MARC PILISUK – For years, military preparedness and war itself have been granted extensive support in the United States.Â At the current moment, public opinion is questioning whether this support has added to Americansâ€™ security or placed it in greater danger. Indeed, the termination of a failed war in Afghanistan has brought into question, whether that war was wrong from the start.
CHRIS HEDGES – The hijackers who carried out the attacks on 9/11, like all radical jihadist groups in the Middle East, spoke to us in the murderous language we taught them.
ALISTAIR CROOKE – A huge geo-political event has just occurred in Afghanistan: The implosion of a key western strategy for managing what Mackinder, in the 19th century, called the Asian heartland. That it was accomplished, without fighting, and in few days, is almost unprecedented. As a consequence, among other “seismic shifts,” China is more determined to shape the region than many analysts realize.
JAMES W. CARDEN – Hawkish US officials overstated Soviet gains in the third world in the 1970s, and â€œexhibit A in the case that the USSR was inexorably expandingâ€¦was Afghanistan.â€ And after the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, â€œWashington believed Russiaâ€™s objective was the Persian Gulf.â€ Yet, it is argued by John Lamberton Harper, that the hawks within the Carter administration, led by Brzezinski, â€œwere misled by their schematic conceptions.â€Â
NICK MOTTERN – On July 2, fleeing questions from reporters about U.S. plans in Afghanistan, President Joe Biden sought refuge behind the July 4th Independence Day holiday, yet obliquely acknowledged that the U.S. will use some level of â€œover the horizonâ€ air attacks to prevent the Taliban from taking power, attacks that will include drones and manned aircraft, possibly even B-52s.
MEL GURTOV – Commentators evidently desperate for good news are touting the Israel-United Arab Emirates (UAE) agreement as a welcome path to Middle East peace. The agreement trades Israelâ€™s promise not to annex portions of the West Bank for the UAEâ€™s recognition of Israel. One conservative writer for the Washington Post actually thinks Trumpâ€™s role in helping bring the agreement about makes him a Nobel Prize candidate. But hold on.
ROBERT C. KOEHLER – When the mainstream media writes about war, even critically, the image that often comes to mind for me is an infant wrapped in plastic. That infant is naked reality, a.k.a., the present moment, suffocating and screaming for its life; the plastics smothering it are the journalistic euphemisms by which murder and terrorism turn into abstract acts of national necessity.
DR. HAKIM (DR. TECK YOUNG, WEE) – Itâ€™s frustrating that whereas all human beings wish to live meaningful lives, we seem helpless in the face of a few individuals waging wars and exploiting our world. But we can each do something about this insensible status quo, as ordinary folk of the Peopleâ€™s Peace Movement ( PPM ) show us by taking one barefoot-step at a time, traveling to the Northern areas of Afghanistan to persuade fellow Afghans, whether theyâ€™re with â€˜insurgent groupsâ€™ or with the U.S./NATO/Afghan forces, to stop fighting.
ANN WRIGHT – President Trump is becoming the third post-9/11 president to prosecute bloody conflicts in the Mideast and impose mass surveillance at home, with no end in sight.
KATHY KELLY – December 10th marks the U.N. Human Rights Day, celebrating and upholding the indispensable and crucial declaration of universal human rights. On the eve of this event, I visited a refugee camp housing 700 families in Kabul. Conditions in refugee camps can be deplorable, intolerable. Here, the situation is best described as surreal.
PAT KENNELLY – 2014 marks the deadliest year in Afghanistan for civilians, fighters, and foreigners. The situation has reached a new low as the myth of the Afghan state continues. Thirteen years into Americaâ€™s longest war, the international community argues that Afghanistan is growing stronger, despite nearly all indicators suggesting otherwise. Yet, there is another possibility, that the old way has not worked, and it is time for change; that nonviolence may resolve some of the challenges facing the country.
KATHY KELLY – The Borderfree Center is named for Prof. Noam Chomskyâ€™s call, in a 2013 American University of Beirut commencement speech, for participation in â€œa worldwide struggle to preserve the global commonsâ€ so as to secure â€œdecent human survival in a world that has no borders.â€ The symbol of their participation is the blue scarf they distribute to friends and supporters, symbolizing the blue expanse of sky upon which national boundary lines will never be drawn.
JOSH SMITH – By the time its combat troops depart at the end of 2014, the United States will have appropriated more money trying to fix Afghanistan than it did on the Marshall Plan that helped Europe recover economically after World War II, according to an analysis by a government watchdog.
DAVID SWANSON – The relationship of women to war has changed dramatically in recent decades, even while remaining the same. But make no mistake, waging war at the behest of female politicians is no different than waging war at the command of male politicians.
JOHN LAFORGE – After so much blood and destruction in Afghanistan, a lot of people dream of Secretary of State John Kerry reviving his monumental 1971 question, â€œHow do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?â€
HAKIM and KATHY KELLY – Abdulhai remembers his father being killed by the Taliban. â€œAnyone who takes up a weapon in revenge, whether the Talib or any other, is acting like the Talibs who murdered my father,â€ he says, in a matter of fact way. â€œThe solution does not lie in taking revenge, but in people coming together like the people of Egypt to defend themselves in a nonviolent way.â€
SEN. JEFF MERKLEY – In the aftermath of September 11th, our nation went to war in Afghanistan. We had three goals: to dislodge the Taliban government, destroy al Qaeda training camps, and to bring to justice those who masterminded the attacks.
KATHY KELLY & JOSH BROLLIER — These brave peace correspondents, reporting from a desperately dangerous place, reveal why U.S. policy is failing in Afghanistan.
JOSEPH GERSON: Shortly after President Obamaâ€™s Afghanistan War escalation speech, I was contacted by the Voice of Americaâ€™s Russian Language Service. They wanted to interview me. These are the questions they asked: What do you think about Obama’s new strategy for Afghanistan? Were you surprised by it? Do you think it would be possible to carry out all Obama’s objectives by 2011? Would Afghanistan, you think, cease being a failed state?
CHRIS HEDGES: The warlords we champion in Afghanistan are as venal, as opposed to the rights of women and basic democratic freedoms, and as heavily involved in opium trafficking as the Taliban. The moral lines we draw between us and our adversaries are fictional. The uplifting narratives used to justify the war in Afghanistan are pathetic attempts to redeem acts of senseless brutality.