Contact President Obama and tell him to INVEST IN THE HOME ECONOMY not WAR ECONOMY!

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Contact President Obama and tell him to INVEST IN THE HOME ECONOMY not WAR ECONOMY!

y166831637174123_50 Yesterday, our military family received this legislative alert from Voters for Peace (VFP) asking us to contact President Obama to express our views on escalating War in Afghanistan and potentially Pakistan. I will post the letter we sent to the President separately, but we ask that if you question anything about this shift in quagmires to please consider doing the same.

In all fairness, despite running on a campaign pledge to END THE IRAQ WAR and INVEST AT HOME, President Obama did tell those of us reluctant to vote for him that his administration intended escalating the GWOT into southwest Asia, because they have a plan for doing it better than Bush that ensures victory. We must convince this President to not continue spinning us to death with the help of media pundits who get off on instigating wars.

Escalating the War on Terror into southwest Asia means maintaining blank check Defense Budgets, if those of us with kin in the ground forces can be assured that the lion’s share of any future defense budgets will go to the Army and Marine corps to stand a chance of victory in Afghanistan as they leave Iraq, then maybe we could buy this spin and all. Regardless, it’s the same old song, same war as Iraq just a different shade of Red (mix conservative red bloods with a liberal blue bloods and what you get is only more of other people’s blood being spilled for political motives that have nothing to do with the best interests of military families) Democrats asking the precious few who would do the fighting and dying in Afghanistan (and Iraq) to hang in there just a little while longer as the rest of the nation skates is far worse than Republicans demanding we do so. It’s one thing to hear this stay the course rhetoric from politicians we expect it from but quite another when those we supported take it to heart.

Lastly, remember that the 2010 mid-term Congressional elections are just around the corner or about the time this gamble shows where the dice will fall. Democrats are going to running against Republican they perceive as vulnerable due to the economy. A word of caution, should the Dems fail to succeed being more offensive than Bush, I predict that the Republican s will shift the issue away from the economy to how the Dems screwed up in Afghanistan more than Bush (they) did. If the Obama administration and a Democratic controlled Congress silently or gleefully allow our troops and military families (voluntary or not) to continue being exploited in Afghanistan, our military family will campaign hard against any Democrat who remained silent, and that does not mean supporting Republicans.

I believe that the best thing that could come out of failure in Afghanistan, minus the lives lost, but who’s counting, is that maybe, just maybe the groundwork could be finally laid to destroy two party domination of American democracy, a domination of the rich and privileged of both parties. Here in Ohio two prominent Democrats have thrown their hats in the ring to run against Senator George Voinovich, how much you wanna bet both Democrats will run on a platform that exploits economic upheaval in Ohio. Both will avoid any mention of Afghanistan or Iraq. Any military families or troops vote for them or a Republican, well YOU deserve whatever comes out of Afghanistan. Let us pray for VICTORY! Let us pray the Democrats win their gamble with our lives.

Robert L. Hanafin
Major, U.S. Air Force-Retired
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The Obama administration announced it was going to increase U.S. military presence in Afghanistan by 50% — 17,000 troops. This comes in the same week that it was announced that last year there was a 40% increase in civilian deaths in Afghanistan and when Sen. Diane Feinstein, Chair of the Intelligence Committee, acknowledged that the U.S. was attacking Pakistanis from inside Pakistan, with the permission of the national government.

All of this risks the U.S. getting into a worsening war quagmire in Afghanistan and refereeing a civil war in Pakistan. I could possibly support such a blunder IF and only IF the President and Congress convince me and most American voters that such action is essential because the Global War on Terror is an American National State of Emergency, and America is in a fight for our very survival against Al Queda. Enough voters already believe this to be true, but it we are in a national state of emergency or war for our very survival that is more than enough grounds to implement THE DRAFT.

Below is a letter I urge you to join our military family in sending to President Obama. You can do so by copying the letter below into the message box at http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact, change the wording anyway that personally fits your situation and views if you are a military family member, active duty troop, or National Guard member. If you are willing to continue accepting the continued burden of war for the rest of the nation by all means indicate that too. Tell the President that you passionate volunteer to go on never ending tours to Afghanistan. You are welcome to rewrite or edit the letter as you see fit even if you disagree. Debate is passionately encouraged.

