In any given situation, if we chose to judge a group of people because they look differently than we do, then we are wrong; the culture is wrong.
I am a veteran of the Global War on Terror and served in support of both OIF and OEF, as such I have come to question the actions that the military has taken in nations such as Afghanistan and Iraq. Having the opportunity to speak with people from Afghanistan and knowing Suraia personally, has allowed me to understand to a greater extent how my actions and the actions of the current UN forces are having in oppressing the people of these nations. I am an active member of Iraq Veterans Against the War and I call into question the expansionist ideals and militarist mindsets that are driving the U.S., and consequently the UN, to oppress people of other nations while not focusing on the problems at home. Peace starts at home in our local communities, not in a distant land forcing others to struggle to survive. I stand in solidarity with Suraia Sahar, Laila Rashide, as well as Afghan Peace Volunteers.
U.S. Navy 2004-2008
OIF / OEF
A poem from APV to IVAW (11/4/12):
Wondering if tomorrow will be like today
driving a dirge without music
On an upside down weighing scale
As if the world were
Even promising young hearts
choose the one doomed road
out of the hundred other
more imaginative ways.
But warm hands from friends
offer a shift
out of stubborn uncertainty,
suggesting that not all men are corrupt.
The changes in your lives,
your decisions to leave the frenzy,
and to tell and to cry,
How can we not hope
that the human family will awake
because each of you
worked to preserve love.
This time, I decided to piece together the sentiments of the APVs in the verses below.
Thank you for gathering together in solidarity.
Love and thanks,
Hakim and the Afghan Peace Volunteers
Link to a fellow Afghanistan veterans Statement: Afghan Women
The original story that brought this to light: Remembrance Day protest an insult to Canada’s war dead
The follow-up statement by Suraia and Laila.