Ending the war in Afghanistan and supporting the troops. Vote Yes!
A New York Times poll in March found 69% of Americans went the war in Afghanistan to end. Traveling this country by bicycle for fourteen months talking to people from all walks of life I am willing to wager that if the poll added “ and support the troops when they come home, including physical and mental health and job placement” then the numbers would be over 90%.
So if the majority oppose the war why does the war continue? Why do the two major political candidates ignore this mandate of the people?
1. We who hate the war and support the troops don’t agree on much else. We do not see eye to eye on health care, public education, gay marriage, immigration, oil exploration, abortion, gun control, mass transit, or unions. Therefore it is hard for us to get together and let our voice be heard.
2. We don’t agree on how to express this mass sentiment. Some feel that rallies in the streets is the way, others feel that endangers the lives of troops in the field. This argument is so intense that it makes our unity on the war invisible.
3. Those who support the war – the five% military industrial complex, have the politicians and much of the mass media in their pockets. They will keep reminding us of what we don’t agree on, diverting our attention and convincing us that the voids among us are too big to be overcome.
4. The Military continues to be a major source of employment in some regions of the country. Towns in which there are no jobs, the army Navy and Marines become local employers. Decent jobs fixing this country rather then destroying another has to be part of the end of the war package if we are going to galvanize this mass anti war sentiment.
And so we have this situation: a war nobody wants.
Everyday that the war continues we have more soldier suicides, more green on blue deaths, more destruction of lives on two continents.
We need a referendum on the war AND full support for returning troops that includes a government jobs replacement program.
Then we can continue our lively debates over the issues that divide us. Maybe we will hear each other better once we know we can overcome the forces that tried to circumvent the people’s will on war and peace.
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