The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Mike Ferner, President, Veterans for Peace 419-360-3621
Michael McPhearson, Exec. Dir., Veterans for Peace 314-303-8874

United Anti-War Movement Tells Obama: No Escalation!

Letter ties economic pain at home to suffering in Afghanistan Urges widespread, massive protests day after announcement


On November 30th, representatives of 34 antiwar groups delivered an
open letter to President Obama strongly opposing his anticipated decision to
escalate the war in Afghanistan with the commitment of tens of
thousands of additional U.S. troops.

document called increased war spending, in light of the ongoing U.S. economic
crisis, an "utter folly" and named the war "a war against ordinary
people, both here in the United States and in Afghanistan,"
which "if
continued, will result in the deaths of hundreds if not thousands of U.S. troops
and untold thousands of Afghans"
and "cause other people in other lands
to despise the U.S."
as "the world's richest nation making war on one of
the world's very poorest."

signatories pledged "to keep opposing this war in every nonviolent way
possible. We will urge elected representatives to cut all funding for war.
Some of us will be led to withhold our taxes, practice civil resistance, and
promote slowdowns and strikes at schools and workplaces."

by veterans and peace activists and religious leaders the document represents
one of the most widespread antiwar coalitions in decades, including many of the
organizations which, in 2003, brought millions onto the streets to oppose the
U.S.-Iraq war.

Signers to the letter
are urging their colleagues to participate in local demonstrations the day after
an announcement of troop escalations is made.

The letter ends by warning
President Obama, "we will do everything in our power, as nonviolent peace
activists, to build the kind of massive movement -- which today represents the
sentiments of a majority of the American people - that will play a key role in
ending U.S. war in
Afghanistan. Such is the folly
of your decision and such is the depth of our opposition to the death and
suffering it will cause."


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