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NoEscalation.org: Can the Peace Movement Reach President Obama? / Kann die Friedensbewegung Obama erreichen?

US-Friedensorganisationen mit einer gemeinsamen Website / Joint website www.noescalation.org: United Against Afghanistan Escalation

Der folgende Artikel, den wir der Internetzeitung "Common Dreams" entnommen haben, schildert die "einzigartige" Chance, Druck auf Präsident Obama auszuüben, um ihn vor falschen Schritten im Afghanistan-Krieg zurückzuhalten. Selten gab es hierfür eine so günstige Gelegenheit, schreibt Robert Naiman, politoischer Direktor der kritischen Stiftung (und Website) "Just Foreign Policy". Denn die politische Elite des Landes ist in der Afghanistan-Frage selbst zutiefst gespalten. Verschiedene Friedensorganisationen wie CodePink, Jobs for Afghans, Just Foreign Policy, Pax Christi USA, Peace Action, The Resource Center, United for Peace and Justice oder Voters for Peace haben sich zu diesem Zweck zusammengetan und betreiben im besten Sinne Lobby-Arbeit. Als wichtiges Etappenziel formulieren sie die Verhinderung der Forderung von General McChristal, die US-Truppen in Afghanistan um weitere 40.000 zu erhöhen. - Die Pointe am Schluss: Damit würde die US-Friedensbewegung dem norwegischen Nobelpreiskomitee einen großen Dienst erweisen.

Can the Peace Movement Reach President Obama?

By Robert Naiman *

If there were ever a time when the peace movement should be able to have an impact on U.S. foreign policy, that time should be now. If there were ever a time for extraordinary effort to achieve such an impact, that time is now.

The war in Afghanistan is in its ninth year. McChrystal's proposal could continue it for another ten years, at a likely cost of a trillion dollars, and many more lives of U.S. soldiers and Afghan civilians. The contradiction between domestic needs and endless war was never more apparent. Congress fights over whether we can "afford" to provide every American with quality health care, but every health care reform proposal on the table will likely cost less than McChrystal's endless war. A recent CNN poll says 6 in 10 Americans oppose sending more troops.

Democratic leaders in Congress are deeply skeptical: as far back as June, Rep. Murtha and Rep. Obey voted for Rep. McGovern's amendment demanding an exit strategy, and that was before the Afghan election fiasco, when international forces failed at their key objective of providing security, and before McChrystal demanded a 60% increase in U.S. forces, on top of the 50% increase approved earlier this year. Our troops are "exhausted," Murtha says.

Top Administration officials share the skepticism. Vice- President Biden, Chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel, and Afghan scholar Barnett Rubin, an advisor to Ambassador Holbrooke, have all been arguing against a troop increase: the political people on the grounds that the American people and Congress won't support it; Biden on the grounds that it would be a diversion from Pakistan; Rubin on the grounds that it would be counterproductive to reconciliation in Afghanistan.

Elite opinion is closely divided. This is a jump ball. It could go either way. And a decision by Nobel Laureate Obama to send 40,000 more U.S. troops is likely to severely constrain U.S. policy, abroad and at home, for many years.

Such a time calls for extraordinary efforts to mobilize public opinion to move policy.

National peace advocacy organizations, including Peace Action, Just Foreign Policy, Code Pink, United for Peace and Justice, and Voters for Peace, are launching such an extraordinary effort. At the joint website noescalation.org, we're posting the phone numbers of every Congressional office, and what is known so far about where they stand on the proposal to send 40,000 more U.S. troops. We're asking Americans to call Congressional offices and search the media for information on where each Member of Congress stands. And we're asking for that information to be reported back to the website noescalation.org.

The more Members of Congress take a clear stand against military escalation, the more likely President Obama is to reject McChrystal's request. Some Members of Congress are saying, "we're waiting to see what the President decides." But that nonsense is an obvious dodge. The time to affect the President's decision is obviously before he makes it, not afterwards. Of course some Members of Congress are going to avoid taking a position if they can. Our job is to smoke them out.

Call now. The Norwegians are counting on you.

* Robert Naiman is Policy Director at Just Foreign Policy

Common Dreams, October 22, 2009; www.commondreams.org

Die gemeinsame Website der US-Friedensbewegung für diese Kampagne ist hier zu erreichen:
www.NoEscalation.org (externer Link)

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