Scarred Lands, Wounded Lives: The Environmental Footprint of War
Brookline: Thursday, October 13, 6:30pm. Coolidge Corner Library, 31 Pleasant St.
When we make war, we destroy not only the enemy, we destroy our earth as well. In all its stages - from the production of weapons through combat to clean up - war entails actions that pollute land, air and water, destroy biodiversity and drain natural resources. Yet the environmental damage caused by war (and preparations for war) is underreported, even ignored. The environment is war's silent casualty.
Using specialist and eyewitness accounts from Vietnam and Afghanistan to Australia and the Pacific Islands and supported by on-site and archival footage, the film shows how war and preparations for war further compromise the environmental health of a planet already under stress from massive population increases, unsustainable demands on natural resources, and ruinous environmental practices. In the context of today's growing awareness and alarm about global climate change, the film shows that natural security is an essential component of national security.
Afghanistan: Why Obama Must Change Course
Watertown: Monday, October 17, 7pm. First Parish, 35 Church St. Cosponsored with Watertown Citizens for Environmental Safety.
Jamaica Plain: Tuesday, October 18, 7pm. 6 Eliot St.. Cosponsored with Jamaica Plain Forum and UJP Afghanistan/Pakistan Task Force.
Jonathan Steele has covered Afghanistan for the Guardian (London) for more than thirty years, and was part of the Guardian team which published the Wikileaks Afghanistan cables. He will sign copies of his latest book, Ghosts of Afghanistan: The Haunted Battleground, which will be published by Counterpoint this month.
October 2011 marks ten years of U.S. war and occupation in Afghanistan. Steele was one of the few Western analysts who predicted that a US invasion of Afghanistan would be a disaster. Although President Obama has announced withdrawal of some troops, the Administration’s plan really envisions a long-term military occupation. So Afghanistan should remain high on everyone's agenda as the 2012 election campaign approaches.
Steele will explain the strategic partnership agreement that the Obama administration wants to sign with Karzai's government and argue that it is a disaster for Afghanistan and the US. Instead he calls for peace talks and an agreement that will end the country's thirty-five years of civil war. The New Yorker's Seymour Hersh strongly endorses Ghosts of Afghanistan as an “original look at the West's obsession with Afghanistan,” in which “Steele...puts to rest the notion that America had no choice but to go to war after Osama bin Laden's orchestration of the 9/11 attacks."
Town Hall Meetings on Military Spending
Rep. Barney Frank will hold three Town Hall meetings in New Bedford, Wellesley, and Taunton to discuss the economy, the budget and why he think it is essential that our country scales back its worldwide military commitments and cuts excessive military spending.
This will be a chance to discuss these and other pressing national issues which so greatly affect our local priorities.
Saturday, October 15, 2pm, New Bedford • Whaling Museum, 18 Johnny Cake Hill, Corson Bldg
Sunday, October 16, 2pm, Wellesley • Massachusetts Bay Community College, Main Auditorium, 50 Oakland St
Sunday, October 23, 2pm, Taunton • First Parish Church, Church Green