Saturday, October 5, 2013

5 Questions for Malalai on Afghanistan

The 12th anniversary of the U.S. war on Afghanistan is approaching, and activist Malalai Joya has embarked on a speaking tour of the U.S. (See her full schedule and read her bio on Wikipedia.)

Below are five questions that I hope Malalai Joya will address when she speaks to Americans here in Chicago and other cities.

(1) What do you want Americans to know about Afghanistan?

We have been swamped with 12 years of self-serving U.S. government propaganda, so that by this time most Americans have absorbed a handful of myths about Afghanistan that serve the purposes of the occupation, and at the same time know almost nothing true about the country. Now is the time for Americans to give their attention to a true representative of Afghanistan and learn.

(2) What would benefit the position of women in Afghanistan?

Probably the single biggest pretext for the continuing U.S. occupation of Afghanistan is that it is somehow in the interest of the rights of women.  Please set the story straight on this.

(3) How do the people of Afghanistan want their civil society to function?

The U.S. invasion, war, and occupation has led to a situation in which the continued functioning of Afghanistan civil society is said to depend on a massive security force, requiring a budget that dwarfs other parts of the Afghan economy.  We are led to believe that Afghanistan doesn't have a better way to govern itself.

Is there a better way?

(4) Where has Afghanistan been left, in strategic terms?

We are told that Afghanistan is in "a dangerous part of the world" -- unable to defend itself from neighbors like Pakistan, Iran, Russia and its former republics . . . What is the truth?

(5) What can we do to help?

The U.S. has created a tragedy in Afghanistan.  We know -- or should know -- that we have a responsibility to repair it.  What can we do to help -- really help?

Related posts

It's not enough to just pull U.S. combat troops out of Afghanistan - we need to ground the drones, clear the prisons we've filled with detainees, remove the bases, get rid of the contractors, stop the training activities -- DEMILITARIZE Afghanistan!

(See DEMILITARIZE Afghanistan)

When Malalai 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 -- because, hey, if you've got a base, you've got to do something with it, right?

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

Read about the #AfghanistanTuesday campaign - in which people made time every week to remember what's happening in Afghanistan and push for change.

(See Making an Impact on #AfghanistanTuesday)