Open Letter to President Obama to end the Iraq and Afghan wars and U.S military deployment in Central and South America and the Caribbean

Dear President Obama:

There is a growing outcry from the public, members of Congress and the mainstream media demanding "U.S. out of Iraq and Afghanistan." From the very beginning, the Freedom Socialist Party and Radical Women have called for the immediate end to both of these senseless and illegal wars. You need to make this happen--now.

However, getting out of the Middle East and Central Asia should not be a cover for increasing U.S. domination in other regions. In response to stepped up activity by the U.S. Southern Command and the reconstituted 4th Fleet, we also join others internationally in demanding "U.S. out of Central and South America and the Caribbean."

As you are surely aware, the U.S. has been expanding its military presence in the southern part of this hemisphere for years, establishing military bases in Colombia, El Salvador, Honduras, Haiti, Paraguay and elsewhere. Now government officials have announced that Costa Rica--a country without a military--has been induced to give the U.S. permission to operate 46 warships carrying 7000 troops and numerous helicopters and war planes in Costa Rican waters.

This de facto violation of national sovereignty is justified under the false rubric of fighting the war on drugs and providing humanitarian aid. The real reason behind the region-wide buildup is to protect the interests of multi-national corporations--at an expense of billions of U.S. tax dollars that could be spent on schools, hospitals and the environment. And there is nothing humanitarian about the support this administration is giving to countries like Colombia and Honduras that allow death squads to brazenly kill hundreds of trade unionists and political activists each year.

If the U.S. was serious about the war on drugs, it would start by jailing officials of Bank of America and Wells Fargo responsible for laundering massive amounts of drug money here in this country. (Actually, the best and only way to get rid of drug-related criminal activity, violence and corruption is to take the "crime" out of the sale and manufacture of drugs in the first place!)

When are Congress and the White House going to go cold turkey and kick your expensive and self-destructive addiction to the use of force, or the threat of force, to get your way? It is time to listen to a "higher power"--the working women and men and poor people around the world who have no interest in imperialist wars, blood for oil and corporate empire building. Instead of laying off hundreds of thousands of teachers and public servants and cutting the vital services they provide, permanently furlough all the troops, warships, military hardware and weapons of mass destruction. Make war no more!

What say you all?

Sincerely yours,

Fred Hyde
Anne Slater