Token Withdrawal

The U.S. war in Afghanistan was launched only weeks after 9/11, presumably to get the perpetrators of that terrible attack. Now, almost ten years later, it is the longest war in U.S. history, has cost half a trillion dollars, and has killed 1,580 Americans and tens of thousands of Afghans. Although Osama bin Laden is dead and there are less than 100 members of al Qaeda left in Afghanistan—not enough to make up a decent marching band—the war goes on.

Administration officials openly talk about continuing military operations through 2014 and beyond. President Obama has said that the upcoming July withdrawal will not be a “token gesture,” but the Pentagon is pushing back hard, advocating withdrawing as few as 10,000, mostly “non-combat”, troops. I am not fooled by a symbolic withdrawal.

I have known from the beginning that Afghanistan was not “the good war,” and have been opposed to this illegal, immoral, and unwinnable war from the outset. The majority of Americans now understand what we have known all along and are demanding that Congress end this horrible waste of lives and treasure. The push for withdrawal is gaining momentum.

Please contact your Rep. Lois Capps at (202) 225-3601 and tell her that a token withdrawal is not acceptable.

Mary Johnston is vice president of the Santa Barbara Chapter of Veterans for Peace

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