White House Dribbles Out Obama's Iraq Speech Tonight, Anti-War ANSWER Coalition Answers

The Washington Post is reporting that in his speech tonight to announce the end of major combat operations in Iraq, President Barack Obama will say it is time to “turn the

“Ending this war is not only in Iraq's interest-it is in our own. The United States
has paid a huge price to put the future of Iraq in the hands of its
people. We have sent our young men and women to make enormous sacrifices
in Iraq, and spent vast resources abroad at a time of tight budgets at
home. We have persevered because of a belief we share with the Iraqi
people-a belief that
out of the ashes of war, a new beginning could be born in this cradle of

Meanwhile, CNN reports the president will says the most urgent task before the country is shoring up the economy, getting people back to work, restoring the middle class, providing quality education for the young and new skills for workers and unleashing innovation to end our dependence on foreign oil.

The anti-war ANSWER Coalition has already released its response to Obama's address:


It is necessary to separate fact from fiction regarding the
announcement by the Obama administration that it is removing “combat
brigades” from Iraq.

This is not the time for progressive people to pat themselves on the
back, claim “victory” and pretend that the U.S. government is pursuing
a different policy than that which was carried out by the previous administration.

Today's announcement that renames the 50,000 U.S. troops in Iraq is
nothing more than the rebranding of the illegal U.S. occupation of
Iraq that began with the criminal invasion of the country by hundreds
of thousands of U.S. forces on March 20, 2003. Let's remember, the
goal of the Bush administration, too, was not to keep a certain number
of U.S. troops in Iraq forever, but instead to exercise U.S.
domination over the country and the region.

The Obama administration has maintained the principal military and
civilian leaders from the Bush administration. The withdrawal of some
combat brigades from Iraq is essentially a redeployment exercise so
that tens of thousands more U.S. troops can be sent to Afghanistan.

Since Bush left office, and contrary to the deep desire of the masses
of people who constituted the electoral base for President
Obama's November 2008 victory, the U.S. military machine has
grown, not diminished. The U.S. military budget has actually
increased, not decreased.

The ongoing occupation of Iraq, the escalation of the war in
Afghanistan, the increasing threats against Iran, and the enduring war
directed against the Palestinian people are all clear indicators that
U.S. foreign policy and its military strategy are premised on the
pursuit and maintenance of Empire regardless of whether the Democrats
or the Republicans occupy the White House.

When he delivered his major address in Cairo on June 4, 2009,
President Obama described the war in Iraq as a “war of choice.” That
is simply popular vernacular for a war of aggression. The reality of
his position, however, was revealed today when President Obama
actually called George W. Bush to confer with him in advance of
tonight's address on Iraq. George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald
Rumsfeld and other high officials in the Bush administration should be
indicted and prosecuted for war crimes and crimes against humanity.

The invasion and ongoing occupation of Iraq has shredded Iraqi
sovereignty and succeeded in killing as many as 1 million Iraqis. The
invasion and ongoing occupation has succeeded in ripping apart a
once-united country. It is the U.S. invasion that stoked a sectarian
civil war. It was a deliberate and conscious policy by the U.S.
occupation forces to organize, finance and arm Iraqis along
ethno-sectarian lines in order to weaken the nationwide resistance of
the people against foreign occupation.

The thousands of organizers and volunteers who have worked with the
ANSWER Coalition in organizing mass protests and nearly daily
activities in cities throughout the country for the past nine years
believe that the U.S. should end all of its foreign occupations, and
that the people in Iraq and Afghanistan must have the right of self

The struggle for jobs, social justice, equality and freedom at home
cannot be separated from the international struggle against empire,
colonialism and war. Last Saturday, Glenn Beck and the forces of
right-wing racism tried to hijack the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King
Jr. and the millions of people who fought,
organized-including for some going to jail and giving their
life-in the struggle against racism at home and war abroad. We
must take note of the fact that the forces of right-wing racism and
militarism are mobilizing throughout the country. Their demagogic
attacks against the Obama administration are nothing more than a cover
for their real agenda.

We in the ANSWER Coalition believe that it is imperative that all
those in the anti-war movement, labor and civil rights movements and
others come together in a massive mobilization on Oct. 2 in
Washington, D.C., for jobs, peace and justice. Only the mobilization
of the people, and not the politicians, can radically change the
political climate. When we march together on Oct. 2, we must raise
high the banners of “U.S. out of Iraq now,” “End the occupation of
Afghanistan Now” and “Money for jobs, schools, health care and

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *