq look like?
Two facts would not be in doubt: ISIS is a murderous threat to the people in its immediate vicinity and U.S. military force has often been a murderous threat to people in its immediate vicinity and beyond.
“Love will end drone attacks”
Going and coming from our communities to “the center” is a 35 minute walk through village-like streets if you take the back ways. The Borderfree Community Center, when it was first rented, needed considerable rehab and repairs. Hakim, Faiz, Zekerullah and Abdulhai worked very hard to shape it up. Now, guests enter an attractive space, neatly painted, with plenty of classroom and meeting space. Plants, curtains, photo exhibits, and choices for rugs and carpets have all been carefully chosen. Sadaf, one of the APV women who has been very active Borderfree scarf production, organized art students from local Universities to paint images on the walls of a children’s classroom as well as the reception area. Painted on a wall inside the center’s gate is a playful graffiti with lots of floating bubbles. Letters floating in some of the bubbles spell out “We love Peace,” although certain bubbles have wafted up and down, making it a challenge for linear thinkers. Another artist, a well-known cartoonist, painted an image on the outside wall of the Borderfree Community Center, (a wall that can be seen by anyone passing by), of a figure shooting a slingshot at a drone, but instead of a rock, a red heart breaks the drone in half.
Farshaid: a 12 year old patient at the “Emergency” hospital
“Ah,” said Michaela Paschetto, a young Italian nurse, “today was a bad day for them. Maybe they miss their friend.” She said she has been affectionately calling them “the gang” because sometimes they race about in their wheelchairs. Then she paused. “Really, I don’t ask so many questions,” she continued. “It becomes too much.” Over the past five years working with “Emergency” in Afghanistan, she has seen so many broken-hearted young boys whose bodies are maimed by war.
By Dr Hakim
“Her father was killed in Helmand amidst fighting between the Taliban and the Afghan/U.S.-NATO forces,” said a relative about Gul Jumma, who looked down, shy and full of angst, sensing a future that’s not promising.
Gul Jumma, together with the Afghan Peace Volunteers, expressed their opposition to wars in this video. Gul Jumma holds up the sign for ‘Ukraine’, indicating ‘No to wars in Ukraine’. She understands what it is like to be caught in the crossfire, as happened to her father when he was killed in battle.
Gul Jumma: on the right
Afghanistan is a stark example of a country that is being mis-governed by the governments of the world. Deforestation has left only 1.5% of Afghanistan’s land area under forest cover. Sixty percent of Afghan children are malnourished. In 2012, at least 2500 Afghan women committed suicide. And over the past four decades, Afghan families have lost at least 2 million loved ones to wars…
I will be sharing more of their stories in upcoming blogs, but I am profoundly moved by their efforts to build a community of nonviolence, despite all of these horrific personal tragedies. They have repeatedly told me, “Blood will not wash away blood.” I came to share my experiences of nonviolence, but they are becoming my teachers.
By Dr Hakim
11th July, 2014
Afghanistan Analysts Network reported on 9th July that “he ( Abdullah Abdullah ) told the crowd that he had received phone calls from both US President Barack Obama and State Secretary John Kerry and had been told that Kerry would make a stop-over in Kabul on Friday. It was clear he wanted see what could come of that.”
Abdullah Abdullah’s phone call with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry who arrived in Kabul today, shows that it is the U.S. government, and not Afghans, who run this country.
This is Amerikistan, not Afghanistan.
…Meanwhile, Dongwon was arranging a conference at Jeju University to explore conscientious objection to war. He and his friend Mark do not want to be conscripted into military service, but failure to comply with the Republic of Korea’s mandatory service could result in extremely severe punishments. Worldwide fully 90 per cent of those presently incarcerated for conscientious objection to military service are to be found in South Korean prisons…
HAMMOND | More than 20 activists marching from Chicago to Michigan in protest of the U.S. drone program stopped at Calumet College of St. Joseph to talk about what they call an “immoral and illegal assassination program.”
Voices for Creative Nonviolence activists began their walk in downtown Chicago and plan to reach the Kellogg Air National Guard base in Battle Creek, Mich. by June 13.
According to the CDC, only three countries remain where the polio virus is still prominent: Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Nigeria. The spread of polio has never stopped in these places.
Photo Source: CDC.gov
Zulfiqar Bhutta, Chair of the Division of Women and Child Health at Aga Khan University in Pakistan, stated “the remaining pockets of polio also happen to be in some of the most difficult regions of the world… in the middle of areas besieged with insurgency and conflict.” Source: The Lancet, 2012
Kathy Kelly of Voices for Creative Nonviolence speaks at “Drones: Legality, Morality, and Reality,” Gaylord Hall, Worner Center, Colorado College, Colorado Springs, CO, April 28, 2014