Green Party comments on Obama’s speech

On August 31, 2010 President Obama addressed the nation on the topic of the War in Iraq. On September 1st, the Green Party of the United States used the occasion to comment, and to request funds, in an e-mail mailing to donors:

Don’t Turn the Page on Iraq – Return the Book

Last night [Tuesday, August 31, 2010], President Obama said that it is “time to turn the page” on the occupation of Iraq.  The Green Party has been working for years to end this destructive war and looks forward to the day when all our troops have left.  But we know that we cannot simply “turn the page” and turn attention elsewhere.  We have read some books, and we know that when you turn a page – although the scene changes slightly – the story stays the same.

Turn the page of the latest teen saga and the scene shifts from a coffee shop to the high school cafeteria, but the story stays the same.  Turn the page from Iraq to Afghanistan and the story – occupation to protect U.S. interests – stays the same.

Can you help us take out a new book about a real end of U.S. occupations?

Turn the page of the latest mystery thriller and the characters shift from computer hackers to police detectives, but the story stays the same.  Turn the page from “combat troops” to non-combat “advisors” and the story – destabilization and attacks precipitated by foreign forces – stays the same.

The Green Party demands real peace – not partial drawdowns and redeployments to different theaters – and calls for Americans to demand complete withdrawal from Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.

The Green Party offers candidates who truly understand that every million spent occupying foreign lands is another million that can’t be spent re-building our infrastructure, educating Americans, and fighting climate change.  Look for candidates running in your area in our comprehensive candidate database.

Can you help us build a strong party that can support more candidates for local, state, and federal office?

The Green Party knows that turning the page on the decade-long invasion of Iraq will not change the story. We need your help to change the chapter and finally return the book on American occupations for a new one with a new cast of characters in Congress, your state legislature, and your city council.

Support the Green Party!

Donate today. A Greener future is within our reach. Your donation today can help us bring the vision we share a little closer to reality…

And, on September 2, 2010, the following press release was issued with more details:

The Green Party of the United States responded to President Obama’s Oval Office address to the nation on Tuesday, August 31, with a call for Americans who oppose the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to press for a complete withdrawal of US forces from both countries and a halt to attacks inside Pakistan’s borders.

When President Obama says we’re turning the page, we’re really moving to the next page of war without end. It would be a mistake for Americans who desire peace to let the President off the hook after Tuesday’s speech.

Green Party leaders listed reasons for renewed protest against the Obama Administration’s military policies:

• 50,000 military personnel, rechristened non-combat ‘advisers,’ will remain in Iraq, along with a large number of private contractors (over 200,000 as of last month). The Iraq War has entered a new phase: occupation by largely mercenary forces to protect US interests, especially control over Iraqi oil resources. Skepticism remains that US combat in Iraq will cease, given the destabilization caused by the war. Past US ‘advisers’ in southeast Asia, Latin America, and other regions have been used for belligerent purposes (e.g., Vietnam, El Salvador) and regime change (Iran, Guatemala) rather than for peace.

• The Democratic White House and Congress have continued to pump up the military budget, while seeking cuts in human services. Until military spending is cut drastically and the money is redirected to human needs and action against global warming, President Obama’s stated goal of refocusing on domestic issues remains a hollow promise. (See “Greens call for a new kind of national defense: defense against catastrophic climate change,” Green Party press release, August 6, 2010, http://www.gp.org/press/pr-national.php?ID=336)

• The US owes the people of Iraq a sincere apology and recompense after an invasion launched in 2003 for false reasons: nonexistent WMDs, lies about nuclear materials and Iraqi involvement in the 9/11 attacks. The aim was to topple a murderous tyrant, but the US has not acknowledged its own role in propping up Saddam Hussein during the 1980s. The Iraq War resulted in hundreds of thousands of dead civilians, many more maimed, millions displaced, shattered infrastructure, and lingering effects from extremely toxic depleted uranium and white phosphorous weapons used by US forces.

• US troops who fought in the war and the families of those who gave their lives also deserve an apology and restitution including full health care for service members, especially for those who have suffered physical and mental trauma.

• President Obama has escalated the war in Afghanistan, expanding it into Pakistan, with thousands of civilian casualties. The US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, threats against Iran (and support for Israel’s threats), and military aid for Israel’s assaults on Palestinians have been interpreted by many nations as a greater war against Islam. (See “Greens urge Congress to pass the Kucinich-Paul bill for withdrawal of US troops from Pakistan, citing Wikileaks revelations,” Green Party release, July 27, 2010, http://www.gp.org/press/pr-national.php?ID=335)

• The threats against Iran demonstrate that President Obama has embraced the Bush-Cheney neocon doctrine of preemptive aggression against countries at peace with the US.

• The Obama Administration has refused to investigate and prosecute Bush-Cheney officials for abuses of power and war crimes: massive deception; manipulating intelligence; authorizing extraordinary rendition and torture. President Obama has maintained warrantless surveillance of US citizens, surpassed President Bush in his pursuit of whistle blowers, and added extra-judicial killing of targeted US citizens to the list of assaults on the US Constitution. Congress has not repealed or amended the USA Patriot Act.

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