9-11 & the Afghanistan War, 10 Years Later Who Was Right?
GLN permalink 9-6-2011
Ten years ago politicians and pundits turned the 9-11 tragedy into an excuse to launch the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan. Today the United States is deeply mired there in this country's longest-ever war.
Al Qaeda - the ostensible reason for the invasion for years has had only 50 members in the whole of Afghanistan according to the CIA. And yet the resistance to U.S. occupation there remains strong and the overwhelming majority of Afghanis want the U.S. out of their country.
Ten years ago, anti-war activists received a great deal of abuse for opposing the Afghanistan war. We warned that the 9-11 tragedy was cynically being used as an excuse to expand U.S. military domination of other peoples of the world.
And this is just what happened. In the last decade, the United States has nearly doubled its military budget, and the wars have spread to Iraq, Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia. U.S. military bases occupy more than 130 other nations, with most of the local populations opposing them.
Sixty-seven percent of the federal budget goes to paying for current and past wars. The U.S. now spends nearly as much on its military as the rest of the world combined.
While many, far-poorer countries are able to give free healthcare, higher education, generous maternity leave and decent public transportation systems, U.S. provisions for these services are decidedly second-rate. Yet lack of money is now being used as the excuse to shrink these programs even further.
How do we get out of this mess?
Bob Schwartz, a long-time activist in Chicago and member of the Gay Liberation Network, will moderate a panel with Mary Dean of Voices for Creative Non-Violence, who was among a peace delegation just returned from Afghanistan on August 15th. Joining Dean will be GLN's Andy Thayer, a leader in the local anti-war movement and member of the Chicago Coalition Against War & Racism. There will be an open mike for audience participation. For more information email the Gay Liberation Network at LGBTliberation@aol.com
For more information go to www.gayliberation.net or email LGBTliberation@aol.com