Archive for the ‘Afghanistan’ Category

By Emma Rosenthal

“I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy.”Jessica Dovey  incorrectly attributed to martin luther king jr.*

“Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that” — Martin Luther King, Jr  Strength to Love

This quote (printed as one single quote)  has been making rounds on the internet. I was one of the people who sent it out, after receiving it. Now another article is circulating that the quote is a hoax. Actually, it’s NOT  a hoax. the first sentence is not attributable to King, but the rest of the quote comes from his book Strength to Love.  It should be printed as two separate quotes, both worthy of mention.  Perhaps the author of the first quote didn’t think his or her words would get the attention they deserved, and attributed it to MLK jr., or perhaps it was sent out as a comment and a quote, and others blended them together to meet character limits on facebook.  (I wrote this sentence before finding out the name of the first sentence of the quote, which i have since included, in a later edit.– emma rosenthal)

Don’t get me wrong.  As a researcher, writer and activist, I appreciate correct attributions, good research and  setting the record straight.

Regardless, the sentiment resonated with a lot to a lot of people.  With all the anger and animosity in the world, that we might confuse a mythical Martin Luther King Jr. with the factual one, in a quote that could very well (had it been written a whole lot better!) be attributed to him, speaks of a different Amerika than the one Obomber is representing, a different America than the Navy Seals represent.  Martin Luther King Jr. is as much a part of our collective Amerika as all the bombs, and debt dependency structures, and multinational corporations and foreign wars, and covert actions.  Should we be ashamed that we tried to find,  that we believed, Martin Luther King Jr had words to express our collective grief and outrage, in a nation where the code name for Bin Ladn, during this alleged raid, was “Geronimo” ?

Which is the greater hoax? Really?


More interesting commentary:



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“Afghanistan: Obama’s Iraq?”

Sunday, May 3rd – 1:00 PM to 6:00 PM

University of Southern California Mark Taper Hall of Humanities –

3501 Trousdale Parkway

Keynote Speakers: Sonali Kolhatkar & Tom Hayden

Suggested Donation $25 – ($10 Low Income)

INFORMATION: icujp@pacbell.nethttp://www.icujp.org – Phone: 213 626 2265

Sponsored by ICUJP-Interfaith Communities United for Justice and Peace USC Center for Religious Life American Friends Service Committee Please contact icujp@pacbell.net for information about co-sponsorship, endorsement, tabling, and special needs

. As US bombs rained down on Afghanistan in October 2001, interfaith voices called for “justice, not vengeance” and insisted that ‘religious communities must stop blessing war and violence’. Now, with additional US troops on their way to that war-ravaged country, it’s again time to speak out and to act. As we continue to insist on the complete withdrawal of US military forces from Iraq, we must do the same with respect to Afghanistan. We must urgently take action while preparing to carry out a long-term struggle to dismantle the war system. Let us begin to create a culture of peace, based on social and economic justice, that will bring our world at last into one Beloved Community. This important conference will feature keynote speaker Sonali Kolhatkar of KPFK and the Afghan Women’s Mission. It will address multiple dimensions of the expanding war in Afghanistan and neighboring Pakistan, including: How and why the US became involved in Afghanistan: Geopolitics and energy US military and economic policy in Afghanistan: diplomacy as an alternative to war Afghani women in struggle: cultural contexts and fundamental human rights Religion: A force for peace and healing, or oppression and destruction? War and the economic crisis: Impacts from Kabul to LA Joining hearts and hands: How we in LA can help Afghani people Strategies for organizing to stop the US war/occupation of Afghanistan We invite members of faith communities, students, peace activists, veterans and military personnel, and others to join us for a program of speakers, films, workshops, and action plans.

INFORMATION: icujp@pacbell.net * http://www.icujp.org Phone 213 626 2265 * PO Box 483 * Pasadena CA 91102-0483

Escalating the occupation of Afghanistan “will bleed us of the resources needed for economic recovery, further destabilize Pakistan, open a rift with our European allies and negate our improved image in the Muslim world prompted by our withdrawal from Iraq. Escalation will not increase US security or secure a better future for the Afghan people – indeed, more troops will certainly mean more dead civilians….Up to this point, the Afghan war belonged to George W. Bush, but Obama’s escalation threatens to make it his own. There’s still time to change direction. President Obama, don’t make this your war!” –Katrina Vanden Heuvel, “Obama’s War?” The Nation, March 9, 2009

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Exciting times.  I was a student at Hampshire College for two years, before transfering to UMASS and graduating in 1981.  Those were the days fighting South African apartheid.   

