Sunday, October 11, 2009
Hey, Mr. Peace Prize, How About Some Peace?
As the Navy's Blue Angels buzzed San Francisco during their Thursday practice...
...the American Friends Service Committee, also known as the Quakers, were commemorating the eighth anniversary of their weekly peace vigil in front of the United States Federal Building on Golden Gate Avenue.
The vigil, led by Markley Morris for eight years, bravely decided to object immediately after we started bombing Afghanistan on October 8, 2001.
As the Afghan born, San Francisco based writer Tamim Ansary above was pointing out, the bombing made absolutely no sense, even on the basis of revenge.
What did killing a bunch of Afghani citizens have to do with the events of 9/11, by bombers very much like the ones entertaining San Francisco's citizenry?
The price, both in dollars and violent deaths, has been unspeakably high and continues to be so.
There were a number of speakers at Thursday's event, including Normon Solomon above, and press from all over the Bay Area were invited, but as far as I could see, the only journalists who were there were myself and Jan Adams above, taking photos. When somebody from the Quaker organization (AFSC) asked if we would send him the photos, I explained that he could just come to this blog and download them, using them as he saw fit. "But doesn't the name and the copyright come along with it?" he asked, and both Jan and I burst into laughter. "We're not that kind of photographer," she explained. "We're trying to encourage the free flow of information."
Jan's "Can It Happen Here?" blog site (click here) has had most of the best information and links to the current situation in Afghanistan that I've encountered anywhere. She was ambivalent on many of the other speakers at the peace vigil event, but about Tamim Ansary she was ecstatic. "His new book, 'Destiny Disrupted, A History of the World through Islamic Eyes' is mind-bendingly good," she told me, which is high praise from an omnivorous reader.
The Nobel Prize peace prize committee doesn't exactly have an unblemished record over the years. Remember Henry Kissinger being awarded one? Still, I pray it does prod President Obama into standing up to the defense and energy industries who are profiting off the nightmare in Afghanistan. I don't believe it will, but you never know. My new cat Tiger, for instance, was completely unfazed by the bomber jets flying by all afternoon, which seems like a good sign.