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Alan Maki

Alan Maki
Doing research at the LBJ Library in Austin, Texas

It's time to claim our Peace Dividend

It's time to claim our Peace Dividend

We need to beat swords into plowshares.

We need to beat swords into plowshares.

A program for real change...


What we need is a "21st Century Full Employment Act for Peace and Prosperity" which would make it a mandatory requirement that the president and Congress attain and maintain full employment.

"Voting is easy and marginally useful, but it is a poor substitute for democracy, which requires direct action by concerned citizens"

- Ben Franklin

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Let's talk...

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Obama pressures peace movement through dirty e-mailing campaign to soften its resistance to his escalation of the war in Afghanistan

The Obama administration is stooping to the exact same dirty tricks used by Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon in trying to undermine the efforts of the peace movement... from circulation of letters like the one below I have responded to, to getting outfits like the Huffington Post and Campaign for America's Future to censor and silence critics through deleting comments being made to postings.

This "Letter from the road #38" by Rabia Elizabeth Roberts has been making its rounds through a variety of peace organizations... this particular one comes to me from members of the West Michigan Justice and Peace Coalition.

In my opinion, while this "letter" tells us a lot about what the Afghans require, it is quite dishonest in that it, like most of the information, coming out of peace organizations these days which are dominated by pro-Obama "leaders" usually employed by the organizations as staff whose salaries are paid for through "philanthropic" foundation grants, intentionally ignores the past history of Afghanistan, especially the history of the last thirty to forty years and the role of the CIA and other U.S. government agencies and the U.S. military operations.

Not once have I read or heard any discussion about the only democratically and fairly elected governments of Afghanistan... the last of which came to an end with the President, Najibullah, a Marxist, having his head severed, impaled on a pole with his penis cut off and left hanging from his mouth which was ordered by the C.I.A. so as to "remind" the people of Afghanistan what they would get should they continue to seek democracy and freedom through socialism.

For some strange reason it is difficult to find a photo of Najibullah's head impaled on a pole with his penis hanging from his mouth... a very important part of Afghanistan's history... and our own history since the United States government ordered and managed this grotesque and gory dirty deed which for some strange reason they don't want the American people to see.

This is my response to this "letter" now being circulated trying to get the peace movement to soften up its opposition to Barack Obama's escalation of the war in Afghanistan... one more dirty imperialist war with the objective of control, manipulation, domination and occupation.

Let us be honest here; the only good, honest government the Afghan people have ever experienced was while the People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan was in power. Previous to this were the feudal lords; what followed were the corrupt dope-dealing governments maintained in power by the C.I.A. and the U.S. military in the name of "free markets." Dr. Najibullah's popularly elected democratic government of the People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan provided the Afghan people the chance to democratically govern themselves for the first time in hundreds of years.

The grisly, gory and brutal murder of D. Najibullah was not unlike the grisly, gory and brutal murder of Ernesto Che Guevara... another of a long line of murders carried out by the U.S. C.I.A. on every continent, often with the help of the AFL-CIO with silence from the same elements who now are trying to get the peace movement to "soften" its present struggle to stop Barack Obama's savage and bestial escalation of this dirty imperialist war in Afghanistan which is directly targeting the same progressive forces which were headed up by Dr. Najibullah before he was so brutally murdered.

Now, since my original response to this "letter" from Rabia Elizabeth Roberts went out, I have been inundated with e-mails and phone calls asking me why I have been so obscene and vulgar in the way I described the execution of Dr. Najibullah.

I find this very interesting since these people who are accusing me of being obscene and vulgar have nothing to say about the barbaric, grisly murder of Dr. Najibullah carried out upon the orders, directions, supervision and direct participation of the American C.I.A. and military intelligence by the very drug-pushing sadistic killers who Barack Obama hugs today.

Now, if someone can explain to me how any government installed by a bunch of thugs employed by the C.I.A. who commits such horrendous crimes against its political opposition can ever have any kind of "legitimacy" I would like to hear the explanation.

