Friday, October 9, 2009

The Nobel Prize, Obama, and Afghanistan/Pakistan War

The very simple action suggested below is a superb take on how we can work together to turn around the Nobel win toward real peace. I also had the same immediate response - well, the Nobel prize this may pay off IF Obama really catches the vision for his moment and the PEACE for which he's responsible to the whole world...but he MUST act quickly against the war in BOTH PAKISTAN and Afghanistan and hopefully Biden, Kerry and Lugar and many other leaders in and out of the government and media will follow suit rather than set an untoward and dangerous pattern for endless war.

Please all who want to end the US war efforts, make ending war in PAKISTAN every bit as much a priority as ending war in Afghanistan in your letters, calls and Op Eds. Get out the right info to the right folk on this. Pakistan is already hurting bigtime and where is the US cry to say STOP. We're doing it all wrong there and may well lose a country which as been and could one day be again a great ally for democracy and peace in the region and the world.

Our media and even our leader-activists have been all too silent about Pakistan if they even know what's been going on!

At the same time, I am ever so grateful as often for the efforts of good Rabbis FOR PEACE and for Human Rights such as the one below for this important and simple action suggested below.

Dear Folks,

The first person I told this morning that Obama had won the Nobel Prize for Peace said, "For what?"

So ---- if I may give a new spin to a saying of the last remarkable presidential candidate before him, Bobby Kennedy:

Some people, shown a piece of work not yet completed, say, "How come?"

But I, facing that same piece of work not yet completed, say, "The time is now!":

And that is what I would urge us all to say to the President today, and next week:

"Congratulations! And the time is NOW to fulfill this honor --- end the Afghan War!"

To help stop the war, we invite you to act now by clicking to -

here send a letter to your Senator (and/or Vice-President Biden --especially if as a DC resident you have none)* 

The war could and should have begun by tackling Al Qaeda as criminals, not as if they were a country that was at war with the US. The minimum amount of force necessary to apprehend them, including deadly force if necessary. That's it. Capturing cop-killers without burning down the neighborhood. 

Yes, the Taliban are disgusting. Oppressive. But there are a myriad ways of encouraging reform in other countries. The one that does NOT work is trying to install democracy at the point of a bayonet. Or, even worse, Predator Drones which massacre wedding parties from the sky and turn the survivors into furious enemies.

In a minute I will suggest a couple of ways of thinking outside the Afghan box. Maybe those or other ideas they stimulate should be the way to go. Continuing this war is not.
We can already see that we have walked into another quagmire -- an endless war in a country that for centuries has hated all occupations with a burning fury. --

And that war would undermine all plans for social reform at home --- exactly what happened to Lyndon Johnson whren Vietnam swept away the Great Society. 
The moment has come to correct the mistake. President Obama has been told that the warpath "forward" means 500,000 US troops for five years. Many dead, maimed of body, mind, and soul. Forget about health care. Forget education. Forget healing our wounded, choking planet. And he is --- it seems --- thinking twice. 

But the mindless pressures of military habit are still pressing. The American people --- surveys show a majority oppose this war --- must act to end it. 
The other path --- friendship with Islam; economic aid at the grass-roots, micro-loan level; empowering women; drawing on the healing of wind and solar energy instead of addiction to oil ---- will do far more to protect America.

As Code Pink, the US women's peace organization has reported after recent meetings with Afghan women, and as my dear friend Barbara Bick, whose memory is a blessing, and who spent years in Afghanistan working with Afghan women, also reported before her death this year, Afghan women want to be empowered --- but they do not believe American bombs will do it.

Two ideas way outside the box:

1.. Send five women U.S. Senators to negotiate with Afghan women and all male Afghan factional leaders (including the varied Taliban factions) with two promises: that any governance agreement unanimously agreed-to will be backed up by billions in U.S. economic aid, delivered in suitcases, if necessary. US All military presence and aid ends at once. If no such agreement is reached, all U.S. involvement in Afghanistan ends.

2. Call a conference of the independent women's organizations in Afghanistan. Offer micro-loans for grass-roots economic development to any group of ten women who apply as a group (loans ranging from $1,000 to $5,000), plus offer ten revolvers and 100 bullets to each group of women: one gun and 50 bullets for each woman for target practice, 50 for defense against anyone who comes to assail them for being uppity. Then - the US leaves, except for continuing contact with the micro-loan organizations.
Whether you like these ideas or not, the US war in Afghanistan should end - for their sake and for ours.

Again -- we invite you to act now by clicking to -


to send a letter to your Senator (and or Vice-President Biden).***

***Blogger Connie's note:

Why limit this to only your Senator and or Vice-President? It's not too early to let key House legislators and other leaders know...why not Obama too?

REMEMBER to include your own wording or style an emphasis on NO MORE DRONES, NO more Blackwater versions of any kind an no other agreements which in fact are essential WAR IN & On PAKISTAN as well.

SEE my own version of the above letter in the next blogpost...

*** blogger Connie here asking you to send a similar one by FAX and Phone to key legislators in BOTH houses of Congress, an appropriate version to your own leaders in other countries - religious and not and why doesn't EVERYONE send a FAX, email and letter to OBAMA and McChrystal as well - FLOOD THEIR MAIL with the urgency of Seeking Peace in our time. IF not now, when?

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