Last Chance to Sign Open Letter to Obama (prominent libertarians, academics, former government officials, liberals, conservatives, etc., already on list)



If want to add your name to this distinguished list, which includes many people well known to libertarians (see below for the names), you have until Wednesday (5:00 PM Pacific, 8:00 PM Eastern). Just send an email to Kevin Zeese at KBZeese@gmail.com and provide a brief descriptor of what you would like next to your name.

Please also free to post on blogs and circulate on any lists.

Dear President Obama and Members of Congress:

The wars in which the United States is currently engaged–in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq and Libya–are harming U.S. national and economic security, degrading the standing of the United States in the world community, fueling hatred abroad for Americans and undermining the rule of law. These unconstitutional wars have been justified on false premises, and most recently in the case of Libya there was not even the pretense of a congressional declaration of war, making it an impeachable offense. We urge you to end the current illegal wars and start a national dialogue about shifting U.S. foreign policy away from dominance through military might, and toward being a member of the community of nations.

It is time to end all of these wars. It is time to initiate a fundamental shift in U.S. foreign policy away from domination of others through military strength and damaging sanctions. As a first step we urge a major withdrawal of soldiers from Afghanistan–as candidate Obama promised in 2008. This withdrawal should be at least as large as the 50,000 troop escalation the President put in place early in his presidency. This withdrawal should be defined as a clear first step to a complete withdrawal of all soldiers and private contractors from Afghanistan by the end of 2011. It is time to return to our Founders’ declared conception of the United States as a democratic Republic and not an Empire.

The people signing this letter come from all segments of the political spectrum. We are conservatives and progressives, liberals and libertarians, from the right, left and center. We are Democrats, Republicans and independents. We represent a healthy and still vital American tradition, indicated by the fact that the majority of Americans want the United States to bring the soldiers home from these counterproductive and avoidable wars.

The U.S. needs to normalize relationships with countries around the world, especially in the Middle East. We recognize that there are important natural resources in these areas. But we can achieve a sustainable economy in more effective ways than war and empire. The United States clearly has the wealth and knowledge to make this transition, and showing how it can be done would be an unparalleled service to our people and the world.

This is the time for a profound shift in foreign policy. A perfect storm has demonstrated the urgent need to reconsider militarism and promiscuous interventionism:

  • The U.S. economy can no longer sustain a bloated military that spends as much on weapons and war as the rest of the world combined.
  • The U.S. economy is in dangerous straits with mass debt fueled in large part by military spending that makes up 55% of federal discretionary spending.
  • In war after war the US military has found that it cannot defeat people who seek to protect their countries and reject foreign domination, the very lesson of our own American Revolution.
  • Documents published by Wikileaks have added fresh evidence discrediting the idea of the U.S. being the “good cop of the world.” Instead the world increasingly sees the U.S. government as one that dominates through threats, violence, bribery, spying and illegal actions, and is all too willing to use military force to achieve its ends. That is not the polity which the majority of Americans wish.
  • The rule of law has been undermined by ignoring Article 1 Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution, which specifically states that Congress has the authority to declare war, not the president. Tactics used in recent wars, including torture and widespread abuse of prisoners, further undermine the rule of law.
  • Even with the raid on the Osama bin Laden refuge, the growth of stateless terrorism will not abate as long as the United States continues waging wars which commonly feature torture, midnight raids on families and the killing of innocent civilians.
  • War brings suffering on a massive scale and unnecessary war brings pointless suffering. Reliable reports indicate more than one million war dead in Iraq and millions more becoming refugees. There are constant reports of civilian deaths in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Libya.

Mr. President and members of Congress, you have a historic opportunity to redirect U.S. foreign policy down the pathways of peace, liberty, justice, respect for community, obedience to the rule of law and fiscal responsibility. George Washington urged Americans to “cultivate peace and harmony with all” and to “avoid overgrown military establishments,” which are “hostile to republican liberty.” It is time for Americans to reject fear and militarism and embrace the highest, noblest aspirations of our heritage. It is time to come home, America.

