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Largest Peace Group: Netroots Campaign to Stop Escalation Underway
Posted by Ralph Lopez on October 22nd, 2009

Using an online Excel spreadsheet like a whip list to continually update congress members’ positions on the troop escalation, sister peace organization United for Peace and Justice is enlisting citizens to report results of phone calls to their offices to keep the heat on. This is a bold and creative undertaking in using the Netroots to stop a war. Jump in and report your call to your congressman on the website NoEscalation.org. The whip list is updated every five minutes.

Also don’t forget the brave Afghan women’s activist Zoya (of RAWA, who is on a US speaking tour right now) and her plea for help in stopping the starvation now taking place in Afghanistan among its children, including in Kabul. Demand during your calls that Congress heed RethinkAfghanistan.org’s call for a civilian solution. One important part of a civilian solution is detailed here, at “Afghan Marshall Plan: an Exit Strategy.” You can email the link or the text to your representatives.

Since there is 40% unemployment and the Taliban pays its fighters $8 a day, denying civilian aid could be the military-industrial complex’s recipe for further instability and war, to use the term coined by Republican President Dwight Eisenhower in the famous warning in his Farewell Speech. Now that Obama has won the Nobel Peace Prize, he would do well to remember who else won that prize, George C. Marshall author of the Marshall Plan, which fed starving Europeans and stabilized Europe after WWII. Troops out. Civilian assistance in. This is a manufactured war in which most Taliban recruits would drop their weapons if they had work projects instead, which would cost us a tiny fraction of what is spent on military operations.

From the sister peace website NoEscalation.org:

“We need Members of Congress to take a stand against escalation now.

There are three key ways for Members of the House to affect President Obama’s decision: to speak out publicly against a troop increase; to co-sponsor Rep. Lee’s bill HR 3699 prohibiting an increase in troops; and to co-sponsor Rep. McGovern’s bill HR 2404 calling for an exit strategy from our military occupation of Afghanistan.

There are two key ways for Senators to affect President Obama’s decision: to speak out publicly against a troop increase and to introduce legislation in opposition to a troop increase and in favor of an exit strategy from our military occupation of Afghanistan or in favor of a timetable for military withdrawal.

So, what we are asking you to do is call your representatives in Congress – or any Member of Congress you feel comfortable calling (all phone numbers are given in the spreadsheet below – click on the spreadsheet and use arrows to scroll up and down – click the second tab for the Senate – or you can just call the switchboard at 202-225-3121 and be transfered to the Rep or Senator’s office) – try to get a staff person who handles Afghanistan on the phone, and:

for Members of the House: 1) if their office has not co-sponsored the McGovern bill (current co-sponsors are shown in the spreadsheet below), ask them to co-sponsor it.

2) if their office has co-sponsored the McGovern bill but not the Lee bill, ask them to co-sponsor the Lee bill.

3) if they are not shown in the list below as having taken a position against sending more troops, ask them if they have taken a position against sending more troops; and urge them to take a position now against sending more troops. (Here is a script for calling House Members.)

for Senators: 1) ask them if they have taken a position against sending more U.S. troops. If they have not done so, ask them to take a position now against sending more U.S. troops.

2) ask them to introduce legislation in opposition to sending more troops and in favor of an exit strategy from our occupation from Afghanistan or in favor of a timetable for military withdrawal. (Here is a script for calling Senators. )

Then – this is important – we want you to report your results on this website — what did the office say? – using the comments section for this blog, so people around the country can see who has taken a stand and who has not.Tell us if these Members of Congress have taken a stand against sending more U.S. troops. Click on the comment link to add your reportback. If the Congressional office directs you to a website or press clips that documents the Representative’s position, or you come across such links, please post the URLs in your reportbacks.

The groups organizing this project want to end the war. But the first step to ending the war is not to deepen it. If McChrystal’s request is approved, it will likely lengthen the war by many years. Thank you for participating! http://noescalation.org ”

Watch the 26 minute documentary online “Afghan Marshall Plan: Winning With Jobs Not Guns

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