Afghanistan has never been off the table. It has always been a part of the war on terror, though for the past few years it has been overshadowed by the clearly despicable Iraq Occupation. And in some ways, this might very well have been to our anti-war advantage now.
However, much of the original thinking around war with Afghanistan has changed as we’ve seen this war progress toward a decade long engagement. Even the President admits that this war cannot be won on the battlefield – if only then he would stop pushing for the funding of the battle!
The tide has turned on the economy as well since 9/11. Everyone is talking about the economy, but where is the conversation about how our $12 billion a month commitment to the war on terror is directly tied to our economic collapse? Sure greed is at fault, but let’s put the war on the table too. ROP members with WAND are way ahead of us with their action on June 10th.
WAND declared that, “Residents of Eugene and Springfield want to help President Obama to succeed in turning our economy around. We want the financial battlefield Americans face everyday to become secure and peaceful once again. We want our troops brought home to safety and for the billions of dollars going to war profiteers to be redirected to unmet needs at home, to healthcare, education and social services.”
ROP couldn’t agree more.
This weekend, we’re counting on you to participate in three Calls to Action that attack the war in Afghanistan from different angles, 3 steps toward that door out of war (Skynyrd anyone?). Here’s the short plan, read below for all the details.
1. Support a Joint Memorial in the Oregon House that would alert the federal government that the citizens of Oregon believe the National Guard should only enter federal service after a declaration of war or a valid authorization enacted by the Congress of the United States.
2. Defeat the compromise Supplemental bill in the US House. This bill allots $90 billion to the wars. Don’t give up on your conservative Representatives – the bill also includes some heinous language about the International Monetary Fund that the many libertarian-style conservatives are with us in opposing. – DUE JUNE 15!
3. Support war resister, Victor Agosto. ROP helped tour local war resister Benji Lewis to many of your communities. Benji is not alone, he part of a long list of war resisters that are bravely standing up against the epic power of the US military machine. Sign an on-line petition in support of Victor.
Be sure to let ROP know about all the great peace stuff you’re doing out there.
#1 Keep Oregon’s National Guard in Oregon Campaign: Help pass HJM 5.
Unfortunately HB 2556, the previous hope of the campaign to Keep the Oregon National Guard out of this particular war has died in the Oregon legislature. The newest and likely successful effort of the campaign is House Joint Memorial 5. This is a “Memorial” notifying Congress that the state of Oregon believes it is the Governor’s duty to review federal orders to be sure they are legal and to ensure that the Oregon National Guard enters federal service only after a declaration of war or a valid authorization enacted by the Congress of the United States.
Contact Rules Chair Arnie Roblan at 503-986-1409 and Speaker Dave Hunt at 503-986-1200 (or use the toll free number for the capitol switchboard, 1-800-332-2313) and tell them you support the proposed amended version of HJM 5.
#2 from our friends at United For Peace & Justice: Demand a NO vote on the Congressional Supplemental Bill.
The first time around, 51 antiwar House members voted against the war funding. Now, House Republicans are threatening to oppose the bill because of the IMF provision. To get the money for the wars, there is great pressure on those antiwar House members to switch their vote.
Call the Congressional Switchboard today at 1-800-828-0498 .
If your Congressional Representative voted ‘NO’ to the Supplemental bill the first time, thank them and urge them to stay firm and vote ‘NO’ once again. If your Congressional Representative voted ‘YES’ the first time, express your disappointment and ask them to change their vote. Click here for the breakdown of the first House vote on the Supplemental.
For more information on the IMF issue, please take a look at Maxine Waters’ (and 41 other House members) letter to the House Appropriations Committee, rejecting the lack of transparency and oversight of the IMF loans.
#3 Support Victor Agosto.
“The only way to make them [politicians] responsive to the needs of the people is if soldiers won’t fight their wars, and if soldiers won’t fight their wars, the wars won’t happen. I hope I’m setting an example for other soldiers,” says Victor. There are thousands of soldiers and Marines who feel the way Victor does, but face tremendous pressures to remain silent and go along with the status quo. This is why public support for his case is so important right now. His lawyer will be submitting signatures from this petition at the court martial to show the Army that the world is watching. Click here to sign an on-line petition in support of Victor.
– SPC Victor Agosto