#International Affairs
World Govts; UN

Demand a peace process now.

Rethink Afghanistan, a project of Brave New Foundation, issued a petition today, which reads:

"For disrespecting the office of the President of the United States and for allowing derision of the White House among his staff, Gen. Stanley McChrystal must resign."

A public outcry in support of democratic society is urgently needed. But neither an apology from Gen. McChrystal, nor even his resignation, are enough. The Afghanistan War must be ended if our democracy is to be preserved and strengthened. Sign the petition below and join this campaign. Here are the reasons why:

It is no surprise that Gen. McChrystal and his military associates would mock and seek to manipulate the White House. Gen. McChrystal represents a new phase of clandestine warfare built around the manipulation of information.

McChrystal’s entire career in special operations in Iraq remains classified, beyond media scrutiny or meaningful civilian oversight.

But we know that McChrystal, according to Bob Woodward, designed the top-secret program of extra-judicial killings in Iraq in 2006-2007 which was the bloody core of the “surge”, a plan now being duplicated in the shadows in Afghanistan, where special operations account for more than half the US operations.

McChrystal is responsible too for the escalating secret war in Pakistan, where our drone strikes have led to the recent near-catastrophe of the Times Square car bombing.

Apparently the only secret to be leaked in McChrystal’s classified career was his June 2009 military assessment for the President, which predicted military defeat unless the White House yielded to pressure for 30-40,000 more troops.

McChrystal believes “this is not a physical war…this is all in the minds of the participants.” In that spirit, McChrystal went on a public relations offensive to promote his troop escalation last year, giving interviews to the New York Times, Le Figaro, Newsweek and the International Institute for Strategic Studies, shaping the “information battlefield” for his meetings with the White House.

Now is the time for President Obama to become a commander-in-chief of diplomacy and reject the advice of those who would manipulate him into a deadly and unaffordable quagmire. Instead of being led by his generals into a no-win conflict and then blamed for losing an unwinnable war, the White House should fully support the overwhelming Afghan majority who desire peace talks with the Taliban, a negotiated diplomatic settlement, and the withdrawal of US troops on a timeline. There must be an escalation of the peace process now.

President Obama has had three opportunities to avoid debacle in Afghanistan. First, as a presidential candidate. Second, after reviewing his military options last year. Third, after recognizing the stolen election by the Karzai government we fund in Kabul. Each time he has chosen the McChrystal staircase of escalation. Now faced with insubordination and mockery from his generals, with democracy threatened by the military mindset, the president must end the war to prevent a fatal erosion of the very principle of civilian control of the war-making power.

If you agree with this statement please sign the petition below, demanding a peace process now, so that our democracy is preserved from military manipulation.

The Restore Democracy - End the War petition to World Govts; UN was written by Tom Hayden and is in the category International Affairs at GoPetition.