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Thursday, September 8, 2011

Begin policy of Nonviolence

Asia with Southwest Central Britannica image
End U.S. occupation, war, “strategic partnership” pressure in Asia
Re-reporting, editing by Carolyn Bennett
Notes from Kelly, Koehler and Afghan Youth on U.S. relations with Afghanistan

“We are startlingly, terrifyingly lost, and we’re getting ever more so,” Voices for Creative Nonviolence coordinator and frequent traveler to Afghanistan Kathy Kelly writes about the U.S. in Afghanistan. “If we see a sign here in the darkness, an opportunity to make contact with the people around us, we should take it gratefully.…”

From her travels, Kelly describes, “People in an Afghan village pass[ing] sleepless nights, anxious that their home might be targeted by a U.S. led night raid.

“Villagers enraged when they hear stories of elders and imams being roughed up and detained, of wives and children being killed, of belongings stolen and property destroyed.

“Increasingly, U.S. military battles against so-called insurgency create stronger resistance as more Afghans determine increasingly to fight back.”

In the news, NATO investigates early August NATO airstrike-killings of eight 
Afghan civilians among them seven children in Helmand province.
Central Asia Britannica image

Notwithstanding continuous slaughter, U.S. officials, Kelly recounts, are pushing on Afghanistan “a ‘Strategic Partnership Declaration,’” believed by many Afghans to be an agreement permitting the United States “to establish permanent military bases, permanent occupation that will provoke resistance groups to declare perpetual war.”

In his article “Common Sense in a Coma,” peace journalist Robert Koehler wrote in late August that the current relationship between Afghanistan and the United States is supposed to end in 2014 but the “nation wrecking” accomplished by the U.S. in the past decade is so extensive that something has to be done to repair the damage and restore stability. So “the Strategic Partnership Declaration” has been    crafted “to entrench U.S. presence well into the future”: establish permanent or long-term U.S. military bases in Afghanistan lasting two or three decades followed by periods of reconsideration talks, extensions.

In this partnership deal, Koehler says, the U.S. will keep the cash flowing “to makeshift Afghan governments installed by the U.S. so that, lacking actual legitimacy or popular acceptance, they stay propped up militarily.”

War without end — “We [The United States] would never have to admit defeat. … Public soul-searching wouldn’t flood the media, paralyzing the country and its military-industrial economy, with conscience.”

And people’s suffering in South and Central Asia would continue to deepen under protracted U.S. occupation. Enraged Taliban would refuse to come to a negotiating table. “The pretext for war — together with an Afghan government’s economically catastrophic security needs — would live in perpetuity.”

Afghan Youth Peace Volunteers, quoted by Kathy Kelly, responded August 9 to the U.S.-Afghanistan Strategic Partnership Declaration — 

The U.S.-Afghanistan Strategic Partnership Declaration will perpetuate ‘terrorism’ and bring it to everyone’s doorsteps:
“The ‘partnership’ will allow permanent joint U.S.-Afghanistan military bases to launch and project hard power.
The ‘extreme’ Taliban will conveniently ‘use’ these bases as a stand-alone reason for their ‘holy jihad.’ …
This Strategic Partnership Declaration will kill any chance for our madness to slow down and our violence to calm down. …
It will doom ordinary Americans and Afghans to permanent terrorism. … Why can’t we quiet our nerves, look deep inside humanity, and begin healing?”
Awakening or reawakening “to the dreadful situation [in Afghanistan] and our role in it,” Kelly says, “we must act now to free our Afghan hosts of overstaying guests. Get the U.S. safely back to where it should be.”

In “Captives to the Logic of Violence,” Koehler writes that sometimes it seems that “what ended on Sept. 11, 2001, was human evolution.”

In the decade September 11, 2001-September 11, 2011, “The abyss has kept deepening.”

The wars begun in 2001 “continue letting blood and squandering treasure beyond all logic — except the logic of violence.”

Sources and notes

“More Lost By the Second” (Kathy Kelly), August 10, 2011, http://vcnv.org/more-lost-by-the-second; Kathy Kelly (Kathy@vcnv.org) co-coordinates Voices for Creative Nonviolence.

A Voices for Creative Nonviolence delegation is presently visiting in Kabul with The Afghan Youth Peace Volunteers. “Both groups are helping to organize for the October 6, 2011 ‘Stop the Machine — Create a New World!’ campaign to end wars.”

Peace lily Britannica image
Afghan Youth Peace Volunteers are young Afghans “dedicated to ending wars and inequalities in their country.”

Kathy Kelly

Coordinator of Voices for Creative Nonviolence (www.vcnv.org), a campaign to end U.S. military and economic warfare, Kathy Kelly with small delegations intent on learning more about conditions faced by ordinary people has visited Afghanistan (suffering three decades of warfare) four times since May 2010.

Kelly is a recipient of the War Resisters Peace Award (2010) and the Global Exchange International Women’s Rights Award (May 2003), among others. Her writings have appeared in The Chicago Sun Times, Chicago Tribune Magazine, The Progressive, Columbia Journal of International Affairs, The Jordan Times, The Washington Report on the Middle East; at Common Dreams, Counterpunch, Electroniciraq dot net, Voices In The Wilderness, Voices for Creative Nonviolence, and Antiwar dot com websites.

The Voices for Creative Nonviolence works closely with the Afghan Youth Peace Volunteers in search of non-military solutions to end the war.

“Common Sense in a Coma” (Robert C. Koehler), August 25, 2011, https://coto2.wordpress.com/2011/08/25/common-sense-in-a-coma/

“Captives to the Logic of Violence” (Robert C. Koehler, COTO Report Full Spectrum Defiance), September 7, 2011, https://coto2.wordpress.com/2011/09/07/captives-to-the-logic-of-violence/#more-18298
Robert C. Koehler, peace journalist

In his self-description, Robert Koehler writes, “I embraced the concept of peace journalism, the lodestar of my maturity as a journalist, a deceptively simple practice unbelievably rare in a 24/7 media stream that flushes through our lives, peddling horror and fear; …” where news and entertainment are reactive, without depth or reflection and with intensely troubling consequences.

“Nonviolent response to conflict is the foundation of civilization,” Koehler writes…; and although “conflict — between and among people, between species, with our planet and universe — is inevitable, violent response belittles the conflict, shatters the complexity, perpetuates the problem, endangers the innocent and often blows up in our faces. …

“Violence is an industry, shrouded in mythology and consensus. … Working to undo the mythology of violence is the most responsible act a writer can commit.”

Britannica: Peace Lily A large, white leafy spathe underlies a spadix in Spathiphyllum.  © Sydney Karp—PHOTO/NATS.  Also Britannica maps

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