Kevin Zeese / Voters for Peace – 2010-10-10 11:23:03
Today, the 10th year of the Afghanistan War begins.
This counterproductive, unnecessary, and damaging war is destroying one of the most impoverished countries in the world, killing Afghan civilians at very high rates and undermining the United States.
The war pushes the US further into debt. Our country spends $1.5 billion per month in borrowed money on this war.
It undermines the rule of law; the US holds thousands of Afghans in prisons without charges. Torture is reported. And robotic drones result in deaths. Legal experts have described these actions as war crimes.
It undermines democracy by propping up a corrupt leader put in office by a low-voter-turnout election rife with fraud.
And it undermines national security by creating more enemies every day — enemies that will hate the United States for a generation or more.
Now the war is expanding into an Af-Pak war. Since coming to office, President Obama escalated attacks in Pakistan with drone after drone killing civilians and local insurgent leaders. Pakistanis are no longer sitting back but are responding by exploding oil tankers and blocking key border routes. Cutting off US supply lines and burning the oil used to keep tanks rolling and planes flying may end up being the nail in a coffin of a war that cannot be won and should not have been fought. Even before this, it cost $1 million per year to keep a soldier in Afghanistan. With supply routes cut and oil burning, that cost will escalate.
With the mid-term elections soon to be behind us, the Obama administration is shaping up its re-election strategy. One lesson Obama and the Democrats should have learned in the mid-terms is that they cannot take their base for granted. Obama, Biden, and other administration officials have been criticizing their voting base for not coming out for the mid-term elections. Donâ€™t they get it? The Democrats turned off antiwar and progressive voters with their policies.
We need to make sure that Obama and team get the message from this: they cannot take our vote for granted. Many of us did not support Obama in the last election because of his proposals to expand war, others voted for him with the hope that he would end the wars. Now the Democrats must excite antiwar voters by ending the wars. Denouncing us because we oppose war and therefore do not support candidates who expand war is a recipe for defeat in 2012.
Since 2006 the Democratic base has been saying, “End the wars.” The message has been clear with votes in 2006 that gave the Democrats back control of Congress because of the unpopular war policy of Bush and the Republicans. It was clear in the presidential election when Obamaâ€™s opposition to the Iraq War and pledge to end the war propelled him through the primaries. And, it is clear in polls today: Americans oppose the Afghanistan War.
But now, as the longest war enters its 10th year, words are not enough. Letâ€™s make sure President Obama gets the message. Tell him, “If the wars continue, you will not get the peace vote.
If the wars continue, there will be no peace activists working for you in the primaries or general election.” Remind him that war is not the answer and it is time for America to come home and focus on the serious domestic problems the country faces.
Please send President Obama this message.Click here to write the president today.
As we approach the final months of the year, I want to thank you all for taking action and supporting our efforts throughout the last year as tens of thousands of you have done. We need to do more, but I appreciate what you already do. Letâ€™s work to end the wars in 2011 and begin to get the United States to turn its back on weapons, war, and militarism.