Peace Movers in AfghanistanPublished on September, 06 2013
Calling for Peace: Impressions from our Journey
A visit to Afghanistan in May 2013
Every once in a while you find an extremely thoughtful analysis that does justice to the complexities of a very knotty problem. The attached piece, “Calling for Peace: Impressions from our Journey,” is such an analysis. It is about the current situation in Afghanistan witten with clarity, sensitivity and recommendations for a clear path to ending the conflict there. It tells the story of a one week visit to Kabul by a group of seven people from Germany who have been working for peace in Afghanistan for 10 years. Significantly, three members of the group were born in Afghanistan, now live in Germany, and frequently visit their home country. They were able to open up many doors and provide valuable insights. The leader of the delegation was Reiner Braun, Executive Director of IALANA, International Association of Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms in Germany. With affiliates in 18 countries, it could be characterized as a generalized peace organization. This article has had widespread coverage in Germany and is the basis for a planned international conference October 13 in Strausberg. (Joan Ecklein spoke by phone with Reiner Braun in Germany and obtained this background information.)
In this valuable analysis two points are notable:
- The unequivocal need for all foreign troops to leave Afghanistan so that the Afghan people can have their country back both literally and figuratively. Interviewees in Afghanistan emphasized that all segments of the population desprately want foreign troops out, so much so that they fear the terrible cruel violence that will probably erupt against all the foreign troops still in Afghanistan. NATO troops are a special source of distress.
- The current Taliban are very different from the older Taliban in that they are more flexible and are opening schools for girls. They, along with all other segments in the society, need to be part of the peace process.