As the United States escalates its joint war with NATO in Afghanistan and across the Pakistani border, expands military deployments and exercises throughout Africa under the new AFRICOM, and prepares to dispatch troops to newly acquired bases in Colombia as the spearhead for further penetration of that continent, it is simultaneously targeting Eurasia and the heart of that vast land mass, the countries of the former Soviet Union.
Within months of the formal breakup of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics in December of 2001, leading American policy advisers and government officials went to work devising a strategy to insure that the fragmentation was final and irreversible. And to guarantee that the fifteen new nations emerging from the ruins of the Soviet Union would not be allied in even a loose association such as the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) founded in the month of the Soviet Union’s dissolution.
Kris Holstrom’s off-grid permaculture farm at 9000 feet high is living proof that food can be grown nearly anywhere. Managing with a very short growing season and water constraints, she and her interns have created magic. Tour the sun-warmed, insulated greenhouse where greens are grown year-round. Its home to a waterfall and pond with fish, trellises for grapes and seedlings, artwork for the soul, and mushrooms growing from straw. The outside garden offers herbs, berries, greens and prayer flags. Kris sees herself as a steward of the land, and delights in sharing it with kids and interns in a spirit of love and reciprocity.
This Sunday on Cindy Sheehan’s Soapbox, one misbehaving woman interviews another one. Thank goodness for women who do buck the system and resist “going with the flow,” just so as to appear socially acceptable to a society that is not so polite.
Cindy interviews Malalai Joya, a female Afghan Parliamentarian who courageously stands up for female rights and peace against the warlords of Afghanistan and America. Cindy and Cliff (videographer–video of the interview will be available soon) caught up with Malalai when she was in Berkeley to talk about her book: Woman among Warlords.
One of the saddest stories in Guantánamo is that of Abdul Hamid al-Ghizzawi, a Libyan married to an Afghan woman and with a newly-born baby daughter, who was running a small bakery in Jalalabad, Afghanistan at the time of the US-led invasion of Afghanistan in late 2001. Fearing that he would be seized in the widespread anti-Arab sentiment that followed the collapse of the Taliban, he traveled with his family to the house of his wife’s parents, but instead of finding safety he was seized by bounty hunters and sold to US forces.
Al-Ghizzawi is clearly an innocent man. Back in 2004, when the Bush administration convened military review boards — the Combatant Status Review Tribunals — to review the prisoners’ cases, his panel of three military officers concluded that there was insufficient evidence to declare him an “enemy combatant,” and that he should therefore be released.