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Iraq War is Impeachable, Not Just a 'Strategic Blunder'
Green Party of the United States
Tuesday, February 20, 2007
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Green Party leaders urged Congress, as it debates a nonbinding resolution on President Bush's proposal to send 21,500 more U.S. troops to Iraq, to reject a discussion of the war on strategic grounds, and instead address the war as a criminal act of military aggression.
Greens called on Democrats and Republicans in Congress who claim to oppose the war to interrupt President Bush's agenda in Iraq by cutting off funding for the U.S. occupation.
"If antiwar Democrats and Republicans limit their discussion to whether the U.S. should commit more troops, then President Bush will have won the debate," said Liz Arnone, co-chair of the Green Party of the United States. "The question Congress should ask isn't how many U.S. service members should be sent to Iraq, it's how to end the Iraq disaster as quickly as possible, how to hold the Bush Administration accountable for its abuses of power and the deaths of over 3,000 U.S. troops and hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians, and how to prevent such abuses in the future."
Congress must address the following points in its current discussion, said Greens:
The Iraq War didn't fail because the White House and Pentagon botched it strategically, although it's evident that the invasion was undertaken without regard for the protection of many U.S. service personnel (e.g., inadequate body armor; illegal use of depleted uranium and white phosphorus, which also harm civilians), the need to secure Iraq's borders, and other basic military necessities. The Iraq War was an inevitable disaster, said Green Party leaders, because it was a preemptive invasion of one nation by another, justified before the public by manipulated intelligence estimates and a disinformation campaign (false claims about WMDs; Saddam Hussein's collusion with al-Qaeda; Saddam's purported threat to neighboring countries and the U.S.), with minimal consideration of the outcome (mass Iraqi civilian deaths; probably civil war; international outrage, especially among Muslim and Arab nations; empowerment of radical religious and terrorist groups in the region).
"Preemptive invasion is illegal under international law. Congress must treat the Iraq invasion as a criminal atrocity, requiring impeachment of President Bush and Vice President Cheney, and investigation and criminal prosecution of those responsible for the war," said Rebecca Rotzler, co-chair of the Green Party and Deputy Mayor of New Paltz, New York. Ms. Rotzler will participate in the Emergency Summit to Impeach Bush for War Crimes, February 17-18 in New York City (more information at <http://www.gp.org>).
Congress must cancel all future funding for the Iraq War, compelling the White House to withdraw U.S. troops and return them home safe and sound.
"It's obvious by now that the continued presence of U.S. forces in Iraq will not improve the situation for the Iraqi people or lead to peace, stability, or democracy," said Gretchen Dutschke of the Green Party's International Committee. "If Congress members merely address President Bush's strategic plan to send more troops, then Congress is debating according to the White House's own terms, with a false choice between victory and defeat for the U.S. Congress must reject the Bush Administration's frame of the debate, and instead demand immediate withdrawal. As in the 1970 Cooper-Church amendment, which prohibited further funding for military action in Cambodia and Laos, Congress can force a withdrawal from Iraq by preventing the White House from spending another dime on the occupation."
Congress must address the Bush Administration's numerous abuses of power in connection with the Iraq War: Defense Department policy that clearly encouraged torture and abuse at Abu Ghraib, as well as sites in Afghanistan, Guantanamo Bay, and secret sites in Europe; 'extraordinary rendition' of prisoners to countries that allow torture to extract information; favoritism for profiteering corporations and privatized military operations like Halliburton and Blackwater USA, as well as for U.S. and U.K. oil companies that are about to profit from the new Iraqi 'Hydrocarbon Law' ("Shock and oil: Iraq's billions & the White House connection," The Independent, January 14, 2007 <http://news.independent.co.uk/world/americas/article2152438.ece>).
Congress must address its own complicity in President Bush's decision to wage war on Iraq, through October 2002 legislation that transferred war power to President Bush.
"The Iraq Resolution gave President Bush a blank check to launch the invasion of Iraq -- contrary to the U.S. Constitution, which limits war power to Congress itself, a necessary check on executive power," said Katey Culver, co-chair of the Green Party of the United States and co-chair of the Green Party of Tennessee. "We ask Congress to repudiate the Bush-Cheney doctrines of unitary executive power and perpetual warfare, and restore the Constitution's checks and balances."
In order to achieve stability in Iraq and the surrounding region and security for the U.S. and the world, Congress must support an integrated policy based on negotiation, diplomacy, and respect for human rights instead of military force.
"Withdrawal from Iraq, diplomacy with Iran in combination with global nuclear disarmament, and pressure on Israel to end its illegal occupation of Palestinian lands and observe human rights and equality are the necessary starting points for peace in the Middle East and western Asia," said Green Party co-chair Jim Coplen. "Anything else ill only encourage future war and violence, including terrorism against the U.S."