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Artists against Afghanistan war

It is eight years this month since US-led forces entered Afghanistan. Concerns about more troops, efforts and money being invested into warfare are spreading far and wide and are now an issue even for people of the arts.

Documentary film director Robert Greenwald has released a film with a name that speaks for itself.

“The main message is re-think Afghanistan. There are four or five main questions that people need to rethink: how many troops, how long, what's the cost, what's the exit strategy, and how do we know when it's time to get out. There are no answers to those questions and we shouldn't be going to war without those answers,” the film director is convinced.

War photographer Peter van Agtmael says he's not asking tough questions anymore. He is just trying to show the face of war through his work.

Peter has been traveling to and from Iraq and Afghanistan for years. Peter has recently released his first book called "2nd Tour. I Hope I Don't Die". He says he's seen it all – the power of fear, the agony of death, and the tragedy of displaced children. Some images have been haunting him for years.

“This guy was in a vehicle that caught on fire, and he was dragged out only after 90 per cent of his body was burnt. Amazingly, he was conscious still,” says Peter showing a photo of this. “And even though he was a burnt husk of a man who you couldn't even believe was alive, he was alive and he was yelling, “Daddy, daddy, daddy!” over and over again, yelling for his dad. He went onto the operating table and died a few minutes later.”

Through solo, silent art protests, political painter Brooke McGowen wants the American people to look the nightmare in the face. She displays her paintings in the street.

“People don't really know what's going on in Afghanistan, and they don't take the time and effort to find out,” she says.

And hip hop artist Rodstarz says the worst part of it all is that the reasons given for the war are clearly false:

“This is US imperialism. You know what I'm saying? People go to war for resources. People go to war for economic power. You looking for bin Laden still? Come on now!”

So far the White House has made it clear that withdrawal of troops is not an option. Still, the Obama administration has been taking steps to come up with a new strategy for America in Afghanistan.

But the message of recurrent protests has been unified and simple: America shouldn't be at war any longer.

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