Tag Archives: Afghanistan

Afghan People and the Afghan Papers

Part of the reason for this web post is that the Wisconsin Veterans Museum recently did a program on the Afghan Papers.  Wisconsin Veterans Museum – Every Veteran is a Story (wisvetsmuseum.com)

“The Afghanistan Papers are filled with over 300 people detailing the systematic failure of the military to take any responsibility and blaming the “corruption” of the Afghanistan government, all the while revealing the massive corruption and lies that the U.S. is perpetuating. While military commanders bemoaned Afghan leaders enriching themselves off American tax dollars, those self same commanders were climbing government ranks, earning promotions for promoting endless war.”

Veterans Demand Accountability for Afghanistan Papers

Veterans For Peace and About Face: Veterans Against the Wargathered veterans who  served in the U.S. War in Afghanistan to write the above statement.
 


“When the chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan kicked into high gear, the U.S. started evacuating at-risk Afghans to the United States on parole, giving them only temporary protections with no pathway to citizenship. Countless others got left behind. A large coalition of Afghan Americans, immigration advocates, and veterans got together to start pushing Congress for legislation that would give Afghans lasting protections and a pathway to citizenship, as well as hold the Biden administration accountable to ensure other vulnerable and at-risk Afghans could find their way to safety in the U.S. This type of large-scale adjustment of status would match historic precedent, as the U.S. has done this previously for Cambodian, Vietnamese, Cuban and Iraqi Kurds.

On August 11th, the Afghan Adjustment Act (AAA) got a bipartisan introduction in both the House of Representatives and the Senate. It is our hope to ensure passage as Congress reconvenes from its summer recess and find enough support to receive 60 votes in the Senate and a simple majority vote in the House.

The United States made a promise. Now, it must live up to its word. But we need your help to ensure we hold our elected officials accountable.

https://www.weareafghans.org/afghan-adjustment-act

In Solidarity,

Arash Azizzada

Afghan American Community Organizer
& Co-Director of Afghans For A Better Tomorrow


 

 

The Afghanistan Papers | Book by Craig Whitlock, The Washington Post | Official Publisher Page | Simon & Schuster (simonandschuster.com)


 

Call to unfreeze aid to Afghanistan – WORT-FM 89.9 (wortfm.org)

 


U.S. officials misled the public about the war in Afghanistan, confidential documents reveal – Washington Post

“A confidential trove of government documents obtained by The Washington Post reveals that senior U.S. officials failed to tell the truth about the war in Afghanistan throughout the 18-year campaign, making rosy pronouncements they knew to be false and hiding unmistakable evidence the war had become unwinnable.

The documents were generated by a federal project examining the root failures of the longest armed conflict in U.S. history. They include more than 2,000 pages of previously unpublished notes of interviews with people who played a direct role in the war, from generals and diplomats to aid workers and Afghan officials.

The U.S. government tried to shield the identities of the vast majority of those interviewed for the project and conceal nearly all of their remarks. The Post won release of the documents under the Freedom of Information Act after a three-year legal battle.

In the interviews, more than 400 insiders offered unrestrained criticism of what went wrong in Afghanistan and how the United States became mired in nearly two decades of warfare.

With a bluntness rarely expressed in public, the interviews lay bare pent-up complaints, frustrations and confessions, along with second-guessing and backbiting…”

More stories

THE AFGHANISTAN PAPERS

Part 1: At war with the truth


“The papers were brought back into discussion after the 2021 Summer Offensive of the Taliban and the fall of Kabul. Debates around the efficiency of U.S. state-building efforts were brought into question, with contrast in what the U.S. forces originally revealed and thought versus what actually occurred. U.S. officials and leaders such as President Joe Biden were heavily criticised for their actions during the withdraw and the public narrative that was being told throughout August and September of 2021…”

Afghanistan Papers – Wikipedia


 

Symposium: Was withdrawing from Afghanistan the right thing to do? – Responsible Statecraft
Symposium: Was withdrawing from Afghanistan the right thing to do? Responsible Statecraft asked more than 20 Afghan and American scholars, journalists, veterans & advocates.

