Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Join Other Progressives and Tell John Kerry Your Opinion on the War in Afghanistan

From Progressive Democrats of America...

As you may know in 10 days we gathered over 25,000 signatures in a letter to the Senate Democratic Caucus, which we delivered to Senator Kerry. In addition we delivered 54 packets containing the letter to the Senate Democratic Caucus. Sen. Kerry then responded to us. His response is here: Sen. Kerry's office has been monitoring the comments on our blog containing his response to us about our letter to the Senate Democratic Caucus. In addition we are receiving press queries about it.

I'm writing to you today to ask you to read the comments and to make a comment yourself. This is a delicate operation though.

While we agree with Barbara Lee that this initial drawdown should have been 50, 000 troops by the end of this year, we are happy that Obama did not follow the advice of his generals to remove just 5000 troops. We didn't get everything we wanted, but we did reverse the direction of our military strategy there. It's important to remember that this is no small victory. See Tom Hayden's post:

We also should recognize that we are in conversation with a very powerful member of the Senate. For maximum impact and in order to continue to build on this opening, which is important for future efforts, the tone of your comment is very important. Respectful comments are needed—we can respectfully disagree and show support for his willingness to address us directly, while urging Kerry to step it up:

Support Lee's amendment in the Senate debate on defense authorization by calling for 50,000 troops in the initial drawdown. If we bring home 97,00 troops by the end of 2012, we'll save 100 billion a year and still have a strong military presence in Afghanistan and Pakistan: 50,000 from Afghanistan for a $50 B savings, withdraw 47.000 from Iraq, saving another $50 b a year

Sponsor a new Baker-Hamilton-style “Afghanistan Study Group” which includes public hearings to inform the work. We need to hear all the facts, and any strategy should include what the American people want.

Speak clearly to dispel the myth that our national security is at risk if we leave Afghanistan, when the reverse is actually true. Our military intervention in muslim countries is creating the risk.

We've got a toe-hold here, and we need to get our foot in the door. Some comments on the blog have been excellent while other are rather mean-spirited. We want to get our points across without alienating his office. We want to show we can be partners in ending the war, and not cry-babies when we don't get exactly what we want. Can you help in this effort by making a comment today?

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