Eight years ago today, George Bush signed the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) on Afghanistan. There had been only one dissenting vote, Congresswoman Barbara Lee from California (link to her speech). She was surprised to find she was the only vote, because many in the halls before had suggested they were against it, but she was the only one with the courage to go against the fear-mongering of the moment. She knew that rushing into an invasion of Afghanistan would not bring those who died on 9/11 back, nor would it help the situation.Also, from Democracy Now!, "As Afghan War Enters 9th Year, Rep. Barbara Lee—Lone Lawmaker to Vote Against 2001 Authorization—Seeks to Block New Troop Surge."
When I heard that one No vote, I was given hope that at least one person agreed with me and understood that military force was the worst way to deal with the situation; more violence was not the response to violence. We didn't need to learn that lesson again, but it seems we are slow learners. Almost a trillion dollars and too many lives later, a majority of the American people now oppose our military presence in Afghanistan.
Still, Admiral Mullen testified in Congress this week about the need for more troops. When do we learn that throwing more troops and money at something that needed to be responded to as a crime is not going to solve an already too-complex-to-understand situation? Our presence has destabilized the region, killed innocent people, expanded the power of the Taliban and created the third most corrupt government in the world. We messed up Iraq and Afghanistan and have no idea what we are doing, either militarily or with regards to nation building. When do we admit we made a mistake and start untangling ourselves instead of digging a deeper mess?
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Code Pink -- And Congressional Black Communist Barbara Lee -- Speaks Out on 8th Anniversary of Afghan War
From Code Pink's Jodie Evans, "8 Years of War: Speak Out Against the Occupation of Afghanistan ":