Posts filed under ‘Iraq’

Ask you what you think because your words and thoughts are powerful

More than 4,000 troops dead, tens of thousands more seriously wounded physically and psychologically, +81,000 being stop-lossed. McCain says he’d keep us there another 100 years if necessary, the Democrats discuss ‘safe and orderly withdrawal’…how could we manage something on withdrawal that we never had to begin with? Now means now, not 6 months nor 16, nor another century: it will not get better, it will only get bloodier.

The actions that happened around the country were powerful, but continued to be largely ignored by the media. This AP article mentions the range that some of these protests took, albeit quite disparagingly. The Winter Soldier Testimonies of returning soldiers got virtually no coverage or mention, but you can watch videos at; how can you understand what is happening if you never listen to those that have actually been there?

Al-Jazeera coverage of Winter Soldier, one of few media outlets to even mention it:

Student Peace Action Network activists confront war profiteers:

The irony is that last week I also found out that my cousin just got out of Air Force Boot Camp…they don’t think he’ll be sent to Iraq since he ‘just does computers,’ and it seemed like a good option since he had $65,000 in student loan debt and still no degree to show for it. Counter-recruitment is only effective in your family if you speak to them more often than every 7 years.

It is hard to find the words to express the rage, disappointment and sadness that all of this causes each day, but there are no perfect words and silence is support since it does not challenge the acceptance of such horrible acts due to time and distraction by ‘the economy.’ Are lives not more important than money? Can you not distinguish the relationship between the two? Can you muster more emotion for the stock exchange and numbers scrolling on a screen or a gas pump than you can for the real and physical ruining and ending of life?

Violence has increased in recent days, with Al-Maliki launching an offensive against militias in Basra. Muqtada Al-Sadr has called for civil disobedience to protest the targeting of the Mehdi army militia. If the Mehdi militia truce is broken, key to the reduction in violence at the start of the ‘surge,’ things will be worse than before, though they aren’t great at the moment with factions of the Mehdi militia who have broken off and escalated violence already.

There are no simple solutions to this occupation, but our continued presence exacerbates and complicates internal tensions and ties with the consequence being extensive fear and loss of life of the civilian population.

This is not what democracy looks like, here nor there.


March 27, 2008 at 5:58 pm Leave a comment

Another year over, a new one just begun

US warns against early Iraq pullout Only in the U.S. could it be believed that +19,000 civilian deaths [counting only those documented by the media, see] and the deaths of 900 of its own troops is somehow a sign of stability or progress. Tens of thousands of refugees are flooding back into Iraq because their visas in neighboring countries have expired, not by choice but because of lack of options or funds (note that the number of Iraqi refugees the U.S. lets in is negligible, even after a serious boost to the number earlier this year), and the U.N. says there isn’t even enough security for them to visit the refugees and see how they are; again, this is what progress and democracy look like?

Warnings on the consequences of using private and legally unaccountable security firms [militias] were totally ignored. There still is not a concrete way for the U.S. government to know how many people were being used by these firms in Iraq at any point.

And in the continued race to see how many countries can possibly bomb/destroy/occupy Iraq at one time, Turkey continues bombing Northern Iraq. No one can really explain the point of bombing evacuated villages, beyond doing it out of spite and giving people nothing to return to.

Not us. We’re not going.’ Troops in Iraq say no.

There is hope, in each of us, standing up for what we believe in, stopping what we can and creating what we want.

War is over, if you want it.

December 25, 2007 at 5:24 pm Leave a comment

Don’t stop thinking of tomorrow, don’t stop thinking of today

How do we move forward from here? Mobilize the majority of Americans against the war in Iraq to end it, now, not after the next election or the one after that?

The possibility is there, but the action and the belief are not. Why is that?

How can we better support GI Resisters, Iraq Veterans Against the War and Vets for Peace so that we can not only stop this war, but all war?

Can the Non-profit Industrial Complex overcome the Military Industrial Complex? Or have we forked over our responsibilities as citizens and a peace movement over to another institution? How do we reclaim movements and our government and change the world for the better?

