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Sunday, March 15, 2009

I Write More Letters

Mr President,

I worked for you in NH despite your promise to escalate in Afghanistan.  I've seen some signs that you understand at least we're not winning, if you still might believe it is winnable, so that gives me hope you can rethink this failed policy to the point of getting out of the quagmire rather than stepping further into it.

To that end, Voters For Peace provides these items for your consideration:

Ten Reasons to End the Occupation of Afghanistan

1. US and NATO occupation creates civilian casualties, angering Afghans.
2. Military occupation has hampered humanitarian aid and reconstruction efforts.
3. Afghan women continue to face violence and oppression under the occupation.
4. US policy has empowered warlords, drug lords and the Taliban.
5. The occupation contributes to violence and destabilization for ordinary Afghans, including refugees.
6. NATO allies and military leaders are questioning the occupation.
7. US troop casualties in Afghanistan are on the rise.
8. Afghans are calling for a negotiated end to the war.
9. Military escalation will only increase the violence, and potentially lead to a wider war involving nuclear-armed Pakistan.
10. Military occupation of Afghanistan does not curb terrorism.

Recommendations for a Changed US Policy

1. Set a swift timetable for the withdrawal of US and NATO military forces, to be substituted by UN forces for short-term security.
2. Immediately cease air strikes on targets in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
3. Support negotiations between all parties involved in the conflict, including Afghan women leaders.
4. Reform humanitarian aid and reconstruction funding efforts to prioritize Afghan organizations over foreign contractors. Ensure that funded projects address the needs and requests of Afghans and are not simply pet projects of foreign donors.
5. Invest in long-term aid that increases self-reliance such as sustainable agriculture efforts.
6. Immediately discontinue the use of Provincial Reconstruction Teams, which are costly, inefficient, and have militarized the aid process.
7. Standardize, increase, and publicly document compensation to Afghan families and communities affected by US military actions.
8. Sign the treaty to ban cluster bombs, pay for cluster bomb and landmine clean up in Afghanistan, and pledge never to use these weapons again.

Will you please seriously consider ending this immoral and futile occupation in the land where empires go to die?  Regardless, I will be working hard on Rep Peter Welch and Sen Pat Leahy to reassert Congressional authority over war-making to force the issue.

I was vigiling and fasting outside your new home last weekend to mark International Women's Day, and will be back for Mother's Day with my fiancee.  Just imagine how you would feel if the US were occupied by another country, no matter how benign, and Michelle and Malia and Sasha were at risk on a daily basis.  Let's be the bigger nation, recognize our fault and limitations, and work to truly nurture freedom without pointing a gun at mothers and children in Gaza, Iraq and Afghanistan.


March 15, 2009 in Why We Fight | Permalink


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Would you like french fries with that order?

Posted by: Mortski | Mar 15, 2009 1:53:26 PM

Dr. Manhattan can fix all of this!

Posted by: NToddsPa | Mar 15, 2009 6:39:29 PM

Excellent. Firm. Realistic. And maintaining a belief in democratic activism. You 'da man, my friend. But I hope you're not holding out any hope -- well, without further action.

Posted by: Michael Colby | Mar 16, 2009 2:12:56 PM

I hope you're not holding out any hope -- well, without further action.

Heavens no! This is just providing notice of demands early on in a strategic arc of action. Been writing to him (well, his staff) since the election, we did the Obama's Promises campaign inauguration week, vigiled last week, doing the 24hr sleepover in May, then further escalation which could include boycotts, strikes, civil disobedience...Not just on this but single-payer, a TRC, etc. And of course stoking the fire under Congress, too. That's why there are 198 Methods to work on, outreach to do, and blogs to write.

Posted by: NTodd | Mar 16, 2009 5:14:44 PM

You could parade around in front of the WH. That'd get his attention.

Posted by: Buckeye ... | Mar 16, 2009 6:50:44 PM

With my dildo?

Posted by: ntodd | Mar 16, 2009 7:33:23 PM

Yes, with the dildo. Perhaps a giant pink dildo.

Posted by: Buckeye ... | Mar 16, 2009 9:02:59 PM

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