Americans United in Their Alarm about the Destructive Consequences of our Country’s Runaway Militarism
Open letter to President Obama.
September 12th 2011
Please Sign The Letter Below
Dear President Obama and Members of Congress:
The wars in which the United States is currently engaged–in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq and Libya–are harming U.S. national and economic security, degrading the standing of the United States in the world community, fueling hatred abroad for Americans and undermining the rule of law. These unconstitutional wars have been justified on false premises, and most recently in the case of Libya there was not even the pretense of a congressional declaration of war, making it an impeachable offense. We urge you to end the current illegal wars and start a national dialogue about shifting U.S. foreign policy away from dominance through military might, and toward being a member of the community of nations.
It is time to end all of these wars. It is time to initiate a fundamental shift in U.S. foreign policy away from domination of others through military strength and damaging sanctions. As a first step we urge a major withdrawal of soldiers from Afghanistan–as candidate Obama promised in 2008. This withdrawal should be at least as large as the 63,000 troop escalation the President put in place early in his presidency. This withdrawal should be defined as a clear first step to a complete withdrawal of all soldiers and private contractors from Afghanistan by the end of 2011. It is time to return to our Founders’ declared conception of the United States as a democratic Republic and not an Empire.
The people signing this letter come from all segments of the political spectrum. We are conservatives and progressives, liberals and libertarians, from the right, left and center. We are Democrats, Republicans and independents. We represent a healthy and still vital American tradition, indicated by the fact that the majority of Americans want the United States to bring the soldiers home from these counterproductive and avoidable wars.
The U.S. needs to normalize relationships with countries around the world, especially in the Middle East. We recognize that there are important natural resources in these areas. But we can achieve a sustainable economy in more effective ways than war and empire. The United States clearly has the wealth and knowledge to make this transition, and showing how it can be done would be an unparalleled service to our people and the world.
This is the time for a profound shift in foreign policy. A perfect storm has demonstrated the urgent need to reconsider militarism and promiscuous interventionism:
– The U.S. economy can no longer sustain a bloated military that spends as much on weapons and war as the rest of the world combined.
– The U.S. economy is in dangerous straits with mass debt fueled in large part by military spending that makes up 55% of federal discretionary spending.
– In war after war the US military has found that it cannot defeat people who seek to protect their countries and reject foreign domination, the very lesson of our own American Revolution.
– Documents published by Wikileaks have added fresh evidence discrediting the idea of the U.S. being the “good cop of the world.” Instead the world increasingly sees the U.S. government as one that dominates through threats, violence, bribery, spying and illegal actions, and is all too willing to use military force to achieve its ends. That is not the polity which the majority of Americans wish.
– The rule of law has been undermined by ignoring Article 1 Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution, which specifically states that Congress has the authority to declare war, not the president. Tactics used in recent wars, including torture and widespread abuse of prisoners, further undermine the rule of law.
– Even with the raid on the Osama bin Laden refuge, the growth of stateless terrorism will not abate as long as the United States continues waging wars which commonly feature torture, midnight raids on families and the killing of innocent civilians.
– War brings suffering on a massive scale and unnecessary war brings pointless suffering. Reliable reports indicate more than one million war dead in Iraq and millions more becoming refugees. There are constant reports of civilian deaths in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Libya.
Mr. President and members of Congress, you have a historic opportunity to redirect U.S. foreign policy down the pathways of peace, liberty, justice, respect for community, obedience to the rule of law and fiscal responsibility. George Washington urged Americans to “cultivate peace and harmony with all” and to “avoid overgrown military establishments,” which are “hostile to republican liberty.” It is time for Americans to reject fear and militarism and embrace the highest, noblest aspirations of our heritage. It is time to come home, America.
[Please add your signature and hometown in the comment section below or write to akeaton at antiwar.com with “Please Add Me” in the subject line.]
Elliot Adams, President, Veterans for Peace
I. Dean Ahmad, President, Minaret of Freedom Institute; President. Islamic-American Zakat Foundation
Lisa Albrecht, Professor, Social Justice, University of Minnesota
Larisa Alexandrovna, Editor-at-Large, Raw Story
Maria Allwine, Fund Our Communities, Steering Committee, October2011.org
James Babb, Co-founder, We Won’t Fly
Jim Babka, President, DownsizeDC.org, Inc.