Thursday, December 10th marks the 61st Anniversary of the United Nations' Universal Declaration of Human Rights... on the occasion of this important date, peace activists might want to display photos of Dr. Najibullah with his severed head impaled on a pole with his penis hanging from his mouth.

By the way... these blood-thirsty, deranged butchers cut off Dr. Najibullah's penis prior to dragging him naked, still alive, through the streets until they severed his head while he was still alive and jammed his penis into his mouth as they they begin the intentionally very slow process of severing his head before impaling it on a pole where Dr. Najibullah's head was displayed like this for weeks.

If anything is gross and obscene it is what passes for "U.S. foreign policy"--- the policies of U.S. imperialism which, under Barack Obama have not changed.

In fact, from the tone and tenor of the e-mails and phone calls I have been receiving, it seems some Obama supporters would like to do the same to me.

In fact, just moments ago as I was writing this blog post, I got a phone call from a woman who said her name was Michelle Harris calling from phone number 866-932-6801; who stated: "...Maki, someone should cut off your dick and shove it in your mouth before they chop off your fingers so you can't write before they cut off your head. I voted for Barack Obama and I'm proud of it... just shut the fuck up about Barack Obama."

Nothing like the good old U.S.A.

I did send my e-mail below to Rabia Elizabeth Roberts to get her response; I even had to go through her ritual of having to prove I wasn't "spamming" her--- which I did. Should she respond I will publish her response here... in the interest of fairness and democracy.

Anyways, read the "letter" below and my response here:


I think this perspective being put forward by Rabia Elizabeth Roberts is exactly the message Barack Obama and the Democrats want to have coming out of the peace movement in order to justify their position which is an open imperialist position designed to make the occupation of Afghanistan palatable to the American people.

First, this is an imperialist war. No imperialist war is ever just.

Second, the war is being conducted in a way that is setting the country up for very long-term occupation.

Third, the United States had not one iota of business seeking to defend its “national interests” in Afghanistan because it has no legitimate national, or any other, interests in Afghanistan.

Fourth, the Soviets were working with the progressive Afghan government that had the support of the majority of the Afghan people. Everything this writer (Rabia Elizabeth Roberts) says is being done by good people helping the Afghan people on a very small scale right now was being done on a huge, gigantic scale by the Soviets.

I have pictures around someplace of Mohammad Najibullah (not sure of spelling) with his head impaled on a pole by the very corrupt, dope-peddling present government the CIA brought to power that Americans are dying for and paying to protect.

Thousands of progressive Afghans were murdered in the same grisly manner as Najibullah; this is why it is so difficult to get a good, honest government in Afghanistan today--- good, decent people don’t want to have their heads impaled on a pole with their penis cut off left dangling from their mouth.

There are no other alternatives to good and honest government than those who were working with Najibullah.

Mikhail Gorbachev can be thanked for this mess as much as the U.S. CIA… Soviet troops never should have pulled out of Afghanistan. Bin Laden would have been taken care of long ago and the World Trade Center would still be standing today had Soviet troops been allowed to complete their mission and there isn’t a single person who can say that the government of Najibullah was anything other than a decent, honest humanitarian government--- his “crime” was having been a “Marxist” … anyone is free to examine the accomplishments of the Najibullah government that, with Soviet assistance, was helping one of the poorest countries on this planet achieve decent livelihoods for the Afghan people… this fact is ignored by the letter writer below as it is ignored by most of the peace movement… in fact, I don’t know of anyone except myself who has even stated as much. But, the facts are there for anyone to see if they want to look.

The only thing the United States has to do now is pull all of its troops and contractor/mercenaries out of Afghanistan and the Afghan people will get the help they need from their friends in the region and around the world… in addition to pulling out the United States needs to agree to write the checks for rebuilding in the wake of the destruction and havoc it has created over the last three decades in Afghanistan… there is no replacing human life--- how does anyone ever apologize to the wife and children of Najibullah who Barack Obama should be hugging--- instead his hugs and kisses go to a dope-dealer pumping our children’s veins full of this poison.

