Friday, April 27, 2012

OMNI Afghanistan/Pakistan Newsletter #16

OMNI NEWSLETTER ON AFGHANISTAN AND PAKISTAN #16,  April 27, 2012. Compiled by Dick Bennett for a Culture of Peace  (#8 April 15, 2011; #9 June 10, 2011; #10 July 3, 2011; #11 July 13, 2011;  #12 Sept. 5, 2011; #13 Oct. 2, 2011; #14 Oct. 15, 2011; #15 Feb. 14, 2012 )

Here is the link to all the newsletters archived in the OMNI web site. For views and information not found in the mainstream media

Instead of Defense Department, Say War Department
Instead of War on Terror, Say US War to Dominate World
Instead of Taliban, Say Afghan Resistance to Occupation
And Afghan/Pak make sense. 

Contents of #15
Taliban Peace Talks
Rolling Stone:  McChrystal, Petraeus
Rolling Stone:  Full Report
Chomsky: World Militarism
Voices for Creative Nonviolence:  Women and Children
PBS Film: We Take Our Stand
Merkley Afghan Withdrawal Amendment Passes Senate
Cortright, Ending Obama’s War
Pakistan After NATO Attack
Protest New Military Budget
Afghans Hungry This Winter
US Torture (3)
To End War Free 5 Prisoners
IED Soldiers’ Deaths

Contents of #16
Oppose NATO, Occupation, Warriors, War-Mongers in Chicago
Afghan Women
WAND, Rangina Hamidi
Sheehan, Afghans for Peace for Women
Robert Bales
   Stephenson, US Soldier Kills Civilians
   Hedges, Murder in War
   Shea, Support These Troops?
The War and Afghans
US Labor Against the War

    Join us in Chicago for Nato Counter Summit!
Mary Zerkel and Peter Lems, American Friends Service Committee via to jbennet
Join us for our Counter-Summit for Peace and Economic Justice Chicago, May 18 & 19
Dear James,
The Counter Summit Agenda! 

End the wars and build real security with dialogue, diplomacy and nonviolence.
Map campaigns for a more peaceful and just future
Build campaigns to challenge militarized foreign policies.

For more details on the conference visit NATO-FREE

AFSC is continuing our work to put an end to, and reprioritize, the initiatives of the pro-military agendas around the world. From various traveling exhibits like Windows and Mirrors, hosting informative events such as Know Drones, and the ongoing panels of engaging dialogue. With your help we are making a difference every day.
To expand our work with European partners to end the war in Afghanistan, AFSC took the lead in organizing the Network for a NATO-FREE FUTURE. With these partners, we've organized the Counter-Summit for Peace and Economic Justice Conference as an alternative and safe place for those who, like us, oppose current agendas of many world governments.
There will be more than 50 heads of state participating in the upcoming NATO Summit.
The NATO Summit's agenda aims to:
Establish support for a US military presence through 2024 in Afghanistan.
Commit to spending billions of dollars to arm and support over-sized Afghan security forces that are unsustainable
Reaffirm NATO as a global military alliance and preparations for “New Strategic Concept” wars like the disastrous Libyan military intervention.
To push back against this agenda, the counter summit will offer plenary sessions and 28 workshops featuring analysis, trainings, and campaigns designed to bring the troops home, to move the money from the Pentagon to meet real human needs and to create a more peaceful, just and secure world.
Bringing together activists from across the U.S. and around the world, the counter-summit will provide rare and critically important opportunities to learn from one another, to network and to build more cohesive peace, economic and social justice movements.
Speakers include Phyllis Bennis, Medea Benjamin, Roger Cole, Bruce Gagnon, Sarita Gupta, and AFSC's Peter Lems.
You’ll find the conference agenda, a complete list of speakers, workshops, and other useful information regarding the conference at the NATO-FREE FUTURE web page.
A better, more peaceful, secure and prosperous world is possible. Please come to Chicago if you can!
Wage peace,
Mary Zerkel and Peter Lems
American Friends Service Committee
Ps. If you want to take action in advance visit our NATO/G8 Resources page.
Forward this message to your friends.

