Hit the road, Almagro! Leonardo Flores.
I am writing from Bolivia, where I came to observe the elections held this past Sunday as part of a CODEPINK delegation. Luis Arce, the MAS (Movement for Socialism) party candidate supported by former president Evo Morales, has won!
One of the main reasons CODEPINK sent an electoral observation mission to Bolivia was because of what happened last year with Bolivia’s elections, when the Organization of American States (OAS) undermined the vote, leading to a coup, an authoritarian regime, and massive human rights violations.
As we celebrate this democratic victory by the Bolivian people, we must also help them get justice for what the OAS did to their country. Demand that OAS Secretary-General Luis Almagro resign now!
Afghan children play in the bombed-out rubble of the Darul Aman Palace in Kabul, amidst a photo exhibition marking four decades of Afghans killed in war and oppression.
By Maya Evans
The NATO & US-backed war on Afghanistan was launched 7th October 2001, just a month after 9/11, in what most thought would be a lightning war and a stepping stone onto the real focus, the Middle East. 19 years later and the US is still trying to extricate itself out of the longest war in its history, having failed in 2 of its three original aims: toppling the Taliban and liberating Afghan women. Perhaps the only target confidently met was the assassination of Osama Bin Laden in 2012, who was, in fact, hiding out in Pakistan. The overall cost of the war has been over 100,000 Afghan lives, and 3,502 NATO and US military fatalities. It has been calculated that the US has so far spent $822 billion on the war. While no up to date calculation exists for the UK, in 2013 it was thought to have been £37 billion.
Peace talks between the Taliban, Mujaheddin, Afghan Government and US have been slowly unfolding over the last 2 years. Mainly taking place in the city of Doha, Qatar, the talks consisted predominantly of older male leaders who have been trying to kill one another for the last 30 years. The Taliban almost certainly have the upper hand, as after 19 years of fighting 40 of the richest nations on the planet, they now control at least two-thirds of the country’s population, claim to have an endless supply of suicide bombers, and have most recently managed to secure a controversial deal with the US for the release of 5,000 Taliban prisoners. All along the Taliban have been confident of the long game despite the US initial 2001 promise to defeat the Taliban.
UNICEF/Peter Martin A UN World Food Programme (WFP) helicopter delivers much-needed supplies to people in Udier, South Sudan.
The need for the World Food Programme, the recipient of the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize, to exist is starker than ever. From conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo, to flooding in South Sudan, and the civil war in Yemen, man-made and natural disasters are leaving tens of millions of people unsure if they will have enough food for themselves and their families to survive on.
Whilst the COVID-19 pandemic has put an extra strain on the most vulnerable populations in the world, war and armed conflict remain the greatest enemies faced by the World Food Programme: people living in conflict-affected countries are three times more likely to be undernourished than those living in peace.
Some of the 40 blue backpacks worn in a protest in New York City against the war in Yemen. Each backpack was accompanied by a sign with the name and age of a child killed on a school bus in Dahyan, northern Yemen, on August 9, 2018, in a Saudi/UAE airstrike. Photo by CODEPINK
By Kathy Kelly
“When evil-doing comes like falling rain, nobody calls out “stop!”
When crimes begin to pile up they become invisible. When sufferings become unendurable, the cries are no longer heard. The cries, too, fall like rain in summer.” — Bertolt Brecht
In war-torn Yemen, the crimes pile up. Children who bear no responsibility for governance or warfare endure the punishment. In 2018, UNICEF said the war made Yemen a living hell for children. By the year’s end, Save the Children reported 85,000 children under age five had already died from starvation since the war escalated in 2015. By the end of 2020, it is expected that 23,500 children with severe acute malnutrition will be at immediate risk of death.
Cataclysmic conditions afflict Yemen as people try to cope with rampant diseases, the spread of COVID-19, flooding, literal swarms of locusts, rising displacement, destroyed infrastructure and a collapsed economy. Yet war rages, bombs continue to fall, and desperation fuels more crimes.
Trump holds a chart of weapon sales as he welcomes Mohammed bin Salman in the Oval Office, March 20, 2018. (Photo: Reuters)
By Medea Benjamin and Nicolas J. S. Davies
Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi was brutally murdered on October 1, 2018, by agents of Saudi Arabia’s despotic government, and the CIA concluded they killed him on direct orders from Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman (MBS). Eight Saudi men have been convicted of Khashoggi’s murder by a Saudi court in what the Washington Post characterized as sham trials with no transparency. The higher-ups who ordered the murder, including MBS, continue to escape responsibility.