Veterans Group Tells President Obama: Don’t Escalate in Afghanistan

Posted: November 12, 2009 in Uncategorized
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Veterans for Rethinking Afghanistan is gathering signatures for a simple message they plan to deliver to the White House: Don’t escalate.

Here’s the text of the petition, which you can sign at the Rethink Afghanistan website:

Dear President Obama,

News reports indicate that you plan to send between 34,000 and 40,000 more troops to Afghanistan.

We urge you to reconsider this decision.

Expanding the war in Afghanistan will make Americans less safe, not more so.

Less than 100 members of Al Qaeda remain in Afghanistan. The Karzai government we once supported is controlled by warlords and is riddled with corruption. Pakistan’s stability will be gravely imperiled by an expansion of the war. Hundreds if not thousands of troops will be killed, along with countless civilians. Anti-American sentiment throughout the Muslim world will be inflamed by civilian bloodshed, facilitating recruitment by terrorist organizations.

The war will cost billions of dollars when we can least afford it, and will stymie your domestic agenda.

The cost of sustaining a military force in Afghanistan is $1 million per soldier per year – that’s close to $100 billion dollars annually with the troop increase. With the economy in shambles, the deficits generated by these enormous costs will compromise your domestic legislative agenda both fiscally and politically.

The United States has no vital interest in Afghanistan. If you choose to further escalate troop levels in Afghanistan, you will be making the biggest mistake of your presidency.

Please reject General McChrystal’s troop requests and begin the process of exiting U.S. forces from Afghanistan.

I’ve signed it. Have you?

  1. Sporkmaster says:

    The reason that it was changed was that it was supposed to have celebrated the “End of all wars”. But that died along with the League of Nations on the onset of WW2. So it is hard to really try to refer to it then anything more then a dead notion.

    “This is not peace. It is an armistice for 20 years.”
    – French Marshall Ferdinand Foch, Supreme Allied Commander during World War I, upon seeing the final draft of the Treaty of Versailles.17

    The reason why Veterans Day is important is that it gives a chance for veterans to be honored. Because serving a deployment changes things. I believe that it is the shared risks and dangers that makes it sacred to a degree. I cannot offer any thing that would describe it, this is something that you have to experience yourself. But because of that there are things spoken without saying anything. I have talked to a few people that served overseas and all I had to say was “I served in Iraq”. It is a almost unspoken understanding. That is what Veterans day is there to honor. Also why people who pretend to be highly decorated Soldiers are met with open hostility. That is why the large number of fakes and frauds from the Veterans for Peace and Iraq veterans against the War has caused a general distrust when anti-war groups use veterans in their speeches.

    Now I understand our different views on war and violence. But I cannot agree that there is a acceptable exclusive non-violent solution to every problem. My experiences in Iraq went far in securing that train of thought. That is why I look at the anti-war groups as not understanding what the situation is here.

    Also on a side not, that is why I am very interested in Haram(sp?) reports from the field. But I must say that the videos from the people in Afghanistan are rather generic. It would be more interesting if they talked about specific problems so that it can be dealt with.

  2. dcrowe says:

    Hey sporkmaster:

    Hope all is well with you.

    Re: Veterans Day– Look, even though you know my views on violence, I’m not against the idea of a day for a country to thank the people that it’s demanded so much from, per se. If nothing else, re-entry rituals are important in reducing the incidence of future mental illness or adjustment problems among returning veterans, and Veterans-Day-type celebrations can serve as such rituals. What I am against, though, is replacing a day intended to focus on the idea of peace and understanding between nations with what’s essentially a nationalist holiday. And what I’m very, very against is the kind of thing I quoted from my church’s bulletin that uses glittering generalities and which attributes every thing good and right with society to the efforts of the military. You don’t have to be a pacifist to see that’s a blatant falsehood.

    On the topic of fake vets/fake honors: man, you can’t trust your local 4th of July parade, much less a group that has veteran status as a criteria for membership. It’s unfair to try to characterize the anti-war veterans groups as uniquely filled with folks who lie about their military service. Fake vets/fake honors are a pervasive problem everywhere, and by the standard it seems like your using, I should distrust any group that uses veterans in their speeches. I agree that every vet that’s stood up by any group should have their service records checked out thoroughly just as a simple matter of P.R. if nothing else, but the effort to tar anti-war vets groups as having a special problem with fake vets/honors is tantamount to calling a whole bunch of those people that folks want to honor on Veterans Day a nest of liars because they don’t like their position in the debate on war and peace.

    You and I have a fundamental disagreement on whether there’s a nonviolent alternative in all conflict situations. Here’s a long video that makes the argument really well, if you have an hour to spare:

  3. Sporkmaster says:

    Lets try this again.

    Everything is ok here. I have some new videos from Iraq that I will send on Twitter.

    But to celebrate it is Armistice Day considering it’s past history it too much. I understand wanting to have a day to promote the idea Peace that is fine, but not that date. I mean I think the scale of epic fail that the peace treaty failed on was on pair (if not greater ) then the sinking of the Titanic. I mean the treaty that was suppose to be the ended of all wars directly affected events that lead to the largest conflict in the history of humanity to date. I would forget that phrase ever existed and try to use the day the UN set up in September as a better option.

    As far as how the Church deals with this I opt to stay out of because I am not a believer. So I feel that it would be out of place to try to meddle in that issue.

    Well as far as fake Vets I think that the Anti-war movement is at a disadvantage because in most case it is other service members that spot them. Because it seems that more Veterans are conservative then liberal making the pool of legitimate veterans smaller. But I have read cases where a anti-war (real) veteran spots a fake one and got him kicked out. The reason what I bring up fake vets is that the groups like Iraq Veterans against the War and Veterans for Peace seem to have them as the norm. If are not a fake vet they never deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan. These people that never went to Iraq/Afghanistan are not just normal members but in their overall leadership. That is why the real veterans have left IVAW even though they are against the war in Iraq.

    Now as far as making sure who is real and who is fake, I think that someone would have a better chance at faking another service branch then the Army. Because unless they do something that is way out of regulation, minor mistakes will be missed. For example that fake Marine fooled me because everything seemed to be in the right place and I do not work with Marines on a daily bases.

    I will take a look at that when I have more time to do so, promise.

  4. […] News reports indicate that you plan to send between 34000 and 40000 more troops to Afghanistan. We urge you to reconsider this decision. Expanding the war in Afghanistan will make Americans less safe, not more so. … New post: Veterans Group Tells President Obama: Don’t Escalate in Afghanistan 16 minutes ago; New post: It’s Armistice Day : Queue the Church-Sanctioned Salute to Militarism 23 hours ago …Read More […]

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