Win Without War
JUNE 29, 2004
4:14 PM
CONTACT: Win Without War 
Jessica Smith or Trevor FitzGibbon,
Win Without War Calls Hand-Off Another "Mission Accomplished"
Raising False Expectations will Fuel Insurgency And International Terrorism, Making America Less Safe
Labels Latest White House Deception, “Campaign Season Ploy”

WASHINGTON - June 29 - Win Without War, the nation’s largest antiwar coalition, called the Bush administration’s so-called hand-over of sovereignty to Iraq a “deadly deception”, the equivalent of the President’s historic “mission accomplished” declaration on board the USS Lincoln on October 9, 2003.

The coalition ran a full-page ad in the New York Times today outlining how the fundamentals of the US military occupation in Iraq have not changed and why the highly touted “handover” will make matters worse by raising false expectations that will lead to insurgency -- fueling disappointment, resentment and anger.

Former Congressman Tom Andrews, National Director of Win Without War said, “yesterday was not a ‘day of great hope` for Iraq, as President Bush claimed, it was a day of great hype designed for the presidential election season.”

“The only true power in Iraq is the 138,000 American soldiers, commanded by US officers. These troops will be able to go where they want and do what they want whenever they want, whether the “sovereign” Iraqi authorities like it or not,” said Andrews.

The coalition asserted that yesterday’s handover and the false expectations it could generate will make America less safe by:

  • Fueling the insurgency in Iraq and terrorism world-wide;
  • Weakening America by diminishing our credibility even further while continuing to isolate us from our allies.

“The price of this government-by-hype will be the bitterness Iraqis and Americans will feel when their inflated expectations once again crash on the rocks of Iraq reality…this is what terrorists thrive on and why America continues to lose credibility with the rest of the world,” said Andrews.

Some of the reality being hidden by the hype include:

  • Every US soldier, Coalition employee and private contractor will be immune from Iraq law – Halliburton and its employees will remain above Iraqi law;
  • Iraqis will continue to live under US edicts – covering everything from tax law to crime to foreign policy – designed to perpetuate US power for years to come;
  • The US will continue to control the Republican Palace-Iraq’s White House – despite the demand of Iraq’s new “sovereign” president for the Americans to hand it over;
  • US taxpayers will continue to pay more than all of the coalition nations combined for Iraq security and reconstruction by a margin of 120 to 1;
  • The majority of Iraqis want US troops to leave Iraq, believing that they are an obstacle to their security – not a source of it.

A year and a half ago the coalition cautioned that a pre-emptive war in Iraq would make America less safe while costing the taxpayers billions. To date, 857 American soldiers have been killed and the taxpayers have spent over $150 billion.

View the Ad at

Today, You Still Own Iraq

Ad Copy, Sourced & Win Without War

Prior to the invasion of Iraq, Secretary of State Colin Powell reportedly warned President Bush that if he invaded Iraq, "you'll own it all.” [1] Powell was right. The idea that Iraq achieved sovereignty yesterday is as false as the President’s insistence Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.[2] Or that our mission was accomplished.

Sovereignty? Today, 138,000[3] American troops are stationed in Iraq. And more may be requested.[4] The only true power for the foreseeable future will remain those U.S. soldiers, commanded by U.S. officers. This is the definition of occupation, and it will continue to inflame the insurgency.

We own it. And we’re paying for it. So far, more than $150 billion,[5] and the requests for more just keep coming.[6]

The old Republican Palace – Iraq’s White House -- is becoming part of the new U.S. embassy,[7] the largest in the world.[8] This despite an Iraqi government demand[9] that we return the palace to them. (Incidentally, $184 million in embassy construction costs were diverted from programs for safe Iraqi drinking water.)[10]

Handover? Hardly. Every U.S. soldier, Coalition employee and private contractor will be immune from Iraqi law.[11] And we’re leaving behind more than 100 U.S. edicts[12] -- covering everything from crime to foreign affairs -- designed to perpetuate U.S. power for years to come.[13]

Iraqis looking for leadership free from U.S. control will also be sorely disappointed. Prime Minister Iyad Allawi has been on the CIA payroll for years.[14] Maybe that’s why, in a recent independent poll,[15] Iraqis rated him 16th among 17 of that country’s potential leaders. Last in the poll: the new President Ghazi Ajil al-Yawar.

