What Do Afghans Want?
Afghanistan is “a war of necessity,” Obama tells us. One of the justifications for the invasion was to liberate Afghan women from Taliban oppression. As Arundhati Roy of India commented, “We are being asked to believe the U.S. marines are actually on a feminist mission.” Beyond puppets in Kabul, we hear little from Afghans themselves. Instead, there is a media parade of U.S. military, government officials, and think tank experts who talk about tactics. The right of the United States to invade and occupy other countries is never brought up much less challenged. So the discussions focus on: How many troops do we need? What should we do in Helmand Province? Are air strikes counterproductive? Does Gen. McChrystal have the right plans? In all of this Afghans barely count. What do they want and in particular what do Afghan women want?
Medea Benjamin is a renowned peace activist and social justice advocate. Newsday calls her, “one of America’s most committed and most effective fighters for human rights.” She is co-founder of Global Exchange and CODEPINK. She is the recipient of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Peace Prize from the Fellowship of Reconciliation and the Gandhi Peace Award. She is the author of many books including Inside Iran, Kingdom of the Unjust: Behind the U.S.-Saudi Connection and War in Ukraine: Making Sense of a Senseless War.