The Other Face Of Pakistan

The Other Face Of Pakistan

Eve Ensler

I have just returned from Pakistan where I was invited to support the efforts of women on the ground who are refusing to be terrified and silenced in the face of recent bombings and attacks. This was my fifth trip to Pakistan over the last fifteen years. I was there in 1994 when I followed a group of 500 Bosnian refugees who were promised swimming pools, bungalows and jobs, and ended up essentially stranded for five years at the Haji Complex, a barren site in Rawalpindi for pilgrims on the way to Mecca. That support offered by the Pakistani government to the Bosnian refugees was more than most were offering at the time. I went back to Pakistan in 1999 when I first met RAWA (Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan) and traveled with them into Taliban-controlled Afghanistan, leaving from Peshawar, through the Khyber Pass. I have made this trip several times since then. I was there in 2003 when women activists and artists presented the first production of The Vagina Monologues, a clandestine production in Islamabad that afterwards moved to public performances in Lahore and Karachi.

I was not prepared for the new Islamabad that I met, a city essentially under siege. A maze of 50 check points. People hardly leaving their houses. Schools closed for a month at a time. The fancy Serena Hotel surrounded, a fortress. The U.S. embassy an enclave, protected by miles of stone barricades and elaborate barbed wire. Inside the embassy is another world, a getaway, a club, a café, Pilates classes, and a shopping bazaar imported for the 800 or so American employees the day I was there. No one allowed out. A resident of Islamabad told me, “There weren’t barricades and now there are. We’re appalled. We’re under threat… Because they’re targets, we’re targets. There were bomb blasts near us and all the windows were blown out of my house. My sister refuses to sleep in a room alone.”

There is sense of musical chairs. If you move fast enough and are clever enough, the suicide bomber will not land on you. Every place is a target. One woman told me that she has come to make arbitrary decisions. She doesn’t go to the Jinnah market. It feels central. This constant guessing and not knowing makes for terrible and constant anxiety. Everyone seems traumatized in one way or another.

I did a survey, asking people who they thought was doing the bombing and I got many answers. Most people said they had no idea. They did not know the political intentions of the bombings, didn’t know who the bombers were or what they wanted. One person told me “…with the Contras [in Nicaragua] and the Tamils [in Sri Lanka], their intent was clear. Here it is an invisible evil. No one is claming it.” Many thought it was the work of the Pakistani Taliban although no one thought all the bombings were done by them (the Taliban itself has only claimed responsibility for some of the bombings). There were many rumors and conspiracy theories. Since there is now talk of Blackwater operating in Pakistan, there are those who believe the U.S. is in cahoots with the Taliban (the theory is that if the U.S. has a deliberate foreign policy to keep the streets destabilized, they would have an excuse to intervene and occupy), or that the ISI (the Pakistani intelligence agency) is in cahoots with the U.S. and they are behind the bombings to turn the population against the Taliban. Some thought it was the Pakistani army, or the Taliban within the army. Several people talked about the fact they when they arrest people for the bombings, the stories die quickly and when there is a bomb blast police hose down the area and erase the evidence. Some thought the violence was sponsored by the Indian government. One woman from Swat told me, “We, the common people don’t know what’s going on. We are pawns. We are suffering at their hands. Whatever their plan is we wish they would get on with it.”

I traveled to Rawalpindi, a bustling and madly crowded town right next to the capital. Once outside Islamabad, where the international groups and embassies are stationed and where western hotels exist, there is hardly a checkpoint. No security, no protection for the majority of the population who seem to be on the frontlines of the killing. It is very reminiscent of Iraq and the Green Zone. I go to visit a safe house run by a long time activist Shahnaz Bukhari. The house provides support and refuge for women who have been acid burned — usually by their husbands. I meet Fauzia*, a 48-year-old woman, who is fully covered in a black chador. After we talk for a while and she begins to trust me, she removes the black veil and her face is a monstrous vision, melted and swollen, no ears, no eyes, she is completely blind. When she was young she married a man who did not like to work. She was working many jobs to support him and their family. She discovered he secretly got married to another women using her money. Eventually she asked for a divorce. After six years of being separated, he started blackmailing her to give him their kids or money. She had bought a plot of land. He was after it. She finally gave it to him, thinking he would leave her alone. She brought him the documents for the land. He said he was satisfied and wouldn’t take the kids. He sent them out to have sodas to celebrate. Then he burnt her with acid. Threw it in her face. She told me, “When I say my prayers, I pray that he has been crippled. I don’t want him to die. I want him to suffer.” She brought her case to court. Her husband came once and then he vanished. She is now speaking out, standing up, showing her face. She wants other women to punish these perpetrators. There are 2,000 burn cases a year. The government is not supporting these cases or women. She is trying to create a network to pressure hospitals and everyone involved to support the women.

At the shelter, I am surprised to find a very handsome young man, Naeem*, and his very adorable son. They are dressed in matching gray cotton suits. It is only a few minutes into the interview that I realize Naeem is really Abaaz*, a 24-year-old woman. Abaaz was married off when she was 13 to a man who was 26. He abused her, tortured her mentally. He threw her out when she was 17 because he took another woman. Abaaz was left on her own with a child on the streets. She had to find a way to survive. She went to a men’s barber and had her hair cut. Then she found suitable clothing, lowered her voice and changed her name. She got a vending stand and sells fruits and vegetables. She has achieved success with her business and her identity and is able to support herself and son. I asked her if she is happy living like this. “No, I do not like living as a man. My heart knows how I feel. But I am more secure. No one harasses me. I have learned street slang like the boys use. I mainly have male friends.” I ask her son how he feels. “I call my mother brother Naeem in the streets, but I do not like that she can’t be a woman. I want her to be in the house. At home she is different. She can be my mother.” I ask if she will get married again. She says, “I can’t be that fool again.” She worries about money. She wants her son to go to school. She tells me it’s embarrassing to be a boy. “When things are favorable, I’ll be a girl again. The shawl, the symbol of my pride, I had to leave. I’ll be happy when my son grows up and I can sit at home in my chair and wear my shawl. I will be happy then when I can live my last years as a woman.”

