#575 - Peace & Life: Afghanistan War / Drones - August 20, 2021
Violence in Afghanistan: The United States
Twenty years of the violence of war never got rid of the Taliban. Weaponized drones were supposed to be a better option than indiscriminate bombing, but their main success was terrorizing people, including children, and unborn children through their mothers, by posing an ever-present danger of attack. And actual attacks on wedding parties and similar innocent events may have done more to bolster the Taliban than to dismantle it. See, for example, whistleblower Daniel Hale’s letter to his sentencing judge.
Meanwhile, a recent 122-page Pentagon report shows that the U.S. “clumsily forced Western technocratic models onto Afghan economic institutions” and inadequately consulted with Afghan people: “Without this background knowledge, U.S. officials often empowered powerbrokers who preyed on the population or diverted U.S. assistance away from its intended recipients to enrich and empower themselves and their allies.”
Military violence is shown yet again to be profoundly limited. It’s efficient at killing people, but interferes with programs that build people up.
Violence in Afghanistan: The Taliban
The Taliban has a well-deserved reputation for brutality, especially when they ran the country’s government (1996-2001). But we know enough about the history of world-wide nonviolent resistance to know that those Afghanis who oppose their violence have some advantages that didn’t exist during the previous Taliban rule, which include:
∞ While hardly anyone had a mobile phone back then, over 70% do now. With the internet, the ability to get documentation of brutality to the country and the world is much greater.
∞ There’s a large Afghani expatriate community world-wide with an intense interest in human rights in their home country.
∞ Women and girls have now grown accustomed to schools, universities, and jobs. Attempts to take that away may be less effective.
Of course, we don’t know how this will turn out in the long term. But we can hope this may be another case where nonviolence achieves what violence can’t.
1998 protest of the Taliban
Wild Goose Festival: Volunteer(s) Needed
The Wild Goose Festival is September 2-5 in Hot Springs, NC. The Consistent Life Network will have a table and we’re scheduled to do a workshop.
It’s an all-outdoor event with camping on site. We’ve reserved an Airbnb as an alternative to camping.
We need one or two other people to help out. You’ll have plenty of time to attend workshops, listen to music, participate in art projects, and visit other tables. CLN will cover any expenses you need help with. You must have proof of vaccination to attend.
Anyone interested or having questions can email Lisa Stiller at email@example.com or call 775-232-2823 (Pacific Time Zone).
Our Latest Blog Post
This week is the second in a series of short commentaries on three films of interest: Hollywood Movie Insights II. This includes:
∞ Never Look Away, set after World War II in Germany, where an artist has a formerly Nazi father-in-law.
∞ The Report, detailing how ineffective the Bush administration’s “enhanced interrogation” program was. Torture is inherently ineffective for getting good information.
∞ Dark Waters, about corporate cover-up of pollution, including its devastating impact on unborn children.
Quotation of the Week
“Pro-life Means Anti-drone,” The American Conservative, October 25, 2012
For pro-lifers, there must be a question: If life is sacred, how can we justify killing so many innocent children? Some might say, "Well, that’s just war. We make mistakes."
Yet, I don’t know a single pro-lifer who would agree with rectifying the mistake of an unplanned pregnancy by making yet another mistake in terminating that pregnancy. If we justify the killing of innocent children abroad because their lives are somehow worth less, how is this different from liberals who dehumanize the personhood of a fetus?