Our Journey to Smile

2009 Journey Updates خبر نو
  • President Barack Obama’s wish for peace in Afghanistan in his inauguration speech on 20th Jan 2009


‘ We will begin to responsibly leave Iraq to its people, and forge a hard-earned peace in Afghanistan.

We cannot help but believe that the old hatreds shall someday pass; that the lines of tribe shall soon dissolve; that as the world grows smaller, our common humanity shall reveal itself.’

President Barack Obama has ordered an interagency review to examine U.S. policy on Afghanistan and Pakistan before a NATO summit in April 09.

18/2/2009 President Barack Obama has authorised the deployment of up to 17,000 extra US troops to Afghanistan, saying they are to “meet urgent security needs”.

The deployment will be made up of 8,000 marines, and 4,000 army soldiers, plus another 5,000 support staff. They will serve in the south of Afghanistan, where the violence has been worst. They will also arrive ahead of the national elections in August, a crucial time for Afghanistan.

The increase “is necessary to stabilise a deteriorating situation in Afghanistan“, Mr Obama said. “The Taleban is resurgent in Afghanistan, and al-Qaeda supports the insurgency and threatens America from its safe-haven along the Pakistani border,” he said.

Afghanistan, he said, “has not received the strategic attention, direction and resources it urgently requires”.

“I recognise the extraordinary strain that this deployment places on our troops and military families,” the president said.

The announcement came after the UN said that the number of civilians killed in the conflict in Afghanistan rose by 39% last year.

Militants were to blame for 55% of the 2,118 civilian deaths, while US, Nato and Afghan forces were responsible for 39%, according to the UN report – the highest number since the Taleban were ousted in 2001


‘There is tension between us and the US government on issues of civilian casualties, arrests of Afghans, nightly raids on homes and the casualties they cause,’ Karzai said.



US President Barack Obama’s envoy to Afghanistan, Richard Holbrooke, has said that winning the conflict there will be “much tougher” than in Iraq. He told a conference in Munich: ‘I have never seen anything like the mess we have inherited. It is like no other problem we have confronted .’

‘But until we prove capable – with the help of our allies and Afghan partners – of safeguarding the population, we will never know a peaceful, prosperous Afghanistan.’ Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff.

War kills Our Smile

War kills Man’s Dignity

  • Desmond Tutu’s message to Obama 19/2/2009






Archbishop Desmond Tutu has warned Barack Obama of the risk of squandering the goodwill he says the US president’s election has generated.







‘Most of us do want to see peace. ‘

He says it would be “wonderful” if Mr Obama apologised for the invasion of Iraq.

 “The Bush Administration managed to rile people everywhere. Its bully-boy attitude sadly polarised our world,” he says.

 ‘When war began, first in Afghanistan and not long after in Iraq, we read allegations of prisoner abuse at Bagram air base in Afghanistan and of rendition to countries notorious for practising torture. We saw the horrific images from Abu Ghraib and learned of gruesome acts performed in the name of gathering information. Sometimes the torture itself was couched in the US government’s euphemisms – calling waterboarding an “interrogation technique”. ‘

 ‘Going forward, as we strive to create a stable, prosperous world for all, we need to work together with other nations for justice, equity and peace. We need to believe that the values of fairness and compassion are not only yours and mine; they are shared by all humanity. ‘







  • Russia and Peace in Afghanistan


‘We were there for 10 years and we lost more than 14,000 soldiers, but what was the result? Nothing. We wanted to bring peace and stability to Afghanistan, but in fact everything got worse.’ Lt Gen ( retd ) Ruslan Aushev.


‘The conflict cannot be solved by military means, it’s an illusion. No-one can reach any political goal in Afghanistan relying on military force. Frankly speaking, they are doomed to repeat our mistakes,’ says Col Oleg Kulakov, who served twice in Afghanistan and is now a lecturer and historian in Moscow.

  • Other peace building activities in Bamiyan planned for 2009

a. Building of Bamiyan City Peace Park

 Bamiyan Peace Park will be a green area in Bamiyan City Centre that will provide a platform for youth, women, children and travellers to promote the development of a civil society through income generating, peace building and artistic activities.

 The people of Bamiyan wish to build this park by their own independent means, through the participation of all its people, without the help of foreign funds. This will be a park built by the people, for the future peace and development of their country.



Allocated Bamiyan City Peace Park site





Bamiyan Youth Volunteers at the Peace Park Site





 Bamiyan Governor Sarobi at Peace Park ground-breaking ceremony 2008


b. Establishment of Reconciliation Committee

 When established, it will be the first such Reconciliation Committee in Afghanistan.



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