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Sunday, May 20, 2012

Self-determination, freedom, independence; not U.S./NATO bombs — Afghan leader Malalai Joya

Truth like the sun

“I am sorry I cannot be in Chicago this weekend physically but I along with millions of other Afghans will be there in heart and in spirit, standing in solidarity with the demand that NATO withdraw its troops from Afghanistan.”
Malalai Joya

Malalai Joya is an Afghan and internationally known political activist, lecturer and writer, a seriously insightful analyst and critic of criminally impaired governance, governments and leaders in Afghanistan and United States, and of foreign relations and domestic affairs on both continents.

Malalai Joya in 2008 in London received the Anna Politkovskaya Award given to courageous women who have defended human rights. In 2009 came recognition from Member of the United States Congress Barbara Lee. In 2010 in Madrid, she received the Yo Dona International award of ‘premio a la Labor Humanitaria’ (from the Spanish daily El Mundo) and the International Award “Donna dell’Anno 2010” (woman of the year 2010) from the Italian Swiss University of Peace. Foreign Policy Magazine in 2010 named her in its annual list of “Top 100 Global Thinkers.” In 2011, The Guardian (UK) listed her among a “Top 100 women: activists and campaigners.”

In Wednesday’s article in the Guardian, Malalai Joya again writes personally, politically and powerfully about foreign aggression in her country and the Middle East-South Central Asia-Africa region, about NATO and the United States war and occupation, about sovereignty and puppet governments.
Excerpt, minor editing by Carolyn Bennett

“No one can believe leaders like [U.S. President Barack] Obama who say they are working for peace even as they continue the bombings, night raids and drone attacks that kill civilians every week – sometimes every day – in Afghanistan, Pakistan and elsewhere,” she writes.

“This weekend’s protests will likely face repression… but it is vital that people take to the streets to raise their voices. Here in Afghanistan, peace and women’s rights activists risk their lives to hold protests against both the occupation and the fundamentalist warlords.

“President Obama lived in Chicago for many years; it is practically his hometown.

“Mine is in Afghanistan’s remote Farah province, where I was elected as an MP in 2005, at the age of 26. I faced threats and assassination attempts – and was kicked out of parliament in 2007 because I spoke out and denounced the occupation, the warlords and the Taliban.

“Because I was banished, I was unable to stand in parliament and condemn a NATO bombing in May 2009 that killed about 150 people in Farah.

Afghan children caught in crossfire 
“Most of the victims of this massacre were women and children.

“I would like to ask Obama and his wife, Michelle, how they would feel if their own daughters were killed in this senseless and brutal manner?

“… This is the reality of the war in Afghanistan. This is the reality of what NATO does all around the world; and if NATO is allowed to stay and continue the war in Afghanistan, it will be emboldened to wage more wars against more people – in the Middle East, in Africa and beyond.

NATO tankers - Afghanistan
“We have many problems in Afghanistan – fundamentalism, warlords, the Taliban – but we will have a better chance to solve them if we have our self-determination, our freedom, our independence. NATO’s bombs will never deliver democracy and justice to Afghanistan or any other country.

“The voices of protest in the streets of Chicago will be seen and heard in Kabul, and in Farah, and eventually in every corner of Afghanistan. … The truth is like the sun: when it comes out, nothing can block it.

Stop the War Coalition
Sources and notes
Stop the War Coalition note on its website accompanying the copy of Joya’s article:

The NO TO NATO demonstration in Chicago is twinned with the May 19 protest in London outside the U.S. Embassy: Joint statement by National United Antiwar Coalition (U.S.) and Stop the War Coalition (UK)

“Malalai Joya: These NATO anti-war protests are the most important of our generation: The protesters remind us that the U.S. government is not representative of the U.S. people. It’s encouraging to see so many willing to stand up against this unjust, disastrous war in Afghanistan,” May 17, 2012, http://www.stopwar.org.uk/index.php/afghanistan-and-pakistan/1410-malalai-joya-the-most-important-anti-war-demonstrations-of-our-generation

Original article

 “Afghanistan’s’ Chicago resistance: NATO’s murderous occupation will feel the strength of American and Afghan solidarity in Chicago this weekend” (Malalai Joya in Kabul, guardian.co.uk), Wednesday, May 16, 2012, http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/may/16/afghanistan-chicago-resistance-nato#start-of-comments



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