We Must End, Not Escalate, The War In Afghanistan

Aug 22, 2017

By Mike Hersh, for Donna, Mike F, Judy, Dan, Janis, Deb, Amos, Dr. Bill, Bryan, and Kim, your PDA National Team

Help Progressive Democrats of America End Wars and Occupations!

Last night, Donald Trump announced his policy of endless war in Afghanistan. Quickly, Progressive Democrats of America (PDA) went into action. We issued a clear and adamant press release (see below). Now, we’re asking you to commit to supporting us in our ongoing work for peace, justice, and progress.

PDA has been working with members of Congress and peace organizations to stop regime change, slash the military budget, and End Wars and Occupations through our EWO Issue team. The sad fact is we just don’t have the votes in Congress to get it done, so we’re also focused on changing that arithmetic. Please sign up to make an automatic monthly “sustainer” contribution now to help us elect a progressive Congressional majority.

We Need A Progressive Congress

This is the The press release we sent out the moment Trump announced his intention to escalate the war in Afghanistan:

We Must End, Not Escalate, The War In Afghanistan

Who: Progressive Democrats of America (PDA).
What: Denounce Donald Trump’s plans to escalate the war in Afghanistan.
Why: To oppose continued loss of life and squandering taxpayers’ money.
When: Until Trump keeps his promise to end the war.

Aug. 21, 2017 – Washington, D.C.— National Communications Director Mike Hersh said, “Progressive Democrats of America (PDA) strongly opposes the reckless plans Donald Trump just announced to escalate the undeclared war in Afghanistan. We dispute his simplistic claims that ‘we will win’ in Afghanistan, because there is no military victory possible. Therefore, we call upon the Congress to use its appropriations authority to defund the quagmire in Afghanistan, as well as to rescind the Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF). These actions would compel the Pentagon to begin rapidly and safely withdrawing all U.S. military personnel from Afghanistan. PDA has long advocated for these measures.”

Hersh explained, “As the 16th anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks approach, we reflect on the painful consequences of the longest war in American history. After more than 2,400 American deaths—as well as staggering American casualties, Afghan deaths, and $trillions of dollars wasted—we have little if anything to show for all that suffering and loss. It’s long past time to swiftly and safely withdraw our forces, and to let the people of Afghanistan decide their own affairs.”

Hersh said, “We feel that PDA National Advisory Board Member Rep. Barbara Lee was right to oppose the initial AUMF measure that led to our forces attacking in Afghanistan back in 2001. We applaud her efforts to rescind the AUMF, including her recent bipartisan amendment in the House Defense Appropriations bill. We urge Rep. Lee’s colleagues in the House and Senate to join her in reasserting Congressional authority under the United States Constitution to end the senseless, and hopefully not endless, military operations in Afghanistan.”

Hersh added, “Donald Trump campaigned promising to end the war in Afghanistan. Now, with his domestic agenda in tatters, he is breaking his promises to wind down the war. We’re not sure if he’s doing so to distract Americans’ attention away from his policy failures and increasingly outrageous and embarrassing statements. We are sure that sending more troops to kill and die in Afghanistan would only magnify the ongoing tragedy. There is no military solution to this situation. It’s time to admit our mistakes, not compound them.”

Progressive Democrats of America is a grassroots political action committee. The organization was founded in 2004 to transform the Democratic Party and U.S. politics by working inside the Democratic Party and outside with peace, justice, civil rights, environmental, and other reform movements. PDA’s Healthcare Not Warfare campaign brings together the need for a comprehensive universal healthcare system with our advocacy for scaled-down military spending and reliance on non-military approaches to foreign policy, rather than regime change and military action.

The quotes came from me, but I believe they could have just as easily come from you. You’re well aware that we must push back strongly against the neoconservative agenda from both major parties. That requires resources. We don’t demand dues. We operative on the funding we get from concerned progressives like you. We know that you get bombarded by requests for money. PDA is different from any other organization. Anyone can call themselves anything, but unless they actually accomplish the things they set out to do, it doesn’t matter that much what they say.

We need 100 new sustainers every month to build the organization necessary to achieve progress. You’ll barely notice $20.18 (or other amount) per month, but that regular contribution will make a huge difference! Please step up now to become a “sustainer” by making a regular sustainer donation. That will help us recruit and elect Progressive candidates. That’s something we’ve excelled at.

With your “sustainer” support, we can make even more progress by electing more progressives to Congress next year. Not ready to sign up as a sustainer? Pitch in $500, $50, or whatever you can right now to help us elect a progressive Congressional majority. PDA believes you stand up for what’s right, even when that’s not easy. When some organizations stood by silently, PDA stood by Rep. Tulsi Gabbard as establishment types attacked her for her outspoken positions against the Saudi weapons sales, regime change, and arming terrorists. We work by her side proudly on these issues. If you believe in supporting tough-minded progressives who put principles and accomplishments above fancy offices and other glitz, click here to sign up as a “Change Makes Change” Sustainer.

That brings up another important PDA difference: We don’t have a huge budget or expense accounts. We work tirelessly and cost-efficiently to make real progress. We help elect up and coming leaders to Congress, and then we work with them on legislation you support. We don’t just express our positions on the issues. PDA takes your views into the halls of Congress and to members of Congress in their home offices. We bring new cosponsors onto the most progressive legislation, and we work to block bad policies proposed by Republicans and corporate Democrats alike. We can only keep doing all this if you help sustain us. Please click here to make automatic monthly contributions

We’re not apologists for the Democratic Party. We were founded to pull the party into a progressive trajectory. We’ve accomplished a lot, but we need your help to continue this difficult job. It’s one thing when DemExiters and other non-Democrats try to push the Democratic Party toward progressive positions. It’s quite another when PDA does it, because our DemEnter strategy offers effective and powerful leverage from the inside. While others make valid criticisms from the sidelines, we’ve successfully run and won campaigns to reform the Democratic Party from within.

We also use direct pressure. We worked within the Summer for Progress coalition gathering signatures, then marched alongside Nina Turner when she took your progressive case right to the DNC. I personally walked with her and supported her every step of the way in D.C. a few weeks back, and I helped carry and deliver the 125,000 plus petition signatures. If you want to push American politics into a progressive direction, please understand that we’re struggling against billionaires and super PACs with virtually unlimited money. We’ll never match their expenditures, but luckily we don’t have to. Still, we need your support now.

You will not find a more progressive Democratic group than PDA. PDA makes the most difference—dollar for dollar—of any organization. Your donation couldn’t be better used to make progress than with PDA. Please sign up to make an automatic monthly “sustainer” contribution now.

In solidarity,

Mike Hersh, for Donna, Mike F, Judy, Dan, Janis, Deb, Amos, Dr. Bill, Bryan, and Kim, your PDA National Team

P.S. We don’t ask for dues. We rely on small donations from people like you. If you’ve donated before, now is the time to sign up to make automatic monthly contributions. If you’re already a sustainer, we appreciate your help! If you can, please consider increasing your donation. Contact Mike Fox to arrange that. No spare change to help us make change? Then contact Mike Fox to join the phone team.

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