CREDO’s petition reads: “Mr. President: Don’t bomb Iraq. Americans elected you in 2008 in no small part because of your principled opposition to the U.S. unilateral invasion and occupation of Iraq. Don’t double down on George W. Bush’s disastrous invasion and make his failed war your legacy on foreign policy.”
Insurgents in Iraq have taken Mosul, the country’s second largest city, and they are making their way to Baghdad. Events are unfolding so rapidly in Iraq that this email may be out of date before you read it.
One thing won’t change. It was George W. Bush who lost the war in Iraq. But President Obama could turn this needless and bloody catastrophe into his own legacy if he decides to bomb Iraq.
President Obama is now faced with a decision: Does he double down on Bush’s catastrophic decision 12 years ago to invade Iraq, one of the most foolish and costly decisions by a president in recent decades in terms of American blood and treasure? Or does he do what he promised as a candidate for president in 2008, and finally end the American occupation of Iraq?
For the last 12 years, Iraq has been Bush and Cheney’s war. But if the president takes ownership of George W. Bush’s disastrous decision to invade Iraq by launching a new round of bombing strikes, Iraq will become Barack Obama’s war.
CREDO opposed the war before it began back in 2002. In advance of the invasion, our members raised over $150,000 to fight back against the Bush administration and war mongers in Congress. And today we’re still fighting to revoke the blank check for war — the Authorization for Use of Military Force — that gives the president the ability to effectively wage war in Iraq without Congressional approval.
It was as clear back in 2002 before the unilateral invasion of Iraq as it is now — that Americans can’t stop Iraq from sliding into civil war and religious sectarianism without occupying the country indefinitely. Americans elected Barack Obama in 2008 in no small part because of his principled opposition to the occupation of Iraq. Unless President Obama wants to go down in history as doubling down on George W. Bush’s disastrous invasion, he must oppose further U.S. military intervention, including the bombing of Iraq.
With your help, we stopped the president from starting a war with Syria with our opposition to his plan unilaterally bomb the country. It was because of massive pushback from the grassroots — millions of petition signatures and tens of thousands of calls to Congress — that we were able to defeat the hawks in Congress and the White House and stop the rush to war.
It was a catastrophic mistake and tremendous moral failure to invade Iraq in the first place. If there is one thing we’ve proved in our disastrous 12 years of invasion and occupation it is that U.S. military intervention cannot create the space for the political solution that is necessary for a safe and secure future for Iraq.
While what is happening in Iraq is tragic, there is no plausible scenario in which further U.S. military intervention magically creates a stable democracy in with protections for human rights, religious freedom, self-governance and equal rights for women and girls.
Please join us in saying, once again, no to war in Iraq.