Why we stand for immediate withdrawal of all U.S. troops from Iraq

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.

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 deployment
*

Arundhati Roy

Author

God of Small Things
*

Howard Zinn

Author

A People's History of the United States