Tulsa Peace Fellowship

There never was a good war or a bad peace. ~Ben Franklin

Anti-war movement in Tulsa livid with Obama's escalation of hostilities in Afghanistan

Anti-war movement in Tulsa livid with Obama's escalation of hostilities in Afghanistan
(This was sent out prior to Obama's speech announcing the escalation.)

press release

MEDIA ADVISORY FOR THE TULSA PEACE FELLOWSHIP
Nov 30th, 2009

U.S. Out of Afghanistan Now!

The Tulsa Peace Fellowship's statement of opposition to Obama's escalation in Afghanistan:

# There should be no additional troops sent to Afghanistan. Rather, U.S. troops should stop occupying that country, return States-side to home base, and then demobilize. There is no military solution in Afghanistan, as the preceding 8 years of grounds troops and aerial occupation have proven. Some of our NATO allies have already concluded that the mission in Afghanistan is futile, and they are withdrawing their troops from Afghanistan as soon as possible. The U.S. should not be the last to leave. NATO forces should be replaced with peacekeepers from Islamic countries, under the aegis of the U.N.

# There is no threat to U.S. national security in Afghanistan. None of the 9/11 attackers came from there. Al-Qaeda has all but disappeared; some reports say it’s down to a core membership of eight or ten individuals who remain in that country, individuals who could be apprehended by non-military means with the help of international policing, without the need for the continued military occupation of the country, without the need for alienating yet more Afghanis through aerial bombardment of their homes, causing untold numbers of civilians deaths. Military occupation generates resistance because it is humiliating, disruptive, arbitrary, and terrifying to civilian non-combatants, pushing some of them to turn against the U.S./NATO forces and join the insurgency.

# We demand a timeline for withdrawal of U.S./NATO forces and a declared end to the hostilities. Without an exit date, the Afghanistan escalation looks like it is designed for unending war profiteering by arms manufacturers and DoD contractors. Without an exit date, the presence of U.S./NATO troops is perceived as a provocation to the Afghanis and serves to fuel the insurgency against U.S./NATO troops. We suspect that the Pentagon's self-serving motivation in extending the hostilities is to set up a permanent base of operations in Afghanistan, as it has done in Iraq; we oppose the militarization of U.S. foreign policy, and call for the closure of U.S. military bases in the Middle East. The yearly bill for each soldier in Afghanistan is between $775,000.00 and $1,000,000 a year per U.S. Soldier, sent 7,000 miles away from any U.S. border. This outlandish expense has precious little to do with U.S. national security, nor is there any "mission" that could justify this expense in far-off Asia.

# After 8 years of meddling in Afghanistan by U.S./NATO forces, the West is no closer to understanding the nature of the conflict in Afghanistan between warring ethnic groups, nor does it have soldiers who speak the language or understand the culture, and is likely backing the wrong side in the civil war between two tribal groups of Pashtuns: on the one side the Durranis, on the other the Ghilzai. There will be no peace so long as meddling foreign powers back the Durrani in their attempt to impose their rule from Kabul over the tribal homelands of the Ghilzai.

# Civilian-led development funds should be used to help Afghanistan recuperate from the U.S. occupation of that country. After 8 years a military incompetence, it is time U.S./NATO forces gave way to a combination of peacekeeping forces and humanitarian agencies to lead the reconstruction efforts needed there. Civilian non-governmental organizations (NGOs) should be ceded priority of place in further attempts to re-establish civilized standards of living for Afghanis. In particular, funds should be disbursed through non-military international organizations to help internally displaced persons (IDP), i.e. homeless Afghanis in need of being resettled, people who are forced at present to live in tent communities because of the hostilities.

# The military prison at Bagram, in Afghanistan, should be closed. Bagram Prison is as unaccountable a legal black hole as was the prison at Abu Ghraib, in Iraq, or the due-to-be-closed Guantanamo Prison, in Cuba. We call for the closure of Bagram, in addition to the immediate closure of Guantanamo. There should be an immediate moratorium on so-called 'rendition' (extra-judicial kidnapping). Both U.S. military tribunals and the U.S. Supreme Court have clearly stated that insurgents in Afghanistan or Iraq deserve the protections of the Geneva Conventions, as prisoners of war; when detained, they should be afforded all the protections available under the law.

# We have been protesting on behalf of "Healthcare not Warfare" since the beginning of Obama's presidency. Instead of making domestic issues a priority, Obama has increased Pentagon spending and increased troop deployment, as well as increased the use of paid mercenaries in Iraq, betraying the anti-war platform for which he was elected. Meanwhile, the $70 billion per year (some estimates as high as $230 billion in 2010!) that will be spent on Afghanistan is taxpayer money that could otherwise go to providing health care for uninsured and under-insured Americans.

The honeymoon is over: Time to protest Obama's warmongering.

Demonstrations nationwide have been called for by United for Peace and Justice, Just Foreign Policy, and the American Friends Service Committee.

TPF is organizing anti-war demonstrations for the first Saturday of the month, 12pm to 2pm, for the foreseeable future, at the corner of 41st & Yale, in Tulsa.

Come join us!

