As we expected, we got a lot of e-mails today asking us if we think U.S. President Obama's announcement that he plans to send 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan is a good idea.
Short answer: No.
Longer answer: The U.S. needs to stop this deceptive and catastrophic "War on Terror". U.S. Americans have to be the ones to stand up against their own leaders' imperialist desires. Out of Iraq. Out of Afghanistan. Now. And the U.S. needs to take responsibility for all of the death, destruction, and suffering its caused. Also, the leaders of the political establishment and business elite most responsible for carrying out and supporting these vicious policies must be held accountable and punished. These are the most basic, concrete first steps that can be done to address the ongoing disaster we are all guilty of accepting.
Must read: this Marjorie Cohn essay we noted in 2008.
We've been reiterating similar logic over and over for years now, but somehow we still receive a lot of e-mails every day asking us things like "How can we win in Afghanistan?" or "How can we withdraw from Afghanistan and still protect our national interests in the region?" To which I have to ask: Are we really speaking a language that is so difficult to understand?
Maybe U.S. Americans need their moral and political destiny framed in terms of what they seem to understand best: Money. For your consideration, here are a couple of resources specifically relating contemporary colonial warring to The Bottom Line:
And, just for comparison, the IPB also includes dollar estimates for achieving the following:
Shelter for every human being: $21 billion
Eliminate ALL Starvation and Malnourishment: $19 billion
Clean Safe Water for every human being: $10 billion
Eliminate ALL Nuclear Weapons: $7 billion
Eliminate ALL Landmines: $4 billion
Eliminate ALL Illiteracy: $5 billion
Relief for Refugees everywhere: $5 billion
Stabilize Human Population Growth: $10.5 billion
Prevent Soil Erosion Globally: $24 billion
[ source ]
So yes, war is bad, expensive, and, not surprisingly, also very wasteful. If Americans wanted to stop this ridiculous tragedy NOW, a good idea would be to pressure your so-called representatives to cut off war funding - the U.S. military would have to withdraw from Afghanistan near-immediately. Just shaking our tiny furry fists at it from a distance does absolutely nothing.
[ note from Pinky: Thanks Bunny. I'd like to add one more link relating to the war and money, the National Priorities Project's excellent Afghanistan Fact Sheet: The Numbers Behind the Troop Increase. ]