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Reject Plan to Continue War on Afghanistan

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Categories:

http://worldbeyondwar.org/reject-plan-to-continue-war-on-afghanistan/

Signers of this statement are listed below.

“The U.S. and NATO occupy my country under the name of all the beautiful banners of democracy, women’s rights, human rights. And for this long time, they shed the blood of our people under the name of the war on terror…” —Malalai Joya

President Obama’s decision to leave actually ending, as opposed to officially “ending,” the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan to his successor (barring Congress developing the nerve and the decency to act) illustrates our collective and his personal failure to overcome what candidate Obama once called the mindset that gets us into wars. The idea that year 15 or year 16 is going to go better in Afghanistan than the first 14 years have gone is based on no evidence whatsoever, but merely the hope that something will change combined with a misguided and arrogant sense of responsibility to control someone else’s country. As numerous Afghans have been saying for nearly 14 years, Afghanistan will be a disaster when the U.S. occupation ends, but it will be a larger disaster the longer it takes to do so.

This longest-ever U.S. war since the destruction of the Native American nations is, when measured in deaths, dollars, destruction, and numbers of troops and weapons, far more President Obama’s war than President Bush’s. Yet President Obama has been given credit for “ending” it, without actually ending it, for nearly seven years, including while he was more than tripling the U.S. troop presence. The idea that escalating a war helps to end it, built on myths and distortions about past wars (Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Iraq “surge”), has to be set aside after these many years of failure. The pretense that a military can both end and not end the occupation of another people’s country by shifting to “non-combat” troops (even while bombing a hospital) must be abandoned.

The view that further war, in particular with drones, is counterproductive on its own terms is shared with us by —U.S. Lt. General Michael Flynn, who quit as head of the Pentagon’s Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) in August 2014: “The more weapons we give, the more bombs we drop, that just… fuels the conflict.” —Former CIA Bin Laden Unit Chief Michael Scheuer, who says the more the United States fights terrorism the more it creates terrorism. —The CIA, which finds its own drone program “counterproductive.” —Admiral Dennis Blair, the former director of National Intelligence: While “drone attacks did help reduce the Qaeda leadership in Pakistan,” he wrote, “they also increased hatred of America.” —Gen. James E. Cartwright, the former vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff: “We’re seeing that blowback. If you’re trying to kill your way to a solution, no matter how precise you are, you’re going to upset people even if they’re not targeted.” —Sherard Cowper-Coles, Former U.K. Special Representative To Afghanistan: “For every dead Pashtun warrior, there will be 10 pledged to revenge.” —Matthew Hoh, Former Marine Officer (Iraq), Former US Embassy Officer (Iraq and Afghanistan): “I believe it’s [the escalation of the war/military action] only going to fuel the insurgency. It’s only going to reinforce claims by our enemies that we are an occupying power, because we are an occupying power. And that will only fuel the insurgency. And that will only cause more people to fight us or those fighting us already to continue to fight us.” — Interview with PBS on Oct 29, 2009 —General Stanley McChrystal: “For every innocent person you kill, you create 10 new enemies.”

Afghanistan need not be “abandoned.” The United States owes Afghanistan reparations in the form of significant actual aid, the cost of which would of course be less than that of continuing the war.

The U.S. air strikes on the Kunduz hospital have generated more attention than many other U.S. atrocities committed in Afghanistan. Yet horrific attacks have been the mainstay of this war which was begun illegally and without U.N. authorization. The motivation of revenge for 9-11 is not a legal justification for war, and also ignores the Taliban’s offer to have bin Laden face trial in a third country. This war has killed many thousands of Afghans, tortured and imprisoned, wounded and traumatized many more. The top cause of death among members of the U.S. military who have gone to Afghanistan is suicide. We shouldn’t allow continuation of this madness to be depicted as reasonable and cautious. It is criminal and murderous. A third U.S. president should be given no opportunity to continue “ending” this war for additional years.

End it now.

SIGNED BY:

David Swanson, Director of World Beyond War

Mairead Maguire, Nobel Peace Laureate

Medea Benjamin, Co-founder, Code Pink

Ret. Col. AnnWright, former U.S. diplomat, including in Afghanistan

Mike Ferner, former Navy Hospital Corpsman and president of Veterans For Peace

Matthew Hoh, Former Marine Officer (Iraq), Former US Embassy Officer (Iraq and Afghanistan)

Elliott Adams, former National President, Veterans for Peace, FRO

Brian Terrell, co-coordinator, Voices for Creative Nonviolence

Kathy Kelly, co-coordinator, Voices for Creative Nonviolence

Ed Kinane, Steering committee, Syracuse Peace Council

Victoria Ross, Interim Director, Western New York Peace Council

BrianWillson, Esq., Veterans for Peace

Imam Abdulmalik Mujahid, Chairperson, World Parliament of Religions

David Smith-Ferri, Co-coordinator, Voices for Creative Nonviolence

Dayne Goodwin, secretary Wasatch Coalition for Peace and Justice, Salt Lake City

Alice Slater, Nuclear Age Peace Foundation

Randolph Shannon, Progressive Democrats of America - PA Coordinator

David Hartsough, Peaceworkers

Jan Hartsough, San Francisco Friends Meeting

Judith Sandoval, Veterans for Peace, San Francisco

Jim Dorenkott, Veterans for Peace

Thea Paneth, Arlington United for Justice with Peace

Rivera Sun, author

Michael Wong, Veterans for Peace

Sherri Maurin, Global Days of Listening, co-coordinator

Mary Dean, Witness Against Torture

Dahlia Wasfi MD, Iraqi-American activist

Judy Bello, Peace Action and Education, Rochester, NY

Fr. Bernard Survil, Pax Christi, Greensburg, PA

Maya Evans, Coordinator, Voices for Creative Nonviolence, UK

Jack Gilroy www.franzjagerstatter.com

David McReynolds

Ellen Judd, Ph.D., Afghanistan Committee, September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows (for identification purposes only)

Hans von Sponeck, former Assistant Secretary General of the United Nations

Bishop Thomas Gumbleton