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The North Wind

The North Wind

The North Wind

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Chloe Everson
Chloe Everson
Sports Editor

Hi! My name is Chloe and I am a fourth-year senior here at NMU. I am a Public Relations major and have always enjoyed sports. I love being outdoors, shopping, and drinking coffee at all hours of the...

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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

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Women’s spring soccer comes to an end this weekend
Lily GouinApril 19, 2024

Obama needs to act in the interest of peace

It was only a short while ago that President Barack Obama was accepting his Nobel Peace Prize. Obama himself acknowledged that it wasn’t in recognition of what he had already done, but was rather a “call to action.” Not only did Obama fail this “call to action,” the entire executive branch, including his predecessor, George W. Bush, failed the American people. It is time for the president to make a New Year’s Resolution to the American people to support peace over war.

At the end of last November, Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks, released over 250,000 secret cables among various embassies that the U.S. has direct connections with. This wasn’t the first time Assange and WikiLeaks released sensitive documents about the U.S. and its activities. WikiLeaks also released information regarding both the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. When the White House learned that WikiLeaks was going to release the sensitive diplomatic cables, the White House warned it would endanger lives and interests.

What? Endanger lives? Let’s back up for a second. When Obama was informed in October 2009 that he was going to win the Nobel Peace Prize, he said it was a “call to action.” I think the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to Obama was a call to action to get Obama to embrace policies of peace instead of policies of war. Instead, Obama decided in December 2009 to send 30,000 more troops into Afghanistan, bringing the total to 100,000 troops, all going after fewer than 100 suspected terrorists. This doesn’t sound like peace.

Our troop levels didn’t pass 10,000 until 2003 and 100,000 until 2010. The insurgency in Afghanistan grew as we put more and more troops to the country. The insurgency started at around 3,000 in 2004 and by 2009 was somewhere between 19,000 and 27,000. As Matthew Hoh, a former political officer of the U.S. State Department in Afghanistan who resigned, said, “I have observed that the bulk of the insurgency fights not for the white banner of the Taliban, but rather against the presence of foreign soldiers and taxes imposed by an unrepresentative government in Kabul.”

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The insurgency in Afghanistan is quite similar to the insurgency that resided in Vietnam during the Vietnam War. In 1959, the Vietnam insurgency was around 5,000 militants, but by 1964, as the U.S. kept pouring in foot troops into Vietnam, the insurgency rose to 100,000 militants. Not only does the U.S. presence in Afghanistan keep feeding the insurgency that resides there, the U.S. bankrolls the Afghanistan insurgency by funding millions of dollars to warlords and corrupt public officials to protect U.S. supply convoys, as WikiLeaks showed in its Afghanistan War Logs, and also reported by The Guardian in the UK.

In reality, the Obama administration has been the one funding our enemies in Afghanistan, and, as a result, directly putting our soldiers’ lives at risk. The U.S. has lost over 1,400 soldiers during this war and 7,000 Afghanistan civilians have also lost their precious lives. WikiLeaks did not put these soldiers or civilians in danger by exposing the truth; the U.S. government did so by not following sound policies, including funding enemies indirectly with full knowledge of doing so.

President Obama needs to make a New Year’s Resolution to earn the Nobel-peace prize that he was awarded, something that he saw as a “call to action.” The U.S. has 702 military bases in over 130 countries, the U.S. constitutes nearly half of the world’s military spending, and the U.S. seems to be ever so eager for the next military campaign, possibly Iran or North Korea with neo-conservatives taking back the House of Representatives.

It is time to take all of our troops out of Afghanistan, something the Afghanistan and American people support. It is time for Obama to support peace over war. It is also time for Obama to support truth and transparency, something he campaigned on, instead of supporting secrecy and lies. This may be something that Obama could learn from WikiLeaks. As Thomas Jefferson once said, “Information is the currency of democracy.”

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