On the 11th anniversary of the Afghanistan War, veterans deploy to Fort Lewis with message of hope

Courage to Resist (via March Forward). October 10, 2012

Iraq, Afghanistan and Vietnam veterans with the “Our Lives Our Rights” campaign are reaching out to soldiers this week near Fort Lewis, Washington. Soldiers there with the 4th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, are scheduled to deploy to Afghanistan later this month. Soldiers will receive information about Conscientious Objection and other legal avenues to avert deployment–“You don’t have to go to Afghanistan,” is the message. Activists with March Forward! and Veterans For Peace are carrying out this week of action.

From the Our Lives Our Rights campaign:

“The Pentagon’s Afghanistan strategy is up in smoke, exposed in recent news reports. The now-ended “surge” failed to break the momentum of the Afghan resistance, and officials have now abandoned their hope for a peace deal with the Taliban. A “withdrawal” strategy based on training Afghans to replace us has been smashed by “insider killings,” where now those supposed to replace us are the biggest threat to our lives. The Afghan people, like all people, do not want to live under foreign occupation.

“The generals and politicians know their war can never be won, and they admit this behind closed doors,” says Iraq veteran Mike Prysner. “But they refuse to take responsibility for a ‘military defeat’ on their watch. Millionaire politicians are playing politics with our lives.”

“Over 2,000 U.S. troops have been killed in Afghanistan – more than 250 so far this year alone – and many thousands more have been maimed for life,” says Gerry Condon, a Vietnam era veteran.

“How many more men must die in support of a mission that is not succeeding?” asks Army LTC Daniel Davis, who traveled 9,000 miles through 8 provinces in Afghanistan before writing a grim assessment of the US/NATO occupation. Colonel Davis is right—nobody else should be sacrificed in a lost cause. (armedforcesjournal.com/2012/02/8904030)

Withdrawing all U.S. troops immediately—as favored by a large majority of American – would be the right thing to do. Instead, our elected ‘leaders’ in government and unelected ‘leaders’ in the Pentagon are forcing troops into multiple deployments to go on pointless patrols, simply because they don’t want to be embarrassed.

Soldiers have legal alternatives to going to war. These are our lives, so we should exercise our rights. Now is the time to get help from fellow soldiers and veterans who understand what we and our families are going through.

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