Michael Badnarik, Libertarian Party Presidential Nominee 2004
Margo Baldwin, President & Publisher, Chelsea Green Publishing
Jack Balkwill, Editor, LUV (Liberty Underground of Virginia) News
Doug Bandow, Former Special Assistant to President Ronald Reagan
Paul Barrow, Director of Policy and Communications, United Progressives
Rosalyn Baxandall, Distinguished American Studies Prof., Chair SUNY Old Westbury
Jonathan Bean, Research Fellow, The Independent Institute
William O. Beeman, Professor and Chair, Department of Anthropology, University of Minnesota
David Beito, Professor of History at the University of Alabama
Medea Benjamin, CODEPINK, co-founder
Phyllis Bennis, Director, New Internationalism Project, Institute for Policy Studies
Bruce L. Benson, Professor and Chair, Department of Economics, Florida State University, Vietnam War combat veteran
Walter E. Block, Professor of Economics, Loyola University
Leah Bolger, CDR, USN (Ret), National Vice-President, Veterans For Peace
Scott Bonn, Author and Assistant Professor of Sociology, Drew University
Samuel Bostaph, Professor Emeritus of Economics, University of Dallas
Elaine Brower, anti-war military mom, National Steering committee, World Can’t Wait
Paul Buchheit, PayUpNow.org and UsAgainstGreed.org
Paul Buhle, Emeritus Senior Lecturer, Brown University
Tim Carpenter, Director, Progressive Democrats of America
Kevin A. Carson, Research Associate, Center for a Stateless Society
Gary Chartier, Associate Prof. of Law and Business Ethics at La Sierra University
David Cobb, Green Party 2004 Presidential Nominee
Jeff Cohen, Author, media critic, journalism professor, co-founder, RootsAction.org
Catarina Correia, Coordinating Committee, National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance
Robert Dickson Crane, Richard Nixon’s principal foreign policy adviser, 1963-68, Deputy Director for Planning, National Security Council, 1969
Doug Craig, Libertarian National Committee, US Navy, Gulf War vet
Ellen Davidson, Steering Committee, October2011.org
Nicolas J. S. Davies, Author of Blood On Our Hands & Local Coordinator, PDA Miami
Joseph Dobrian, writer, Libertarian Party candidate for Mayor of New York City, 2009
Karen Dolan, Fellow, Cities for Peace, Institute for Policy Studies
Jim Douglass, Author, JFK and the Unspeakable
Jake Diliberto, Co-founder, Veterans For Rethinking Afghanistan
Gus diZerega, Founding Editor, Studies in Emergent Order, author
Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, professor emerita, California State University
Sibel Edmonds, Founder & Director, National Security Whistleblowers Coalition
Carolyn Rusti Eisenberg, Professor US Foreign Policy, Hofstra University
Ivan Eland, Senior Fellow, The Independent Institute
Daniel Ellsberg, Pentagon Papers whistleblower
Lucas M. Engelhardt, Assistant Professor of Economics Kent State University
Jodie Evans, CODE PINK, co-founder
John Feffer, Co-director, Foreign Policy In Focus, Institute for Policy Studies
Joy First, Convener National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance
Margaret Flowers, MD, Single Payer Health Care Advocate
Glen Ford, Executive Editor, Black Agenda Report
Four Arrows, aka Don Trent Jacobs, Prof. of Education, Fielding Graduate University,co-founder Veterans for Peace Northern Arizona chapter and American Indian author
Russell Arben Fox, Associate Professor of Political Science, Friends University
Bart Frazier, Program Director, The Future of Freedom Foundation
Eric Garris, Antiwar.com
Dave Garthoff, Department of Economics, The University of Akron
Alan Gilbert, Professor, Josef Korbel School of International Studies, Univ. of Denver
Philip Giraldi, Former CIA Operations Officer
Paul Glover, social entrepreneur and consultant
Nate Goldshlag, National Treasurer, Veterans For Peace
Charles Goyette, Author, The Dollar Meltdown
Anthony Gregory, Research Editor, The Independent Institute
Marc Guttman, MD, Editor, Why Liberty-Personal Journeys Toward Peace and Freedom
Jane Hamsher, Founder and Publisher, FireDogLake.com
Roger D. Harris, Vice President, Task Force on the Americas
Sharon Harris, President, Advocates for Self-Government
Cole Harrson, Co-coordinator, UFPJ Afghanistan Working Group
Holly Hart, Secretary, on behalf of the Green party of the U.S.
