On the U.S. Occupation of Iraq:
Please read and forward this statement written by the Organizing Network of the War Resisters League, made up of our Local and Affiliate groups all over the country, on the “end” of the Iraq war.
And please urge your local Congressional reps to sign on to Rep. Barney Frank’s “Dear Colleague” letter calling for a review of the military budget as a part of the work of the federal Deficit Reduction Commission. Act now!
Although we have been told that the Iraq war has officially come to an end, we, the local and national organizers of the War Resisters League, attest to the fact that the U.S. occupation of Iraq continues. This occupation directly inflicts danger and harm on the Iraqi people and stands in the way of Iraqi self-determination.
The War Resisters League fully endorses the Iraq Debacle statement, alongside partner organizations including CODEPINK, Iraq Veterans Against the War, Voices for Creative Nonviolence, Military Families Speak Out, Under the Hood GI Coffeehouse, and Courage to Resist. We agree that the U.S. never attacked Iraq to support the people of Iraq. Rather, the intent has been for U.S. military control of the “strategic area” of West Asia for the benefit of U.S.-based and multinational companies, an extension of the Bush era project of global interventionism. This has taken a great toll primarily on the Iraqi people, but also on the people of the U.S., who have seen a growing war economy and increased militarism at home, including ongoing military recruiting with in communities of color and immigrant, poor, and rural communities, increased racial profiling against Muslim and Arab-Americans and unlawful detentions, including of U.S. citizens, within and outside of U.S. borders. Furthermore, it has taken a serious toll on the members of the U.S. Armed Forces, who continue to return home traumatized and injured, if at all, only to be deployed again to fight in these unconscionable wars.
We furthermore wish to underscore the central role of oil in the U.S. “strategy” in Iraq, which is to maintain thousands of troops and military contractors on the ground to support civilian U.S. forces stationed at permanent U.S. bases in the country. U.S. and multinational oil companies, including ExxonMobil, Royal Dutch Shell, BP, Halliburton, and KBR, have all “won” contracts to Iraq’s formerly nationalized oil fields.
We also wish to publicly support all Iraq war resisters, including those who are refusing to deploy or are fighting deployment in the U.S. Although the government and the mainstream media have reported that there are no longer any U.S. combat troops being sent to Iraq, 5,000 service members of the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment at Fort Hood, Texas were deployed to Iraq in the early morning hours of August 23rd. We support the resistance of those who have been protesting their deployment, including veterans, military families, and civilian activists at Under the Hood GI Coffeehouse.
As the war in Iraq has now officially shifted to a plan for a permanent U.S. occupation (all former “coalition” forces have completely exited the country), it remains the responsibility of the people of the U.S. to continue building a cross-sectional movement to push for a real end to the U.S. presence there in solidarity with the Iraqi people.
To find out more about organizing with WRL, email Kimber Heinz, WRL Organizing Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org.