In our small local newspaper that usually isn’t worth a darn… the lead Opinion/Editorial written for the Roseau Times-Region’s Jeff Olson states, now remember, this is no communist newspaper. The Roseau Times-Region is the largest circulation newspaper in northern Minnesota--- I quote, word for word, from the Saturday, December 5, 2009 Roseau Times-Region Editorial Page, page 4:

“Always, the Republicans have backed the rich the vested business interests, and not given a sweet damn about the poor.

You can see that in the national health care debate, which is becoming a debacle.

But forget about health care reform, which even Presidents Eisenhower and Nixon favored. It all came to naught. As will this opportunity.

But we’ve got bigger concerns: Fighting two wars.

On Tuesday, President Obama called for an additional 30,000 American troops to be sent to Afghanistan.

That’s in addition to the 20,000 American troops he ordered deployed to Afghanistan last March.

Mr. Obama should forget about the Nobel Peace Prize. He should also forget about showing up in Stockholm to receive it.

He’s a war president, not a peace-maker.

And this from a guy who voted for him.”

This commentary should be in a Communist newspaper; unfortunately it isn’t.

And, then, Jeff Olson goes on for another half page saying the “Congress deserves a good swift kick in the rump” for allowing this war to go on.

There is only one way to end these dirty wars and that is if the American people to send a strong, clear message to Barack Obama and the Democrats:

No Peace; No Votes.

And the peace movement should be gearing up to take this campaign to the American people so the Democrats feel the heat going into the 2010 Election. No one in the peace movement should be making any apologies or trying to skew the issues or confuse the issues with the intent of protecting Barack Obama and the Democrats.

We don’t owe the Democrats a darn thing… they owe us peace for putting them in full control of both houses of Congress and the Presidency.

The Democrats are responsible for their actions and in a democracy the voters are entitled to enforce accountability… no one voted for Barack Obama wanting more war… the entire reason for dumping the Republicans was because the American people were fed up with these wars and wanted real health care reform instead of war--- single-payer, to be exact.

How can Barack Obama and the Democrats bring democracy to Afghanistan when they don’t even respect the peace sentiments of the overwhelming majority who voted for them?

If the Democrats suffer a resounding defeat at the polls they deserve the trouncing. And no matter what; no leader of any peace organization should ever again be allowed by the members of the organizations to give their support to Barack Obama… he is nothing but a liar and a killer. Obama lied to the American people to get elected; Obama lies about the nature of this war now… who in their right mind uses over one-hundred thousand troops trying to chase down less than 100 criminals. Maybe if the FBI would stop tapping my phone and following me around they could catch Osama bin Laden… although they haven’t had much luck stopping organized crime in this country because half their F.B.I. “special” agents are “on the take” accepting bribes from drug lords while the other half of the F.B.I. is busy tapping our telephones and looking through our e-mails and monitoring our blog postings for signs of anti-imperialist peace sentiments.

I am sure the rest of the world will pitch in and help the people of Afghanistan just like they help so many other victims of war and natural disasters--- there is no need for any U.S. presence in Afghanistan… the people will get along just fine without the United States.

Barack Obama is a bigger liar than Richard Nixon… and that takes some doing.

I would rather lose an election supporting a real peace-loving candidate like George McGovern than win an election with a lying warmonger like Barack Obama and it sickens me to see someone suggest, while making a pretense of being for peace, when all they are doing is providing cover and deflecting criticism for Barack Obama as Rabia Elizabeth Roberts is doing here.

I would also point out that this bunch of corrupt, drug-dealing American puppets controlling the Afghan government right now destroyed the houses, schools and hospitals built with Soviet assistance because they wanted to eradicate any and all vestiges of what a progressive, anti-imperialist, socialist oriented government can do for the people. The grisly and barbaric murder of Mohammad Najibullah with his head impaled on a pole with his penis dangling from his mouth was meant to instill fear into a proud people who only want the right to live in peace with a standard of living befitting human beings.

