by Joan Wile, author
Grandmothers Against the War: Getting Off Our Fannies and Standing Up for Peace (Citadel Press, May 2008)
How could our beloved Barack Obama do this to us? How could this prospective savior who promised peace turn around and promote war? We peace grannies supported him, rang doorbells for him, telephoned strangers for him, contributed small sums from our meager senior citizen fixed incomes to him, in great part because of his vow to end the war in Iraq.
Last night, in his address to Congress, he informed us that he would remove two-thirds of our troops from Iraq within 19 months and leave 50,000 vulnerable G.I.'s there. WHAT? 50,000 is not chopped liver! And, wouldn't a smaller force be in greater danger as those bent on destroying our American kids would be encouraged to attack more boldly a down-sized presence? No, no, no! Bring all our children and grandchildren home, and do it sooner, much sooner.
And, as if that weren't bad enough, President Obama has recently issued orders to send in 17,000 more troops to Afghanistan, a policy he restated in his speech. IS THIS FOR REAL? Our Peace President has bought the argument that we can defeat Al Quaeda and the Taliban if we flood Afghanistan with more troops? Surely, he must know in his heart of hearts that we would create an even greater quagmire there than we produced in Iraq, and that the only possible road to the defeat of terrorism is through diplomacy and peacetime assistance. The Soviets, the British learned all too well that YOU CAN'T WIN A WAR IN AFGHANISTAN. And, think of the resultant loss of life, limb and over-all destruction such an increase in the military would cause! The Obama we know and love would not want that on his conscience, would he? Doesn't he recognize that his legacy, if he goes through with this dangerous and foolhardy plan, will be Obama's Failed War in Afghanistan, as Bush is known for his Failed War in Iraq, and Johnson/Nixon are remembered for their Failed War in Vietnam? My God, Lyndon Johnson's catastrophe in Vietnam even managed to eclipse his truly valuable achievements in the civil rights movement.
We just can't let this happen. We peace grandmothers -- members of the Granny Peace Brigade, the Raging Grannies, Grandmothers for Peace International, and Grandmothers Against the War, to name a few -- will once again have to be in the forefront of the struggle to end our immoral and self-defeating attacks on other countries. We were among the early protesters of the invasion and occupation of Iraq, way before most of the U.S. finally woke up and saw the light. Some went to jail when 18 of us grannies tried to enlist in the military at the Times Square (NY City) recruitment center. Others have protested, marched, been arrested and gone to jail. Women in their 80's and 90's, no less. Women in wheelchairs, on crutches and walkers. Women who have fought for peace and justice all their lives, and now in what should be a time for rest and leisure, gird themselves once more for arduous battle.
So, I call upon all you dedicated and noble women to sign the Peace Grandmothers Petition to President Obama requesting that he withdraw ALL troops from Iraq AND Afghanistan NOW. One doesn't have to be a grandmother to sign -- friends and supporters are also asked to be signatories.
Here it is!
Peace Grandmothers Out of Iraq and Afghanistan
Let's deluge this plea with names and heartfelt comments about the futility of this proposed escalation and, hopefully, remind the President of who he is and what he should do to fulfill his enormous potential.
Barack, baby, listen to your grannies!