Kevin Zeese, VotersForPeace.US, Sept. 2, 2009
The Obama administration is at a crossroads when it comes to the war in Afghanistan. It is time to tell President Obama why you oppose the Afghanistan War. Click here to write President Obama.
General McChrystal has prepared a report on Afghanistan calling for escalation. The White House says President Obama will be reading the report this week and a decision on any changes will occur in the next few weeks.
So now is the time to let Obama know what you think. Click here.
Media reports on the report indicate that McChrystal is seeking to restart the Afghanistan War with more troops, more U.S. civilians, and a bigger Afghan force.
This may be the best opportunity we have to stop this war. If we do not act now, we could have a long stay in Afghanistan. David Lindorff may have said it best: "If the American people don't rise up and demand an end to this thing right now, we could be in for another 8-10 years of brutal and bloody warfare, and in the end, the United States is, once again, going to lose."
At a recent Brookings Institution Conference in Washington, DC, four hawkish speakers, some who advise the administration, urged escalation. Richard Dreyfuss summarized the speakers' shared views: 1. "Significant escalation" is essential "to avoid utter defeat." 2. If "tens of thousands" of new troops were sent to Afghanistan, it would be impossible to know whether this reinforcement changed anything until another 18 months had elapsed. 3. Even if the U.S. "turns the tide," no "significant drawdown" of American troops could occur for at least another five years.
McChrystal's report comes at a bad moment in Afghanistan. August was the deadliest month and September started off following suit. The U.S. military is exhausted and stretched thin. As a result, there are a greater percentage of mercenaries in Afghanistan than any war in U.S. history. The recent election in Afghanistan undermined the legitimacy of the government with 1,740 complaints of fraud, 567 serious enough to change the outcome.
McChrystal's report also comes at a time when deficits at home are at record highs and Congress knows that we are risking hyperinflation. Borrowing more money to fight a failing and unnecessary war makes even less sense in these circumstances. In fact, the media is already predicting rising tensions in Congress over Afghanistan. In addition, the White House reportedly fears liberal reaction to Afghanistan. And, the Chairman of the Joints Chiefs is unsure whether more troops can be provided. The White House is divided and the Pentagon is insecure about support for escalation.
The essential question that President Obama has been unable to answer is "What are we fighting for?"
While we want you to take action today by writing President Obama, that is not enough.
To highlight the eighth anniversary of the Afghan War, on Monday, October 5, 2009, Voters for Peace will be joining with the National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance (NCNR), along with Witness Against Torture, Peace Action, The War Resisters League, Atlantic Life Community, Voices for Creative Nonviolence, and Veterans for Peace. We will mark the anniversary and speak out against the war with direct action, risking arrest at the White House. Hundreds are likely to risk arrest. If you want to get involved, visit: Voices for Creative Non-Violence. There will be more events around the anniversary this fall and we will keep you informed so you can take action.
Opposition to the Afghanistan War is not only coming from the peace movement. Just this week, conservative commentator George Will came out in favor of ending the Afghanistan War in a column titled "Time to Get Out of Afghanistan." He urged a "rapid reversal" of policy and highlighted the fact that, "The war already is nearly 50 percent longer than the combined U.S. involvements in two world wars. . ." He says, "Afghanistan would need hundreds of thousands of coalition troops, perhaps for a decade or more. That is inconceivable."
Now is the time to increase our efforts to stop this war. The combination of a failing war, stretched-thin military, corrupt Afghani government, record government deficits, and a majority of Americans opposing the war, makes this the time to change. If we don't act now we may find ourselves deeper into a war-quagmire that makes leaving even more difficult.
Thank you for taking action.