The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Sean Donahue, Communications Director -- 617-983-0710 (w), 978-809-8054 (c)

Iraq Troop Withdrawls Too Little Too Late


President Bush's plan to begin withdrawing some U.S. troops from Iraq this fall is too little, too late for members of Military Families Speak Out, a group of nearly 4,000 military families opposed to the war in Iraq. Bush announced Tuesday that the U.S. will withdraw 8,000 troops from Iraq by February, 2009 -- beginning with the return of a Marine battalion from Anbar Province in October, followed by the gradual withdrawal of 3,400 "combat support" troops -- a category which includes engineers, military police, and troops who provide other logistical support for combat operations. This plan would leave approximately 138,000 U.S. troops in Iraq.

Elaine Brower, a member of Military Families Speak Out from New York, NY said "My son, who is in the Marine Corps Reserves, left yesterday for his third tour of duty, attached to a full Battalion, over 6,000 Marines and sailors, who will be close to Anbar Province for the next year. Tell me how that is a reduction in troops? We need all of our troops home now!"

Military Families Speak Out member Keri Wheelwright, the wife of an Army officer currently serving in Iraq, said "This disgraceful attempt to pacify and placate the American People is not what our country and our troops need right now. It's very sad that the Bush administration continues to ignore the fact that the American people are now very much aware of the outright deception that got our hardworking troops into this war. They continue to deceive the American people into buying into the occupation of Iraq. It is an insult to these patriotic men and women of uniform for to continue on with this costly and illegal war." Wheelwright lives in Fountain Hills, AZ.

Pat Alviso, a Military Families Speak Out chapter leader from Long Beach, CA added "This is obviously an election year ploy -- committing to troop reductions that would be completed under the next President's watch. We don't just need adjustments in troop levels, we need an end to the military occupation of Iraq. It is the presence of combat troops that is causing the violence toward our troops. There is no reason for any of them to stay in Iraq another day." Alviso's son has completed two tours of duty with the Marines in Iraq and is preparing for another deployment.

Members of Military Families Speak Out are available for interview -- including members whose loved ones are now serving in Iraq, members whose loved ones will soon be deployed to Iraq, and members whose loved ones were killed in Iraq.

Military Families Speak Out (MFSO) is an organization of people opposed to the war in Iraq who have relatives or loved ones who are currently in the military or who have served in the military since the buildup to the Iraq war in the fall of 2002. Formed by two families in November of 2002, we have contacts with military families throughout the United States, and in other countries around the world. Our membership currently includes over 3,400 military families, with new families joining daily.