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Thursday, November 18, 2010

[haw-info] a petition against four more years of war in Afghanistan

The following petition, initiated earlier this week by Tom Hayden and others, has been endorsed by the Steering Committee of Historians Against the War.  Organizers are hoping to amass 5,000 or more signatures (the count now is 3,300) by tomorrow, November 19, when President Obama arrives in Lisbon to present the NATO summit meeting with an Afghanistan proposal that includes four more years of combat.

The petitition can be signed at
http://www.gopetition.com/petition/40697.html.

Jim O'Brien
co-chair, Historians Against the War



Background (Preamble):

We object to the United States proposal for Afghanistan being presented this week to NATO ministers.

It is not a peace plan. It is a plan for four more years of combat by US and NATO forces.

It is not a plan for US or Western troop withdrawals but for further occupation. It is a proposal to gradually lessen Western casualties and lessen Western visibility while transitioning to Western-financed, Western-armed, and Western-advised Afghan army combat in a civil conflict. It is a plan for long-term Western military bases.

It is not a plan to stop al Qaeda or terrorists from attacking Western targets. There are virtually no al Qaeda left in Afghanistan. The most recent terrorist attacks on America have been inspired by our deepening wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan. In seeking to save our military reputation, we all but assure future threats against Western targets. CIA officials even describe Yemen's al Qaeda cell as more dangerous than al Qaeda in Pakistan. [NYT, Oct. 18, 2010]

It pre-empts the Administration's own proposal for a full "review" of Afghan policy in December. The timing instead is aimed at shoring up a faltering Western alliance.

The central proposal--to increase the scale of the Afghan army and police in order to prop up a corrupt Kabul regime--will never work without a parallel cease-fire, deep institutional reform, enforceable human rights, and peace-keeping arrangements with leadership by neutral countries.

The current expenditure of over $100 billion American dollars per year for Afghanistan could be spent on medical care for 15 million veterans, or 15 million college scholarships, or 1.8 million new teachers, or 72 million installations of renewable energy for American homes.

Petition:

IF THE PRESIDENT SEEKS THE SUPPORT OF THE PEACE CONSTITUENCY WHICH CONTRIBUTED SO MUCH TO HIS 2008 VICTORY, HE SHOULD:

• Stop placating Republicans and Pentagon generals who seek unaffordable and elusive "victories:
• Heed and not disappoint the 75 percent of Democrats and 55 percent of Independents who want a timetable for withdrawal;
• Launch regional diplomacy towards power-sharing in Afghanistan with greater urgency as the current military escalation;
• Announce a substantial troop reduction from Afghanistan in 2011, and a complete phase-out in two years;
• Stop the foreign drone attacks in Pakistan's tribal areas and send massive medical aid and infrastructure assistance instead;
• Keep his pledge to withdraw all US troops from Iraq by the end of 2011.

TO THE NEW REPUBLICAN LEADERSHIP OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, WE DEMAND:

• That deficit hawks apply their budget philosophy to the trillion-dollar costs of these unfunded wars;
• That the Republican leadership permit hearings, full debate and roll call votes on war funding and related amendments;

As President Obama and Gen. Petraeus have said many times, there is no military solution in Afghanistan. We ask, how many more will die in pursuit of this impossible goal?

Tom Hayden, director, Peace and Justice Resource Center
Daniel Ellsberg
Ariel Dorfman, author, Duke University
Michael Ratner, President, Center for Constitutional Rights
William Quigley, legal director, Center for Constitutional Rights
Progressive Democrats of America [PDA]
Jean Stein, publisher
Rev. George Hunsinger, theologian, Princeton Theological Seminary
Carl Davidson, Progressive America Rising
Fatima Mojaddidy, Afghans for Peace, Oakland, CA
Afghans for Peace
Gar Smith, co-founder of Environmentalists Against War
John Gunther Dean, former U.S. Ambassador
to Cambodia, Denmark, Lebanon, Thailand and India
Jason Cross, Professor, Ann Arbor, MI
Matthew Evangelista, Chair, Department of Government, Cornell University
Dr. Cornel West, Princeton
Stephen Spitz, Falls Church, VA - Co-State, Coordinator, PDA Virginia
Tom Coffin, Atlanta, GA
Carolyn Eisenberg, Brooklyn, NY
Gordon Fellman, Brandeis
Shelagh Foreman, Peace Action, Massachusetts, MA
Andy Griggs, Los Angeles, CA
Linda L. Groetzinger
Norman J. Groetzinger, Chicago, IL
Dr. Judith Guskin, Hallandale Beach, FL
Russ Harrison, Hofstra Univeristy
Chris Lugo, Pacific Green Party, Oregon City, OR
Frances Fox Piven
Vernon H. Naffier, Ankeny, Iowa
José Pertierra, Attorney, Washington, DC
Barbara Reynolds, Chicago, IL
Richard W. Spisak Jr., Hobe Sound, FL
William A Wheaton, Altadena CA

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