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13 Dec, 2009 00:04

No wind of change after Obama’s Nobel Prize

They voted Barack Obama in for a change to George Bush's wars, but they say all he's given them is more fighting.

Peace campaigners have once again gathered outside the White House to demand an end to American interventions abroad.

Fast forward one year from Obama’s election, and there is a mass of people – many of them former supporters – outside his house and angry about what he’s done.

“As someone who voted for Obama, I’m here today to oppose the escalation to the war in Afghanistan,”  said Ben Kreider, peace activist.

It’s been a busy week for the President and members of his administration. His advisors are finishing up the rounds on Capitol Hill trying to sell his Afghan war strategy to Congress.

But as someone who served in Afghanistan, Matthis Chrioux says Obama has it all wrong.

“Just because we have a black President doesn't mean we can’t have a racist war,” Chrioux said. “The arguments that Obama is making to sustain the occupation of Afghanistan are very similar to the arguments made by white slaveholders in the 1800s trying to justify the continuation of slavery.”

The activists say 30,000 more troops will only make things worse in Afghanistan. They believe Obama doesn’t deserve the Nobel Peace Prize.

“Even in this crowd, people who voted for him, who thought they were voting for peace, they’re disappointed that we do not have peace and to top it all off he's received the Nobel Peace Prize,” 
Cynthia McKinney, former congresswoman, said. “The right path is to leave Afghanistan to the Afghani people, to leave Pakistan to the Pakistani people.”

Former presidential candidates Cynthia McKinney and Dennis Kucinich are among the many politicians who are calling for an end to the war.

“If we can’t learn from Russia’s experience in Afghanistan – Russia is a very powerful nation, but it understood the limitations to the use of power – the United States will learn that lesson in Afghanistan but it will be at the cost of the deaths of a lot of innocent people, the deaths of our soldiers and great financial expense,”
Dennis Kucinich said.

And that financial expense is what’s worrying American taxpayers, too.

“I believe that the billions of dollars that are being spent on Afghanistan should be spent on the U.S. right now,”
the peace activist argued. “We have very high unemployment right now. We need jobs! People like me are thousands of dollars in debt after going to college, and I think that the military industrial complex, all the spending, is very wasteful.”