Think about it… the Najibullah government was no different than the socialist oriented government in power in the Province of Manitoba right now whose former leader is now the U.S. Ambassador to the United States… Manitoba New Democratic Party leader Gary Doer.

I would be willing to bet that the writer of this letter will not be supporting the political friends of Najibullah coming back to power; and, I doubt she will join in calling for:

No peace; no votes because she supports Barack Obama.

I would like to hear what Rabia Elizabeth Roberts has to say in response to me on all counts.

It boggles my mind that the socialist oriented government of Najibullah was anathema to the United States, but Barack Obama can hug and kiss a bunch of murdering heroin dealers and this is acceptable.

By the way, I find it equally of interest that the “Progressives for Obama” is headed up by a guy named Carl Davidson who supported another butcher while he was conducting his killing spree--- Pol Pot; and he now adamantly refuses to disassociate himself from another killer, Barack Obama, by supporting: No peace; no votes. Stop the killing, U.S. out of Afghanistan now!

We need to dump Barack Obama the same way we dumped that warmonger Lyndon Johnson. Barack Obama should be forced to resign in shame just as Richard Nixon did… a killer is a killer and a liar is a liar; there is no reason why the American people should have to continue to put up with this killing in our name with our tax-dollars paying for this dirty war instead of real progressive health care reform right here in our own country. How dare any politician in this country squawk about the price-tag for real health care reform when they don’t bat an eyelash over funding this kind of dirty war.

Offer a trillion dollar reward to anyone who brings Osama bin Laden’s head impaled on a pole with his penis hanging from his mouth to Barack Obama and this will solve the matter and it will be a whole lot cheaper.

Alan L. Maki
58891 County Road 13
Warroad, Minnesota 56763
Phone: 218-386-2432
Cell phone: 651-587-5541
E-mail: amaki000@centurytel.net

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Thoughts From Podunk



More from Peace Activist who was in Afghanistan

--- On Fri, 11/6/09, Rabia Elizabeth Roberts wrote
Letter from the Road #38
Rabia Elizabeth Roberts
November, 2009
Voices from Kabul

So ring the bells that still can ring
forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in.
- Leonard Cohen

I recently returned from the Middle East and Afghanistan, and am surrounded by my journals, magazine articles, blog snippets, position statements from peace groups, everything written in the New York Times about Afghanistan, and copies of some of the more than 200 emails I received in response to my last Letter from the Road: Confessions of a Peace Activist. It looks like my old dorm room at term paper time.

All of this material confirms my impression that the debate about whether to “bring the troops home now” or “surge” with more troops is misleading the national conversation. They are easy slogans but both sides of the debate tempt us to believe there is a quick resolution to our involvement in Afghanistan.

I believe it is time to stop thinking of Afghanistan either as a war to be won or abandoned. Our foreign policies there do not exist in a vacuum. Instead we need to acknowledge the responsibility the United States has for bringing about the current situation and recognize that our role is now to cultivate a long-term healing relationship with Afghanistan - for the good of the Afghan people, the stability of the region, and for the long-term interests of the United States and the world as a whole.

We cannot ignore the facts that over the past three decades the U.S. armed Afghanistan’s fundamentalist war lords, ignored the huge build-up of its drug trade, failed to help rebuild the country after its invasion in 2001, tolerated Pakistan’s continued support for Taliban terrorists, and bombed its villages for the past eight years. If the U.S. turns its back on the Afghan people now it will not only bring about more violence and injustice but also betray the principles we hold most dear. We helped to break it and now we must help to mend it.

How can we do this? Here are a few central issues that I heard from Afghans during my visit:

The Builders

For guidance we must start by listening to the non-governmental organization (NGO) workers – especially the Afghans - who have been working for years to re-build the country. They are part of the culture, and are trusted. They are under daily threat of kidnapping and death and yet fear is not diminishing their determination. Unfortunately, they are rarely consulted by policy makers or military commanders. These are the people working in child welfare, teacher training, women’s empowerment, capacity building, civic education, agriculture development, and peacemaking. They understand all the dimensions involved in “human security,” which includes a military presence but in service to long-term non-military goals such as justice, jobs, health, and education.

