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Antiwar Protesters Turn Their Sights on Obama


Anti-war protesters await a rally in front of the White House in Washington October 5, 2009. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

By Garance Franke-Ruta
Commemorating the upcoming eighth anniversary of the invasion of Afghanistan, a coalition of antiwar protest groups converged on the White House on Monday to urge a withdrawal from the fighting there and in Iraq.

Sixty-one people were arrested, according to protest organizers. Several hundred attended a rally at McPherson Square, which was followed by a procession to the White House.

Organized under the umbrella of the National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance, it was the coalition's first protest of the war in Afghanistan. Antiwar organizers hope it will mark the start of a month -- and a season -- of fresh agitation, after years of seeking an end to the fighting in Iraq.

The protests brought out the familiar sign of Quaker antiwar activists, as well as the vivid hues and banners of the women's antiwar group Code Pink. Activist Cindy Sheehan -- who became perhaps the country's best-known antiwar protester after her son Casey was killed fighting in Iraq -- also attended.

Other organizers included the War Resisters League, Peace Action, World Can't Wait, Veterans for Peace and Voices for Creative Nonviolence.

The group United for Peace and Justice -- which helped organized many antiwar protests during the George W. Bush administration -- is calling for Wednesday to be a national day of action and activities to mark the Afghanistan anniversary. And many groups have been planning a campaign of fall protests for months.

On Sunday, MoveOn.org Political Action asked its members to sign a petition telling the White House and Congress that "we need a clear military exit strategy -- not tens of thousands more US troops stuck in a quagmire" and urged them to raise their voices into an out-of-Afghanistan chorus.

"Cheerleaders for the war refuse to acknowledge that there could be any viable strategy other than a bigger and bigger military footprint. ..." the group said in the letter. "The hawks are making their position heard. Now, the majority of Americans -- those of us who are for as quick and as responsible an end to the war as possible -- need to make our voices heard, too."

MoveOn was one of Obama's fiercest defenders, and a significant fundraiser during the presidential campaign. It appears to hold high hopes that Obama will continue to show what they described as "a willingness to stand up for his more thoughtful approach to foreign policy."

By Web Politics Editor  |  October 5, 2009; 6:02 PM ET
Categories:  National Security , Washington Life  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Obama's Busy AfPak Week
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Comments

The protest is happening online as well. As President Obama considers sending another 40,000 troops to Afghanistan, the majority of Americans who oppose escalation are have been staging a "friendly takeover" of the White House's Facebook page since Monday in a "virtual vigil at the White House" to call for a new approach. You can join here: http://peaceactionwest.org/fb/action.html

Posted by: griffinrebecca | October 7, 2009 12:25 AM | Report abuse

The U.S. war on Afghanistan is now the 2nd longest war in U.S. history, surpassed only by the Vietnam War which we also lost. The General in charge says we are now losing in Afghanistan. If we are losing after 8 years, shouldn't we get out now before we sink farther?

I'm old enough to remember another Democratic President, LBJ, who inherited an Asian war and escalated it in a vain effort to win. Although LBJ was initially popular, he wound up not running for re-election because he knew he would lose because of the unpopular war. Is Obama repeating this experience?

Wouldn't it be nice if the U.S. would finally try the way of peace? We've fought countless wars, and the results get worse and worse. As a Vietnam era song says, "When will we ever learn? When will we ever learn?"

Posted by: BillSamuel | October 6, 2009 7:14 PM | Report abuse

this is the most targeted president of all time, from morning until night 24 hrs a day
I am shocked that he get so much done with
so little help. its shameful for a nation
this wealthy to sit on their hands while
a president of this country work so hard!and
to not get any credit or protection from the people of this great country. if he had not took the hard and diffcult task he had to face where would our Economy be? Bush and the republicans literally destroyed this country, now he must face healing it all by himself with no help!!! shame!!!! shame!!! on America God is not please with what you are doing!!!!

Posted by: starry99eyes2003 | October 6, 2009 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Said HepKat: "I hate to rain on the protester's parade, but the Taleban really is our enemy."

