Sunday, April 7, 2013

Far From Afghanistan

On June 7th 2010, the US war in Afghanistan surpassed Vietnam, at 104 months, as the longest war in US history. Launched in October 2001 as “Operation Enduring Freedom” this fall will mark one decade of involvement in a war that has seen at least 2,300 Coalition military deaths and over 10,000 wounded. Meanwhile, US-led forces have killed thousands of Afghan civilians, with 2010 the deadliest year thus far.
What do the people of Afghanistan have to show for ten years of war and occupation? Average life expectancy there is barely over 40 years. 700 children and 60 women die each day from hunger and lack of health care. The illiteracy rate is running at 70 percent in the cities and up to 99 percent in the countryside. Only a quarter of the population has access to clean water and just 10 percent have electricity. According to the UN Human Development Index, Afghanistan is the most underdeveloped non-African country in the world.
But while the war grows ever more costly, news coverage within the US about the war in Afghanistan has declined to its lowest level since the warʼs launch. In the most recent congressional elections, the war barely registered. And Hollywood movies, of course, have little or nothing whatsoever to say. And yet, while the media turn away from the gruesome reality of war, polls indicate 63% of Americans oppose the war and want our involvement to cease. And as Tunisia and Egypt have recently reminded us, even the most dormant of people can suddenly re-awaken and change the course of history…
For more information about the Far From Afghanistan project see their website

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