WASHINGTON, DC — Green Party leaders called on President Obama to reverse his Afghanistan policy by pledging an immediate cease-fire in the Afghanistan war and a complete withdrawal of US troops and military contractors, when he addresses the nation on Tuesday, December 1.
During the speech, President Obama will announce his intention to send 30,000 more troops, raising the number of US personnel in Afghanistan to over 100,000.
“Millions of Americans voted for Barack Obama in 2008 under the impression that he was an ‘antiwar’ candidate, even though Mr. Obama supported the war in Afghanistan and favored a limited withdrawal from Iraq. Troop escalation will not ‘finish the job’ in Afghanistan and neighboring Pakistan. Unless he surprises us in his speech on Tuesday, we’ll be further mired in a war that shouldn’t have happened in the first place,” said Rosa Clemente, the Green Party’s nominee for Vice President in 2008 (http://www.rosaclemente.com).
The Green Party of the United States will participate in antiwar protests scheduled for Saturday, December 12 in Washington, DC, and other locations throughout the US.
In Washington, Greens and other Americans who support an end to the Afghanistan war will gather for an Emergency Anti-Escalation Rally in Lafayette Park near the White House. Among the featured speakers for this rally will be Cynthia McKinney, the Green Party’s 2008 presidential nominee, and Lynne Williams, 2010 Green candidate for Governor of Maine (http://www.lynnewilliams2010.org). The rally, organized by End US Wars will take place from 11 am to 4 pm (http://www.enduswars.org / contact: Laurie Dobson, 207-604-8988, firstname.lastname@example.org).
“This is what Obama’s fabled bi-partisanship gets us — more of the same. What we need is partisanship, with a strong Green Party presence in this country, since we are the only party that was against the wars on Iraq and Afghanistan from day one,” said Ms. Williams.
On November 25, Ms. McKinney sent an open letter to President Obama urging a reversal of his warhawk policy on Afghanistan (http://dignity.ning.com/profiles/blogs/cynthia-mckinneys-letter-to).
Nationwide rallies and protests are also planned for December 2, immediately after the President’s speech (http://www.unitedforpeace.org/calendar.php).
Green Party leaders have disputed President Obama’s claims that the invasion of Afghanistan was “the right war.” The invasion has resulted in a catastrophe for Afghan civilians, with thousands killed and maimed and the destruction of property and infrastructure. The Taliban has won greater popular support because of its defiance of foreign troops, while President Karzai’s corrupt administration have betrayed any hope for democracy and regional warlords have turned Afghanistan into the world’s leading producer of opium. Human rights for most Afghans, especially women, have not advanced because of the US invasion.
Greens also asserted that the war has not reduced any real or perceived terrorist threat against the US, and its expansion into Pakistan with drone attacks inside Pakistani borders has created greater regional instability and animosity towards the US. Greens called the Democrats as much a party of war as the GOP, with both parties spending enormous amounts of taxpayers’ money to feed a military machine that bullies other nations and ultimately sustains corporate war profiteers.
“The only way to show support for US troops is to demand their safe return. As the Soviet Union’s attempt to subjugate Afghanistan proved, the US’s attempt to occupy the country means mounting US casualties,” said Farheen Hakeem, co-chair of the Green Party of the United States.
“The Green Party — not the Democrats or Republicans — represents the will of the people, with polls showing a majority of Americans opposed to the war. We challenge all Americans who desire peace to speak out with their voices and votes, demand that President Obama order our troops home now, and call on Congress to cut military spending,” added Ms. Hakeem.