Friday, May 15, 2009

More Money-Less Peace

House Republicans in Washington, DC finally voted yes on something yesterday. I'm sorry to say it was more money for war. And 200 Democrats joined them. A $96-billion supplemental war spending bill, requested by President Obama, sailed through the legislative process in the House of Representatives this week. The vote last night was 368-60 in favor of the bill. The measure now queues up in the Senate for review and vote next week. Please contact your senators. Tell them: More troops won't bring more peace. Civilians are being killed in Afghanistan - 2,118 of them in 2008. 138 of those were aid workers. Only 5-percent of the supplemental spending package is designated for peacekeeping activity. 95-percent of the $96-billion is for war-fighting. There is no exit strategy attached to this spending. Active and retired US generals have said we cannot shoot our way to peace in Afghanistan. More troops won't bring more peace. Feel free to quote from a letter to the editor in today's New York Times, which says:

If the Obama administration replaces the Bush administration’s self-righteousness with respect, openness, humility and sincerity it would be a monumental step forward.

On the other hand, if the Obama administration continues the military solutions of hi-tech death over intelligent nonviolent engagement in Afghanistan, all possible gains with its new approach will be lost and only perceived in the eyes of Afghanis as cynical hypocrisy.

US Representative Jim McGovern (D-Mass) tried to amend the bill before the vote yesterday, adding the requirement for an Afghanistan exit strategy by year's end. The amendment did not make it to the approved legislation.

"I'm tired of wars with no deadlines, no exits and no ends," said Rep. McGovern. Aren't we all tired of that? I can assure you - Afghanis and Pakistanis and US military personnel and their families are tired of it. More troops won't bring more peace. It's easy math. Call your senators. Peace.

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