For Immediate Release
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167
Afghanistan War a "Folly"
THOMAS E. MAHANY
Mahany, a Vietnam War veteran (101st Airborne Division), now a stonemason and artist
from Michigan, has been on a water-only fast in front of the White
House since Veterans Day. He sent Obama a second letter yesterday,
stating: "The policy of procuring soldiers through the Presidential
Authority of Stop-Loss, USC 12305, Title 10, has wrought unbearable
hardship to a limited sector of our communities. It is unjust and
undemocratic and must be stopped."
Hamdani is a member of September Eleventh Families for Peaceful Tomorrows.
She is a Pakistani-American living in Queens, New York. Her son,
Salman, was a New York City police cadet who disappeared on 9/11 and
was wrongfully accused of participating in the attacks. When his body
was identified at the World Trade Center months later, it was believed
that he had gone to the scene to provide help. She said today:
"Escalation is exactly the wrong course. We should be helping to
rebuild Afghanistan, not escalating war."
TOMAS HIRSCH, via Nicole Myers
Wells is North America spokesperson for the World March. Hirsch is
Latin America spokesperson for the March. The group is having events in
D.C. today. Ed Asner and Martin Sheen are participating in an event in
Los Angeles today as well.
Wells said today: "We keep going down the same road. It's important to
denounce war, but we must build peace -- we must change our entire
mindset. During the Vietnam War, Martin Luther King Jr. said that the
U.S. was the greatest purveyor of violence in the world and that if we
didn't end that military mindset we'd be protesting war in country
after country. We'll be participating in a tribute to King at the
Lincoln memorial this afternoon."
The March has been endorsed by the presidents of eleven countries;
Desmond Tutu, Jimmy Carter, Noam Chomsky, Cornel West, Dennis Kucinich,
Daniel Ellsberg, Cate Blanchett, Yoko Ono, Art Garfunkel, Philip Glass
and hundreds more.
McPhearson is national executive director of Veterans For Peace,
one of several groups that recently sent a letter to Obama: "With
millions of U.S. people feeling the fear and desperation of no longer
having a home; with millions feeling the terror and loss of dignity
that comes with unemployment; with millions of our children slipping
further into poverty and hunger, your decision to deploy thousands more
troops and throw hundreds of billions more dollars into prolonging the
profoundly tragic war in Afghanistan strikes us as utter folly. We
believe this decision represents a war against ordinary people, both
here in the United States and in Afghanistan. The war in Afghanistan,
if continued, will result in the deaths of hundreds if not thousands of
U.S. troops, and untold thousands of Afghans."
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