Towards a Divestment Policy that Makes Global Connections

University of Massachusetts/Amherst Calls for Divestiture of Companies that profit from War and Occupation

Emma Rosenthal


On March 25, The Student Government Association of the University of Massachusetts/ Amherst, passed a resolution calling for divestiture in companies that profit from war and occupation.  While not specifically mentioning Israel , this motion, which is not binding on the University, had the clear intent of addressing Israeli Apartheid within a global context of war profiteering and colonization. Taken on the heels of the very successful campaign at Hampshire College, also in Amherst, that resulted in divestiture of similar companies, the resolution is part of a consolidated campaign to focus and address responses to Israeli Apartheid. 


 I have long argued that any discussion of Palestinian human rights is best made in a global context, that ties together the particular conditions of Palestinians with human rights struggles historically and globally.  This methodology provides three important possibilities for activists:


1.  International Solidarity:  It draws important connections between the struggle for Palestinian human rights and other human rights struggles, focusing on issues such as war profiteering, military occupation, neo-liberalism, the military industrial complex, expropriation of resources, labor, guest worker programs, free enterprise zones, racism, apartheid, imperialism, U.S. empire,  funding for education, health care and other social programs; differentiating this movement from the neo-liberal agenda that includes in its analysis, the living conditions of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, but ignores the overall issue of western hegemony and U.S. empire.  This approach also distinguishes itself from the White supremacist movement, which repeatedly attempts inroads into this movement, with similar rhetoric to the neo-liberal argument, but with the added emphasis, and whose purpose is fighting what they see as the ZOG, the Zionist Occupied Government, here in the U.S.  and around the world.  For them, fighting for Palestinians, is essential for defeating “global Jewish domination.”   They see Palestinians on the front lines of that battle, though as racists, their empathy for Palestinians usually ends there.


2.  Israeli Accountability: Such an approach, shields the movement from attacks of “singling out Israel.”  When the position on Israeli apartheid is part of a broader human rights agenda, within a larger human rights analysis, it is the Zionists who are insisting on singling out Israel, as the only country beyond reproach.  


3.   U.S. Accountability:  It is hypocritical for amerikans to call for BDS and human rights for Palestinians without holding accountable the U.S. government and the U.S. corporations, who are the main supporters and beneficiaries of U.S. military aid to Israel (75% of which MUST be spent on U.S. weapons systems!)  The U.S. is not a neutral player here, but a very vested ally that must be brought to task as well.  Additionally, while Israel shares a special relationship with the U.S. on so many levels, not least of which is a parallel narrative of colonization, divine purpose/destiny, control of and destruction of a “hostile” indigenous population, entitlement, suffering, exceptionalism, and victimization, the U.S. is the belly of the beast in regard to global empire and neo-colonialism.  Israel by all accounts is simply U.S. lite.  It is only fitting that any criticism of Israel be placed in the context of the larger global arena in which this travesty of justice is able to thrive.


Calling for investment policies that are socially responsible, globally, and not merely regionally, is the only investment policy that is socially responsible.  On the other hand there are agencies (unions, pension funds) that have similar policies, but have singled out Israel in their unwillingness to apply these standards to Israeli militarization, human rights violations and hegemony.  If we come to the conclusion that investment be universally responsible,  because of awareness raised by the outrageous violations of human rights committed by Israel, or  that Israel must be held accountable because of an awareness that international standards must be applied universally, as well, the outcome is the same: a human rights agenda, a connection between the  lives  of students and workers in the United States and around the world, (pensions, educations, etc.) and the corporations that benefit from our endowments and the extreme exploitation of workers, globally.  


Emma Rosenthal

Cafe Intifada

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Sonali Kolhatkar serves on the Advisory Board of Cafe Intifada
Published on Monday, April 6, 2009 by CommonDreams.org

Article printed from http://www.CommonDreams.org

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Sonali Kolhatkar serves on the Advisory Board of Cafe Intifada.

