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Monday, July 21, 2008

Voters For Peace: The power to end the war and prevent future wars of aggression

In recent comments you have urged voters to “hold you accountable” and make policy demands on you.  On January 31, 2008 you said "I want to end the mindset that got us into war in the first place."  This is the standard we urge you live-up to – the statement for which we write to hold you accountable.

As you embark on your tour of Europe, the Middle East and Afghanistan as the putative Democratic nominee it is time to begin to “end the mindset” of war.  When you visit Israel urge them do not bomb Iran; tell the Israelis and Palestinians that peace is the priority; urge U.S. commanders in Iraq to speed up the withdrawal you have proposed and make it a complete withdrawal – do not leave a residual force, mercenaries, a strike force in Kuwait or any long-term bases, and when you are in Afghanistan emphasize non-military solutions to the conflict there.  Militarism dominates U.S. statecraft. It is time for greater emphasis on negotiation, diplomacy, multi-lateralism and foreign aid.

Your recent writings and speeches on Iraq indicate that you have not backtracked.  It is critical that you do not do so.  Already many in the peace movement are concerned with some of your positions particularly the incomplete withdrawal that leaves tens of thousands of residual forces in Iraq, leaves more than 100,000 private military forces (mercenaries) and creates a combat strike force in Kuwait while continuing to threaten Iran.  DO NOT TAKE AMERICANS OPPOSED TO WAR FOR GRANTED.  Anti-war voters – the majority of Americans – have many options.  We do not have to donate time or money to your campaign, we can vote for clearly anti-war third party and independent candidates or we can not vote at all.

War is not the answer to any of these conflicts.  The U.S. is not made more secure by creating new enemies and draining our treasury.  The U.S. military budget is sapping the economic strength of the nation and making it impossible to face up to the urgent needs of a new energy economy, upgraded infrastructure, health care for all and other necessities of the American people.  When you “end the mindset” that led to the Iraq War it will allow for a re-prioritization of resources at home and abroad away from a military economy toward a civilian one.

Sign the petition here:
Voters For Peace: The power to end the war and prevent future wars of aggression

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