Tom Hayden says “It’s time to strip the Obama sticker off my car.”
Obama’s escalation in Afghanistan is the last in a string of disappointments. His flip-flopping acceptance of the military coup in Honduras has squandered the trust of Latin America. His Wall Street bailout leaves the poor, the unemployed, minorities, and college students on their own. And now comes the Afghanistan-Pakistan decision to escalate the stalemate, which risks his domestic agenda, his Democratic base, and possibly even his presidency.
The expediency of his decision was transparent. Satisfy the generals by sending 30,000 more troops. Satisfy the public and peace movement with a timeline for beginning withdrawals of those same troops, with no timeline for completing a withdrawal.
…Adding 30,000 to 35,000 US troops will raise the US death toll by over 1,000 by 2011 on Obama’s watch, in addition to the 750 who died under Bush. The numbers of US wounded are rising faster than ever, with 300 counted in the past three months. Civilian casualties are under-reported according to the UN mission in Afghanistan. The budgetary costs are growing to $75 billion annually, and could become another trillion-dollar war.
… The anti-war movement will have to solidify support from the two-thirds of Democratic voters who so far question this war. Continuing analysis from The Nation and Robert Greenwald’s videos have a major role to play. Public opinion will have to become a growing factor in the mind of Congress, where Rep. Jim McGovern’s resolution favoring an exit strategy has 100 co-sponsors and Rep. Barbara Lee’s tougher bill to prevent funding for escalation is now at 23.
…There are alternatives. There is evidence that the Taliban in Afghanistan are seeking a peace settlement without havens for Al Qaeda. There also is an October 11 statement by Gulbaddin Hekmatyer of Hezb-I-Islam Afghanistan, a mujahadeen leader and former prime minister in the 1990s, once funded by the CIA. Never reported in the US media, the letter proposes an honorable exit strategy, including
– relocation of Western troops from Afghan cities, plus a logical and practical time schedule for their withdrawal;
– transfer of power to an interim government independent of the parties currently fighting;
– new elections under an independent election commission;
– release of political prisoners;
– a possible peacekeeping force from neutral Islamic countries;
– and, more importantly for the Obama agenda, the document states: Hezb-I-Islami is prepared to discuss the exit of all foreign fighters (non-Afghan, be it forces of the West, or embedded with the Mujahideen). We assure all sides that we agree that neither the embedded fighters with the Mujahideen nor foreign military forces be allowed to remain or to establish military bases or training camps in Afghanistan. Read more from Tom Hayden at The Nation.
Our thanks to Al Jazeera for covering people protesting the War Escalation in America:
War Escalation by President Obama spawns a New Peace Coalition, join below. In response to President Obama’s pending announcement of a major troop escalation in Afghanistan,Peace Activist, Cindy Sheehan, and other major anti-war groups and activists are announcing the formation of a new Peace Coalition that will seek to actively obstruct “business as usual” in Washington, DC, until Congress and the administration announce troop withdrawals from Iraq/Af-Pak.
“We’ve marched, we’ve signed letters and petitions, helped get candidates elected and called Congress and the White House, until we’re literally blue in the face, and peace is even more elusive now then it was when Bush was president. I believe so strongly in peace and justice for all that I am, once again, uprooting my life, this time to move to our nation’s capital until true change occurs. I am calling on people who love humanity and peace to join me in Peace of the Action, “ Sheehan said from her California home. [Ed. note: Go to this link and join, put your name on the line.]
Also, Military Famlies Speak Out
President Obama’s decision to escalate the war in Afghanistan by deploying another 30,000 troops has sent the message to military families across the United States that the President is willing to gamble in a no-win situation with the lives of our loved ones and the loved ones of others. President Obama’s surge of U.S. troops will not make the U.S. safer, nor will it bring peace and stability to the Afghan people; it will add more fuel to the fires now raging there. It will mean more deaths of military personnel and of civilians. Sending more troops will not end this war; bringing them home now will.
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Call President Obama ALL WEEK LONG. Let’s keep his White House lines busy:
Take Action Now ! !
Call President Obama: To reach the U.S. Capitol Switchboard: 202-224-3121 or 202-225-3121 Leave a message: “You made the wrong decision. I do not support you on this. I feel betrayed.”
Today, please tell your member of Congress and U.S. Senators to End the War in Afghanistan, sign this petition. If you live outside the United States, write to your leaders, End the War Now.
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