I don’t know what to say or how to start. Some of us are so ashamed and focused on and sorry for all the destruction our country has caused in the world. We keep trying to think of what we can do to change the situation but year after year, as we protest (see my attached photos), we’ve not been successful in changing the militaristic direction of the American empire. The problem is that we are in the minority of those who care. It’s probably hard for you to understand how this could happen as the wars are so unjustified and so wrong.
But we no longer have real freedom here except the freedom to shop. As our “Father of the Constitution James Madison warned: “No country can maintain its civil liberties in the midst of continual war.” So those who dissent from official USpolicies are losing their freedom to inform others and be informed.
As you might know, the people in other countries seem far away and of little significance to our daily lives in the U.S.
Since 9-11, we here in the U.S. have also been subject to nonstop, powerful propaganda that manipulates people’s emotions. Our main media outlets have constantly pressed people’s emotional buttons: fear, hate, greed, false pride and blind loyalty bringing out the worst in human nature. Also after the disastrous Vietnam War, our country’s military industrial (war profiteer) complex realized it would be much easier to get the country to go to war and stay at war if there was no mandatory military service and if they told the American people they did not have to pay the trillions of dollars that it costs to wage war. As foolish as this sounds, most people here in the U.S. don’t understand that they must eventually pay for the wars in Iraq andAfghanistan and that their country is on the verge of going bankrupt and citizens losing their social security and other benefits by waging these terrible wars. The “all volunteer” and US mercenary force that is sent to Iraq and Afghanistan is being paid relatively high amounts of money so they can hardly complain as that would be hypocritical for them to be taking this big money and at the same time betraying the source of that money by saying their employer is wrong. So I apologize for the fact that so many Americans don’t seem to care as much as they should about the wars and war atrocities like illegal drone massacres and illegal use of torture that are being conducted in their names. But it’s like past times in history when whole populations, i.e. the “good Germans”, have become complicit and it’s due to an evil system rather than due to the American people themselves.
I’m so happy that Kathy Kelly, Mike Ferner and Ann Wright were able to spend time in your country and get to know you as well as set up this opportunity for more of us to communicate. If there were better lines of communication between the American and Afghan peoples, perhaps we could overcome the power of the politicians. Perhaps we could generate sufficient power and voices here in the U.S. to actually make our politicians and military leaders listen to us, mere civilian people. Please give us any ideas that you may have as to what we can do or continue to do that might end the wars and occupation and help people in your country.
Coleen Rowley and family (on behalf of the weekly peace vigils held in Eagan and Burnsville, Minnesota, these last several years)
This photo was taken at the end of an “unpermitted” march we held in Minneapolis when Obama announced his escalation of the war on Afghanistan. Others are from peace vigils.