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Common Dreams

President Obama: Please, Get Us Out of Afghanistan Now

Dear President Obama,

It's me again.

I know how busy you are, so I'm not surprised that you haven't answered my first letter.

I do thank you for not going ahead and sending the 40,000 more troops that your general has asked for. The fact that you are thinking about it gives me some hope that you are weighing the options.

But given the way things are going in Afghanistan, what with so many of our soldiers dying there in the past few months, I imagine you find yourself agonizing over what to do.

So I would like to call your attention to some words written by a very brave and smart Afghan woman by the name of Malalai Joya. Now 32 she is the youngest woman elected to the Afghan Parliament in 2005.

"Democracy will never come to Afghanistan through the barrel of a gun, or from the cluster bombs dropped by foreign forces. The struggle will be long and difficult, but the values of real democracy, human rights and women's rights will only be won by the Afghan people themselves. So do not be fooled by this façade of democracy."


Anything I say cannot possibly be more persuasive than her words in helping you in your decision making regarding whether or not we stay in her country. But I must add my own plea.

Please, get us out of Afghanistan now.

Rita Lasar
New York, NY

Rita's brother, Abraham Zelmanowitz, was on the 27th floor of the North Tower on September 11th, 2001. Although he could have easily escaped, he chose instead to stay with his friend and coworker Ed Bayea, a paraplegic in a wheelchair, who could not leave. Abraham told all who passed them on their way down that he would wait with Ed until help came. They both died. Zelmanowitz's death was used by George W. Bush in a speech to the United States Congress to help rationalize and justify the invasion of Afghanistan.

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do.

Rita Lasar

Rita Lasar is one of the founding members of September Eleventh Families for Peaceful Tomorrows. Her brother, Abe Zelmanowitz died at the World Trade Center on 9/11/2001.

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