Skip to comments.In Kabul Meetings, Code Pink "Surprised" Afghans Want U.S. Troops to Stay, Fear Taliban Takeover
Posted on 10/02/2009 6:19:16 PM PDT by kristinn
Code Pink is on a mission in Afghanistan this week to undermine support for the war on terror and to bring pressure to bear for a precipitous U.S. withdrawal from the former home of al Qaeda and the Taliban regardless of the consequences.
There's just one problem, Code Pink is finding it impossible to gin up the propaganda needed to make their case.
On this thread posted a few days ago, I noted how the photos Code Pink posted of Afghan women and girls proved the wisdom of President Bush's decision to liberate Afghanistan after 9/11. They were free to work, study and dress in traditional Afghan clothing rather than the burka and chador of the radical Muslims.
Yesterday, Code Pink co-founder Medea Benjamin posted a report from Kabul about her day meeting with top Afghan government officials and warlords. I'm going to post the whole piece here so you can get the whole picture of what Medea is going through over there. Rather than her experience with Iraq where there was a sizable remnant of Saddamites who could relate to the San Francisco based Benjamin, she reports finding practically no one who agrees with her on an immediate U.S. withdrawal:
(Kabul) Its hard to believe the access and diversity of meetings that our 9-person delegation has had in the past few days! Little wonder our heads are spinning. We met with heads of womens organizations and women who are learning new skills from literacy to business classes. We were briefed by UN reps and international NGOs. We met with local groups researching conflict zones and participation in elections. We visited internal refugees living in makeshift tents, doctors in a maternity hospital, recovering drug addicts at their rehab center, artisans in their studios and businessmen in their sumptuous homes. Weve interviewed journalists and been interview by journalists.
If that werent enough, weve had unbelievable access to high level officials. Weve met the Minister of Communications, the Minister of Agriculture, the Minister of Urban Development, the Deputy Minister of Transportation, the Deputy Minister of Defense, the Deputy Minister of Finance and the former Minister of Mines. We met an elderly man who held high government posts under the King, the communist government, the Mujahadeen and the Taliban! We were invited to the Presidential Palace to talk to President Karzais most trusted advisor.
At a party for us hosted by a local businessman, we met three warlords (including one who fought Osama bin Laden at ToraBora), one tribal leader who was a peacemaker between groups in Pakistan and Afghanistan, and the businessman brother of President Karzai who financed his brothers presidential campaign (and owns the only cement factory in the whole country).
Our meetings have covered all kinds of topics, from military strategy to womens rights to opium policy. Weve learned about the need to not only train Afghan soldiers and police, but pay them a living wage (their $200 salaries cant cover the basics for a family). We discussed the pros and cons of U.S. troops, and to our surprise, found very few people who would like the troops out now. Most say that the country would collapse into civil war or be taken over by the Taliban if the US troops were to leave. But that doesnt mean they want MORE troops. In fact, most want to see a phased out withdrawal of foreign troops, accompanied by a reconciliation process. Weve had endless talks about what that process should look like, and who should be at the table (including women so their rights dont get further compromised!!!).
In our few remaining days, we have another series of incredible meetings set up. I am so grateful to have this opportunity to learn firsthand what is happening in a country where U.S. soldiers are fighting and dying, where billions of our taxdollars are being spent, and where Afghans remain impoverished, fearful and victims of horrendous violence. So keep in touch with us as we sift through the massive amount of information and formulate follow-up ideas to promote an end to the violence that has so devastated this nation.
Well fancy that! The Afghans don't want us to run away and leave them to the tyranny of the Taliban. I must say, I had my doubts about this trip, but so far Code Pink is making the case for those of us who support victory in Afghanistan.
Ann Wright, Medea Benjamin, Jodie Evans: At Karzai's palace, it was the King's Palace, built in the mid 1800's. Met with the Deputy NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR, who we learned later was Karzai's brother in law. (Code Pink photo and caption)
Jodie Evans has also written several reports.
This one ends with a paragraph about partying late in to the night at an expat bar in Kabul:
The day finished at a meeting with the Deputy Minister of Defense who we grilled about training the troops and what was really possible. He says they need more police than troops, which is the opposite of what McChrystal proposes and he is for going back to mandatory service which made Medea happy. We learned about the ex-pat bars and ended our night at a French one which was quite the scene. Hundreds of Westerners drinking and flirting, roughly twenty men to each women so we were mobbed. We met men from every country doing about everything in Kabulincluding delivering the mail. We passed armed guards, went through three security doors and were searched in order to reach the party area. And what a party it wasonly just beginning at 11pm.
Medea Benjamin should be required to wear a burka at all times.....
They should be careful. They may end up being human shields or worse.
The troops want to be in Afghanistan.
The Afghani's want the troops in Afghanistan.
The Islamists want to die for Allah.
We want to kill them.
No, it's not.
its a win win for all involved.
This is almost as funny as Obama’s Olympic crash. I bet they both are stunned that they world isn’t swooning over their brilliance.
Code Pink - Forever mystified by reality.
You’re not kidding!
Case closed...case closed...
“Maybe Medea’s gonna have an epiphany.”
Well, stranger things have happened!
Well, not much stranger, I’ll admit, but it is possible for anyone to drop an illusion or three and be humbled by reality.
I wish her well.
Why is anyone speaking to these slugs ? They should be banned from the country, or kept there. What part of congress do they represent ?
My fondest hope is that they return via a slow boat trolling the coast of Somalia as pirate bait, or chum. Either will do, but sharks have to feed to, you know.
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