WASHINGTON - December 6 - Thousands of people from the member groups of Win Without War and United for Peace and Justice, the two largest antiwar coalitions in the country, are responding today to an unprecedented nationally coordinated campaign urging people from every corner of the country to call their Member of Congress to demand an end to the U.S. occupation of Iraq.
According to a TIME Magazine poll released yesterday, 60% of Americans disapprove of President Bush’s handling of the war in Iraq. Most recent polls show that a majority of Americans believe the President misled the country about the rationale for the war and believe the war was a mistake. 82% of Iraqis want U.S. forces to leave Iraq in a poll cited last week by Congressman John Murtha (D-PA). According to the same poll, 45% of Iraqis believe that attacks on U.S. and coalition forces are justified.
“It is time for elected leaders to listen to those they represent and end the U.S. military occupation of Iraq,” said United For Peace and Justice National Coordinator Leslie Cagan. “They must begin to hold the administration accountable for the endless stream of distortions that began with the false claims that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction and include the recent claim that the U.S. is making ‘steady progress in Iraq’.”
According to published reports the Iraqi insurgency is growing in size and sophistication with insurgent attacks increasing from 150 to 700 per week. The average daily death toll of American servicemen and woman has gone from one per day to nearly four per day since the Abu Ghraib prison scandal.
“The way out of Iraq begins with a candid admission of a failed policy and the distortions that preceded it, the unambiguous announcement that the U.S. will not maintain permanent military bases there, and the immediate initiation of a coherent plan for the withdrawal of our forces in 2006,” said Tom Andrews, National Director of Win Without War and former Congressman from Maine.
The U.S. military occupation of Iraq is making America less safe by fueling the Iraqi insurgency and international terrorism. It is also weakening the U.S. military.
As Lieutenant General James Helmsley warned a year ago, the Army Reserve “is rapidly degenerating into a broken force.” In an August 3, 2005 article, Lt. Gen. William Odom argues that the war in Iraq has badly hurt the U.S. military services. “The Army, some of the Air Force, the National Guard, and the reserves are now the victims of this gross mismatch between military missions and force structure,” he wrote.