Remember Afghan Drone Victims 11/29 at 3:30pm Outside Volk Field Gates

Dear Friends,

Monday November 29, marks three months since the murder of ten members of the Ahmadi family, of which seven were children, by a US government drone in Afghanistan.  Five activists in Wisconsin stood at the gates of Volk Field, a Wisconsin Air National Guard base where personnel are trained to operate the Shadow drone.  We mourn all those who have been killed by US killer drones.

Today, December 1, marks 10 years since we first stood at the gates of Volk Field.  We have been there on a regular basis for ten years, several times risking arrest.  Normally, about 100 cars from the base drive past us as we stand there.
We must remember that although President Biden has told us that the war in Afghanistan is over, we continue to fly drones over Afghanistan, dropping bombs and killing innocent people, even though the military admits that 90% of those killed are not the intended target.  Children continue to die by our bloody hands in Afghanistan.
Watch for information on how you can get involved in ending these crimes by our government in January and February.  Please don’t look away.
Peace, Joy

 


Please share the information, print  and hand out or share electronically.

drone murder handout Nov 2021

Dear Friends,
We acknowledge and mourn the Ahmadi family who were brutally killed by US drones in Afghanistan on August 29, 2021.
This family lost ten of their loved ones, including seven children, in what was called a “botched” attack by the US government.  This is a tragedy that happens all too often.  Over 90% of the people killed by US drones are not the ones who were targeted.  Hundreds of thousands of innocent lives have been lost in these attacks, including so many children.
The international group, Ban Killer Drones, are calling for vigils and remembrences on November 29, marking the 3-month anniversary since the attack and murder of members of the Ahmadi family with the theme “Don’t Look Away”.
In Wisconsin, we will gather at Volk Field on Monday Nov. 29 at 3:30 for an hour vigil at the gates of the military base.  We will have signs that read “Don’t Look Away”, pictures of the Ahmadi children, and flyers to distribute (See attachment at top of page).
MAP  Volk Field from Google
If you cannot make it to Volk Field, please consider doing something in your community on November 29 or the two days preceding in the weekend before.  You could print out the flyer and distribute it (Attached below)..  If you let me know I can send you files with pictures of the children that you can print out and hold.  If nothing else, talking to friends and families about US drone warfare is important.
 

If you do something in your community, please take pictures and send to me along with a short narrative about what you did at joyfirst5@gmail.com 

 
We are all so caught up in so many things, but it is so important to remember that the people of Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, Somalia, and other places, where the US continues to murder innocent  people with drones, have no voice and no power.  

WE MUST SPEAK OUT FOR THEM. 

 
Peace, Joy 

 

 


 

Background

  1. NY Times: U.S. officials said a Reaper drone followed a car for hours and then fired based on evidence it was carrying explosives. But in-depth video analysis and interviews at the site cast doubt on that account.
  2. NPR: U.S. will provide condolence payments to families of Kabul drone strike victims
  3. Drones Group with Veterans for Peace
  4. Know Drones Website

WBAY Channel 2: [Afghani] Refugee speaks about conditions at Fort McCoy

Published: Sep. 13, 2021 at 11:15 PM CDT

original article…

Refugee speaks about conditions at Fort McCoy 

 

“MADISON, Wis. (WKOW/WBAY) – One of the thousands of refugees who are currently housed at Wisconsin’s Fort McCoy.

Due to continued fear of Taliban retaliation, the refugee’s identity has been concealed.

He says he’s grateful to be safe, but adds that life at Fort McCoy has been a struggle.

Some refugees say they don’t have a change of clothes, and they are dealing with food shortages that force them to ration.

“It is not like that all the time. But if you’re a little bit late, you know, go to the chow hall, you know, most of their, like, four or five times happened, you know, they’re out of food. Or either they have just one other thing, you know, maybe boiled carrots, or little bit rice,” he told our Madison ABC affiliate, WKOW.

His wife, who doesn’t live at the base, also talked about the experience.

“He is not a complainer, he’s not one of those kind of people that is ungrateful at any shape or form. If anything, you know, he’s so grateful to be here,” she said.

The refugee says he asked officials about the food shortages, and was told they didn’t expect this many people to come to the base.

He also says some people need warmer clothes, adding it gets chilly at night.

For a complete list of donation items being accepted and more information, click here. To coordinate donations big or small, or interested in being a drop-off location, email resettlementsupport@teamrubiconusa.org.

