On the 31st of March 2017, about 65 Afghan Peace Volunteers and street kids went to a hill in Kabul to fly kites. The program, called ‘Fly Kites Not Drones’, was organized in solidarity with Voices for Creative Nonviolence UK and small communities around the world who oppose drone warfare.

Afghanistan is where drones are most frequently used in warfare, so she has been called the ‘drone capital’ of the world.

There is increasing investigative documentation of unidentified persons and civilians being killed by drones, like here, here, here, here , here, and here.

Freed by the Kites

 01 Kites Over Kabul

Flying kites over a hill in Kabul

 02 Inham loves kites

Inham dashing up and down the hill for his love of kites

 

When the kites soared above Kabul,

our collective awareness was also

lifting off from the gravity of normal beliefs,

our Orwellian realities dissipating.

We could see the resilient colours merging with the sky,

the wind sweeping away the cobwebs that blur our minds.

The kites whistled to our common sense,

easing us into a clearer analysis of war.

“Governments say that they kill the Taliban with drones but…,”

I said, thinking I’ll share my thoughts with Inham.

Instead, it was he who completed my sentence,

with the promise of a kite-loving child

and sage-like eyes,

“…they also kill innocent people.”

 03 Mursal, Zahra and Deeba from left to right

The energy and wisdom of Mursal, Zahra and Deeba ( from left to right)

“What did you fly kites for?” I asked.

“For fun!”

“…we have a message about planes…

planes without pilots!”

The children’s energy was contagious,

as they dashed up and down the hill,

their faces lighting up,

their small, labour-hardened bodies taking a deserved break.

Mursal and Deeba may not quite understand the robotic technology

that passionate humans have designed to eliminate passionate humans.

But they understood enough to say,

“They shouldn’t drop bombs.”

“Many people die!’

 05 Fly Kites Not Drones

Fly Kites Not Drones in Afghanistan 2017

 

A MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aerial vehicle prepares to land after a mission in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. The Reaper has the ability to carry both precision-guided bombs and air-to-ground missiles. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Brian Ferguson)

A MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aerial vehicle prepares to land after a mission in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. The Reaper has the ability to carry both precision-guided bombs and air-to-ground missiles. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Brian Ferguson)

Not Drones!

Just as Benjamin Franklin used the kite

to learn about the thunderous discharge

of atmospheric charges,

we were learning too,

as we gazed upon the elegant acrobats

helped along by the pull and release of young wrists.

Ah…human hands control those hornet-like planes,

guiding them to hover over GPS numbers,

releasing weapons naughtily named ‘Hellfire’ missiles,

decimating mud village houses and their occupants,

or incinerating women and children collecting branches or plastic for fuel,

or snuffing out other such ‘targets’

from yet another week’s ‘kill list’.

And this would make the world less vengeful, more peaceful?

How did we digress so far from Benjamin’s

search for evidence?

06 Freed by the Kites

Our minds being freed by the kites

 

Even General Stanley McChrystal,

former chief of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan,

said, “The resentment created by…

unmanned strikes…

is much greater than the average American appreciates.

They are hated on a visceral level…”

How is it that we no longer understand what we can see?

McChrystal continued,

“…even by people who’ve never seen one

or seen the effects of one.”

So what does his government continue to do?

Create rage.

Fuel ‘blowback’ terrorism.

Fly drones.

No wonder a counter-terrorism guru didn’t answer

the late White House correspondent Helen Thomas,

when she asked about Abdulmutallab’s Christmas motivation to down an airliner,

“Why?

We never hear what you find out on why.”

 04 We need to provide children with evidence

Afghan children enjoying a day flying kites

On the high slope overlooking fortress Kabul,

sound-surrounded by picnicking families and dancing kites,

I felt much safer

than walking along alleys with Afghan kids wielding toy guns

which their parents had bought,

emulating Amerikistan with her Second Amendment Rights?

While Nawid is upset that his young cousin in Helmand

is now petrified by the hornet-hum of drones,

crouching in fear each time,

that afternoon, neither male nor female

hid their faces from the sun,

as they looked up,

yearned,

and enjoyed each other’s company,

freed by the kites.

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Technorati Tags: #Enough!, Afghan Nao Roz 2017, Afghan peace, Afghan Peace Volunteers, Afghan War, Borderfree Nonviolence Community Centre, Drone warfare Afghanistan, Earth GEN, Fly Kites not Drones, Voices for Creative Nonviolence UK