#AfghanistanTuesday on Twitter is starting to get traction. It's time to ask, "What -- besides awareness -- might be achieved by having everyone talking about the war in Afghanistan every week?"
We need suggestions from everyone. Here are six of mine.
OUTCOME ONE: #troops #home
One of the most important things we can accomplish on #AfghanistanTuesday is to advance the discourse on bringing our troops home.
The best way to do this is to stop asking "if" ... and start dictating "when."
The sooner we start to talk specifically and realistically about troop withdrawals -- real withdrawals, not token numbers -- the sooner we will be on our way to a solution.
I have made my own suggestion: withdraw a brigade a month. Other people will certainly advance other ideas. This needs to be debated, and decided.
I've started marking the #troops #home topic with the hashtag #AfghanistanTuesday-01.
OUTCOME TWO: cut #military #spending
The vast majority of Americans are furious about the economic pain they are confronting, and the continued waste of trillions of dollars on the military and war.
As with the question of troop withdrawals, it's time to stop asking "if" and get down to debating "how much." Should we cut the military budget $50 billion/year? $100 billion? $200 billion? More? The sooner we start talking specifics, the sooner our government can start following our instructions.
I've started marking the cut #military #spending topic with the hashtag #AfghanistanTuesday-02.
OUTCOME THREE: #October2011 actions in other cities
There are already #October2011 actions to protest the war in Afghanistan planned in Washington, D.C., Chicago, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Miami, Minneapolis, Bloomington, IN, and Trenton, NJ.
More are being scheduled each week. People need to look for actions in their own cities.
People need to initiate actions in their own cities, if they are not already happening.
I've started marking the topic of #October2011 actions with the hashtag #AfghanistanTuesday-03.
OUTCOME FOUR: #Congress and #election2012
A valuable outcome of #AfghanistanTuesday would be to separate the current members of Congress who are hearing their constituents on Afghanistan, and taking action, from those who are on autopilot, or #AWOL.
2012 is an election year and we should get representatives who follow our direction on ending wars and cutting military spending.
The days of hiding from the electorate are over. Just about every member of Congress is now on Twitter. I've listed the Twitter accounts for congressmen/women from the midwest states, and the rest are easy to find simply by Googling. (We've even started assembling some Twitter addresses for congressmen from the rest of the country ....)
Now we've designated noon Eastern every Tuesday as #AfghanistanHour -- the time for members of Congress and other politicians to join the #AfghanistanTuesday conversation.
I've started marking #election2012 tweets with the hashtag #AfghanistanTuesday-04.
OUTCOME FIVE: prosecute #warcrimes
Now for a couple of really tough ones.
Many/most Americans feel squeamish when they hear the term "war crimes." However, as citizens we don't have the luxury of turning a blind eye to the crimes of our leaders: our leaders' crimes become our crimes.
A good place to start is with an authoritative review of U.S. war crimes over the past decade. Michael Haas' website is an excellent resource.
Again, we need to move the discussion beyond "if" to "when and where" U.S. war crimes will be prosecuted.
I've started marking tweets about the prosecution of #warcrimes with the hashtag #AfghanistanTuesday-05.
OUTCOME SIX: #stopFBI repression
Finally, a painful reality: in the United States today, anyone expressing dissent qualifies for surveillance and persecution by the FBI and other federal agencies.
An important outcome of #AfghanistanTuesday is for the American public to become aware of this problem, and assert its absolute Constitutional rights to free speech. No "ifs," "ands," or "buts."
A valuable place to start is by signing the petition of the Committee to Stop FBI Repression.
I've started marking this topic with the hashtag #AfghanistanTuesday-06.
. . . AND COUNTING . . .
These are my suggestions for important outcomes from #AfghanistanTuesday. What do you think we can hope to accomplish?
PLUS . . . Check out the master list of #AfghanistanTuesday blog posts!
It all started with the October 8, 2011, march against the Afghanistan War in Chicago headed "US/NATO Out of Afghanistan NOW!"
(See Chicago Antiwar March - October 8, 2011 )
In the tallgrass prairie native to Chicago, there are certain flowers
that are very pretty but if you try to cut them down, they just come
back ten times as strong.
(See Never Try to Silence a Tuesdayista )
Want to compose #AfghanistanTuesday tweets that people read, retweet, reply to, think about, emulate ...? Want to really start something with your #AfghanistanTuesday tweets?
(See Compose #AfghanistanTuesday Super-Tweets! )