WSJ Hamer/Robinson/AP: ‘I just want to leave’: Afghan refugees speak out about conditions at Fort McCoy

15 Sep 2021  | 

original article: ‘I just want to leave’: Afghan refugees speak out about conditions at Fort McCoy 


“I have depression, stress and anxiety, insomnia and it’s getting worse.”

18-year-old Afghan refugee

 

 

“Waiting in line for hours to get food, wearing the same clothes day after day, getting harassed by some of the Afghan men, not knowing the timeline for resettlement — all are problems a pair of Afghan women say they have faced staying at Fort McCoy military base in western Wisconsin, though officials said Tuesday the issues are being addressed.

“There are many people who don’t have anything to wear, anything to eat,” an 18-year-old Afghan woman told the Wisconsin State Journal on Saturday. “They make us wait here for six hours behind the cafeteria, and when you go in there’s nothing left.

“I just want to leave this place so I can start my own life.”

The two women spoke by phone with the Wisconsin State Journal Saturday about their experience at Fort McCoy on the condition of anonymity. They said they feared a negative reaction from some Afghan men housed at the base, many of them former members of the U.S.-trained Afghan National Army who have caused problems, such as harassing women and skipping people in the food lines.

Fort McCoy officials have not granted media requests to interview refugees nor access to the base. They have shared some photos and videos from inside. They have also discouraged volunteers from speaking with the press.

Thomas Gresback, a Fort McCoy spokesperson with the Department of Homeland Security, said Fort McCoy experienced supply chain issues in being able to provide enough food to feed the 12,500 Afghans now at the base. But Fort McCoy has been working to address the issue, Gresback said, and “over the last five days we improved that significantly.” He said the refugees are offered “three hot meals per day” with a protein, a carbohydrate option, fruits, vegetables and drinks.

Gresback said he visited the base’s cafeteria line Monday and saw that Afghans were “very happy” with the changes Fort McCoy made.

“We feel we’ve come a very long way in a very short period,” Gresback told the State Journal on Tuesday.

Fort McCoy is one of eight military bases housing refugees who fled from Afghanistan after the recent collapse of the country’s government to the Taliban. Though the number of refugees in Wisconsin has grown week by week, the U.S. halted incoming flights last week after discovering cases of measles among the refugees, including one case at Fort McCoy.

Gresback acknowledged other complaints raised by Afghan evacuees such as a lack of access to clothing donated to Fort McCoy. Gresback said personnel at the base are “working absolutely as fast as we can” to distribute clothes.

He noted that Fort McCoy is still accepting donations and is especially looking for warm clothes for winter. Donations of new or gently used clothing that has been freshly laundered can be made at the Salvation Army in Madison at 3030 Darbo Drive from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday, as well as other Salvation Army locations across Wisconsin.

The second woman who spoke with the State Journal said she desperately wants to change her clothes. On Saturday afternoon, the 40-year-old said she was still wearing the same clothing she wore while escaping from Afghanistan out of the Kabul airport as her country fell to the Taliban. She arrived at Fort McCoy on Sept. 1, 10 days before the interview.

“I couldn’t bring anything from home,” she said, adding she developed an infection after not being able to change her only pair of underwear. “I have to wash that and wait until that is dried and I can wear them again.”

The State Journal was unable to reconnect with the women Tuesday to ask whether conditions had indeed improved over the last few days.

Chris Hennemeyer, who is leading the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ volunteer efforts at Fort McCoy, said the long lines for food are “a thing of the past.”

“(Those issues), they’re all being worked out, and some of them have been sorted out really well,” Hennemeyer said when asked about the long cafeteria lines and the clothing shortage. “The lines that existed a week or so ago, you don’t see them anywhere.”

But one major thing has not been sorted out: when the Afghans get to leave.

Both women said they have Special Immigrant Visas, and are frustrated they’re not being processed through the military base more quickly. After traumatic experiences at the Kabul airport, they’re ready to start their new lives living and working in the U.S.

“I’m not saying I’m not glad I got out of there. I’m saying I’m very happy. I’m very glad I got out of there,” the 18-year-old said of fleeing Afghanistan. “It’s just that I want to be processed out fast. I’m losing lots of my time. It’s a waste of time staying here (at Fort McCoy).”