The Women

As a woman from the U.N. Fund for Women (who asked to remain unnamed) told us, “This conflict has been waged on the backs of women – it is about control of women.” This is not a side issue. A frequently mentioned concern of women is that the Taliban will set a pre-condition for any potential talks that no women be allowed to participate. When our peace delegation asked what we might do, she said, “Keep asking ‘Where are the women?’

There is a recurring proposal that comes before the Afghan government at the behest of Taliban supporters to set up a “department of virtue and vice.” There is also the much talked about “Shia Family Law,” which among scores of other repressive rules, says there is no such thing as marital rape, that a woman is required to obey her husband in all his needs, and that she cannot go outside the home without a male family member. This law, which is being strongly contested by women’s organizations, is being promoted by fundamentalist Shia religious groups in Iran.

The women we spoke with kept reminding us: there will be no democracy if it only involves men. When asked if we western women may be forcing something on the women of Afghanistan that they don’t want, a UNIFEM spokeswoman said, “There is no one who, when asked, does not want freedom.”

The international community has an important role to play here. All negotiations, public policies, and foreign aid must include the women of Afghanistan. President Obama should lead the way here by asking, “Where are the women?”

The Aid

Reconstruction and development have to be at the top of the list of U.S. policy initiatives in Afghanistan. At present, for every American dollar that goes to Afghanistan as aid, 60% comes back to the U.S. in corporate contracts and high salaries. This can of course be reduced by seeing that most aid money goes to Afghans. But that is easier said than done – USAID, for example, doesn’t give funds below $25 million. This limitation, plus overwhelming reporting requirements, means that only larger international corporations can make use of this money.

With the use of so many large foreign independent contractors and subcontractors the public interest needs of the Afghan people and culture can get lost. Furthermore, between the emphasis on large private contractors and the problems of government corruption there is little money available to build up the effectiveness of government agencies and provide adequate pay to Afghan personnel.

Afghanistan needs schools, hospitals, clinics, roads, sanitation systems, wells - these must be built as much as possible by Afghans, or with Afghans and used as a means of investing them in the reconstruction effort.

The problem here is that the Taliban are against all efforts of capacity building and consequently rural Afghans are often afraid to join in the work of reconstruction. To overcome this resistance, aid must be combined with protection, and involve Afghans in the process from the ground up. Perhaps a way forward here is to concentrate on certain key areas in which progress can then function as a model for other regions.

The Government

By all accounts the weak and corrupt Karzai government contributed significantly to the growth of the insurgency. By definition weak states cannot meet the basic needs of their population. They cannot consolidate authority over all their territory and they don’t have the resources to provide security.

After 30 years of war the Karzai government was too weak from the beginning to survive without international support. We didn’t provide that support after the invasion. As a result over the years people have lost faith in the government being able to provide the essentials of social functioning. Since they identify America with the current national government we also are no longer trusted.

Failure of governance is also a problem at the provincial level. Professor Aram Mir Ahzar, director of the Independent Commission for Peace and Reconciliation, told us that one of the problems with getting the Taliban to put down their guns and join the government is because “We can’t keep them safe.” When a Taliban fighter comes in (and reportedly 8300 have joined the peace commission so far), he is given $200 to return to his village and a card from the national government saying he should be given a piece of land and helped to find work. However the governor of the province may be a former Northern Alliance commander, a drug smuggler, or simply unsympathetic to this process and either kills the person or “disturbs their family” instead. Not surprisingly Taliban have stopped coming in.

Restoring civil politics in a multiethnic state shattered by war is difficult because the years of war destroyed the possibility of cooperation. Provincial people keep their relationship with the Taliban or the Northern Alliance for security and for fear they may come back into governmental power. As long as we threaten to withdraw or give a timetable for withdrawal without an adequate Afghan army or police this dynamic will continue to undermine a viable national government.

