June 07, 2006

US OUT NOW! Here's Why...

After reading a new book called "Iraq: The Logic of Withdrawal" by Anthony Arnove, David Swanson simplifies the main reasons for withdrawal:
1. The U.S. military has no right to be in Iraq in the first place. It turns out the Iraq war was not a mistake at all, and so the mistake cannot be continued even for an hour. The Iraq War was and is a crime.

2. The United States is not bringing democracy to Iraq. Spreading democracy had nothing to do with why this war was launched or why it is being continued. As Arnove writes, "The U.S. government opposes genuine democracy in the Middle East for a simple reason: if ordinary people controlled the region's energy resources, they might be put toward local economic development and social needs, rather than going to fuel the profits of Western oil companies." Does that sound outrageous or paranoid or "anti-American"? Read the historical context that Arnove provides, or check the evidence at www.afterdowningstreet.org , and then explain to me how you can see it any other way.

3. The United States is not making the world a safer place by occupying Iraq. In fact, this war has made the world much less safe. We've set a precedent for other nations to attack each other. We've driven other nations to invest in weaponry to try to hold off a U.S. attack. We've heightened anti-U.S. sentiment and significantly increased the incidents of terrorism each year.

4. The United States is not preventing civil war in Iraq. This is the same myth the British spread in 1920, when they didn't want to stop occupying Iraq. Our occupation, and the constitution we've imposed on Iraq, deliberately pit ethnic groups against each other in an effort to direct violence away from the occupiers. Still, the bulk of the violence is directed at the occupying army and its collaborators. And it is getting worse, not better.

5. The United States is not confronting terrorism by staying in Iraq. Al Qaeda arrived in Iraq AFTER the invasion.

6. The United States is not honoring those who died by continuing the conflict. That thinking is a recipe for compounding the tragedy without end.

7. The United States is not rebuilding Iraq. Halliburton and Bechtel are looting, not repairing. It is a racist and imperialist frame of mind that allows us to imagine that Iraqis could not best rebuild their own country. We owe them financial support in that effort. At present we are draining their resources, not adding to them.

8. The United States is not fulfilling its obligation to the Iraqi people for the harm and suffering it has caused. We are making things ever worse for the Iraqi people. Our first obligation is to stop harming them. We should then pay reparations.
Arnold argues that we will not turn the anti-war movement into a powerful enough force to end the war unless we oppose the war for "the right reasons":
"Some liberals have staked their opposition to the war in Iraq on the idea that Iraq is a 'distraction.' The problem with this line of argument is that it accepts that Bush is now waging an otherwise legitimate war…. The stronger the consciously anti-imperialist current in the anti-war movement, the stronger the movement to end the war will be, and the greater the chance we will have to bring about the fundamental change needed to stop future wars."


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