Rivers of Blood Action: We All Must Come Together to Stop War

NCNR Rivers of Blood Action July 2016

By Joy First for National Center for Nonviolent Resistance. The National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance (NCNR) keeps its focus on the US wars of aggression. NCNR has been acting in resistance to the crimes of our government with its illegal wars since 2003. We are at war in seven different countries today and members of NCNR think it is critical to make the connection between war and all the other problems affecting our world today. With that in mind NCNR planned the Rivers of Blood action – noting that Rivers of Blood flow through the US Capitol as our Congress continues to vote for funding for war. We did a Rivers of Blood action 10 years ago in the crypt of the Capitol and decided to do this second Rivers of Blood action outside on the steps of the Capitol where we hoped we would be seen by more people. Members of our group spoke so eloquently about why we were there. Alice began by saying, “Senator Schumer as our Senate leader must take a stand to stop the escalating horrific warfare that the current administration is waging on some of the poorest, most vulnerable people on the planet. We are devastating entire nations, causing cholera and starvation in Yemen, slaughter of the people of Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, threatening war with North Korea. The Congress must not sit by. Senator Schumer has stood up to this administration on other important issues, but we need him to raise his voice to stop these wars, these bombings these drone attacks.”

Three Nations With Most Refugees Were Targets Of US Intervention

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By Whitney Webb for Mintpress News. CHILE– A United Nations report has shed light on the world’s burgeoning crisis of displaced peoples, finding that a record 65.6 million were forced to vacate their homes in 2016 alone. More than half of them were minors. The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), which drafted the report, put the figure into perspective, stating that increasing conflict and persecution worldwide have led to “one person being displaced every three seconds – less than the time it takes to read this sentence.” UN High Commissioner Filippo Grandi called the figure “unacceptable” and called for “solidarity and a common purpose in preventing and resolving the crisis.” However, what the UN report failed to mention was the role of U.S. foreign intervention, indirect or direct, in fomenting the conflicts responsible for producing most of the world’s refugees.

Afghanistan: From Soviet Occupation To American ‘Liberation’

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By Nauman Sadiq. The borders between Iraq and Syria are poorly guarded and highly porous. The Obama Administration’s policy of nurturing militants against the Assad regime in Syria for the first three years of the Syrian civil war from 2011 to 2014 was bound to backfire sooner or later. More to the point, however, when President Obama decided to withdraw American troops from the unjust war in Iraq, at the same time, he pledged that he would commit additional American troops and resources into the purportedly “just war” in Afghanistan. And consequently, the number of US troops in Afghanistan jumped from 30,000 during the Bush Administration to more than 100,000 during the supposedly “pacifist” Obama Administration. And now, the “steady hands” of the American deep state, the Secretary of Defense James Mattis and the National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster, have advised the Trump Administration to further escalate the conflict in Afghanistan by deploying 3,000 to 5,000 additional troops to a contingent of 8,500 US troops already stationed in Afghanistan as “trainers and advisors.”

Courage For Peace, Not For War, In Afghanistan

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By Kathy Kelly for World Beyond War – When activists like me return from visiting the Afghan Peace Volunteers in Kabul, Afghanistan, young seamstresses there often entrust each of us with about fifty sky-blue scarves. The word “Borderfree” is carefully embroidered, in English, on one end of each scarf; on the opposite side, they’ve stitched the translation in Dari, the language they speak. The scarves express their yearning to end four decades of war in Afghanistan, a land dominated by ruthless warlords. “We are the generation who must try to put an end to all war and violence,” wrote Nematullah, an Afghan Peace Volunteers member who teaches children from internally displaced families. His students, most of them displaced by war, live in a wretched refugee camp. Nematullah wrote in response to my anxious inquiry following a truck bombing in Kabul, Afghanistan, on May 31, which killed more than 150 people. Pictures from Kabul’s “Emergency Surgical Center for Victims of War” showed his staff ministering to hundreds of survivors, people who suffered burns, lacerations, wounds, and amputations. Happily, the letter brought good news. “We’re all safe,” wrote Hakim, who mentors the Afghan Peace Volunteers.

