For Immediate Release

Surprise! Occupations Fuel an Insurgency- Pentagon Wakes Up in Pech, When Will They Wake Up in the Rest of Afghanistan?

Time to ask Petraeus Some Hard Questions

WASHINGTON - Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) today called upon President Obama to acknowledge reality in Afghanistan and order his generals to end the war.

"Today, we read reports that the Pentagon has begun pulling out of the Pech Valley, an area that had previously been considered 'vital' in the U.S. war in Afghanistan. The withdrawal comes with a tacit admission that we never should have been there in the first place. According to a military official quoted in The New York Times, ‘What we figured out is that people in the Pech really aren’t anti-U.S. or anti-anything; they just want to be left alone…our presence is what’s destabilizing this area.’

“The Pentagon is finally showing signs of learning what we have known all along. The people of Afghanistan want to be left alone and people who want to be left alone will fight back. Our presence in Afghanistan is counterproductive and only serves to fuel the insurgency. The Pentagon’s acknowledgment of that reality, at least in the Pech Valley, should be cause for President Obama to ask some hard questions about our presence in Afghanistan and of General Petraeus." said Kucinich.

A report released this week by sixteen non-governmental organizations (NGOs) operating in the country found that increasing insecurity and poverty threatens any educational advancements made over the last several years.

“This report further demonstrates that the millions of dollars in investments to civilian infrastructure by the U.S., our allies, and NGOs in Afghanistan are severely undermined by our military presence. We cannot claim to be rebuilding the country for the Afghan people while we conduct night raids and bombings. We cannot afford the loss of more lives in military operations that only further destabilize the country.

Just last week, the House passed over $150 billion in funds to continue the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq while at the same time, cutting funding for vital social programs, such as critical job training programs at a time when there are nearly five eligible workers for every job opening in this country.”

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