Efforts under Way to Oppose Obama’s Afghanistan Escalation

Organizing to Oppose Obama's Escalation of the Afghanistan War includes Film, Call for Congressional Hearings

In recent weeks, a new effort has been undertaken to oppose the escalation of the U.S. war in Afghanistan. As President Barack Obama has committed to sending 17,000 additional troops to the country, there is a growing debate among progressives about how best to proceed in the country.

The latest effort has been spearheaded by the Brave New Foundation. The organization is currently working on a film questioning the U.S. war in Afghanistan and is urging a serious debate over U.S. policy. The organization has launched RethinkAfghanistan.com and is currently collecting signatures on a petition that calls for Congressional hearings about the war. They argue that Congress should discuss troops, costs, and overall mission before more troops are committed to the war.

Documentary Questions the Afghanistan War

Robert Greenwald, the progressive filmmaker who has produced successful films such as Uncovered: The War on Iraq and Iraq for Sale, is working on a film titled Rethink Afghanistan that will intends to foster discussion and debate about the Afghanistan War.

The first segment of the film, titled “Afghanistan + More Troops = Catastrophe,” has been released. It looks at the problems associated with escalating the war in Afghanistan:

Additional segments will be released in the coming weeks and we’ll post them here as they become available.

Blogging against the Afghanistan War

In addition to the Rethink Afghanistan film and the push for Congressional oversight hearings, the “Get Afghanistan Right” blog continues to aggregate articles critical of the escalation of the U.S. war in Afghanistan. In recent weeks, the blog has linked to articles highlighting the cost of the war, looking at the Geneva Conventions, and the progressive debate over the war.

The blog has also adopted a position statement on Obama’s proposed escalation, stating in part:

“As Americans eager to help President Obama build prosperity at home and peace abroad, we are gravely concerned by plans to increase our military presence in Afghanistan. Without a clear strategy, benchmarks for success, and a plan to bring our troops home, this escalation will only prolong the American-led occupation – increasing anti-American sentiment throughout the region – while failing to make America any safer. In a time of economic crisis, these resources can be better used to solve problems here at home.

We urge elected and appointed leaders to postpone troop increases in Afghanistan to allow for a robust public debate on the goals of our presence there and the strategies best suited to achieving them.”

Thus far, the statement has been endorsed a variety of university professors including Noam Chomsky as well as the group Progressive Democrats of America.

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