Take a deep breath, pat yourself on the back, and jump for joy. The Iraq war and occupation is coming to an end!
With President Obama's announcement on Friday, that the U.S. would withdraw all of our troops by the end of this year, we want to take this moment to recognize that without a committed and dedicated peace movement to counter neocon war hawks—so pervasive inside the beltway—this moment may never have happened.
In this article, PDA Advisory Board member Tom Hayden provides good analysis.
When PDA was founded, ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan was among our top issues, and for seven years it has remained so. We've joined in marches, rallies, and citizen lobby visits. We've sent emails, made phone calls, sat-in at congressional offices, and helped pass resolutions against war.
This is a victory of huge proportions. We helped to create the political terrain that made it possible for the President to finally bring our troops home and let the Iraqis decide their future.
For those Americans who gave their lives, carry scars, and suffer from terrible disabilities; for their families who sacrificed their loved ones' lives and futures; for the millions of displaced and dead Iraqis who inherit a country decimated by warfare; and for the peace movement who tirelessly advocated against this war, this moment has been far too long in coming. Any celebration is overshadowed by our sorrow for the extreme suffering this war has wrought.
While we acknowledge the huge embassy and paid contractors still remain, celebrate we must. There is joy in knowing that no additional Americans will be asked to sacrifice their futures for the senseless war and occupation in Iraq. Celebrate we must that the U.S. footprint in the Middle East is now smaller. Celebrate we must to acknowledge our role in ending this horrible episode in America history.
We do have power to change the world. And, after we celebrate, we must turn our power to ending the war in Afghanistan. Help make it happen! Join the End War and Occupation/Redirect Funding Issue Organizing Team and our conference call on November 8.