Sincerely,

Elliot Adams, President, Veterans for Peace

Larisa Alexandrovna, Editor-at-Large, Raw Story

Lisa Albrecht, Professor, Social Justice, University of Minnesota

Maria Allwine, Fund Our Communities, Steering Committee, October2011.org

James Babb, Co-founder, We Won’t Fly

Jim Babka, President, DownsizeDC.org, Inc.

Michael Badnarik, Libertarian Party Presidential Nominee 2004

Margo Baldwin, President & Publisher, Chelsea Green Publishing

Doug Bandow, Former Special Assistant to President Ronald Reagan

Paul Barrow, Director of Policy and Communications, United Progressives

Rosalyn Baxandall, Distinguished American Studies Prof., Chair SUNY Old Westbury

William O. Beeman, Professor and Chair, Department of Anthropology, University of Minnesota

David Beito, Professor of History at the University of Alabama

Medea Benjamin, co-founder, Code Pink

Walter E. Block, Professor of Economics, Loyola University

Leah Bolger, CDR, USN (Ret), National Vice-President, Veterans For Peace

Scott Bonn, Author and Assistant Professor of Sociology, Drew University

Samuel Bostaph, Professor Emeritus of Economics

Elaine Brower, anti-war military mom, National Steering committee, World Can’t Wait

Paul Buhle, Emeritus Senior Lecturer, Brown University

Tim Carpenter, Director, Progressive Democrats of America

Gary Chartier, Associate Prof. of Law and Business Ethics at La Sierra University

Jeff Cohen, Author, media critic, journalism professor, co-founder, RootsAction.org

Catarina Correia, Coordinating Committee, National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance

Doug Craig, Libertarian National Committee, US Navy, Gulf War vet

Ellen Davidson, Steering Committee, October2011.org

Nicolas J. S. Davies, Author of Blood On Our Hands & Local Coordinator, PDA Miami

Jim Douglass, Author, JFK and the Unspeakable

Jake Diliberto, Co-founder, Veterans For Rethinking Afghanistan

Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, professor emerita, California State University

Sibel Edmonds, Founder & Director, National Security Whistleblowers Coalition

Carolyn Rusti Eisenberg Professor US Foreign Policy, Hofstra University

Daniel Ellsberg, Pentagon Papers whistleblower

Lucas M. Engelhardt, Assistant Professor of Economics Kent State University

Joy First, Convener National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance

Margaret Flowers, MD, Single Payer Health Care Advocate

Glen Ford, Executive Editor, Black Agenda Report

Four Arrows, aka Don Trent Jacobs, Prof. of Education, Fielding Graduate University, co-founder Veterans for Peace Northern Arizona chapter and American Indian author

Russell Arben Fox, Associate Professor of Political Science, Friends University

Bart Frazier, Program Director, The Future of Freedom Foundation

Eric Garris, Antiwar.com

Dave Garthoff, Department of Economics, The University of Akron

Alan Gilbert, Professor, Josef Korbel School of International Studies, Univ. of Denver

Philip Giraldi, Former CIA Operations Officer

Nate Goldshlag, National Treasurer, Veterans For Peace

Marc Guttman, MD, Editor, Why Liberty-Personal Journeys Toward Peace and Freedom

Jane Hamsher, Founder and Publisher, Fire Dog Lake

Roger D. Harris, Vice President, Task Force on the Americas

Cole Harrson, Co-coordinator, UFPJ Afghanistan Working Group

Holly Hart, Secretary, on behalf of the Green Party of the U.S.