Where can we exchange our apathy for action? When do we start trusting ourselves more than institutions? When do we take responsibility for that trust and act on it for ourselves and our communities?

There is no one answer, different actions work differently in every community, try something new and see what happens and who it brings to the table. Build networks and dreams, keep expanding and you keep making an impact. Give everyone a voice; trust your own.

Keep talking to the same 4 people every week? That’s not a movement, that’s a tea party. Go somewhere new, re-think your networks, connections and perspectives. Educate and activate.  Your community has unique concerns, how do economic injustice or environmental degradation relate to militarism there? Movements need a diversity of tactics, strategies and dreams to succeed; everyone has a part to play and a responsibility to act. As we build communities locally we build a much larger movement that has a greater capacity for change.

Believe. Believe that we can end this war now, not eventually, and that we won’t attack Iran or anyone else, then backtrack to how you can help make that possible. Belief is required in a movement, demilitarize yourself before you can demilitarize your world. You are your government, you are your country, realize that immense power and use it.

We can no longer believe in ‘soon,’ instead we must demand now.

December 22, 2007 at 8:07 am 1 comment

A Congressional Committee report estimates that the Wars/Occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq will cost $3.5 TRILLION by 2017, and who knows how many lives.

On the other hand, Basra has seen a 90% drop in violence since the withdrawal of British troops. what? occupations increase violence? you must be joking.

And, just because they are wonderful, check out Iraq Vets Against the War

November 20, 2007 at 11:08 pm Leave a comment

Mobilize to end the occupation October 27th!

Find more info at the National Youth and Student Peace Coalition, or United for Peace and Justice

October 24, 2007 at 5:55 pm Leave a comment

Dave Cline

This weekend Dave Cline, an early and very vocal member of Vietnam Veterans Against the War, former president of Veterans for Peace and a key supporter and inspiration for the formation of Iraq Veterans Against the War in 2004. Dave was a great man, encouraging many to stand up and take action against militarism and war through sharing their firsthand stories and experience. Without him the Veterans’ movements would not be as strong as they are today, putting all his energy and hope into supporting others’ voices and creating space for healing and change for both individuals and our society.

He will be missed and we carry on with those same dreams and energy.

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September 19, 2007 at 5:57 pm Leave a comment

Stop children, what’s that sound?

“Withdrawing US forces from Iraq would leave the Middle East to the ‘forces of radicalism’ and jeopardise US security, according to George Bush, the US president.”

Apparently George has missed those National Intelligence Estimate conclusions that “The war in Iraq has become a primary recruitment vehicle for violent Islamic extremists, motivating a new generation of potential terrorists around the world.” Further proof of the devastating destruction that the occupation has caused the social, political and economic fabric of the country, there’s been a drastic increase of child fighters being detained in Iraq. These child fighters have been coerced or paid to place roadside bombs and even kidnap or kill. U.S. forces can detain them for up to one year before releasing them to the Iraqi judicial system, and in some places have implemented education centers to counteract the lack of options or beliefs that drove them to commit or attempt the crimes – despite the fact that the U.S. government uses similar coercion in the form of a poverty draft for it’s ‘all-volunteer army.’ It doesn’t seem to be as widespread as the use of child soldiers in other parts of the world in recent years, it is yet another aspect of the occupation that has lasting consequences for the country and the next generation that will only worsen as time goes on.

So the U.S. government continues it’s verbal assault on Iran and arrests more of it’s government employees while blaming the Iraqi government for not doing what we told them to quickly enough, without remembering that all of our involvement in the Middle East has brought more suffering, which creates space for fundamentalist and violent radicalism to grow.

At least Great Britain is now saying that the U.S. can’t dictate how long they’ll keep troops in Iraq, hopefully they’ll withdraw all or most of their remaining 5,500 troops by the end of the year; France’s Sarkozy also joined in with a call for full withdrawal of foreign troops by the end of the year, stating that only then could France play a role in supporting a political solution to the conflict.

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August 29, 2007 at 4:23 am Leave a comment

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