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Thursday, September 11, 2008

[haw-info] HAW Notes


Hi!  Here are a few notes regarding Historians Against the War activities:

1.  Carolyn "Rusti" Eisenberg and Margaret Power have put together a list of forty people who have agreed to speak at teach-ins or other educational events this fall at no cost beyond travel and housing.  The list, with descriptions and contact information, is at
http://www.historiansagainstwar.org/teachin/speakers.htm.

2.  The flagship event of HAW's effort to encourage war-related educational events during this election season is an all-day teach-in at the University of California at Berkeley on Friday, September 19, co-sponsored by HAW, War Times, and several UC Berkeley groups.  Information is at http://www.historiansagainstwar.org/teachin/ucb.html.

3.  The HAW Steering Committee is still welcoming input on a possible statement on the US/NATO military presence in Afghanistan.  About a dozen comments have been received so far in response to the tentative discussion points sent out last week (and reprinted below).  All points of view from HAW members are welcome.  Comments should be sent to afghanistan@historiansagainstwar.org

Thanks,
Jim O'Brien for the Steering Committee


Discussion Points

1.  Whatever views we hold on the initial US military intervention in Afghanistan in the wake of the September 11 attacks in the US, it is now clear that the US/NATO presence in this country has become an occupation, increasingly resented and opposed by large sections of the population.

2.  Despite the relief that met removal of the totalitarian Taliban government by US and NATO forces, the new government, chosen under the direction of the Bush administration, has distanced itself from the people, is rent with corruption, and barely governs anything. Outside of Kabul, warlords and criminal elements operate with impunity, the opium trade grows, violence -- including violence by the occupation forces -- proliferates, and the Taliban is resurgent.

3.  The purpose of US policy in Afghanistan is not to support the self-determination of the Afghan people, but to extend the bankrupt global war against terror deeper into Central Asia, and to strengthen US geopolitical power in this region.

4.  The US/NATO war on Afghanistan is not a "good war" in contrast to the "bad war" on Iraq, and the current consensus in higher political circles, including both major party candidates for president, that the war in Afghanistan must be escalated, is wrong and will only deepen the regional crisis and suffering of the Afghan people.

5.  The US and NATO must immediately withdraw their military and political assets from Afghanistan so that the Afghan people can have room to decide their own future.  Continued US/NATO action in the country is a large part of the problem and cannot be the solution.  [There has been subsequent discussion of what "immediately" might mean in practical terms:  for example, beginning immediately and completed between, say, six months, or a year.]


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