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Official release: CODEPINK heartbroken by Obama’s continued military aggression in Afghanistan; Calls for real change

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Thu, Feb 19, 2009

Afghanistan, National press release

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE    Feb. 19, 2009    CONTACT
Jean Stevens, CODEPINK national media coordinator, 646-723-1781

CODEPINK heartbroken by Obama’s commitment to continued military aggression in Afghanistan:
Calls for real change, humanitarian aid and reconstruction

WASHINGTON — CODEPINK Women for Peace is heartbroken and discouraged by President Obama’s decision to deploy an additional 17,000 troops to Afghanistan, a screeching halt to his rhetoric for change and moving our country in a new direction.

CODEPINK women call on Obama and his administration to reject a proven-false military solution, and call for a surge in diplomacy and humanitarian aid and an immediate withdrawal of all U.S. troops from Afghanistan.

“It makes no sense to appoint Richard Holbrooke to find a way out of the Afghan quagmire while sending 17,000 more troops,” said Medea Benjamin, CODEPINK co-founder. “You can’t do diplomacy while widening the war. We must freeze the number of troops, engage in immediate diplomatic efforts — with Afghan women at the table — and then replace our military mission with a humanitarian, reconstruction mission. That would reflect the change the American people voted for.”

The deployment is a continuation of the same failed U.S. policies that have inspired a Taliban resurgence, raised civilian deaths, and destabilized infrastructure and social system. There is no military solution to Afghanistan, as many military officials and think-tanks have concluded. “You don’t kill or capture your way out of an industrial-strength insurgency,” Gen. David Petraeus told the Associated Press recently, and Special Envoy Holbrooke said, “It is like no other problem we have confronted…I have never seen anything like the mess we have inherited.”

Not only will military policies not work, but they will lead to an increase in civilian deaths at the hands of the U.S military. A United Nations report released earlier this week found the Afghan civilian death toll nearly doubled in 2008, with the U.S. directly blamed for almost half of these deaths. The number of Afghan people who believe the US has performed well dropped this year to 32 percent from 68 percent in 2005, military scholar Anthony Cordesman told a Congressional hearing last week.  Meanwhile, more than two-thirds of Americans oppose increasing the deployments, and European opposition is so great that leaders of Spain, France and Germany have refused to send any additional forces.

Obama must take bold and compassionate action to address the Afghan’s real need for health care, clean water and education by providing humanitarian assistance through non-governmental organizations, instead of continuing to cripple Afghanistan with more years of war. The definition of insanity is to repeat the same action and expect different results. It’s time for change.

For interviews and more information, please call Jean Stevens, national media coordinator, at 646-723-1781.

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  • Sporkmaster

    How do you say that those troops where not needed? They where needed years ago and was one of the reasons that was used against Iraq becuase of the need in Afghanistan.

    “Not only will military policies not work, but they will lead to an increase in civilian deaths at the hands of the U.S military”

    The policies in Iraq HAVE been working, that is why we can start the process to let Iraq stand on its own.

    “Not only will military policies not work, but they will lead to an increase in civilian deaths at the hands of the U.S military.”

    The US millitary does everything it its power to prevent civialn deaths, al qaeda does not.

    “Meanwhile, more than two-thirds of Americans oppose increasing the deployments, and European opposition is so great that leaders of Spain, France and Germany have refused to send any additional forces.”

    The only way that we can make sure that the people there can have the means to improve their lives is make sure that they do not have to fear for their lives every singe day. I am sure that you have heard about the acid attacks in the past few months, or the killing of teachers for girls schools?

    “Obama must take bold and compassionate action to address the Afghan’s real need for health care, clean water and education by providing humanitarian assistance through non-governmental organizations,”

    How are you going to bell that cat? We have been doing projects in Iraq that help build up the infrastructure from roads, fixing school, and making sure that they do not have to worry about getting blown up going about their daily lives.

    I have a challenge for you. If you think that the recovery of Afghanistan does not need any security measures, then why not take a group of people and do hands on help with the locals. Becuase I promise you that will weight then just staying back in the comforts of America trying to tell people what is best for the world.

  • Shadow Two

    Looking back, I think that you voted for him? I think that there is an issue of response here. He did promise an “open” administration, what with saying he would post all bills for five days before signing. Where did that end up? The page was pulled from WhiteHouse.gov weeks ago. How ’bout the referenda? Maybe he should have put this up to a vote?

    I commiserate.

  • Sporkmaster

    Regardless of the above how does it do any good to seened in aid that without protection? That has been shown not too work many times in Africa.

  • http://godlessliberalhomo.blogspot.com/ libhomo

    Obama also hasn’t withdrawn any US troops from Iraq. He seems to be getting a pass for that from most peace groups, though I have no idea why.

  • Mark Bare

    Just another good example of careful what you vote…er… wish for!

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