Help support AFSC's worldwide work for peace, justice and human dignity. Make a donation today.
American Friends Service Committee
1501 Cherry Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102

    Give Afghan women a voice!
Karen Jacob via
April 11, 2012   to jbennet
Dear WAND Supporter,
 Rangina Hamidi is a 35-year-old Afghani woman whose family fled to the United States during the Soviet occupation in 1981. With the threat of the Taliban’s return to power and activity in Afghanistan, fear is in the air - especially for women.
  Susan Shaer (WAND executive director) and I met with Rangina a few weeks ago. Rangina asks that we tell members of Congress that women’s needs are fundamental to the freedom and security of families, tribes and communities.
  Hillary Clinton has lifted up the absolute necessity of having women at the tables of peacemaking in Afghanistan, and everywhere. Yet few U.S. congresswomen are aware of President Obama’s National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security released in December, 2011, and how it can affect U.S. plans for providing security for the women of Afghanistan after we leave.

Donate to WAND Education Fund now to help enlighten
Congress about the National Action Plan.

U.S. troops will leave soon, so I, you, we, feel urgency to protect the citizens, the women and children, the old and infirm, from endless tragedy. You can help tell Congress to consider how to protect them. WAND has the expertise to help these groups educate elected leaders. WAND understands what policy makers need to think about on the road ahead. 

You and I are the fortunate ones. We can help the Afghan women secure a better future. Join me as I work with WAND to make this a better world for all women. Starting with Afghanistan. You can make a difference by donating to WAND Education Fund today.

Sincerely,Karen Jacob, WAND Board Chair, Goshen, Indiana
691 Massachusetts Ave.
| Arlington, MA 02476 US

Afghans for Peace
by Cindy Sheehan's Soapbox

Dear Friend,

We at Cindy Sheehan's Soapbox have been a consistent, loud, and uncompromising voice for peace during the Obama administration.

More people (US troops and Afghans, alike) have died in Afghanistan since Obama took over management of that war.

This Sunday, on the Soapbox, I talk to Fatima, from Afghans for Peace. Afghans must, themselves, lead any effort for peace in that region.

Here is the video that Fatima wanted us to watch that highlights the struggle for integrity of vision and principle even within her own community.

You can listen to this show Sunday, March 25, at 2pm Pacific at Community Progressive Radio---or any time thereafter at Cindy Sheehan's Soapbox Archives.

U.S. Soldier Kills 16 Afghan Civilians In Unprovoked Attack
Jon Stephenson, News Report, NationofChange, March 12, 2012: “A U.S. soldier killed 16 Afghan civilians on Sunday, including three women and nine children, in an unprovoked attack in southern Kandahar province, Afghan officials said. Five more people also were wounded in the shooting at Belandi-Pul village of the Panjway district when the soldier entered homes and opened fire, according to a statement from President Hamid Karzai's office.” READ  |  DISCUSS  |  SHARE

“Chris Hedges | Murder Is Not an Anomaly in War”
 TruthDig, March 19, 2012
Excerpt: "Robert Bales, a U.S. Army staff sergeant who allegedly killed 16 civilians in two Afghan villages, including nine children, is not an anomaly. To decry the butchery of this case and to defend the wars of occupation we wage is to know nothing about combat."

"Afghanistan: A Gathering Menace: Traveling with U.S. Troops Gives Insights into the Recent Massacre"
By Neil Shea, American Scholar blog, posted March 16

Photos of Soldiers With Afghan Corpses the Latest Outrage for U.S. Occupation of Afghanistan
Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez, Video Report, Democracy Now, April 19, 2012: “We get reaction to two photographs published by the Los Angeles Times that show U.S. soldiers posing with the corpses and body parts of dead Afghans. ‘I think (the photos) shock us actually more than they shock Afghans,’ says journalist Anand Gopal. ‘From the Afghan perspective, we’ve had troops urinating on corpses, a massacre of 17 civilians, air strikes, night raids, troops cutting off fingers for sport, and so, for Afghans, this is part and parcel of the experience of being in war.’” READ  |  DISCUSS  |  SHARE - Similar
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