Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Green Partyof New York Calls to Cut Funding for Afghanistan War

Green Party of New York State

For Release: May 22, 2010

Green Party Calls to Cut Funding for Afghanistan War

Colia Clark and Cecile Lawrence, the two Green Party candidates for US Senate from New York, said today that they would vote against the pending $33.5 billion supplemental budget appropriation in Congress to cover the cost of the troop increase in Afghanistan.

This is in addition to the $159.3 billion in war spending which the Obama administration has requested for fiscal year 2011.

"The end to all foreign wars is urgent" stated Ms. Clark. "The billions of dollars spent in mass murder and devastation of the nations and the planet are desperately needed to rebuild NYS and America’s infrastructure, underwrite a mass transit system, upgrade public schools, cover costs of single payer health care, underwrite failing hospitals and clinics and provide housing for all Americas citizens."

"We need to end the U.S. occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan now and return the troops home in early 2011," added Dr. Lawrence. "The U.S. must cease its drive for empire and domination of the planet including the embeddedness of its military forces with corporations whose drive for access to the resources of other countries lead to the destruction of their environmental and socio-economic health."

The Green Party has pointed out that US funding for terrorism in Afghanistan, which began under President Carter in order to drag the Soviet Union into an intractable war on their border, led to the breakdown of government control which has allowed foreign terrorists to establish training camps in that country.

"The British and Soviet empires failed in their efforts to conquer Afghanistan, just as the United States is presently failing. "If we leave them alone, they will leave us alone. They don't hate our freedom. They hate our drones, bombs, bullets, home raids, jailings, and torture. We should remove our troops and instead invest in helping to build up the local economy and infrastructure," said Howie Hawkins, the Green Party nominee for Governor. "Cutting our wasteful military budget would enable Congress to provide fiscal relief to resolve our state budget deficit, while providing the funding needed for a massive green public works job program.," he added.

The results of the US invasion and occupation of Afghanistan have so far been widespread civilian casualties from air attacks, massive physical destruction, the fracturing of the country under different ethnic and religious leaders, and the reemergence of the Taliban. Greens have repeatedly opposed the troop escalation pushed by President Obama, saying that it would very likely lead to greater anti-American sentiment and less chance for security and a better life for the Afghan people. Green Party leaders said that regional problems were more likely to be resolved through diplomacy and international cooperation, and that the 9/11 attacks required international investigation and prosecution, given numerous unanswered questions about the attacks.

Earlier this week, Dr. Lawrence joined with forty-six congressional candidates and 17 activist organizations to oppose any more funding for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, "The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have cost Americans over $1 trillion in direct costs, and over $3 trillion altogether. At a time when our national debt exceeds $13 trillion, we can no longer afford these wars. It's time for Congress to reject any funding except to bring all our troops safely home."

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