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Indy's Week of Action Against War "End the War in Afghanistan Now"

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  • Timothy Baer
    ***PLEASE FORWARD WIDELY*** October 7, 2009 marks eight years of war in Afghanistan. Greater Indianapolis for Change and other groups have organized a series
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 4, 2009

      October 7, 2009 marks eight years of war in Afghanistan. Greater Indianapolis for Change and other groups have organized a series of events to mark this sad milestone. Please join us when you can, volunteer to staff an event or just show your support by spreading the word. Any way you can, we appreciate you!

      NOTICE: We still need lots of volunteers for 7-9am and 4-6pm daily banner drops, leafletting and for the vigils. Please contact erinpolley@... to volunteer!
      Monday, October 5 @ 7pm, Earth House, 237 N. East St., Indianapolis
      "Rethink Afghanistan"
      A film by Robert Greenwald's Brave New Films. Rethink Afghanistan is a ground-breaking, full-length documentary focusing on the key issues surrounding this war. Following the screening, there will be a moderated discussion, moderated by Shehzad Qazi. Coffee, tea and snacks for purchase at Earth House.
      Wednesday, October 7 @ 7:30pm, Dr. MLK, Jr Park-Peace Memorial, 1702 N. Broadway, Indianapolis
      Candlelight Vigil on the Anniversary of the War in Afghanistan
      Named for Civil Rights Leader Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., this park has a rich history in the community. It is the site where Robert Kennedy gave his speech the night King was assassinated. The park is home to the Peace Memorial, which honors the contributions of both slain leaders. Join us as we stand vigil and remember Dr. King's words about peace. Candles provided. Welcome by Rev. R.E. Willoughby, President of Concerned Clergy.
      Friday, October 9, 4:30-5:30, Federal Building, North & Pennsylvania, Indianapolis
      Weekly Vigil Against War and Occupation
      Bring appropriate signs and show your support for Indy's longest running vigil against the war.

      THEN, ON...

      Saturday, October 17 @ 1pm, American Legion Mall, Meridian & St. Clair, Indianapolis
      Rally and March Against the Afghanistan War
      Speakers will include veterans, military families, students and members of the Indiana peace community. Following the rally, the group will march around the Mall and the Circle. Bring appropriate signs.
      Sponsored by the OCTOBER 7 COALITION: Hoosier Peace Coalition, Greater Indianapolis For Change, American Friends Service Committee, Iraq Veterans Against the War, Veterans For Peace, Indianapolis Peace and Justice Center, Earth House, CodePink, Women In Black, AWARE Urbana-Champaign, Lafayette Area Peace Coalition, Terre Haute Stop War, Jobs With Justice, 9/11 Working Group of Bloomington, Columbus Campaign for Arms Control (Middle East Peace Committee), and Bloomington Peace Action Coalition
      For more information, please visit http://www.greaterindianapolisforchange.org or email erinpolley@...

      * * *

      by Harry Targ
      October 2, 2009
      We are approaching a time when critical decisions will be made on Afghanistan; whether the U.S. government will expand the war for years, sucking us into a quagmire of unimaginable proportions, or disengage, increasing the possibility of investing in health care reform, modest responses to the danger of climate change, and jobs and justice for workers.
      Forty-five years ago, as President Johnson was signing the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and launching the Great Society programs to lift “the other America” out of poverty he was making apocryphal decisions to send thousands of young men to fight and die in Vietnam (and to kill some three million Vietnamese people). With growing Vietnamese resistance to the U.S. war effort, the U.S. military turned to massacring villagers, assassinating suspected enemies, and carpet bombing and napalming. The hopes and dreams of a better America were burned to a crisp in the jungles of Vietnam.
      As many have written in print and cyberspace, the war in Afghanistan must come to an end. Francis Boyle, an international lawyer and professor, wrote in 2002 that the United States should never have made war on Afghanistan. The tragedy of 9/11 was an act of terrorism, not an act of war launched by Afghanistan. “An act of war is a military attack by one state against another state. There is so far no evidence produced that the state of Afghanistan, at the time, either attacked the United States or authorized or approved such an attack.” Nothing ever since justifies the war the United States initiated in Afghanistan in October, 2001.  http://www.mediamonitors.net/francis21.html
      In the subsequent years, the United States and its NATO allies slipped deeper and deeper into the Afghanistan quagmire with the same historical ignorance that characterized American lack of awareness of Vietnamese history. As Marc Pilisuk, social psychologist, reminds us about Vietnam, “Fear of admitting we were wrong led to one new tactic after another. With military efforts bogged down in unfriendly jungle areas, we resorted to the use of toxic herbicides and ‘open target area bombing,’ burning villages, torturing peasants for information, propping up a succession of puppet governments.…Efforts to ‘win the minds and hearts’ of people were undermined by military violence and a nearly universal wish to get the U.S. troops out of their country.” Pilisuk then elaborates on the complex history of Afghanistan; which includes defeating invading imperial armies, internal tribal conflicts, U.S. support for those now seen as terrorists in the 1980s war against the pro-Soviet regime in Kabul, and shocking underdevelopment. He compellingly argues that: “Planning to remake Afghanistan in the back offices of the Pentagon is to repeat the neglect of cultural and historical factors in Vietnam.” http://psysr.wordpress.com/2009/02/12/the-hopes-for-Obama-may-die-in
      What to do now? Tom Hayden initiated a petition campaign in September, 2009, securing signatures of those who demand an end to the war in Afghanistan. In it he proposes an exit strategy that makes sense.
      “Our government should adopt an exit strategy from Afghanistan based on all-party talks, regional diplomacy, unconditional humanitarian aid, and timelines for the near-term withdrawal of American and NATO combat troops.
      - The aerial bombardments of Afghan and Pakistan villages, like burning down haystacks to find terrorist needles, should end.
      - Military spending should be reversed in Afghanistan to focus on food, medicine, shelter, the socio-economic needs of the poor, and the dignity of women and children.”
      As these scholar/activists correctly state:  the United States should never have made war on Afghanistan and the eight year war reflects the same ignorance of the history the U.S. displayed in Vietnam. As the Hayden petition argues, the Obama administration must embark on a diplomatic effort to bring together contending political forces in Afghanistan with the assistance of interested governments in Asia and the Persian Gulf. The only solution to the war in Afghanistan is the withdrawal of United States troops from that country. Adopting the recommendations of Generals McChrystal and Petraeus for more troops is a blueprint for disaster.

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