That may be, but they are in opposition to the modern world at large. Thus, we cannot defeat them alone. We need to do so in concert with the world community and that requires stamping out what makes them proliferate: poverty and lack of opportunity, primarily, but also foreign intervention: the boots on their soil and the destruction they cause (good intentions or not) that gives cause to the likes of Taleban to organize their poor and ignorant Muslim brethren.

without addressing the root cause of terrorism (poverty and imperialism), our military engagement will go on forever. only we have the power to change the current dynamic. i hope that we do, and do so by taking a defensive posture and one that recognizes terrorism as a criminal matter and not as a military matter. endless "war" against terrorism cannot be won. certainly, it should be obvious by looking at our actions in Iraq and Vietnam that counterinsurgency campaigns produce far more bad outcomes than good.

Posted by: dillweed | October 6, 2009 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Msnbc reporting this morning that up to 40,000 more troops are needed in Afghanistan and 10 years to see results.

Eight years is enough to be waging war in the middle east. The loss of life is unacceptable, the loss of treasury is unacceptable, the loss of our morality is unacceptable. It's time for the president to do what he said he would.....get us out of Afghanistan and Iraq.

Posted by: liberalwesterngirl | October 6, 2009 11:32 AM | Report abuse

THE 'ENDLESS WAR' WILL DEFEAT THE OBAMA PRESIDENCY IF POTUS DOES NOT WAKE UP AND SMELL THE INCIPIENT COUP D'ETAT

* "Seven Days in May" McChrystal just the latest ominous sign


Will President Obama realize that the "endless war" strategy, costing the nation much blood and treasure, is fueling a hard-right silent coup that already has decimated democracy and made a mockery of the rule of law at the GRASSROOTS -- where Democrats are weakest?

***


SILENT, HARMFUL MICROWAVE AND LASER DIRECTED ENERGY WEAPONS DEPLOYED AGAINST AMERICAN CITIZENS BY MULTI-AGENCY FED PROGRAM

• Physical and Neurological Impairment Under the Cover of Telecommunications, "Less-Lethal" Law Enforcement Weaponry -- A Crime Against Humanity


A federal-local multi-agency coordinated action program -- an ongoing legacy of the Bush-Cheney years -- is committing a quiet genocide on thousands of unjustly targeted Americans...

...via microwave/laser weaponry; covert financial exploitation; and a grassroots vigilante army fronted by community policing, town watch and anti-terrorism units who use covertly placed warrantless GPS devices and cell phones to stalk their targets...

... a GRASSROOTS GESTAPO protected by federal and local law enforcement who know all about it...

...a domestic "torture matrix" hiding in plain sight, unreported by a complacent, manipulated mainstream media, unquestioned by naive and apparently misinformed Obama officials.

PRESIDENT OBAMA:

BAN the use of microwave and laser weaponry against the American people; and

BAN the warrantless GPS/cell phone tracking of U.S. citizens -- the electronic backbone of a GRASSROOTS GESTAPO now operating on your watch.

http://nowpublic.com/world/gestapo-usa-govt-funded-vigilante-network-terrorizes-america

OR (if link is corrupted / disabled):

http://NowPublic.com/scrivener RE: "GESTAPO USA"

Posted by: scrivener50 | October 6, 2009 9:52 AM | Report abuse

"If he sends more US troops to Afghanistan he will be exposed as a complete fraud."

We do not have to wait that long. He is a fraud already on almost every issue he campaigned on.

Posted by: HepKatt | October 6, 2009 7:42 AM | Report abuse

I hate to rain on the protester's parade, but the Taleban really is our enemy.

I understand the confusion that arose from the Iraq mess. There were no Weapons of Mass Destruction, no link between al queda and Iraq, and Iraq posed no threat at all to America at the time of the invasion.

I especially appreciate Cindy Sheehan's courage in facing the fascist Bush administration to try to hold them accountable for the deaths of so many Americans in Iraq based on lies. I would still like to see them held accountable.

