Death Toll Rising For Both SidesEdit
The death toll on all sides is mounting. Forty thousand or more Iraqis have been killed or injured, and many more have lost their homes and property. Over 1800 U.S. soldiers have died in Iraq - more than died in the first four years of the Vietnam War. At least 5,500 U.S. soldiers have deserted. Over 20,000 more have been evacuated for medical reasons.
Life Miserable For Ordinary IraquisEdit
The occupation is making life miserable for ordinary Iraqis. Public safety, especially for women and children, is almost non-existent. Unemployment is at more than 50 percent. Wages have fallen from pre-war levels. Water and electricity are scarce. An end to the constant conflict, destruction and costs of the occupation is necessary for these conditions to improve. Iraqis Want Us Out. A Zogby poll taken a week before the Jan. 30 Iraqi election showed just how unpopular U.S. forces are: 69 percent of Shiites and 82 percent of Sunnis want U.S. forces to withdraw ``either immediately or after an elected government is in place. The occupation of Iraq is unjustified, immoral, and illegal. Iraq posed no threat to the U.S., had no weapons of mass destruction and no ties to Al Qaeda. Even many Bush supporters (and the U.S. Army War College) admit this was a "war of choice" and not one of "self-defense." To use modern weapons to kill and destroy mostly innocent people and to take over Iraq was therefore unconscionable. It was a violation of Iraqi sovereignty and international law.
No End In Site For The ConflictEdit
There is no end in sight to the conflict. Even the CIA admits that Iraqi public opposition to the U.S. is growing, not diminishing. Armed attacks have not let up and non-violent protests are constant. Prolonging the occupation means compounding the death, misery and costs each day. Avoid a Civil War. The presence of US troops exacerbates tensions between Iraqi religious and ethnic groups. For example, during the April 2004 siege of Fallujah, half of the U.S.-trained Iraqi Army deserted rather than fought. Most of the deserters were Arabs, while former Kurdish peshmerga from Iraq continued to fight. So Kurds were fighting Arabs in Iraq - all under American command. And when the Iraqi police go on joint patrols with the U.S. military in Sunni neighborhoods in Baghdad, arresting residents and taking them to prison - the policemen usually come from Shi'ite sections of Baghdad. When they arrest Sunni Arabs, sectarian tensions grow. To avoid a civil war, the U.S. must begin withdrawing now. The cost of the Iraq war is soaring: $187 billion and counting. Instead of spending this money on the occupation, these billions should be used to help both Iraq and the U.S. create jobs and safety, relieve poverty, and improve health and education.
The Transition To Iraqi Power Is FlawedEdit
The transition to Iraqi power is flawed. As long as the U.S. troops remain en masse, the U.S. will be the true power and all others will be mere figureheads who serve at the U.S.'s pleasure. The Iraqi Government was built through a selections process, in part designed by Research Triangle Institute, and does not yet constitute a democratic government. Similar to the government of South Vietnam, the current Iraqi government does not represent the views of most Iraqis.
The War And Occupation Have Expanded And Inflamed Terrorism, Making Our Lives More Dangerous And InsecureEdit
The war has turned more and more people against the U.S. and has further legitimized the use of armed force. Bush overruled the commanding Marine general and ordered the sacking of Fallujah, which, in addition to destroying practically an entire city, displaced hundreds of thousands of Sunnis and filled the insurgents' ranks.
If The U.S. Leaves, The Iraqi People Can Reassert Control Over Their Own CountryEdit
Once the U.S. agrees to leave, if important sectors of Iraqis request it, international bodies like the U.N. and/or the Arab League should help the Iraqis set up mechanisms through which the Iraqi people themselves choose their leaders and control their own country. The U.S. should then pour billions into rebuilding the country it has spent so much to destroy. Staying in Iraq only increases global animosity torwards the U.S. and ends up serving extremists in the justification of violence as a means of self-defence. claims of self-defense.
The Majority Of Americans And Iraqis Want To End The OccupationEdit
We now have to make our elected leaders -- both in the United States and in Iraq -- reflect our will. Our mission will truly be accomplished when our troops come home.