by Joe Scarry
Malalai Joya spoke to a group in Chicago yesterday, and I heard a clear message from her: it is not enough for the U.S. to pull out its remaining combat troops. The presence of U.S. bases assures that the violence and instability will continue. People in the U.S. who really want to help Afghanistan need to work to remove ALL vestiges of the U.S. invasion and occupation — to DEMILITARIZE Afghanistan.
Malalai says the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan is a “big lie” — because there will still be the remaining effects of militarization - especially the nine U.S. bases.
- no more drones
- close the proliferation of bases
- withdraw contractors/mercenaries
- clean up the detention mess
- and much more ….
The bases are an especially important problem. Their presence virtually guarantees a whole chain of military activity — because, hey, if you’ve got a base, you’ve got to do something with it, right? This is a problem that has application not just for Afghanistan but also for EVERY place around the world where there is a U.S. military base. (There are approximately 1,000 around the world.)
Malalai refers often to the problem of warlords and corruption in Afghanistan. By creating a situation in which every problem is addressed through the use of weapons, force, and violence, the U.S. has assured that military leaders (“warlords”) will always hold the reins of power in Afghanistan.
As Malalai explained, the U.S. has now saddled Afghanistan with a massive force of “dollar soldiers” that neither provides for real order and security nor represents a sustainable model for the national economy.
Malalai will speak again tonight at Grace Place (637 S Dearborn, Chicago) at 7:00 p.m. Everyone who wants to understand what it will take to reverse the effects of U.S. militarism around the world should come participation in the discussion.
I’ve outlined five questions that I hope Malalai Joya will address when she speaks to Americans in Chicago and other cities.