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July 2011 Postcard

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DEAR PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA:

Please don’t wait until the end of 2014 to bring our troops home from Afghanistan. Bring them home now.

The killing of Osama bin Laden is proof that counterterrorism is best accomplished by criminal investigations and intelligence gathering instead of massive invasions or occupations. Do some sleuthing and examine the records captured from bin Laden’s hideout. We don’t need American boots on the ground anymore.

Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) said on May 10 that current expenditures of $10 billion a month are “fundamentally unsustainable” and that the administration needs to clarify both its 
mission in Afghanistan and its exit plan. Now that Bin Laden is dead, let’s bring our brave soldiers home and give them what they need to recover—medical support, jobs, housing and education. Come to think of it, it would be admirable (and cheaper than war) to do the same thing for the nations we invaded—and our own! 


DEAR SENATOR:

Please don’t wait until the end of 2014 to bring our troops home from Afghanistan. Bring them home now.

The killing of Osama bin Laden is proof that counterterrorism is best accomplished by criminal investigations and intelligence gathering instead of massive invasions or occupations. Do some sleuthing and examine the records captured from bin Laden’s hideout. We don’t need American boots on the ground anymore.

Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) said on May 10 that current expenditures of $10 billion a month are “fundamentally unsustainable” and that the administration needs to clarify both its 
mission in Afghanistan and its exit plan. Now that Bin Laden is dead, let’s bring our brave soldiers home and give them what they need to recover—medical support, jobs, housing and education. Come to think of it, it would be admirable (and cheaper than war) to do the same thing for the nations we invaded—and our own! 


DEAR REPRESENTATIVE:

Please don’t wait until the end of 2014 to bring our troops home from Afghanistan. Bring them home now.

The killing of Osama bin Laden is proof that counterterrorism is best accomplished by criminal investigations and intelligence gathering instead of massive invasions or occupations. Do some sleuthing and examine the records captured from bin Laden’s hideout. We don’t need American boots on the ground anymore.

Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) said on May 10 that current expenditures of $10 billion a month are “fundamentally unsustainable” and that the administration needs to clarify both its 
mission in Afghanistan and its exit plan. Now that Bin Laden is dead, let’s bring our brave soldiers home and give them what they need to recover—medical support, jobs, housing and education. Come to think of it, it would be admirable (and cheaper than war) to do the same thing for the nations we invaded—and our own! 


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Afghan youth take part in a peace walk on March 17, 2011. (Massoud Hossaini/AFP/Getty Images)
   

In the aftermath of 9/11, the U.S. government made some bad choices. It could have decided to cooly track down all those responsible for this terrible act using intelligence resources and bring them to justice. It could have accepted an offer by the Taliban to hand Osama bin Laden over for trial in a neutral country and examined the root causes of terrorism.

Instead Washington declared a “war on terror,” and called for massive military attacks on Afghan istan and then, incongruously, Iraq. Those people responded just as Americans would if we were invaded: they tried to throw us out. And now, nearly 10 years later, we’ve created thousands of new enemies.

The wars have cost a trillion dollars, and more than 5,900 American lives, not to mention the tens of thousands wounded. We couldn’t even count the Iraqi and Afghan journalists, academics, political leaders, women and children who have been killed in these wars. It’s time to reduce military funding and go back to what we do best: training future leaders, doctors and teachers to change their own countries. This will help our own nation recover economically and spiritually from these devastating wars, and regain the many friendships we have lost.

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