Thursday, August 4, 2011

KABUL Report & More from Voices for Creative NonViolence

Mid-Trip Report From Voices' Delegation in Kabul

By Ed Kinane

August 2, 2011 Kabul

Drop someone off at the airport here and you’ll be searched three times before getting into the parking lot.

Kabul is a city of sandbags and armed men, both on foot and in big, shiny, assertive, urgently-honking vehicles. In Kabul much life is lived opaquely — behind barbed wire and thick metal doors and high walls.

Early on we are told that, according to the Red Cross, the area is enduring the worst security situation in 30 years. Those with a stake in how things are dread the talked-about (and fanciful?) departure of international forces – of the invaders and occupiers — for fear of civil war.

Some seem to prefer the devil they’ve come to know this past excruciating decade to other devils harder to predict, harder to identify.

Our little delegation is severely restricted in our movements – we keep a low profile: we don’t linger outside those high walls. We stay inside until our driver arrives and then quickly hop in the van. We may not even be able to get beyond Kabul – a tan, dusty, decaying, sprawling town with what must be some of the densest, scariest, least regulated traffic on the planet.

(Not once in our two weeks here have we stopped for a red light.)

Do we avoid venturing forth from the clipped lawns and rose gardens of our guest house compound? Hardly. We are blessed with our unflappable driver, who with preternatural reflexes plunges us into the swirling traffic. And, especially, we are blessed with our interpreter and mentor, “Hakim” – the Singaporean physician who for years has worked among Afghan refugees and the rural youth of Bamiyan province.

Together with our driver and Hakim and often with some of those youth, we visit a primary school, a hospital, an orphanage, and a displaced persons camp. We sit down with filmmakers, journalists, editors, social entrepreneurs, and with the staff of various NGOs — internationals, Afghan-Americans, Afghans young and old, Afghans high and low.

Between Hakim and delegation coordinator Mary Dean, both working their cell phones, we somehow manage to have two, three, sometimes an exhausting four, hastily arranged but often extended encounters a day, day after day.

Whether guarded or candid, perplexing or illuminating, depressing or inspiring, each provides a piece (a figment?) of the puzzle. We glimpse complexities and contradictions – and tragedies — perhaps beyond our sheltered imaginations.

Lowering America’s War Ceiling? Imperial Psychosis on Display
by Tom Engelhardt
August 2, 2011

By now, it seems as if everybody and his brother has joined the debt-ceiling imbroglio in Washington, perhaps the strangest homespun drama of our time. It’s as if Washington’s leading political players, aided and abetted by the media’s love of the horserace, had eaten LSD-laced brownies, then gone on stage before an audience of millions to enact a psychotic spectacle of American decline.

And yet, among the dramatis personae we’ve been watching, there are clearly missing actors. They happen to be out of town, part of a traveling roadshow. When it comes to their production, however, there has, of late, been little publicity, few reviewers, and only the most modest media attention. Moreover, unlike the scenery-chewing divas in Washington, these actors have simply been going about their business as if nothing out of the ordinary were happening.

The next Global Days of Listening will be:August 21, 2011 beginning at approximately 11 am Eastern / 7:30 pm Afg. for ~4 hours

FULL GLOBAL DAYS OF LISTENING for the International Day of Peace September 21, 2011 24-hours long!For all days of listening:Listen to, and talk about, what it is like to live in war-torn countries & about the wish to live without wars.Listen online: LiveStream

If you would like to talk . . .Register by email: to get a call-in time.

North America Call: (661) 673-8600 & access code: 295191#.OUTSIDE North America: Request a time to talk & your SKYPE ID to: globaldaysoflistening@gmail.comInspired by the Afghan Youth Peace Volunteers, Afghans For Peace, and the Iraqi & American Reconciliation Project.

Talk with ordinary people from Afghanistan, Iraq, Palestine, Israel, Egypt, Yemen, and other countries.


Joint Solidarity Statement by the October 2011 Movement, the National Catholic Worker Gathering and SOA Watch South Florida/ SouthComWatchGrassroots resistance actions are being coordinated around the country in early October.

Three efforts in particular share common cause:* The October2011 Movement in Washington, DC to decry the start of the eleventh year of war on the people of Afghanistan;* The National Catholic Worker Movement and Nevada Desert Experience to demonstrate at Creech Air Force Base near Las Vegas, Nevada where armed drone aircraft are headquartered and controlled;*

School of the Americas Watch South Florida / SouthCom Watch to march to the new headquarters of the U.S. Southern Command (SouthCom) outside of Miami, Florida, which is responsible for all U.S. military operations throughout Latin America and the Caribbean.

Hear/Read Pepe Escobar and Derric Crowe from "ReThink Afghanistan" interviewed on "The Stream."Why the US won't leave AfghanistanSurge, bribe and run? Or surge, bribe and stay? How US military bases and the energy war play out in Afghanistan.

No comments:

Post a Comment