Representatives of several dozen U.S. antiwar groups have posted an open letter to the Nobel Committee expressing regret that President Obama, so close upon his receipt of this honor, has opted to escalate the U.S. war in Afghanistan with the deployment of 30,000 additional troops.
The letter calls attention to statements made by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., upon receipt of the Nobel Peace Prize, in 1964, when he urged people to reject retaliatory violence.
"President Obama has insisted that his troop escalation is a necessary response to dangerous instability in Afghanistan and Pakistan," the document states, "but we reject the notion that military action will advance the region's stability, or our own national security."
The signatories pledged "to mobilize our constituencies in the spirit of Dr. King's nonviolent and committed example. His prophetic words will guide us as we assemble in the halls of Congress, in local offices of elected representatives, and in the streets of our cities and towns, protesting every proposal that will continue funding war."
Signed by veterans and peace activists, religious leaders and community organizers, the document represents one of the most widespread antiwar coalitions in decades, including many of the organizations which, in 2003, brought millions onto the streets to oppose the U.S.-Iraq war.