Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Afghanistan - A Petition to Take Action Against the War

Afghanistan - A Petition to Take Action Against the War


Published by Tom Hayden on Sep 03, 2009


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 --



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.



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 --



Donations can be sent to the Baltimore Nonviolence Center, 325 E. 25th St., Baltimore, MD 21218.  Ph: 410-366-1637; Email: mobuszewski [at]


"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


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