On Tuesday, the House of Representatives voted 308-114 to fund the continued escalation of the failed US war in Afghanistan and Pakistan. First off, thanks to all who lobbied their Member of Congress to vote against continuing to squander our tax dollars on this war, when we have such pressing economic needs here at home.
While this is of course a major disappointment, there was no realistic expectation the House would not vote to continue the war, and we did pick up some new war opponents in both parties. Veteran peace activist Tom Hayden’s article in The Nation is worth a read in this regard.
My sense, shared by many in the peace movement, is public, Congressional and even media support for the war is waning. The WikiLeaks posting of 92,000 documents related to the war just a few days before the vote may, in the long run, help end the war, as long as the substance of the documents, which show what a disaster the war effort has been, with no end in sight, is the focus rather than the leaks and the illegality of them. See Hannah Gurman’s article in Foreign Policy in Focus on this important issue.
Peace Action is helping to build powerful new alliances with economic justice and human needs groups to challenge not just the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan-Pakistan, but the whole gargantuan military budget robbing us of the resources we need to invest in building our economy, funding human needs and saving the environment.
On October 2, peace activists will rally and march in Washington, DC with unions, civil rights and human needs groups under the banner One Nation Working Together. A week later, around the ninth anniversary of the invasion of Afghanistan (it’s our longest war), Peace Action will help organize a global day of action to end the war in Afghanistan with partners in NATO and other countries.
More on these and other opportunities soon!