News Release

Afghanistan War a “Folly”

THOMAS E. MAHANY
Mahany, a Vietnam War veteran (101st Airborne Division), now a stonemason and artist from Michigan, has been on a water-only fast in front of the White House since Veterans Day. He sent Obama a second letter yesterday, stating: “The policy of procuring soldiers through the Presidential Authority of Stop-Loss, USC 12305, Title 10, has wrought unbearable hardship to a limited sector of our communities. It is unjust and undemocratic and must be stopped.”

TALAT HAMDANI
Hamdani is a member of September Eleventh Families for Peaceful Tomorrows. She is a Pakistani-American living in Queens, New York. Her son, Salman, was a New York City police cadet who disappeared on 9/11 and was wrongfully accused of participating in the attacks. When his body was identified at the World Trade Center months later, it was believed that he had gone to the scene to provide help. She said today: “Escalation is exactly the wrong course. We should be helping to rebuild Afghanistan, not escalating war.”

CHRIS WELLS
TOMAS HIRSCH, via Nicole Myers
Wells is North America spokesperson for the World March. Hirsch is Latin America spokesperson for the March. The group is having events in D.C. today. Ed Asner and Martin Sheen are participating in an event in Los Angeles today as well.

Wells said today: “We keep going down the same road. It’s important to denounce war, but we must build peace — we must change our entire mindset. During the Vietnam War, Martin Luther King Jr. said that the U.S. was the greatest purveyor of violence in the world and that if we didn’t end that military mindset we’d be protesting war in country after country. We’ll be participating in a tribute to King at the Lincoln memorial this afternoon.”

The March has been endorsed by the presidents of eleven countries; Desmond Tutu, Jimmy Carter, Noam Chomsky, Cornel West, Dennis Kucinich, Daniel Ellsberg, Cate Blanchett, Yoko Ono, Art Garfunkel, Philip Glass and hundreds more.

For more information, including a complete list of events, visit worldmarchusa.net (national) and theworldmarch.org (global).

MICHAEL McPHEARSON
McPhearson is national executive director of Veterans For Peace, one of several groups that recently sent a letter to Obama: “With millions of U.S. people feeling the fear and desperation of no longer having a home; with millions feeling the terror and loss of dignity that comes with unemployment; with millions of our children slipping further into poverty and hunger, your decision to deploy thousands more troops and throw hundreds of billions more dollars into prolonging the profoundly tragic war in Afghanistan strikes us as utter folly. We believe this decision represents a war against ordinary people, both here in the United States and in Afghanistan. The war in Afghanistan, if continued, will result in the deaths of hundreds if not thousands of U.S. troops, and untold thousands of Afghans.”

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167