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Beliefnet News

Churches call for U.S. to pull out of Afghanistan

c. 2011 Religion News Service

WASHINGTON (RNS) As President Obama prepared plans to bring a limited number of U.S. troops home from Afghanistan, a group of 40 religious leaders called for the president to “bring the war in Afghanistan to an end.”

Signers of an open letter, including high-profile religious leaders like Sojourners founder Jim Wallis, expressed frustration over the “deteriorating” state of affairs in Afghanistan and the rising military and civilian death toll, saying “the military situation is at best a stalemate.”

The Tuesday (June 21) letter acknowledged that “legitimate ethical and moral issues are at stake” in Afghanistan, including U.S. national security and women’s rights, but said “there is a better way than war to address these important issues.”


Developmental aid provided by nongovernmental organizations was championed as an alternative to war, with the signers saying “it is time to transition toward a plan that builds up civil society and provides economic alternatives for Afghans.”

The letter admitted that some signers initially supported military action in Afghanistan as a “justified response” to the 9/11 terrorist attacks, but said the representatives are now “united in the belief” that the war should end.

The letter boasted a number of signers affiliated with the National Council of Churches, including NCC General Secretary Michael Kinnamon. Several leading NCC member churches — including the Episcopal Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America — were notably absent.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment pagansister

    Already been promised. President has announced the plan this very night. :o)

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment cknuck

    unfortunately we will feel the financial backlash from being there when we shouldn’t have. No different than Bush just a different party.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment nnmns

    Very different from Bush. Bush got us into Iraq for no good reason and it’s cost us probably a trillion dollars not to mention US and Iraqi lives.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Henrietta22

    The Church leaders are right we need to end this war fast. Disappointed that Obama isn’t going to order the 33,000 troops he put there two years ago home by the end of this summer. There would still be 70,000 left there. The rest should be home by no longer than a yr. later. We went to fight and capture, kill Osama Bin Laden, it’s done. Our own country needs these men overseas, and we need the money to rebuild our infrastructure, and get America moving again. The democrats and the republicans and everyone else inbetween want this to end fast.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment jestrfyl

    It took Bush 8 years to make this tangled and snarling mess. People want Obama to undo the whole thing in less than half that time. It is indeed true we need to get out. But this isn;t a bandaid being ripped off a skinned knee. Unless it is done carefully, strategically, and with an eye to the next steps the opponents might take, we will be in for a bigger, more costly and fatal mess.

    Next question – how well will we (the gov. who on our behalf sent them to war) take care of these vets? What jobs can be created to give them meaningful and beneficial work? This is not like the credits running at the end of a movie – everyone walks out and comments on the quality of the popcorn. This is going to be expensive, but it is an obligation that a whole lot of people (who talk only about cutting taxes and costs) were quite willing to initiate. If they don’t step up and make some concessions to these folks then their hypocrisy will be called out and they will be held accountable.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment cknuck

    no different than bush, Osama Bin Laden was not in Afghanistan and the vets will be treated just like all of the others, neglected. There are no jobs, criminals are being released as our police force are being released, they recently did the math on the health reform and it is a bomb that will be taken advantaged of to the tune of trillions in addition to the already trillions of debt.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment nnmns

    cknuck is a Republican apologist, plain and simple. He’ll say anything in hopes somebody somewhere will believe it.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Neil

    To: nnmns

    Nice name you have there. cknuck may or may not be a Republican apologist. He is entitled to his own opinion without being riducled. You, on the other hand, have clearly branded yourself as a democrat water carrier as they no little else than name calling and degradation. Shame on you sir (or madam, cannot tell from your fictituous name).

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment pagansister

    Very good questions, jestrfyl, regarding the treatment of the vets who return. This country should be ashamed of the way it treated the Viet Nam vets. Some of the stories I have seen on the TV of what the vets and their families have had to go through to get help after dismissal from a vet hospital is outrageous. There is no excuse. Let us hope that things are getting better for each and every man and woman who comes back physically damaged or mentally damaged (the unseen wounds). They deserve the best help available for as long as necessary—some of which will be for the rest of their lives.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment pagansister

    True, cknuck, OBL wasn’t in Afghanistan—but in a country we consider(ed) at least a bit on “our side”, Pakistan. Not so sure that they are “friendlies”. Who the heck got us in war over in that part of the world anyhow? GWB–and he even went into the wrong country as payback for 9/11. Those horrible people weren’t from Iraq! No matter how long it takes to get our troops back—it will cost money. However, IMO, no money should be held back in doing what is right for our returned soldiers.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment cknuck

    pagan even if the “horrible people” weren’t in or from Iraq it was a bad idea just like Afghanistan was a bad idea, no difference other than emotional sentimentality. Bush-Obama both bad managers.
    nnmns you don’t know what I am you are so full of nonsensical hate you pour out party wise you don’t care about reuniting this country as long as you get to call names because you don’t do much more than that.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment nnmns

    cknuck you admitted you hate me. I’ve never said I hate you and I don’t. I pity you some and I get pretty tired of you but I don’t hate you. I save hate for important people.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment cknuck

    I do hate the evil you represent nnmns as you time after time crusade against God and Christianity in your preaching of your religion you proselytize then point your bony hateful finger at Christians and accuse them of doing the very thing you are doing. I imagine you do get tired of me because I will counter all your untruths with truth your cold heartless promotion of abortion the fact that you think you get to say when a human is human, that fact that you show up on harmless Christian article and preach atheism and at the same time preach against Christian’s preaching. So if you want to cry like a baby go right ahead its something you do in your preaching anyway.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment nnmns

    cknuck get help. You really need counseling.

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