“To be a voice for Shahidullah” by Kathleen Kirwin + Turning Decay To New Life by Bruce Gagnon

by Kathleen Kirwin, Esq.
Guest Writer
Dandelion Salad
The Revolutionary Legal Front
Oct. 28, 2011

Art Laffin of the Dorothy Day Catholic Worker ...

Image by jimforest via Flickr

“As the father of a young son, I went to the White House on March 19 to be a voice for Shahidullah.” From the closing argument of Defendant Art Laffin in DC Superior Court.

Yesterday marked a watershed day in my 27 year legal career. It did not occur as I deftly cross-examined a witness, nor while waxing eloquent in front of a jury. Rather, it transpired as I sat in the back row of courtroom 219 in the DC Superior Court while watching and listening to the final day of testimony and closing arguments at a trial where 19 American citizens argued for justice. Continue reading

The 2011 Taliban Spring Offensive: Obama’s Obligation to Protect Afghan Civilians Under International Humanitarian Law

by Kathleen Kirwin, Esq.
Guest Writer
Dandelion Salad
May 4, 2011

Ethnolinguistic groups of Afghanistan in 1997

Image via Wikipedia

On Saturday, March 30th, the Leadership Council of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan under its nom de guerre, The Taliban, declared the launch of this year’s spring military operations (the “Spring Offensive”) against the “invading Americans”, their foreign allies, internal supporters, high ranking officials of the Karzai government, including cabinet members and lawmakers, as well as heads of foreign and local companies who work with the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). In response to, and in anticipation of, the Taliban’s announcement, NATO officials in Brussels have advised that international forces in Afghanistan have tightened security, security services employed by “westerners” working in Afghanistan have issued lockdowns and travel restrictions, the Afghan government has tightened security across the country and security has been increased at military bases. Continue reading

“White City” in Afghanistan – Black Heart in Florida by Kathleen Kirwin

by Kathleen Kirwin
Guest Writer
Dandelion Salad
April 4, 2011
Kabul, Afghanistan

As Pastor Terry Jones revels in his victory against Islam while he basks in the Florida sun thousands of miles away savoring both limelight and vindication, the city of Kabul, from where I write, and the rest of Afghanistan has been declared “White City”, which is a United Nations order requiring that all of its personnel remain locked down in their compounds. Although “White City” is technically a UN security alert…its highest security alert…it is a well-known and long-standing signal to everyone else on the ground here, both Afghan and foreigner alike, that extreme danger is at hand and that they too should secure themselves accordingly. Credible rumor has it that the UN will decide in the next few hours whether to completely pull out of the country, despite multiple assertions to the contrary by the UN Special Representative to Afghanistan, Staffan de Mistura, who is based in Kabul. Continue reading

Mr. President, Know Thyself by Kathleen Kirwin + Chomsky on the hypocrisy of western intervention

by Kathleen Kirwin
Guest Writer
Dandelion Salad
March 19, 2011

Postscript to an Open Letter to President Obama

Mr. President, yesterday you proudly and vehemently “raised your voice against the violence of the oppressed” in Libya. You proclaimed:

All attacks against civilians must stop.

Gaddafi must stop his troops from advancing on Benghazi, pull them back… and establish water, electricity and gas supplies to all areas.

Humanitarian assistance must be allowed to reach the people of Libya or the “international community will make him suffer the consequences” with military action.

Continue reading

Peace is not yours to give, Mr. President by Kathleen Kirwin

by Kathleen Kirwin
Guest Writer
Dandelion Salad
March 13, 2011

AN OPEN LETTER TO PRESIDENT OBAMA

Peace is not yours to give, Mr. President.

But hope is certainly yours to take away.

As I listened to a friend and colleague in Afghanistan a few days ago, the difference I discerned in his voice from previous conversations was visceral. That he unswervingly and joyfully dedicates his every thought, word and deed to advocating for peace in Afghanistan through peaceful means made his tone and tenor all the more heart-wrenching. Continue reading