Howie Hawkins, Co-Chair, Green Party of New York State
David R. Henderson, Research Fellow, Hoover Institution
Mark W.A. Hinkle, Chairman, Libertarian Party
Connie Hogarth, Dir. Center for Social Action, Manhattanville College, Purchase, NY
Sage Holben Metropolitan State University, St. Paul
Will Hopkins, Board, Veterans for Peace, Executive Director NH Peace Action
Jacob Hornberger, President, The Future of Freedom Foundation
Jeffrey Rogers Hummel, Associate Professor of Economics, San Jose State University
Lou Jasikoff, Chair Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania
Rob Kall, Publisher, OpEdNews.com
Tarak Kauff, Veterans for Peace
Bill Kauffman, Author, Ain’t My America
Angela Keaton, Former member, Libertarian National Committee
Nada Khader, Executive Director, WESPAC Foundation
The Rev Michael Kinnamon, Ph. d General Secretary, National Council of Churches
Stephan Kinsella, Senior Fellow, Ludwig von Mises Institute
Adam Kokesh, Executive Producer and host of ADAM VS THE MAN, Iraq Veteran
Karen U. Kwiatkowski, Lt Col, USAF (ret.)
Judith LeBlanc, Field Director, Peace Action
Rabbi Michael Lerner, Editor, Tikkun Magazine, Chair, The Network of Spiritual Progressives
William S. Lind, co-author (with Paul Weyrich), The Next Conservatism
Carroll Long, UN, World Bank (ret.)
Roderick T. Long, Professor of Philosophy, Auburn University; President, Molinari Institute
Bartley Madden, Professor of Economics at Mercatus, George Mason University
Tom Maertens, Former Director, National Security Council under Presidents Clinton and George W. Bush
Ben Manski, Liberty Tree, Executive Director
Daniel McCarthy, Editor, American Conservative
Robert W. McChesney, Gutgsell Endowed Prof., Univ. of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Raymond L. McGovern, CIA Analyst (ret.)
David McReynolds, Socialist Party presidential candidate, 1980, 2000
Jeffrey Miron, Department of Economics, Harvard University, Senor Fellow, The Cato Institute
Robert P. Murphy, Lecturer, Ludwig von Mises Institute
Nancy Murray, Human Rights Activist, Boston, MA
Ralph Nader, Consumer advocate
Robert Naiman, Policy Director, Just Foreign Policy
Anthony Noel, Facilitator, New Progressive Alliance
Jeff Norman, Director, U.S. Tour of Duty
Jim O’Brien, co-chair, Historians Against the War
George O’Neill, Jr., Come Home America
James Oaksun, National Chair Outright Libertarians
Michael D. Ostrolenk, National Security Consultant
Charles V. Peña, Senior Fellow, The Independent Institute; Foreign Policy Advisor, Ron Paul for President 2008
James Peron, President, The Moorfield Storey Institute
Jeff Paterson, Project Director, Courage to Resist
Dan Perkins, political cartoonist Tom Tomorrow
George Phillies, Editor, Liberty for America
Larry Pinkney, Editorial Board Member & Columnist, The Black Commentator
Udi Pladott, Steering Committee, October2011.org
Murray Polner, Editor and Writer
Margaret Power, Professor, Illinois Institute of Technology
Vijay Prashad, author, The Darker Nations: A People’s History of the Third World
Sharon Presley Ph.D., Executive Director, Resources for Independent Thinking, author
Mike Prokosch, New Priorities Network
Justin Raimondo, Editorial Director, Antiwar.com, author
Ted Rall, author and political cartoonist
William Redpath, Treasurer & Immediate Past Chairman, Libertarian National Committee
Ward Reilly, Steering Committee, October2011.org
Sheldon Richman, Free Association Blog
Mik Robertson, Past-Chair, Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania
Marakay Rogers, Esq, Libertarian Nominee, Governor of Pennsylvania
Matthew Rothschild, Editor, The Progressive
Coleen Rowley, Former FBI Agent and one of TIME’s 2002 Persons of the Year
Thaddeus Russell, Historian and author of A Renegade History of the United States
Linda Schade, Founder, VotersForPeace
Lisa Schirch, Director, 3P/Partners Advancing Human Security
Joseph E. Schwartzberg, Distinguished International Emeritus Professor, University of Minnesota
Kim Scipes, former Sgt, USMC (1969-73), member of Vietnam Veterans Against the War
Butler Shaffer, Professor, Southwestern University School of Law
Daniel Shea, Board of Directors, Veterans for Peace
Cindy Sheehan, National Director of Peace of the Action