I return that evening to Islamabad and am joined by a group of very powerful women. We talk for hours. I meet Samar Minallah — an activist lawyer. She focuses primarily on highlighting problems of women in the Northwest Province of Pakistan. She has been fighting a practice called “retribution” where girls are traded to resolve conflict between men. Recently she was involved in a case where a man killed another man’s dog and instead of a fight ensuing, the man who killed the dog gave the aggrieved man 15 girls between the ages of six months to seven years old. These girls then became the aggrieved man’s possessions, to be raped, enslaved, treated in any way the man desired. Fifteen girls for one dead dog. This is a common practice. A practice Samar has been fighting against. In the case of the dog, she called the father of the girls and asked if it was true. She recorded the conversation. The father proudly announced that he had traded his daughters. Samar went to the human rights commission of Pakistan. She reported the case to a policeman. The father called Samar’s son and told him “Your mother is going to die very soon.” Fortunately, Samar was able to prosecute the case and the man went to jail. She then told me of the story that has put her life in much bigger jeopardy.

“I live in Swat. In April, I was told that a 16-year-old girl had been flogged by the Taliban. Beating women has nothing to do with our culture or religion. The girl had come from a far off village in Swat. She had refused a marriage proposal from a good for nothing Taliban boy. The boy then claimed the girl had an illicit relationship with her father-in-law. The woman was flogged publicly. Many photographed and videoed the flogging on their mobile phones and sent it around.” Samar took the video and posted it on Facebook. She posted it with her name and email. She attached a message, “If you don’t wake up today, this will happen to you.” Because she identified herself, her life was immediately endangered. When I asked her why she took such a risk, she said “No one is taking responsibility for anything. There is no credibility or impact if you do not sign your name or take responsibility.” The Taliban told Samar they were sending five suicide bombers to her house. This did not stop her. They tried to discredit her. They said it was a 14 year old video, said she manufactured it in her house. They said she was a known mad woman. Certain people stopped taking her phone calls. Some people removed her from their Facebook. She went on Pakistani TV. Samar did not use a drone or an AK-47, but she put the Taliban on the defensive. They demanded she be handed over, (like the 15 girls) but her actions spurred a revulsion and Pakistan people mobilized in the streets to protest. The Taliban claimed Samar had damaged their reputation in the international press. They put a fatwa against her. “I was shattered because of my children. I cried on the phone afraid for my children. I had the option of leaving Pakistan. To leave for me would have been death. I have a role to play in the theater against women’s rights violations. A few embassies called and asked if I wanted asylum. I would never leave Pakistan. My daughter was crying because she couldn’t leave her cats. I felt guilty I had done this to my kids. My friends gave us refuge.” Samar stopped talking publicly for three months. Now she is back at it, fighting the cases. “I’m in a make shift home now. No landline. It’s not just the Taliban I am afraid of. It is the Taliban mind set. Most suicide bombers are clean-shaven, look just like us. I am still getting horrible emails from people I don’t know. People will get brownie points in heaven for killing me. Of course I am afraid of getting picked up, abused, raped, tortured. That is the most terrifying, not death. There are hundreds of missing people in Pakistan. But how can I stop. How can I let them win?”

The condition of women has never been elevated in Pakistan (I do not single Pakistan out as I have yet to find a country where the status of women is elevated), but the current climate of terror, militarism, and Talibanization has escalated and licensed a brutal gender oppression, inhumanity and violence. A male leader from Chitral, a formerly progressive town in the frontier told me, “The Taliban hasn’t arrived yet physically, but they have mentally. Already women are not going out of the house, leaving jobs, covering themselves when they have never been covered.”

Religious extremism is a kind of plague. It seizes the mind, body and soul. It creates a kind of slow terror that invades cell by cell and feeds off the preexisting patriarchal traditions and conditioning in women. Then, there are the various practices that enforce that conditioning: acid burning, retribution, honor killing, flogging, burying women alive, etc. Some of these stories get out to the West from time to time; but, what rarely gets out are the stories of women who are resisting this violence and fighting with their lives for human rights.

After listening to many women’s stories, I am struck with their brilliance in constructing strategies that are not rooted in war or violence, but rather in courage, enabling justice, transformation and real security. There is another Pakistan — the Pakistan of women academics running women studies programs, women demonstrating in front of the judiciary, speaking out on television, fighting law suits in protection of women’s rights, harboring and giving refuge to women who are acid burned. There is the mother obsessively seeking justice for her daughter who she believes was poisoned by a Mullah after he raped her, the woman fighting off the Taliban after they murdered her husband in Swat. Activists like Tahira Addullan, who has been in the human rights and women’s movement 30 years, always threatened, arrested twice, fiercely fighting for the restoration of an independent judiciary. And, Nighat Rizvi, who produced a sold out event to raise awareness about violence against women in the middle of a paralyzed city, and who screened her documentary on the inhumane conditions for women in the recent IDP camps.

These women understand that the major threat to Pakistan is not terrorism but poverty, malnutrition, (60 percent of the children are now born moderately stunted) lack of education, HIV, violence against women, and corruption of the government. Women who know that the U.S. war in Afghanistan escalates violence in Pakistan, that computer driven drones killing hundreds of innocent people enrages those who lose their loved ones and that creates more terrorists. They know their lives are being manipulated, that the millions of dollars the U.S. sends never reaches them or the people (but goes to the corrupt leaders and elites). That the future of their country is essentially in their hands, as the government, the army, the security forces are not focused on the struggles that occupy their daily existence.

As I leave Pakistan, I think of Fauzia, Abaaz and Samar. One reveals her destroyed face to stop the burning of others, one disguises her face to support her child and protect her security, one uploads an explosive video on Facebook to expose and stop a hideous practice. Each one of these strategies involved creativity, originality, bravery and very little money. I think the U.S. government and the military, the Pakistani government and army could all take heed from the vision and bravery and work of women like these. The change needs to come from the ground. Religious extremism is a virus. It feeds on poverty, malnutrition, humiliation, sexism and fear. As President Obama gets ready to formally announce his plans for a troop increase in Afghanistan, we must recognize that putting more US troops on the ground will only increase the violence, bombings and terror in the region. Our strongest methods of inoculation are to feed, help educate and honor the people of Pakistan and Afghanistan and to support the women, providing them with resources to do what they need to do, what they know how to do.

*Names have been changed to protect their identity.

