Americans United in Their Alarm about the Destructive Consequences of our Country’s Runaway Militarism

Open letter to President Obama.


Please Sign The Letter Below

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 63,000 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.


[Please add your signature and hometown in the comment section below or write to akeaton at with “Please Add Me” in the subject line.]

Elliot Adams, President, Veterans for Peace

I. Dean Ahmad, President, Minaret of Freedom Institute; President. Islamic-American Zakat Foundation

Lisa Albrecht, Professor, Social Justice, University of Minnesota

Larisa Alexandrovna, Editor-at-Large, Raw Story

Maria Allwine, Fund Our Communities, Steering Committee,

James Babb, Co-founder, We Won’t Fly

Jim Babka, President,, Inc.

Michael Badnarik, Libertarian Party Presidential Nominee 2004

Margo Baldwin, President & Publisher, Chelsea Green Publishing

Jack Balkwill, Editor, LUV (Liberty Underground of Virginia) News

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

Jonathan Bean, Research Fellow, The Independent Institute

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

David Beito, Professor of History at the University of Alabama

Medea Benjamin, CODEPINK, co-founder

Phyllis Bennis, Director, New Internationalism Project, Institute for Policy Studies

Bruce L. Benson, Professor and Chair, Department of Economics, Florida State University, Vietnam War combat veteran

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, University of Dallas

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

Paul Buchheit, and

Paul Buhle, Emeritus Senior Lecturer, Brown University

Tim Carpenter, Director, Progressive Democrats of America

Kevin A. Carson, Research Associate, Center for a Stateless Society

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

David Cobb, Green Party 2004 Presidential Nominee

Jeff Cohen, Author, media critic, journalism professor, co-founder,

Catarina Correia, Coordinating Committee, National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance

Robert Dickson Crane, Richard Nixon’s principal foreign policy adviser, 1963-68, Deputy Director for Planning, National Security Council, 1969

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

Ellen Davidson, Steering Committee,

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

Joseph Dobrian, writer, Libertarian Party candidate for Mayor of New York City, 2009

Karen Dolan, Fellow, Cities for Peace, Institute for Policy Studies

Jim Douglass, Author, JFK and the Unspeakable

Jake Diliberto, Co-founder, Veterans For Rethinking Afghanistan

Gus diZerega, Founding Editor, Studies in Emergent Order, author

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

Ivan Eland, Senior Fellow, The Independent Institute

Daniel Ellsberg, Pentagon Papers whistleblower

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

Jodie Evans, CODE PINK, co-founder

John Feffer, Co-director, Foreign Policy In Focus, Institute for Policy Studies

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,

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

Paul Glover, social entrepreneur and consultant

Nate Goldshlag, National Treasurer, Veterans For Peace

Charles Goyette, Author, The Dollar Meltdown

Anthony Gregory, Research Editor, The Independent Institute

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

Jane Hamsher, Founder and Publisher,

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

Sharon Harris, President, Advocates for Self-Government

Cole Harrson, Co-coordinator, UFPJ Afghanistan Working Group

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

Howie Hawkins, Co-Chair, Green Party of New York State

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

Sage Holben Metropolitan State University, St. Paul

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

Lou Jasikoff, Chair Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania

Rob Kall, Publisher,

Tarak Kauff, Veterans for Peace

Bill Kauffman, Author, Ain’t My America

Angela Keaton, Former member, Libertarian National Committee

Nada Khader, Executive Director, WESPAC Foundation

The Rev Michael Kinnamon, Ph. d General Secretary, National Council of Churches

Stephan Kinsella, Senior Fellow, Ludwig von Mises Institute

Adam Kokesh, Executive Producer and host of ADAM VS THE MAN, Iraq Veteran

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

Judith LeBlanc, Field Director, Peace Action

Rabbi Michael Lerner, Editor, Tikkun Magazine, Chair, The Network of Spiritual Progressives

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

Carroll Long, UN, World Bank (ret.)

Roderick T. Long, Professor of Philosophy, Auburn University; President, Molinari Institute

Bartley Madden, Professor of Economics at Mercatus, George Mason University

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, Senor Fellow, The Cato Institute

Robert P. Murphy, Lecturer, Ludwig von Mises Institute

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

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

George O’Neill, Jr., Come Home America

James Oaksun, National Chair Outright Libertarians

Michael D. Ostrolenk, National Security Consultant

Charles V. Peña, Senior Fellow, The Independent Institute; Foreign Policy Advisor, Ron Paul for President 2008

James Peron, President, The Moorfield Storey Institute

Jeff Paterson, Project Director, Courage to Resist

Dan Perkins, political cartoonist Tom Tomorrow

George Phillies, Editor, Liberty for America

Larry Pinkney, Editorial Board Member & Columnist, The Black Commentator

Udi Pladott, Steering Committee,

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

Sharon Presley Ph.D., Executive Director, Resources for Independent Thinking, author

Mike Prokosch, New Priorities Network

Justin Raimondo, Editorial Director,, author

Ted Rall, author and political cartoonist

William Redpath, Treasurer & Immediate Past Chairman, Libertarian National Committee

Ward Reilly, Steering Committee,

Sheldon Richman, Free Association Blog

Mik Robertson, Past-Chair, Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania

Marakay Rogers, Esq, Libertarian Nominee, Governor of Pennsylvania

Matthew Rothschild, Editor, The Progressive

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

Lisa Schirch, Director, 3P/Partners Advancing Human Security

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

Kim Scipes, former Sgt, USMC (1969-73), member of Vietnam Veterans Against the War

Butler Shaffer, Professor, Southwestern University School of Law

Daniel Shea, Board of Directors, Veterans for Peace

Cindy Sheehan, National Director of Peace of the Action

Robert Shetterly, artist, Americans Who Tell the Truth

William F. Shughart II, Senior Fellow, The Independent Institute; J. Fish Smith Professor in Public Choice, Utah State University

Lisa Simeone, Steering Committee

Sam Smith, Editor, Progressive Review

Brad Spangler, Director, Center for a Stateless Society

David Swanson, Author, War Is A Lie

Alexander Tabarrok, Research Director, The Independent Institute;

Bartley J. Madden Professor of Economics at Mercatus, George Mason University

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

Dennis Trainor, Jr., October 2011 Steering Committee

Rachel Treichler, Green Party (NY)

Laurence M. Vance, Francis Wayland Institute

Dave Wagner, Tempe, Arizona

Jesse Walker, Managing Editor, Reason

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

Bernard J. Way, Associate Professor, Political Science and Economics Department, Christendom College

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

Linda Wiener, Steering Committee,

James Matthew Wilson, Assistant Professor of Literature, Villanova University

Darren Wolfe, Founder, Focus On Peace

Emira Woods, Co-Director, Foreign Policy In Focus, Institute for Policy Studies

Tom Woods, Senior Fellow, Ludwig von Mises Institute

Steven Woskow, Ph d,Consultant

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

R. Lee Wrights, Editor and publisher of Liberty For All, US Air Force Veteran

Kevin B. Zeese, Come Home America

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