CALL FOR COMPLETE WITHDRAWAL OF U.S. MILITARY FORCES FROM IRAQ
The Bush Administration told us Iraq had Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMDs); they didn’t wait for the UN inspectors to finish their work; and they lied to the United Nations, which authorized the U.S. and an international coalition to attack Iraq, a country that had nothing, absolutely nothing, to do with September 11th.
Today we know both the sad truth – there were no WMDs, and the tragic results – massive death, destruction, dislocation. Iraq has been devastated – estimated more than 1 million dead, over 4 million displaced, infrastructure in a shambles. As at October 24, 2008, the toll of U.S. military personnel was over 4,100 dead and over 30,000 wounded (the official count – some estimates are significantly higher); the monthly cost of the war/occupation is over 10 billion dollars and the U.S. is trillions of dollars in debt. Today U.S. taxpayers are subsidizing this undertaking to the tune of over $200,000/minute.
UN Security Council Resolution, S/Res/1790(2007), which mandates U.S. presence in Iraq at the head of an international coalition, ends in December 2008. The Iraqis continue to express a fervent wish for the U.S. military to leave their country. We must ask ourselves – WHY does the U.S. want a long-term agreement for 58 “enduring” military bases in Iraq? (For some existing bases, the description “Little America” has been used.) WHY?
REMEMBER “NO BLOOD FOR OIL” were the signs carried and these were the words chanted by protesters before and after the invasion of Iraq. ‘No,’ insisted the Administration, the war was ‘not about the oil.’ But now Alan Greenspan, former Federal Reserve Chairman has said ‘the Iraq war is largely about oil.’* And today 36 years after the nationalization of the Iraqi oil sector in 1972, foreign companies are bidding on long-term contracts for oil extraction and gas production management.
We insist that the commencement of foreign company control of oil/gas extraction operations in Iraq cannot justify continuation of a U.S. military presence. Iraq itself must be allowed to assume responsibility for security matters in Iraq, as well as for its rehabilitation, in collaboration with assistance agencies identified and selected by the Iraqi Government.
On CSPAN, September 22nd, Zbigniew Brzezinski, National Security Advisor to President Jimmy Carter, said, in effect, that Iraq cannot be Iraq while the U.S. is there; that most Iraqis want the U.S. to leave; that ‘yes’ after our departure there will be some violence — a reason for the U.S. to remove ourselves as irritant.**
The U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, our largest embassy, covers 104 acres in the Green Zone. It is a city unto itself — larger than Vatican City.
The rationale for the Administration’s insistence on permanent/”enduring” military bases in Iraq is crystal clear. Five times since 2006 President Bush has signed into law Congressional Bills authorizing military funding but prohibiting expenditure of funds “to exercise United States control of the oil resources of Iraq.” In this connection, he has, however, issued two “signing statements” this year, the most recent one in October, asserting that banning U.S. control over Iraqi oil would violate the constitutional power of the executive branch. He argues that his administration is not legally bound by those restrictive provisions. Thus he would deny the Iraqi people and the Iraqi Government the government’s sovereign right to control their own natural resources.*** We the people must not give tacit approval to this totally unacceptable state of affairs!
There is no defensive reason for any U.S. military base in Iraq. It cannot be over-stressed that the recent “bail out” of Wall Street is just the tip of the iceberg which threatens us.
Do not delay action until the new Barack Obama Administration takes office. We urge you to telephone your Representative and Senators to say that United States withdrawal from Iraq must be complete, emphasizing that there should be no permanent/”enduring” U.S. military bases in Iraq. In addition, please write to them to state strongly that having studied this matter you deem it vital for the safeguarding of both Iraqi and U.S. interests that U.S. military operations in Iraq be ended and bases closed.
Please telephone and write to your three Congress people (Representative and both Senators) in this regard OFTEN!
*Book – “The Age of Turbulence: Adventures in a New World,” by Alan
**CSPAN, ‘After Words,’ September 22, 2008,
***Source: Friends Committee on National Legislation, Press Release –
‘President Bush Asserts Right to Control Iraqi Oil,’ October 16,
Granny Peace Brigade