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Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Afghanistan - A Petition to Take Action Against the War

We, the undersigned peace and justice leaders, believe
that the American military interventions in
Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq are deepening quagmires
that threaten a Long War without end.

Sign the Petition --
<http://gopetition.com/online/30533/sign.html>

At the current rate of American deaths in Afghanistan,
over 1,000 additional American soldiers will be killed
in the next two years of "hard fighting" predicted by
the Pentagon as the next phase of a ten year
occupation. Another $130 billion for Afghanistan and
Iraq now is being rushed through a sleeping Congress.
An escalation of even more troops is pending.

Now is the time for an exit strategy to end these wars.
The government of warlords, drug lords, and landlords
we prop up in Kabul is losing more legitimacy by the
day. A majority of Americans - including 70 percent
from the majority party - now consider Afghanistan a
mistake. Leading national security experts even deny
that it's a necessary war.

If we do not decide to disengage at once, our dreams of
domestic reform will be squandered by years of war
budgets. Our dreams of clean energy will be buried in
wars over oil and pipelines. The global good will
extended to our new President will be jeopardized.

We understand how difficult it is to reverse a mistaken
course. But that is the leadership we need, not one
that continually escalates in order not to lose. We
have been there.

- Our government should adopt an exit strategy from
Afghanistan based on all-party talks, regional
diplomacy, unconditional humanitarian aid, and
timelines for the near-term withdrawal of American and
NATO combat troops.

- The aerial bombardments of Afghan and Pakistan
villages, like burning down haystacks to find terrorist
needles, should end.

- Military spending should be reversed in Afghanistan
to focus on food, medicine, shelter, the socio-economic
needs of the poor, and the dignity of women and
children.

- President Obama should keep his pledge to withdraw
all troops from Iraq by 2011, and prevent American
interference in the forthcoming Iraqi elections.

- The President should oppose any Israeli attack on
Iran, which will only inflame the regional and global
conflict.

Much as we were inspired by Barack Obama's election, we
will not be taken for granted by the President and the
Congressional majority. The historic victories in 2006
and 2008 were fueled by popular enthusiasm and
unprecedented voter turnouts that cannot be reignited
by e-mail solicitations. A growing disenchantment with
a costly quagmire will threaten all the hopes of 2008.
Everything is related now: we cannot afford national
health care, housing, and clean energy while spending
billions on quagmires across several continents.

We are prepared to create a storm of protest in
Congressional districts and close Senate races. We will
form alliances with all those whose hope for health,
energy and economic reform are diminished by these
wars. We will defend dissent in the armed forces and
protect our children from the snares of military
recruiters. We will reach out to strengthen a global
peace movement, especially in NATO countries.

History shows that terrorist threats can come from
German cities, African villages, and even homegrown
American cells, not simply the caves of Pakistan.

Our security needs cannot be served by provoking the
growing hatred of America caused by repeated invasions
of foreign lands. We are human beings who refuse to be
defined in the world as mindless military drones and
Predators.

TOM HAYDEN
ARIEL DORFMAN, Author, Duke University

RABBI STEVEN B. JACOBS, Progressive Faith Foundation
REV. GEORGE REGAS, pastor emeritus, All-Saints
Episcopal Church
REV. ED BACON, Pastor, All-Saints Episcopal Church
REV. PETER LAARMAN, Progressive Christians United
DR. NAZIR KHAJA, President, Islamic Information Service
REV. JOHN B. COBB, Claremont Theology School
REV. GEORGE HUNSINGER, Princeton Theology Seminary
REV. JAMES CONN, Director, New Ministries, United
Methodist Church
RABBI HAIM DOV BELIAK, Hamifgash
REV. JANET EOLLERY MCKEITHEN, Westside Interfaith
Coalition
STEPHEN ROHDE, president, Inter-faith Communities for
Peace and Justice, Los Angeles

SENATOR JOHN BURTON, chairman, California Democratic
Party
KAREN BERNAL, chair, Progressive Caucus, California
Democratic Party
DANIEL ELLSBERG
SUSIE SHANNON, Executive Board Member, California
Democratic Party
RAY MCGOVERN, CIA [ret.]
PAUL HAGGIS, film director
SONALI KOHATKAR, Co-director, Afghan Women's Mission
MICHAEL RATNER, President, Center for Constitutional
Rights
JODIE EVANS, co-founder, CODE PINK
CODE PINK
LESLIE CAGAN, co-founder, United for Peace and Justice
RUSTI EISENBERG, United for Peace and Justice
UNITED FOR PEACE AND JUSTICE [UFPJ]
KEVIN MARTIN, PEACE ACTION, Washington
MICHAEL MCPHEARSON, Veterans for Peace
ROBERT NAIMAN, policy director, JUST FOREIGN POLICY

STAUGHTON LYND, historian
VAN GOSSE, co-founder, Historians Against the War
MARC BECKER, co-chair, Historians Against the War
MICHAEL ALBERT, Znet
BILL FLETCHER, Jr., executive director, Black
Commentator, co-founder Progressives for Obama
CARL DAVIDSON, webmaster, PROGRESSIVES FOR OBAMA
RICHARD FALK, professor, Princeton University, United
Nations rapporteur
LEONARD WEINGLASS, human rights attorney
MATTHEW EVANGELISTA, chair, Department of Government,
Cornell University
STANLEY ARONOWITZ, graduate center, City University of
New York
JOE FEAGAN, professor, Texas A&M University

ROBERT GREENWALD, Brave New Films
GAEL MURPHY, Code Pink, Washington
TIM CARPENTER, Progressive Democrats of America [PDA]
NORMAN BIRNBAUM
DAVID FENTON

Sign the Petition --
<http://gopetition.com/online/30533/sign.html>

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