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Tucson calls for end to war in Afghanistan

By Jim Byrne

Tucson, AZ – A dozen anti-war activists gathered at the Federal Building Oct. 5 to demand an end to the 16-year U.S. war in Afghanistan. The protest comes one day before the anniversary of the 2001 invasion and occupation of Afghanistan, which is the longest war the U.S. has been involved in.

Protesters held signs showing the downtown traffic the demands of “U.S. out now!” and “The War on Terror only makes more terrorists!” Glaring statistics highlights the damage to Afghanistan, such as close to 360,000 dead, overwhelmingly civilian deaths and over $1 trillion spent.

Commenting on the futility of U.S. regime change efforts, longtime activist Joe Bernick of the AZ Peace Council said, “The old colonialism of imposing rule from outside just doesn't work anymore. The people resist it no matter what.”

The 16-year anniversary comes as the Trump administration is seeking to mobilize as many as 4000 U.S. combat troops to confront the re-emergence of the Taliban. Secretary of Defense James “Mad Dog” Mattis is looking to change the rules of engagement to broaden the scope of U.S. airstrikes, which will likely end in more civilian casualties.

The action, organized by the Tucson Antiwar Committee and the AZ Peace Council, joins the nationwide protests endorsed by the United Antiwar Coalition.

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