Kathy Kelly, co-coordinator of Voices for Creative Nonviolence, reports from Afghanistan, where she interviewed Afghan refugees living on the outskirts of Kabul and talked to students from Bamiyan University. One Afghan father asks, "“Do you think we like to live this way? Do you see how we live? The cold and the rain are coming. How will we protect our children?” Read Kathy Kelly's full report and comment here... On December 19th, Voices for Creative Nonviolence will be working with Afghan Youth Peace Volunteers to provide an opportunity to hear directly from the Afghan people. To participate in this global skype call, write to email@example.com
"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...
Description: Last Thursday, October 14, three siblings, Jenny, age 14, Jimmy, age 9, and Jeferson, age 6, were found tortured, strangled and beheaded in a ditch near their home in Caño Temblador, near Tame, Arauca. A delegation made up of their teachers, social leaders of Tame, a member of Arauca’s state legislature and representatives of the Permanent Committee for Human Rights visited the ditch and took testimony from witnesses in the area that links the Colombian military with what happened.
When American Friends Service Committee produced a "Report Card" on the war in Afghanistan, grading the conflict on such "subjects" as History (determining in what ways we have or have not learned from the history of Afghanistan) and Math (examining the use of precious resources and the outcomes that have resulted), one local Missouri peace group delivered the Report Card to the St. Louis office of Senator Claire McCaskill.
The National Council of Churches, parent organization of WNPJ member group Wisconsin Council of Churches, has adopted a resolution calling for an end to the war in Afghanistan by a unanimous vote of its governing board.
The resolution, "A Call to End the War in Afghanistan," calls upon President Obama to negotiate a withdrawal of U.S. and NATO forces from Afghanistan "to be completed as soon as possible without further endangerment to the lives and welfare of U.S. and NATO troops, Afghan troops and Afghan civilians."
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...
Planting the Seeds - October 30, 2010* Nur Agha Akbari and his family live in Kabul, on an unpaved, pitted
street lined by mud brick homes. When we visited him this week, his oldest son, age 13, led us to a sitting room inside their rented two-story apartment, furnished with simple mats and pillows. The youngster smiled shyly as he served us tea. Then his father entered the room.
Report from Kabul 10/21/10 by Kathy Kelly. Khamad Jan, age 22, remembers that, as a youngster, he was a good student who enjoyed studying. “Now, I can’t seem to think,” he said sadly, looking at the ground. There was a long pause. “War does this to your mind.” He and his family fled their village when Taliban forces began to attack the area. Bamiyan Province is home to a great number of Hazara families, and Khamad Jan's is one of them. Traditionally, other Afghan ethnic groups have discriminated against Hazaras, regarding them as descendants of Mongolian tribes and therefore inferior. During the Taliban attacks, Khamad Jan’s father was captured and killed. (photo:Khamad Jan at construction site, Bamiyan, Afghanistan.) To learn more of this story - read on....