Eve Ensler, a playwright and activist, is the founder of V-Day, a global movement to end violence against women and girls.


Our Lie-Based Reality


Our Lie-Based Reality

By:  Peter Chamberlin
Our government cannot function without the trust of the people.  Without unshakeable faith that the people will allow the government to proceed, the governing coalitions of politicians will not dare to implement their own plans.  Fear of popular reprisals (which could diminish their power) restrains even the most devious politicians from acting.  Even Hitler himself would not have dared to proceed with his vile plans, if he hadn’t believed that the people would let him get away with it.  When government plans are so repulsive that no sane person would support them, then it becomes necessary to construct a false version of reality to spoon-feed the people, in order to gain the requisite trust, and with it, the people’s consent.
This is our current situation in America and throughout the Americanized world.
Government could not function, commerce could not go forward, human interaction would become even more restraineed, if the false “official version” of reality  suddenly collapsed.  For then, all we would have left is the cold hard reality that our government has necessarily kept from us.
If the official versions of events were blown away, we could clearly see the obvious truths and the absurdity of the lies that concealed them.
Perhaps then, for a brief second, we would laugh at the apparent contradictions in the “magic bullet” official explanation of the single, undamaged bullet, which allegedly killed President Kennedy and wounded Gov. John Connally, a feat which required the bullet to change course in midair.
Somehow, I find it hard to believe that anyone would laugh if we all suddenly admitted to ourselves and to each other the obvious absurdity in claims that kerosene fires reduced concrete and steel into talcum powder in two one-hundred story skyscrapers, which collapsed at freefall speed.
Laughing over the absurdity of the official lies that have been used to justify killing a million or more innocent souls would be a macabre sacrilege, an affront to both God and man.  Yet, isn’t that what many of us have been doing all along, as we celebrated our retribution against the official scapegoats, while others revelled in the brutality of our military’s executioners, high-fiving their teammates over missions accomplished?
But none of this is happening; no absurd lies are being exposed.  No air is being cleared.  For politicians, who are afraid to put-on their pants in the morning, without first testing the political wind, there isn’t the slightest hint of the piles of fetid, rotting flesh that our troops are accumulating in invaded foreign lands, in their missions of “liberation.”  They have received no indications that We the People will not continue to allow them to “liberate” our world into a quite real state of slavery.
Operating under the absurd delusion that American and NATO troops (who are destroying multiple nations) are there to “defend America,” throngs of people gather for patriotic parades, heaping piles of honors upon those highly-trained young men who kill for false visions of “God and country.”  If only these men who hold honor and service to mankind in such high esteem (even though they are bathed in the blood of innocence) could see beyond the carefully constructed false reality for just a moment, then their own consciences (if they still had them) would probably convince them of their own personal guilt and immorality.  If the devil that blinds their eyes could be restrained for but a moment, then perhaps God would come rushing back in.
But that is not happening.  As a result, we stand ready to up the ante in Afghanistan, as the American people watch their TV sets and ignore the fact that Obama is about to make our criminal assault on the Pashtun people a whole lot worse.  Because Obama’s behavioral specialists have taken America’s temperature and pronounced us willing participants in allowing the escalation of the slaughter, he will hold the banner of righteous retribution over his head, like some black knight in shining armor, leading the charge to slay the great beast called “al Qaida.”
Obama and McChrystal will lead us into Pakistan in hot pursuit of an apparition, chasing the great bloody “Islamist” beast which has so obligingly preceeded us into this prized territory.  Wasn’t that convenient, that these evil militants created the conditions for us, which would make it possible to go where we have always wanted to be, Western Pakistan?
This brings us back to the greatest contradictions in the official story of the “war on terror” (despite repeated denials and charges of “ludicrous” and “absurdity”), the militants, who are invariably described as “Islamists,” always create the conditions that will justify American intervention, wherever energy interests crop-up.  Claims that we are at war with “militant Islam” justify sending US forces wherever the militants appear, and they always appear in areas where American oil companies are already focused.  Isn’t that convenient?  “Islamists” in Central Asia are the vanguard of American expeditionary forces, probing deeply into energy-rich territories of the former Soviet Union.  No matter what
western media reports may say to the contrary, rest assured that Russian investigators are aware of all this as they investigate this week’s bombing of the Nevsky Express.
Pakistan, the great prize in the current phase of the Imperial war project, is being pryed open like ripened fruit, to facilitate advancing American forces.  The great irony here, is that this is being done for America by Pakistanis.  The “Islamists” who are turning the Central Asian states into the next battlegrounds have all received their basic training in Pakistan and Afghanistan.  Now these black crows have returned home to roost, as they ply their evil trade in the North West Frontier Province and FATA.  Safely entrenched there, despite recent pseudo-offensives allegedly launched against them by the Army, the militants perform a carefully choreographed dance with their former trainers, the ISI and the Army.  Their dance creates the illusion of tribal war, projecting the image of  the Army as the great defenders of the “Land of the Pure,” validating further Army escalations, which, in themselves ,will justify the next phase of the American occupation.
Following the pattern that was set in the very beginning by Pres. Carter and Mr. Brzezinski, a bunch of “stirred-up Muslims” have justified every American intervention in Afghanistan, just as they are now validating steps into Pakistan and into Central Asia.  It is a time-tested ploy that has worked on the American people every time it has ever been played.  It has been so easy to sell an un-Christian assault against all those scary dark-skinned Muslims to such a bigoted, frightened racist nation as the United States.  This is the primary reason that we have been given a black president, to dispute the charge that this is a racist war.  How could it be a racist war, if it is being led by a black man?  The cleverness of our captors is only exceeded by their audacity.  They, like their mentor Hitler, understand fully the meaning of the “big lie” concept–make your lies so big and outrageous that they are beyond the ability of the common man to question them.
Hesitation by Obama as he tried to play the “Islamist” card once again, tells us that rising popular displeasure with this war is undermining confidence within the ruling class that the people will accept much more of this.  Hence, before the new escalation was announced, it was revealed that an “exit strategy” was also being sought.  This act of misdirection restored the leaders’ confidence that the people would take the bait and swallow this latest escalation whole, hook, line and sinker.
With this renewed confidence in the people continuing to act like sheep being led to the slaughter, Obama is announcing the new exit strategy/escalation  before an obedient, if not down-right adoring audience, today at West Point.  The only thing that will prevent the unfolding of this premeditated act of mass-murder is a sudden revelation for our secret leaders that the old official lies aren’t going to cut it anymore, that We the Sheeple won’t play along with the usual bullshit anymore.  The only thing that will save our rotten souls, is if we all get really mad at ourselves for allowing this travesty of international justice to continue, and convince our overlords that our minds have been changed.  First, we must get mad, then, we must convince them just how angry we really are.
We the People are mad as hell and we are not going to take it anymore!
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Scream it from every street corner and every other venue.

