President Obama included some nice rhetoric in his speech today at West Point, along with some very frightening ideas.
President Obama wants two more years of war in Afghanistan (using 9,800 U.S. troops, plus NATO allies, plus thousands of contractors, and labeling them "non-combat" although they're trained only for combat and will remain only if a new Afghan president provides immunity for crimes).
Tell Congress to stand up and stop this, and tell the President we won't put up with it. Click here.
Obama also wants $5 billion, he said today, for warmaking in Yemen, Somalia, Libya, Mali, and especially Syria. While continuing the war in Afghanistan, he wants to train and arm a war in Syria more or less on the model of what got the disaster started in Afghanistan over 30 years ago.
Tell the White House and Congress we meant it when we said no more wars in Syria or anywhere else! Tell them we don't believe the only two choices are war or nothing.
Obama yet again said he wants to close Guantanamo. Well, why doesn't he free the prisoners already cleared for release? He said he supports international law. Well, why not join the International Criminal Court and stop killing people through the counterproductive drone wars?
"The United States will use military force," Obama said in blatant violation of international law, "unilaterally if necessary . . . when our livelihood is at stake or when the security of our allies is in danger."
Obama maintained that his policy involves both killing with drones and capturing, but the example he gave of capturing someone was from 1998.
Obama swore his allegiance to "American Exceptionalism" as the "one indespensible nation." (Are all the others dispensible?) The U.S. has rarely been stronger compared to the world, he claimed -- apparently viewing the world as a competitor.
The odds of the U.S. being attacked are low, the President said. But surely they're not lower than the odds of Canada being attacked, as Canada is not antagonizing as many people in as many places.
The U.S. economy is the most "dynamic," Obama said. But which direction is it moving in?
The U.S. is more energy independent, he said. But not compared to nations like Germany that are actually making renewable energy a priority. "Energy independent" in the U.S. apparently means intensified fracking.
The world looks to the U.S. military for help, Obama claimed. Yet a poll early this year (see article below) found the world viewing the U.S. as the greatest threat to peace.
Let our government know we reject its exceptionalism and want to cooperate nonviolently with the other 95% of humanity.
Obama claimed that threats are now not so much to the U.S. as to its troops abroad. So why not bring them home? When the President thanked 2.5 million Americans who have "served" in Iraq and Afghanistan there was hesitant applause among the West Point graduates today. But when he said his listeners might be the first graduates not to go to Iraq or Afghanistan there was spontaneous cheering.
Let's all have something to cheer about. Click here to demand an end to the wars.
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New York Times: U.S. Troops to Leave Afghanistan by End of 2016
Text of Obama's Speech Today at West Point
Tim Shorrock: New Document Details Secret Mass of Contractors in Afghanistan
Huffington Post: Womp! This Country Was Named Greatest Threat To World Peace