Saturday, February 18, 2012


This is a short blog post, but a big request.

In May, NATO will meet in Chicago. Big protests are planned. But what exactly will the point of the protests be?

NATO Summit in Chicago - May 20-21, 2012

It looks like the top priority for NATO in May will be Afghanistan. (Iran is an issue that may overshadow it, but that's very hard to tell moment to moment.)

NATO wants to discuss the question of how to extricate itself from Afghanistan, particularly how to withdraw combat troops. Clearly, this must be done, and much more quickly than NATO will likely want to do so. But there's more . . . .

To quote Tom Engelhardt, "what remains doggedly remarkable, as Nick Turse reports in the latest post in his TomDispatch series on the changing face of empire (supported by Lannan Foundation): the U.S. military continues to build in Afghanistan as if modest progress were indeed the byword, limited success a reality, and corners still there to be decisively turned -- if not by a giant army of occupation, then by drones and special operations forces. Go figure." [emphasis added]

For more on this, see the article by Nick Turse, "Prisons, Drones, and Black Ops in Afghanistan"

I propose that protesters in Chicago need to demand that NATO must fully DEMILITARIZE Afghanistan, including:

NATO must do more than just withdraw combat troops. Even Afghanistan President Karzai is pushing back against the U.S., demanding an end to night raids and the handover of control of detention centers.

Feb 21, 2012: #OccupyChicago Don't let #NATO *leave* 
#Chicago until it agrees to DEMILITARIZE #Afghanistan!

Afghanistan is but a single problem at which NATO is the root. However, successfully demanding that NATO demilitarize Afghanistan -- fully -- would be a significant first step in starting to confront NATO and the full range of damage that it has done.

Related posts

You don't need to be in Chicago to protest NATO. I'm asking everybody -- and especially everyone who has ever participated in #AfghanistanTuesday -- to help protest NATO from wherever they are. We want to build a crescendo of opposition that culminates in a clear message to NATO on May 20/21 when they meet in Chicago: #DEMILITARIZEafghanistan!

(See #DEMILITARIZEafghanistan )

#AfghanistanTuesday on Twitter is starting to get traction. It's time to ask, "What -- besides awareness -- might be achieved by having everyone talking about the war in Afghanistan every week?"

(See Six Outcomes from #AfghanistanTuesday )

When Afghan activist Malalai Joya spoke to a group in Chicago, she said it is not enough for the U.S. to pull out its remaining combat troops. The presence of U.S. bases assures that the violence and instability will continue. The bases are an especially important problem. Their presence virtually guarantees a whole chain of military activity.

(See Malalai: The "Big Lie" of U.S. Troop Withdrawal from Afghanistan)

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