End U S war in Afghanistan: Can YOUR organization adopt this resolution?

[Friends -- Today (December 13, 2009), I proposed to a rabbinic organization of which I'm a member that they adopt this resolution (with a few changes to specify our religious tradition). As set forth here (with whatever changes you think appropriate), could you bring it to your own organization, religious or other? For further discussion on this question, see the section of our website here. We welcome comments as made possible at the end of this essay. With blessings toward shalom, salaam, shantih -- peace! -- Rabbi Arthur Waskow]


Whereas, some strands of the great religious and ethical traditions of our planet teach that war is never acceptable, and practically all our traditions, as well as the modern international law that binds all nations, command that war must be used -- if at all -- only when absolutely necessary in self -defense, and then with extreme care to use only the degree of violence necessary to halt an attacker; and

Whereas, the people and nation of Afghanistan, the abysmally poorest country in the world, pose no danger to the United States; and

Whereas Al Qaeda, once headquartered in Afghanistan, is now dispersed in a many-centered network in a number of countries, with very few operatives still in Afghanistan; and

Whereas, the US government's policy and military strategy in Afghanistan is to impose a corrupt and illegitimate central government on a society for centuries rooted in local and tribal governance, with a passionate opposition to foreign armies; and

Whereas, the head of the Afghani "national government" has himself said it will be 15 to 20 years before that government and its military are capable of achieving on their own the degree of control desired by the US military over a deeply decentralized tribal society; and

Whereas, the announcement by President Obama that the withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan would "begin" in August 2011 not only had no date for the completion of withdrawal but has been deeply undercut by subsequent assertions by key US officials and generals that even this "beginning" will depend on conditions as they then exist; and

Whereas, the result of this US military intervention has been many deaths, imprisonments, and tortures of Afghani civilians and therewith increasing rage and hatred toward the United States; and

Whereas, the US war in Afghanistan has brought about the deaths and maimings in body, mind, and soul of thousands of Americans, and the recent decision of the US government to escalate the war will now multiply those deaths and maimings; and

Whereas, the US war in Afghanistan has paralyzed and distorted US foreign policy in other, far more crucial areas of the world; and

Whereas, the commitment of hundreds of billions of dollars to carry on this war will prevent vital investments in efficient railroads, replacement of rotting sewers and water systems, renewal of education, installation of a network of advanced renewable energy sources, green jobs, and other crucial needs of American society --

Therefore, be it resolved that [your organization] calls on the President and Congress of the United States to bring swiftly and safely home all US troops and military, CIA, and similar contract personnel from Afghanistan; to explore the possibility of working with local and tribal leaders and with women's organizations for bringing grass-roots help to economic development; and to redirect money now planned to support the war to meeting vital domestic American needs.