Why We Stand for Immediate Withdrawal of All U.S. troops From Iraq (Socialist Worker)


[Date of petition: December 2006]

An antiwar movement statement
Why we stand for immediate withdrawal of all U.S. troops from Iraq

Show your support

Join with this call for immediate withdrawal from Iraq. You can sign the statement at the ipetitions Web site. Send the statement to friends to sign, and post it to listserves and antiwar Web sites. E-mail outnowpetition@yahoo.com if you’d like to organize events to further promote this statement.

Socialist Worker reprints a widely supported statement initiated by leading figures in the antiwar movement.

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THE U.S. occupation of Iraq has not liberated the Iraqi people, but has made life worse for most Iraqis.

Tens of thousands of U.S. service people have been killed or maimed, and hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqis have lost their lives as a result of the U.S. invasion in 2003, the ongoing occupation, and the violence unleashed by them.

Iraq’s infrastructure has been destroyed, and U.S. plans for reconstruction abandoned. There is less electricity, less clean drinking water, and more unemployment today than before the U.S. invasion.

To propose immediate withdrawal is based on an honest estimate of the situation rather than a political “tactic” aiming at easier acceptance, which is behind many calls for a timetable. The U.S. military presence is not preventing civil war but provoking it. The occupation is responsible for the chaos and violence, which means that the horrors will continue and even increase so long as U.S. troops are in Iraq. There is no prospect that anything can happen between now and some future date for withdrawal in which the situation will improve, except that tens of thousands more will die. — Howard Zinn

The Iraq occupation is a disaster. But rather than pull out troops–the only sensible solution–we now see the Bush administration, with the Democrats safely in tow, moving toward sending an additional 15,000 to 50,000 troops to Iraq. This will only lead to more needless deaths of Iraqis and U.S. troops, threatening not only the future of Iraq but of the entire region. Unless we raise the domestic costs of this war higher, as we did during Vietnam, and bring more people out onto the streets to confront the masters of this war, U.S. empire will continue its destructive pursuit of “victory” in Iraq. Left to their own, the war’s planners will only make the disaster they have created worse. But we can turn the tide. — Anthony Arnove

By electing a Democratic Congress this past November, the people of the United States issued a mandate to their government: to end the occupation of Iraq and bring the troops home. But to the new leaders of the House and Senate, withdrawing our military from this illegal and immoral occupation is out of the question, as is trying the criminals in the White House who dragged the nation into this oil-driven quagmire. The real test for our democracy is not our ability to elect a different party within the same ruling class and with the same agenda, but to see to it that the will of the people is obeyed. Democracy will be dead in the United States for as long as this war continues, but we cannot end our government’s oppression in Iraq until we end our own oppression at home. — Camilo Mejía

That Saddam was a tyrant is beyond dispute, but what is conveniently forgotten is that most of his crimes were committed when he was a staunch ally of those who now occupy the country. He deserved a proper trial and punishment in an independent Iraq. Not this. And what of those who have created the mess in Iraq today? The torturers of Abu Ghraib; the pitiless butchers of Fallujah; the ethnic cleansers of Baghdad. Will Bush and Blair ever be tried for war crimes? Doubtful. — Tariq Ali

All of the justifications initially provided by the U.S. for waging war on Iraq have been exposed as lies; the real reasons for the invasion–to control Iraq’s oil reserves and to increase U.S. strategic influence in the region–now stand revealed.

The Bush administration has insisted again and again that stability, democracy, and prosperity are around the next bend in the road. But with each day that the U.S. stays, the violence and lack of security facing Iraqis worsen. The U.S. says that it cannot withdraw its military because Iraq will collapse into civil war if it does. But the U.S. has deliberately stoked sectarian divisions in its ongoing attempt to install a U.S.-friendly regime, thus driving Iraq towards civil war.

The November elections in the United States sent a clear message that voters reject the Iraq war, and opinion polls show that seven in 10 Iraqis want the U.S. to leave sooner rather than later. Even most U.S. military and political leaders agree that staying the course in Iraq is a policy that is bound to fail.

Yet all the various alternative plans for Iraq now being discussed in Washington, including those proposed by House and Senate Democrats, aren’t about withdrawing the U.S. military from Iraq. Rather, these strategies are about continuing the pursuit of U.S. goals in Iraq and the larger Middle East using different means.

Even the proposal to redeploy U.S. troops outside of Iraq, a plan favored by many Democratic Party leaders, envisions continued U.S. intervention inside Iraq.

With former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger insisting that a military victory in Iraq is no longer possible and (Ret.) Lt. Gen. William Odom calling for “complete withdrawal” of all U.S. troops, the antiwar movement should demand no less than the immediate withdrawal of the U.S. military–as well as reparations to the Iraqi people, so they can rebuild their own society and genuinely determine their own future.

We call on the U.S. to get out of Iraq — not in six months, not in a year, but now.

Ali Abunimah, ElectronicIraq.net Gilbert Achcar, author, Clash of Barbarisms Michael Albert, ZNet Tariq Ali, author, Bush in Babylon Anthony Arnove, author, Iraq: The Logic of Withdrawal Noam Chomsky, author, Hegemony or Survival Kelly Dougherty, executive director, Iraq Veterans Against the War* Eve Ensler, playwright, The Vagina Monologues Eduardo Galeano, author, The Open Veins of Latin America Rashid Khalidi, Edward Said Professor of Arab Studies, Columbia University Camilo Mejía, first Iraq War resister to refuse redeployment Arundhati Roy, author, The God of Small Things Cindy Sheehan, Gold Star Families for Peace, mother of Army Spc. Casey Sheehan, killed in Iraq Howard Zinn, author, A People’s History of the United States
* for identification purposes only

Other signatories include • Mike Alewitz, muralist • Naseer Aruri, author, Dishonest Broker: America’s Role in Israel and Palestine • Bill Ayers, author, Fugitive Days • David Barsamian, director, Alternative Radio • Thomas Barton, GI Special • Phyllis Bennis, Institute for Policy Studies • Leslie Cagan, United for Peace and Justice • Ira Chernus, The Smirking Chimp • Todd Chretien, Green Party Senate candidate in California • Ramsey Clark, legal council for Saddam Hussein • Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, author, Blood on the Border • Sam Farber, author, The Origins of the Cuban Revolution Reconsidered • James Fennerty, National Lawyers Guild • Josh Frank, author, Left Out! How Liberals Helped Reelect George W. Bush • Elaine Hagopian, author, Civil Rights in Peril • Doug Henwood, editor, Left Business Observer • Goretti Horgan, Derry Antiwar Coalition • Maurice Isserman, author, If I Had a Hammer • Ron Jacobs, author, The Way the Wind Blew • Charles Jenks, Traprock Peace Center • Gabriel Kolko, author, The Politics of War • Joanne Landy, Campaign for Peace and Democracy • Michael Letwin, co-chair, New York City Labor Against the War • Adrian Lomax, prisoner rights activist • Alan Maass, editor, Socialist Worker • Frances Fox Piven, author, Poor Peoples’ Movements • Peter Rachleff, author, Hard-Pressed in the Heartland • Matthew Rothschild, editor, The Progressive • Michael Schwartz, sociology professor, State University of New York at Stony Brook • Ahmed Shawki, editor, International Socialist Review • Sharon Smith, author, Subterranean Fire • David Swanson, AfterDowningStreet.org • Sherry Wolf, International Socialist Organization • Ann Wright, U.S. Army colonel/State Department, resigned in protest of Iraq War • Dave Zirin, author, What’s My Name, Fool? • Organizations listed for identification purposes only

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