Robert Shetterly, artist, Americans Who Tell the Truth
William F. Shughart II, Senior Fellow, The Independent Institute; J. Fish Smith Professor in Public Choice, Utah State University
Lisa Simeone, Steering Committee October2011.org
Sam Smith, Editor, Progressive Review
Brad Spangler, Director, Center for a Stateless Society
David Swanson, Author, War Is A Lie
Alexander Tabarrok, Research Director, The Independent Institute;
Bartley J. Madden Professor of Economics at Mercatus, George Mason University
Jeff Taylor, Assistant Professor of Political Science, Jacksonville State University
Dennis Trainor, Jr., October 2011 Steering Committee
Rachel Treichler, Green Party (NY)
Laurence M. Vance, Francis Wayland Institute
Dave Wagner, Tempe, Arizona
Jesse Walker, Managing Editor, Reason
John V. Walsh, MD, Professor, Univ. of Mass. Medical School; Come Home America
Bernard J. Way, Associate Professor, Political Science and Economics Department, Christendom College
C. T. Weber, State Chairperson , Peace and Freedom Party of California
Linda Wiener, Steering Committee, October2001.org
James Matthew Wilson, Assistant Professor of Literature, Villanova University
Darren Wolfe, Founder, Focus On Peace
Emira Woods, Co-Director, Foreign Policy In Focus, Institute for Policy Studies
Tom Woods, Senior Fellow, Ludwig von Mises Institute
Steven Woskow, Ph d,Consultant
Ann Wright, US Army Colonel (ret.) and former US diplomat
R. Lee Wrights, Editor and publisher of Liberty For All, US Air Force Veteran
Kevin B. Zeese, Come Home America
To Sign Letter click http://www.comehomeamerica.us/
World Wide Wars
The increase in size of the military, police forces, and of their armaments, are all essential for the completion of the above plans.
The situation we need to arrive at is that the populations of the world’s nations consist of only: (1) ourselves; (2) the masses of the working class; (3) a few millionaires devoted to our interests; and (4) police and soldiers.
Throughout all Europe and countries that have relations with Europe, and in other continents also, we must create unrest, disagreement and hostility.
This gives us a double advantage. Firstly, it deters countries from acting against us. For they will know that we have the power to create disorders or to restore order whenever we like. All these countries will see us as an unavoidable force of authority.
Secondly, if we threaten to withdraw or muddle up our existing arrangements with these countries, this would also create havoc. You see, over many years we have inserted ourselves into the administrative machinery of their cabinets, making them dependent upon us. In order to infiltrate in this manner we must involve ourselves in maters like economic treaties or loan obligations. We need to use great cunning during negotiations and agreements, but instead of using our usual threatening language, we’ll instead do the opposite and don the mask of honesty and complacency.
In this way the peoples and governments of the Goyim, whom we have taught to look at only the outside of whatever we present to their notice, will continue to accept us as the benefactors and saviors of the human race.
If any country dares to oppose us, we must be in a position to respond by way of war. We will do this by teaming up with the neighbors of that country. But if those neighbors should also venture to stand collectively together against us, then we must resist with a universal war.
The main factor of success in politics is to operate in secrecy. A diplomat must say one thing but then do another.
We must compel the governments of the Goyim to take action in the direction favored by our well thought-out plan, which is nearing completion, by what we shall claim is public opinion. This ‘opinion’ will be secretly promoted by us through the means of that so-called “Great Power” – the media, which, apart from a few unimportant exceptions, is already entirely in our hands.
In order to display our system of keeping the governments of the Goyim in Europe in check, we shall show our strength by committing terrorist attacks against one of them. If the governments of Europe should collectively rise against us, we shall respond using the military might of America or China or Japan.