David R. Henderson, Research Fellow, Hoover Institution

Mark W.A. Hinkle, Chairman, Libertarian Party

Connie Hogarth, Dir. Center for Social Action, Manhattanville College, Purchase, NY

Will Hopkins, Board, Veterans for Peace, Executive Director NH Peace Action

Jacob Hornberger, President, The Future of Freedom Foundation

Jeffrey Rogers Hummel, Associate Professor of Economics, San Jose State University

Bill Kauffman, Author, Ain’t My America

Angela Keaton, Former member, Libertarian National Committee

Nada Khader, Executive Director, WESPAC Foundation

Stephan Kinsella, Senior Fellow, Ludwig von Mises Institute

Adam Kokesh, Host/Executive Producer, Adam vs. The Man; Iraq Veteran

Tarak Kauff, Veterans For Peace

Karen U. Kwiatkowski, Lt Col, USAF (ret.)

William S. Lind, co-author (with Paul Weyrich), The Next Conservatism

Carroll Long, UN, World Bank (ret.)

Tom Maertens, Former Director, National Security Council under Presidents Clinton and George W. Bush

Ben Manski, Liberty Tree, Executive Director

Daniel McCarthy, Editor, American Conservative

Robert W. McChesney, Gutgsell Endowed Prof., Univ. of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Raymond L. McGovern, CIA Analyst (ret.)

David McReynolds, Socialist Party presidential candidate, 1980, 2000

Jeffrey Miron, Department of Economics, Harvard University

Nancy Murray, Human Rights Activist, Boston, MA

Ralph Nader, Consumer advocate

Robert Naiman, Policy Director, Just Foreign Policy

Anthony Noel, Facilitator, New Progressive Alliance

Jeff Norman, Director, U.S. Tour of Duty

James Oaksun, National Chair Outright Libertarians

Jim O’Brien, co-chair, Historians Against the War

George O’Neill, Jr., Come Home America

Michael D. Ostrolenk, National Security Consultant

Udi Pladott, Steering Committee, October2011.org

Jeff Paterson, Project Director, Courage to Resist

George Phillies, Editor, Liberty for America

Murray Polner, Editor and Writer

Margaret Power, Professor, Illinois Institute of Technology

Vijay Prashad, author, The Darker Nations: A People’s History of the Third World

Mike Prokosch, New Priorities Network

Justin Raimondo, Editorial Director, Antiwar.com, author

Ward Reilly, Steering Committee, October2011.org

Sheldon Richman, Free Association Blog

Marakay Rogers, Esq, Libertarian Nominee, Governor of Pennsylvania

Coleen Rowley, Former FBI Agent and one of Time’s 2002 Persons of the Year

Thaddeus Russell, Historian and author of A Renegade History of the United States

Linda Schade, Founder, VotersForPeace

Joseph E. Schwartzberg, Distinguished International Emeritus Professor, University of Minnesota

Butler Shaffer, Professor, Southwestern University School of Law

Daniel Shea, Board of Directors, Veterans for Peace

Lisa Simeone, Steering Committee October2011.org

Sam Smith, Editor, Progressive Review

David Swanson, Author, War Is A Lie

Jeff Taylor, Assistant Professor of Political Science, Jacksonville State University

Dennis Trainor, Jr., October 2011 Steering Committee

Rachel Treichler, Green Party (NY)

Dave Wagner, Tempe, Arizona

Jesse Walker, Managing Editor, Reason

John V. Walsh, MD, Professor, Univ. of Mass. Medical School; Come Home America

C. T. Weber, State Chairperson , Peace and Freedom Party of California

Linda Wiener, Steering Committee, October2001.org

James Matthew Wilson, Assistant Professor of Literature, Villanova University

Darren Wolfe, Founder, Focus On Peace

Tom Woods, Senior Fellow, Ludwig von Mises Institute

Darren Wolfe, Founder, Focus On Peace

Steven Woskow, Consultant

Ann Wright, US Army Colonel (ret.) and former US diplomat

R. Lee Wrights, Editor and Publisher of Liberty For All

Kevin B. Zeese, Come Home America

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