'Literal Colonialism': Blackwater Founder Calls For 'American Viceroy' To Rule Afghanistan

Despite the fact that private contractors have a long record of abuse and deadly criminality, Prince believes that they should have a stronger presence in Afghanistan. (Photo: Melissa Golden/Redux)

By Jake Johnson for Common Dreams – Prince insists that these are “cheaper private solutions,” but such privatization would also be a boon for military contractors. As one critic noted, it is hardly surprising that a “war profiteer sees profit opportunity in war.” Blackwater, the private military company Prince founded in 1997—which now operates under the name Academi—made a fortune off the invasion of Iraq. In 2007, a New York Times editorial noted that Blackwater had “received more than $1 billion” in no-bid contracts from the Bush administration; that same year, Blackwater contractors shot and killed more than a dozen civilians in what came to be known as the Nisour Square massacre. But “war profiteering” doesn’t quite capture the scope of Prince’s vision for Afghanistan. Despite the fact that private contractors have a long record of abuse and deadly criminality, Prince believes that they should have a stronger presence in a war that has spanned nearly 16 years and cost trillions of dollars. Such a recommendation, combined with Prince’s invocation of the East India Company—a vestige of the British empire that “conquered, subjugated, and plundered vast tracts of south Asia for a century,” in the words of historian William Dalrymple—amounts to a call for “literal colonialism,” says Anil Kalhan, chair of the New York City Bar Association’s International Human Rights Committee.

Will Trump Agree To the Pentagon's Permanent War

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By Gareth Porter for Middle East Eye. The two top national security officials in the Trump administration – Secretary of Defence James Mattis and national security adviser HR McMaster – are trying to secure long-term US ground and air combat roles in the three long-running wars in the greater Middle East – Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria. Proposals for each of the three countries are still being developed, and there is no consensus, even between Mattis and McMaster, on the details of the plans. They will be submitted to Trump separately, with the plan for Afghanistan coming sometime before a NATO summit in Brussels on 25 May. But if this power play succeeds in one or more of the three, it could guarantee the extension of permanent US ground combat in the greater Middle East for many years to come – and would represent a culmination of the “generational war” first announced by the George W Bush administration.

While US Threatens War, Work Of Peace Continues In Afghanistan

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By Kathy Kelly for The Progressive. Three former United Nations officials with many decades of experience as diplomats recently wrote a blunt appraisal of the U.S. role in undermining peace efforts and promoting wars. The authors call out President Donald Trump for “embracing a toxic form of messianic nationalism,” with exclusionary policies “illustrative of a regressive and Islamophobic outlook.” The massive bomb Trump dropped on Afghanistan in April was more bad news. Yet in Kabul, the work of peace continues. Afghan Peace Volunteers have been welcoming delegates from my group, Voices for Creative Nonviolence, from the United States and England, one or two at a time, over the past several months. On a visit last month, I was able to travel by bus to a small village where relatives were celebrating the marriage of Abid and Zahro.

Minneapolis Slams Escalation Of War On Afghanistan, Demands “Hands Off Korea”

From Fightbacknews.org

By Staff of Fight Back News – Minneapolis. MN – With only 24 hour’s notice, Minneapolis peace groups organized an emergency response protest against the use a massive U.S. bomb in Afghanistan. Over 60 people joined the protest held on Friday, April 14. Several people just walking by or waiting for their bus stopped and joined the protest. People in cars, trucks and buses passing by waved and honked in support of the anti-war message. On Thursday, April 13, it was reported that the Trump administration and the Pentagon unleashed the most powerful U.S. bomb – the 20,000 pound GBU-43, referred to as the ‘mother of all bombs.’ The weapon was used in Afghanistan. Twin Cities anti-war groups saw this as a major escalation of the U.S. wars and consulted quickly to call an emergency protest against this latest U.S. military move. Organizers also raised the alarm about the growing danger of a new U.S. war in Korea. News reports had indicated that the Trump administration had plans for an imminent attack on Korea. The protest was in the West Bank neighborhood of Minneapolis. The neighborhood has many Somali immigrant families.

WikiLeaks: Afghan Tunnels The US Just Bombed — “They Were Built By CIA”

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By Jack Burns for Activist Post – Linked to the tweet was a New York Times article from 2005, which described a similar cave complex in detail, and added a few additional details worth noting. “Tora Bora” as it’s known, contains “fortified caves” which are reported to contain, “miles of tunnels, bunkers and base camps, dug deeply into the steep rock walls.” The tunnels were built by the “C.I.A.”, with the help of the Bin Laden family, who constructed the complex. Also jumping in on the mockery of the Trump administration is Edward Snowden, who tweeted, “The bomb dropped today in the middle of nowhere, Afghanistan, cost $314,000,000.” And in a follow up tweet, also said, “Those mujahedeen tunnel networks we’re bombing in Afghanistan? We paid for them.” He, too, linked his tweet to The NY Times article mentioned above. Apparently, the ant farm network of tunnels built by the CIA can now be destroyed by the American military in yet another pseudo-show-of-force meant to make the Trump administration seem tough on Syria, ISIS, and Al Qaeda. It was said Bin Laden even helped to run the bulldozers at Tora Bora and knew the labyrinth of tunnels like the proverbial back of his hand.

