Posts Tagged ‘Peace Now’

Peace Movement to Begin? Withdraw U.S. Troops from Afghanistan (Ed. note: and elsewhere)

October 12, 2010

We, at Out of  Central Asia Now, have been bringing you opinions from writers from throughout the world.  All of the stories were used by us to show we Must End These Wars Now.  Today, we bring you from CNN, the following story in full.  It is time for our White Ribbons with black letters to be worn on our clothes to show that we want the war(s) over NOW.  Read on please.

Amitai Etzioni, University Professor and Former Israeli Commando, CNN Photo

 

Withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan By Amitai Etzioni, Special to CNN October 12, 2010 10:11 a.m. EDT

Editor’s note: Amitai Etzioni is a sociologist and professor of international relations at George Washington University and the author of several books, including “Security First” and “New Common Ground.” He was a senior adviser to the Carter administration and has taught at Columbia and Harvard universities and the University of California, Berkeley.

(CNN) — Before I explain why I believe the time has come to start a stop-the-war movement, I should say that I am not one of those intellectuals who has never worried about the fate of their loved ones or gotten his own boots dirty.

My son completed a five-year stint in the U.S. 1st Armored Division. As an Israeli commando, I saw a lot of fighting during Israel’s war for independence. My unit started fighting with 1,100 members; when the fighting stopped, 700 were dead and buried or wounded. And we killed all too many on the other side.

I abhor war and believe we should fight only when there is a clear and present danger, when all other means for resolving a conflict have been truly exhausted and to protect the innocent. Those are the three criteria of a just war. The war in Afghanistan used to meet these criteria. It no longer does.

We invaded Afghanistan to stop it from serving as a base for terrorists of the kind who attacked us on 9/11. This goal has been accomplished.

Fewer than 100 members of al Qaeda are in Afghanistan. There are many more in Yemen and Somalia, which we are not planning to invade.

Video: Karzai: Relations with Obama good

Video: Karzai: Osama bin Laden not here

Video: Failed rescue attempt probe The Taliban has no designs on us, beyond making us leave. After that, the people of Afghanistan can duke it out over which kind of regime they want. If the majority of the Afghan people don’t want the Taliban to rule, they should fight for their rights, as they have shown they can when they defeated the Taliban in 2002 with limited help from us.

Some claim that we must keep fighting to secure human rights, especially women’s rights, and a democratic regime in Afghanistan. However, nothing indicates that we can accomplish in this godforsaken 12th-century country what we did in Germany and Japan after World War II.

The metrics that the U.S. Army keeps inventing to show progress are pitiful. Having committed 100,000 troops and a similar number of “private” contractors against rag-tag, poorly equipped, illiterate locals, we captured a few scores of square miles, opened a few markets and a local government or two. But large and growing areas of Afghanistan are under Taliban control. We should neither die nor kill for an illusion.

Sometimes, a minor news item highlights a much greater issue.

A recent report from an embedded reporter for GlobalPost shows a 19-year-old American soldier getting shot in the head — his helmet saved him from death — as his unit traveled through Kunar Province in late August. They were surveying polling sites for the upcoming elections. Also, a homemade bomb, called an IED, damaged and set afire the lead vehicle of this small convoy and severely wounded its driver.

It seemed absurd to risk lives of Americans, our allies or Afghans to support faux elections.

In many parts of the country, ballot stations could not be opened. In others, massive fraud took place. Adding insult to injury, we congratulated the Afghan government on holding “successful” elections. That way, we did not have to admit to the world and each other that whatever the Karzai government is — one of the most corrupt governments in the world, a foundation of a new narcostate — democracy it ain’t, by a long shot.

How much our entanglement in Afghanistan is turning into a sad farce became all too clear when President Obama flew to Kabul to tell Karzai that he ought to stop corruption.

When, in response, Karzai started negotiating a peace deal with the Taliban, the White House rolled out the red carpet for Karzai and announced that from now on, the U.S. will focus on low-level corruption. Moreover, it turns out that major sources of corruption are our corporations and the CIA.

It’s time to bring our troops home.

To encourage our president and Congress to withdraw the troops, let’s fasten to our lapels white ribbons (for peace) with black letters (mourning those who died) that read “Bring them home.” The time has come to organize teach-ins and antiwar groups. Instead of another march on Washington, let there be rallies across America. Bring the troops home.

The opinions in this commentary are solely those of Amitai Etzioni.

Cindy Sheehan’s CAMP OUT NOW is open on the National Mall, join her, sign up here; March 20 March on Washington (Los Angeles and San Francisco also), sign support here

March 16, 2010

Cindy Sheehan is now camping out on the National Mall to force President Obama to bring Peace members to the table when discussing the wars in Central Asia. You can join her by signing up at her webpage by clicking here. And you can support the March 20 March on Washington by clicking here. Thank you Cindy and all that participate with her for all your efforts to bring an End to the Wars sooner.

