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We All Oppose Military Intervention In Iraq

Amid the current crisis in Iraq, dozens of organizations have spoken out against renewed U.S. military action. Statements from these organizations are below.

American Friends Service Committee- What would today’s news headlines look like if we’d pursued foreign policies that addressed root causes of conflict? #Iraq”

Brave New Films- Robert Greenwald, President and Founder of Brave New Films: “The tragic situation in Iraq is the shattered legacy the United States leaves behind after 12 years of war and over $3 billion wasted. I am gravely saddened by these recent events. The Administration must not cave into the hawks mindless pressure for military action. The safety and security of the United States cannot be fixed with more guns, bombs, invasions or even drones. As we’ve seen with a neocon approach towards our foreign policy – a one-size-fits-all solution does not work. It is merely a negligent philosophy that leads to greater destabilization in the Middle East and across the globe. It’s time for the President to oppose another military intervention in Iraq and respect that now is time for negotiation and diplomacy.”

Council for a Livable World-“The Council for a Livable World opposes any and all U.S. military engagement in the current sectarian conflict in Iraq. The 2003 invasion should be a warning that military force sometimes transforms a genuine problem into something worse. The war claimed 4,500 American lives and, according to one study, 500,000 Iraqi lives. Linda Bilmes, a Harvard expert in public finance, estimated that the total cost of the Iraq war will be $4 trillion.”

CREDO- “For the last 12 years, Iraq has been Bush and Cheney’s war. But if the president decides to double down on George W. Bush’s disastrous decision to invade Iraq by launching a new round of bombing strikes, Iraq will be come Barack Obama’s war. In terms of American treasury and blood, the invasion of Iraq was one of the most foolish and costly decisions by a president in recent decades. That’s why CREDO opposed the war before it began back in 2002 and while 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 wage war without Congressional approval. It was clear then 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 and common sense 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.”

Democracy For America- “President Obama was right to end the Iraq War in 2011, and it would be a tremendous mistake to restart it now. Democracy for America members support President Obama’s decision not to put American boots on the ground and we urge the President and Congress to reject any increased U.S. military involvement, including airstrikes, in this growing, sectarian civil war. Rather than debating bombing runs, now is the time for the United States to bring the international community together to push Prime Minister Maliki to build an inclusive government that will help de-escalate this sectarian conflict.”

Friends Committee on National Legislation -”There is no evidence that air strikes could do what 160,000 troops could not: creating lasting peace and stability in Iraq. The United States’ invasion of Iraq in 2003 caused some of the instability leading to the current crisis — and further military intervention will only lead to more violence. But the U.S. could have a role in creating space for diplomacy and minimizing harm to civilians.”

Friends Committee on National Legislation- “The U.S. shouldn’t bomb Iraq (obviously). Here’s what it should do:” [6/18/14]

Global Exchange- “The recent escalation of sectarian civil-conflict in Iraq is driving a humanitarian catastrophe. But renewed U.S. intervention is not the answer. Global Exchange has long been concerned about the well being of the Iraqi people. In 2002, five months before George W. Bush launched the illegal war in Iraq, we warned in the San Francisco Chronicle that, “pre-emptive wars … set the United States on a course of permanent war.” After the invasion, we called for swift U.S. withdrawal noting that “the Bush dream for the Middle East has become the region’s nightmare.” It is worth remembering these things because the same neo-con forces that led us to war in Iraq are attempting to generate a new “Fog Machine of War.” As veteran anti-war organizer Tom Hayden says: “Obama has been forced by events to send some 275 U.S. troops for embassy protection, while a decision on bombing is being mulled. The confused Congress needs to be called upon to be a counterweight against the hawks who want nothing more than to blame Obama instead of themselves for ‘losing’ Iraq.”

Just Foreign Policy- “President Obama was right to say that the Iraqi government must be responsible for security in Iraq. President Obama should resist calls for direct U.S. military action in Iraq, including airstrikes. Members of Congress must insist that before any direct U.S. military action in Iraq, including airstrikes, there must be explicit Congressional authorization.” Statement of Anna Galland, executive director of Civic Action: “The recent developments in Iraq are the tragic and predictable consequences of George W. Bush’s reckless decision to invade in 2003, which destabilized the region and helped set the stage for Iraq’s troubles today. The American people are sick and tired of more than a decade of war in the Middle East. President Obama should reject the use of military force in Iraq, including air strikes. We must not be dragged back into yet another war. Additionally, Congress must act now to revoke the 12-year old Authorization for Use of Military Force in Iraq, preventing any president from taking new military action without first getting explicit authorization from Congress.” Statement of Anna Galland, Executive Director of Civic Action: “Ending the war in Iraq was one of the best decisions President Obama has made. The decision to send in even a limited number of Special Operations forces is a dangerous and troubling development that threatens to lead to broader military engagement. Our nation has sacrificed enough in Iraq. We should not put our troops in the middle of an Iraqi civil war that can only be solved by Iraqis themselves. Americans elected President Obama in 2008 on a promise to end the war in Iraq. We are counting on him to remain true to that promise — and we are counting on Congress to repeal the decade-old Authorization for Use of Military Force and hold a new vote on any new use of force in Iraq.”

