“As the Green Party’s candidate for Governor in 2021, while I may agree with Governor Murphy that New Jersey should be open for Afghan refugees, I want to hear more about why. I want to hear more about how the U.S. can’t have it both ways, how we can’t both create decades of violence and instability in Afghanistan and then wash our hands of the responsibility for taking care of at least one part of the mess we created,” said Madelyn Hoffman.
THE BIG PICTURE
For Immediate Release August 30, 2021
For Immediate Release
contact: Madelyn Hoffman at 973-876-1023
Dustin Young, campaign manager at 215-866-7343
As director of a non-profit peace organization from August 2000 to June 2018, I opposed the illegal and immoral war from the beginning. I also took the time to research the history and then had the extreme good fortune to travel to Afghanistan in 2005. That trip permanently changed my perspective on the U.S. role in creating and reinforcing years of conflict in Afghanistan. It also showed me how the U.S. media and elected officials continue to do an effective job of spreading propaganda that obscures that historical role.
Today, the prevailing argument raging publicly is over whose fault it is for the current humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan. Unfortunately, the debate, in the main, is over whether Trump or Biden is to blame. In reality, U.S. intervention in Afghanistan began under former president Carter and continues today, through 8 presidential administrations, including 4 Republicans and 4 Democrats — Jimmy Carter (D), Ronald Reagan (R), George HW Bush (R), Bill Clinton (D), George W Bush (R), Barack Obama (D), Donald Trump (R) and now Joseph Biden (D).
Under those 8 presidents, over 40 years, the people of Afghanistan never knew peace. First, the U.S. lured the former Soviet Union into a protracted war with Afghanistan, then the U.S. took the side of the Taliban in a 10-year civil war and helped install the Taliban into power and then the U.S. invaded Afghanistan on October 7, 2001, replacing the Taliban with the Northern Alliance. Barack Obama sent an additional 50,000 troops into Afghanistan in 2009 to try to “win” the war and now, in 2021, the U.S. is finally withdrawing its troops from the beleaguered country. This action is leading to the Taliban being returned to power.
During this time, all the Afghan people have wanted is peace. The Afghan women have wanted equality. But during the last 20 years of U.S intervention in Afghanistan, those were not the goals. The U.S. has had 20 years to right those wrongs – and during that time, the media spotlight was not on conditions for Afghan women. We also heard precious little when a bomb was dropped on a wedding party or on a family’s home or when a record number of internally displaced refugees were created, as well as many refugees forced outside the country.
Despite the efforts of some to continually call attention to this situation, for the most part, the media and our elected officials ignored these stories. Because of this, it is now possible to control the public debate and make it highly partisan — Trump or Biden — who’s to blame?
While the current humanitarian crisis is heart-breaking and prompts us all to want to protect the people who have been victimized by U.S. intervention for decades, the sooner we understand that the military-industrial complex holds both the Republicans and the Democrats in its clutches, the sooner we’ll be able to work for necessary changes. As the Green Party’s candidate for Governor in 2021, while I may agree with Governor Murphy that New Jersey should be open for Afghan refugees, I want to hear more about why. I want to hear more about how the U.S. can’t have it both ways, how we can’t both create decades of violence and instability in Afghanistan and then wash our hands of the responsibility for taking care of at least one part of the mess we created.
It may not be easy, but understanding and acting on the truth of U.S. intervention and endless wars is a necessary first step toward demilitarizing our society and freeing up billions of dollars to take care of the U.S. and N.J. population. Imagine how many rents could have been canceled, how many streets fixed, how many people could have received health care coverage, and more had we spent the trillions we’ve put into death and destruction in Afghanistan into our communities’ needs here at home.