The U.S. war on Iraq is entering its eighth year. George Bush, with the agreement of all but one elected official, launched the war on the people of Iraq March 19, 2003. Since then an estimated one million Iraqis have died. Their country has been destroyed. During this war, close to 4400 US soldiers have been killed, an estimated 100,000 have been wounded, and 320,000 suffer posttraumatic stress and depression.
The war on Afghanistan has been devastating for the Afghan people. Since October 2001. More than 13,000 civilians have been killed. And now, with the increase in U.S. troops and attacks by drone aircraft, the massacre of dozens of civilians a week has become a regular occurrence.
In addition to the number of people killed by US troops and their allies, increasing numbers of people are caught up in the violence directed at the US occupations. The car bombs and suicide bombers end up taking more innocent lives. And more frustrated and angry people are recruited to the side of those who are fighting against the occupations.
All the talk of elections, all the talk of rebuilding the country, all the talk of establishing stable governments and restoring peace, is just that – talk.
The truth is that the U.S. has brought terror into the lives of the people of the region. The reason Iraq needs to be rebuilt is because the U.S. military destroyed it.
The people of the U.S. and the world were told lies to try to get us to support the U.S. war on Iraq. The lies continue today. The Obama administration may not be talking about weapons of mass destruction and a nuclear weapons program. But they have maintained the lies about the need of the U.S. to fight terrorism to bring peace to the world.
What is the behind these wars? Iraq has huge oil deposits. Under the regime of Saddam Hussein, Iraq was beginning to take some independence from its former master, the U.S., and making deals with Russia, China and European oil companies, threatening US oil companies’ control over the oil. Afghanistan does not possess oil like Iraq. But, now, as throughout history, it sits at the center of a very important region – a region rich in oil and a region of political importance – bordering Pakistan, Iran, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and China. Those who rule the U.S. will not give up their dominance in the region easily.
These wars are being carried out in our name, under the pretext of fighting a war against terrorism. And each day of the occupation breeds more resentment and desperation – the perfect situation to recruit to the dead-end of individual terrorism.
The American people are not enemies of the people of Iraq or Afghanistan. Working people and farmers in those countries have the same interests that we do. They want to live their lives in peace.
They want to enjoy their families and friends and see young people develop their talents and abilities. We may not all share the same ways, but these differences are not the basis of these wars.
We are not the ones who have chosen to spend nearly $975 billion of our tax dollars on these wars of occupation and mass destruction. We are not the ones who have chosen to send our young men and women to carry out this war. This is NOT in our interest, not at all. That money could be spent to provide education and other public services, like health care and public transportation. It could help create useful jobs for all. It could have been used to really help the people of the region to develop the resources they need to live full lives.
This is NOT our war. In the last election, many voted for Obama believing that he would end the war, he didn’t. These wars are tearing apart the societies of Iraq and Afghanistan and Iraq. They are destroying the lives of the people there. And here, in the US, the billions of dollars spent on these wars has meant a war of another sort on the people here.
A generation of young people is being denied quality education and prospects for a future. Public services are being stripped from those who need them. These wars must stop!