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WDAY: The News Leader

Published December 01, 2009, 08:43 AM

Group demonstrates disapproval over troop surge

Instead of watching the President's speech tonight, a group of people from around the area decided to make a statement of its own. About 20 people peacefully demonstrated their disapproval of the President's decision to send more troops to Afghanistan.

By: Christina Vaughn, WDAY

(WDAY TV) - President Barack Obama calls the war in Afghanistan a "war of necessity." In a nationwide address tonight, Mr. Obama laid out his strategy for winning the war and it includes a big troop boost. At the core of the Presidents plan is the deployment by next summer of 30-thousand more soldiers and marines.

Their mission: to defeat and diminish Taliban forces, provide security for population centers, and accelerate the U.S. training of Afghan forces.

“It will be clear to the Afghan government, and more importantly, the Afghan people, that they will ultimately be responsible for their own country.”

The President's plan calls for the withdrawal of the additional U.S. troops by the end of 2011. Instead of watching the President's speech tonight, a group of people from around the area decided to make a statement of its own. About 20 people peacefully demonstrated their disapproval of the President's decision to send more troops to Afghanistan.

The men, women, and children who showed up on the bridge tonight are promoting peace. They say after eight years of war, they're sick and tired.

“It has a tendency to make one think that there's no chance, in hell, that we're going to survive as humanity on this planet.”

As Paddy McLaughlin flashes a peace sign to drivers on Veteran's Memorial Bridge, the chilly December air isn't cooling her temper. She's fired up about the President's decision to send more American troops into a war zone.

“It can never be the way; it doesn't work, for 6,000 years it hasn't worked.”

She says it's making her question the administration's motive, and if this move of sending more troops overseas is for the right reason.

“Don’t listen to the rhetoric of rah rah, we have to go out and win this war so we're safe, we have to ask, who's benefited from it.”

Others in this group say the decision has made them lose a little faith in the President. Saying it's not what he promised during his campaign.

“Technically he should be withdrawing, taking people out of these countries, and this business of a buildup now in Afghanistan is the opposite of what we would expect.”

As people pass by tonight, this group hopes they take only one thing away…

“We want to just get people to realize that peace is important, that peace is the way to go. War is certainly not the way to go.”

The men and women tonight say they’re worried that this is only the beginning, and that more troops will be sent over. They're encouraging people to write to their leaders in Washington, to pass along the message of peace.

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