Statement on the 12th Anniversary of the Invasion of Iraq

For Immediate Release

Statement on the 12th Anniversary of the Invasion of Iraq

NEW YORK - Today is a solemn day for us. Twelve years ago the Bush administration launched the illegal invasion of Iraq, forever altering millions of lives.

As an organization made up of veterans who have seen firsthand the impacts of war and who have also been deeply implicated in it, we know that this day must be seared into our collective conscience. Forgetting can not be an option.

So much of what we see in our foreign policy and domestic political landscape can be connected to that fateful decision. It is reflected in everything from the climate of deep Islamophobia at home, to the high suicide rates of veterans, from the brutal rise of ISIS, to the militarization of police departments across the country. These are just a few examples of how widespread the effects have been.

As we look back on years of organizing against this war and how it has shaped us individually and collectively, we want to highlight the importance of supporting those people and organizations in Iraq who are fighting for both systemic change and their own communities’ survival in a landscape fraught with oppressive forces whether they are ISIS, the corrupt and violent Iraqi government or the U.S. military. The work of grassroots organizations on the ground like the Organization of Women's Freedom in Iraq (OWFI) and the Federation of Workers Councils and Unions in Iraq (FWCUI) is deeply inspirational to us and deserving of all of our support and solidarity.

After twelve years of warfare, there is more to mourn than could possibly be summed up in any statement. But we do find hope in the continuous acts of resistance by individuals and organizations in Iraq and communities here at home who have taken a stand against violence, militarism, and racism. There is much work yet to be done. Despite the long road ahead of us, we remain steadfastly committed to working towards justice and accountability for the crimes perpetrated against Iraq and encourage all people of conscience to join us in this fight.

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