Criticize ISI, Bullets Come Through Your Walls

In it, up to our necks

By Kamran Shafi

According to Kamran Shafi the coup against the elected, constitutional government of Punjab by Salmaan Taseer was completely foolish and self-defeating. – Photo by Reuters.

So then, December is upon us, another year has gone by in the Fatherland’s struggle to keep its head above water, to be accepted as another half-civilised country in the comity of nations.

The very same terrorists who were running amok during the Commando’s time in the sun while he and his collaborators ran with the hares and hunted with the dogs, are somewhat under control due to the political will of the major political parties of the country which has forced the security establishment to become pro-active.

I say ‘somewhat’ because almost all of the Swat/Fata Yahoo leadership is either not yet apprehended or killed, the chief murderers Fazlullah and Mehsud either escaping into Afghanistan, Fazlullah purportedly on one leg, the other melting into the countryside. The ones apprehended, such as Muslim Khan the Terrible are being kept under wraps, i.e., have appeared in no court of law. He is charged, may we remind ourselves, with cold-hearted murder, rebellion against the state, robbery and dacoity, and petty theft.

More, much more has happened to us hapless and lay Pakistanis, and to our country in the year gone by. And the jewel in that is the wilful near-revolt by our Rommels and Guderians when they thoughtlessly and recklessly came out publicly in a press release by the ISPR against the aid bill that the American Congress voted into law to give mainly civilian aid to help upgrade the education, health and other infrastructure sectors. It came with a military component too under certain conditions, mainly that the secretary of state will certify to Congress periodically that the Pakistan Army is firmly under the control of the civilian, elected please note, authority. Our Rommels and Guderians were said to be ‘furious’ at the wording of the bill.

Yet, barely nine days after their ‘fury’ had been vented on us ‘bloody civilians’, the commander US Centcom came a-calling, in which meeting the COAS Pakistan Army, conveniently forgetting the ‘fury’ he and his fellow generals felt at the wording of the aid bill, by now called the KLL for it had become US law, asked for early shipment of ‘sophisticated weapons’ for the fight against terror!

And what has yours truly been writing about during the past year? About hypocrisy and two-facedness. About the foibles of our politicians, specially of the PPP breaking its solemn promises made with the PML-N; the completely foolish and self-defeating coup against the elected, constitutional government of Punjab by Salmaan Taseer, erstwhile friend and campaigner for people’s rights, foolishness soon put right by the newly independent judiciary.

I noted, however, that whilst politicians can be put in their places by the electoral process itself which is always the preferred method, the superior judiciary is also there to correct the course where it is seen that a certain action is unconstitutional. Such as Salmaan’s coup. But what, pray, does one do with a rampant security establishment that deems it below its dignity to submit to the popular will i.e. the will of the people, as exercised through their chosen, elected representatives, ‘bloody civilians’ though they be? I have written about all of the above.

And also about why that Holy of Holies, the Mother of All Agencies, should be considered the exclusive preserve of the Pakistan Army when every other intelligence agency of note across the world is headed by civilians? I must add here that I received at least three emails containing the vilest abuse after I asked why a civilian could not head the ISI, a few weeks ago.

A little anecdote here: during CIA director Leon Panetta’s (Panetta was President Clinton’s chief of staff and is a ‘bloody civilian’) recent visit to the citadel of Islam, a vehicle in his motorcade from Benazir Bhutto airport to the ISI HQ overturned due to over-speeding and the penchant of Pakistani ‘security car’ drivers to stay as close to the VIP’s car come what may, was said in the press release to belong to a ‘sensitive agency’. I ask you! As if we ‘bloody civilians’ thought the overturned vehicle belonged to that dead-as-a-dodo ministry of tourism.

On the night of Nov 27-28, 2009, my house in Wah, where my wife and daughter and I had come to celebrate Eidul Azha, was fired upon six times by a high velocity firearm, probably a Kalashnikov (on single shot mode) judging from the half-inch deep and two-inch across holes in the concrete wall of the bedroom above ours, possibly a Takharov 30 MM pistol, popularly known as ‘TT Pistol’ in the Land of the Pure.

There was no sound of a motor vehicle driving away, suggesting professional hit-men who had probably parked their vehicle a way away towards the main GT Road and then calmly walked to it after doing their deed.

There were no empties found at the site giving further credence to the above theory — the assailants had taken care to catch the bullet casings before they fell to the ground, for you do not start looking for empties in the dead of night for fear of getting caught in the act. One of the ways that we used in the army during firing practice in my day was to hold a beret over the ejection port. We had to account for every round fired which I am sure is the case even now.

There is more: at exactly 17:33 on Nov 28, 2009, I received a telephone call from a woman speaking in uneducated Urdu and using a mobile phone (0300-274-9185). She asked if I was Kamran Shafi. When I said I was, she said that what had happened to me last night was just the ‘trailer’ and that the complete movie would also be shown.

When I asked why any of this should happen, she said, ‘One does not spit in the plate one eats from’, and that if I was not careful about what I write I would soon see the complete movie. I am a pensioner of the Pakistan Army, getting the princely sum of Rs1,200 a month, by the way. FIR No 827 has been registered at the Wah Cantonment PS in which I have in an additional application said that I suspect an ‘agency’ of doing the deed.

I must end by saluting Mian Nawaz Sharif and President Asif Ali Zardari for telephoning me inside of 15 and 17 minutes of my sending messages to their staff respectively, about what had happened. And the Punjab government for providing me and my family the best security it can. This is exactly why I stand on the side of elected leaders and against any further interference in our country’s politics by the men on donkey-back.

