portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article commentary portland metro

imperialism & war

Protest David Wu's support for Obama's war

Wu's oped deserves outrage
In this outrageous and uninformed rant, Wu reveals himself on the pro-war
> side of the Dems and opposed to more thoughful members of his own party as
> well as to most real experts on Afghanistan.
> You can protest his position at his Portland office (503) 326-2901 or by
> email from his website  http://www.house.gov/wu/email.shtml . Note that he
> won't respond to emails from people outside his district.
> War in Afghanistan: an ongoing threat to our security
> by David Wu, guest opinion
> The Oregonian: September 16, 2009
>  link to www.oregonlive.com
> As someone who has consistently opposed the Iraq war, I find myself in the
> incongruous position of supporting a concerted military and civilian
> effort in Afghanistan.
> I'm aware that eight years is a long time for any conflict, and we're in a
> precarious situation in Afghanistan because the previous administration
> chose to focus on Iraq. But we now have new military leadership and a new
> strategy for Afghanistan. Our troops deserve an opportunity to succeed in
> this neglected but crucial war.
> It's vital to remember that we're fighting in Afghanistan because al-Qaida
> killed almost 3,000 Americans on American soil. That's more Americans than
> the Japanese killed at Pearl Harbor. Afghanistan's Taliban have given
> shelter and resources to al-Qaida, which attacked the United States and
> would love nothing better than to do so again.
> Our military efforts in Afghanistan have driven al-Qaida and Taliban
> operations into Pakistan, a nation with nuclear weapons. If al-Qaida
> acquires a nuclear weapon, where would it be used? Given the regional
> nuclear tinderbox enveloping Pakistan and India, success in the Afghan war
> is not only a matter of U.S. national security, but it also has
> implications for world stability.
> I recently returned from a fact-finding mission to Afghanistan. The trip
> corroborated eight years of reading and study of the Afghan situation and
> made me even more sensitive to the need to give our troops the resources
> and time to execute our new strategy.
> U.S. and NATO forces have two priority missions. First, military resources
> are being used to secure Afghanistan against a return of the Taliban and
> al-Qaida to provide a space for the Afghan government to establish
> effective control. Second, we are training the Afghan National Army and
> the Afghan National Police, as well as creating a community defense
> initiative so Afghan national forces, in concert with local community
> defense forces, can resist Taliban attack and allow us to wind down our
> combat mission.
> At the same time, the strategy seeks to integrate security for the Afghan
> people with effective local governance and economic development. Programs
> focusing on limiting corruption, providing local justice and building
> civil service institutions are crucial to fostering a more accountable
> government that serves the Afghan people and provides a sustainable
> alternative to the Taliban. We're also working to create economic
> alternatives to the insurgency, particularly in agriculture, and grow an
> economy that provides opportunities for the Afghan people.
> All these initiatives will help the people and government of Afghanistan
> build a sufficiently stable state to prevent the establishment of major
> terrorist sanctuaries. We must give our commanders on the ground the
> resources and time they need to get the job done.
> This isn't a blank check. Our patience and our resources are not infinite.
> The Afghan government must do its part to provide accountability and
> enhance legitimacy. This must be a cause of the Afghan people.
> I say this knowing that many Oregonians oppose this war. Frankly, I wish
> we didn't have to fight it at all, but al-Qaida has killed Americans
> before and intends to do so again. If we leave Afghanistan now, we leave
> control of the country open to the hands of the Taliban. They will provide
> shelter to al-Qaida, complete with training camps for terrorists.
> The Iraq war was a war of choice. Afghanistan is a war of necessity.
> Without it we greatly increase the chance of another attack on U.S. soil.
> We must protect the long-term interests of our nation. We cannot tolerate
> Afghanistan's Taliban providing a continuing sanctuary for terrorists.
> This is no Vietnam. The Viet Cong never followed us home. Al-Qaida will
> visit my website www.michaelmunk.com