I haven't watched the speech yet and I've only read a couple articles. But I have gotten word that one (of the many that could be any day now) of my cousins is part of this escalation, in fact he is probably part of this first wave that hits during Christmas time. This will be his second tour, not including his tour in New Orleans post Katrina. And he is one of my most favorite family members. And though I really have no idea what the answer is, that is making me really fucking angry. The last eight years were demeaning and infuritating I can't even think what another 4 years of war will do to communities who are on both ends of all this hate and greed.
I watched Larry King Live yesterday and Jesse Ventura was part of the panel. He said that Americans need to feel the pain of war more in order to get angry enough. He proposes that we impose a war tax, Ben Stein lost it at that point of course.
Michael Moore wrote an open letter to President Obama on Monday. I'm not going to summarize it for you, but here are some highlights.
- "Choose carefully, Mr. President. Your corporate backers are going to abandon you as soon as it is clear you are a one-term president and that the nation will be safely back in the hands of the usual idiots who do their bidding. That could be Wednesday morning."
- "Don't be deceived into thinking that sending a few more troops into Afghanistan will make a difference, or earn you the respect of the haters. They will not stop until this country is torn asunder and every last dollar is extracted from the poor and soon-to-be poor. You could send a million troops over there and the crazy Right still wouldn't be happy."
- "President Obama, it's time to come home. Ask your neighbors in Chicago and the parents of the young men and women doing the fighting and dying if they want more billions and more troops sent to Afghanistan. Do you think they will say, "No, we don't need health care, we don't need jobs, we don't need homes. You go on ahead, Mr. President, and send our wealth and our sons and daughters overseas, 'cause we don't need them, either."
- "When we elected you we didn't expect miracles. We didn't even expect much change. But we expected some. We thought you would stop the madness. Stop the killing. Stop the insane idea that men with guns can reorganize a nation that doesn't even function as a nation and never, ever has."
Yesterday, Greg Mortenson's new book hit the stores. 'Stones into Schools' is the follow up to 'Three Cups of Tea'. It's a story about how Greg Mortenson has been helping rural Pakistani and Afghani communities build schools and teach both their kids to read, especially their girls. It's an incredible story and really gets to the heart of how we CAN get out of this. Buy his book, unless you are a Blanchard or a Fiore, because there is a good chance there may be one in your mailbox this week. (Merry Christmas!)
This is the email that Greg sent out yesterday morning:
"Today, my book, Stones Into Schools, will be releasing just as President Obama makes his historic decision on troop deployment to Afghanistan. This also coincides with you receiving our Journey of Hope III 2009 publication with updates on our 2009 work in Pakistan, Afghanistan and USA.
We feel it is essential that the voice of those, who were never considered in the decision-- the Afghan tribal shura (elders)-- be heard. It is not politics that will bring peace, ultimately, only people bring peace. The decision to deploy more than 30,000 troops to Afghanistan (bringing the total to 100,000) was made behind closed doors and in secrecy, with no public debate, no testimony on Capital Hill, or no discussion from the media. For a democracy to progress, secrecy is not productive.
Promote Peace Through Books
Over the last six months, Central Asia Institute has been instrumental in helping dozens of Afghan shura (elders) from many rural provinces meet with the U.S. military commanders, without compensation or any benefit to CAI, other than to promote peaceful dialogue. This gave a chance for the shura's vital voice be heard and recognized in making critical decisions that will determine the fate of their own country.
Stones into Schools
Please read our new book, Stones into Schools, for more information about the region today. Please contact your Senators and Congressional leaders to encourage them NOT to meet in secrecy behind closed doors about decisions that involve the American public and deployment of further troops. And please encourage our leaders strongly to invest in education and literacy, which is the greatest hope of all the communities we serve and work with, so that future generations of children have the right to attend schools."
We have to believe that there is another way to secure our nation than killing innocent people and ruining our communities by sending all our boys and girls away to kill even more innocent people. There has to be a way to love our nation and protect the Afghani people from fundamentalists that don't represent their way of life.
In three years, when President Obama achieves his goals in Afghanistan (which is highly doubtful), the country will be more of a mess, thousands more people will be dead, and he will be up for re-election. Kind of sounds like 2004 to me, except Democrats don't tow the line as well as Republicans, more Americans will be bankrupt, we will be even more torn apart by the climate change, health care, and financial system fights.. . . Unless a real miracle happens, that is.
P.S. That was so depressing, here are some pictures of cute kittens.