Return from Afghanistan

October 29, 2009

Thank you for your support and concern during my recent trip to Afghanistan. Unlike the 24 US troops who died since the weekend and the many uncounted daily Afghan casualties of war and poverty, I returned safely to Boston on Sunday.

I return with the certainty that the only sustainable approach to stability in Afghanistan is one that involves less foreign military and is locally led.  Yes, this means I am asking you to do everything you can to pressure our government to reduce, but not eliminate, and redirect the mission of foreign troops in Afghanistan. Peace will only come with a decades long commitment to assist an Afghan led struggle to improve governance and economic conditions and to resist extremism. This approach accepts the continuance of the civil war that has been going on for 35 years – but, at least, the aggressive actions of our troops will not be fueling it.

Today I received this letter of resignation from a diplomat who was serving the US mission in Afghanistan.  It speaks for itself and mirrors with much greater depth of experience many of the understandings that I return with.  You can read the letter here: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/hp/ssi/wpc/ResignationLetter.pdf and an article about it here:  http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/10/26/AR2009102603394.html

I will be posting more about my experiences and the next steps for the development of the film “Brewing Tea in a Kettle of War.”  Thanks again for your letters, calls and encouragement.  Anu conveys her thanks too for all the support she received.  I hope all is well with you and yours.

Related Posts:

Against the Wall – An Afghan Evacuation Story – Part 1

Against the Wall – An Afghan Evacuation Story – Part 1

On Aug 15th, the day Kabul fell to the Taliban, Basir and his family made their first attempt to get into the airport and onto a plane. It would be nearly a month before they escaped into Pakistan. Over the next weeks they would be beaten at Taliban checkpoints, endure crushing crowds and be threatened and sworn at by soldiers from around the world.

CSFilm Benefit Screening – Brattle Theater, Cambridge MA – Oct 18th

CSFilm Benefit Screening – Brattle Theater, Cambridge MA – Oct 18th

A Special Benefit Screening for Community Supported Film’s Fund for Afghan Evacuation and Resettlement:

Far from Afghanistan (2012), dirs. John Gianvito, Soon-Mi Yoo, Jon Jost, Minda Martin, Travis Wilkerson

Monday, October 18, 7PM at the Brattle Theatre, 40 Brattle St, Cambridge, MA 02138

1 Comment

  1. peter lipsitt

    So glad you are home safely, Michael. I read your statement with much interest. I will look at the letter when I’m awake. Best to you and Anu.
    Peter

    Reply

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