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Matthew Hoh: “I submit my resignation.”

Posted by robertgreenwald on November 20th, 2009

Just last month, Matthew Hoh resigned from his position at the State Department to protest the Obama administration’s seeming determination to send tens of thousands more American troops to a disastrous war in Afghanistan. In that short time, Hoh has become one of the smartest, most compelling, articulate, and principled dissenters our country has seen against the failed Afghanistan occupation.

If the Obama administration doesn’t listen to Hoh now, his warnings of the tragedy that lies at the end of the path of escalation will come to haunt our nation in years to come.

Obama will announce a decision on escalation within weeks. But according to news reports, he is having second thoughts about the wisdom of throwing more American soldiers into a quagmire.

Now is the time to sign our petition to President Obama and send it to others. Then help us continue this important work on Afghanistan by becoming a Brave New Foundation member. As a thank you, you will have access to our Brave New Conversations series, where you can watch amazing Conversations with extraordinary personalities – including a discussion with Matthew Hoh on why the U.S. is following in the footsteps of the Soviet Union on a road to disaster in Afghanistan.

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  1. ccpennes says:

    END ALL THE WARS,(THE GOP STARTED) SEND NO MORE TROOPS ANYWHERE, SAVE YOUR PRESIDENCY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. bettycoleman says:

    OUT OF AFGHANISTAN NOW!

  3. lenaboswell says:

    I so agree. Fighting in Afganistan is like struggling in a quicksand pit. We cannot win, because there is nothing to win. They have their ways and we have ours–we are not going to convert anyone, especially since we are the invading enemy. Is it possible to live and let live. Do we have to go to war just because we have the weapons to do so? I believe that Iraq/Afganistan will be more horrible on our collective conscience than Vietnam ever was.

  4. smlinTampa says:

    Let's take care of America and get out of Afghanistan. Bin Laden's goal was to bankrupt the American economy and sadly, he's winning.

  5. afgail says:

    If you don't learn from history, you are destined to relive it. Why haven't we learned from our own mistakes in Viet Nam and the Soviet Union's mistake in Afganistan? The Afgan war pushed a weakened Soviet Union into complete collapse. Given our weakened economy do we want to risk the collapse of the United States?

  6. muchness1 says:

    The GOP did not get us into WWII or Vietnam and the Democrats voted along with the Republicans to go into Iraq. So don't make this about party politics. Keep to the issue – Afghanistan!

  7. Daniel J. Andrews says:

    Mr. Hoh and others like him must be presented before the House & Senate and their comments and observations must be taken seriously. Not long ago, we heard so much about decisions being made (primarily in Iraq) based upon the recommendations of those “on the ground”. Mr. Hoh has been “on the ground”, despite the fact that he does not carry an M-16 or whatever may be the weapon of choice these days. After some eight years of fumbling in Afghanistan, it is time to get out and leave the destiny of that nation to its people.

  8. jacquelinerodenberg says:

    I lost many friends in Viet Nam for no good reason. The fact that we did not learn from the past just rips my heart and soul out. Why don't we learn from those who are familiar with the situation there such as Greg Mortenson (author of 3 cups of tea) and Matthew Hoh? Are we so jaded that we don't care how many of our soldiers have died and will die for no good reason?! Our country is also in financial crisis mode and we are spending trillions down a rat hole on these useless, baseless wars.

  9. rheredia says:

    I gree with Smlin Tampa about Bin Laden's goals being realized by our warfare in Afghanistan and Iraq and bankrupting America – - he has succeeded in dividing us as a nation and by the deaths of more and more and more of our American military men and women, as well as those of our allies – - Why do we let him win? Because there is a greedy war machine behind all of this – - people who have no compassion for the Afghani citizens or for the American families who are suffering as w result of their loved ones deployment to these wars – - let's stop it now!

  10. Sheila Jenca says:

    Be the president I voted, volunteered, and donated for, please.

  11. tommatarrese says:

    I agree whole heartedly. The people who are fighting us are winning even that they have no vast army, marines, navy, air force, no tanks but still they are winning and we are losing! The Russians left because they were losing and so should we! Send those GOP assholes McCain, Boehne, Kyl, and the rest to Afghanistan so they could get killed in this lost war which was started by two idiots Bush & Cheney who never served America and had no idea what they were doing there anyway. I think it was the pot that Bush was after being a drug addict!

  12. halsinger says:

    It is hard to add anything relevant except, Please President Obama, listen to this man and all the others trying to say the same thing and remove our troups from Afganistan and Iraq as quickly as possible.

