We, the 99 Percent, Demand the End of the Wars Now

We the 99 Percent Demand the End of the Wars Now

Demonstrators march near St. Andrews Plaza as part of the protest movement against big business called “Occupy Wall Street,” in New York, Sept. 30, 2011. (Photo: Ozier Muhammad / The New York Times

After ten years of war, now is a perfect time to act to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Friends Committee on National Legislation has set up a toll-free number for us to call Congress: 1-877-429-0678. A Congressional “supercommittee” is charged with coming up with $1.5 trillion in reduced debt over ten years, and the wars and the bloated Pentagon budget dangle before the supercommittee like overripe fruit.

A recent CBS poll shows how far out of step with the 99 percent the Pentagon's plans are. Sixty-two percent want US troops out within two years.

But the Pentagon wants to stay for at least 13 more years<.>

totally unacceptable.” More protests and more phone calls will get more members of Congress talking like that.

A key lesson from Iraq for Afghanistan is this: we can force the Pentagon to eat a timetable for military withdrawal, and once we've forced them to eat it, we have the ability to force them to keep it down.

Already in May, 204 members of the House – including all but eight Democrats and 26 Republicans – voted to require the president to establish a timetable for withdrawal. We just need to switch six members from that vote from no to yes to get a majority in the House for a timetable for withdrawal.

And, now, the Congress has an added incentive and opportunity to act to end the wars, because the supercommittee is considering the ten-year path of government spending. And Congress could eliminate many hundreds of billions of dollars in future government debt by ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Friday morning, hundreds of peace advocates marched from Freedom Plaza in Washington, DC, past the White House, to the office of drone manufacturer General Atomics, demanding an end to the wars and drone strikes. Who says the 99 percent don't have concrete demands? What could be more concrete than ending the wars?

Here is a short video from the protest: “When drones fly, children die! Stop the wars now!”