[pjw] Event/Info: Brian Willson goodbye Wed 6/21, Report from Afghanistan

Peace and Justice Works pjw at pjw.info
Fri Jun 9 19:02:42 EDT 2017

Supporters of peace:
The Occupy Portland Elder Caucus sent the below information to us in an 
email earlier this week. Brian Willson (who spoke at PJW's summer 
quarterly meeting last year about VietNam) is holding a good-bye event as 
he prepares to head to Nicaragua, on Wed. June 21. The email also includes 
a report from Kabul, Afghanistan from our ally Zaher Wahab posted about a 
week ago, noting the increasing instability in Afghanistan traces its 
roots to the 2001 US invasion/occupation.
--dan handelman
peace and justice works

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Tue, 6 Jun 2017 10:41:28 -0700
From: Jack DePue

*Special EC Event:*

On Wednesday, June 21, 7 - 9 p.m., S. Brian Willson, longtime peace
activist and environmentalist (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brian_Willson),
will talk about his new projects in Nicaragua, where he is relocating.
Brian plans to start a permaculture farm (
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Permaculture) at his new home, and also a
center for healing for disabled Sandanista veterans.  Doors open at 6:30
pm, Brian from 7 to 9 pm.

Free with donations accepted for the venue, nobody turned away for lack of
funds.  Neighbors have requested we not park on SE 45th Ave. across from
the meetinghouse.  Bus transportation available.
So far Occupy Portland Elder Caucus, Vets for Peace #72 and Physicians for
Social Responsibility have agreed to co-sponsor.  Any group wishing to
co-sponsor ($10 donation or help with set-up, take-down and clean-up plus
spreading the word) or endorse (simply get the word out), please reply to
this ECmail, thanks.

*Emailed "Report From Kabul":*

From: Zaher Wahab
Date: Wed, May 31, 2017 at 11:30 PM
Subject: Report from Kabul June 1, 2017

Dear All,
Greetings from tumultuous Kabul. You no doubt heard about the massive truck
bombing here yesterday and about an  attack a week ago on a Swedish charity
guest house- near AUAF- where one woman was killed and another kidnapped. A
few of you have written if I and AUAF are OK. For most people here, this
kind of mayhem, brutality and carnage has become part of life. Yesterday's
explosion took place at 8:22 am during rush hour and in the heart of
Kabul's 'Green Zone' close to several embassies and the presidential
palace. There is speculation about how/why the septic tank cleaning truck
laden with 1500 kilos of explosives passed through several check points to
the intersection where it exploded. The explosion was felt throughout the
city. It killed more than a hundred and wounded about 500 men, women,
children, young and old-almost all civilians. And it caused millions of
dollars worth of damage to embassies, houses, businesses, cars and so on.
It just looked like a similar event in Iraq, Syria or Yeman. AUAF went to
an immediate re-lock-down and no movement. We have been under lock-down for
about two months now. My wife Tahmina and I wept as we watched the
unbearable pain and suffering on TV. Please see attached links for
pictures.This was the sixth such major atrocity so far this year. Recall
the attack on a Kabul hospital where about 50 people were killed and
countless injured. The reaction here is open shock and outrage at the
perpetrators, the government and its backers(the US, and the west), and
Pakistan the hotbed of terrorism. Anguished families, members of
Parliament, civil society, part of the press, and common people in the
street are criticizing and condemning the government for its ineptness,
indifference, and even complicit; and people are calling on the government
to resign. Some are calling for open rebellion to overthrow the government.

This massive tragedy is simply a continuation and the latest of death,
destruction, carnage, brutality and criminality, and systemic failure. By
all accounts, this has been the bloodiest year since 2001. Civilian, armed
forces and insurgent casualties are at a record high. There are about
twenty different insurgent and/or terrorist groups-the Taliban and
Daesh/ISIS the main ones- active all over the country; and they control
half of the territory. The government, with help from US/NATO so-called
Resolute Support, barely controls the cities. There are reports of
insurgent cells on the outskirts of Kabul. There is fighting in twenty of
the 34 provinces. Militarily, the situation is a stalemate and adding 3000
to 5000 NATO/US troops, or dropping the mother of all bombs is not going to
change that a bit. Recall that earlier there were more than 100,000 foreign
troops and that many contractors from some 48 countries, on top of the
350,000 Afghan security forces here. But all that and the trillion dollars
and 2500 dead Americans were unable to subdue the insurgents/terrorists. So
president Trump and the US public must really think hard to find a
nonmilitary solution to the 40-year tragedy and America's longest war.

Meanwhile, Afghanistan's misery index continues to climb. Unemployment,
hunger, poverty, death and diseases, illiteracy, crime and criminality,
drug addiction, violence, homicide and suicides, corruption, institutional
breakdown, kidnappings, vice, human trafficking, nepotism, cultural decay,
economic decline, government corruption and indifference , and more
surpasses anything I have seen most places and certainly here in my whole
life. It is very painful and enraging to watch this happen.

Afghanistan's problems are very deep and complex. Its geography has
condemned it to be the theater for proxy wars between Russia and the US,
Iran and Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and India, China and others, Iran and the
US. Its heroin has brought major international drug mafias. Its open
borders has made it the hub of smuggling weapons, people ,timber,
merchandise,  Its trillion dollar minerals has spawned local and foreign
economic criminals. There is a vicious verbal war among its major ethnic
groups which could erupt into an open civil war. There is a huge
rural-urban, religious and secular divide amongst the people Its
overwhelmingly young population(70% under 30) is restless and angry. The
illegal , illegitimate, corrupt, ineffective, indifferent and puppet
government is simply unable to govern. All in all, it is a country
suffering from multiple and profound crises. So any kind of nation-building
defies all theories and is a truly sisyphean task. Please stay tuned.


Kind regards,
*Zaher Wahab, Ph.D.*
Professor of Education
Director of MAE-LE and Center for Teaching and Learning
American University of Afghanistan

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