NETWORK: A National Catholic Social Justice Lobby- “Can our selective memories be so short that we forget what surely turned Iraqi leaders against the United States, the Western World? I say, “Iraqi leaders” because my Sisters who were there found the people they met at the hospitals, in the streets and places to eat carefully delineated the American people from the American political and economic leaders. We are not so discriminating. I follow the impact of our recent (a few years) drone use, recognizing the vastly greater numbers of civilians (mostly women and children) being killed and maimed by our drones – and yes, in at least some cases we have eliminated some combatants. I ache for the gentle people of Iraq, I lament our 23 years of actions against the Iraqi people, and I pray for our own leadership when there is so much pressure to step up the violent response to violence. There are no easy answers – and we may be at a point in society when there are no peaceable alternatives. What a sad and ungodly situation we have created for ourselves.”

Pax Christi USA- “Pax Christi USA is unequivocal in its assertion that U.S. military intervention will not achieve the peace and stability that the people of Iraq deserve. A military solution—whether it include air strikes or ground troops or an increase in the flow of weapons into Iraq—will only serve to increase the suffering of the Iraqi people, not alleviate it. Furthermore, military intervention increases the risk of widening the conflict in the region. Pax Christi USA calls for a fully inclusive international diplomatic process to address this crisis. The crisis, while centered in Iraq but also including the ongoing tragedy in Syria, is regional in nature and requires a multi-lateral diplomatic response initiated by the United Nations and including regional authorities like the Arab League. The hope for a peaceful solution lies in an effort which addresses the political concerns of all the major factions in the region.”

Peace Action-“The advance of the forces of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is no doubt alarming, but not a complete surprise in the context of deep social, ethnic, religious and political divisions in Iraq and the wider region. The people of Iraq and the region need peace, reconciliation and development, not more war and definitely not U.S. bombs or troops.”

Peace Action West- “Sadly, we are having yet another debate about using the blunt and ineffective instrument of military force to deal with a complex crisis in Iraq. Dropping bombs on a volatile situation is likely to escalate the conflict, not resolve it, with innocent civilians losing their lives in the process.”

Progressive Democrats of America- “The only solution to the crisis in Iraq is a political one that addresses the grievances of Iraqis who have been victimized and forced into armed resistance, first by the U.S. occupation and now once again by the horrific abuses of the Maliki government. The people of Iraq need peace and reconciliation, not endless war.”

United for Peace and Justice- “The unfolding tragedy in Iraq is a direct consequence of the illegal American invasion and occupation of that country. The least helpful idea is for the United States to involve itself militarily in Iraq or Syria. US military intervention, whether directly or by providing arms, will increase the suffering of people in those countries and enhance the risk of a wider regional conflict.”

USAction- “American bombs are not the answer to a crisis in need of a diplomatic solution. Your voice is critical to urge the President to make the right decision. No matter how much Senator John McCain wants to go back to war in Iraq, bombing a country in the midst of civil war and on the brink of collapse could make things even worse.”

Veterans For Peace- “It is clear that after decades of war, adding more weapons and violence to the war torn country is not in the best interest of the Iraqi or American people. U.S. intervention will not stop the violence, it will only add new fuel to an already raging fire. We have seen it before. The U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq brought a cost of $1.5 trillion and counting, thousands of service members killed with tens of thousands wounded and maimed with physical and psychological scars, hundreds of thousands of Iraqi deaths and wounded with millions displaced from their homes as refugees. Why would this time be any different? War is clearly not the answer. It is time for the U.S. to use its power for a peaceful means to bring an end to war.”

WAND- “Not another war. Have we learned nothing?” stated WAND Executive Director, Susan Shaer. “Let’s not use history to do the blame game. But history does inform us that military actions inflame war. They don’t solve crises. They don’t make us safer.”

Win Without War- “With Iraq once again descending into violence, we must not repeat the mistakes of the past. No military intervention, whether the massive invasion of 2003 or the limited airstrikes some are calling for today, will solve the deep and complex challenges Iraq is facing. Iraq’s problems can only be solved by Iraqis, not American bombs. Launching another military intervention in Iraq would only throw more fuel on a fire that is raging. Even worse, it would once again risk American lives in a fight that is not ours and that we cannot win.”

Win Without War- “The President’s announcement today on Iraq signaled a dangerous escalation of US military involvement in a problem the President himself has said has no military solution. It is also a dangerous retreat from the conditions that the President set for US engagement. What is needed in Iraq is a political solution, and any US support must only be made after changes to the policies of Prime Minister Maliki that are fueling sectarian tensions and growing this conflict. “While we welcome the President’s opposition to sending combat troops back into Iraq, history has shown that advisors can become ground troops, despite the best intentions. Equally troubling, the President is still threatening airstrikes, which would be counterproductive, and firmly make America part of what is a growing Iraqi civil war. President Obama needs to listen to the American people who do not want to restart the Iraq war.”

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