The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Medea Benjamin, CODEPINK co-founder, 415-235-6517
Jean Stevens, CODEPINK media coordinator, 508-769-2138

CODEPINK Calls Obama's Announcement of Timetable, Residual Troops in Iraq a 'Broken Promise'

Americans must continue to push for change


CODEPINK Women for Peace is disheartened by
President Obama's announcement this morning for troop withdrawal by
Aug. 2010, later than his campaign promise, leaving residual troops
until December 2011.

Americans voted for Obama largely based on his opposition to the
war since its start, and his promise to end the occupation in 2009.

the move toward withdrawal is positive, this timeline and leaving tens
of thousands of residual troops sounds more like occupation-lite than
an end to occupation," said Medea Benjamin, co-founder of CODEPINK.
"But compared to the past eight years of moving backward, at least
there's an atmosphere now where we can continue to apply pressure on
the administration to push forward."

CODEPINK women call on Obama and his administration to immediately
withdraw all U.S. troops, including residual forces from Iraq. Instead,
the U.S. government should increase efforts in diplomacy, humanitarian
aid and refugee resettlement. Continued troop presence will only
encourage more armed opposition within Iraq and will not force the
Iraqi government and Iraqi factions to negotiate power. In addition,
with the continued presence of U.S. troops, the international community
will doubt the U.S. commitment to withdrawal and will wait to invest in
diplomatic and reconstruction efforts.

"Up to 50,000 troops is a big number to leave behind," said Dana Balicki, CODEPINK campaign coordinator. "And there hasn't been any word
on military bases left in Iraq that will continue to drain billions of
dollars from U.S. taxpayers at a time where that money is very much
needed at home. But the withdrawal, and a timeline, is a baby step
forward from past policies. As citizens, it's our job to move Obama to
take giant strides."

For interviews and more information, please call Jean Stevens,
national media coordinator, at 508-769-2138 or Medea Benjamin, CODEPINK
co-founder, at 415-235-6517.

CODEPINK is a women-led grassroots organization working to end U.S. wars and militarism, support peace and human rights initiatives, and redirect our tax dollars into healthcare, education, green jobs and other life-affirming programs.

(818) 275-7232