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Friday, May 08, 2009

Urge Congress to Rethink Afghanistan and Hold Oversight Hearings

President Obama and a Democratic majority Congress are in power yet the fighting in Afghanistan continues to escalate with little or no oversight or public analysis in the halls of power about what we are doing there and why. Do you know what "victory" would look like in Afghanistan? I certainly don't. Read Jeremy Scahill's disturbing piece on the latest U.S. bombing in Afghanistan. Excerpt:

As President Barack Obama prepares to send some 21,000 more US troops into Afghanistan, anger is rising in the western province of Farah, the scene of a US bombing massacre that may have killed as many as 130 Afghans, including 13 members of one family. At least six houses were bombed and among the dead and wounded are women and children. As of this writing reports indicate some people remain buried in rubble. The US airstrikes happened on Monday and Tuesday. Just hours after Obama met with US-backed president Hamid Karzai Wednesday, hundreds of Afghans—perhaps as many as 2,000— poured into the streets of the provincial capital, chanting “Death to America.” The protesters demanded a US withdrawal from Afghanistan.

In Washington, Karzai said he and the US occupation forces should operate from a “higher platform of morality,” saying, “We must be conducting this war as better human beings,” and recognize that “force won’t buy you obedience.” And yet, his security forces opened fire on the demonstrators, reportedly wounding five people.

The cost of the war in Afghanistan so far? More than $172 billion and counting. New Mexico's share of that cost?

  • NM: Total war funding approved to date: $2,527,082,441
  • NM: President's new funding request (remainder FY09): $234,557,205
  • NM: Requested funding could provide:
    • People with health insurance for one year: 62,662
    • Homes with renewable electricity for one year: 366,883
    • Students with maximum Pell Grants ($5350): 43,842

Congress must not approve an $83.4 billion supplemental war funding bill until policymakers answer critical questions about this war. As Afghan civilians are dying from US air strikes, Congress should rethink a bill that would be a blank check for expanding military operations.

You can learn more here and sign a petition to Rep. Howard Berman, Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, that says:

It is imperative that we hold oversight hearings on the Afghanistan conflict. Before committing more troops and taxpayer dollars to Afghanistan, we must first have a national conversation to address the many questions surrounding this war. At a time when our country faces a credibility crisis around the world, record casualties in Afghanistan, and an economic meltdown at home, oversight hearings are needed now more than ever. The government must examine how foreign policy is being executed in Afghanistan, while helping to alleviate our financial strains.

We urge the House Foreign Affairs Committee to hold oversight hearings in order to rethink our policy toward Afghanistan and uphold the nation's system of checks and balances.

Call your U.S. Representative. Click here.

May 8, 2009 at 12:36 PM in Afghanistan, Terrorism | Permalink

Comments

Nobody seems to want to call Obama and the Dems out on this. Imagine if Bush were doing it. Time to apply more pressure.

Posted by: JJ | May 8, 2009 4:51:14 PM

Hearts and Minds

Posted by: qofdisks | May 9, 2009 4:01:07 PM