President Obama recently announced that he will not make decisions about troop levels in Afghanistan ‘without having absolute clarity about what the strategy is going to be’. It has also been reported that a leaked assessment memo by General Stanley McChrystal is urging more troops be sent to Afghanistan.
We all want to feel safe and secure, and know that our taxpayer dollars are not being wasted on perpetual wars that create new enemies. For these reasons, we must work for an exit strategy from Afghanistan and bring our troops home. Jane Harman recently voted to spend another $100 billion dollars to continue the occupation of Iraq, ship more troops to Afghanistan, and send drones to rain bombs on Pakistan -- a fragile nuclear-armed nation.
Some say we cannot afford to leave Afghanistan. In fact, my opponent argues we must eradicate corruption there because – ‘... the United States has invested too many troops and too much treasure to fail.’ I say - We cannot afford to stay in Afghanistan because we will bankrupt our country.
War and occupation breed corruption, so a policy of escalation in Afghanistan is at cross-purposes. If we really want to eradicate corruption in Afghanistan, then we should invest in humanitarian aid, not weapons that will kill innocent people and create more hatred toward us. Let us build schools, hospitals and houses -- not as an occupying power -- but as a global partner interested in shared prosperity and world stability.”
The stated purpose for invading Afghanistan was to bring the perpetrators of 9/11 to justice. After seven years, thousands of lost lives, and billions of dollars wasted, isn't it time to rethink Afghanistan?
As a leader in the Progressive Caucus of the California Democratic Party, I am organizing a Rethink Afghanistan forum at the next Executive Board meeting of the CDP, the weekend of November 13-15, in San Diego. This forum will coincide with discussion of a resolution to support the House bill calling for an exit strategy,
Marcy Winograd is a 2010 congressional candidate running to unseat Jane Harman in southern California’s 36th district, a 30-mile stretch that spans West Los Angeles to the harbor. Winograd is currently airing commercials on CNN and MSNBC that challenge Harman to sign on to Congressman Conyers’ bill for single-payer health care. For more on the campaign, visit www.winograd4congress.com or Marcy Winograd for Congress on Facebook.