Letter to Congressmen Jones and McGovern re: Afghanistan

February 25, 2011

The Honorable Walter B. Jones
The Honorable James P. McGovern
United States House of Representatives

Dear Congressmen Jones and McGovern,

As a member of the Board of September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows I wish to thank you most sincerely for your insightful and courageous Op-ed in the Washington Post on Feb 18, 2011, “The Solution in Afghanistan: Get Out”.

You are right, most Americans, certainly most politicians of late, do not seem to want to talk about Afghanistan. It seems that they have become blind and deaf to what is happening there and inexplicably silent, apparently oblivious to the relationship between the cost of the wars, both in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the budget crisis we face. What should be obvious to all of us, as it is to you, is that the money spent on war could be spent for things that actually sustain life and promote peace.

We, whose family members were killed on Sept. 11, 2001, feel an enormous responsibility to the people of Afghanistan for the harm that has been done in the names of our loved ones. We listen to and hear our Afghan friends tell us their lives are made far worse because of US military presence. We recognize the real cost of this war is the human cost in both Afghanistan and the United States. We hear the threats to eliminate funding for programs and social services vital to the neediest among us and for those things that stabilize and strengthen a society, because we are in such dire financial straights, but the billions that fund the war and those that profit from it are not threatened.

As you say, it has been a sacrifice of blood and treasure, but the war has not brought stability to Afghanistan and far from enhancing our security it has undermined it. We are grateful to you both for having the integrity and the courage of conscience to name the problem and point to the solution.

Andrea LeBlanc
September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows

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