We Don’t Get to Vote Against War next month
Americans are less than 5 weeks away from the November 6 Election date, but one thing that will not really be on the ballot is war.
People have the “choice” between two parties that both have embraced imperialist policies for more than a century, but people will not get to vote against war, particularly the 11 year US/NATO war/occupation of Afghanistan.
The Afghanis have been suffering from war and political turmoil since 1979, with much of the violence either perpetrated by the US or its proxy forces in that country. In the presidential election of 2008, many people who opposed the Iraq war voted for Barack Obama with the belief that Obama was an anti-war candidate, a belief that was not rooted in fact.
During his brief time in the US Senate, Barack Obama did not vote against the ongoing funding for the US war/occupation of Iraq and while he has said he was opposed to the reasons for going to war, he has never apologized or suggested that the US pay massive reparations to the people of Iraq for the devastation wrought by the US military and paid assassins (private military contractors).
On the matter of the US war/occupation of Afghanistan, Barack Obama has always been in support of that US military campaign. While he was a US Senator, Obama voted for ongoing military engagement and for all funding requests related to Afghanistan.
As President, Obama not only has continued the US military occupation of Afghanistan, his administration has significantly escalated it, adding an additional 60,000 US troops. In addition to the escalation of troops, the Obama administration has increased the use of drones to target insurgent leaders, both in Afghanistan and Pakistan. This increase in the use of drones has not only been disastrous, since it has increased the number of dead civilians, it has created tremendous opposition to US presence in the region, especially from Pakistan.
The Obama administration, and fellow Democrats like Michigan Senator Carl Levin, have claimed that the goal of the Afghan policy is too train Afghanis to police their own country, but this policy has been an utter failure as has been documented by independent reporters like Gareth Porter and he team of writers involved with the Afghanistan Analysts Network.
The platform position of Presidential candidate Mitt Romney on Afghanistan is certainly not any better and not much different than the Obama administration, so there is no lesser of evil position here.
Besides Iraq and Afghanistan, the Obama administration began a military campaign in Libya, is supporting one group in a military conflict in Syria, continues to support the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land, has supported the military coup in Honduras and Paraguay and the further militarization of Colombia, with the construction of several US military bases in that Latin American country.
Thus, it seems that once again, if one votes for either Democrat or Republican next month in the Presidential Election, voting for Romney or Obama is a vote for war and militarism.
Here is a good interview with Gareth Porter talking about how Afghanistan has not been part of the presidential debates to this point.