Voices for Creative Nonviolence representatives in Kabul are privileged to be meeting with representatives of the Afghan Youth Peace Volunteers (AYPV), a group of teenagers based in Bamiyan, Afghanistan who campaign to promote nonviolence. As the Obama administration releases its December review of the US war in Afghanistan, the AYPV, along with Afghans for Peace, have issued a review of their experiences. To express support for their letter, follow this link.
To all the leaders of our world, the leaders of the US-led coalition, the Afghan government, the “Taliban/Al-Qaeda” and regional countries:
We are intolerably angry.
All our senses are hurting.
Our women, our men and, yes, shame on you, our children, are grieving.
Your Afghan civilian-military strategy is a murderous stench we smell, see, hear and breathe.
President Obama, and all the elite players and people of the world, why?
America’s $250 million annual communications budget just to scream propaganda on this war of perceptions, with its nauseating rhetoric mimicked by Osama and other warlords, is powerless before the silent wailing of every anemic mother.
We will no longer be passive prey to your disrespectful systems of oligarchic, plutocratic war against the people.
Your systems feed the rich and powerful. They are glaringly unequal. They do not listen, do not think, and, worst, they do not care.
We choose not to gluttonize with you. We choose not to be trained by you. We choose not to be pawned by you.
We henceforth refuse every weapon you kill us with, every dollar you bait us with and every lie you manipulate us with.
We are not beasts.
We are Afghans, Americans, Europeans, Asians and global citizens.
Yes, you have the false, self-appointed power to arrest us over expressing the public opinion of ordinary folk, students, farmers, shepherds, laborers, teachers, doctors … people who now have nowhere to turn and nowhere to hide.
This world public opinion against the Afghan war has been clearly expressed and is larger than any number of Wikileaks you seek to suppress. So, come arrest us all as we civilly disobey you. Come arrest us all.
Yes, you have the army, police and apparatchik to smother us and to bribe those who are Pavlov-reflexed to money, but you cannot stop us from restoring our voice.
We refuse to prostitute our hearts and minds.
We refuse you.
Not you the human person, but you the greedy system of self-interested power.
Again and again here in Afghanistan, we have seen a hope for nonviolence light up; every day we see a yearning for humane relationships, and because of this, love is how we now firmly take our stand.
We will listen to the People on December 19th, on the Global Day of Listening to Afghans, and we invite every one of you to pick up your phone to call us, to share one another’s pain, and to call our world to urgent reconciliation. We invite the world public opinion to overwhelm us! Email firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange a call.
We wish to invite all the people of the world because when the powers are not listening to the people, listening becomes an act of love, it becomes a solidarity of nonviolent resistance.
How can we do any less?
14-year-old Abdulai’s father was killed by the “Taliban” and so, like every other human being, he copes with sorrow, hate, fear and anger.
But he wakes up to the chronic war days in his land sensing that “something is very wrong with the world I’m caught up in”; “these elders of the world are not getting it.”
How does trillion-deficit killing, followed by the strategy of escalated killing and yet another review for more killing, work?
How does it make anyone safer?
How does it solve the incorruptible corruption, unequalled inequality and inviolate violence we face daily?
Your policies, skewed-ly “diagnosed” and “reviewed” in a cold, clinical manner divorced from reality, have been deaf to the concerns and needs of the people; thus we endeavor to have a People’s Afghanistan December Review, because that’s what ordinary people can do.
We would try not to “throw” our shoes at you. We would try to recognize the better side of all human beings and thus continue to serve our commoner’s tea and bread to one and all. But we do ask, plead and demand that you stop your unsustainable, superpower militarism.
We want peace.
We want you out.
With singular sincerity,
My people, the suppressed millions, are my heroes. They are the real source of any positive change in Afghanistan and their power is stronger than anything else. And anti-war protesters around the world, those who are standing against the destructive policies of world powers. There is a superpower in the world besides the US government – world public opinion. -Malalai Joya
Excerpts from Wikipedia’s entry on “International public opinion on the war in Afghanistan“:
International public opinion is largely opposed to the war in Afghanistan.
The 25-nation Pew Global Attitudes survey in June 2009 reported that majorities or pluralities in 18 out of 25 countries want U.S. and NATO to remove their military troops from Afghanistan as soon as possible.
Despite American calls for NATO allies to send more troops to Afghanistan, there was majority or plurality opposition to such action in every one of the NATO countries surveyed: Germany (63% opposition), France (62%), Poland (57%), Canada (55%), Britain (51%), Spain (50%), and Turkey (49%).
In Europe, poll after poll in France, Germany and even Britain show that the European public want their troops to be pulled out and less money spent on the war in Afghanistan
ABC News/BBC/ARD/Washington Post poll of 1,691 Afghan adults from October 29-November 13, 2010
Afghans indicated they were more pessimistic about the direction of their country, less confident about US-led coalition troops providing security and more willing to negotiate with the Taliban than a year ago. More than half of Afghans interviewed said US and NATO forces should begin withdrawing from the country in mid-2011 or sooner.
There are the occupation forces from the sky, dropping cluster bombs and depleted uranium, and on the ground there are the fundamentalist warlords and the Taliban, with their own guns.
If I should die, and you should choose to carry on my work, you are welcome to visit my grave. Pour some water on it and shout three times. I want to hear your voice. – Malalai Joya