International Day of Non-violence Video screen grab
(image by youtube) DMCA
Kabul--"I woke up with the blast of another bomb explosion this morning," Imadullah told me. "I wonder how many people were killed." Imadullah, an 18 year old Afghan Peace Volunteer, (APV), from Badakhshan, had joined me at the APVs' Borderfree Community Centre of Nonviolence.
Imadullah and Rauff, another APV member, continued discussing the attack. Rauff believes that the latest string of suicide bombings in Kabul have been in response to actions of the newly formed government. "Three days ago, they signed the U.S. /Afghanistan Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA)," Rauff explained. "The Taliban condemned the new government, now led by former World Bank official President Ashraf Ghani and ex-warlord Vice President General Dostum, for signing the agreement."
Listening to Imadullah's and Rauff's concerns over the latest string of attacks, I wondered if I myself had become inured to this sober Afghan reality of perpetual war.
We were soon joined by Zekerullah and Abdulhai who had gathered local street children at Borderfree Community Centre, so we could supervise their walk to a nearby park, the alternative place for our event.
"I'm taking music lessons and if I'm good enough, the teachers say I may be able to participate in Afghan Star ( like the American Idol show ) in the future!" said Nur Rahman, after belting out a sweet Afghan love song for me.
"We wish for a life without wars," Mehdi, a boot polisher in our street kid program, said emphatically as we set off towards the park. "He's telling the truth!" echoed another street kid walking just behind him.
I've often met precocious Afghan children who express cynicism and feel angry that they must wise up so quickly in a country whee the Taliban's or the U.S./NATO's bombs might kill them.
Most people outside Afghanistan are too far away to preoccupy themselves over what the former British envoy to Afghanistan called an 'eye wateringly expensive exercise in military futility'.
Whereas seemingly everyone understands that wars are futile, U.S./NATO and Afghan politicians have nevertheless wired their media and general public to believe that this war, in Afghanistan, is necessary. Through the BSA, they have agreed to keep long term U.S./NATO military bases in Afghanistan. The decision will assuredly prolong war and violence.
Governments involved in Afghanistan spend a vast bulk of their borrowed or tax-payer money not on food, water, shelter, education, health and other basic human needs, but on the machine of war.
Most of us assume that our leaders must know what to do, even if they have failed to bring genuine security after 13 years.
I feel a deep frustration.