Petition to Obama: WE WANT YOU OUT! Time to listen to the people of Afghanistan!

Commander-in-Chief Obama delivering a speech aimed at "keeping hope alive" among demoralized American foot-soldiers

Global Day of Listening – “We want you out” petition

To all the leaders of our world, the leaders of the US-led coalition, the Afghan government, the ‘Taliban/Al-Qaeda’ and  regional countries:

We are intolerably angry.

All our senses are hurting.

Our women, our men and yes shame on you, our children are grieving.

Your Afghan civilian-military strategy is a murderous stench we smell, see, hear and breathe.

President Obama, and all the elite players and people of the world, why?

America’s 250-million-dollar annual communications budget just to scream propaganda on this war of perceptions, with its nauseating rhetoric mimicked by Osama and other warlords, is powerless before the silent wailing of every anaemic mother.

We will no longer be passive prey to your disrespectful systems of oligarchic, plutocratic war against the people.

Your systems feed the rich and powerful. They are glaringly un-equal, they do not listen, do not think and worst, they do not care.

We choose not to gluttonize with you. We choose not to be trained by you. We choose not to be pawned by you.

We henceforth refuse every weapon you kill us with, every dollar you bait us with and every lie you manipulate us with.

We are not beasts.

We are Afghans, Americans, Europeans, Asians and global citizens. Continue reading

United Nations silent as US/NATO forces destroy thousands of Afghan homes

Another family's home destroyed by a US jet, killing with impunity

Kabul Press, o5 December 2010

NATO officials confirmed to this reporter that they routinely destroy Afghan homes, businesses and other structures that may be linked to the Taliban, but they refuse to provide any statistics as to how many have been destroyed. The Washington Post and The New York Times indicate that the practice is widespread and they have confirmed that whole villages have been leveled. (These field reports are referenced at the end of this article.)

In June, 2010, the United Nations special rapporteur for human rights, Richard Falk publicly condemned the Israeli Government for its destruction of Palestinian homes. In contrast, the U.N.’s High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navanethem Pillay, and the U.N.’s Special Representative in Afghanistan, Staffan de Mistura, have been deplorably silent regarding similar actions by UN-supported NATO forces in Afghanistan.

This is what we know. NATO soldiers in Afghanistan operates under the acronym “ISAF” ISAF troops have the authority to destroy any structure in Afghanistan which they believe is being used to store weapons or narcotics, or which may be booby-trapped with explosives. The standard seems to be that any home can be destroyed with artillery or air strikes as long as there is some suspicion regarding it. The rationale for the destructions is that searching potentially booby-trapped homes is too dangerous a task.

There are at least six problems with this ISAF policy: Continue reading

Afghanistan: Measuring what the US/NATO occupation and Karzai regime have done to women

This young woman was violently attacked for appearing in public without a male--a violation of the strict Sharia law enforced by the US-supported Karzai regime.

29 November 2010, A World to Win News Service

Recent  reports by both human rights groups and Afghan officials indicate that violence against women in Afghanistan is on the rise and that this has been the trend since the beginning of the occupation of Afghanistan by the U.S. and other Nato countries.

A report published in April 2009 by the women’s rights organisation Womankind said that 80 percent of Afghan women suffer from domestic violence. Other reports put this figure as high as 87 percent. Afghan minister of women’s affairs Hassan-Banu Ghazanfar recently said that it effects 90 percent.

November 25 marked the International Day for the Eradication of Violence Against Women. This violence is global and not particular to Afghan women. In the world as a whole the vast majority of women face violence in one or another serious form during their their lifetime. The facts about violence against women even in the most developed countries are shocking. Rape, physical and sexual abuse by the husband or boyfriend, harassment and worse at work places, the trade in women and sex slavery are only some of forms of anti-woman violence. These facts suggest that this is not just a remnant of the past but that world capitalism even in its most developed stage is a source of oppression, discrimination and violence against women.

So there is not single country in the imperialist-dominated  world where women have escaped from oppression and violence. This article focuses on Afghanistan not only because these women have suffered severe oppression by the various fundamentalist rulers over the last three decades, and not only because the level of violence and other sorts of oppression is so extreme, but also because the imperialist powers have occupied the country under the pretext of liberating Afghan women. Continue reading

Afghan women demand liberation, reject being used as pretext for war

[This article describes the oppressive conditions faced by Afghan women under the Karzai regime, whose main source of support is fundamentalist warlords who are just as reactionary and anti-woman as the Taliban. This article expresses the common view that Afghan women have made significant strides forward since the US invasion in 1991 in the areas of education, health care and political life. In reality, these advances have been concentrated among more privileged sections of women, and they do not extend beyond Kabul’s city limits. The article also raises the question of what kind of political arrangement could replace US-backed politicians like Karzai and exclude the Taliban after the US/NATO occupation forces withdraw.—Frontlines ed]

Kabul--Afghan women demand the government take action against the murderers of five women.

Afghan Women Demand Liberation, Not Lip Service

 

By Kanya D’Almeida

UNITED NATIONS (IPS) – Afghanistan will not know peace until women are equal participants in negotiations, stresses a report released  by the University of Notre Dame’s Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies.

“We don’t want the world to see us as victims,” said Afifa Azim, general director of the Afghan Women’s Network, which is working in collaboration with the Kroc Institute. “Afghani women must be at the table if the peace process is to move forward. No women, no peace.”

Co-authored by David Cortright and Sarah Persinger, the report entitled “Afghan Women Speak: Enhancing Security and Human Rights in Afghanistan” was presented as part of the week-long Peace Conference commemorating the 10th anniversary of U.N. Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security. The report includes some 50 interviews with women leaders, parliamentarians, activists, school principals, NGO and health workers, army officials and police officers in the field in Kabul, Afghanistan, from April to May of 2010.

Since United States-led forces overthrew the Taliban in 2001, critics say Washington has dangled the question of women’s emancipation over the head of the international community, using it to justify prolonged military occupation. Pundits and policy-makers in the West have largely swallowed this argument, taking up the fight for Afghan women with great gusto while continuing to support U.S. and NATO troops in the Middle East. Continue reading

Accusations of Vote Fraud Multiply in Afghanistan

[In another news report, Malalai Joya said: “We Afghans know that this election will change nothing and it is only part of a show of democracy put on by, and for, the West, to legitimise its future puppet in Afghanistan.”–The Independent, Aug.20, 2009]

The Washington Post, August 28, 2009

Complaints on All Sides Threaten to Discredit Result, Hinder U.S. Policy

MAZAR-E SHARIF, Afghanistan — One week after Afghanistan’s presidential election, with the winner still undeclared, increasing accusations of fraud and voter coercion threaten to undermine the validity of the results, deepen dangerous regional divisions and hamper the Obama administration’s goals in this volatile country.

A former journalist who has lived in Afghanistan since 2001 and is now an adviser to U.S. Gen. Stanley McChrystal said she personally bought 10 voter registration cards on the black market. “I could have bought a thousand if I had wanted to. And I could take those or somebody could take those into a polling place, you know, one of the more remote ones, and just fill out ballots in the names of those people whose cards you have,” Sarah Chayes said on MSNBC last month.(Photo: REUTERS/Hamid Shalizi)

With U.S. popular support for the war in Afghanistan wavering, an election viewed as illegitimate by many Afghans would be a major setback for President Obama, who has increased U.S. military and economic efforts in a conflict central to his foreign policy.

Officials worry that a Kabul government tainted by allegations of election-stealing or destabilized by a potentially violent backlash could derail U.S. efforts to beat back a resurgent Taliban and build Afghan security forces. Continue reading