Over at Common Dreams, Brian Terrell, a Catholic Worker from Iowa who I will be traveling with to Afghanistan today, has a nice piece critiquing Obama’s upcoming review of the war and discussing one alternative assessment that our delegation is supporting.
The Obama administration will soon be making public its “December Review,” assessing the situation in Afghanistan. This assessment will not, apparently, confuse the issue with facts. “We have a policy in place,” said Ben Rhodes, deputy national security adviser for communications, to reporters on Air Force One on the occasion of the president’s December 3 visit there, and the review is not meant to lead to major shifts in that policy. “This is a process which is diagnostic in nature,” Rhodes explains. It is interesting language coming from the White House. What can we make of a “diagnostic” procedure, to expand on the analogy, which is not intended to inform or effect a predetermined treatment? Doesn’t this constitute malpractice?
A “December Review” at this time, a month after our occupation of Afghanistan has exceeded the Soviet’s is a good idea. Yet the review the Obama administration mandated has been rendered meaningless before it has even been published. It does not deserve much consideration. This December, however, is an auspicious time for all Americans to carefully review and assess the impact of the war at home and abroad and to demand real changes in policy. It is also long past time that Americans listen to the people of Afghanistan. On December 19, the Afghan Youth Peace Volunteers, based in Bamiyan, are calling for a “Global Day of Listening to Afghans.” This might be the true December Review that we need.
To find out more see http://vcnv.org/global-day-of-listening-to-afghans
If you can join us on the Skype call for this “Global Day of Listening to Afghans” that would be phenomenal. And in the meantime check out the above video made by the Afghan Youth Peace Volunteers. I’m really looking forward to meeting them in a few days!
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