I Am Hurting Too


line-height:150%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif";mso-ansi-language:EN-US”>But people are dying.

line-height:150%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif";mso-ansi-language:EN-US”> “What’s the point in telling you our stories?” asked Freba, one of the seamstresses working with the Afghan Peace Volunteers to set up a tailoring co-operative for Afghan women. “Does anyone hear? Does anyone believe us?”

line-height:150%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif";mso-ansi-language:EN-US”>So, I write this in protest against my government’s presence in the humanitarian and war tragedy of Afghanistan, as a way to lend my voice to Freba and all my Afghan friends.

line-height:150%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif";mso-ansi-language:EN-US”>I thought, “If no one listens as humans should, we should at least speak like free men and women.”

line-height:150%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif";mso-ansi-language:EN-US”>It is clear that the Taliban, the many Afghan and regional warlords, militia groups and the Afghan government are responsible for the current humanitarian and war tragedy of Afghanistan.

mso-ansi-language:EN-US”>) coalition countries working with the corrupt Afghan government (rated the most corrupt country in 2012).

line-height:150%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif";mso-ansi-language:EN-US”>Moreover, Singapore has inadvertently become a minor accomplice of the self-interests of the U.S. government in Afghanistan; The U.S. Vice President, Joe Biden, spoke at the Munich Security Conference recently, As our new defense strategy makes clear, we will remain both a Pacific power and an Atlantic power." 

line-height:150%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif";mso-ansi-language:EN-US”>The Afghan humanitarian tragedy

one of the highest infant and maternal mortality rates in the world. At least 36% live below the poverty line and 35% of Afghan men do not have work . The UN calls the acute malnutrition of nearly one million children in the Afghan south ‘shocking’ . Almost three quarters of all Afghans do not have access to safe drinking water .

line-height:150%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif";mso-ansi-language:EN-US”>The Afghan war tragedy

Global Terrorism Index reporting that terrorist strikes in the region have increased four times since the start of the Iraq war in 2003.

mso-ansi-language:EN-US”>Even President Karzai said in the UK recently that the security situation in southern Helmand province of Afghanistan was better before British troops were deployed.

mso-ansi-language:EN-US”>Adding to this cynical mess of increased ‘terrorism’ at the hands of global superpowers, the U.S. has established an epicenter of drone warfare in Afghanistan, with Afghans and Pakistanis and other ‘insurgents’ as their ‘targets’, and Singapore as one of their many allies. Singapore has had teams helping in drone reconnaissance operations, reconnaissance that may have eventually ended up with a U.S. /NATO decision to kill someone without trial.

mso-ansi-language:EN-US”>I had raised this personal concern once in a meeting room at Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs ; I was appreciative of the attentiveness given to this issue, but sensed that there was no great interest in ‘investigating’ how Singapore’s co-operation in the drone operations in Afghanistan may be violating international law, as was suggested by the ex-UN Special Rapporteur on Extra Judicial, Summary or Arbitrary Killings, Mr Philip Alston.

mso-ansi-language:EN-US”>A recent New York Times article highlights these ‘fears  for U.S. allies’, reporting on a ‘drones bury beautiful lives’.

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 drone warfare. Major U.S. newspapers are also asking for more transparency over Obama’s weekly, premeditated ‘kill lists’. There has been concern over unchecked Powers getting even more out of all jurisdictions with the appointment of ‘drone justifier’ John Brennan as Obama’s CIA Director nominee.

mso-ansi-language:EN-US”>Even the UN Committee on the Rights of a Child has been  Afghanistan since the committee last reviewed U.S. practices in 2008.

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line-height:150%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif";mso-ansi-language:EN-US”>Deep within, like most human beings, Freba yearns for a decent livelihood without war. Abdulhai and the Afghan Peace Volunteers
wish for friends from all 195 countries of the world, a better world without borders!

line-height:150%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif";mso-ansi-language:EN-US”>Again, I’m concerned. We like pictures of be-medaled soldiers more than unsung ‘Mother Teresa’ heroines. Our government has a significant number of ex-military commanders.

Global Militarisation Index released by the Bonn International Centre for Conversion (BICC), Singapore has been the second most militarized nation in the world for years. The latest ranking puts Singapore just second to Israel and one brutal position more militarized than Syria.

the drone show-business, and in ‘unintentionally’ being part of the U.S.’ ‘Asia pivot’ by hosting four U.S. littoral combat ships.

Trans-Pacific Partnership , again a partnership that corporate America is pushing for.

line-height:150%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif";mso-ansi-language:EN-US”>I personally think that both the democratic and socialist practices of today are ‘non-progressive’ vehicles for the rule of the few ‘Kings, Emperors, Presidents, and Prime Ministers’ over the many presumably ‘ignorant, helpless and sometimes lazy’ subjects. These elitist systems tend to maintain control by ‘pacifying the masses’ through formal education, mainstream media and force.

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mso-ansi-language:EN-US”>Prince Harry described his comb
"a joy … because I'm one of those people who loves playing PlayStation and Xbox, so with my thumbs I like to think I'm probably quite useful."

line-height:150%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif";mso-ansi-language:EN-US”>Perhaps these are differences in opinions which can be included in Our Singapore Conversation.

line-height:150%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif";mso-ansi-language:EN-US”>Thankfully, I have hope in Singaporeans like I have hope in humanity. There are alternatives. The world is awakening, the human race is revolutionizing, and so is Singapore’s electorate. Most ordinary folk in the world don’t want to send missiles or guns to kill strangers in other places! Human beings have always preferred otherwise.

line-height:150%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif";mso-ansi-language:EN-US”>Afghans are hurting very badly.

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