For Immediate Release

Organization Profile: 
Contact: 

Diana Duarte, Media Coordinator
Phone: +1 212 627 0444
Email: media@madre.org

War on Afghanistan: Eight Years Too Long

WASHINGTON - On October 7, 2001, the US began a military campaign that, to this
day, continues to destroy civilian lives in Afghanistan.  In the days
before the bombs fell, MADRE spoke out against the impending so-called
“war on terror” and warned:

“What’s needed now is
justice, not vengeance.  And killing more civilians will not bring
justice – or an end to terrorism.  Ultimately, the only way to end
terrorism is to end the poverty and despair that give rise to
fanaticism.” (A MADRE Open Letter in Response to the September 11 Terrorist Attacks, October 2, 2001)

We
have been told that the war is necessary to prevent al-Qaeda from using
Afghanistan as a staging ground to launch renewed attacks on the US. 
Yet, General David Petraeus himself acknowledges that al-Qaeda is no longer in Afghanistan.
Meanwhile, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace finds that,
“The mere presence of foreign soldiers fighting a war in Afghanistan is
probably the single most important factor in the resurgence of the Taliban.”

We
have been told that the war is necessary to defend Afghan women.  Yet,
Afghan women know that their rights cannot be secured at gunpoint.  In
fact, the US military is further endangering Afghan women by turning
their communities into war zones.  Women are disproportionately
threatened by the US/NATO airstrikes and house raids that have turned
so many Afghans against the US.  Meanwhile, the war worsens conditions
of poverty and insecurity that prevent the formation of democratic
public spaces that women need to successfully assert their rights.

The
problems that confront Afghanistan, including deep poverty, an epidemic
of violence against women and political corruption are largely the
results of decades of armed conflict.  They will not be resolved by
more warfare. It is time for the US to rethink Afghanistan.

After
thousands of civilian deaths and countless communities destroyed, the
US must recognize that continued military occupation does not protect
US national security and only worsens conditions for Afghan people.

Tell your Congressional representative that eight years is enough: tell him or her to watch the film Rethink Afghanistan, an unflinching look at the weak premises for the war and the toll it is taking on Afghan women and families.

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MADRE is an international women’s human rights organization that partners with community-based women’s groups to advance women’s human rights, challenge injustice and create social change in contexts of war, conflict, disaster and their aftermath. MADRE advocates for a world in which all people enjoy individual and collective human rights; natural resources are shared equitably and sustainably; women participate effectively in all aspects of society; and all people have a meaningful say in policies that affect their lives. For more information about MADRE, visit www.madre.org.

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