An antiwar movement statement|
Why we stand for immediate withdrawal of all U.S. troops from Iraq
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -THE U.S. occupation of Iraq has not liberated the Iraqi people, but has made life worse for most Iraqis.
Tens of thousands of U.S. service people have been killed or maimed, and hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqis have lost their lives as a result of the U.S. invasion in 2003, the ongoing occupation, and the violence unleashed by them.
Iraq's infrastructure has been destroyed, and U.S. plans for reconstruction abandoned. There is less electricity, less clean drinking water, and more unemployment today than before the U.S. invasion.
The Bush administration has insisted again and again that stability, democracy, and prosperity are around the next bend in the road. But with each day that the U.S. stays, the violence and lack of security facing Iraqis worsen. The U.S. says that it cannot withdraw its military because Iraq will collapse into civil war if it does. But the U.S. has deliberately stoked sectarian divisions in its ongoing attempt to install a U.S.-friendly regime, thus driving Iraq towards civil war.
The November elections in the United States sent a clear message that voters reject the Iraq war, and opinion polls show that seven in 10 Iraqis want the U.S. to leave sooner rather than later. Even most U.S. military and political leaders agree that staying the course in Iraq is a policy that is bound to fail.
Yet all the various alternative plans for Iraq now being discussed in Washington, including those proposed by House and Senate Democrats, aren't about withdrawing the U.S. military from Iraq. Rather, these strategies are about continuing the pursuit of U.S. goals in Iraq and the larger Middle East using different means.
Even the proposal to redeploy U.S. troops outside of Iraq, a plan favored by many Democratic Party leaders, envisions continued U.S. intervention inside Iraq.
With former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger insisting that a military victory in Iraq is no longer possible and (Ret.) Lt. Gen. William Odom calling for "complete withdrawal" of all U.S. troops, the antiwar movement should demand no less than the immediate withdrawal of the U.S. military--as well as reparations to the Iraqi people, so they can rebuild their own society and genuinely determine their own future.
We call on the U.S. to get out of Iraq -- not in six months, not in a year, but now.
Ali Abunimah, ElectronicIraq.net
Other signatories include • Mike Alewitz, muralist • Naseer Aruri, author, Dishonest Broker: America's Role in Israel and Palestine • Bill Ayers, author, Fugitive Days • David Barsamian, director, Alternative Radio • Thomas Barton, GI Special • Phyllis Bennis, Institute for Policy Studies • Leslie Cagan, United for Peace and Justice • Ira Chernus, The Smirking Chimp • Todd Chretien, Green Party Senate candidate in California • Ramsey Clark, legal council for Saddam Hussein • Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, author, Blood on the Border • Sam Farber, author, The Origins of the Cuban Revolution Reconsidered • James Fennerty, National Lawyers Guild • Josh Frank, author, Left Out! How Liberals Helped Reelect George W. Bush • Elaine Hagopian, author, Civil Rights in Peril • Doug Henwood, editor, Left Business Observer • Goretti Horgan, Derry Antiwar Coalition • Maurice Isserman, author, If I Had a Hammer • Ron Jacobs, author, The Way the Wind Blew • Charles Jenks, Traprock Peace Center • Gabriel Kolko, author, The Politics of War • Joanne Landy, Campaign for Peace and Democracy • Michael Letwin, co-chair, New York City Labor Against the War • Adrian Lomax, prisoner rights activist • Alan Maass, editor, Socialist Worker • Frances Fox Piven, author, Poor Peoples' Movements • Peter Rachleff, author, Hard-Pressed in the Heartland • Matthew Rothschild, editor, The Progressive • Michael Schwartz, sociology professor, State University of New York at Stony Brook • Ahmed Shawki, editor, International Socialist Review • Sharon Smith, author, Subterranean Fire • David Swanson, AfterDowningStreet.org • Sherry Wolf, International Socialist Organization • Ann Wright, U.S. Army colonel/State Department, resigned in protest of Iraq War • Dave Zirin, author, What's My Name, Fool? • Organizations listed for identification purposes only