The U.S., NATO, and the U.N. cannot ignore the corruption and poor planning in the Karzai government. It is causing massive discouragement among Afghans and feeding distrust in American involvement and intention. The U.S., NATO, and the U.N. must, as a condition of all military or economic aid, make purging the most egregious corrupt officials and their militias from the government a priority. This will go a long way in renewing respect for America amon g Afghans.


Most public discussion in the U.S. at the moment focuses on the important role of military forces in Afghanistan, but according to some of my informal conversations, while military and paramilitary forces play a key role in maintaining safety for society, the police are perhaps the most critical force in peoples everyday lives. According to General Stanley McChristal’s counter-insurgency strategy, the Afghan and international military forces may be able to penetrate and protect an insurgent area, and if well sustained with adequate troops may reduce guerilla activity. But as history shows, once a local situation becomes untenable for insurgents, the Taliban simply transfer their activity to another area and the problem remains unsolved. A viable indigenous police force with a permanent presence in urban and rural areas is a critical component of counter-insurgency in the long term.

At Camp Eggars I spoke with two British soldiers with NATO forces whose job was to train the police force in Kabul. How was it going? Well, it is complicated by the fact that Afghan police have not received formal training for two decades. The job of training was turned over to private contractors like DynCorp who were not up to the job. A real governmental strategy for training police did not exist until 2007, and the fact is most Afghans can’t read. “How can I train a policeman if he can’t write a police report?” It will take a decade to do this. A long time - and yet it needs to be done if people are to be safe after the international forces leave.

Getting It Right

Based on the above challenges and Afghanistan’s history, the U.S., NATO, and the U.N. need to work at multiple levels simultaneously to achieve security:
• learn from and partner with NGO’s and local entities in development;
• involve women in all aspects of rebuilding;
• confront corruption and build capacity in good governance;
• train an Afghan army and national police force;
. stop the flow of drugs and drug money;
• work diplomatically with regional partners to undermine the Taliban and Al Qaeda sanctuary in Pakistan.

Reading over these notes I admit the whole situation can discourage me at times. It is an interlocking puzzle of dysfunctional systems. So why not let the Taliban have the country? Or let the warlords “cut it up” as Thomas Friedman recommended in a recent New York Times article?

For me, these suggestions ignore the human costs involved. I can’t stop seeing the faces and hearing the stories of the people I met in Kabul. The “let them work it out” scenarios promise only more war, personal violence, and refugee displacement which could easily be worse than what is happening now. If the past is any guide this violence could go on for a very long time, further destabilizing the whole region, including the Pakistan-India stand off.

The people I met in Afghanistan do not want another civil war, a narco-state, or a repressive women-hating regime. Nor do they want a long-term foreign occupation - but they do want help in rebuilding a secure, functional country.

Walking away from Afghanistan now perpetuates the idea, to both U.S. citizens and the rest of the world, that all we are willing, and able, to do in a country is to destroy and kill, achieve our limited idea of “mission accomplished” and walk away. As we know this only increases recruitment for the growing global terrorist network. Reconstruction, education, jobs and development are our most powerful anti-terrorism tools. And Afghanistan is a place to demonstrate our commitment to these goals.

I continue to believe that international troops have a roll to play in protecting civilians and development efforts, securing roads, training an Afghan army and national police, and securing the border with Pakistan. It is hard for me to see how Afghanistan can achieve these goals without military support at this time.

I bow to my good friends in the peace movement who tell me our government is incapable of living up to our values and engaging in nation-building in a positive way. They have some history behind them and may prove to be right. However, I believe that everything outlined above is possible with long-term commitment and care. I hope my government and its allies are up to it for the sake of the Afghan people and the world.

This message was sent from Rabia Elizabeth Roberts to katrussell@att. net. It was sent from: The Boulder Institute for Nature and the Human Spirit, 2434 Mapleton Avenue, Boulder, CO 80304.