Girls and mothers, waiting for donations of heavy blankets, Kabul, 2018. Photo Credit: Dr. Hakim
The U.S government owes reparations to the civilians of Afghanistan for the past twenty years of war and brutal impoverishment.
By Kathy Kelly
Earlier this week, 100 Afghan families from Bamiyan, a rural province of central Afghanistan mainly populated by the Hazara ethnic minority, fled to Kabul. They feared Taliban militants would attack them in Bamiyan.
Over the past decade, I’ve gotten to know a grandmother who recalls fleeing Talib fighters in the 1990s, just after learning that her husband had been killed. Then, she was a young widow with five children, and for several agonizing months two of her sons were missing. I can only imagine the traumatized memories that spurred her to again flee her village today. She is part of the Hazara ethnic minority and hopes to protect her grandchildren.
This past shareholder season, CODEPINK applied several tactics and strategies to advocate for disarmament and environmental justice. We worked with a cross-section of individuals and partners, including socially responsible faith-based organizations, investment management firms, academia, former BlackRock employees, grassroots environmental networks, and anti-war groups. The aim was to push weapon manufacturers, banks, and asset managers to end their financial investments in companies that are accelerating climate change and profiting from weapons of war. The work paid off because, collectively, we creatively got in the face of corporate greed and power, forcing them to recognize us.
MQ-9 Reaper drone in Afghanistan with an extended range fuel tank under its wing.
By Nick Mottern
On July 2, fleeing questions from reporters about U.S. plans in Afghanistan, President Joe Biden sought refuge behind the July 4th Independence Day holiday, yet obliquely acknowledged that the U.S. will use some level of “over the horizon” air attacks to prevent the Taliban from taking power, attacks that will include drones and manned aircraft, possibly even B-52s.
Here is a portion of President Biden’s remarkable exchange with the press, which occurred at the close of his comments on the June, 2021 jobs report:
Q Are you worried that the Afghan government might fall? I mean, we are hearing about how the Taliban is taking more and more districts.
THE PRESIDENT: Look, we were in that war for 20 years. Twenty years. And I think — I met with the Afghan government here in the White House, in the Oval. I think they have the capacity to be able to sustain the government. There are going to have to be, down the road, more negotiations, I suspect. But I am — I am concerned that they deal with the internal issues that they have to be able to generate the kind of support they need nationwide to maintain the government.
Woman votes in Iranian election. Photo credit: Reuters
By Medea Benjamin and Nicolas J. S. Davies
It was common knowledge that a U.S. failure to rejoin the Iran nuclear deal (known as the JCPOA) before Iran’s June presidential election would help conservative hard-liners to win the election. Indeed, on Saturday, June 19, the conservative Ebrahim Raisi was elected as the new President of Iran.
Raisi has a record of brutally cracking down on government opponents and his election is a severe blow to Iranians struggling for a more liberal, open society. He also has a history of anti-Western sentiment and says he would refuse to meet with President Biden. And while current President Rhouhani, considered a moderate, held out the possibility of broader talks after the U.S. returned to the nuclear deal, Raisi will almost certainly reject broader negotiations with the United States.
The future belongs to the Tropics
The International Day of the Tropics celebrates the extraordinary diversity of the tropics while highlighting unique challenges and opportunities nations of the Tropics face. It provides an opportunity to take stock of progress across the tropics, to share tropical stories and expertise and to acknowledge the diversity and potential of the region.