Many of you reading this worked diligently to support President Obama and his call for change. I'm sure you feel, as I do, an almost palpable air of excitement and pride right now in having a man of Obama's intelligence and integrity in the White House. What I also find remarkable is Obama's conviction that it is imperative for those who disagree with him to speak out, make their voices heard, and discuss ideas without attacking motivation or character.
President Obama just committed 17,000 more soldiers to fight the war in Afghanistan. For me and the Brave New Foundation team, this decision raises scores of questions that must be addressed about troops, costs, overall mission, and exit strategy. Historically, it has been Congress' duty to ask these questions in the form of oversight hearings that challenge policymakers, examine military spending, and educate the public. I invite you to sign the petition urging Senator John Kerry and Representative Howard Berman to hold congressional oversight hearings at once.
The president has demonstrated his commitment to plurality of opinion and open debate on issues that impact our country most profoundly. In that spirit, I'm proud that Brave New Foundation will bring you Rethink Afghanistan, a new feature-length documentary I am directing in the tradition of Uncovered: The War on Iraq and Iraq for Sale: The War Profiteers. This documentary, which we will release in segments online, will foster the kind of discussion, debate and dissent Obama has called for, hopefully serving as a driving force to help make oversight hearings a reality.
Watch the trailer in which experts weigh in on the consequences of military escalation:
Since the situation in Afghanistan is extraordinarily complex, Brave New Foundation's goal is to create videos posing some of the necessary questions Congress should ask. Watch the extended version of part one in our documentary.
Without congressional oversight hearings, no one in Washington would have exposed corruption and mismanagement during the Civil War. No one would have caught the excessive military spending during World War II. And there would have been no national stage for a young John Kerry to throw down the gauntlet to Nixon over Vietnam.
Before Afghanistan escalates any further, I believe Congress must inform the public and ask critical questions. Here's what you can do to get people thinking about the need for congressional oversight hearings:
1. Sign the petition urging Sen. Kerry and Rep. Berman to begin hearings immediately.
3. Watch the full-length version of the video.
We look forward to bringing you more videos that raise these pressing questions, to hearing your concerns regarding this war, and to collaborating with the bloggers who have been writing about these issues at Get Afghanistan Right.
Together, we can help Congress Rethink Afghanistan.