This post was researched and co-written by Fernanda Diaz.
(Click here to skip to a guide to antiwar protest activities this week.)
The 9th year of the war in Afghanistan begins today with fears that it could be even more deadly than the previous eight–despite public opinion polls showing a majority of Americans opposing the conflict.
Popular opposition to escalation is fueling a spate of national protests today and for the rest of this week calling for an exit plan and imploring President Obama and leaders in Congress to reject a request from Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the commander of troops in Afghanistan, for as many as 40,000 new troops to bolster the app. 68,000 US soldiers currently serving in the region.
Congresswoman Barbara Lee, joined by 21 lawmakers, presented an alternative direction with the recent introduction of H.R. 3699 in Congress — a bill that prohibits funding for any increase in the number of members of the US Armed Forces in Afghanistan.
So far, the Democratic leadership and the White House have rebuffed the legislation with Senator Harry Reid even remarking that everyone present at President Obama’s latest private forum on Afghanistan, Republican or Democrat, agreed to support whatever decision he made . The real issue, as John Nichols writes in his Nation blog, is that none of the “outspoken advocates for a rethink of the occupation…and an exit strategy” such as Senators Russell Feingold and Bernie Sanders were invited to this strategy session in a more-than-symbolic move.
Join The Nation in making sure that President Obama also hears what concerned progressives think about the future of US involvement in Afghanistan. If we’re not invited behind closed doors, we can nevertheless make our voices heard by loudly urging Congress to consider the limits on troop increases proposed in H.R. 3699.
In Congresswoman Lee’s words, “As we consider the possibility of further entrenching United States Armed Forces by sending significantly more brave men and women in uniform into harm’s way, this legislation sends a clear message in opposition to this course of action.”
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