  13. jannypants says:

    I agree with the comment “Bin Laden's goal was to bankrupt the American economy and sadly, he's winning.” President Obama, how many years spent, lives lost, and money drained from our weak economy will it take before we can say we've “won” or need to come home? Whether we increase or merely maintain present troop numbers, I see only endless involvement and the creation of more enemies than friends.

  14. georgekausch says:

    Please, Mr. President, not another Vietnam, I was there!

  15. valerie silleck says:

    I voted for you wanting Peace, not more of the same..
    Please do not send my son or any mothers child to war.
    Live up to your Nobel Peace Prize and end the madness now..
    How many more people must die?
    Listen to this man he knows what he is talking about..

  16. ccpennes says:

    YES LYNDON JOHNSON GOT US INTO VIETNAM, BUT BUSH GOT US INTO
    TWO ,COUNT THEM TWO WARS, BUSH STARTED A WAR WITH IRAQ, WHEN IT SHOULD
    HAVE BEEN WITH AFGHANISTAN, THEY WERE RESPONSIBLE FOR 9/11, AND…. IT
    IS THE GOP WHO TURN EVERYTHING I NTO PARTY POLITICS BECAUSE THEY ARE
    RACISTS, AND WANT OBAMA TO FAIL, AND THEY HATE HIM, SO NO MATTER WHAT
    HE DOES, IF HE GOES TO WAR HE WILL BE CRUCIFIED BY THE GOP, AND IF HE
    DOESN'T THEY WILL DO THE SAME, JUST AS THEY ARE BLAMING OBAMA FOR
    EVERYTHING, ELSE JOBS, ECONOMY ETC. WHICH WE INHERITED FROM THE BUSH
    ADMINISTRATION. SO DON'T SEND ME ANYMORE OF YOUR ABSURD COMMENTS., IN
    FACT LEAVE ME ALONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! NO MORE
    EMAILS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  17. JohnKarol says:

    …and please read Garry Wills's short piece “A One-Term President?” in the current (Dec. 3) issue of The New York Review of Books, at page 8. Do the right thing – get us out of Afghanistan now, before it's too late.

  18. barbaramoravec says:

    As someone who supported you from the beginning, Mr. Obama, I BEG you to read Greg Mortensen's book Three Cups of Tea. He spent years in Afghanistan building schools for girls. The country needs educated women to bring it into the 21st century. Mr. Mortensen contends that because of the actions of the Bush-Cheney Administration, we will have enemies in Afghanistan for the next 300 years. Our continued involvement in this war we can't win can only make us broke and vulnerable. Please remember the late President Eisenhower's warning about the military-industrial complex. Don't listen to them. Listen to your supporters! Please!

  19. Marilyn Campbell says:

    Greg Mortensen is perhaps your best “on the ground” observer. Please listen to him.

  20. vince says:

    this is a war that can not be won militarily or thru propping up karzai corrupt regime.withdraw now thus saving face and money we need to spend at home

  21. goddessofpeace says:

    Please stand for the Peace that I am sure you must want. Stop the occupation of Afganistan now.

  22. laurensanders says:

    How did we prevail over the USSR, bankrupted them. How has O.B.L. said he will defeat us, bankrupt us. Continue the war and you are playing right INTO his plan. As always follow the money too. If the military industrial complex wants this war so bad let them fight and pay for it!!! Watch and see how fast it ends then!!! Taxpayers are getting suckered AGAIN!!!

  23. laurensanders says:

    How did we prevail over the USSR, bankrupted them. How has O.B.L. said he will defeat us, bankrupt us. Continue the war and you are playing right INTO his plan. As always follow the money too. If the military industrial complex wants this war so bad let them fight and pay for it!!! Watch and see how fast it ends then!!! Taxpayers are getting suckered AGAIN!!!

  24. laurensanders says:

    WASHINGTON ISN'T UP FOR SALE…….IT'S BEEN SOLD…… TO CORPORATE GREED.

  25. JoeS says:

    Withdraw troops and send aid workers and aid, for much less money and many many lives saved.

  26. Elizabeth Sherwood says:

    I firmly believe that it is completely wrong for the United States to be waging war in Afghanistan! Any respect that the sane, civilized countries in the world still have for us will rapidly diminish if we persist in what, for the average citizen in Afghanistan, is considered a foreign invasion. No more troops, dollars, and bloodshed in Afghanistan, please!

