We Share a Universal Will Called Peace

By Irfan Nugroho
The 9/11 tragedy plays a great role in the onset of Afghanistan’s catastrophe. This situation got worse when Bush administration deliberately made two blocks; “you are either with us, or against us.”

Consequently, a military programme called Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) was taken into the consideration to justify the military aggression in Afghanistan. About 28.300 US soldiers were sent to take part in the operation since 2001.

Worse, the OEF got “amen” from North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) by supplying more troopers under the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) on October 5th, 2006. 61.130 personnel from 42 different countries were assigned in Afghanistan, taking over the control of US Armed forces in OEF.

Bush has now collapsed and Obama was elected the president of the US. Promising changes, Obama appeared not to be able to escape away from Bush’s doctrine “you are either with us or against us.”

Sure there are changes, but Obama’s “we will defeat you” policy was apparently inherited from his predecessor. In January 2009, Obama pledged to send an additional 21.000 troops to Afghanistan.

Following a massive operation in the province of Helmand since the first of July 2009, thirty American soldiers have been killed. The number bolstered up of the death toll of US soldiers, assigned in Afghanistan since 2001, up to 747 (ICasualties.org/oef).

Excluding from the above 747 death toll, the number of Afghan civilians killed during the Afghanistan aggression is also high. Dr. Herold, on his website, noted there are 7.589 Afghan civilians have been killed since July 2004 to the end of April 2009.

Well, if only those 747 dead US soldiers could share with us, telling his real motivation under that “suicide” military operation, they would not take part in the operation. And many of us believe that those 7.589 Afghan civilians of course never wanted to be the victims of this tragedy.

Let’s see a Taliban-released video showing a kidnapped US soldier Bowe Bergdahl (21). Here are the messages of him to us, especially to the US government and other US soldiers:
To my fellow Americans who have loved ones over here, who know what it's like to miss them, you have the power to make our government bring them home. Please, please bring us home so that we can be back where we belong and not over here, wasting our time and our lives and our precious life that we could be using back in our own country. Please bring us home. I'm scared, scared I won't be able to go home. It is very unnerving to be a prisoner. I miss them and I'm afraid that I might not ever see them again and that I'll never be able to tell them that I love them again and I'll never be able to hug them.

(Note: The video shows that he got the good treatment from the Taliban thus he said he is keen to learn Islam [compared to the bad treatment suffered by the Guantamo detainees]).

We all now might ask ourselves: who have sent those US soldiers to either Afghanistan or Iraq? Indeed, the US government, especially the Pentagon.

The Pentagon would send more US soldiers to Afghanistan this year. It is unfortunate that the issue was raised amidst a three-country poll by Angus Reid Strategies unveiling that 45 % American respondents, 53 % Canadian respondents, and 52 % British respondents oppose the military operation in Afghanistan.

Finally, the three-country poll tells us that such a “war habit” is only of certain people, with certain interests. We all acknowledge a universal will called “peace.” We, ISAF soldiers, and Afghan civilians would of course prefer staying at home, getting along with those whom they love, and more importantly, enjoying the peace of the world where war and conflict are no more.