Sonali Kolhatkar’s Open Letter to Anti-War Activists

What Are You Doing About Afghanistan

By Sonali Kolhatkar

An Open Letter to Anti-War Activists

“We’ve come to think of Afghanistan … as a sort of a backwater, as old news. But the war is still going on there. There’s the same pattern as in Iraq” — Seymour Hersh interview with Amy Davidson, 04/05/04.

Afghanistan has been devastated by the U.S. military and neglected by the antiwar movement. I am writing to appeal antiwar activists to seriously incorporate Afghanistan into their work.

The U.S.’s war in Afghanistan was clearly fought to maintain imperial credibility after the 9-11 attacks and to provide a stepping stone to Iraq. And yet, I was saddened that activists in the U.S. and other countries did not rise up in significant numbers to resist the Afghanistan war which began on October 7th 2001. While I was heartened with the rising up of millions against the Iraq war in 2003, the situation in Afghanistan continued to be sidelined by activists in the recent demonstrations against occupation on March 20th 2004.

It is much easier to be against the blatantly illegal Iraq war, as so many high-profile political figures are doing these days: there was no connection to Al Qaeda in Iraq (prior to the war), no weapons of mass destruction, plenty of oily reasons, plenty of lies from the Bush administration, and so on. But Afghanistan was another situation. How could we argue that the U.S. should not bomb a country that was harboring terrorists who attacked innocent U.S. civilians? Perhaps activists have avoided Afghanistan because of its obvious links to Al Qaeda and the tempting promise by Bush to deliver freedom for the most oppressed women in the world. […]

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Courtesy: ZMag Sustainers Program at ZMag