Local Stories, Events
Ref. : Civic Events
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Ref. : Public Service Notices
Books, Films, Arts & Education
Ref. : Letters to the editor
Health Care & Environment
09.18 'I was horrified that children are breathing air this dirty inside the school' [if your government isn't working, change it!]
09.13 The Guardian view on electric cars: stopped by industry inaction [Vroom Vroom is Dumb Dumb]
09.11 Air pollution is 'biggest environmental health risk' in Europe [Switch to 100% renewables and stop all mining, pumping, refining and burning of fossil fuels!!!]
News Media Matters
US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'
09.18 'This Election Is Last Chance to Stop Them': Kudlow Confirms Trump and GOP Ready to Gut Safety Net After Midterms [Yes, there are far too many sociopaths]
Economics, Crony Capitalism
International & Futurism
09.15 A Warning From Europe: The Worst Is Yet to Come [SCARY]
Dear President Obama,
You are nearing the day of decision as to whether you order the dispatch of more soldiers to Afghanistan.
Some of your advisors have urged up to 50,000 more soldiers, including several thousand called trainers of the Afghan army.
Other advisors have urged more caution, notably the U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan and former general, Karl W. Eikenberry, who opposes more soldiers so long as the Afghan government remains grossly dysfunctional.
Beside your own military and civilian advisors, you are receiving disparate counsel from an anemic Congress and your allies abroad.
But are you soliciting advise from stateside civic groups of experience and repute that represent many Americans? Or from genuine experts on that country such as Ashraf Ghani-a former American professor and later respected member of the Karzai government before his departure to other positions in that country?
George W. Bush, in the duplicitous run-up to the invasion of Iraq, insulated himself, closed his mind and refused to meet with civic associations in his own land. Like an autocrat bent on plunging a country into war and occupation, knowingly on false pretenses, he deliberately deprived himself of the information that might have restrained his disastrous, messianic militarism. Disastrous, not to him and Dick Cheney, but to our country, soldiers, and economy, and to the devastated Iraqi people and their ravaged nation.
In the months before the March 20, 2003, undeclared criminal war of aggression that violated our Constitution, statutes, and treaties, a dozen organizations each formally requested a meeting with him.
These organizations represented tens of millions of Americans. They came from the clergy, labor, environmentalists, businesses, students, peace groups, womens' groups, city councils, consumer, veteran, teachers groups, and international security experts. Many also came with first hand experience in Iraq and the Middle East.
They wanted to meet with their president. He never even answered their letters. The letters are available at nader.org.
Who would have thought last year that on assuming the presidency, that you would consider plunging deeper in to this quagmire without an exit strategy? The deeper you plunge, the greater your rejection of the history of occupations fueling insurgencies in that region. The more you insulate yourself from contrary judgments to those you have been receiving from your inner councils. Our country, its people and innocent Afghan people will pay the price.
A recent resignation by Matthew P. Hoh, a former marine combat captain in Iraq and highly regarded foreign service officer in Afghanistan, provides an independent analysis of the grievances afflicting the 42 million Pashtuns. In his words:
Mr. Hoh proceeds to list these persistent failings and adds his articulate doubts about the strategic purposes of your Administration's military presence in Afghanistan. He ask, "Why and to what end?" His letter of conscience and protest concludes by noting the limitless effects on our foreign and military policy, and on our country and its economy.
They may wonder, by contrast, why you have so many White House meetings with major corporate CEOs from Wall Street, from the health insurance companies and the drug companies. Is not the White House the peoples' House? Along with many other citizens in our country, I look forward to your response.
Ralph Nader is the author of The Seventeen Traditions.
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Baltimore News Network, Inc., sponsor of this web site, is a nonprofit organization and does not make political endorsements. The opinions expressed in stories posted on this web site are the authors' own.This story was published on November 22, 2009.