On July 21, members of the Pledge of Resistance delivered a thank-you letter to the office of Elijah Cummings for voting against the supplemental funidng of the war in
Congressman John Sarbanes [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
July 16, 2010
Dear Mr. Becker:
Thank you for contacting me about funding for the
I voted for H.R. 4899, the Supplemental Appropriations for Fiscal Year 2010, which provides $37 billion to fund
However, I used the opportunity of this debate to set forth my significant concerns about the direction of
You should know that I supported the McGovern-Obey Amendment that would reaffirm the President's timeline for withdrawal as well as require the President to submit a detailed plan for the safe, orderly, and expeditious redeployment of
Please take the time to read my recent statement or view it online. Again, I appreciate your passionate advocacy on this critical issue. Do not hesitate to contact me about other issues of concern to you in the future.
Member of Congress
Published on Wednesday, July 21, 2010 by The Guardian/UK
No Quick Exit for Troops in
There will be no quick exit for international forces from
Anders Fogh Rasmussen told the meeting of foreign ministers that coalition troops would stay in the country even after Afghan troops had taken complete control of security.
A soldier from the Royal Gurkha Rifles patrols
He said that when the full transition finally happened, "international forces won't leave, they will simply move into a supportive role".
The scale of the problem facing the Nato forces as they move to hand over control of security in the country was underlined today when an Afghan soldier killed two US civilians and another Afghan soldier at a weapons training area in Mazar-e-Sharif, in the north.
The Afghan soldier appears to have turned on his colleagues, shooting the two Americans and the Afghan before himself being killed.
The incident comes just days after another renegade Afghan soldier killed three British soldiers  in their base near Lashkar Gah, the capital of
Opening the conference, held in a government building in central
For most European countries, any transition to Afghan control that would allow them to take their troops home cannot happen swiftly enough.
The United Nations secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, said the conference, the first of nine international meetings to be held in
But Rasmussen said the shift would happen slowly, and on the basis of "conditions, not calendars".
"Transition will be done gradually – on the basis of a sober assessment of the political and security situation, so that it is irreversible," he said.
Highlighting the difficulty of locking down the Afghan capital with so many big-name politicians attending the conference, rocket fire on the outskirts of the city earlier forced a plane carrying Ban and
"A few unguided rockets landed on the outskirts of
Addressing the meeting of some 68 delegates from different countries and international organizations, the
The deadline, set last year in a speech by Barack Obama, has been widely criticized for fueling concerns that the
"The transition process is too important to push off indefinitely," she said.
"But this date is the start of a new phase, not the end of our involvement. We have no intention of abandoning our long-term mission of achieving a stable, secure, peaceful
Ahead of her speech
Afghan women and human rights groups have expressed fears that the Afghan government would jettison women's rights as part of efforts to reach a political settlement with the Taliban. Under the Taliban women faced widespread intimidation and harsh restrictions on their lifestyles. They were banned from work and education, and forced to cover themselves from head to toe in burqas.
"[A deal] can't come at the cost of women and women's lives," said
"I speak from experience when I say that the work of Afghan women and civil society groups will be essential to this country's success.
"If these groups are fully empowered to help build a just and lasting peace, they will help do so. If they are silenced and pushed to the margins of Afghan society, the prospects for peace and justice will be subverted," she said.
Most speakers stuck closely to a script that stressed the importance of transition, fighting against corruption and improving the capacity of the Afghan government.
The only exception was the Iranian foreign minister, Manouchehr Mottaki, who delivered an angry speech far exceeding his allocated five minutes, laying the blame for years of deteriorating security and civilian causalities on international forces in
Karzai gave an unusually detailed speech that carried the hallmarks of the main conference organizer, Ashraf Ghani, the former World Bank technocrat who fought a bitter election campaign against Karzai last year.
While the international community had pledged adequate funds for the next three years, he said resources should be focused on a limited number of national programs.
Afghanistan has called for far more international aid to be given directly to the Afghan government, a proposal that has sparked fears that the money will be siphoned off by corrupt ministers.
Karzai promised new measures on corruption that would see "the speedy prosecution of offenders".
Security around the conference has been extremely tight, although the capital did come under rocket attack last night.
A police official said the Afghan intelligence service arrested a number of insurgents who were hiding in a house in the city.
© Guardian News and Media Limited 2010
URL to article: http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2010/07/21-4
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"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs