United For Peace & Justice, CODEPINK, Peace Action, MADRE, and Others Push Online Petition to End the War

Posted: September 17, 2009 in Uncategorized
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Note: Derrick Crowe is the Afghanistan blog fellow for Brave New Foundation / The Seminal. You can learn more about the dangers posed to U.S. national security by the war in Afghanistan by watching Rethink Afghanistan (Part Six): Security, or by visiting http://rethinkafghanistan.com/blog.

United For Peace & Justice, CODEPINK, Peace Action, MADRE, and other groups have teamed up to promote an online petition to, among other things, end the war in Afghanistan. The groups will deliver signatures to President Obama, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

Here’s a copy of the petition, which you can sign here.

To President Obama, Speaker Pelosi, and Senate Majority Leader Reid

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.

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
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
SUSIE SHANNON, Executive Board Member, California Democratic Party
PAUL HAGGIS, film director
SONALI KOHATKAR, Co-director, Afghan Women’s Mission
MICHAEL RATNER, President, Center for Constitutional Rights
LESLIE CAGAN, co-founder, United for Peace and Justice
RUSTI EISENBERG, United for Peace and Justice
MICHAEL MCPHEARSON, Veterans for Peace
VAN GOSSE, co-founder, Historians Against the War
MARC BECKER, co-chair, Historians Against the War
BILL FLETCHER, Jr., executive director, Black Commentator, co-founder 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
GAEL MURPHY, Code Pink, Washington
TIM CARPENTER, Progressive Democrats of America [PDA]

This is part of the Thursday action in the coalition’s week of action to end the wars.

  1. sporkmaster says:

    Did I ever mention how much I dislike code pink?

    • dcrowe says:

      I’m going to share a secret with you. I dislike many of their tactics. A lot. I think they have the potential to be a great group, but they get in their own way quite a bit.

      • sporkmaster says:

        Fair enough, all I have to say is Berkley and we are on the same page?

        On a side note, how are you. Noticed drop in posts and replies so the family and job must be keeping you busy. How is the better half doing now?

  2. sporkmaster says:

    Do you know anything about this group? They seem like a worthy cause, so I gave them some money in our yearly charity drive.


    • dcrowe says:

      Hey man:

      Yeah it’s just a crazy six months so far, but things are good. We love our new house, and work has kept me pretty busy. I’m just now home from a conference for work, and I hope things settle down soon! How are you? How’s the family?

      I’d heard of Roots of Peace before, but I’ve not checked their site out before. They sound fantastic! I’m thinking about donating now too. Thanks for bringing it to my attention!

      • sporkmaster says:

        Doing ok, kinda chaotic week. The family is doing great. Christine updated the blog and has newer photos.


        Yea we did the CFC and there is a very large number of charities to donate to. I think the booklet had 47 pages full of groups to donate to. There where several groups that I wanted to donate money to but limited funds kept it to one and that is the one I really liked. (It is nice to have a internet phone to be able to look it up.)

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