  27. johnproctor says:

    I was in the Honor Guard during Vietnam. I spent my time burying my brothers from the war. I worked for Obama because I know that Bush got us into wars we were not compelled to pursue and because I was led to believe Obama would get us out. My disappointment and dispair are growing. Have we really succombed to the imperial aspirations of the US right wing?

  28. Robert Lehan says:

    The NY TimesFrday gave us a story of the US being ripped off by
    warlords controlling the N-S corridor along which our supplies are
    convoyed. The money they obtain with the sale of our needed supplies
    is used to support the Taliban. So our money goes to our enemies. What's wrong with this picture? RL

  29. 203_rod_lopezfabrega says:

    Alexander's Macedonian armies couldn't do it. The British Raj couldn't do it. The Russian's huge army couildn't do it. What makes us think we can successfully occupy this permanent unstable corner of the world that swallows up the world's greatest armies.

  30. Obama represents the U.S. two-party ruling class consensus. That consensus is global domination and perpetual war. Hoh is right, we must get out of Afghanistan. Will we? Eventually, when the Afghan people have defearted us, enough U.S. soldiers have fragged their officers, and the U.S. people are being shot in the streets here at home — just as the Vietnam war ended. It is time also for people to turn their eyes to the U.S. propaganda (media and official) and war preparations by the U.S. in Latin America. Please devote a portion of your time, reading, and energy to preventing that next U.S. war at the same time that we work to end U.S. imperialist occupations and aggressions in Afghanistan, Iraq, the Phillipines, etc.

  31. JoAnne Hyduck Hopkins says:

    Not worth the lives!!!!!

  32. Norene Stucka says:

    Sending more troops to Afghanistan will be just as much of a disaster as when Johnson sent more troops and more troops and more troops into Vietnam. Focus on El Qaeda NOT on rebuilding a country which defeated both the British and Soviets. We cannot win there. Our troops are exhausted and overstressed and it will bankrupt our country. Please do not make this horrible mistake.

  33. davidbrenneman says:

    It seems it would be impossible to win anything in the area. The longer we stay, the more lives are lost, and for what? We should have the troops here to fight terrorist here. Nothing is going to change in Afghanistan. Let's get the hell out now Mr. Obama!

  34. Dr. Joe Blumenthal says:

    This is a futile endeavor as represented by the Iraq situation, the Vietnam experience, the unnecessary loss of American lives and NO progress on any level whatsoever. We are losing more lives of our Young Future leaders for something that is not helping is here in the USA or the rest of the world. DO NOT SEND ANY MORE OF OUR YOUNG PEOLPE TO DIE FOR NOUGHT

  35. motamanx says:

    I really thought that Obama was enough of a student of history to know the folly of sending an army into Afghanistan.

  36. simplee says:

    Sadly, I have to agree with laurensanders. The United States of America has been bought by corporations whose sole interest is in making short term profits…. at the cost of lives, limbs, conscience, & taxpayer money. It is most evident in the issues of continued unwarranted military occupation of Afghanistan, & in the refusal of our legislative & executive branches to enact or even seriously discuss the simplest & only solution to our health care problems…. Universal Single Payer/Medicare For All.

    Both of these issues result in immeasurable human suffering, loss of human lives, & astronomical financial costs to everyone except the corporate vested interests which keep them from being resolved.

    Unfortunately, until we enact a complete overhaul of our campaign financing laws & policies, stop allowing corporations to contribute to campaigns at all, & rescind the law which gave corporations personhood, we will not be able to stop the sacrificing of our people to corporate greed!

  37. Robert Jones says:

    This is all about how the CFR, Tri-Lateral Commission, and the Bilderberg Group control our government now. Obama is one of them. All of his Cabinet and White House administration are all of the above and they tell him what to do. Can someone investigate these people and tell us the truth about who is behind the government today. It is also not just the US it is the whole world that they control. Investigate them and tell the world the truth so they will know that they are not as secretive as they think.

  38. Jack Smith says:

    This is all about how the CFR, Tri-Lateral Commission, and the Bilderberg Group control our government now. Obama is one of them. All of his Cabinet and White House administration are all of the above and they tell him what to do. Can someone investigate these people and tell us the truth about who is behind the government today. It is also not just the US it is the whole world that they control. Investigate them and tell the world the truth so they will know that they are not as secretive as they think.

  39. Doris says:

    If you decide to pull out, be very careful. JFK ordered the troops out of Viet Nam and 2 weeks later he was dead. The military industrial complex, CIA, IMF, and the Federal Reserve rule this country, not you. This is why you MUST look back, not move on without putting to bed 9/11. Your life and the life of this country depends on it. Cheney needs to be arrested immediately. He is our #1 terrorist.

