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Afghanistan

Nukes, Coups and Referenda: Myth and Reality in the Ukraine Crisis

Map of Ukraine, showing the geographical position of Crimea: Image: Sven TeschkeMap of Ukraine, showing the geographical position of Crimea: Image: Sven Teschke

Since Vladimir Putin’s first ascendancy to the Russian presidency in 2000, the Russian state has used its armed forces against other countries twice: against Georgia, in 2008; and now against Ukraine.

In the same time period, Britain has used its military forces without UN authorisation against four countries: Sierra Leone (2000), Afghanistan (2001-present); Iraq (2003-2008, officially); and Libya (2011). (In Libya, there was a UN-approved ‘no-fly zone’, but NATO forces exceeded this mandate).

During these same years, France has attacked several African countries, some repeatedly, including: Côte d’Ivoire (2002, 2004, 2011); Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of Congo) (2003); Chad (2006, 2008); Libya (2011); Mali (2013); Somalia (2013); Central African Republic (2006, 2013-present).

The US has used its armed forces in a criminal fashion against a number of countries, including: Afghanistan (2001-present); Yemen (drone attacks, 2002-present); Iraq (2003-present); Pakistan (drone attacks, 2004-present); Libya (2011); Somalia (2011-present).

Some of these attacks may be classed as state terrorism, many amount to the crime of aggression.

The modern classic example of a ‘trumped-up pretext’ is, of course, the weapons of mass destruction alleged to exist in Iraq in 2003.

The 19th century is not over for these leaders of the free world.

We Don't Want You to Swim in the River

According to the Mine Action Program in Afghanistan, most of the land requiring clearance would otherwise be used for agriculture, a “significant obstacle in a country where 70% of the labour force earns an income through farming or animal husbandry.”

Among the main casualties of war are those who starve and fall ill when valuable farmland is left as minefields.

A Rising Number of Children Are Dying from U.S. Explosives Littering Afghan Land

By Kevin Sieff, for the Washington Post
Published: April 9

KABUL — As the U.S. military withdraws from Afghanistan, it is leaving behind a deadly legacy: about 800 square miles of land littered with undetonated grenades, rockets and mortar shells.

Voting with Their Feet

It was the jolting vibrations
that shook our senses,
direction-less,
nonetheless directed by fellow humans.
Our eyes darted from mysterious fears
of losing one another.
“There’s been an explosion. Don’t come this way!”,
torn by our unspoken wish to huddle together,
as if madness could be scattered
among the fragile shells of ourselves.
as if we could
dream the unknown away.

We Wish to Hear Your "Borderfree" Voice

Borderfree Blue Scarf FriendsBorderfree Blue Scarf Friends Dear Friends,

Salam from Afghanistan, where the Afghan New Year is five days away. Alas, peace is much further away.

We ask for your friendship and time in making a Skype or telephone connection with my Afghan family, the Afghan Peace Volunteers, on Nao Roz or in the next few weeks, to talk about their wishes for the new year, their joy in flying kites, and their hope to build a world free of human borders.

The Afghan Peace Volunteers are so tired of war that they are determined to build relationships to abolish war.

Love, Half A World Away

Shortly after noon on the day of his funeral, I talked about Ron and his life and death with my friend Ali, one of the young Afghan Peace Volunteers whose hospitality I’ve been enjoying in Kabul this winter. Sensing my sadness, Ali listened intently. When I finally finished, he looked at me and said, “You rest. The rest of the day is free for you.” Within an hour, Ali’s concerns had found their way to the rest of the young men in our small community. Zekerullah came to our shared bedroom and lit a fire. “It’s cold in here,” was all he said. Each one of these unbelievable young men came to the room and shared his condolences for a man he’d never met.

Voices on Air

Hey, so these, you know, concerns about this dramatically shocking increasing malnutrition rate, something that for instance, I’m reading this blog from Kathy Kelly, it would take 5 cents to subsidize iodized salt for one child for one year. You know the entire 4-year funding of the World Food Programme and the Global Alliance would, I mean it’d be nothing compared to what we pay to keep a U.S. soldier in Afghanistan. Can you talk about the problem and the shocking figures?

Salt and Terror in Afghanistan

The cost of maintaining one U.S. soldier has recently risen to 2.1. million dollars per year. The amount of money spent to keep three U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan in 2014 could almost cover the cost of a four year program to deliver fortified foods to 15 million Afghan people.

Welcome to Afghanistan


by Eva Jasiewicz

Mention Afghanistan and most people think of the Taliban, Osama Bin Laden, caves, drones, dust, and burkas. It’s a country few of us have a relationship with, even though our government has been at war with it three times, right now being the third and longest modern-day occupation for Britain to date.

Kabul on a Key Meter


by Ewa Jasiewicz

I’ve been in Kabul a week now, living in the Afghan Youth Peace Volunteer (APV) house on the border of District 3. The area is a mish-mash of wealthy mirror-windowed mansions fronted by surly gun-on-the-lap security guards, crumbling mudhuts, open sewers, children in ragged clothes warming themselves on burning rubbish, a fake McDonalds and Subway with directly lifted logos, and Kabul’s sole waterpark, for men only and 500 Afghanis a dip.

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