Thinking about the idea of a "Virtual Antiwar University (VAU)" -- or, as @PeaceCouple refers to it, "Virtual Peace University" -- I asked myself, "What would be a practical way to start?"
It struck me that we could tackle a single topic each week -- on #AfghanistanTuesday! -- and over the course of eight weeks or so we could try out some teach-in materials. In other words, both learn and contribute to the development of a curriculum.
In thinking about what would be worth covering, I remembered the urging of my friends at Voices for Creative Non-Violence: start with the experience of the victims of war. Too often we focus on the cynical arguments about the costs to ourselves, but isn't the real question the harm we are doing to others?
I also thought of the focus over the next several months on indefinite detention and the crimes of the U.S. government with respect to Guantanamo, Bagram, and other detention sites. We should be sure to tie in to that.
It then occurred to me that perhaps the right framework would be to look at eight different categories of U.S. war crimes in Afghanistan (of which detention is one). This would allow me to make use of some research I've already been doing.
Below are eight categories of U.S. war crimes, selected from Mike Haas' book, George W. Bush, War Criminal? The Bush Administration’s Liability for 269 War Crimes. I have suggested a series of #AfghanistanTuesday dates for looking at them. I propose to set up a separate page covering each topic, and the comment section on each page will be actively used by others to contribute ideas, comments, etc.
VAU Afghanistan 101: US War Crimes
If the American public knew the nature of the crimes that its government was committing in Afghanistan, could it possibly sit still and not force an end to the war, and the removal of U.S. military, intelligence, and contractors from Afghanistan?
Tuesday, November 1 -- Indiscriminate Attacks Against Civilians
Tuesday, November 8 -- Extrajudicial Executions
Tuesday, November 15 -- Failure of Commanding Officers to Ensure That Subordinates Understand Geneva Convention Obligations Regarding the Conduct of Warfare
Tuesday, November 22 -- Outrages Upon Personal Dignity
Tuesday, November 29 -- Torture
Tuesday, December 6 -- Failure to Prevent Torture
Tuesday, December 13 -- Discrimination Based on Nationality, Race, or Religion
Tuesday, December 20 -- Collective Punishment
To repeat, these are just eight war crimes selected for attention from among a long list provided at the websites for George W. Bush, War Criminal? The Bush Administration’s Liability for 269 War Crimes.