October 7, 2009
CODEPINK co-founders Medea Benjamin and Jodie Evans recently returned from an eye-opening trip to Afghanistan. Their experiences convinced them even further that sending 40,000 more US troops would be disastrous for Afghan women and children. On October 3, their last day in the country, a US bomb hit a farmer's house, killing two innocent women and six children. That same day, a fierce gun battle in mountainous Nuristan Province left eight U.S. Servicemen dead.
Watch the video interview with Dr. Roshanak Wardak, an Afghan member of parliament as she speaks with CODEPINK about the effects of the U.S. presence in Afghanistan and what Obama should do about sending more troops
"After eight years of U.S. military presence, Afghan women told us more troops will just mean more civilian deaths and more Taliban," Medea reports, not to mention more US casualties, more devastated families in both countries. "Afghan women want peace talks and economic development, not endless war."
Jodie adds, "We were told that most men join the Taliban out of economic desperation; providing jobs will do more for security then spending billions on more troops. It's time to change our military focus to a focus on improving the health, education and welfare of the Afghan people."
Near the end of their journey, the delegation met with women from Afghanistan, Pakistan and India to discuss issues of peace. The women--including members of Parliament, Dr. Roshanak Wardak and Shukria Barakzai; Suraya Parlika of the Afghan Women's Network, and businesswoman Wazhma Karzai, President Karzai's sister-in-law--signed a letter asking Obama to focus on economic needs in Afghanistan, not war.
As Dr. Ghazanfar states, "To fight is not the solution. We have a mouth and a brain, we should talk."
Won't you sign on to the women's letter to urge Obama to stop sending troops to Afghanistan? You can use our tools --including a downloadable petition to a United for Peace or AFSC vigil marking the 8th anniversary of the war in your area this Wednesday.
Jodie reminds us "The protection of Afghan women is often used to justify our military presence, but we met an astounding array of Afghan women who said that sending more U.S. troops is not the answer. President Obama should listen to these women."
Thank you for using your mouth and your brain to speak out for peace in Afghanistan,
Dana, Farida, Gael, Gayle, Janet, Jodie, Medea, Nancy, Paris, Rae, Suzanne, and Whitney