The Orange County Peace Coalition Presents
"What You Need to Know About Afghanistan"
A Talk by KPFK' Sonali Kolhatkar
www.uprisingradio.org <http://www.uprisingradio.org/> 

Saturday, March 28th - 10:00 AM to Noon
St. Joseph Center - Library Conference Room
480 S. Batavia St., Orange 92868

Sonali Kolhatkar is co-director of the Afghan Women's Mission, a U.S.-based
nonprofit that funds health, educational and training projects for Afghan
women. She is also the host and producer of "Uprising", a daily morning
radio program for KPFK 90.7 FM in Los Angeles. Her program provides the
public with in-depth reports and updates on issues in the Middle East.

Ms. Kolhatkar is a leading authority on current Afghan issues and has
recently coauthored a book on the subject which provides much insight about
the many misconceptions about the war in Afghanistan. Her discussion will
touch on security and the oppression of women in Afghanistan.

Coffee and other refreshments will be served.

Please RSVP to:  <mailto:info%40ocpeace.org> info@ocpeace.org or leave a
message at (714) 637-8313

The views expressed at this speaking engagement are not necessarily those of
the  Orange County Peace Coalition or of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange.

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Sonali Kolhatkar serves on the Advisory Board of Cafe Intifada


May 29th, 2008, Thursday 7:30 pm  Golden Eagle Building, 3rd Floor Ballroom At Cal State LA!

Moderated by SONALI KOLHATKAR of KPFK 90.7 FM and “Afghan Women’s Mission” 


Speakers Include:

RAED JARRAR, an Iraqi political analyst and consultant to American Friends Service Committee’s/Iraq Program currently based in Washington, D.C.  After the U.S.-led invasion, Jarrar became the country director for CIVIC Worldwide, the only door-to-door casualty survey group in post-war Iraq.  He then established Emaar, (meaning “reconstruction” in Arabic); a grassroots organization that provided humanitarian and political aid to Iraqi internally displaced persons (IDPs).  Emaar delivered medicine and food as well as helped initiate micro-enterprise projects for IDPs.  Additionally, Emaar engaged in political advocacy on behalf of displaced populations.

COL. ANN WRIGHT, who resigned from the U.S. Foreign Service on March 19, 2003, while serving as Deputy Chief of Mission at the US Embassy in Mongolia. She resigned due to her disagreement with the Bush administration’s decision to go to war in Iraq without the authorization of the UN Security Council, the lack of effort in resolving the Israel-Palestinian situation, the lack of policy on North Korea and unnecessary curtailment of civil liberties in the United States. Ms. Wright joined the Foreign Service in 1987 and served as Deputy Chief of Mission of US Embassies in Sierra Leone, Micronesia and briefly in Afghanistan. Before entering the Foreign Service, she served in the Army and has a combined regular Army/Army Reserve service time of 29 years. She served primarily in special operations units and attained the rank of Colonel. Ann Wright will also have her book for sale at the event, titled “Dissent: Voices of Conscience” about how government insiders speak out against the Iraq War.


EDGAR CUEVAS, who was stationed in Germany for three years as a Cavalry Scout for the United States Army. Twelve days before his contract was about to expire he was Stop Lossed and forced to serve in Iraq for a year and a half. He served in Iraq from February of 2004 through March of 2005. He was stationed in Tikrit and witnessed innocent people being mishandled and tortured. He is a member of ‘Iraq Veterans Against the War” in Los Angeles.

Sponsored by the Student Friends Service Committee of CSULA. Co-sponsored by the Humanist Association at CSULA. Info: call (310) 795-2235 The California State University at Los Angeles campus is located at the intersection of the 10 and 710 freeways. A campus map and parking instructions can be found at http://www.calstatela.edu/univ/maps/cslamap.htm 


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10:30 – 11:30 am
A Mother’s Day talk by Afghan Women’s Mission Co-Director, Sonali Kolhatkar about “The Lives of Afghan Women.” Kolhatkar will address how US policy has affected Afghan women, before and during the US occupation of Afghanistan. She will also offer solutions on what Americans can do to end the war.
LOCATION: Sepulveda Unitarian Universalist Society or the “Onion” is located at 9550 Haskell Ave., North Hills, CA 91343. Tel: 818-894-9251, Website: http://www.valleyonion.org, Email (for these events only): jungersmith@yahoo.com.

