Help President Obama Make the Right Decision about Afghanistan!
More than eight years since the War Resisters League rallied against invading Afghanistan and one month after a coalition of anti-war groups including WRL rallied in Washington DC to say “No to War in Afghanistan, No to Torture and Vengeance,” we are reaching out to you—our members—at a moment of national urgency. Any day now, we expect that President Obama will decide to escalate the war in Afghanistan, sending more troops to fight a battle that is costing us the lives of hundreds of American military personnel and tens of thousands of Afghan civilians, while domestic programs to benefit the poor and marginalized in the United States are defunded and deprioritized.
WRL calls for:
• No extra troops—a defeat of the bill to increase the number of US boots on the ground in Afghanistan.
• A complete and total withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan, with a comprehensive timeline without any preconditions.
• The opening of talks between parties involved in and affected by the conflict.
• Development aid taken out of the hands of the Department of Defense as a military/counterinsurgency strategy and placed back in the hands of civilian-led organizations.
Others have laid out reasons—from Afghanistan’s geography to the U.S. economic crisis—why an expanded war in Afghanistan is “unwinnable.” But WRL does not base our opposition on such arguments. As we have previously said in our statement on the war in Afghanistan, we challenge the very idea of a “winnable” war and oppose this one as we oppose all war—not solely for practical and strategic reasons, but because of our unfailing commitment to nonviolence.
Please call the White House comment line and tell President Obama that peace in Afghanistan cannot be achieved by escalating war: 202-456-1111. Call today and again next week as part of the National Call-In Days on Monday, Nov. 23 - Wednesday, Nov. 25, 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. EST.
Other things you can do:
•Organize a vigil and prepare to organize a protest in your town. On the day of or the day immediately following an announcement to escalate the war in Afghanistan, return to the streets with vigils, demonstrations, nonviolent civil resistance and be prepared to comment to the news media about the escalation of the war. Post your events on the UFPJ calendar .
•Talk to your friends about what's happening.
• Host a screening of “Rethink Afghanistan.”
• Organize against military recruitment—the military is preying on those most affected by the battered economy.
• Support the voices and actions of the survivors of war. Listen to veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and create space for their heartbreaking stories of remorse and harrowing accounts of the worst kinds of violence and dehumanization:
• Stop funding war—become a war tax resister. Instead of paying to train people to kill, foster ways to help all of us rebuild our communities.
• Change your Facebook status to "is concerned about an escalation of the war in Afghanistan and wants to see us pull out all troops ASAP.”
• Ask your Representative to become a co-sponsor of Rep. Barbara Lee's excellent new bill HR 3699, which would prohibit the funding of additional troops. This strong bill has 23 co-sponsors.
• Ask your Representative to co-sponsor Rep. James McGovern's bill HR 2404, which calls for an exit strategy from our military occupation of Afghanistan.
The so-called “war on terrorism,” with its occupations and detentions, its torture and carnage, has failed because military action can never lead to security. We don’t have easy answers, but we know that the cycle of violence has to end and we have to help end it. While thousands of people in Afghanistan and Pakistan are finding the courage to risk their lives to work for nonviolent solutions, we have a responsibility to lift our voices.
Call now! Tell your friends—No Escalation/End the War Now!