Stop Stealing Money From Starving Afghans

Target: Joe Biden, President of the United States

Goal: Use Afghan money to safeguard its citizens from poverty and starvation.

While Ukrainian citizens are fighting against a brutal dictatorship, in Afghanistan millions of families are still suffering from the aftershocks of a similar takeover. After the United States withdrew troops from Afghanistan and left it ripe for a Taliban invasion, it also abandoned efforts that could have helped those left behind. For one, international funding was all but severed, sending the already cratering economy into a death spiral. The U.S. also froze seven billion dollars’ worth of Afghan assets located in American banks…money that advocates have been imploring the government for months to use for humanitarian aid. Currently, more than 23 million of the 39 million people in the country are moving dangerously close to starvation. Many more live in constant poverty, with no hope in sight.

The U.S. government finally made a move with those frozen assets that belong to Afghanistan. Their solution has only created more outrage and controversy, though. The Biden administration set aside half of the funds as compensation for survivors and families of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. They justify this decision by claiming that families had sued the Taliban for their purported role in aiding the terrorist group responsible. This justification is flawed for many reasons. For one, the majority of the terrorists who actually executed the attack were from Saudi Arabia, yet this nation is consistently and conspicuously absent from any talks of sanctions or restitution. In addition, the funds in dispute do not belong to the Taliban. They belong to the previous Afghan government and, more importantly, to the Afghan people. These citizens are the ones who need aid now, and not another betrayal.

This step feels like an easy fix and a quick grab for money to satisfy a bill. No one wins. The 9/11 families won’t get justice or restitution from the organizations and the governments that harmed them. Instead of the Taliban being punished, once again the Afghan people will be made to suffer most. Sign the petition below to urge a reevaluation of this wrong-headed and deeply harmful action.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear President Biden,

One million Afghan children are in danger of dying from starvation. Millions more families face widespread famine and poverty. In the midst of a crisis in which the United States played a hand, this nation now wants to deprive suffering human beings of their last lifeline. The government’s decision to take half of Afghan assets and funnel them elsewhere is unconscionable.

For months, these people have been begging for help after the U.S. abruptly cut off Afghanistan’s funding with no apparent thought to the devastation this would bring not to the dictators in power, but to the populace they control. Now, you take money that rightfully belongs to them as “punishment” for an atrocity of which they had no part. Meanwhile, the true defendants carry on undeterred.

Your actions do not honor the memory of those lost in 9/11. Rather, they enable the terror and fear that fueled this tragedy. Do not speak of freedom from tyranny and standing against dictators in one breath while compounding their horrific effects in the next.  Do not add to the immense pain of the Afghan people.

If you cannot or will not help them, at least give them the rightful means to help themselves.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Jerry Griffis


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