Josh Mitteldorf / OpEd News & Kevin M. Martin / Peace Action – 2009-03-29 22:43:25
What Happened to Obama’s Campaign Promise of Peace?
Josh Mitteldorf / OpEd News
(March 27, 2009) — President Obama was elected with an overwhelming mandate for peace. He promised to withdraw troops from Iraq, to close Guantanamo, and to end the practices of torture, domestic spying and detention without trial. He decried the dictatorial arrogation of power that Bush had claimed as President.
Once in office, Obama retained Robert Gates as Defense Secretary, despite the fact that Gates is an outspoken Middle East hawk, (Gates was also involved in the Iran/Contra scandal of the 1980s, and is linked to election theft in 2002 and 2004.)
Obama now talks about keeping 50,000 troops in Iraq indefinitely. He says it will take at least a year to close Guantanamo. His Justice Dept is defending the Bush Constitutional abuses in the US Court of Appeals. And he has said he wouldn’t want to do anything to ‘weaken the Presidency’.
What is Obama thinking?
• Obama knows that the War on Terror is a hoax and a sham, but he sees the political necessity of establishing himself as a popular leader with a broad base of support, and he is planning to move in all the right directions in due course.
• Obama reads the same newspapers as everyone else, and he has bought into the fiction of the War on Terror. He is being cautious in the Middle East in a misguided attempt to ‘defend America.’
• The Terrorist threat to the US is quite real, and Obama is wise enough to be very careful to continue the fight in the Middle East so we won’t have to fight terrorists in American cities.
• Obama knows that there is a contingent in the CIA that really controls our foreign policy no matter who is President. He’s very aware that John Kennedy was shot for leaning toward peace in Vietnam. He doesn’t want to go the way of brave American peace advocates before him JFK, RFK, MLK, and Paul Wellstone.
• It’s much more direct and out in the open than that. Obama has been visited by the people from the CIA, and from the Project for a New American Century. He has been told exactly what lines he must not cross, or risk assassination.
• It’s simple: Obama works for the military contractors and Wall Street firms that paid for his campaign. I never expected anything different?
Posted in accordance with Title 17, Section 107, US Code, for noncommercial, educational purposes.
ACTION ALERT: Opposed Extended War in Afghanistan
Kevin M. Martin / Peace Action
President Barack Obama has announced his plans to send another 21,000 troops to Afghanistan. This poorly conceived strategy continues failed Middle East policies where military engagement serves as the primary tool. The war weary American publics increasingly thinks that the Afghanistan war was a mistake.
While he also made some good statements on increasing diplomacy and economic aid to Afghanistan and Pakistan, the emphasis is clearly on military operations. Predictably, the Pakistan and Afghan factions of the Taliban are already uniting to oppose our escalation of troops.
As the spring fighting season approaches, only one thing is certain – more death, destruction, and misery in a desperately poor country that has had little respite from war for decades.
Here in the US, Obama’s escalation in Afghanistan and the continuing occupation of Iraq threaten our nation’s urgent economic and domestic agenda. Now is the time for more diplomacy, not more war!
Peace Action calls for immediate action for peace in Afghanistan. Here are four things you can do:
• 1) Call the White House today – 202-456-1414 – to show your immediate opposition to President Obama’s plan.
Make sure President Obama knows that you disagree with his plan to send more troops to Afghanistan. Call the White House comment line at 202-456-1414 between 9:00 AM and 5:00 PM ET.
• 2) Call again on TUESDAY, March 31st.
Nationally, dozens of other organizations will make coordinated calls to the White House. This planned day of action will show the strength of our movement and reflect the national discontent with unending wars.
• 3) March with Peace Action and United for Peace and Justice in New York on April 4! Join us at the corner of White and Lafayette streets in Manhattan at 11AM.
Building on the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., we are marching on the anniversary of his historic speech against the war in Vietnam and the anniversary of his assassination.
On Saturday, April 4, we are taking our message to Wall Street in NYC: addressing this country’s economic crisis must include drastic cuts in military spending and that means ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The last thing our country needs is a new quagmire in Afghanistan – it is time to bring the troops home, not send more.
• 4) Help organize local actions April 6-9.
Congress will be in recess so this is a perfect time to meet with your representatives while they are home. Actions can also be community or media-focused – vigils, rallies, public education forums with local speakers, film showings or other events to educate and mobilize support in your community.
• Here are some resources to get you started. This is an important time to educate people about Afghanistan and the urgent need to change U.S. policy.
• Find a Peace Action affiliate near you.
Peace Action Supports:
• A halt to the planned escalation of 21,000 U.S. troops to Afghanistan.
• A strong commitment to diplomacy as the only solution to the conflict in Afghanistan. The U.S. must support negotiations already underway among various actors in Afghanistan, and must also engage all countries in the region with a stake in a peaceful Afghanistan. The announcement that Iran will join negotiations over Afghanistan is a positive development. The U.S. should foster this development by openly engaging Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and the Taliban.
• An end to predator drone strikes, air attacks, and night raids that traumatize, injure, and kill innocent civilians.
• A dramatic shift from military spending by the U.S. to funding for Afghan-led humanitarian community development and reconstruction projects to enable Afghan communities to improve daily life for their own people. Our goal is to put an end to U.S. war funding.
P.S. Please let us know of the actions you are planning by commenting on our blog.
Kevin M. Martin is Executive Director of Peace Action