ourjourneytosmile·Apr 1, 2014
On the 28th of March, 2014, at about 4 p.m., the Afghan Peace Volunteers heard a loud explosion nearby. For the rest of the evening and night, they anxiously waited for the sound of rocket fire and firing to stop. It was reported that a 10 year old girl, and the four assailants, were killed.
We had been thinking about an appropriate response to the violence perpetrated by the Taliban, other militia, the Afghan government, and the U.S./NATO coalition of 50 countries.
So, on the 31st of March 2014, in building alternatives and saying ‘no’ to all violence and all forms of war-making, a few of us went to an area near the place which was attacked, and there, we planted some trees.
Love and thanks,
The Afghan Peace Volunteers
Plant Trees Not Bombs in Afghanistan
It was the jolting vibrations
that shook our senses,
nonetheless directed by fellow humans.
Our eyes darted from mysterious fears
of losing one another.
“There’s been an explosion. Don’t come this way!”,
torn by our unspoken wish to huddle together,
as if madness could be scattered
among the fragile shells of ourselves.
as if we could
dream the unknown away.
the vision of connecting with other humans via Skype
stressing our time schedule,
as if there was a timetable
that could be kept in war,
as if sanity could be pursued
when our sight was wet.
My temper broke again,
Ali began to punch the wall,
Abdulhai bravely confessed disappointment with self,
and then, Faiz’s tears opened Ali’s river,
of sobs that were hard for me to hear,
though I knew then
that I was embracing love’s defiance.
I saw that yesterday too.
Each of us,
not far from the burnt out and rocket damaged house of death,
with the street kids Martin, Mahdi and Bahran,
then the officials, the police, students, a street girl named Gulsom.
They wanted life too.
Finally, an Afghan lady came,
stoically holding a sapling,
not a word,
but a hundred hurts and wishes
were in her posture.
With steady hands used to making bread,
she planted roots for all of us.
Billions being wasted in Afghanistan reconstruction
RT America on Apr 1, 2014
US aid to Afghanistan amounting to hundreds of millions of dollars is being lost to corruption and poor planning. While billions have been invested in the country, the results of that investment are often hard to see. Renovated hospitals have no clean water and barely enough electricity for lighting, while a $34 million military command and control center has never been used and is being cleared out by departing US forces. RT’s Lucky Kafanov reports from Kabul, Afghanistan on what billions of dollars have actually bought the US.
Show Me The Money: Afghanistan in ruins despite millions pumped in by US
RT on Apr 1, 2014
The US has been sending a stream of taxpayer’s dollars into Afghanistan, claiming the money’s needed to improve infrastructure and living conditions. But the latest auditing reports indicate most of this money – amounting to hundreds of millions of dollars – has been outright wasted or swallowed by corruption. RT’s Lucy Kafanov assesses the results.