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Comment by Tony Nuspl on April 9, 2011 at 12:08am

I found this press release, which looks to have been drafted between Obama's escalation of hostilities speech, and early Dec 2009.  It is from the "Black is Back" (BIB) coalition, which formed in late 2009, just as the main umbrella group, United for Peace and Justice (UFPJ) was demobilizing. BIB emphasizes a black-nationalist rationale for opposing war, including Obama's wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and now in Libya:

 

Stop Obama’s War Escalation Against the People of Afghanistan!
Support the Resistance of Oppressed Peoples Around the world!

“We have no interest in occupying your country,” President Obama told the people of Afghanistan and the world, on December 1.

He then proceeded to outline in detail his plan to intensify the occupation of that country through an 18-month surge of an additional 30,000 U.S. troops. In boosting U.S. troop strength to 100,000 – after having already doubled the American military presence since assuming the presidency – Obama has definitively claimed the wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan as his own.

It is the responsibility of all peace loving peoples – including and especially black people in the United States – to bring the struggle against escalating U.S. crimes against peace and humanity in the so-called Af-Pak theater of war to President Barack Obama’s doorstep.

The Black is Black Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations wholeheartedly endorses the Emergency Anti-Escalation Rally organized by a range of anti-war forces on Saturday, December 12, in front of the White House. As the Black is Back Coalition declared in our march on the White House on November 7, “We demand the immediate, unconditional withdrawal of all U.S. troops from the Middle East and especially from Iraq and Afghanistan, and the cessation of U.S. military aggression against the people of Pakistan.”

In addition to our endorsement of the Emergency Anti-Escalation Rally, the Black is Back Coalition reaffirms our anti-imperialist solidarity with the world’s peoples who are fiercely resisting U.S. and other imperialist wars of aggression and colonial domination.

As we have recognized all along, the nature of U.S. imperialism did not change with the election of a black man as president and if there was any doubt about that, Obama’s intensification of the wars against the peoples of Afghanistan and Pakistan is the greatest validation of our view.

In making the fantastic and ludicrous claim that the U.S. troop surge is intended to speed up an American exit from Afghanistan, President Obama insults the intelligence of both the American and international public. Obama’s drone missile attacks and Special Forces operations daily violate the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Pakistan, threatening to embroil the region in a general conflagration involving nuclear weapons.

Following directly in George Bush’s footsteps, Obama waves the bloody shirt of 9/11 to justify endless, global imperial war, “whether in Somalia or Yemen or elsewhere,” while cynically claiming that, “unlike the great powers of old, we have not sought world domination.”

He spends a million dollars per soldier to occupy one of the poorest nations in the world, while declaring with a straight face, “We do not seek to occupy other nations.” Even without reminding Obama and the world that the U.S. North American State itself rests on occupied land forcibly wrested from the still-oppressed indigenous peoples, many of whom are ensconced in concentration camps, euphemistically called “reservations,” the history of U.S. occupations is legendary.

This history includes U.S. invasions of Haiti and Cuba, where even now the U.S. is attempting to divert international attention from the torture camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuban territory still occupied by U.S. marines.

While U.S. occupation does not always take the same form as many of the European imperial powers of the past, it is not insignificant that the U.S. has more than 700 military bases spread throughout the world, many of them on African soil currently being reinforced by the U.S. Africa Command, a virtual occupation of an entire continent.

The Black is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations calls on the peoples of the U.S. and the world ¬– especially African people who have endured more than five hundred years of imperialist oppression and dispossession – to rise to the challenge presented to us by this vicious, desperate move by the U.S. government in its efforts to rescue a dying, crisis-ridden imperialism at the expense of the freedom and well being of the world’s peoples.

On every front, in every community, we must make it clear that we see through the fraudulent efforts to make us complicit in U.S. crimes against the Afghan and other peoples.

As Obama prepares to spend $40 billion of our money to intensify the attack on the people of Afghanistan he has yet to address the hundreds of billions of dollars of lost revenues in the African community from foreclosures as a result of the targeting of black people for subprime mortgages. He has yet to offer meaningful relief for those thousands of Africans made homeless and destitute by Hurricane Katrina and other weather systems in the Gulf Coast region.

He has yet to come up with programs to address black unemployment rates which tower above every other sector of the U.S. population at more than 16 percent overall and 50 percent for African teenagers.

[...]

The Black is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations is a broad based organization of black people from many walks of life and across the social, political and ideological spectrum working together to build a movement to stop the U.S. colonial wars against Africans and oppressed peoples inside the U.S. and around the world.

We believe that real peace is neither possible nor sustainable without social justice and the right of all oppressed peoples to self-determination. While we work to build an anti-imperialist movement in opposition to U.S. colonial wars, we believe this movement will represent itself in the world as a continuation of the legacy of resistance by our people to all forms of oppression and injustices, whether within the U.S. or abroad.

No! to the war against the peoples of Afghanistan and Pakistan! No! to occupation and murder in defense of a status quo that requires the eternal starvation and immiseration of the majority of the world’s peoples! No! to kidnappings and torture in the name of freedom and democracy!

Reparations Now!

© 2009 Black Is Back Coalition

http://www.blackisbackcoalition.org/bibresponse.shtml

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