Obama’s Middle East Policies: the Persistence of the Bush Doctrine on Vimeo

This is a lecture by professor As’ad Abukhalil of California State University, Stanislaus. Monday, Nov. 23, 2009 at Harvard Law School. To learn more about professor Abukhalil’s work, visit his website/blog at :

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Upcoming demonstrations against the escalation of the Afghanistan war

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Join anti-war protests tomorrow & Wednesday
to oppose the widening war in Afghanistan
Afghanistan colonial character

A U.S. soldier takes a photograph of the iris of an Afghan man
as part of a catalogue to track Afghan people’s identities —
evidence of the true colonial character of the war.

When President Obama tells the nation that he is expanding the war in Afghanistan, the anti-war movement will be taking to the streets in protests staged in cities and towns throughout the United States. Demonstrations will take place on Tuesday, Dec. 1 and Wednesday, Dec. 2.

Today, representatives of 34 antiwar organizations, including the ANSWER Coalition, delivered an open letter to President Obama strongly opposing his anticipated decision to expand the war in Afghanistan.

The letter pledges to “to build the kind of massive movement –which today represents the sentiments of a majority of the American people–that will play a key role in ending U.S. war in Afghanistan.”

The U.S./NATO military intervention in Afghanistan is not a so-called war of necessity. It is a colonial-type war. The people of Afghanistan will resist until the foreign occupation ends. The U.S. war effort is doomed. Tens of thousands more troops will be sent into the country because the Pentagon cannot figure out what else to do. The continued war and its escalation threaten the lives of untold thousands of Afghan people and U.S. soldiers.

The ANSWER Coalition is demanding the immediate and unconditional withdrawal of all U.S. and NATO forces from Afghanistan as well as Iraq.

Upcoming demonstrations against the escalation of the Afghanistan war

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Check back regularly for additional events!

The ANSWER Coalition has joined with six other national anti-war organizations and issued an appeal asking people to take immediate action in their communities against the war in Afghanistan the very day that the Obama administration announces its plans to expand the war. In some cities, actions are planned for the day following the announcement.

The following is a list of actions currently planned. Please let us know of demonstrations being organized in your area by clicking here.

Huntington Beach, CA
Day after: Wednesday, Dec. 2, 5:00 pm
Huntington Beach Pier (Main and PCH).
Contact: Marselle Sloane – 949-533-7936 – and Facebook

Oakland, CA
Day of: Tuesday, Dec. 1, 7:00pm – 7:30pm
4063 Piedmont Avenue (Candlelight vigil – Meet under the clock tower at Piedmont Av and 41st St.)
Contact: Brad Newsham – – 415-305-8294

San Francisco, CA
Day after: Wednesday, Dec. 2 at 5pm
Powell and Market BART at 5th St.
Contact ANSWER in SF: 415-821-6545,

Los Angeles, CA
Day after: Wednesday, Dec. 2 at 5pm
Westwood Federal Building: 11000 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles
Contact ANSWER in Los Angeles: 213-251-1025,


Hartford, CT
Day after: Wednesday, Dec. 2 at 5pm

Federal Building at 450 Main Street
Contact ANSWER in CT: 203-606-0319,

New Haven, CT
Day after: Wednesday, Dec. 2 at 5pm
Federal Building at 150 Court Street, New Haven
Called by: Chris Gauvreau and Stan Heller, CT United for Peace; CT Students Against War; Middle East Crisis Committee; West Hartford Citizens for Peace and Justice; Northeast Connecticut Coalition for Peace and Justice; Citizens for Global Solutions/United Nations Association; Connecticut Peace Coalition/New Haven; CT ANSWER Coalition; International Socialist Organization; Socialist Action
Contact ANSWER in CT: 203-606-0319,


Washington, D.C.
Day of: Tuesday, Dec. 1 at 5pm
White House – Lafayette Park
Contact ANSWER in DC: 202-265-1948,


Chicago, IL
Day after: Wednesday, Dec. 2 at 5pm
Federal Plaza: corner of Adams and Dearborn
Contact ANSWER in Chicago: 773-463-0311,


Boston, MA
Day after: Wednesday, Dec. 2 from 5 to 7 pm
Park Street Station at Boston Commons
Called by: The Stop the Wars Coalition (STWC) and United for Justice with Peace (UJP)
Contact ANSWER in Boston: 857-334-5084,


Albuquerque, NM
Day of: Tuesday, Dec. 1 at 6pm
Galleria Plaza: 2nd and Copper NW
Sponsored by Stop the War Machine


New Brunswick, NJ
Day after: Wednesday, Dec. 2, 5pm –  7pm
Corner of George and Albany St.
Sponsored by: Central Jersey Coalition Against Endless War
Contact: Paul Sauers –


Albany, NY
Day after: Wednesday, Dec. 2, 5pm – 6:30pm
Corner of Central Ave. and Wolf Rd.
Sponsored by Bethlehem Neighbors for Peace, Women Against War, Veterans for Peace, Northeast Peace and Justice Action Coalition
Contact: 518-439-1968 –

Highland Falls (Orange County), NY
adjacent to the U.S. Academy at West Point
Day of: Tuesday, Dec. 1
Gather at 5:30pm
Rally at 6:30pm
March to the gates of West Point
This demonstration is a rain or shine event. Bring candles or a flashlight. It is sponsored by Orange County Democratic Alliance, Peace Action of New York State, WESPAC, World Can’t Wait, the ANSWER Coalition, Peace and Social Progress Now, and the Hudson Valley Activist Newsletter. Contact the Activist Newsletter,, for information about possible car pools from Ulster and Dutchess counties. For information about the rally contact Bennett Weiss at (845) 569-8662,, and Nick Mottern (914) 806-6179, For carpooling from Westchester County coordinated by WESPAC, (914) 449-6514.

