‘We are those two Afghan children’

The following piece was written on March 3rd by Dr Hakim and the Kabul-based Afghan Peace Volunteers, colleagues of WNPJ member group Voices for Creative Nonviolence.

Two young Afghan boys herding cattle in Uruzgan Province of Afghanistan were mistakenly killed by NATO forces yesterday.

They were seven and eight years old.

Our globe, approving of ‘necessary or just war’, thinks, “We expect this to happen occasionally.”

Some say, “We’re sorry.”

Therefore today, with sorrow and rage, we the Afghan Peace Volunteers took our hearts to the streets.

We went with two cows, remembering that the two children were tending to their cattle on their last day.

We are those two children.

WNPJ Local Cost of War Calculator highlights misplaced priorities

What's Mazomanie's share of the three new aircraft carriers the Navy wants to build? How much money got sucked out of Cross Plains' local economy to fund the new F-35 fighter program? The Wisconsin Network for Peace and Justice Local Cost of War Calculator provides the answers to questions like this.  Click here to try out a test version of the calculator, with data for more than a dozen Dane County communities. Coming soon: an expanded database to cover more than 700 communities, large and small, in every county in the state.

WNPJ Blog: Why wasn't the war an issue in the election?

"I have no hope, energy or optimism that we will ever be heard. I no longer stand vigil against war. Neither war was even an issue in the election."

The above quote is from a message sent to us by one stalwart peace activist explaining why her local peace group is disbanding. At a recent Wisconsin Network for Peace and Justice Board meeting where this quote was read, many of those present expressed a similar sense of frustration about the lack of attention paid by the public, the media and by the candidates to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Read the rest and comment at the WNPJ blog, here...

WNPJ Blog: Who cares about Afghanistan?

Have the American people tuned out the Afghanistan war? Frank Pauc, father of a soldier who may be called to serve in Afghanistan next spring, asks, "If the war in Afghanistan is such a waste, why isn't there more of an uproar in our country?" Frank wants us all to think about how we can reach the public, so that they "see that the war makes an impact on their lives", so even people who don't have a son or daughter in the military give more thought to - and take action against - the wars we are fighting. Read and comment here...

WNPJ Blog: What Laila sees

David Smith-Ferri of Voices for Creative Nonviolence reports from Afghanistan:
“We live in constant fear of suicide attacks,” said Laila, an Afghan woman who lives in Kandahar city. “When will the next one strike and where?  You don’t know what’s going to happen, minute to minute. Every single minute that we live – if you can call it living – every single second there is the thought that this is going to be my last second.”
Read and comment at the WNPJ blog, here...

WNPJ Blog: Time magazine's concern for Afghan women

You won't see the picture on the left, of a victim of a U.S. airstrike in Afghanistan, on the cover of Time magazine. It's not that Time is reluctant to show horrific images on its cover -- just last week their cover photo was of a young Afghan woman named Aisha, horribly mutilated by her husband under the direction of a Taliban commander -- rather, it's that the cover of Time is reserved for horrific photos of the victims of our official enemies, the Taliban, and never for horrific photos of our own victims.

But leaving aside the issue of Time's obvious double-standard, those of us who advocate for withdrawal must respond to the provocative headline that Time chose: "What happens if we leave Afghanistan." Read and comment here...

WNPJ Blog: Ten lessons from a U.S. defeat

Remember Iraq? "No blood for oil"? "Bush lied, people died"? Takes you back, doesn't it? These days, even for that small percentage of Americans who still pay attention to any of our wars, Iraq seems like last year's news. It's a shame that, at the precise moment when the Iraqi people are having some success at forcing the U.S. occupiers from their soil, the attention of the U.S. peace movement is elsewhere, because there's much we can learn from Iraq about how to end an occupation and defeat an empire. And "defeat" is exactly the word to apply to the U.S. imperial project in Iraq. Read and comment here...

WNPJ Blog: Suckered by humanitarianism

WNPJ Program Director Steve Burns has a confession to make: "I admit it: I supported the bombing of Libya." Starting from the humanitarian arguments that initially persuaded him that military force was necessary, Burns moves on to examine how the Libya mission has changed from protection of civilians to full participation in a civil war, concluding, "It's now time for those of us who favored military action two weeks ago to acknowledge that we've been had." Read and comment here...

WNPJ Blog: Security for Americans: What does Israel have to do with it?

On the WNPJ blog, Lou Recine says, "Rather than wage wars of aggression in Iraq and Afghanistan, one thing that the United States CAN do to promote both its own security as well as justice in the Middle East is assert itself as an impartial broker of peace between Israel and Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, by exerting appropriate diplomatic and economic pressure on Israel."  Read and comment here...

WNPJ Blog: Report from LZ Lambeau

WNPJ and VFP member David Williams reports back from LZ Lambeau, a three-day long "Welcome home" to Vietnam-era vets held at Green Bay's Lambeau field. In the event, David sees an effort to "Rehabilitate the memory and lessons of the Vietnam War from a 'lost' war which should have never been fought to an honorable war which was not properly appreciated at the time", all in a effort to "eradicate the last vestiges of the 'Vietnam Syndrome' and build public acceptance for massive and prolonged U.S. military involvements in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere." Read and comment here...

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