Cindy Sheehan at the White House, now CAMP OUT NOW at the National Mall, Join Her

Cindy Sheehan camps out on National Mall, From CNN’s Shannan Adler

    Washington (CNN) – Anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan, who became a household name for protesting outside of former President Bush’s Texas ranch, is now camping out on the soggy grounds of the Washington Monument in an effort to draw attention to her cause. Sheehan, whose son was killed in Iraq, said she and her fellow anti-war protestors are demanding that a representative from the peace movement have a seat at the table when war is being considered.

    “We are committed to doing this until we see activity from the government,” said Sheehan, referring to the anti-war protestors resolve to remain on the National Mall.
    Sheehan said that each day this week there will be “teach-ins and training for non-violent civil resistance until Monday when the action starts.”

    The “action” will be blocking intersections in the nation’s Capital as well as protesting at offices, she said. But Sheehan noted “we don’t want to divulge what we are doing because we don’t want law enforcement to be able to organize against us beforehand for our actions.” After a trip to Target to load up on necessary camping supplies as well as tables and chairs it would appear that Sheehan has no plans on leaving.

Be sure to join Cindy Sheehan and her efforts, Click Here. And March on March 20 in Washington, DC, Los Angeles, San Francisco (other cities to be announced), Click here for more information.

Kuchinich, the Patriot, tries to End the Wars, introduces resolution to remove troops, 65 Yes votes, 356 No Votes; Take Action, Join the March on Washington March 20, sign up here, also Marching in Los Angeles and San Francisco

March 11, 2010

Sixty Democrats and Five Republicans backed Dennis Kucinich’s H. Con. Resolution 248, that would have had our troops out of Afghanistan within 30 days, or at least by the end of 2010. We applaud their stance. View how they voted here. Don’t forget when they ask you to vote for them, how did they vote on March 11, 2010 on Ending the War? No volunteering or money for any NO voter, or absentee member. I’m happy to report that Rep. Sam Farr (D), who represents the district that is the home to this Blog voted NO, and was a co-sponsor. Thanks Sam.

Five Republicans voted Yes to get all troops out of Afghanistan within 30 days, Ron Paul was one of them. Here’s his reasons why he believes the Wars Must End Now, followed by Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D):

Again, Thank You Dennis Kucinich for bringing this to a debate and a vote on the House floor. It has been over 8 years since the last vote on going to war or ending the war. Enough is Enough.

Click Here to watch some more video of the House Afghanistan Debate and read What Kucinich Accomplished by Robert Naiman, a good analysis.

Be sure to join Cindy Sheehan and her efforts, Click Here. And March on March 20 in Washington, DC, Los Angeles, San Francisco (other cities to be announced), Click here for more information.

Propaganda of Afghanistan War Escalates to Convince Americans We’re Turning the Corner: World Fed US Lies, Propaganda.

March 10, 2010

The United States has been using FALSE news stories to convince the world and the American population that the U.S. troops are “making progress” in Afghanistan. Geo. Bush’s administration got caught puttin out false war stories in 2008, and now President Obama’s administration is carrying out the same DECEPTION. Today’s post is a full copy of this damaging information. A special thanks to Peace Perspectives, put out by votersforpeace.org for sending this story out to its readers. Subscribe here.

Our friends over at Just Foreign Policy have put together an easy way for all of us to support Congress Member Dennis Kucinich End the War. Follow this link: Help Kucinich Use War Powers Act to Force Afghanistan Debate UPDATE: HOUSE VOTES 65 Yes 356 NO on End the War Resolution H. 248. 60 Democrats and 5 Republicans voted YES. THANK YOU DENNIS KUCINICH FOR BRINGING THIS TO THE FLOOR. View how they voted here.

“The Washington Post reported Feb. 22 that the decision to launch the offensive against Marja was intended largely to impress U.S. public opinion with the effectiveness of the U.S. military in Afghanistan by showing that it could achieve a ‘large and loud victory.’

“The false impression that Marja was a significant city was an essential part of that message.”

THE FULL STORY FROM RAW STORY

US forces hold Afghans back to ‘prove’ town safe for Gates visit

By Ron Brynaert
RAW Story

The National Security writer for the Associated Press saw through the propaganda, but she apparently decided to run with it anyway.

“Defense Secretary Robert Gates, aiming to show progress in the expanded war against insurgents in south Afghanistan, took a brief, heavily guarded walk Tuesday down a rutted street in this scruffy market town where the Taliban lobbed mortars at U.S. forces only weeks ago,” Anne Gearan reports for the AP.

