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Opposition to Obama's Decision to Drag Out the Iraq War

Posted by libhom Thursday, March 05, 2009

I am so ashamed that I voted for Barack Obama in the Democratic primary. I should have stuck with Kucinich. I'm so proud of voting for Cynthia McKinney in the general election. The latter decision was better informed and far wiser.

Anyway, it looks like bloggers aren't the only people disappointed by Obama's decision to drag out the war on Iraq at least until the end of 2011.

From CODEPINK Press Release 2/27/09:

CODEPINK calls Obama’s announcement of timetable, residual troops in Iraq a “broken promise”
Americans must continue to push for change

WASHINGTON — CODEPINK Women for Peace is disheartened by President Obama’s announcement this morning for troop withdrawal by Aug. 2010, later than his campaign promise, leaving residual troops until December 2011.

Americans voted for Obama largely based on his opposition to the war since its start, and his promise to end the occupation in 2009.

“While the move toward withdrawal is positive, this timeline and leaving tens of thousands of residual troops sounds more like occupation-lite than an end to occupation,” said Medea Benjamin, co-founder of CODEPINK. “But compared to the past eight years of moving backward, at least there’s an atmosphere now where we can continue to apply pressure on the administration to push forward.”

CODEPINK women call on Obama and his administration to immediately withdraw all U.S. troops, including residual forces from Iraq. Instead, the U.S. government should increase efforts in diplomacy, humanitarian aid and refugee resettlement. Continued troop presence will only encourage more armed opposition within Iraq and will not force the Iraqi government and Iraqi factions to negotiate power. In addition, with the continued presence of U.S. troops, the international community will doubt the U.S. commitment to withdrawal and will wait to invest in diplomatic and reconstruction efforts.

From Iraq Veterans Against the War
IVAW Wants to See Obama Call for a Complete Withdrawal from Iraq

As an organization of Global War on Terror veterans and Active Duty service members, Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) is pleased that President Obama is taking important steps to bring our fellow service members home. However, his plan to slowly remove combat brigades over the next 18 months and leave a remaining 35-50,000 troops throughout 2011 is a plan for almost three more years of an unjustified military occupation that continues to claim the lives and livelihoods of our troops and innocent Iraqis.

President Obama speaks of a change in mission, from a combat role to a support role, but yet still leaves room for “conducting targeted counter-terrorism missions” with a portion of the transitional forces remaining combat-ready. He also does not include a timeline for removing the more than 150,000 private defense contractors and mercenaries still in Iraq, nor does he address the question of disallowing permanent military bases.

The ANSWER Coaltion was a bit more direct in its email:
With his speech today, President Obama has essentially agreed to continue the criminal occupation of Iraq indefinitely. He announced that there will be an occupation force of 50,000 U.S. troops in Iraq for at least three more years. President Obama used carefully chosen words to avoid a firm commitment to remove the 50,000 occupation troops, even after 2011.

The war in Iraq was illegal. It was aggression. It was based on lies and false rationales. President Obama's speech today made Bush’s invasion sound like a liberating act and congratulated the troops for "getting the job done." More than a million Iraqis died and a cruel civil war was set into motion because of the foreign invasion. President Obama did not once criticize the invasion itself.

He has also requested an increase in war spending for Iraq and Afghanistan, and plans to double the number of U.S. troops sent to fight in Afghanistan.

President Obama has asked Congress to provide more than $200 billion for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars over the next two years, in addition to increasing the Pentagon budget by four percent.

Based on President Obama's new budget, the Pentagon would rank as the world's 17th largest economy—if it were a country. This new budget increases war spending. Total spending in 2010 would roughly equate to an average of $21,000 a second.

This is not the end of the occupation of Iraq, but rather the continuation of the occupation.

There is only one reason that tens of thousands of troops will remain in Iraq: It is because this is a colonial-type occupation of a strategically important and oil-rich country located in the Middle East where two-thirds of the world's oil reserve can be found.

Obama's speech was a major disappointment for anyone who was hoping that Obama would renounce the illegal occupation of Iraq. Today, the U.S. government spends $480 million per day to fund the occupation of Iraq. Even if 100,000 troops are drawn out by August 2010, that means the indefinite occupation of Iraq will cost more than $100 million each day. The continued occupation of Iraq for two years or three years or more makes a complete mockery out of the idea that the Iraqi people control their own destiny. It is a violation of Iraq's sovereignty and independence.

It is no wonder that John McCain came out to support President Obama's announced plan on Iraq. McCain was an supporter of former President Bush's and Vice President Cheney's war and occupation in Iraq.

Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld—the architects of regime change in Iraq—never had the goal of indefinitely keeping 150,000 U.S. troops in Iraq. They wanted to subdue the Iraqi people and exercise control with a smaller force. The Iraqi armed resistance prolonged the stationing of 150,000 U.S. troops.

Bush's goal was domination over Iraq and its oil supplies, and domination over the region. This continues to be the goal of the U.S. political and economic establishment, including that of the new administration.

Contact the President and Demand a Full and Rapid Withdrawal from Iraq!

Web: www.whitehouse.gov/contact/
Phone: 202-456-1111



  1. Riverwolf, Says:
  2. Not surprised (I seem to be saying this a lot lately). Obama never indicated he would do anything "rapidly" as far as Iraq. He always talked about being thoughtful, responsible and whatever. Which maybe is all fine and well in the end. But rapid? Never going to happen and never was.

  3. Writer Says:
  4. Yes. But think about what it would have been like if Obama HADN'T won. If it had been McCain...

  5. GDAEman Says:
  6. I'm more concerned with Afghanistan... Iraq is a lost cause... and yes we should get out, but it's been broken... reparations is the topic de jur for Iraq.

    Afghanistan on the other hand is a mess yet to be fully made.... we might be able to stop them before we kill again.

  7. GDAEman Says:
  8. Hey, thanks for the easy-to-use "contact obama" link.

    Here's what I had to say:

    We support you, BUT

    + Let them prosecute Bush admin officials for crimes. Let us have the justice that legitimizes our nation.

    + Afghanistan is the grave yards of Empires, and the US is an empire. Do the math.

    + "It's wealth distribution stupid" A good bumper sticker, no?

    + did is say prosecute Bush officials? If we don't the fabric of our society will unravel.... people will re-discover vigilante justice because the official system isn't doing it's job.



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