The good news is that President Obama is also conducting a complete review of U.S. policy in Afghanistan. This is good news as the Afghan war, now 8 years old, is showing consistent signs of failure and every other outside military force that has come to the country has left defeated, e.g. the Soviet Union and Great Britain. The U.S. cannot afford being trapped in Afghanistan in an unwinnable war. There are more effective approaches to dealing with Afghanistan and Pakistan; this includes emphasizing diplomacy, regional security, economic aid and education. Regarding al Qaeda a targeted force is needed to bring their leadership to trial so the world can see the truth in what they have done and can see the United States stands for justice not assassination. And, the Taliban needs to be recognized as a political force in the region. Attacking this political force with the military is counterproductive as it makes them stronger and ends up killing more civilians than members of the Taliban. This is a case where including the Taliban in the political process is the only path to success, especially if it is coupled with making governments more effective with funds for infrastructure and education. In the long run, and no matter which path is chosen, it is going to take a long time, this strategy will help the U.S. achieve stability in the region.

HOW MUCH WE SPEND ON MILITARY OFFENSE (DEFENSE IS MISLEADING) DOES IMPACT AMERICA’S ECONOMY STUPID!

graphic_war_costs_economy_down_50 Finally, the increasing and continued economic collapse in the U.S. and much of the world makes spending hundreds of billions MORE on the Afghan and Iraq war unaffordable.

Should WE bail out corporations or homeowners who spend far beyond their means? We already know the answer to that! However, those of us just now learning how to balance our own personal checkbooks have allowed our national leaders to go on spending beyond our national family means far too long.
Not only is using the military an ineffective and offensive approach, that only serves to make people FEAR us (as Germany and Japan once were feared then eventually defeated by most of the free world they tried to dominate during the mid-20th century). OFFENSE pitched in terms of a Defense Budget is also the most expensive approach especially when our government does not and will NEVER have a national commitment to share in the sacrifice demanded to win any Global War on Terror however defined.
What makes the Democrats, including President Obama; arrogantly believe they can wage an offensive war better than Bush and the Republicans? Mr. Obama owes that to all the people who voted for him if WE did reluctantly or not.
This is not criticism or tearing down our government without offering alternative solutions. Diplomacy, regional security, foreign aid [not military aid to further suppress Muslims], education and limited use of U.S. Special Force units are less expensive and more effective. There are many alternatives to convention military force being used in a civil law enforcement role that would be unacceptable withing the Continental United States. Alternatives that will allow the U.S. to focus its resources on fixing the U.S. economy.
How would most weapons owning Americans feel if one day, and this is not impossible once our government looks the other way on posse comitotus laws, one day U.S. Army or Marines are knocking down YOUR door to confiscate your gun collection?

Please take action today by sending the letter below to President Obama. You can do so here: http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact.