Perhaps someday, Iraqis truly will enjoy sovereign control of their country. We fervently hope so. In the mean time, yesterday’s hurried handoff is looking more like a fumble.


[1] Woodward, Bob. Plan of Attack. Simon & Schuster. April 19, 2004.

Thomas, Evan. 'I Haven't Suffered Doubt'. Newsweek. April 26 issue.

[2] Nichols, Bill. U.N.: Iraq had no WMD after 1994. USA Today. March 2, 2004.

[3] Yaukey, John. U.S. to cede authority but retain troops with power transfer. Gannett News Service. USA Today. June 24, 2004.

[4] U.S. official: Fallujah strike almost got al-Zarqawi: More violence could mean more troops. CNN. Friday, June 25, 2004. Posted: 2:36 PM EDT.

"As many as 15,000 troops could be deployed to Iraq if the insurgency continues to intensify, CNN has learned. About 140,000 U.S. troops are in Iraq."

[5] Paying the Price: The Mounting Costs of the Iraq War. A Study by the Institute for Policy Studies and Foreign Policy In Focus. By Phyllis Bennis and the IPS Iraq Task Force. June 24, 2004.

[6] Iraq, Afghan wars will cost up to $60 billion next year, congressional analysts says. AP News / USA Today. June 27, 2004.

"The projection by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office is more than double the $25 billion President Bush has so far requested for the wars for 2005.

"White House officials said early this year that they expected to spend up to $50 billion for the conflicts next year. Administration officials have since said they expect to seek more than that, with the next request coming after the November elections. They have specified no numbers."

[7] Drummond, James. Baghdad's green oasis of peace. Financial Times. June 25 2004.

[8] Yaukey, John. U.S. to cede authority but retain troops with power transfer. Gannett News Service. USA Today. June 24, 2004.

[9] Drummond, James. Baghdad's green oasis of peace. Financial Times. June 25 2004.

[10] Weisman, Jonathon and Ariana Eunjung Cha. Washington Post. Rebuilding Aid Unspent, Tapped to Pay Expenses. April 30, 2004.

"So far, occupation officials have reassigned $184 million appropriated for drinking-water projects to fund the operations of the U.S. Embassy after the provisional authority is dissolved June 30."

[11] El-Tablawy, Tarek. U.S. Transfers Sovereignty to Iraqi Govt. AP News. June 28, 2004.

"On Saturday, Bremer signed an edict that gave U.S. and other Western civilian contractors immunity from Iraqi law while performing their jobs in Iraq. The idea outrages many Iraqis who said the law allows foreigners to act with impunity even after the occupation."

Wright, Robin. U.S. Immunity in Iraq Will Go Beyond June 30. Washington Post. June 24, 2004. Page A01.

[12] El-Tablawy, Tarek. U.S. Transfers Sovereignty to Iraqi Govt. AP News. June 28, 2004.

" As Iraq's highest authority, Bremer had issued more than 100 orders and regulations . . . "

[13] Chandrasekaran, Rajiv and Pincus, Walter. U.S. Edicts Curb Power Of Iraq's Leadership. Washington Post. June 27, 2004. Page A01.

U.S. administrator L. Paul Bremer has issued a raft of edicts revising Iraq's legal code and has appointed at least two dozen Iraqis to government jobs with multi-year terms in an attempt to promote his concepts of governance long after the planned handover of political authority on Wednesday.

[14] The Washington Post, Feb. 1, 2004. A Big Man To Watch In Baghdad. By David Ignatius.

[15] From a poll conducted in May by the Iraq Center for Research and Strategic Studies (ICRSS) reported in: Ghosh, Aparisim. "Who's Iyad Allawi, and Why Should He Run Iraq?" Time Magazine. Baghdad.,8599,644477,00.html