Prominent Veterans Group Just Called On US Public to Say No to War

October 16, 2015   |   Nick Bernabe

Nick Bernabe
October 16, 2015

(ANTIMEDIA) A group of former U.S. service members called the Veterans For Peace issued a letter to the American public and President Obama today. In it, they outline reasons for the United States to immediately end the war in Afghanistan, among others, and call on the public to step in to ensure it happens. The entire letter is included below:

President Obama’s decision to prolong the U.S. led war in Afghanistan only ensures U.S. responsibility for more death and destruction. Veterans For Peace condemns the decision and calls on the U.S. public to say no to more war.

Today, President Obama commented, ‘I do not support the idea of endless war, and I have repeatedly argued against marching into open-ended military conflicts that do not serve our core security interests.’ But Veterans For Peace asks, what is this policy but endless war? The U.S. has been fighting in Afghanistan for over fourteen years. What can fewer than 10,000 service members do that more than 100,000 could not? Al-Qaeda is a non-factor in Afghanistan and the Taliban are Afghans. U.S. presence in Afghanistan ensures more Afghan deaths and delay in reduction of violence so that civil society can be rebuilt and peace and justice can begin to take hold. War, Mr. President, has not worked. If you don’t believe in endless wars and you want to be a true Nobel Peace laureate to be looked up to and admired for working for peace in the face of pressure to continue down the road of war, Bring Our Troops Home and put all of the weight and power of the U.S. behind building peace.

In his remarks, the president referred to the Taliban and the people of Afghanistan as if they are two different groups. The truth is that the Taliban represent a portion of the Afghan people. The Taliban are Pashtun tribesmen. Pashtuns are also the majority in Afghanistan. This makes it very difficult to combat the Taliban as they have many sympathizers and supporters who may not actively fight the U.S. backed government, but will not support it.

It is clear that U.S. led efforts in Afghanistan have given more people reason to join the Taliban. A Carnegie Endowment for International Peace 2009 question and answer piece explained, people… ‘join because the Afghan government is unjust, corrupt, or simply not there. They also join because the Americans have bombed their houses or shown disrespect for their values. For young people, joining the Taliban is a way to earn social status.’

That was written six years past, and little has changed. Just two weeks ago on October 3, 2015 the U.S. bombed a Doctors Without Borders Hospital in Kunduz Afghanistan killing twelve medical staff, ten patients and wounding thirty-two others. This type of incident is not uncommon. Amnesty International’s 2014/15 Annual Afghanistan Report says, ‘ISAF and NATO forces continued to launch night raids and aerial and ground attacks, claiming dozens of civilian lives, despite completing the handover of responsibility for security to the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) in June 2013.’

The report goes on to say.[sic] ‘There were significant failures of accountability for civilian deaths, including a lack of transparent investigations and a lack of justice for the victims and their families.’ An October 14th New York Times article reports that, ‘Mr. Ghani is not popular among Afghans. And the problems in his government — like corruption and incompetence — run so deep that fixing them will take years, possibly decades.’ Trust of the Afghan government has not increased among the people it claims to represent.

It is true that anti-government forces are responsible for the vast majority of civilian deaths. However, continuing the war does not increase the possibility for reduction of violence to save lives. This makes coalition forces and the opposition complicit in every death. There is little chance of defeating the Taliban because they will not stop fighting until the foreign invaders are gone and there are not enough Afghans willing to possibly die in support of the U.S. backed national government.

There is not a perfect solution to the tragedy of Afghanistan. War has been the norm for the people of Afghanistan for nearly 37 years. The answer to ending the violence there is political, not military. The U.S. must withdraw and give the nation of Afghanistan back to the people of Afghanistan. The people of Afghanistan must form their own union. One we may not like, but is theirs. The international community must pressure the Afghan government, Taliban dominated or not, to follow international law and respect human rights. A real diplomatic effort must be brought to bear to end the violence so that the people of Afghanistan can rebuild civil society and create space for human rights activists to struggle for a just society.

Concerns about the threat of ISIL in Afghanistan must be met with more effective efforts to end the violence and wars in Iraq and Syria. U.S. global policy of endless war is merging into a global response of violence. We need a global response that meets human needs and aspirations. War is not the foundation on which to build peace. U.S. efforts have proven that war is the breeding ground for more violence and hatred. We demand a peace plan, Mr. President. We are not war weary, we simply know it does not work.

Finally, there are U.S. service members and families upon whose shoulders this failed and derived policy of endless war will continue to fall. U.S. military personnel have sacrificed enough in blood on the battlefield; wounded and killed. They are burdened with executing a no win strategy. When they come home they face unemployment, homelessness, recovery from physical and mental wounds and high rates of death by suicide. The Department of Veterans Affairs is already overwhelmed, unable to meet the needs of our brother and sister veterans. This policy ensures more of the same on the home front as well. Mr. President, it is clearly time to end this and all U.S. wars. Bring Them Home and Take Care of Them When They Get Here.”

Veterans for Peace is a global, non-profit anti-war group whose members include U.S. military veterans and those who advocate on their behalf. You can find their website here.