A teach-in by Afghan Women’s Mission Co-Director, Sonali Kolhatkar about the war in Afghanistan and Afghan women’s resistance, followed by special free screening of “Enemies of Happiness.”
Winner of countless awards and recipient of the 2007 “World Cinema Jury Prize for A Documentary Film” at the Sundance Film Festival, “Enemies of Happiness” tells the story of a woman of courage that brought hope and justice to Afghanistan. At 28 years, Malalai Joya became the first female to be elected a seat in the Afghan National Assembly after a rigorous campaign that resulted in multiple death threats. Yet despite such obstacles, she sought liberation and prosperity for her Afghani brothers and sisters, and has since then been a patron of diplomacy and progressivism. More information about the film can be found at http://www.enemiesofhappiness.com.
LOCATION: UCLA Campus – Kerckhoff Art Gallery in Kerckhoff Building Level 2 – Westwood/Los Angeles CA. Parking available on the UCLA Campus in Lot 6&4 (Off of Wilshire & Westwood)

1:00 – 5:00 pm
The Women’s Empowerment Group will host a screening of the acclaimed documentary by Meena Nanji, View From a Grain of Sand to benefit the projects of the Afghan Women’s Mission. View From a Grain of Sand chronicles the political evolution of Afghanistan including foreign invasions and fundamentalism, through the lives of three Afghan women. More information about the film can be found at http://www.viewgrainofsand.com.
LOCATION: Sepulveda Unitarian Universalist Society or the “Onion” is located at 9550 Haskell Ave., North Hills, CA 91343. Tel: 818-894-9251, Website: http://www.valleyonion.org, Email (for these events only): jungersmith@yahoo.com.

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Afghanistan's fiercest critic of the warlords, Malalai Joya,  returns to the US for a brief visit. She will be addressing  students and antiwar activists.

In May 2007, Joya was kicked out of Parliament for comparing  the warlords to animals in a zoo in a TV interview.  Thousands of Afghans protested across the country. Today, Joya  is still awaiting reinstatement to the Parliament.

Event details:

* Friday March 14th, 6-8 pm at Pasadena City College, R building,  Room R-122 (South side of the Quad near the center of campus).  Download the flyer here:  www.afghanwomensmission.org/Joya_visit/PCC_flyer.pdf

* Saturday March 15th, 12 noon at the major antiwar rally on the  corner of Hollywood and Vine in Los Angeles. For more information  about the march, visit www.answerla.org

In September 2005, Malalai Joya was elected to Afghanistan’s parliament  representing her native Farah province. At 27, she was one of the  country's youngest MPs. After her election, Joya became a fierce  critic of her fellow parliamentarians, telling journalists, human  rights groups and anyone who would listen that though they now wore  suits and ties, they were still the same US-sponsored, corrupt, greedy,  murdering warlords and religious fundamentalists who had contributed to  the country's ruin. Joya has survived 4 assassination attempts, and won  numerous international human rights awards. She has been profiled in an  award-winning film called Enemies of Happiness. In May 2007, she was  kicked out of Parliament for comparing the warlords to animals in a zoo  in a TV interview. Thousands of Afghans protested across the country.  Today, Joya is still awaiting reinstatement to the Parliament. 

For more information, visit www.malalaijoya.com

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Malalai Joya——– Original Message ——–
Subject: Malalai Joya Needs Your Help Date: Thu, 24 May 2007 02:11:44 -0500 From: Afghan Women’s Mission Reply-To: Afghan Women’s Mission To: emmarosenthal@earthlink.net

Dear friends,

For the past several years, the Afghan Women’s Mission has been expressing ourmoral and financial solidarity with Afghan Parliamentarian Malalai Joya. AWM has organized two US tours for her (2006, 2007) and helped inform the US public about her important work. Joya is the only elected official in
Afghanistan who has been truly representing her people through her vocal
denunciations of the war criminals in Parliament. Now, she has been suspended by the warlord-dominated parliament. Read on to find out how you can help…

*** An Urgent Message from the Defense Committee for Malalai Joya ***

In the past few weeks, after Malalai Joya’s return from a successful
international tour and interview with a local TV station in Kabul, the
warlords and criminals in the Afghan Parliament and Senate, tried hard to
silence Joya and kick her out of the Parliament.

