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Chronicle of a disaster. Ten Years After the Afghan Invasion: Welcome to the Failed State of Americastan

The testimony of an american journalist returning from Kaboul

Wednesday 19 October 2011, by 4ACG , François Nutchey

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Johnny Barber, the author, is a member of“ Voices for Creative Nonviolence” in Afghanistan and relates the true state of this country after a ten years war with an american leading.

Ten Years After the Afghan Invasion: Welcome to the Failed State of Americastan
Wednesday 19 October 2011
by: Johnny Barber, Truthout | Op-Ed French translationHERE

As we step off the Turkish Air flight and walk across the dusty tarmac to the terminal, we are greeted by a large billboard. In big, bold English it proclaims, “Welcome to the Home of the Brave.” It stops me in my tracks. I shake my head, thinking, “damn weird” and continue in to passport control. After waiting in a short line, I present my American passport to the guard in the booth. He doesn’t acknowledge me. He flips through the shiny, new pages until he gets to the visa. He stamps it. He turns to the picture. He gives me a precursory glance and hands the passport back to me. I turn and enter Afghanistan.

I have come here with two friends from Voices for Creative Nonviolence, forming a small delegation interested in developing relationships with ordinary Afghans and gathering stories of everyday life since the American invasion in 2001. After collecting our luggage and taking a short bus ride to the parking area, Hakim, Mohammed Jan and his brother Noor greet us warmly. Hakim and Mohammed Jan are our hosts and the organizing force of the Afghan Youth Peace Volunteers.

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On our trip from the airport to Kabul, Hakim offers an update since the last delegation has left. Things have deteriorated considerably. People are feeling more hopeless, even among the youth group. There have been no opportunities for optimism. As we drive the clogged streets through clouds of brown dust, I watch as small children with huge sacks slung across their backs pick at scraps along the streets. Men pull huge carts filled with scrap metal. Beggars on crutches stand in the streets or lie by the street side, hoping for any generosity from the passing cars.

To most of the population, peace is an impossibility. Most feel a turn toward more violence is inevitable. Possibilities of peace are not part of the dialogue, few are even willing to voice the words “peace” or “nonviolence.” Most people only talk about selecting the best of several very poor possibilities and all of these options are militaristic ones. People are being squeezed between the insurgency and occupying powers. For some, especially in Kabul, the best of the poor choices is continuing on the path of US occupation. The sense of hopelessness is palpable, people feel there is no wa