Robert L. Hanafin
Major, U.S. Air Force-Retired


Letter to President Obama

I/WE read with disappointment your announcement of a 50% increase in U.S. troops in Afghanistan. It comes just after an announcement that there was a 40% increase in civilian deaths in Afghanistan last year. More troops will lead to more civilian deaths and lead to more hatred of America. This is a counterproductive strategy that will escalate into another quagmire requiring a temporary SURGE to stablize an occupation but not win any War on Terror.
And, with Pakistan on the border and the acknowledgment that the U.S. government under your administration is attacking al Qaeda and the Taliban, but killing innocent Pakistani civilians,the U.S. is risking becoming engaged in a civil war in that country. Military escalation is once again leading to a dangerous and counterproductive quagmire that will surely undermine your presidency.
I/WE am/are pleased that your administration is reviewing and hopefully rethinking the strategy and goals of Afghanistan. This is a golden opportunity for a major shift in policy to more effective alternatives from business as usual in Washington. It is WAY past time to put Mrs. Clinton’s skills to use and emphasize diplomacy, education and economic development over offensive military force to bring Afghanis and Pakistanis to America’s side.Your administration can possibly win the hearts and minds of enough American voters to survive one term, but stand to lose the hearts and minds of the international community.
The focus on al Qaeda should be built on regional security agreements that include asking more Muslim nations allied to us to play a greater peacekeeping role. Hopefully more NATO allies will refuse to provide more troops from Christian nations that ar predominantly caucasian. Projected images of a crusade are a nothing but an economic-religious crusade regardless if it is a white, hispanic, oriental, or black world leader heading that crusade.
Limited use of targeted U.S. Special forces as well as targeted forces that can bring dictatorial leaders and religious zealots to justice – a public trial so the world can see the full story. The Taliban is more than religious zeal and extremism, it is a political force in the region that must be acknowledged and brought into negotiations. Military attacks are making them stronger, not weaker. An American offensive only serves to increase Muslim para-military recruitment as our government shakes and trembles in FEAR of even thinking about Selective Service to give our troops much needed dwell time.
Since the U.S. spends half our discretionary spending on the military and more on military marching bands and America Supports You.mil Pentagon propaganda programs than on diplomacy it is not surprising that the tool the United States uses is military force. Military aggression appears to be the easiest yet most costly tool to USE despite less than one percent of the U.S. population enduring the burden of endless deployments. But, it is a counterproductive tool in more ways than the stress of operations tempo, wounds, and the fallen, it is something most American voters can relate too. IT COSTS TOO MANY $$$ that could be better spent on decreasing the National Debt and increasing domestic security such as infrastructure improvements, education, and health care.
Unless you are ready, willing and able to commit the American people to full participation in the Global War on Terror, it is time to withdraw troops from Afghanistan and build up more effective approaches. The reliance on military force shows that a paradigm shift is needed in U.S. foreign policy, away from militarism and domination to cooperation, multilateralism and diplomacy.
Historically too much militarism destroyed the German and Japanese drive for regional and world domination that led to Germany and Japan being given the gift of a Peace Constitutions from the U.S. Could this be our fate should we continue down a course blazed by Germany and Japan militarist and extremists? Let us pray no, because you Mr. President changed course.
Diplomacy and foreign aid will be much less expensive than the military option – which is the most expensive and least effective alternative. We cannot afford the Iraq and Afghan wars. It is time to end both, bring all troops and private security contractors’ home and focus those resources on rebuilding the U.S. economy.

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Readers are more than welcome to use the articles I've posted on Veterans Today, I've had to take a break from VT as Veterans Issues and Peace Activism Editor and staff writer due to personal medical reasons in our military family that take away too much time needed to properly express future stories or respond to readers in a timely manner. My association with VT since its founding in 2004 has been a very rewarding experience for me. Retired from both the Air Force and Civil Service. Went in the regular Army at 17 during Vietnam (1968), stayed in the Army Reserve to complete my eight year commitment in 1976. Served in Air Defense Artillery, and a Mechanized Infantry Division (4MID) at Fort Carson, Co. Used the GI Bill to go to college, worked full time at the VA, and non-scholarship Air Force 2-Year ROTC program for prior service military. Commissioned in the Air Force in 1977. Served as a Military Intelligence Officer from 1977 to 1994. Upon retirement I entered retail drugstore management training with Safeway Drugs Stores in California. Retail Sales Management was not my cup of tea, so I applied my former U.S. Civil Service status with the VA to get my foot in the door at the Justice Department, and later Department of the Navy retiring with disability from the Civil Service in 2000. I've been with Veterans Today since the site originated. I'm now on the Editorial Board. I was also on the Editorial Board of Our Troops News Ladder another progressive leaning Veterans and Military Family news clearing house. I remain married for over 45 years. I am both a Vietnam Era and Gulf War Veteran. I served on Okinawa and Fort Carson, Colorado during Vietnam and in the Office of the Air Force Inspector General at Norton AFB, CA during Desert Storm. I retired from the Air Force in 1994 having worked on the Air Staff and Defense Intelligence Agency at the Pentagon.