For Immediate Release
Iraq: Drop Humanitarian Aid not Bombs
WASHINGTON - In response to President Obama’s announcement that he approved the possibility of air strikes in Iraq, Peace Action, the largest peace group in the U.S. reaffirmed its continued opposition to military intervention in Iraq.
“This gut-wrenching situation in Iraq does not justify the U.S. escalation of the civil war, entailing certain if unknown disastrous unintended consequences, as we’ve seen before in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and elsewhere,” stated Peace Action’s executive director, Kevin Martin.
The group reacted to Obama’s statement on the rapidly evolving humanitarian crisis where people in Iraq are dying from lack of food and water. They agree the situation deserves U.S. and international action to deliver badly needed life-saving supplies to civilians fleeing the rampaging Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) forces.
The spread of the violent civil war in Iraq (flowing from the civil war in Syria, which U.S. weapons and support for opposition forces helped fuel) has President Obama considering military strikes, along with air drops of food, water and medicine to beleaguered Yazidi and other persecuted minorities stranded on a mountain top in northern Iraq, besieged by the ISIS fighters.
Last month, the House of Representatives passed H. Con. Res. 105 stating clearly there is no legal authority for U.S. military involvement in Iraq without express Congressional approval. While a similar measure has not yet passed the Senate, polls still show Americans opposing a new war in Iraq.
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Leading Paul Kawika Martin (no relation to Kevin Martin), the political and policy director of Peace Action to observe, “We applauded President Obama for doing what he said on his first presidential campaign trail, bringing the troops home from Iraq. It’s time to remember how he got elected to the White House; his opposition to the Iraq War. Americans want the Iraq War finished, not started anew.”
Opposing the Iraq War from the start, Peace Action participated in the February 2003 protest where tens of millions from around the world voiced their opposition. Afterwards, Peace Action continued to help organize several large demonstrations and was a key group focusing opposition on Congress.
The group noted that the U.S. will continue to pay the costs of the war with debt and honoring our commitments to our veterans bringing the total cost of the Iraq War to over $3 trillion.
“Dropping humanitarian aid is a wise investment in humanity. But we cannot afford the likely bad consequences of bombing Iraq again,” concluded Paul Kawika Martin.
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Founded in 1957, Peace Action, the United States' largest peace and disarmament organization with over 100,000 members and nearly 100 chapters in 34 states, works to achieve the abolition of nuclear weapons, promote government spending priorities that support human needs and encourage real security through international cooperation and human rights.