An Afghan woman named "One of the World's 100 Most Influential People" by Time magazine is in the Capital Region to challenge Americans to call for an end to the war. Those who agree with her say this is a growing trend. Innae Park reports.
TROY, N.Y. -- October 7, 2013 marked the 12th anniversary of the War on Afghanistan, making it the longest war the United States has been involved in. There are many who are against it, including the United National Anti-War Coalition (UNAC). Echoing their cause is a woman who has seen the war devastate her country.
Malalai Joya is only 35, but she has survived assassination attempts due to her criticism of the Karzai administration. Once the youngest member of parliament, she was dismissed for calling her colleagues 'warlords.' Since then, she has been recognized worldwide as a leading activist.
Joya said, “The first demand of these Afghans is justice. Peace without justice and independence is just meaningless.”
However, this month, she tours the United States, a country whose government she condemns.
“They are there for their own strategy [strategic], regional, economic interest, not to give honest helping hand to Afghans,” said Joya. “Together, you should put pressure on your government as we see that today imperialism and fundamentalism have joined their hands together to lead the world toward barbarism.”
U.S. troops are scheduled to withdraw from the country next year. No specific date is set yet over concerns of civil war.
Even so, those against war, like Joe Lombardo, the Co-Coordinator for UNAC, say the end to this one needs to be immediate, citing Syria as an example of a change in public opinion.
“Now people see those wars as mistakes in those countries and did not want to go into war in Syria, did not want to repeat it again,” he said. “There was not sentiment for it internationally or in this country.”
That's as the future of U.S. involvement in Syria is still unclear.
UNAC is the sponsor of Joya’s nationwide tour.
Joya will be speaking again at 7 p.m. in Albany. The event is being held at the First Unitarian Universalist Society building at 405 Washington Ave.