This article (Prominent Veterans Group Just Called On US Public to Say No to War) is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Nick Bernabe and theAntiMedia.org. Anti-Media Radio airs weeknights at 11pm Eastern/8pm Pacific. If you spot a typo, email edits@theantimedia.org.

Author: Nick Bernabe

Nick Bernabe founded Anti-Media in May of 2012. His topics of interest include civil liberties, the drug war, economic justice, foreign policy, geopolitics, government corruption, the police state, politics, propaganda, and social justice. He currently resides in Chula Vista, California, where he was born and raised.

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  17. You narrow minded fuck. So does everyone in the military have to beleive in war and want war? You stupid piece of shit. Just fuck off I wont even read your reply.

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  18. About time the men who are in front of the lies stand up for them selves. You can be in the military and not want war. These men of ours are not senseless.

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  19. This picture is false. As an ex Navy man, I find it well, insulting not to mention lowers the credibility of anyone sharing it. This is our country's enemies using social media against us.
    So I'm asking, Join the Coffee Party Movement, would you show those of us that served honorably some respect an take this post down?
    This is just some anti American propaganda and it's been done before. Please look at my link. USMC, US Army, USAF etc. I've replied to many of your suppoters posts stating my feelings. Those of you that said something like "Don't join if you won't follow orders". I thank for your support. I have many family members and friends either serving, or Veterans like me. I guarantee, no Senior Chief Petty Officer would ever do anything like this. Truly disrespectful.
    I too was against invading Iraq. When I was in the Navy we trained Sadam's Republican Guard down in Coronado in the early 80's as Iraq was our Allie and Iran was our enemy. The whole mideast is messed up. It has been for centuries.
    I was all for hunting down the people that attacked us on 9-11, but unfortunately this got out of hand quickly and our country was lead down the wrong path.
    Peace and happiness to all.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2408854/Syria-crisis-I-didnt-join-Navy-fight-al-Qaeda-Syrian-civil-war-photo-goes-viral.html

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  20. hes 100% correct, Stop fighting their fights, let them do their own battles, we have our own shit to handle at home.

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  21. its more american and patriotic than blindly following corrupt leaders. Our leaders are the "domestic threats" our constitution talks about defending against. I thank you for your intentions to do well; but its time to face facts and see more harm is being done than good. The road to hell is paved with good intentions.. salvation comes from knowing when you've done wrong and humbling yourself to change

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  22. its more american and patriotic than blindly following corrupt leaders. Our leaders are the "domestic threats" our constitution talks about defending against. I thank you for your intentions to do well; but its time to face facts and see more harm is being done than good. The road to hell is paved with good intentions.. salvation comes from knowing when you've done wrong and humbling yourself to change

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  23. But some did and that is why every country has professionals to handle the dirty work. It's a job, they like what they do, they enjoy fighting for the concept of freedom and they are WILLING to give their lives for it. Next time, cry-babies, go join the Salvation Army or the Boy Scouts. You'll be safer…

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  24. Jayson Stepp US Armed Forces, soldiers, sailors, marines, airmen, fight where they are told to fight. They ALL signed on to serve the US Armed Forces. They don't fight in the US, they fight where everyone else has already screwed everything up and can't get out of it without help. Ever hear of WWII? dumbass

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  25. Really? What fight are members of the US Armed Forces fighting in the US? They join the US Armed Forces to fight where the fight is, not in the US you, dumbass.

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  26. Daniel Leist These servicemen and women VOLUNTEERED to fight for the United States of America, without question, where ever they are sent.
    Theirs not to make reply,
    Theirs not to reason why,
    Theirs but to do & die..
    Don't enlist or commission of you can't do the job, just saying… BJ

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  27. Daily Mail, really? lol Yeah coming from that propaganda mill, I feel so much better!

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  28. There are a lot of people making comment here have never worn a uniform. I also believe that Syria civil war is Syria civil war. We go and try to place our government on these people and they are used to dictator government. Leave these countries alone and let them control their own destiny. Oh we can’t because we want their oil. That is what these wars are about oil. The sell us oil we sell them guns. They are angry at us so they send their terrorist group to blow us up. We still buy their oil and we sell them weapons. The weapon manufactures are getting richer by sell to both side. Who lose in this fight are the American veteran we come back home to what. We come home to a sweet moment but what happen when that moment is gone. We still have the ache and pain. Can’t sleep at night, many can’t keep a job. Many can’t find a job. So, those who think we should be in Syria, why don’t you sign up and go fight in Syria. If you make it back home to the nightmare, losing your family because of your mood changes and that guilty feel. The ache and pain from the injury and watching friends get wounded or killed. If you are not a veteran then you have nothing to say. The United States does nothing for veteran. This one of the reason you see so many veterans are alcoholic, on pain pills to higher drugs. Many commit suicide. I served 22 years in the Army and I am in pain every day. I refused to take pain pills and VA hospitals are a joke. They refuse to give me disability so agree with the other veteran. After the sweet home coming the parade is over and the lights are off. Nobody gives a damn about the veteran or their family. The only you care about is war! Think about it.

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