They have used one of her recent comments during an interview as a
justification for their move. In the interview, she expressed that the Afghan
Parliament is worse than an animal stable whose many members are the murderers and enemies of Afghan people.

On May 21, 2007, with a gross majority, the Parliament dominated by warlords and drug-lords suspended Joya for three years and ordered the High Court to file a case against her. They also directed the Interior Ministry to restrict her movements to within the country. This means she is not allowed to travel outside Afghanistan.

In a press conference in Kabul, Joya announced that it is a political
conspiracy against her and she will continue her fight against the warlords
and enemies of Afghan people. She is ready to face an independent court and
will use the opportunity to expose the enemies of Afghan people through it.
Joya added, “but I am very sorry that there is no justice in Afghanistan and
the judiciary is also infected with the virus of warlordism and the
fundamentalists occupy it.”

Some Afghan lawyers that we approached believe that the Parliament’s decision is illegal and only a court can decide to oust an elected representative of people from the parliament.

But we are happy that majority of ordinary Afghan people strongly support Joya and she is receiving many phone calls, letters and emails full of sympathies and solidarity following the parliament decision.

WE URGE all her supporters and well-wishers to come forward and help Joya now.

YOU CAN do so in the following ways:

– Write to Afghan officials and file your protest for expelling and
prosecuting Joya, while the terrorists and human rights violators in the
parliament were provided immunity before any court for their past crimes
last month.

– Express your concern for Joya’s security during the court sessions as the
fundamentalists currently hold key positions in Afghanistan’s judiciary.

– Circulate this letter and ask lawyers and defenders of human rights in your
area and country to come forward and help Joya during her court proceedings
and defend her.

– Donate to Joya’s security fund online at
https://www.malalaijoya.com/donor/donor_info.php to help improve her security with necessary equipment and facilities, while she is now deprived of all official facilities.

Letters of protest can be sent to the following sources:

President Hamid Karzai

Supreme Court of Afghanistan
Feedback Form of the Supreme Court

Afghanistan’s Parliament

Interior Ministry

Justice Ministry of Afghanistan

We thank you for your prompt action and support and hope you will forward a copy of your letters to mj@malalaijoya.com.

For more information, visit www.malalaijoya.com.

Afghan Women’s Mission
2460 North Lake Avenue
PMB 207
Altadena, CA 91001

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Bleeding Afghanistan By Sonali Kolhatkar and Jim Ingalls

<> Photo: sonali kolhatkar<> and jim ingalls

On May 18th and 19th, Afghan Women’s Mission Co-Directors, Sonali Kolhatkar and James Ingalls will discuss the escalating war in Afghanistan. Recent demonstrations in Herat and Nangarhar in opposition to the US occupation indicate that Afghanistan may be going in the direction of Iraq. Sonali and James will attempt to answer the following questions:

– What are the effects of the US/NATO occupation in Afghanistan?
– Who has real political power in Afghanistan?
– How are ordinary Afghans coping with the return of war and fundamentalism?
– And what can Americans do to work in solidarity with Afghan people?

Join Sonali Kolhatkar and James Ingalls, authors of the new book,
Bleeding Afghanistan: Washington, Warlords and the Propaganda of Silence
for a presentation and slideshow at the following venues:

WHAT: Revolutionary Mic Nite: RAWA/AWM Benefit Event
WHEN: 7-11 pm, Friday May 18, 2007
WHERE: MIX Bookstore, 5052 Eagle Rock Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90041
FOR MORE INFO, visit http://www.imixbooks.com

WHAT: Bleeding Afghanistan book Discussion and Slide Show
WHEN: 6 pm, Saturday May 19, 2007
WHERE: El Centro Cultural de Mexico, 310 W 5th Street Santa Ana, CA 92701
FOR MORE INFO, visit http://www.el-centro.org

There will be copies of Bleeding Afghanistan for sale at both events. The
authors will be available to sign books. Afghan crafts and other items from
Afghan Women’s Mission will also be available for sale. All craft sales and
book proceeds will benefit the Revolutionary Association of the Women
of Afghanistan (RAWA).

For more information, visit www.bleedingafghanistan.com,
www.afghanwomensmission.org, and www.rawa.org.

Sonali Kolhatkar and Jim Ingalls serve on the Advisory Board of Cafe Intifada

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