Toward Peace and Justice: October 2011, Moving past 10 years of war
Peace for Afghanistan by Patricia Sotarello & AFSC Chicago Summer Institute Students. From AFSC's Windows and Mirrors Exhibit.
Today marks the 10th anniversary of the war in Afghanistan, the longest war in US history.
Most Americans are just beginning to grasp the devastating effects of this war—not only on the people of Afghanistan who will be grappling with the consequences for years to come—but on those we sent to fight, on our economy, and on our social and educational services here at home.
As a child living in postwar Europe, I saw firsthand the toll of war. That experience taught me the importance of speaking out when one’s country pursues a path of militarism and violence. That lesson infuses our work at the American Friends Service Committee.
AFSC is committed to exposing the folly of seeking peace through war. We are committed—through our worldwide work for peace and social justice—to demonstrating the power of respectful dialogue and nonviolence to build true security.
At the same time we mourn 10 years of destruction and death—10 years in pursuit of senseless military adventures at the expense of human needs—we are encouraged by the recent growth of nonviolent movements for change.
From Cairo to New York, people all over the world are calling on their governments to act in the interests of all their citizens, not only serve the wealthiest, most privileged individuals and corporations. At AFSC we are energized by the powerful witness on Wall Street and in a growing number of communities around the US. Americans young and old, are calling for a change in national priorities.
AFSC’s Move the Money Action Toolkit, released just days before these protests started, is part of a campaign to bring war dollars home and to protect programs that serve the most vulnerable among us. While street protests draw valuable attention to the issues, we also must ensure that the message is carried to to all levels of government. Move the Money is designed to do just that.
AFSC’s has long understood the connection between economic justice and peace. We stand with those pushing our country to change direction. Please join us in building a just and peaceful tomorrow!
Shan Cretin, AFSC General Secretary