The biggest concern about Barack Obama’s foreign policy is probably his hawkishness on Afghanistan. Since early in the primary campaign he has consistently taken the position that, in contrast to Iraq, Afghanistan is the right war and we would we wise to ramp up military efforts in the region.
The problem, as Katrina vanden Heuvel argues in a recent Nation post, is that Obama’s planned escalation would drain resources that are vital to the President-elect goals for an economic recovery, health care, and social justice at home, while impeding other critical international initiatives such as the Middle East Peace process and regional diplomacy in South Asia.
Fears that quagmire in Afghanistan could undermine Obama’s planned domestic reforms are driving a new campaign launched by the online magazine, The Seminal, in collaboration with a host of progressive media groups, including The Nation. Get Afghanistan Right Week is an effort to rally people who oppose military escalation in Afghanistan, and who support non-military solutions to the conflict.
The Seminal is kicking off the campaign with the creation of a new website and a week of blogging on the topic, joined by like-minded folks at Brave New Films, Firedoglake, Daily Kos, and many other new media outfits. From January 12 to 18, the new site will post stories and relevant materials to publicize growing opposition to the idea that more troops will bring stability to Afghanistan or secure the United States.
The goal of the week of blogging is simple: To raise awareness about the new surge planned in Afghanistan, to get more bloggers to come out on the record with their position on Afghanistan, and to let people out there who are opposed to escalation know there are like-minded folks organizing to stop the surge.
As Howie Klein at Down with Tyranny puts it, we’ll be doing this “in the hope of helping to remind Obama that he needs to get us out of Bush’s wars, not dig us deeper into the hole.”
As the week progresses, more material will be posted at the Get Afghanistan Right website. If you’d like to participate and have your own blog, you can email posts to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you’re not a blogger, The Seminal accepts guest submissions, or you could post a diary on the open communities at Daily Kos, Oxdown Gazette, or The Agonist.
The point is to use this week to communicate as widely as possible the idea that we need to radically shift policy in Afghanistan.