President Barack Obama presses on with an escalation in a war he cannot win. A majority of the Afghan people view U.S. military forces as a foreign occupying force, and now a growing majority of Americans no longer support this war. The United States empire cannot sustain this military occupation. The facts on the ground and a myriad of historical examples prove this.
Afghanistan's history is replete with the tombstones of foreign occupiers. In the 18th centuries it was the Persians, twice. In the 19th and early 20th century it was the British, three times. In late 20th century the Soviets were thoroughly defeated in what was considered "their Vietnam."
Commander-in-chief Obama tells us this is a just war, a war we must fight to avenge those those killed on September 11th. However, President Karzai in his recent campaign and subsequent re-election has indicated a desire to sit down at the negotiating table with the Taliban. Furthermore, his brother-in-law is a known opium runner, while our military pledges to burn the poppy fields, a fantastical dream of cutting off the Taliban's primary funding source.
The American people tire of war, Osama bin Laden's whereabouts remain unknown, and we decimate civilian populations in both Afghanistan and neighboring Pakistan (widening the war) with daily drone bombings. Latest polls show between 51-54% of the American people want this war to end. They are not stupid, they realize there is no "victory" to be had. Who is Obama doing this for? High-ranking military brass? Military contractors (who donated heavily to both his and Hillary Clinton's campaigns)? Surely it is not for the American people who are being told our government cannot afford comprehensive health care reform.
Now we are told August has turned out to be the deadliest month yet for the Afghanistan War. When will it end? It has resulted in lost lives, lost hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars, and lost direction and morality.
On October 5th the National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance will join with a growing coalition of other anti-war groups by acting in a dramatic civil resistance action at the White House. We, as people desiring a more peaceful and just world, are demanding the following the same week the Afghanistan War begins its ninth year:
1) That the commander-in-chief remove all U.S. combat troops and halt to the occupation of Afghanistan. This would allow the Afghan people full autonomy and self-determination without foreign influence.
2) That the U.S. take part in an international aid effort, focusing on both medical assistance and the rebuilding of Afghanistan's infrastructure. That this work be done for the benefit of the Afghan people, not private contractors.
3) That the U.S. close the prison at Bagram, and those with no charges be freed. Those with charges should be tried in civilian court.
4) Immediately halt the disastrous and blatantly immoral drone bombing of Pakistan. This further threatens the stability of the entire region, and only produces further hatred of the U.S.
Sadly, despite promises of change we have been given continued war and a continuation of indefinite detention. It is now time for all people of conscience to act. It is time we begin forcing Obama's hand. Won't you join us in D.C. on October 5th?
For further information:www.nogoodwar.org
~ Pete Perry is a D.C. native and peace and justice activist. He is also the co-convener of the National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance.