Sunday, March 15, 2009

Editorial: Do you care enough to show up?

Did you stand up before? Did you make it known publicly that you were against the Iraq War? If so, the Iraq War continues. Do you intend to stand up this 6th anniversary and say "End the war now"? Or do you plan to WalkOn,

If you've never stood up publicly against the illegal war, when do you intend to start?

This week the Iraq War hits the six year anniversary mark. Bully Boy Bush lied. His administration promised a "cakewalk" that would end quickly. Congressional Democrats lied. They said give them one house -- the House or the Senate -- in the November 2006 elections and they'd end the Iraq War. They were given both houses and . . . they . . . did . . . nothing. In 2008, they showed up to insist the problem was they didn't have the White House but give them that and give them a few more seats in Congress and they'd end the illegal war! They would! They really, really would!

And they didn't.

Between 142,000 and 147,000 US troops are currently stationed in Iraq. Barack plans to take approximately 10,000 to 12,000 out this year. And then? Well, his hedge words tell us that more may come out or he might halt the draw down or he might send more US troops into Iraq.

This isn't ending the illegal war.

Barack's lying to the American people.

Over and over.

As John Ross (CounterPunch) explains:

Of course the war is not over. Obama's speech to the leathernecks at Lejeune was stuffed with caveats and canards. Combat troops will be gone from Iraq by August 2010 the Prez pledged, leaving 35,000 to 50,000 residuals in country - but the small print gives Baracko fiat to reclassify combatants as residuals. The remaining troops' departure by 2011 hinges on Iraqi acceptance of a status of forces agreement to be voted up this June and not what the White House decrees. Nonetheless, U.S. withdrawal is subject to Pentagon review with options extended for many years to come. No mention is made of 150,000 private contract killers or permanent bases on Iraqi soil.
[. . .]
For the Iraqis, there is no closure to this black chapter in the history of American mayhem. Their homes and their livelihoods have been decimated and their culture sacked - the NYT's Baghdad art critic recently compared the Assyrian wall reliefs unveiled at the reopened National Museum to blast walls thrown up by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to separate Baghdad neighbors.
Iraqis are reminded everyday that the war is not over by the black-clad war widows threading their way through Baghdad traffic begging alms. There are an estimated 740,000 war widows in Iraq, a number that lends credence to the million plus body count estimates. Most receive no aid - one U.S. reporter found widows living in a gas station restroom. With oil prices - Iraq's only export - in steep decline, the Maliki government claims there is no money left for the social budget. Indeed, the 4,000,000 Iraqis driven from their homes into exile are now viewed as a security risk should they be forced by their host countries to return.

Is that enough to get you demonstrating? How about this from Anthony Arnove (Socialist Worker):

Obama calls the troops who will stay in Iraq through the end of 2011 "residual forces" and non-combat troops, but this is just doublespeak. Combat troops are simply being renamed non-combat troops through a verbal sleight of hand, but will certainly be able to use lethal force and will find themselves in combat situations.
And in accepting the logic of the Bush administration for not withdrawing the troops immediately--that they are needed to fight al-Qaeda, engage in "counter-insurgency operations," and continue the "war on terror"--Obama has opened the door to keeping them in Iraq beyond 2011.
Indeed, in his speech about the Iraq "withdrawal" plan at the end of February,
Obama retroactively endorsed the Bush administration's stated reasons for invading Iraq in the first place, as the Wall Street Journal gleefully noted.

Is that enough to get you out in public demonstrating against the illegal war?

How about the dead?

Will that do it?

Something better do it and you better figure out what it is because Saturday actions are taking place and those who want to end the illegal war better be participating. If they're not, they really don't want to end the Iraq War and any assertion that they do is just flapping the gums.


The National Assembly to End the Wars, the ANSWER coalition, World Can't Wait and Iraq Veterans Against the War will be present. Iraq Veterans Against the War explains:

IVAW's Afghanistan Resolution and National Mobilization March 21st
As an organization of service men and women who have served in Iraq, Afghanistan, stateside, and around the world, members of Iraq Veterans Against the War have seen the impact that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have had on the people of these occupied countries and our fellow service members and veterans, as well as the cost of the wars at home and abroad. In recognition that our struggle to withdraw troops from Iraq and demand reparations for the Iraqi people is only part of the struggle to right the wrongs being committed in our name, Iraq Veterans Against the War has voted to adopt an official resolution calling for the immediate withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan and reparations for the Afghan people. (To read the full resolution, click here.)
To that end, Iraq Veterans Against the War will be joining a national coalition which is being mobilized to march on the Pentagon, March 21st, to demand the immediate withdrawal of troops from Iraq and Afghanistan and further our mission and goals in solidarity with the national anti-war movement. This demonstration will be the first opportunity to show President Obama and the new administration that our struggle was not only against the Bush administration - and that we will not sit around and hope that troops are removed under his rule, but that we will demand they be removed immediately.
For more information on the March 21st March on the Pentagon, and additional events being organized in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Orlando, to include transportation, meetings, and how you can get involved, please visit: or

US war resister Aidan Delgado will be there, "As a veteran of Iraq and Abu Ghraib prison, I'm joining this march to remind the public that even in this time of hope, when progressive policies seem just around the corner, the Iraq War is still something we should vocally protest ... Although U.S. administrations may change, the war continues, and it is our duty as citizens to ensure that this new administration changes course and lives up to its campaign promises. As a veteran, I want to send a message that the peace movement has always supported soldiers in the most meaningful way possible: by bringing them home from a war that should never have been waged."

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