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Veterans say: The War Is Not Over Until The U.S. Leaves Iraq

The U.S. and Britain have declared victory in their war against Iraq and a despicable imperialist occupation is underway. A U.S.-occupied Iraq can never be a "liberated" Iraq. The Iraqi people can only be free to forge their own future when the U.S. and all foreign invaders get out of their country.
Veterans on the OCCUPATION -
Veterans say: The War Is Not Over Until The U.S. Leaves Iraq

The buildup and moves toward war with the brutal military attack in March against Iraq by the Bush administration brought out protest and resistance from a broad range of people throughout the world. This was demonstrated and joined by veterans in the U.S. with their show of outrage and resistance in statements like the "Veterans Call to Conscience" and "Can We Oppose This War While We 'Support the Troops'". In the midst of ongoing questions and organizing it is clear that now is a time to increase the level of resistance and not back off. As veterans we demand the U.S. leave Iraq and End the occupation.
The U.S. and Britain have declared victory in their war against Iraq and a despicable imperialist occupation is underway. A U.S.-occupied Iraq can never be a "liberated" Iraq. The Iraqi people can only be free to forge their own future when the U.S. and all foreign invaders get out of their country. As the troops entered Baghdad, the people in this country were shown limited footage and staged photo-ops to give a false picture of the response of the Iraqi people to the U.S. invasion. We were shown celebrating crowds as evidence that all of Iraq "welcomed" the invaders. Just days after U.S. troops killed 15 Iraqi demonstrators in Falluja, Bush said in his speech to the nation," When Iraqi civilians look into the faces of the American troops, they see strength and kindness and goodwill." What the Iraqi people really see is an occupying army.
The Iraqi people came out in fierce defiance - immediately. Millions of Iraqis have taken to the streets to demand the U.S. get out. The limited truth being broadcast from the city of Baghdad reports repeated sniping, suicide attacks, no-go areas, intense firefights and grenades being lobbed into the tents of U.S. troops. The resistance movement to the U.S. occupation is growing. Iraq is an overwhelmingly Muslim nation and many clerics have been urging Iraqis to resist the occupiers. The evidence suggests that very soon, there will be much more resistance. The Iraqi peoples fight is a "just" one against an occupying army - and we support it.
The "democracy" that the U.S. has brought Iraq comes from the barrel of U.S. guns. No one wants to be occupied; no one wants to be colonized; no one wants foreign troops patrolling their streets. The "order" that the U.S. has imposed on Iraq is unjust and brutal. There have been initial reports of U.S. troops blowing away civilians at roadblocks and of whole units with orders to "take out" anyone who moves around them. All resistance to the occupation is being demonized. A family is shot in its car in southern Iraq; cameramen are killed in the Palestine Hotel; a youth is shot for throwing a rock. People immediately see parallels between U.S. troops gunning down stone throwing youth in Iraq and what U.S. supported Israeli forces do every day in occupied Palestine. Occupying armies have certain characteristics already on full display in Iraq: They massacre civilians (as was done in Mosul). They steal (both military and civilians from the U.S. have been caught at this). They humiliate people in various ways - searches, arrests, blindfolding naked men with the word "thieves" written on their backs. The troops do what is in their own regime's interest - such as guarding only the oil and interior ministries while letting museums, schools and hospitals get looted and burned. They protect the immediate robbery of Iraqi resources before basic services have even been minimally restored. In whose interests is it for Iraq to be deconstructed, divided, burnt, de-historied and destroyed?
What about this democracy they are bringing? We veterans know the long and sordid history of "democracy" at gunpoint. U.S. troops have a long history of being used to "defend democracy" with coups, rigged elections, profiteering and assassinations on a mass scale. The U.S. invaded and still occupies Afghanistan - but the people don't have liberty or democracy. Haiti is much worse off after the U.S. occupation. Occupation is not about bringing democracy - it's about control, but even that is not guaranteed. Look at how hard it has been for Israel to occupy the West Bank and Gaza with only three million Palestinians. Iraq has a population of 22 million who will not easily be colonized.