New Paltz, NY
SaturDay after: Saturday, Dec. 5 from 2pm to 4pm

Main St. in front of the (Stop ‘n’ Shop) shopping plaza
Organized by Peace and Social Progress Now, the Hudson Valley Activist Newsletter, and Mid-Hudson ANSWER

New York City, NY
Day of: Tuesday, Dec. 1 at 6pm
Times Square


Greensboro, NC
Day after: Wednesday, Dec. 2, 4:30pm to 6:00pm
Corner of Elm St. and Market St.
Sponsored by: World Can’t Wait, NC and NC Labor against the War


Toledo, Ohio
Day of: Tuesday, Dec. 1, 5:30pm to 7:00pm
Intersection of Talmadge and Monroe.
Organized by: Northwest Ohio Peace Coalition
Contact: Steve Miller – – Phone (419) 242-7317


Philadelphia, PA
Day after: Wednesday, Dec. 2 from 4:30pm to 6pm

Philadelphia City Hall, west side (15th & Market)
Contact ANSWER in Philadelphia: 267-275-8008

Pittsburgh, PA
Day after: Wednesday, Dec. 2 at 6pm
Schenley Plaza: Forbes &  Bigelow in Oakland, Pittsburgh


Providence, RI
Day after: Wednesday, Dec. 2 at 5pm

Downtown Providence – Burnside Park
Called by: Rhode Island Mobilization Committee to Stop War & Occupation (RIMC)


Seattle, WA
Day of: Tuesday, Dec. 1 at 4 pm at Westlake, 4th and Pine in Seattle
SaturDay after: Saturday, Dec. 5 at 2 pm at Westlake, 4th and Pine
All actions endorsed by ANSWER Coalition, World Can’t Wait, Veterans for Peace #92 and SNOW Coalition
Contact ANSWER in Seattle: 206-568-1661,


Sioux Falls, SD
Saturday, Nov. 28 at 1pm
14th & Minnesota Ave.
Contact ANSWER in Sioux Falls:


Memphis, TN
Day of: Tuesday, Dec. 1, 4:30pm – 7:00pm
Corner of Poplar and Highland
Organized by Mid-South Peace and Justice Center
Contact: Jacob Flowers at 901-517-8689

Memphis, TN
Day after: Wednesday, Dec. 2, 4:30 pm to 6:30 pm
Corner of Poplar and Mendenhall
Organized by the Mid-South Peace and Justice Center
Contact: Jacob Flowers – 901-725-4990 –


Richmond VA
Day of: Tuesday, Dec. 1, 5pm to 7 pm
Federal Courthouse, 701 East Broad Street
Sponsored by World Can’t Wait, Code Pink, Green Party of Virginia. Defenders for Freedom, Justice and Equality, Virginia, and Richmond Peace and Education Center are supporting the call for people to come out and demonstrate.
Contact: Rain Burroughs – 804-380-3564


See District of Columbia


British Columbia, Canada
Saturday, November 28, 2 pm
Vancouver Art Gallery, 750 Hornby Street at Robson, Downtown Vancouver
Peace-loving people in Vancouver, Canada will be rallying for an end to war and occupation and for the self-determination of all oppressed nations. Canada/US/NATO Out of Afghanistan! End the Occupations Now! Troops Out Now!
Called by: Mobilization Against War & Occupation (MAWO) Canada
Contact information: –

CNN Slams “Patriot Movement,” Misrepresents FEMA Camp Evidence


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CNN Slams “Patriot Movement,” Misrepresents FEMA Camp Evidence

Debbie Morgan,
December, 2009


In a flagrant attempt to mislead the American Public, CNN aired a series of hit pieces on patriots and the militia.  One specific report by John Acosta was about the Oath Keepers, a group of military, firefighters, veterans and police officers who have decided to take their oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States seriously.  Making a rather snide comment about the “patriot movement,” it may be time for Acosta to answer one quick question for the American people…since when did being a “patriot” in America garner such a negative connotation?


The meaning of “patriot” describes many, and those of us who are sworn American Patriots do, indeed, fit the bill.  Webster’s Dictionary defines a patriot as someone “who loves and loyally or zealously supports one’s own country.”  American “patriots” love their country and its Constitution and want it protected.  Yet the mainstream media and the over-reaching Federal government are demonizing patriots and the entire Patriot Movement.  In a MIAC report, released earlier this year, many people who simply hold their Constitutional Rights sacred are to be considered potential threats.


Oath Keepers, according to their website, is an organization that pledges to abide by their oath to support and defend the Constitution against all enemies foreign, and, yes, even domestic.  Founder Stewart Rhodes says, “Our role is not to be obedient to whoever happens to be the leader.  Our role is to defend the Constitution and the Republic.”  Most American Patriots applaud that notion and take it to heart.

Another misguided point by CNN’s John Acosta brings into question the issue of detention camps, otherwise known as FEMA camps.  Acosta says, “There is no proof the government is building detention camps around the country.”  But that isn’t so.  A recently released documentary by independent filmmaker William Lewis and producer Gary Franchi begs to differ.


Camp FEMA brings to light, with the help of patriots like Alex Jones, John Stadtmiller, Charlie Meadows, Catherine Bleish, Chuck Baldwin, Michael Badnarick and more, the history, including the legislation, behind these camps, as well as the fact that they have been used before.  Should Americans be concerned?  Lewis, Franchi and a host of other concerned patriots think so.


Acosta and CNN may be uninformed of some of the past legislation, but the language of HR 645, a piece of legislation introduced earlier this year, leaves little doubt as to the purpose of the bill.  Some may argue, and rightfully so, that HR 645 has not been passed into law, but the purpose is frightening.  One of its main intended uses is to “…provide temporary housing, medical, and humanitarian assistance to individuals and families dislocated due to an emergency or major disaster…” and one of the minimum requirements is to be “…capable of meeting for an extended period of time the housing, health, transportation, education, public works, humanitarian and other transition needs of a large number of individuals…”  Isn’t that proof enough for Acosta and CNN to, at the very least, do a little digging?

If that weren’t enough, there is the supposedly innocuous phrase “To meet other appropriate needs, as determined by the Secretary of Homeland Security.”  Does anyone remember how the Bush Bailout bill was passed in October 2008?  The existing Paul Wellstone Mental Health Act was basically co-opted, the Bailout Bill was added to it as an amendment…an amendment that rewrote the entire bill…and the bill was then passed through congress.


