After the tragedy of September 11, 2001, the international community offered sympathy and support to the U.S. to use the rule of law to bring to account those that planned and carried out the attacks. Instead, in the weeks that followed, the Bush administration chose a path of violence and vengeance as they commenced heavy bombing in one of the poorest countries in the world—Afghanistan. Now, despite President Obama’s review of policy, we are in the 10th year of the war and the deadlines for military withdrawal keep getting further and further delayed.
The horrors of war fly in the face of Pax Christi USA’s work of cultivating the spirituality of nonviolence. As followers of Jesus, the Prince of Peace, Pax Christi USA is called to educate and advocate for an end to the war in Afghanistan and for us to examine our responsibilities to the people of that region as countless lives and livelihoods have been destroyed. Billions have been spent on wars while our citizens and the citizens of Afghanistan lack funds for human needs. We hope you’ll find the resources below helpful as you pray, study, and act for peace and justice in Afghanistan and for a new consciousness to flourish in the U.S. that calls for broad demilitarization and acts of reconciliation.
PAX CHRISTI USA STATEMENTS ON AFGHANISTAN
- It is Time to End the Trail of Resentment and Hatred, issued March 2009 and published in America Magazine
- Statement on the Bombing of Afghanistan, issued October 2001
MOCK DRONE ATTACK: A STREET THEATER ACTION
The following action was designed for the 9th anniversary of the war in Afghanistan and staged originally in Washington, D.C., Boston, and elsewhere. It can be adapted for future actions.
SPECIAL SPEAKER OPPORTUNITY WITH AUTHOR TOM CORDARO
Tom Cordaro’s book, Be Not Afraid: An Alternative to the War on Terror, was named “Best Book by a Small Publisher” by the Catholic Press Association and the “Peacemaker of the Year” award from the Independent Publishers. The new updated version of the book has a preface addressing the Obama Administration as well as added appendices.
Tom is presenting various programs attached to his book all over the country. Programs include the following presentations:
- “Be Not Afraid: An Alternative to the War on Terror.” In this presentation Tom talks about how our response to the 9-11 terrorist attacks was shaped; how the shaping of our response drove us further into fear and into counterproductive actions; and how we might create an alternative response to the terrorist threat that can be both effective and truer to the values and principles on which our nation was founded. Tom also explores two very different understandings of peace that exist within our national story–Peace as Enforced Order and Peace as an Enterprise of Justice–and makes the case that we cannot hope to overcome the threat of terrorism until we make a concerted effort to embrace one over the other.
- “Living Unafraid: A Spiritual Path to Freedom.” This presentation focuses on how we as individuals working in community can begin to live unafraid and participate in creating an alternative American narrative that can move us from Peace as Enforced Order to Peace as an Enterprise of Justice. This presentation focuses on a spiritual discipline that calls us to move from a life centered on acquisition to one grounded in mindfulness. It describes a spiritual path marked by compassion, solidarity, humility and freedom.
- “The Obama Administration: Cause for Hope or More of the Same?” This presentation evaluates the Obama Administration in terms of the alternative to the “War on Terror” described in Tom’s book. It also looks at the rise of the politics of fear represented in the far right.
- “Redemptive Violence or Redemptive Suffering: Which is the True Path to Peace?” This talk makes use of Walter Wink’s work on Jesus’ Third Way and also examines how the narrative of the dominant culture predisposes us to respond to threats through the use of violence. The presentation concludes by examining the Gospel narrative as an alternative model for responding to threats.
Anyone wishing to contact the author to do one of these presentations or to speak on other topics can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- A Prayer Service to End the Use of Lethal Drones by Art Laffin
- “A Real December for Afghanistan,” from The Nation
- Afghanistan War Weekly
- National Priorities Project
- Afghan Youth Peace Volunteers & their blog, “Our Journey to Smile”