Robert Greenwald is a producer, director, political activist, and Brave New Films founder and president.
By Robert Greenwald and Derrick Crowe
The Pentagon is working the press again, this time in support of a so-called withdrawal plan that would break a promise made to the American people by their president. According to The Wall Street Journal:
"U.S. military officers in Afghanistan have drawn up preliminary proposals to withdraw as many as 5,000 troops from the country in July and as many as 5,000 more by the year's end..."
This joke of a "withdrawal" plan isn't anything remotely approaching a real drawdown. It's less than a 10 percent reduction in U.S. forces in Afghanistan over 6 months. It puts the Pentagon squarely at odds both with the stated desires of the White House and the very clearly articulated will of the American people. If you agree, sign Rethink Afghanistan's petition to get the troops out of Afghanistan.
First, let's remember what the White House said on this:
"After 18 months, our troops will begin to come home....[O]ur troop commitment in Afghanistan cannot be open-ended -- because the nation that I'm most interested in building is our own."--President Barack Obama, Dec. 1, 2009.
"I'm confident that the withdrawal will be significant. People will say this is a real process of transition; this is not just a token gesture."--President Barack Obama, April 15, 2011.
"In July of 2011, you're going to see a whole lot of people moving out, bet on it."--Vice President Joe Biden, qtd. in Jonathan Alter's The Promise.
The American people are and have been crystal-clear about their expectations for a drawdown for months now.
These are not ambiguous numbers. Heading into a presidential election season, likely voters and Americans in general are telling pollsters and their elected representatives that they expect a real troop withdrawal, with most of them wanting troops out within a year. The Pentagon's draft plan isn't remotely in the ballpark of what the American people want.
Bringing home 5,000 people in July and maybe another 5,000 people by the end of the year is an insignificant, token withdrawal from a force of well over 100,000 U.S. forces in Afghanistan. It's less than a 10 percent adjustment of the American personnel on the ground. The Pentagon is telling the White House and the American people to take a hike.
Osama Bin Laden is dead. Al Qaeda has been driven from Afghanistan. The last plausible excuse for keeping troops in Afghanistan is gone. Yet, the military continues to fight a counterinsurgency campaign with tens of thousands of U.S. troops, a campaign that's failed to blunt the ever-growing level of insurgent attacks across Afghanistan. Civilian casualties are at an all-time high. Troop injuries and acute stress are at an all-time high in the war. Costs are at an all-time high. There's no rational reason left to continue this farce.
The Pentagon's token troop adjustment would break a promise made to the American people by their president, and it would blatantly flout the will of the voters. The "plan" is laughable and should be rejected by the White House. President Obama and Congress must demand a real plan to get the troops home as swiftly and safely as possible.
If you're fed up with this war that's not making us safer and that's not worth the costs, sign our petition to get troops home.
April 22nd, 2014
FRANCIS RICHARD MOORE, 92, of FLINT/DAVISON, MI Passed away on Saturday, April 19, 2014, in Escondido, CAHe was Frank to all who knew and loved him, and there were many. ...
January 28th, 2014
In the State of the Union address tonight, President Obama is going to call for a national minimum wage of $10.10. Then in their response ...
January 21st, 2014
My New Year's Day op-ed in the New York Times seems to have kickstarted a discussion about how to make Obamacare better. I hope you ...
December 18th, 2013
This morning it was announced by the Library of Congress and the National Film Preservation Board that my first film, 'Roger & Me', has been ...
December 14th, 2013
[View the story "Michael Moore Tweets on Eve of Newtown Anniversay" on Storify]
November 9th, 2013
Click here for this week's full schedule for the State Theatre and Bijou by the Bay in Traverse City, Michigan. The day has arrived. For ...
September 10th, 2013
[View the story "John Kerry's Accidental Diplomacy" on Storify]
September 11th, 2010
OpenMike 9/11/10 Michael Moore's daily blog I am opposed to the building of the "mosque" two blocks from Ground Zero. I want it built on ...
December 14th, 2010
Yesterday, in the Westminster Magistrates Court in London, the lawyers for WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange presented to the judge a document from me stating that ...
May 12th, 2011
"The Nazis killed tens of MILLIONS. They got a trial. Why? Because we're not like them. We're Americans. We roll different." – Michael Moore in ...
November 22nd, 2011
This past weekend I participated in a four-hour meeting of Occupy Wall Street activists whose job it is to come up with the vision and ...
September 22nd, 2011
I encourage everyone I know to never travel to Georgia, never buy anything made in Georgia, to never do business in Georgia. I will ask ...
December 16th, 2010
Dear Swedish Government: Hi there -- or as you all say, Hallå! You know, all of us here in the U.S. love your country. Your ...
November 2nd, 2010
This letter contains (almost) no criticisms of how the Democrats have brought this day of reckoning upon themselves. That -- and where to go from ...