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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 2/16/18

A Reply to the Taliban

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2) No Taliban

They viewed you with such horror that some of them were almost of two-minds about the NATO occupation. It is safe to say, I think, that you do not speak for all of the people of Afghanistan. An agreement between you and the United States would be an agreement made without everyone in Afghanistan represented at the table. That being said, it is clear that it would be better for Afghanistan, the world, and the United States for the U.S.-led occupation to end immediately.

But please allow me to offer some unsolicited advice on both how to make that happen and how to proceed after it happens.

First, keep writing letters. They will be heard.

Second, consider looking at the research done by Erica Chenoweth and Maria Stephan showing that principally nonviolent movements are over twice as likely to succeed. Not only that, but those successes are far longer lasting. This is because nonviolent movements succeed by bringing in many more people. Doing that is also helpful for what comes after the occupation.

I'm well aware that I live in a country whose government attacked your country, and so I would generally be considered as lacking the privilege to tell you what to do. But I'm not telling you what to do. I'm telling you what works. You can do with it what you choose. But as long as you allow yourselves to be depicted as viciously violent, you will be a highly profitable advertisement for U.S. weapons makers and U.S. politicians. If you build a nonviolent movement that demonstrates peacefully and multi-ethnically for U.S. withdrawal, and if you make sure we see videos of that, you will be of absolutely no value to Lockheed Martin.

I really do understand how disgusting it is for someone from a country bombing you in the name of democracy to suggest that you try democracy. For what it's worth, I also suggest that the United States try democracy. I recommend nonviolence and democracy to everyone everywhere. I do not try to impose it on anyone.

I hope to hear back from you.


David Swanson

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David Swanson is the author of "When the World Outlawed War," "War Is A Lie" and "Daybreak: Undoing the Imperial Presidency and Forming a More Perfect Union." He blogs at and and works for the online (more...)
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