No To War Call To Action

We say No to War sign seen at a 2007 anti-war protest. (Photo by Thiago Santos on flickr)

By Staff of No To War – The Afghan war, which has been a thoroughly bipartisan effort, was originally railed against by Donald Trump when he was running for president. He claimed to be against U.S. troop involvement in Afghanistan. Now he is moving forward with a “secret” plan of escalation that will also include Pakistan. He says the secrecy is to keep the “enemy” from knowing his plans, but it also keeps the U.S. people from knowing what he is doing in our name and from judging the human costs for the people of Afghanistan, Pakistan and the United States. What we do know is that military escalation has repeatedly failed to bring peace in Afghanistan. It has caused more destruction and more deaths of civilians and soldiers alike and has cost trillions of dollars that could be spent on meeting basic needs here at home while repairing the destruction we have carried out abroad. Trump also emboldens the war machine here in the US against Black and Brown people and immigrants by fanning white supremacy and xenophobia and continuing the militarization of the police and ICE to incite racially-motivated violence and justify repression, including mass incarceration and mass deportations.

Newsletter: As US Empire Fails, Trump Enters A Quagmire

Afghan war protest

By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers for Popular Resistance. Many ask why are we still at war in Afghanistan: Osama bid Laden is dead, other alleged 9-11 attack attackers are caught or killed. This shows that calling Afghanistan the longest running Fake War in US history is right — fake because it was never about terrorism but about business. If terrorism were the issue, Saudi Arabia would be the prime US enemy, but Saudi Arabia is also about business. We share the conclusion of human rights activist and Green vice presidential candidate in 2016 Ajamu Baraka who wrote for the Black Alliance for Peace that: “In an obscene testament to U.S. vanity and the psychopathological commitment to global white supremacy, billions have already been wasted, almost three thousand U.S. lives lost and over 100,000 dead. It is time to admit defeat in Afghanistan and bring the war to an end. Justice and common sense demand that the bloodletting stop.” When we understand the true motives of US Empire, that conclusion is even worse

Korea, Afghanistan And The Never Ending War Trap

End the Endless War

By Pepe Escobar for Counterpunch. A China-North Korea mutual defense treaty has been in effect since 1961. Under this framework, Beijing’s response to Trump’s “fire and fury” was a thing of beauty. If Pyongyang attacks, China is neutral. But if the US launches a McMaster-style pre-emptive attack, China intervenes – militarily – on behalf of Pyongyang. As a clincher, Beijing even made it clear that its preference is for the current status quo to remain. Checkmate. Evidence may have been provided by a very important meeting last week between the chairmen of the US and Chinese Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Joseph Dunford and General Fang Fenghui. They signed a deal that the Pentagon spun as able to “reduce the risk of miscalculation” in Northeast Asia. And extra evidence in the “they got us” department is that B-1B heavy bomber “decapitation” practice runs – out of Andersen Air Force Base in Guam – have been quietly “suspended”. This crucial, largely unreported fact . . . .

The Hard Numbers On The War In Afghanistan Trump Left Out Of His Speech

President Donald Trump gestures before delivering remarks on the US's military involvement in Afghanistan at the Fort Myer military base on August 21, 2017, in Arlington, Virginia. (Photo: Mark Wilson / Getty Images)

By Mike Ludwig for Truthout – Last night, President Trump was expected to announce that he would be sending several thousand more troops to Afghanistan, where the United States has been at war for 16 years and violence and corruption have become a way of life. Instead, he outlined a vague strategy meant to appease both a public weary of endless war and the military generals who are now among his top advisors. In his address to the nation from Fort Myer, Trump did not say how many more troops he would send to Afghanistan, or how much more money he is willing to spend on the war. He only said that restrictions on wartime spending would be lifted, and that military commanders would have the freedom to launch attacks without waiting for approval from Washington. Trump also refused to give a timetable for withdrawing American forces, saying only that the enemy would not be privy to when and where the US would attack. He said the “nation-building” effort in Afghanistan is over, and the US would no longer seek to forge democracies in foreign lands “in our own image.” Trump did mention that the Taliban could have a place in a functioning Afghan democracy, a sign that the White House might now be willing to negotiate with anti-government forces after years of bloody warfare, but it’s not clear what such negotiations would look like.

Trump’s Afghan War Speech: More Of The Same, With More Killing

Trump, surrounded by troops and patriotic bunting, defines his “new” Afghan strategy (Carolyn Kaster/AP)

By W.J. Astore for Bracing Views – Actually, the consequences of an American withdrawal are both unpredictable and (most probably) acceptable. Sure, terrorist organizations may gain impetus from an American withdrawal. It’s also possible that a notoriously corrupt Afghan government might finally negotiate with the Taliban and other organizations, and that regional power brokers like Pakistan and Iran, who have their own interests in regional stability, might broker a settlement that Americans could live with. Trump further argued that a rapid U.S. withdrawal from Iraq in 2011 led to “hard-won gains slip[ping] back into the hands of terrorist enemies. Our soldiers watched as cities they had fought for, and bled to liberate, and won, were occupied by a terrorist group called ISIS.” The truth is far more complex. The prolonged U.S. occupation of Iraq helped to create ISIS in the first place, and failed American efforts to create and train reliable Iraqi security forces contributed to easy ISIS victories after U.S. forces left in 2011.

Black Alliance for Peace: End War In Afghanistan

#Enough! War in Afghanistan and the World

By Ajamu Baraka for Black Alliance for Peace. With the announcement that the Trump administration concluded its analysis of the war in Afghanistan, the administration had an opportunity to announce a sensible solution to the longest war in U.S. history by calling on all parties to the conflict to enter into serious discussions to create a process for national reconciliation and peace. Instead, the administration committed the U.S. to an endless war in Afghanistan with no clear criterion for what the administration would define as a “win.” Moreover, by suggesting that the administration intends to play up to India, Pakistan’s bitter rival, so India can play a larger role in solving the conflict in Afghanistan amounts to a dangerous and cynical ploy that could inflame the already tense relations between the two nuclear-armed nations. Trump’s call for support for an increase to military spending was a crude and opportunistic rationalization for endless war and the squandering of the nation’s precious resources, including the lives of its young.

The 16 Year War In Afghanistan – Headlines Tell The Story

Screen Shot 2015-11-11 at 11.37.46 AM

By Ralph Nader for The Nader Page – Since 2001 the US has been at War in Afghanistan – the longest war in US history. Headlines concisely tell the story of this cruel boomeranging quagmire of human violence and misery. Below are some newspaper headlines from 2010 to the present to show that a militarized foreign policy without Congress exercising its Constitutional duties and steadfast public engagement will drift on, costing our soldiers’ lives and limbs, nearly three-quarters of a trillion taxpayer dollars, hundreds of thousands of Afghani lives and millions of refugees, with no end in sight. Here we go – year by year: 2010. Setbacks in Afghanistan Aggravate Fissures Over Obama Administration’s Review Strategy, Magnifying Differences. US Money Financing Afghan Warlords for Convoy Protection, Report Says. Afghan Base Tests US Exit Plans. In Bank Scandal, Kabul Struggles to Recover Missing Money. Afghanistan Halts Taliban Peace Initiative. US Slows Troop Pullout in Afghanistan

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

1refugee

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’

1afghan1

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

worldbeyondwar.org

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

US soldier overllooking mIddle east from plane

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

1af

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.