After its wars, the U.S. "aid" is a subsidy for U.S. corporate and military penetration. Pro-U.S. government institutions and transportation are built up for extracting wealth. U.S. style education systems train new pro-U.S. elite. The U.S. Agency for International Development has invited U.S. multinationals to make bids for everything from road building to new textbooks. This is the kind of development the U.S. is bringing Iraq. Iraq's new overseer is a retired general, Jay Garner, who got his start running the Phoenix program in Vietnam. He's flown 150 expatriate technocrats in to run Iraq. General Tommy Franks has said U.S. forces will stay in Iraq "until there is a free government." When asked how the U.S. would feel if the Iraqis chose an Iranian-type government, Donald Rumsfeld - CEO of war - told the Associate Press," The answer is, 'That isn't going to happen'." How quickly the argument that "the Iraqi people can't free themselves" has become "the Iraqi people can't govern themselves." The U.S. just presented an "Iraq Draft Resolution" to the UN Security Council that proposes establishing the United States and Britain as "occupying powers" in Iraq for at least a year. The U.S. envisions allowing limited Iraqi self-government with U.S. troops stationed nearby. Even if the U.S. gets an Iraqi face to front for the U.S. occupation and Iraqi fingers to pull the triggers - that won't mask the reality of the occupation.
Bush's fundamental goal in the Middle East is to strengthen U.S. control over the flow of the region's oil resources. Whoever controls the flow of oil has considerable power - most importantly over the consumption of other nations. In controlling Iraq, the U.S. wants leverage over its biggest competitors: Western Europe, Japan, and China. Wherever the U.S. military conquers - it is U.S. capitalist-imperialist interests that then rule. Many Iraqis suspect that the primary reason Bush's invaders rolled into Iraq was to grab Iraq's oil. This is strengthened by the fact the former head of Shell Oil in the United States is now running Iraqi's oil industry. The U.S. is also planning to create a Middle East "Free Trade Zone" with the countries in the region.
In the months leading up to the war on Iraq the pretexts kept changing. First they said it was because of their violation of the sanctions. Then it was "weapons of mass destruction" (though no weapons of mass destruction have yet been found). Then it was "regime change" with a little "stopping terrorism" thrown in for good measure. This war has nothing to do with preventing another September 11th even though Bush claimed three times, without evidence, in his recent speech that "the war against Iraq avenged the attack of September 11th." The guns and bombs and politicians of the U.S. are intending to reshape power and politics in the Persian Gulf. Iraq is to become a U.S. base area for the whole region.
The U.S. troops occupying Iraq will not be coming home any time soon. The military is projecting they'll be there for at least five years. The war against Iraq has set a historical precedent of pre-emptive use of military force to reorder countries. This is but the second invasion in what is said to be an ongoing war that will last more than a decade, a war that will result in the death of tens of thousands on both sides. As Howard Zinn wrote recently:
As a patriot, contemplating the dead GIs, should I comfort myself (as, understandably, their families do) with the thought: "They died for their country." If so, I would be lying to myself. Those who die in this war will not die for their country. They will die for their government. They will die for Bush and Cheney and Rumsfeld. And yes, they will die for the greed of the oil cartels, for the expansion of the American Empire, for the political ambitions of the President. They will die to cover up the theft of the nation's wealth to pay for the machines of death.
What about the Iraqi dead? According to Iraqi Body Count (iraqbodycount.net), the U.S. invasion killed between 2,233 and 2,706 Iraqi civilians. There were tens of thousands of Iraqi soldiers who lost their lives. Most of these soldiers were poor conscripts compelled to fight. Are U.S. lives worth more and Iraqi lives worth less?
Now that the first of the U.S. troops are coming back, the question for the anti-war movement is: What stand do we take towards the returning troops? The government is starting up the Victory parades - but we won't celebrate. Winning does not make an unjust war right and it certainly does not make the troops heroes. There was no honor in murder or in brutalizing people, no righteousness in insulting their culture or in standing guard over the corporate wholesale robbery of Iraq's resources.
We support GI resistance. We support any soldier who does the right thing. There were many reports of big differences among the troops. Many soldiers did not fire, reporting instead that their guns jammed. While we support these acts of resistance, it will take much more to put an end to this invasion. We will welcome any GI stepping over into the right side of history, and many have. Join us in expanding and stepping up the resistance. As veterans, we pledge that we will not stop until this war and the entire imperialist war on the planet is stopped.
 
 


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Re: Veterans say: The War Is Not Over Until The U.S. Leaves Iraq

Now thar Iraq has become our 51st state and we have become an oil-rich nation,we could use the money and rebuild our infrastructure.We could ad a few new hospitals and clinics and upgrade the social security system.Implementing a good health care system would'nt be such a bad idea,either.Better yet,with all the new people and a free election,we could use the votes to get George Bush out of the white House.Now thatsliberation!!!!!
 

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