Afghanistan: Who’s to Blame and What Next? panel by Code Pink

With the collapse of the US-backed Afghan government and the Taliban set to return to a position of power they occupied 20 years ago, who is responsible for this colossal failure? Who should be held accountable and how? And what can we do to make sure that lessons are learned that will stop the US government from future invasions/occupations? Army Colonel Ann Wright, former State Dept official Matthew Hoh, and Dr. Zaher Wahab join us in conversation.

Zaher Wahab was born and schooled in Afghanistan, received a BA in sociology from The American University of Beirut, an MA in comparative education from Teachers College, Columbia University, and an MA in anthropology, and a PhD in international development education from Stanford University. Dr. Wahab was the first person in his family’s history to attend the village school, a boarding school in Kabul, and receive scholarships to attend college in Lebanon and the US. Dr. Wahab served as senior advisor to the Minister of Higher Education in Afghanistan from 2002 to 2006. he has written and presented numerous papers at regional, national, and international forums on education, was profiled in the Stanford Magazine, Academe, The Portland Alliance, The Oregonian, The Lake Oswego Review and Lewis & Clark’s The Chronicle Magazine for his achievements and for his services in the U.S. and Afghanistan, and is a frequent speaker at educational, civic and media organizations.
Matthew Hoh has nearly 12 years of experience with America’s wars overseas with the US Marine Corps, Department of Defense, and State Department. He has been a senior fellow with the Center For International Policy since 2010. In 2009, Matthew resigned in protest from his post in Afghanistan with the State Department over the American escalation of the war. His writings have appeared in publications such as the Defense News, the Guardian, the Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post. He has been a guest on hundreds of radio and television networks and is an active member of Veterans for Peace.
Ann Wright is a retired Army Colonel who was a diplomat in the State Department for 16 years, serving in the U.S. embassies of Afghanistan, Sierra Leone, Micronesia, Mongolia, Kyrgyzstan, Grenada and Nicaragua. She was on the team that reopened the U.S. Embassy in Kabul in December 2001 and remained five months. On March 13, 2003, Wright sent a letter of resignation to then-Secretary of State Colin Powell. Since that day, she has worked for peace, writing and speaking all over the world and has returned three times to Afghanistan. Wright is co-author of Dissent: Voices of Conscience and is active with CODEPINK, Veterans for Peace, and other organizations.
Moderated by Medea Benjamin, co-founder of CODEPINK and author of Drone Warfare: Killing by Remote Control, Kingdom of the Unjust: Behind the U.S.-Saudi Connection, and Inside Iran: The Real History and Politics of the Islamic Republic of Iran.  Phyllis Bennis also joined this panel.

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