Responding to President Obama's address to the nation, Greens demand real peace, not just partial troop draw-down, and urge protest against 'mercenary occupation' of Iraq
GREEN PARTY OF THE UNITED STATES
For Immediate Release:
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
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WASHINGTON, DC -- The Green Party of the United States responded to President Obama's Oval Office address to the nation on Tuesday, August 31, with a call for Americans who oppose the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to press for a complete withdrawal of US forces from both countries and a halt to attacks inside Pakistan's borders.
"When President Obama says we're turning the page, we're really moving to the next page of war without end. It would be a mistake for Americans who desire peace to let the President off the hook after Tuesday's speech," said Anthony Gronowicz, New York Green candidate for the US House, 7th Congressional District (Bronx/Queens, New York) and a member of the Green Party's International Committee (http://www.gp.org/committees/intl).
Green Party leaders listed reasons for renewed protest against the Obama Administration's military policies:
50,000 military personnel, rechristened non-combat 'advisors,' will remain in Iraq, along with a large number of private contractors (over 200,000 as of last month). The Iraq War has entered a new phase: occupation by largely mercenary forces to protect US interests, especially control over Iraqi oil resources. Skepticism remains that US combat in Iraq will cease, given the destabilization caused by the war. Past US 'advisors' in southeast Asia, Latin America, and other regions have been used for belligerent purposes (e.g., Vietnam, El Salvador) and regime change (Iran, Guatemala) rather than for peace.
The Democratic White House and Congress have continued to pump up the military budget, while seeking cuts in human services. Until military spending is cut drastically and the money is redirected to human needs and action against global warming, President Obama's stated goal of refocusing on domestic issues remains a hollow promise. (See "Greens call for a new kind of national defense: defense against catastrophic climate change," Green Party press release, August 6, 2010, http://www.gp.org/press/pr-national.php?ID=336)
The US owes the people of Iraq a sincere apology and recompense after an invasion launched in 2003 for false reasons: nonexistent WMDs, lies about nuclear materials and Iraqi involvement in the 9/11 attacks. The aim was to topple a murderous tyrant, but the US has not acknowledged its own role in propping up Saddam Hussein during the 1980s. The Iraq War resulted in hundreds of thousands of dead civilians, many more maimed, millions displaced, shattered infrastructure, and lingering effects from extremely toxic depleted uranium and white phosphorous weapons used by US forces.
US troops who fought in the war and the families of those who gave their lives also deserve an apology and restitution including full health care for service members, especially for those who have suffered physical and mental trauma.
President Obama has escalated the war in Afghanistan, expanding it into Pakistan, with thousands of civilian casualties. The US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, threats against Iran (and support for Israel's threats), and military aid for Israel's assaults on Palestinians have been interpreted by many nations as a greater war against Islam. (See "Greens urge Congress to pass the Kucinich-Paul bill for withdrawal of US troops from Pakistan, citing Wikileaks revelations," Green Party release, July 27, 2010, http://www.gp.org/press/pr-national.php?ID=335)
The threats against Iran demonstrate that President Obama has embraced the Bush-Cheney neocon doctrine of preemptive aggression against countries at peace with the US.
The Obama Administration has refused to investigate and prosecute Bush-Cheney officials for abuses of power and war crimes: massive deception; manipulating intelligence; authorizing extraordinary rendition and torture. President Obama has maintained warrantless surveillance of US citizens, surpassed President Bush in his pursuit of whistleblowers, and added extra-judicial killing of targeted US citizens to the list of assaults on the US Constitution. Congress has not repealed or amended the USA Patriot Act.
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"Another False Ending: Contracting out the Iraq Occupation" by Bill Quigley and Laura Raymond, Common Dreams, September 1, 2010
Video clips from the Green Party's 2010 Annual National Meeting, Detroit, Michigan, June 24-27
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