The ‘Mother Of All Bombs’ Won’t Lead To Peace

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By Medea Benjamin. “I’m really very good at war. I love war, in a certain way,” bragged candidate Donald Trump at a campaign rally in Iowa. This is the same Donald Trump who avoided the Vietnam draft by claiming a bone spur in his foot, a medical problem that never kept him off the tennis courts or golf courses, and miraculously healed on its own. But with the escalation of US military involvement in Syria, the record number of drone attacks in Yemen, more US troops being sent to the Middle East and, now, the dropping of a massive bomb in Afghanistan, it looks like Trump may indeed love war. Or at least, love “playing” war. In Syria, Trump went for 59 Tomahawk missiles. Now, in Afghanistan, he has opted for a “super weapon”, the second largest of the US military’s non-nuclear bombs. This 21,600-pound explosive, never before used in combat, was used to blast a bunch of tunnels and caves in an Afghan province near the border of Pakistan.

Night After Day In Afghanistan

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By Dr. Hakim for the Afghan Peace Volunteers. Dr. Hakim runs the Afghan Peace Volunteers. Here is the most recent message that they sent about the important work they are doing to survive, heal and build community: I’m so often caught up in the daily concerns of work and the wars raging across Afghanistan and many parts of the world that I forget how remarkable it is that at the Borderfree Nonviolence Community Centre in Kabul, 19 small teams with more than 70 active Afghan Peace Volunteers are putting nonviolence into microscopic but concrete practice. There’s also the pulsating energy from 100 eager street kids ready to change themselves. All these ‘small people’ with ‘big souls’ touch me. They move my days and nights.

End U.S. War In Afghanistan

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By Staff of Action Network – The U.S. war in Afghanistan is well into its 16th year. In 2014 President Obama declared it over, but it will remain a political, financial, security, legal, and moral problem unless you actually end it. The U.S. military now has approximately 8,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan , plus 6,000 other NATO troops, 1,000 mercenaries, and another 26,000 contractors (of whom about 8,000 are from the United States). That’s 41,000 people engaged in a foreign occupation of a country 15 years after the accomplishment of their stated mission to overthrow the Taliban government. During each of the past 15 years, our government in Washington has informed us that success was imminent.

Despite 2017 Odds, Afghan Friends Hope For Healing

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By Dr. Wee Teck Young Hakim) and the Afghan Youth Peace Volunteers for Our Journey to Smile. During particularly stressful moments in 2016, I had felt that the year was one long, hard Afghan night. A few evenings ago, my eyes had smarted from the dense irritant pollutants that enshroud Kabul streets and invade breaths and dreams in winter. Mansoor, determined to do well in his college entrance exams next year, laughed sarcastically at the burnt air which smelled of soot and survival scraps, holding his hand to his mouth and nose as a mask, saying, “Of course our lives are shortened by this smoke.” At least, someone had told me, T.V. ‘commercials’ warn us, “Stay in, or else…” I dashed back to my room, already coughing reflexively, feeling like the human masses have been cornered into prisons within prisons, elaborately presided over by an Afghan President, his CEO and the U.S./NATO/UN corporate machine, watched by an unquestioning, approving world.

See How We Live

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By Kathy Kelly for Dissident Voice. According to Brown University’s Watson Institute, approximately 111,000 people have been killed and an additional 116,000, at minimum, wounded during the 15-year U.S. war in Afghanistan. The death toll from poverty, malnutrition, disease, and social dislocation can’t easily be neatly calculated for such a study. Over 31,000 – nearly a third – of the people killed in fighting alone are local civilians. The United Nations Assistance Mission for Afghanistan (UNAMA) counts more than 40,900 Afghan civilian injuries since January 2009. What has the war accomplished? In the U.S., it is hard for anyone to credit the lie that our rampage through the Middle East, begun in vengeance for the 9/11 attacks of 2001, has made anyone safer. In April 2016, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) reported to Congress only 70.5 percent of the country was in Afghan government control, and just three months later (July 30 2016), SIGAR noted that “the area under Afghan government control had declined by about 5 percent. Violence occurs even in the areas ‘controlled’ by the government.”

Trump’s National Security Adviser Facilitated Murder Of Civilians In Afghanistan

Photo by Bastiaan Slabbers / iStock.

By Gareth Porter for Information Clearing House – November 25, 2016 “Information Clearing House” – “Real News” – After retired Lt. Gen. Michael J. Flynn spoke at the Republican National Convention, The Washington Post captured the prevailing media view of Flynn in the headline: “He was one of the most respected intel officers of his generation. Now he’s leading ‘Lock her up’ chants.” Now that President-elect Donald Trump has chosen Flynn as his national security adviser, media coverage has given prominence to the more serious issue of Flynn’s denunciation of Islam as a “cancer”…