End the Silence on the Longest War in U.S. History

By Debra Sweet 

Nine years ago, in the immediacy of the 9-11 disaster, many of us knew that our society would never be the same.  The next day, Muslim men were being rounded up and detained, without charges.  Immediately, U.S. troops were on the way to Afghanistan. 
 
Within weeks, the USA PATRIOT Act was passed with lightening speed, paving the way for a juggernaut of war and repression.
 
Within days, protest and resistance began; within 18 months the largest worldwide anti-war protests in history deprived the Bush regime of a legitimate "coalition" to invade Iraq.  The numbers and determination were never strong enough to stop the wars, though they did give the world some sense that people living in the U.S. were not completely blind to injustice.

A profound change was promised when the Democrats took over Congress in 2006 and the Presidency in 2008.  We all know, if we're willing to be honest with ourselves, where that's gone.  I'll give you only two examples from this week:
  • Binyam Mohammed, innocent, and released from Guantanamo finally after 8 years, was told by the US 9th District Court this week that he has no standing to sue Jeppesen Dataplan, the company who conducted the infamous "rendition" flights on which we was moved to 3 countries by the United States, and tortured.  Why?  The court agreed, 6-5 with the Obama administration that national security and state secrets are more important than his life. Lawyer Glenn Greenwald: "The ruling handed a major victory to the Obama administration in its effort to advance a sweeping view of executive secrecy power." 
  • The Obama administration has dramatically increased drone bombings in Pakistan, though 20% of the country has been flooded leaving its people increasingly desperate.  Last week, 24 were killed, including children, identified by US authorities as "insurgents."
But in response, the strongest angry voices now, the media coverage, and all the intiative, are with the reactionary "tea party" anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant, pro-war movement, which spouts ugly racist ideas of white, Christian entitlement.  These sentiments putporting to be "from the people" are orchestrated.  The movement is led and funded by powerful Republicans, and in no way does it represent the interests of the people.  When one of their preachers threatens to burn a Koran and gets world-wide press attention, it's not "spontaneous" and it is dangerous.

A World Can't Wait supporter noted this week on our Facebook page that the anti-war movement is now invisible... even though we know the sentiments of most people in this country are against the war in Afghanistan.
 
Going on a Political Offensive Against the Occupation of Afghanistan
 
On the anniversary of the longest war in U.S. history, World Can't Wait will publish the Crimes are Crimes - No Matter Who Does Them ad in The New York Times.  This is an important way of making the demand to end this occupation visible!

With a new introduction, we'll put the statement already published in The New York Review of Books; The Nation; The Humanist, and Rolling Stone online, before 4 million Times readers.  We've not done a full page Times ad since 2007.  Going into the "paper of record" with a message profoundly challenging the legitimacy of the war.  There have been no such ads in three years!

I'll be writing you more, and individually, about contributing to the ad.  It won't happen without a tremendous outpouring of energy and funds.  I believe it will really matter, and contribute to the kind of atmosphere we need.  If people from inside the U.S. military can risk their lives to leak the truth about U.S. war crimes, we should do all we can to end the silence of complicity.
Main Crimes are Crimes End the Silence on the Longest War in U.S. History

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World Can't Wait mobilizes people living in the United States to stand up and stop war on the world, repression and torture carried out by the US government. We take action, regardless of which political party holds power, to expose the crimes of our government, from war crimes to systematic mass incarceration, and to put humanity and the planet first.