Reflections on My Trip to Afghanistan

Three weeks is clearly not enough time to learn much about a new society but here are a few of my observations from our recent trip to Afghanistan. I now realize how little I have known and still know about Afghanistan and the people who live here. Afghanistan appears to me to be teetering on the brink of collapse despite “the light at the end of the tunnel” talk by the militarist machine. Three and a half billion people on the globe live on less than $2.50 a day-- most of the people of Afghanistan among them. Many people here express the desire that the apparent stability maintained by the military presence continue out of a fear of a return of and the memory of the viciousness of the Taliban.

However it is impossible for America to “save” Afghanistan. The current face of the American Dream, corporate capitalism, is based on an amoral domination of both people and the physical world and thus is totally antithetical to justice in any form. Any hope of a humane future for Afghanistan will require a radical shift in thinking that must arise from the people of Afghanistan. The Prophet Mohammed has said, “For a man to truly live, he must love for his brother what he loves for himself.” The Afghan Youth Peace Volunteers are a group of young Afghans who are practicing this type of radical living each day. These young people, through some spectacular wisdom which has arisen out of the tragedy around them, ask “Why not love?”

We have been told that Afghans are Machiavellian and we have been told that Afghans do not trust one another. These young people know the difficulties they face but with their clear thinking can see that there is no other alternative except love and truth.
Afghanistan is torn by internal forces of racism between tribal groups, the power hunger of the war lords, the corruption of the government, homelessness for many, “night raids” of killing supposedly to protect them, unsanitary water supplies, an education system that is barely literate, a lack of trustworthy political leadership, a broken infrastructure, the brakes on any social change from the conservative religious leaders, insurgents and criminal gangs, and the trappings of an incipient police state.

The external forces of the corporate desire to ravage the natural resources of Afghanistan, the militarist knowledge that Afghanistan provides a central position from which to attempt control of the rest of central Asia, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund and other minions of the disaster capitalists, the ideas and excesses of western civilization (sic?), the tremors of the beginning of the end of the American Empire, and the current face of “the white man's burden” to show the brown people how to be just like us are putting an incalculable strain on the Afghan society. If you would like to read a journal of our trip go to www.globaldaysoflistening.org and click on Projects.

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Larry Kerschner 3681 Cooks Hill Road Centralia WA 360-880-4741

A big part of transforming the people is, yes, a different consciousness and morality, but also people seeing the breakdown in their own understanding of the "permanent necessity of existing conditions" and the possibility of a whole different thing. --Bob Avakian

blog: www.livejournal.com/~larrywrites/

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NOTICE: Even though the shrubrat is gone the government is likely still reading your e-mails through the Echelon Program. The plutocratic corporatists and the arrogant militarists are the true terrorists in the world today.