    “Now Zad was the scene of first significant military push following President Barack Obama’s announcement in early December that he would add 30,000 troops atop 17,000 reinforcements he had already sent into the flagging war.

    “With the additional firepower, Marines moved into Now Zad last December and quickly pushed out Taliban fighters who had seized the town four years ago and forced every civilian to flee. Families that had lived in Now Zad for generations fled their houses with laundry still on the lines, said the top U.S. officer in the district, Marine Brig. Gen. Larry Nicholson.”

“A few months ago this place was a ghost town, a no-go zone,” Gates is quoted as saying. “Now, as I saw for myself, stores are opening, people are returning.”

After eight paragraphs, the AP reporter notes that “Gates’ walk” required “armed guards in front of and behind him and soldiers dressed for battle posted all along his short route.”

After thirteen paragraphs, Gearan finally observes, “Ironically, to demonstrate that the town is safe enough for Gates to visit, U.S. forces held at bay the very Afghan townspeople Marines fought to bring back.”

On Monday journalist and historian Gareth Porter wrote about how the media had fallen for the bait “to hype up Marja as the objective of ‘Operation Moshtarak’ by planting the false impression that it is a good-sized city.”

“For weeks, the U.S. public followed the biggest offensive of the Afghanistan War against what it was told was a ‘city of 80,000 people’ as well as the logistical hub of the Taliban in that part of Helmand. That idea was a central element in the overall impression built up in February that Marja was a major strategic objective, more important than other district centres in Helmand.

“It turns out, however, that the picture of Marja presented by military officials and obediently reported by major news media is one of the clearest and most dramatic pieces of misinformation of the entire war, apparently aimed at hyping the offensive as a historic turning point in the conflict.

“Marja is not a city or even a real town, but either a few clusters of farmers’ homes or a large agricultural area covering much of the southern Helmand River Valley. ‘It’s not urban at all,’ an official of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), who asked not to be identified, admitted to IPS Sunday. He called Marja a ‘rural community.'”

Porter noted that the propaganda campaign had probably been ordered from the top.

    “A central task of ‘information operations’ in counterinsurgency wars is ‘establishing the COIN [counterinsurgency] narrative’, according to the Army Counterinsurgency Field Manual as revised under Gen. David Petraeus in 2006.

    “That task is usually done by ‘higher headquarters’ rather than in the field, as the manual notes.

    “The COIN manual asserts that news media ‘directly influence the attitude of key audiences toward counterinsurgents, their operations and the opposing insurgency.’ The manual refers to ‘a war of perceptions…conducted continuously using the news media.’

    “Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, commander of ISAF, was clearly preparing to wage such a war in advance of the Marja operation. In remarks made just before the offensive began, McChrystal invoked the language of the counterinsurgency manual, saying, ‘This is all a war of perceptions.’

    “The Washington Post reported Feb. 22 that the decision to launch the offensive against Marja was intended largely to impress U.S. public opinion with the effectiveness of the U.S. military in Afghanistan by showing that it could achieve a ‘large and loud victory.’

    “The false impression that Marja was a significant city was an essential part of that message.”

Last year, RAW STORY’s Brad Jacobson reported,

    “A key senior figure in a Bush administration covert Pentagon program, which used retired military analysts to produce positive wartime news coverage, remains in the same position today as a chief Obama Defense Department spokesman and the agency’s head of all media operations.

    “In an examination of Pentagon documents the New York Times obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request — which reporter David Barstow leveraged for his April 2008 Pulitzer Prize-winning exposé on the program – Raw Story has found that Bryan Whitman surfaces in over 500 emails and transcripts, revealing the deputy assistant secretary of defense for media operations was both one of the program’s senior participants and an active member.

    ….

    “The program was ostensibly run out of the Pentagon’s public affairs office for community relations, as part of its outreach, and attended to by political appointees, most visibly in these records by then community relations chief Allison Barber and director Dallas Lawrence.

    “But as Barstow noted in his report, in running the program out of that office rather than from the agency’s regular press office, ‘the decision recalled other Bush administration tactics that subverted traditional journalism.’ In addition to concealing the true nature of the program and the retired military officers’ participation in it, this tactic produced one other effect.

    “It provided Bryan Whitman, a career civil servant and senior Defense Department official who oversees the press office and all media operations, cover if and when the program was revealed.”

Source: RAW Story

TAKE ACTION: Our friends over at Just Foreign Policy have put together an easy way for all of us to support Congress Member Dennis Kucinich End the War. Follow this link: Help Kucinich Use War Powers Act to Force Afghanistan Debate


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