  40. pongagt says:

    President Obama

    Every soldier killed while you delay is one that could be alive when our government finally realizes the hopelessness of the situation. It absolutely will happen. How many dead Americans and Afghans will it take? What is your number of American sons, daughters, fathers, mothers you are willing to sacrifice until you stop the war or pass the buck to someone else? The war is Bush's mistake and now it is your time to decide if the deaths are worth something. Has what has been gained so far been worth any lives? Would you sacrifice your life for what has been gained or what you perceive can be gained? Tell me, what has been gained that relatives of the dead can say they have accomplished? Take off your blinders and listen to those that elected you. What value do you place on a American life? We shall now find out.

    The president that got us into this called himself the decider. It is time for you to be the decider and make the only right decision to withdraw all troops from Afghanistan and replace them with aid workers when the Afghanistan people can stabilize their country at their own cost in lives, not ours.

  41. Stan Brouard says:

    It's really simple. If there was an occupying force on American soil, how long and how hard would Americans fight them? I believe the answer is however long it took to run them off. We may have the upper hand technologically and militarily, but this war of ideals cannot be won with weapons. If only we could learn from the lessons of the Soviet Union and Great Britain. Our larger than life American ego is willing to sacrifice thousands of men and women, and billions of dollars for a cause that we've frankly already lost. Yet we keep feeding the military monster. I wish President Obama and Congress had the guts to say NO! No more! It would not make us weak, just wise.

  42. eulalee says:

    Please President Obama, listen to the voice of peace whch is in your soul. Remember you won the Nobel Peace Prize, now is your chance to prove to the world that you are for peace.American lives are too precious to be lost in a war that will never be won.

  43. georgeroy says:

    This as well as Iraq is a lost cause. We should vacate the Mid-east, as the muslims want, or we will be enforcing a police state for years to come at a great American expense in lives lost and untold billions of dollars for years to come.

  44. jojol says:

    The American administrations seem more concerned with how we will look to “others” around the world than with whether this so called war is right or winnable. Meanwhile, it is our brave young men and women who are at risk, not the politicians. It is a well accepted fact that Afghanistan is a tribal country and has been for centuries. We will not succeed in turning it into an American-styled democracy, not now. So, why do we stay there and continue this futile fight? The answer is the same as it was in previous wars – money! The poppy fields, the munitions manufacturers, the military suppliers, etc. All of these are benefitted by our “invasion”. We need to get out of there, isolate them and let their own “government” pull them up into the 21st century. We should be tired already of thinking that we are the world's watchdogs. We are humans – let's just live like that and let others copy that from us.

  45. David Downing says:

    President Obama, please do what you know is right! I implore you not to give in to the war hawkes, but to be a dove of peace in a war-torn world!

  46. karahp says:

    Put it back on Congress to decide what to do. Congress is the body that should decide to go to war and how to fund it, it was never intended to be an Executive power. We need to re-debate this insanity, as a country, through the proper political venue.

  47. karahp says:

    Put it back on Congress to decide what to do. Congress is the body that should decide to go to war and how to fund it, it was never intended to be an Executive power. We need to re-debate this insanity, as a country, through the proper political venue.

  48. gaeapanda says:

    Should our new President dispatches our youth to die on foreign soil, he would perpetuate America's 20th century imperialist stand as had all his predecessors, and demonstrate that it is the Cheney Group that rule our nation, and not her citizens….It is heartbreaking to think that nothing, nothing can loosen the corporate tyranny in control of our lives

  49. stevemcpherson says:

    I voted for Obama with the expectations that he would remove the US from the foreign entanglements in the Middle East. The last US administration created a world in which everyone is less safe.
    The concept of pre-emptive war is so dangerous and has etablished such a horrible precedence that many generations in the future will look back with regret.
    President Obama, demonstrate to the american people that you recognize the futility and criminality of these two wars and take the moral high ground and end both.

  50. elizabeth Chapman says:

    Will our training of Afghan police/soldiers garantee that they use their skills to protect all Afghan people, or will they have special allegience to their own clans, perhaps even criminal groups? Did this country ever ask for foreigners to come and “help” them? We do not have to leave withour sending civilian assistance, but it will have to be at their request, or after our persuation that we wish to help them, not kill them. When will we ever see that only non-violent resistance can bring change, only win-win solutions help. War is never the answer, it is only a plaster on a sore, a recirculation of hate.

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