Ending a Failed US Military Policy
Nashville Peace Coalition to Mark 8th Anniversary of War in Afghanistan with Vigil & Popular Education Panel
October 7th, 2009 marks the eighth anniversary of the current occupation of Afghanistan. At a time when President Obama is increasing the troops in Afghanistan and escalating the war, people of conscience are organizing to resist the war and educate the public on the real issues which are driving US military policy in the middle east. In concert with hundreds of educational events and vigils happening around the about the current wars in the Middle East, the Nashville Peace Coalition is hosting a vigil and a popular education panel on Wednesday, October 7th. The vigil marking the eighth anniversary of the war in Afghanistan will take place on West End Avenue & 25th in front of Centennial Park from 4pm - 5:30pm followed by an educational panel at the Friends Meeting House, 530 26th Ave N, in Nashville from 6pm - 8pm. The panel will address current US occupations in Afghanistan and Iraq as well as military incursions into Pakistan. Panelists will include Dr Amir Arain - a native of Pakistan and Outreach Director of the Islamic Center of Nashville, John Miglietta - Professor of Political Science at Tennessee State University and policy specialist on Iran, Iraq & Afghanistan, Jane Hussain - Author and Educator with current family members serving overseas in the Middle East, Elizabeth Barger, Organizer of Code Pink Tennessee presenting on US Drone Plane attacks in Afghanistan and Pakistan and Joey King, former Army Ranger and organizer with Veterans for Peace in Nashville speaking on the current war in Afghanistan.
Following the tragic events of September 11, 2001, many in the US initially supported the war in Afghanistan because they believed that it would reduce the threat of another attack on US soil, and that it would enable the US to bring to justice Osama bin Laden and others responsible for the attacks. Once the Taliban fell, the war was touted as a success. However, while public attention shifted to the war in Iraq, the conflict in Afghanistan entered a new phase of violence and decay.
President Barack Obama was elected on a platform of change and with hopes for diplomacy instead of war. As the war in Iraq winds down, more troops have been sent to Afghanistan. Some in the Pentagon are calling for more. Now, 54% of the people believe the Afghanistan war is a mistake. The peace movement is challenged to organize into a movement to end the war in Afghanistan as one of the big steps towards addressing the crisis in our communities. Our best interests and the interests of the Afghanistan people lie in the immediate withdrawal of all U.S. forces. With every bomb dropped and every civilian and military death, we are no closer to helping the Afghan people and the region to grapple with their problems. In fact, the U.S. presence is the biggest obstacle to doing so.
Today, as calls grow louder for the US military to send more troops to Afghanistan, it is time to address the realities and counter the misconceptions surrounding the war and occupation. We must become better informed about the true consequences of US foreign policy in Afghanistan. We need to listen to the Afghan peacemakers and grassroots movements that are calling for alternatives to military action and work with them to devise strategies for building a lasting peace.
In the month of October, many activities are being planned in Nashville and around the world to end the current occupations in Iraq, Afghanistan and military incursions in Pakistan. On October 5, a coalition led by the National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance (NCNR) will have a procession to the White House, deliver a petition and hold a non-violent direct action in Washington, DC. The Iraq Moratorium has called for local actions on October 17 to mark the 40th anniversary of the Vietnam War Moratorium. The Iraq Moratorium says, "Over 2 million people participated in thousands of communities [during the Vietnam War] and brought the anti-war movement into the political mainstream of American society. The lessons from that event in 1969 can help us strengthen the antiwar movement today."
The general public is invited to the vigil in Centennial Park marking the eighth anniversary of the war in Afghanistan from 4pm-5:30pm as well as the educational panel at the Friends Meeting House, 530 26th Ave North, on Wednesday, October 7th from 6pm to 8pm for a discussion on the current occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan as well as US military incursions into Pakistan. Refreshments will be served from 6pm to 6:30pm followed by a presentation by panelists and questions and answers. Both events are free and open to the public. For more information contact Chris Lugo of the Nashville Peace Coalition at 615-593-0304 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wednesday, October 7th 2009
Vigil for Peace - on the 8th Anniversary of the War in Afghanistan
4pm - 5:30pm
West End Ave.& 25th
across from Border's Books
Nashville, TN 37203
Education Panel - Ending a Failed US Military Policy
6pm - 8pm
Friends Meeting House
530 26th Ave North
for more info contact:
Nashville Peace Coalition