Home > General Comment > It is about time we figured out why all these efforts (and more) to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan failed?

It is about time we figured out why all these efforts (and more) to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan failed?

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Congress, March 10, 2010

Ron Paul speaks on the House floor today in support of Dennis Kucinich’s H. Con Res 248 which would end the war in Afghanistan and bring U.S. Armed Forces home within 30 days

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Alternet, November 23, 2004

How to End the Iraq War

The anti-war movement can force the Bush administration to leave Iraq by denying it the funding, troops, and alliances necessary to its strategy for dominance.

It is in the nature of truly mass movements that people choose the paths that seem to promise effective results, even victories. So it should surprise no one that much of the energy of the peace and justice movement flowed into presidential campaigns for Howard Dean, Dennis Kucinich and ultimately John Kerry (the UnBush).

As a result millions of people become engaged politically on grassroots levels, many for the first time. The peace and justice message was heard more widely than before.

Under pressure, the Democratic platform opposed the Central American trade agreement (CAFTA) and promised a full review of U.S. trade policy. The movement was unable to push Kerry and the Democrats into an anti-Iraq position, although Kerry at least voiced a constant attack on Bush’s policy as mistaken. The pressure of anti-war voices and the Kerry campaign led Bush to delay the request for a supplemental $75 billion appropriation, the assault on Falluja, and the U.S.-sponsored Iraqi elections until after Nov. 2.

Once the election was over, the Bush administration turned Falluja into a slaughterhouse – even as the Democrats remained silent and thousands of activists seemed frozen in mourning or internal discussions of what went wrong.

There is a lesson here for progressives. Since the anti-war sentiment was a factor of public opinion during the presidential race that made Bush defer tough decisions, the movement needs to create an even greater force of opposition that will become indigestible, a kind of gallstone in the stomach of power.

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In These Times, May 5, 2005

How to End the War

The central question we need to answer is this: What were the real reasons for the Bush administration’s invasion and occupation of Iraq?

When we identify why we really went to war—not the cover reasons or the rebranded reasons, freedom and democracy, but the real reasons—then we can become more effective anti-war activists. The most effective and strategic way to stop this occupation and prevent future wars is to deny the people who wage these wars their spoils—to make war unprofitable.

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Common Dreams, December 1, 2006

There is Only One Way to End The War in Iraq

On November 7, 2006, the American public voted for a New Direction for our Iraq policy. That direction is–out. As Democrats prepare to take the majority for the first time in twelve years, Democrats now have the responsibility to act on the overwhelming mandate issued by the American public.

Will that new direction mean an exit from Iraq? Because, if not, America will be held hostage by the skyrocketing cost of the war in Iraq even as President Bush leaves office at 11:59 am on January 20, 2009. And, the voters will not forget who let them down.

There is only one way in which the United States will withdraw from Iraq, prior to the end of President Bush’s term: Congress must vote to cut off funds.

History and the law give a clear guide on how to end the war in Iraq.

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Alternet, October 26, 2007

What We Can Do to End the War

With 11 actions planned across the country, the U.S. will show this Saturday that we will not be still or silent until our troops are home. Will you join us?

October 26, 2007 |

The majority of Americans and Iraqis oppose the U.S.-led occupation of Iraq. Polls indicate that 70 percent of Americans are against the war and over 80 percent of Iraqis want coalition troops out of their country. In the four and a half years since the invasion, nearly 4,000 U.S. soldiers have been killed and nearly 30,000 seriously wounded. There have also been an estimated 1 million Iraqi civilians killed and over 4 million have fled for their lives.

The war has racked up a bill of over $600 billion of our taxpayer money and yet left Iraq a country in economic shambles and political unrest, and with a population living in fear of daily violence. (Check out the video to the right.)

For the duration of this war, people in the United States have raised their voice in opposition. They have marched, signed petitions, held vigils and written to their elected officials. But it hasn’t been enough. Yet.

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The Nation, February 20, 2008

‘End the War in 2009’

In his victory speech in Texas Tuesday, Barack Obama promised to end the Iraq war in 2009, a new commitment that parallels recent opinion pieces in The Nation.

Prior to his Houston remarks, Obama’s previous position favored an American combat troop withdrawal over a sixteen-to-eighteen-month timeframe. He has been less specific on the number and mission of any advisers he would leave behind.

Ending the war in the first year of his potential presidency, therefore, is the strongest stand Obama has taken thus far, and one he will be questioned on sharply by the Republicans and the media. As Juan Cole noted last year, the Bush-Cheney team is preparing a “poison pill” of disorder and blame for any future President contemplating an Iraq troop withdrawal.

Did Obama mean it? Was it only rhetoric? Perhaps, but as Obama has said over and over lately, words make a difference. He may be asked to square his 2009 goal with his previous eighteen-month timetable. To avoid inconsistencies or missteps, he might claim that he will publicly declare in 2009 that he is ending the occupation but bringing the troops home on his longer timetable. Who knows? But these were words worth holding the candidate to. The astonishing thing is that antiwar sentiment among Obama’s base is running strongly enough to push the candidate forward to a stronger commitment. By comparison, in The Audacity of Hope (2006), Obama wrote that “how quickly a complete withdrawal can be accomplished is a matter of imperfect judgment based on a series of best guesses.”

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Truthout, October 1, 2009

Starting Another Year of War in Afghanistan

October 2009 has begun with The New York Times reporting that “the president, vice president and an array of cabinet secretaries, intelligence chiefs, generals, diplomats and advisers gathered in a windowless basement room of the White House for three hours on Wednesday to chart a new course in Afghanistan.”

As this month begins the ninth year of the US war effort in Afghanistan, “windowless” seems to be an apt metaphor. The structure of thought and the range of options being debated in Washington’s high places are notably insular. The “new course” will be a permutation of the present course.

While certainty is lacking, steely resolve is evident. An unspoken mantra remains in effect: When in doubt, keep killing. The knotty question is: Exactly who and how?

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