Peace Action – 2010-05-19 00:51:52
Help the Millions of Iraqis Exposed to Depleted Uranium
SILVER SPRINGS (May 18, 2010) — The Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) — requiring US withdrawal of all combat troops by the end of August 2010 and all remaining US military personnel and contractors by the end of 2011 — approved in the waning days of the Bush administration, would never have happened without you. The pressure of the anti-war movements in Iraq and the US forced Bush to abandon his plans for permanent bases in Iraq.
If it wasn’t for your work, and those like you who took a stand, the US would still be fighting a war John McCain told us could last 100 years.
Our work is not yet complete however. Today, I write you asking your generous financial support to keep the pressure on the Obama administration not only to stick to the deadline, but to fulfill our nation’s commitment to address the humanitarian catastrophe the US invasion has caused.
You see, after US troops depart, there will still be millions of Iraqis in refugee camps. Basic public services we take for granted, like clean water and electricity, have become luxuries for most of Iraq’s population.
There are many stories from Iraq that receive no attention from the mainstream press. Did you know, for example, that millions of Iraqis are being harmed by exposure to depleted uranium (DU) used by the US military in ammunition in the last 19 years of war and occupation.
In many Iraqi towns and villages, children are still playing inside the burned out Iraqi tanks that litter the landscape, destroyed by DU ordnance in 2003. The US continues to insist the high cancer rates have nothing to do with exposure to depleted uranium. You and I know that’s a lie.
Peace Action is planning to partner with a number of Iraqi organizations to dispatch a delegation to several villages hit by DU near the southern city of Nasiriyah. This delegation will document and report on the situation there, and will advocate for supporting DU victims.
Together, our movement’s impact has brought us close to our goal of ending this tragic chapter in our history. But that chapter cannot truly end – at least not to our satisfaction — if the US leaves the people of Iraq to the humanitarian disaster the US occupation has brought upon them.
Will you see this important work through? Your support will make a difference.
Kevin M. Martin is Executive Director of Peace Action.
ACTION ALERT: Seven Years Too Many
Take Action to End the Occupation of Iraq
It is has been more than seven years since the US forces started invaded and occupied Iraq, and more than 19 years since the war with Iraq started. The occupation has been a failure, and it has caused the death of thousands of Americans and injury of tens of thousands more.
In addition, one million Iraqis have been killed, and another five million displaced.
President Obama has promised to end this occupation.
The Obama plan has two guiding timelines: Obamaâ€™s own plan to remove all combat forces between April and the end of August of this year to bring the total number of US troops to less than 50,000 and US contractors to less than 75,000. Then the bi-lateral agreement with Iraq requiring all troops and contractors to be out by the end of 2011, and all US bases to be shut down. The graph above demonstrates the troop levels in the last few years and the projections of the US troop withdrawal till the end of next year.
There seems to be some pressure from the US war machine to postpone or cancel the Combat Forces withdrawal from Iraq, or to link this withdrawal to political and security conditions on the ground. If the Obama administration falls into the slippery slope of adopting a conditions-based withdrawal, that will take us back to square one.
The US occupation has never been a part of the solution in Iraq, and it will never be. Prolonging the occupation will not solve what the occupation has damaged, and will lead to more death and destruction.
Take Action Now!
All you need do is enter your zip code to contact Congress, Senate and the White House and ask them to stick to the withdrawal plan.
Dear President Obama,
You also promised to withdraw all combat forces from Iraq by August 31 of this year and abide by the bi-lateral security agreement that requires all US troops and contractors to leave by the end of next year.
I’d like to remind you that we have now been occupying Iraq for more than seven years. And those last seven years have been disastrous. One million Iraqis have been killed, and 5 million Iraqis continue to be displaced. More than four thousand US troops have been killed, and tens of thousands more have been injured.
This war should not have started in the first place. Iraq did not have weapons of mass destruction and did not pose any threat to the US.
Both Section 1227 of the Defense Authorization and Section 9010 of the Defense Appropriations recognized and supported , these two deadlines for US troops withdrawal.
Based on this, I would like to urge you to keep your promises and withdraw all combat forces and ends combat operations by the August 31st deadline.
Please write back to me and tell me as specifically as possible how you will fulfill your promises.