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Posts Tagged ‘protest’

Former Marine, diplomat resigns protesting Afghan war

In foreign policy, protest, war and peace on November 3, 2009 at 9:21 pm

As a statement of protest, a former Marine captain has resigned from his position as a diplomat in one of the Taliban’s strongholds in Afghanistan. Last week, Matthew Hoh made headlines when he announced his resignation from his position as a diplomat in Afghanistan.

Hoh explained that his resignation was based “not upon how we are pursuing this war, but why and to what end.”

In Hoh’s assessment, U.S. presence in Afghanistan is counterproductive.

“Occupying a location only provides justification and only lends credence to the goals of that organization,” Hoh said. “It only inspires young Muslim men to want to defend their culture against an occupying army, which is what we are.”

While one might to tempted to paint Hoh as just another anti-war advocate, nothing could be further from the truth. In his owns words, Hoh denounces the idea that he is “peacenik, pot-smoking hippie who wants everyone to be in love.” Hoh, who also served in Iraq, described his time in the province of Zabul as “the second best job I’ve ever had.”

Speaking of Al Qaeda and the Taliban, Hoh said:

“There are plenty of dudes who need to be killed. I was never more happy than when our Iraq team whacked a bunch of guys.”

Not exactly the words of the next Mother Teresa.

In an interview with Fareed Zakaria of Global Public Square, Hoh described the strong reaction to his resignation as “a bit overwhelming” and said he thought he would “get one or two days of attention.”

Hoh credited two communities as having convinced him to stay in the debate this past week. The first community being Afghan Americans and the second being active-duty military men and women.

Hoh said he’s received “many, many e-mails” from active-duty military persons saying:

“ ‘Matt, thanks for doing this, keep it up. We don’t know why we’re here. We’re not sure why we’re taking these causalities, we don’t know what it’s accomplishing.’ ”

Hoh’s September 10 resignation letter can be viewed here.

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One anti-war advocate still standing

In protest, war, war and peace on October 6, 2009 at 1:52 am

The anti-war left has virtually disappeared from Americas political scene since the inauguration of President Barack Obama. Shame on them.

The Iraq and Afghanistan wars have not improved — on the contrary, theyve only worsened. Violence has escalated. Increasing numbers of U.S. troops are being sent to Afghanistan while Iraq is being taken over by private contractors.

But one antiwar advocate, mother of slain soldier Cindy Sheehan, is not backing down.

Yesterday Sheehan, along with an estimated 500 protesters, gathered outside the White House to voice their opposition to the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Sixty one people were arrested for failure to obey a lawful order after the crowd was repeatedly asked to move back from the sidewalk, according to CNN. Sheehan was among those arrested.

 

To those who believed electing Barack Obama meant change, its time to wake up. Anti-war leftists can no longer cling to the belief that Iraq and the war on terror were Bushs wars. Bush is out. Obama is in.

Hes been our Commander-in-Chief for more than 8 months now. If Barack Obama is serious about withdrawing troops from Iraq and Afghanistan he should do so.

At the  very least, he should not be in the process of leading Americans into future conflicts with Pakistan and Iran.

Communism not so chic in Cuba

In protest on October 5, 2009 at 3:38 am

While the word communism brings to mind images of labor camps and breadlines for the Baby Boomers and before, my generation is more infatuated and less fearful of the ideology. Whether its Che Guevara T-shirts or the showing of Motorcycle Diaries in universities across the country — communism has somehow become considered chic among many of my peers.

I suppose we are the rebellious children of a society that has insisted on shoving capitalism down our throats.

However, less than 90 miles from Americas mainland, many of my peers seem to have a radically different opinion about the coolness of communism.

Meet Gorki Luis Águila Carrasco. He and his band, Porno para Ricardo (Porn for Ricardo), dont take this communist crap. Águila , 39, has been arrested twice in his home country of Cuba. First, in 2003 for drug charges he claims were politically motivated. The second time was in 2008 on a charge of dangerousness.

The Porno para Ricardo has been disrupting the political status quo in Cuba since their inception in 1998. Not only is their content sexually explicit, it is blatantly irreverent of Fidel Castro and his communist regime. In a 2007 interview with CNN, Águila said, “Communism is a failure — a total failure. Please. Leftists of the world — improve your capitalism.”

But Águila and his band arent the only young artists questioning their parents revolution. The film, Cuba RebelioN!, explores the rising alternative music scene in Cuba. Other bands included in the film are Cubas premier metal band, Escape, and the rap-rock band, QVA Libre.

American youth would be wise to keep their communism on T-shirts and buttons where it belongs. If they ever feel the need to advocate a political system theyve had no experience with, they should first listen to those who have.

Post, protest and peace in the park

In liberty and rights, local on September 23, 2009 at 4:55 am

I attended Cannabis Revival, 2009, at Landreth Park on Sept. 12. More than 5,000 attended the event. Above is an audio-slideshow I created for Missouri Southern State University’s student newspaper, The Chart,