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Thank you for taking the CODEPINK Afghanistan survey!
Here are the answers and some of our favorite responses...

# 1 Tell Us What You Think
1.    Would you advocate a timeline for the withdrawal of US troops?

  •  Yes = 90.7%
  •  No = 9.3 %

Our Favorite Comments:
US troops have no business in foreign countries unless they are keeping the peace. Deploy (I hate that verb) them at home to rebuild bridges or just plain build public transportation. British and then U.S. imperialism in Afghanistan, Iran, etc. created the conditions for extremist Islamic governments that oppress many dissenting citizens. How convenient that the corporate powers who run our government now cite these extremist governments as the pretext for military intervention.”

The withdrawal of foreign troops has long been a primary demand of the resistance fighters, and that demand is a legitimate expression of Afghan democratic will. For transparency, to lay the groundwork for a responsible withdrawal, and to limit the geopolitical mischief of the Bush administration, a timeline is important.”                           

A withdrawal timeline as short as possible with the potential for interim peace and humanitarian aid by troops as they withdraw. That would mean 1) training in humanitarian mission 2) humanitarian aid given without political influence of threats to withdraw assistance due to lack of alignment with current US office holders/oil company interests 3) a non aligned, perhaps UN sponsored, oversight of these activities to keep them true (would need to create standards of engagement and ways to insure those standards were adhered to).”

2.    Here are a few ideas we have to best support Afghan women today. Rank these or let us know other ideas you have.
Ranked as ‘Very Effective':

  • Bring Afghan women to the US to tell their story and share their experience = 47.8%  
  • Fund rebuilding, education and health care not more military = 81.3%
  • Push for a “Marshall Plan” for Afghanistan (unfulfilled Bush promise) = 62.3%
  • Quit arming Afghan men = 63.2%

Our Favorite Comment:
In all cases, the best people to decide what must be done are Afghans themselves. The decisions of the US government should flow from the requests of Afghan communities. Ideally, all foreign troops should report directly to local community leaders and not to Washington; that would be a big step toward real democracy (even though it would be politically difficult to implement, and would create far more democracy than the White House could be expected to tolerate). The "Marshall Plan" idea scares me a bit because we would again have Washington trying to turn the Afghan economy upside down to suit its geopolitical interests. American money is needed, but the US government is the worst possible stakeholder to have making strategic decisions.”

3.    Do you think the U.S. government should have talks with the Taliban?

  • Yes = 83 %
  • No = 17 %

Our Favorite Comments:
I think it is always worth talking to any person or group of people to find out what where they are advocating for the greater good, where they can still advocate for justice, show mercy, kindness and compassion and to ask questions about advocacy of policies that do not have those qualities to find out why they would advocate for them. In this way we build connection and relationships, better understanding about where we stand firm against policies that hurt people or the planet and which policies we say we can support.”

I wish you had a "not sure." I am not comfortable without knowing more about whether there are moderates to speak with. At what point do you draw a line in the sand and say "I won't cooperate with people who treat women as less worthy than cattle?" I really don't know the answer to this and I don't think there's a simple one. What we need now is more detailed information, not sound bites from either the right or the left (the latter of which I obviously strongly affiliate with, but who are not immune to rhetoric.)”

Even though I don't think it will do much good, i.e. make the Taliban less violent or demeaning toward women, I think that there should be an attempt to engage them.”

4.    As a dedicated peace activist, please rank the following conflicts and issues on their importance to you:
Ranked as ‘Urgent':

  • Ending US occupation of Iraq = 91 %
  • Preventing war with Iran = 93.8 %
  • Pulling our troops out of Afghanistan = 54 %
  • Impeaching Bush and Cheney = 71 %
  • Ending military recruiting in our high schools = 60 %
  • Closing the prison at Guantanamo Bay = 80.4 %
  • Restoring our Civil Liberties = 90.5 %

5.  What are your ideas for ending violence in Afghanistan?

Our Favorite Comments:
Political unrest is the result of not meeting people's basic needs: adequate food & water, medical care, and meaningful work.
Raising standards of living and education are key. Set up contingencies that reward nonviolent conflict management with what the
people need and want.”

Have Codepink and other peace organizations partner with the Central Asia Institute (the non-profit started by Greg Mortenson of "Three Cups of Tea") to build more schools in Afghanistan, especially for women. This weakens the power of the Islamic fundamentalist madrasses and puts more power in the hands of the Afghan civilians.”

# 2 Tell Us What You Know

1.    What is the approximate number of US troops currently on the ground in Afghanistan?

  • Correct Response: 32,000
  • 36.2 % Answered Correctly

2.    How many US troops have died since the start of the war in Afghanistan?

  • Correct Response: 560
  • 57.3 % Answered Correctly

Our Favorite Comments:
How many Afghanis have died?”

I'm sorry, I don't know either #2 or #3. This war gets very little media attention.”

3.    True or False: Coalition force casualties in May and June were higher in Iraq than in Afghanistan.

  • Correct Response:  False
  • 79.3 % Answered Correctly

4.    How many troops, in addition to those on the ground, does Obama advocate sending to Afghanistan?

  •  Correct Response:  About 10,000
  • 65 % Answered Correctly

5.    How many troops, in addition to those already on the ground, does McCain advocate sending into Afghanistan?

  • Correct Response: As-yet undetermined number of troops in a "surge" similar to the one that "turned around the war in Iraq" (as he stated at a "Jobs for America" townhall in Albuquerque)
  • 79.7 % Answered Correctly