Remember WHY we went into Afghanistan. The 9-11 Commission report states:

"Upon this political and ideological foundation, Bin Ladin built over the course of a decade a dynamic and lethal organization. He built an infrastructure and organization in Afghanistan that could attract, train, and use recruits against ever more ambitious targets. He rallied new zealots and new money with each demonstration of al Qaeda’s capability. He had forged a close alliance with the Taliban, a regime providing sanctuary for al Qaeda."
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/nation/911report/documents/911ReportExec.pdf

The fight in Afghanistan is very important to our national security, and Bush's rogue imperialism in Iraq allowed the Taliban to flourish.

Under Bush, we established a corrupt government in Afghanistan, with only the thinnest patina of Democracy. Our poorly targeted drone strikes killed many civilians, and even the strikes on legitimate targets resulted in unacceptable collateral damage. Needless to say, these tactics guarantee defeat.

General McChrystal's strategy is one of providing security for Afghan civilians by both denying the Taliban access to them, and by reducing collateral damage of our actions. McChrystal's report expressly states the need to eliminate corruption from the Afghan government.

I would like to ask the protesters of the Afghan conflict to reconsider their position, based on the threat cited by the 9-11 commission and the new strategy proposed by General McChrystal.

Posted by: shadocat | October 6, 2009 5:09 AM | Report abuse

Today, October 5, World Can't Wait joined with Cindy Sheehan & others in a protest of about 500 people in front of the White House. Join us in responding to Obama's surge of troops to Afghanistan by fueling a surge of resistance that will reignite and build a movement to stop the death and destruction unleashed on the people of the Middle East. We are beginning to see more people openly object to the US occupation and your help and money is needed in order to change sentiments into visible resistance.

What we need is a surge of resistance. Join us in the streets Tuesday and Wednesday in righteous protest against these continuing crimes.

Whether or not you can join us in the streets, please donate today towards our goal of $5,000 in 48 hours. This is actually the most crucial political act you can make right now.

Donate at www.worldcantwait.org

Posted by: emmancipator | October 6, 2009 2:29 AM | Report abuse

LOL. Obama is Great!

He keeps the War Going, TOTALLY Punk'd the Dems and Independents, kept Bush's SecDef at the Pentagon..What's not to love?


Well, He sure is keeping Liz Cheney's seat warm for when she is packaged in 2012 as a cookie baking soccer mom and pitches Barack and his wife out on their poseurs posteriors...They'll be okay. Frankly, they were in it for the money. Pretty obvious now, no? HAHAHAHA!

Ah well..We deserve the phoneys we elect now, don't we?

Posted by: GOP-Nudist-Ideologue-With-Bongo-YouKnow-The-Party-Intellectual | October 5, 2009 8:44 PM | Report abuse

LOL. Obama is Great!

He keeps the War Going, TOTALLY Punk'd the Dems and Independents, kept Bush's SecDef at the Pentagon..What's not to love?


Well, He sure is keeping Liz Cheney's seat warm for when she is packaged in 2012 as a cookie baking soccer mom and pitches Barack and his wife out on their poseurs posteriors...They'll be okay. Frankly, they were in it for the money. Pretty obvious now, no? HAHAHAHA!

Ah well..We deserve the phoneys we elect now, don't we?

Posted by: GOP-Nudist-Ideologue-With-Bongo-YouKnow-The-Party-Intellectual | October 5, 2009 8:43 PM | Report abuse

Bush never had Sheehan, the mother who lost her son in his war based on lies, arrested. Obama did. Obama is beginning to look more and more like a typical political hypocrite. If he sends more US troops to Afghanistan he will be exposed as a complete fraud.

Posted by: Spiritof761 | October 5, 2009 7:57 PM | Report abuse

LOL! :-D

Guess he "Changed" on that Anti-War Platform huh?!


S-S-S-Suckers!

Como se dice...

"Draft"?!

Por Que?

Conjecture SUCKERS! ;~)

Posted by: SAINT---The | October 5, 2009 7:44 PM | Report abuse

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