Activist speaks against wars

Phyllis Bennis speaks about stopping the war in Afghanistan
19 November 2009
In the media

The war on Afghanistan was unnecessary because the Afghan government had nothing to do with the 9-11 attacks.

Phyllis Bennis recently spoke to a group of students, including two Economics classes, and faculty about stopping the war in Afghanistan. She said the war was unnecessary because the Afghan government had nothing to do with the 9-11 attacks.

Bennis cited polls to show that a majority of Americans were against the war in Afghanistan. She also said the same money used in the last eight years to fund the war could have been used to provide art and music teachers or healthcare to children for one year.

Bennis described the war in Afghanistan as "Obama's war," citing he promised to send more troops there during his campaign, and he is keeping that promise by sending 40,000 troops soon.

Bennis said that no good could ever come from this or any other war. She said that the military is good for only "killing people and breaking things." She described the wars in both Afghanistan and Iraq as a "bull in a china store."

She explained that the military has just been destructive to the people of those countries.

According to Bennis, there is a bill in Congress to create an exit strategy. She said that this was just ridiculous, adding it isn't that complicated and should have been done sooner.

Bennis explained that we just need to start pulling troops out, and help the country get running again, including helping them with projects such as water systems. She also feels that we should send Afghanistan (and even Iraq) a check for our damages done during the war.

Bennis also expressed frustration that aid we give Afghanistan (and Iraq) comes with the requirement to use the money for defense and police, which are good for only killing people and breaking things.

Bennis said that the majority of people join the military today because they don't know of other opportunities such as Americorp. She said that the military has the ability to advertise more, but if people knew of other opportunities, they would have chosen them instead.

Although, Bennis said that the military only kills people and breaks things, she said she does not blame the soldiers. Instead, Bennis says they are "victims."

Bennis is a fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies, Transnational Institute and also a journalist covering the Middle East.