There is other evidence, as well.  Army Regulation 210-35, revision date January, 2005, states it  “Provides Army policy and guidance for establishing civilian inmate labor programs and civilian prison camps on Army installations.”  Camp FEMA presents a segment in which a caller to the Alan Colmes program brings up the information on the website and Colmes claims to look it up on the air.  Colmes refers to the information as a conspiracy theory, and says to the caller “They’re going to have prison camps?” in a more than condescending tone.  Later in the exchange, Colmes tells the caller there is no such web site as


Completely ignored in this report, and re-exposed in Camp FEMA, are the plans of NorthCom along with an ad, run earlier this year, on the Army National Guard’s own website advertising for “Corrections Officers and Internment/Resettlement Specialists.”


For the first time in U.S. history, NorthCom has been assigned an army unit for active duty inside The United States.  The 3rd Infantry Division’s 1st Brigade Combat Team, who had spent much of its time in Iraq, has been assigned to NorthCom as of October 1st, 2008.  According to an article in The Army Times, the Combat Team “…may be called upon to help with civil unrest and crowd control or to deal with potentially horrific scenarios…” Yet Colonel Michael Boatner, in a Democracy Now interview, said “This force has got no role in civil disturbance or civil unrest, any of those kinds of things.”


Camp FEMA points out that the ad was specific in considering the needs of the National Guard, someone to train “as Internment Settlement Specialists, to control and supervise detainees to insure their humane treatment.”  The ad was taken down in mid August after causing quite a stir with American citizens.  Isn’t THAT enough for Acosta and CNN to do some sort of investigation?


In another part of the CNN program, Acosta asks Rhodes “…who’s talking about taking anyone’s guns away?”  It is common knowledge that Obama, who sat on the board of the very openly anti-gun Joyce Foundation, and Attorney General Eric Holder are in favor of gun control.  People fear for their rights, and they should.  Remember the FISA Amendment Act, giving retroactive immunity to the law-breaking Telecoms for their blatant invasion of our Fourth Amendment right to privacy?  Obama voted FOR that bill.  Also, Obama, who taught Constitutional law, was in support of the DC gun ban, calling it Constitutional, clearly going against our Second Amendment right to bear arms, yet later said he felt it “went beyond Constitutional limits.”  Can we really trust this administration to support and defend our Constitutional Rights?


For something closer to home with regard to gun confiscation, what about what happened during Hurricane Katrina?  Guns were confiscated from law-abiding citizens during that crisis. Rhodes’ comment to Acosta about gun legislation was a good one, “so we have to wait until someone talks about?”  What happened to the notion to be prepared?  After all, isn’t that a tenet of the Boy Scouts?  Near the end of the program, Acosta states “There are no proposals coming from the White House or the Democratic leaders in Congress for new gun control laws.”  On the surface, that might be so, but with the blatant disregard during Katrina, and Obama’s recent flip flop with regards to the DC Gun Ban, wouldn’t it be prudent to shore up our rights, just to be sure?


Many major outlets are railroading the American Patriot and news is seriously biased with regard to us.  Just take a look at the MIAC Report, or what is coming out of the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League.  These groups and more are on the attack, because, like our forefathers, the American Patriot believes our Constitutional Rights are of the utmost importance to our very freedom, liberty and way of life.


With such a brazen disregard for the facts, can CNN, Acosta or any mainstream media outlet be trusted to report the news accurately?  If some people think so, there are a few questions begging to be answered.  How is it that with this much recent information CNN and Acosta cannot do a thorough investigation into these matters?  Are CNN and John Acosta deliberately misleading the American citizens?  Is their research team not experienced enough to find and report the real news?  The truth is out there…just not on CNN!


For more information, please visit



CNN Acosta Report on Oath Keepers


Oath Keepers Website


Military Oath history (from Wikipedia)

Camp FEMA Website


HR 645 GovTrack


HR 645 Open Congress


Army Regulation 210-35


MIAC Report


US Troops on US Streets


Leahy Concerned about NorthCom’s New Army Unit


Brigade homeland tours start Oct. 1


Washington, You’re Fired


The Joyce Foundation


Obama Gun Control – Lightning Assault on Freedom and Gun Owners


Eric Holder on Gun Control


The Democrats and Gun Control

True Stalking Report–Photos Included

[The following story and photos were sent to me by a nice lady from Texas who had read my Weaponizing Psychology article.  She had a long intense series of very bad experiences inflicted upon her by unknown stalkers, beginning immediately after undergoing carpal tunnel surgery.  As her memories of the triggering event return to her, she has recalled some horrific incidents and directly experienced threats and intimidation tactics from shadowy individuals.  Somewhere in all this, she recovered some very strange physical evidence, which fell out of her ear, onto her pillow.  Magnified photos of what looks very much like some sort of complex electronic device that was evidently embedded within her ear.  It is broke in two, perhaps explaining why it fell out in some bizarre equipment failure.   Her story, in her own words follows, with more enlarged images afterwards.–Editor, There Are No Sunglasses]

[The two halves of the device which fell out of her ear, compared to a grain of rice.  Before you argue that it is earwax, see the enlarged half below for a more detailed view.]

INVESTIGATE the use of hypnosis under anesthesia—VITAL INFO!!!

I have first-hand experience in enduring this most sinister psychological torment!  They take innocence, and when they get done, you aren’t innocent anymore!  And hypnosis under anesthesia is the way that they are doing it.  They instill evil demon-like spirits and commands into the deep recesses of the mind (the subconscious) in the hypnotizing procedure and then down the road, so to speak, they trigger these ugly commanding thoughts into reality at their (perpetrators) will. It has to be done without the victims knowledge or consent, or it will not work.  It’s utterly appalling, to realize that doctors are going against their committed oaths. Thus is seen the rottenness of “profession” without principle!!

As disturbing as the torture of waterboarding is, I would have to say that this latent operation is a thousand times worse.  Why, you ask? Because the torture is clean.  It leaves no marks, it’s invisible, therefore, the perpetrators wallow in their control over another individual, while the victim is utterly in dismay and confusion, perplexed.  Your whole life is thrown into disorder, mentally, physically and spiritually!  Mental freedom is something one requires as much as oxygen. But in the end of this sorcery (hypnosis) process, ALL mental freedom is shackled and chained, strangled in this insidious method.  It’s a mental prison, intentionally designed to drive the subject totally crazy!  I would have rather had my throat slit, because then the crime would have been visible and I may have gotten some justice.

