Recognition that 95 million human beings were killed in World War I and II has helped the people of the world understand that the method of war is not cost-effective. An awakened world hoped the United Nations could, as determined in the UN Charter, eventually ‘save succeeding generations from the scourge of war’.
The scourge of war in Afghanistan continues, with the United Nations reporting that more than 3,000 Afghan civilians have been killed and wounded in the first five months of this year, a fifth of whom were Afghan children. So ordinary people should seize opportunities to tell the truth about war.
The 75,000 Afghan War Logs, which Bradley Manning gave Wikileaks to ‘help document the true cost of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan’, can help all of us evaluate whether the Afghan war is cost-effective. Bradley Manning had also handed Wikileaks a video of the Farah/Granai massacre which occurred in May of 2009, in which 86 to 147 Afghan civilians, mostly women and children, were killed in an airstrike. We can read about the Farah/Granai massacre here and here .
The Afghan Peace Volunteers ask for the Farah/Granai massacre video to be released.
These records report the truths about war, and reveal an obsession among those few people in power to use war in achieving their goals. Bradley Manning said, “In attempting to conduct counter-terrorism or CT and counter-insurgency COIN operations we became obsessed with capturing and killing human targets on lists…”
How many more documents revealing loss of innocent life are needed to determine that war should be banned, that it should not even be a last resort of ‘defence’?
All weapons, not only nuclear weapons, should be banned. A safe life and secure work environment without weapons is very possible even in Afghanistan. Consider, for instance, that the Emergency Surgical Centres in Afghanistan operate all their health facilities without armed protection and that Dr. Ramazon Bashardost, the third-placed candidate in Afghanistan’s 2009 Presidential elections, has no armed bodyguards.
We human beings are capable of living together without war. Billions of human beings all over the world live daily without killing one another, even when dealing with the most troubled or difficult of family members.
We are capable of an impossible love.
We can establish global norms of resolving all our problems through understanding and dialogue, and exclude war from the negotiation table. To do so, we should exclude from the UN charter the use of war as a last resort. We should disband the UN ‘Security’ Council.
Of course, accomplishing these actions hinges on us, on climate change citizens, Arab Spring citizens, Occupy citizens and the ‘awakening’ citizens of every country to free ourselves from the unequal dominance of corporate governments with their laws and weapons of self-interest.
They won’t free Bradley Manning. We need to free Bradley Manning.
They won’t support Edward Snowden. We need to support Edward Snowden.
They won’t free us. We need to free ourselves.
In Bradley Manning’s internal and better world, he is free! He testified, “I felt I had accomplished something that allowed me to have a clear conscience based upon what I had seen and read about and knew were happening in both Iraq and Afghanistan every day.”
Please take some time to listen to these ‘everyday’ tragedies in Afghanistan.
Please take some time to read and watch the thoughts of the Afghan Peace Volunteers below. Rather than chant the dirges of death, we want to sing out life-giving messages.
Then, without any trace of force, join us in asking for release of the ‘Farah/Granai massacre’ video.
• Listen to the Afghan Peace Volunteers thank Bradley Manning!