When activists like me return from visiting the Afghan Peace Volunteers in Kabul, Afghanistan, young seamstresses there often entrust each of us with about fifty sky-blue scarves. The word “Borderfree” is carefully embroidered, in English, on one end of each scarf; on the opposite side, they’ve stitched the translation in Dari, the language they speak. The scarves express their yearning to end four decades of war in Afghanistan, a land dominated by ruthless warlords.
Thank-you, Kathy Kelly
When not a single major presidential candidate, either in the primaries or the general election of 2017, even stood up and called for an end to war in Afghanistan, it's obvious that our government is deeply addicted to war. We have a long way to go to even get it on the political table for discussion, but it is criminal to remain silent. Keep up the good work.
The U.S. involvement in Afghanistan continues mainly because some very-well-connected companies and special interests benefit from it. Even the Taliban benefits from it -- probably hugely, like the Viet Cong benefited enormously from the large U.S. presence in Vietnam. (The VC raked in millions from operating various shady businesses and black markets -- no doubt the Taliban does the same.)
The ongoing Afghanistan quagmire also illustrates just how corrupt the U.S. government -- especially Congress -- has become, because the war has become absurdly unwinnable. The Taliban now control at least half the country -- probably more -- and move freely almost everywhere. The U.S. forces largely keep their heads down and try not to get shot at. Meanwhile, the opium crop there is larger than ever -- and you can bet corrupt U.S. and Afghan officials are raking in plenty of illicit cash from that also. The whole situation is a boondoggle and a disgrace for America. But how can we get out of that quagmire when no one in Washington seems willing or able to act responsibly and pull the plug on this fiasco?
Yes, we should pay reparations to Afghan people directly, instead of increasing our already bloated "defense" budget. While we're at it, we should pay reparations to the people, who never did us any harm, in all of the countries that we've invaded, bombed, and destabilized since the end of WW2!
Should have included our own Indigenous Peoples, as well as the descendants of our slaves, upon whose unpaid labor great fortunes were built. I include them now in my above statement.
The people, the ones affected by the wars, the Soviets in the 80's and the US since '01, are the ones suffering from occupations by the big powers. It's bad enough that the Taliban rules things but the invasions by two powers hasn't changed things at all. In fact the opium production has greatly increased since the US invaded. I'm sure there are hands of US people involved in the lucrative trade. Withdraw troops, let the people install their own government and then assist in aid to rebuild all that the US destroyed. The whole world would be a better place if the US withdrew entirely from the Middle East. And that includes us at home.
Nary a mention on campaign trails of candidates about the insane wars the US is constantly waging, none. The human costs, the money, morals, morale, nothing. It's depressing to say the least.
The CIA waxed fat on the drug trade from the Golden Triangle during the Vietnam war. I'm sure they are doing the same thing in Afghanistan and anywhere else that drugs are grown and distributed.
* There will not be a vestige of peace in this world until We the People of the World learn to cooperate and take the world back from the greedy profiteers who make their enormous profits by marketing death and destruction anywhere they can.
* Much of their activity is sponsored by the corrupt governments, many established by the US, who keep their people in thrall and foment violence and repression, not only within their borders, but amongst their neighbors as well.
* Look at the rabid fixation on having a war with Iran, which is not an aggressor nation and has eschewed any nuclear weaponry. A few years ago, Israel's Mossad killed some nuclear scientists in Iran. Our Secretary of State stated that any military response from Iran would be considered an act of war by the United States and would be met with a full response by us.
* Persia has not had an aggressive war for centuries, though they are very good at protecting themselves.
* According to Israeli and US propaganda, they are a rabid nation bent on controlling the Middle East and eliminating Israel.
* Any action to help or supply any of her neighbors who are under attack brings cries of "terrorists" while the US will go ten thousand miles to provide billions in arms, intelligence and satellite information to some rogue we have put in power, or who shares our current interests like Saudi Arabia, systematically destroying Yemen, one of the poorest nations on earth, using our weaponry.
* Remember, Iran elected Mossadegh in a free democratic election. He came up with the idea that the nation should have a major share in the money earned by the foreign oil consortiums that were taking billions and paying a tiny percentage to Iran. For this sacrilege, he was deposed by the CIA and the Shah was put in his place, to quickly reestablish the status quo and SAVAK, his secret police, dedicated themselves to destroying any vestige of democracy left. We supported the Shah wholeheartedly and, when his regime was overthrown after he left Iran for cancer treatment in the US, we demonized the new government.
* If We the People of the United States would again learn to cooperate with one another as we did when I was a boy, to get rid of Nazism, Fascism and Japan's expansion, we might well be able to remove this endless duopoly of greed and power and again form a government based on our Constitution and Bill of Rights.
* Unfortunately, that small handful of aging, money and power mad men that own half or more of the world want it all before they die. And, they've bought this government and now control it lock, stock and barrel. It is going to take a lot of hard work and dedication to free us and the world from this cabal, of whom one writer (Moyers, I think) said there weren't enough of them to fill a Greyhound Bus.
* But, as long as they remain in charge, the hope of peace, the hope of rebuilding the world and our infrastructure, of protecting the environment, of seeing that people are fed, clothed and housed, at home and abroad, are just pipe dreams, like those sold by the CIA and its agents to the poor and desperate in the US and the world today.
Only since WWII? What about Cuba and The Philippines??
And don't forget Hawai'i - invaded by U.S. Marines and then "annexed" in the 1890's on behalf of the Dole family – the Koch brothers of their era.
"Withdraw Entirely" should include NO ARMS SALES to ANY nation in the Middle East, and only direct material and medical aid to the general populations, NO financial aid to ANY of the utterly corrupt governments there – and that includes Israel!!
Just imagine how much better off the world would be if a MOAB had been dropped on the Koch Brothers' com- pound when a bunch of those thieves gathered to plot their election efforts in the summer of 2012 . . .
But no action was taken. Sad!!
You are correct, but more than the corruption of just Congress this exposes the the total rot infesting this system. A new Congress, a different President and nothing will change. The closest we have to a ray of light, Sanders, supports the ongoing wars. While my personal feeling is he does it out of self preservation, the result is endless wars no matter who sits in the round office. The odds of ever changing this ingrained deep rooted corruption is slim to none.
Jill Stein did.
G. W. Bush started the foolish and misdirected war in Afghanistan in 2001.
Obama should have ended it in 2009, but didn't. He comically obtained the Nobel Peace Prize in 2010, for nothing.
Like the sitcom Seinfeld, Obama's 8 years were a show about nothing. Now he's gone and forgotten.
DJT will continue America's longest war because he has no moral fiber. His depressing administration is based upon hate, derision and division, so he's a perfect fit for another 8 years of war in Afghanistan.