Friday, May 4, 2012

#DEMILITARIZEafghanistan

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!

It's clear that the message of the Obama administration and NATO will be that a "strategic partnership agreement" means the end of the war in Afghanistan. They are all prepared to announce "it's been a hard fight but we're turning the corner, so don't worry: we've got a timetable to pull the combat troops out...."

As I pointed out in a series of earlier blog posts, we need to DENOUNCE this celebratory message and demand REAL solutions to the mess that has been created in Afghanistan. What about the drone killings? What about the thousands of detainees? What about the institutionalization of night raids?

It's not enough to reduce the level of combat troops. The U.S. and NATO need to get out of the war-making business, and they need to start by DEMILITARIZING Afghanistan.

How will YOU help to build this message? By tweeting? Writing a blog post? Organizing a local protest? Creating artwork? Composing music? Getting people at your church involved? There are THOUSANDS of ways to tell NATO "We're not buying what you're selling! #DEMILITARIZEafghanistan!"

Just remember: whatever you do ... tweet #DEMILITARIZEafghanistan
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I'm adding the need to clean up ordnance, depleted uranium, etc. to the list of unfinished business in Afghanistan, based on recent reporting from Antiwar.com. Below is an image showing Abdul Rahman, 18, who "was grazing his sheep when he accidentally detonated a 40mm grenade on the ground, resulting in the loss of his left hand. He lost his right hand a few years ago when he encountered unexploded ordnance in his village in Parwan province. Javier Manzano / For The Washington Post."



Related posts

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)



What is the total number of prisoners held in the detention archipelago set up by the U.S. in Afghanistan? Five thousand? Ten thousand? More?

(See THE ARCHIPELAGO: U.S./NATO's Parting Gift to Afghanistan)

In Iraq, hundreds of thousands of pounds of "depleted uranium" (DU) have been aerosolized and dispersed by being used in armor piercing munitions. DU emits alpha radiation and does not decay for hundreds of thousands of years, and in its aerosolized form is subject to uptake by many parts of the human body.

(See DU: Will we ever be able to say "We're done here" ?)