Reflection from the road

On day 50 of the Guantanamo hunger strike and day 6 of a Witness Against Torture fast in solidarity with prisoners in Guantanamo, I’m on a bus traveling a mountain highway in Virginia. Spring colors, muted yet certain, emerge across fields and valleys. Distant blue peaks shadow farms where cows and horses graze. The scenery is picturesque and pastoral. A week ago, aboard a train to West Virginia, I stared at towns marked by a sad, strong contrast. The train passed through Appalachian towns. Collapsed houses, abandoned lots and blighted neighborhoods reminded me of war zones.

Guantanamo Fast in Afghanistan

by the Afghan Peace Volunteers

“I fasted because I wanted to share their pain in a tiny way.” Khamad

“As I was giving my room a new coat of paint, I knew that the prisoners at Guantanamo are not free to paint their cells.” Abdulhai

“I felt that no one should have to go hungry.” Zekerullah

“I did this today for people who are complete strangers to me, but who are as human as me.” Nao Rozi

“Why should people have to suffer and experience torture even if they were guilty?” Barath Khan

The Borders We're Used to Guarding

…What would it be like to have friends from across borders? What questions might they pose to us? What excuses could possibly be acceptable for tolerating the policies that make their lives difficult?

Petraeus' Torture Teams

By John Tirman
Re-posted from Huffington Post

One of Britain’s leading newspapers, the Guardian, has just published an exposé of interrogation teams run by two U.S. operatives acting under the authority of General David Petraeus in Iraq in 2003-05. While no smoking gun — or blood-stained billy club — has Petraeus’ fingerprints, it’s clear from this extensive reporting that Petraeus not only knew of the “enhanced interrogation” of suspected insurgents, but likely hired the two thugs who were involved in it for two years.

The Guardian article and video, and earlier reporting by Gareth Porter, reveal that two Americans, James Steele and Colonel James Coffman, created commando units and manned them with Shia militia members from the Badr Brigade. That particular militia — which was “funded, trained, and equipped by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps,” according to a reliable source — was the arm of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq. These militia-supplied commandos comprised the torture squads, say reports, that “interrogated” thousands of Sunni insurgents and very likely many who were not insurgents, and did so with the implicit, if not explicit, approval of the U.S. military and the Bush administration.

We are those two Afghan children, killed while tending their cattle

March 3, 2013

‘We are those two Afghan children’

Two young Afghan boys herding cattle in Uruzgan Province of Afghanistan were mistakenly killed by NATO forces yesterday.

They were seven and eight years old.

Our globe, approving of ‘necessary or just war’, thinks, “We expect this to happen occasionally.”

Some say, “We’re sorry.”

Therefore today, with sorrow and rage, we the Afghan Peace Volunteers took our hearts to the streets.

We went with two cows, remembering that the two children were tending to their cattle on their last day.

We are those two children.

We want to be human again.

No More Truthless Heroes

Photo-Larry W. Smith European Pressphoto Agency   New York Times Photo-Larry W. Smith European Pressphoto Agency New York Times

…We see ourselves as the shining “city on a hill” and therefore a U.S. citizen who kills people in other lands becomes an unquestionably renowned hero. This must appear offensive and ridiculous to many people living beyond U.S. borders…

…Glorifying Chris Kyle’s story integrally connects to U.S. media and military efforts to affect public perception of ongoing warfare in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as expanding war on terror policies which the Obama administration is aggressively attempting to institutionalize…

Despite Planned Troop Withdrawal, Special Ops and Private Forces Prepare to Continue Afghan War

February 13, 2013

Kathy Kelly discusses Obama’s State of the Union address._

I Am Hurting Too

By Dr Hakim ( Dr Teck Young, Wee )

Raz Mohammad, Abdulhai and I in Kabul, AfghanistanRaz Mohammad, Abdulhai and I in Kabul, Afghanistan

…the UN calls the acute malnutrition of nearly one million children in the Afghan south ‘shocking’. Almost three quarters of all Afghans do not have access to safe drinking water. On several occasions in the past few years, Afghanistan was declared the worst country for children and women, and yet, many of us still hold this warped presumption, “Afghanistan is the worst country for children and women but whatever we are doing over there MUST somehow be right!”

The Longest War: Afghan People Face Fearful Future as American Troops Prepare to Exit

Kathy Kelly, co-coordinator of Voices for Creative Nonviolence, talks to Laura Flanders about the economic and social conditions in Afghanistan and what the US “departure” and a “light-footprint strategy” look like to Afghans.

The war in Afghanistan is America’s longest war. It’s also the most invisible. In eight hours of grilling of the man who would be the next Defense Secretary, the subject barely arose.

Abdulhai reaches out to the Chinese President

Watch ‘Afghan Abdulhai reaches out to the Chinese President’ : Look, this is the border of China, & this is Afghanistan’s. I want a better life without borders.We human beings created borders, like with this ruler, Jamshade. And we were separated from one another. I am writing 朋友 ‘peng yu’, which means ‘friends’. For the current Chinese President Hu Jin Tao, & the future President Xi Jin Ping, I have this message : 我要跟你们喝中国茶 ‘Wo yao gen ni men he zhong guo cha’ ‘I want to drink Chinese tea with you!’ 谢谢! ‘xie xie!’ ‘Thank you!’ Friends everywhere, write to

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