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Catholic Workers Head to Afghanistan in Peace & Solidarity

category international | anti-war / imperialism | press release author Tuesday March 15, 2011 20:19author by Jakeauthor address U.S.A. Report this post to the editors

List of CWers going to Afghanistan: Chris Allen Doucot (Hartford Ct CW), Clare Grady - (Ithaca NY CW), Jim Haber (Las Vegas CW), Martha Hennessy (D Day's Granddaughter), Jake Olzen (Chicago Il. CW), Scott Schaeffer-Duffy -(Worcester Mass, CW)

Dear Friends,

I will be traveling to Kabul, Afghanistan next week to meet with a group of extraordinary young people called the Afghan Youth Peace Volunteers http://www.youthpeacevolunteers.org/ (AYPVs). I, along with 27 other internationals organized with Voices for Creative Nonviolence http://vcnv.org/ and supported by Witness Against Torture http://witnesstorture.org/, will spend our time listening to the struggles of what life is like in a country plagued by three decades of war. The AYPVs are committed to a nonviolent end to the wars that have ravaged their families, their fields, and their livelihoods. As an act of solidarity, we will be joining them as they speak out, with steadfast resolve and a resounding hope, the truth that they are determined to live without wars ("Our Journey to Smile").

The war in Afghanistan has now become the longest war America has waged. The costs are incalculable http://vcnv.org/incalculable. As Kathy Kelly wrote, co-coordinator of Voices and with whom I'll be joining in Afghanistan:

Recent polls suggest that while a majority of U.S. people disapprove of the war in Afghanistan, many on grounds of its horrible economic cost, only 3% took the war into account when voting in the 2010 midterm elections. The issue of the economy weighed heavily on voters, but the war and its cost, though clear to them and clearly related to the economy in their thinking, was a far less pressing concern.

U.S. people, if they do read or hear of it, may be shocked at the apparent unconcern of the crews of two U.S. helicopter gunships, which attacked and killed nine children on a mountainside in Afghanistan’s Kunar province, shooting them “one after another” this past Tuesday March 1st. (“The helicopters hovered over us, scanned us and we saw a green flash from the helicopters. Then they flew back high up, and in a second round they hovered over us and started shooting.” (NYT 3/2/11)).

Four of the boys were seven years old; three were eight, one was nine and the oldest was twelve. “The children were gathering wood under a tree in the mountains near a village in the district,” said Noorullah Noori, a member of the local development council in Manogai district. “I myself was involved in the burial,” Noori said. “Yesterday we buried them.” (AP, March 2, 2011) General Petraeus has acknowledged, and apologized for, the tragedy.

We must listen to the youth of our world, of Afghanistan, and take them seriously when they tell us "I wish to live without wars." Please see the attached document for a little more information about the AYPV and ways you can support the wishes of children to live in a world without war.

For more information or to offer financial support for our collective work to end these wars, look for details at the Voices website: http://www.vcnv.org

I am grateful for all the support and prayers I've received from the White Rose Catholic Worker, Kairos Chicago, my friends and family. I bring your desires for peace with me in my heart and will share them with the men and women and children I meet.

-peace & solidarity-

Jake Olzen
White Rose Catholic Worker
2127 W. Devon
Chicago, IL 60659
773.856.0315

author by Biospublication date Thu Mar 17, 2011 06:38author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Biographies of participants in the Spring 2011 Afghanistan Delegation
led by Kathy Kelly who attended all 3 Pitstop Ploughshares trials in Dublin

http://vcnv.org/biographies-of-participants

author by Shirley Hardypublication date Sun Mar 20, 2011 15:41author email gorgesrwe at yahoo dot comauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

Hi, I am a Mother and Grandmother, Great Grandmother and i am more than outraged by what i am hearing and seeing in Afghanistan and all the other places in the world that the US and its allies see fit to destroy for oil, gas, water or just power hungry control! It is time it stopped. The hundreds of thousands that have died or been misfigured physically and mentallly by what war does to everyone we pray for each day. I am very proud of the folks who put their lives on the line to make the powers that be take some notice and give hope and support to the oppressed. I also know that we could lose them in these extremely dangerous times! I will pray for their families that they return home to continue their work. In Solidarity, Shirley Hardy and Family

author by from Kathy Kellypublication date Wed Feb 29, 2012 12:53author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The Ghost and the Machine
by Kathy Kelly with research by the Afghan Youth Peace Volunteers
February 29, 2012

Fazillah, age 25, lives in Maidan Shar, the central city of Afghanistan’s Wardak province. She married about six years ago, and gave birth to a son, Aymal, who just turned five without a father. Fazillah tells her son, Aymal, that his father was killed by an American bomber plane, remote-controlled by computer.

That July, in 2007, Aymal’s father was sitting in a garden with four other men. A weaponized drone, what we used to call an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle or UAV, was flying, unseen, overhead, and fired missiles into the garden, killing all five men.

Now Fazillah and Aymal share a small dwelling with the deceased man’s mother. According to the tradition, a husband’s relatives are responsible to look after a widow with no breadwinner remaining in her immediate family. She and her son have no regular source of bread or income, but Fazillah says that her small family is better off than it might have been: one of the men killed alongside her husband left behind a wife and child but no other living relatives that could provide them with any source of support, at all.
ARTICLE CONTINUED....
http://vcnv.org/the-ghost-and-the-machine

author by Baharpublication date Wed Mar 07, 2012 13:12author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Salam

Afghanistan is a lot more complex. When there is no foreign invader, Afghans are fighting each other and when there is an invader we fight the invader. Good that there is support but you underestimate how bad the situation is and how it is just not the USA who is destroying our country. Don't make the mistake of preaching Christianity to Afghan unless you want to risk your life and those who show you hospitality.

Solidarity!

 
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