We (the innocent) are often asked, “Where is the evidence of corruption? Have you seen it?” Ladies and gentlemen, do you expect to see it?  You might, as well, expect to see the embodied forms of pestilence and famine stalking before you, as to see the latent operations of this insidious power!  We may walk amidst it and breathe its contagion, without being conscious of its presence.  This is a sinister crime any way you look at it.  The intensity of the mental anguish is a force to reckon with.  It’s utterly preposterous, contrary to nature, reason, and common sense.

I heard Dick Cheney recently say in an interview on TV that “we use these (torturing techniques) on our own people.” How true that statement is! People of the US haven’t begun to understand the truth in that statement!  I was a federal employee (city letter carrier for the US Postal Service), when my own government orchestrated the most hideous atrocities.  Why?  Why was I used, abused and tormented beyond belief?  I’ve been a US citizen my whole life and I have never, repeat, NEVER done anything to anyone to be tortured!!

Perhaps it is really human experimentation?  Whatever it really is, I believe it goes way beyond the boundaries of morality and humane treatment!!  The factions or agencies behind this are sadists—they want complete dominion over others!

Here is a list of some of the major iniquities:

1. Hypnosis under anesthesia (without my knowledge or consent) Feb.13,2003—Covenant Hosp.—Lubbock, TX—Carpal Tunnel surgery.  Reverse Psychology was administered—they reversed the meaning of the word “CLEAN” (to make me sick whenever this word was said or implied).  I remember being stripped naked and forced to stand in front of a mirror with a broom.  I was threatened, someone rammed a gun barrel into my vagina!  They threatened to harm my family or loved ones if I didn’t comply with their demands!

2. I experienced some sort of electromagnetic impulses focused into the nerves and brain via some unknown source.

3. Implantation of microchips—allowing this faction to track their subjects 24/7. I call myself, “a walking GPS system”!  These are connected with the electromagnetic intrusion.

4. Implantation of transmitters! Evidence—-I have pieces of this that fell out of my left ear onto my pillow on 11-11-04. [SEE PHOTOS]

5. The use of big gray unmarked airplanes that would fly around my mail route to create fear and intimidation.

6. Make-shift bomb that was deliberately planted in a mailbox, to threaten and intimidate.

7. The use of dogs on my mail route, deliberately set out to attack me.

8. The use of insects.  A mosquito was implanted in my left ear on July 16, 2003, during a forced “Fitness for Duty” exam, on the clock , by postal management.  Insects and other forms of vermin were used in other instances also—-too many to tell.

9. Gang Stalked on my mail route. Turned this in to the FBI and was told that it was a local problem.

10. An illegal drug was organized to be available for the taking 24/7. This was a ‘MUST ‘set-up to discredit me and also as a scapegoat(to put all the blame on this drug as to why I was suddenly not acting like myself anymore) but in reality it was the programming in the hypnosis procedure—-combined with the power of the “Weapons in Space”! It is a deadly thing!! I realized on July 16,2003(Fitness for Duty Exam) that our government didn’t care if I was using an illegal drug because the first thing I did was give them a urine sample and without a doubt had an illegal substance in it. But I was told after the testing that,”every-thing was just fine Deb, you can go back to work tomorrow”!!!! WOW! It was also a convenient method for sleep deprivation.  [NEEDS CLARIFICATION—TYPE OF DRUG, DID THEY DRUG YOU?  “AVAILABLE FOR THE TAKING 24/7”? ]

11. Was psychologically put into a box, on Dec.31,2003. A postal supervisor called me into his office,  drew a box and put my name inside of it.  He then said to me, “this is where you are at and you are not getting out!”  He had the audacity to say, “but this isn’t a threat!”

12. Voyeurism—watching another man’s wife in intimate situations via the spying tools! Personal privacy and liberties are NO more.  [ALSO NEEDS CLARIFICATION—WERE YOU WATCHED, OR FORCED TO WATCH OTHERS?]

I have so much more information that is vital to the posterity of this country or for that matter, to the world.  I firmly believe that this pertinent info is linked to the fatal day of Sept. 11, 2001 and this “War on Terror”.  It has seemed to be a duty, incumbent on me, to apply moral courage, in a time when the larger interests of society are at stake.

I watched my mail route of 17 years go from mutual peace and love to become this hostile and hateful environment, after I had the carpal tunnel surgery.  I didn’t understand it at the time and certainly couldn’t explain it. But I have found that TIME is the best friend to TRUTH!  It took time for my memory to recall the gross injustices that were orchestrated under anesthesia (I believe the perpetrators were very confident that I would never remember) and to put this whole scenario together, bit by bit.  I now know the CAUSE, EFFECT and ROOT of the problem, and most importantly, I can help others now.  This faction may have set-up my death [CLARIFICATION NEEDED—WHAT ATTEMPT?] but I survived and there is a great purpose and reason behind it!

It took me 3 and 1/2 years before I figured out the hypnosis part of this barbaric crime. After the anger that arose from this truth passed, I finally began to heal.  We cannot shut our eyes to this painful truth, as much as we would like to shove this all under a rug, so to speak.  This would only prolong the misery and the perpetrators would continue their sins.  The remedy is to tell the truth and to become aware.  Every time you tell the truth, you free others to tell the truth!  We as a nation have been living in a labyrinth of lies.  A complicated network of paths has literally sunk this great nation of ours to a level below the unthinkable.

A Nazi Swastika was drawn on a dirty pane of glass in my home.

The anesthesiologist said to me before the surgery, “We are going to play house with you!”

I experienced the shut down of my motor skills.

These atrocious crimes of invasion will not go away unless we aggressively stand firm—against them. It CAN be done! I do not fear this faction. And neither should you! Most fear is the fear of the unknown. I’ve been there and one will find no progress for the better by fearing the enemy.

My goal is to protect the public, prevent deterrence and spread awareness.

[Notice the many geometric shapes within this piece.  It looks very much like a miniature circuit board of  some kind–Notice the teardrop shaped crystal looking thing at the bottom center of this one.  Directly above that crystal thing is a square or left-handed right-angle.  To the left of the crystal is a greenish thing with five dots on it like a dice.]

[Rotate the right section 180 degrees and it looks like a perfect fit on the other half.]

[Notice the hook shape, perhaps a wire, on each piece.]


We are trying to hook her up with a microscope with camera.