FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

The War in Iraq

Remarks at Sept. 24, 2005 Antiwar Rally.

This summer I had the honor to serve on the Jury of Conscience for the World Tribunal on Iraq. I was one of 14 jurors from ten countries. The spokesperson for the jury was Arundhati Roy. We listened to three days of intensive testimony by witnesses to the brutality and by experts. Among the witnesses were Iraqis who had experienced first-hand the bombings and the ill-treatment and torture of Iraqis in detention. There was also testimony by American soldiers. One such soldier was a young man named Camilo Mejia, who testified by videotape. After serving time in Iraq, he concluded that the war was immoral and refused to return to participate in it. For this, he was imprisoned.

Something is terribly wrong with our society when a young soldier who refuses to return to war on the basis of conscience is imprisoned, while those who initiated and directed the illegal war are allowed to walk free. The Jury of Conscience of the World Tribunal on Iraq issued a strong Final Declaration that called for those political and corporate leaders responsible for crimes against peace, war crimes and crimes against humanity in the Iraq War to be held to account under international law.

It has been two and a half years since the United States, along with the “Coalition of the Willing,” initiated the illegal, immoral and unnecessary war against Iraq.

What has the US accomplished?

We have overthrown one of many dictators in the region, but continued our military and economic involvement with others.

We have thrown Iraq into a state of violent chaos.

We have created a breeding ground for extremists to learn the terrorist trade.

We have killed over a hundred thousand innocent Iraqis, and seriously wounded many more.

We have sent over 2,000 allied soldiers, including some 1,900 US soldiers, to their deaths, and maimed and destroyed the lives of many more.

We have undermined the United Nations and international law by engaging in a non-defensive war without the consent of the Security Council.

We have dramatically increased the national debt, which will be left to our children to pay.

We have stretched thin the capacity of the US military to actually defend America.

We have broken a covenant with our youth by deploying them in an illegal war.

What have we learned?

That there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

That our leaders lied us into war.

That “mission accomplished” does not mean mission accomplished.

That we are not hated because we are a free society, but because we commit atrocities.

That “shock and awe” bombings kill children, women and other innocent people.

That our soldiers are capable of committing acts of torture.

That high officials pass the blame for wrongdoing down to the lowest levels.

That President Bush likes to play soldier when he is not on vacation.

That as a society, we have learned very little from our experience in Vietnam.

War is not the answer

I hope that we have also learned that war is not the answer.

Now is not the time to back off from our demands for peace. We cannot be content with pronouncements from the President and Congress that we must “stay the course.”

We all need to stand up as Cindy Sheehan did when she established Camp Casey and asked Mr. Bush, “What was the noble cause my son died for?”

I suggest that each of us write a letter to Mr. Bush with copies to our Congressional representatives that goes like this:

Dear Mr. War President: (what he likes to call himself)

What is the “noble cause” for which Cindy Sheehan’s son and some 1,900 other Americans have died for?

Your illegal war is not worth another American or Iraqi death or injury.

Bring the troops home now.

Let him know you are disgusted with his policies and his cowardice in failing to take a few moments out of his five-week vacation to talk to Cindy Sheehan. Let him know that you expect an answer.

Let me conclude with a poem dedicated to Camilo Mejia.

I REFUSE

for Camilo Mejia

I refuse to be used as a tool
of war.

I refuse to kill on order.

I refuse to give my life for a lie.

I refuse to be indoctrinated
or subordinated.

I refuse to allow the military to define
all I can be.

I refuse to abdicate my responsibilities
as a citizen of the world.

I refuse to deny the human rights
of any person.

I refuse to suspend my conscience.

I refuse to give up my humanity.

I refuse to be silenced.

Do you hear me?

DAVID KRIEGER is president of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation (www.wagingpeace.org). He is the author of Today Is Not a Good Day for War.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CLARIFICATION

ALEXANDER COCKBURN, JEFFREY ST CLAIR, BECKY GRANT AND THE INSTITUTE FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF JOURNALISTIC CLARITY, COUNTERPUNCH

We published an article entitled “A Saudiless Arabia” by Wayne Madsen dated October 22, 2002 (the “Article”), on the website of the Institute for the Advancement of Journalistic Clarity, CounterPunch, www.counterpunch.org (the “Website”).

Although it was not our intention, counsel for Mohammed Hussein Al Amoudi has advised us the Article suggests, or could be read as suggesting, that Mr Al Amoudi has funded, supported, or is in some way associated with, the terrorist activities of Osama bin Laden and the Al Qaeda terrorist network.

We do not have any evidence connecting Mr Al Amoudi with terrorism.

As a result of an exchange of communications with Mr Al Amoudi’s lawyers, we have removed the Article from the Website.

We are pleased to clarify the position.

August 17, 2005

 

More articles by:

David Krieger is President of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation (www.wagingpeace.org). 

April 19, 2018
Ramzy Baroud
Media Cover-up: Shielding Israel is a Matter of Policy
Vijay Prashad
Undermining Brazilian Democracy: the Curious Saga of Lula
Steve Fraser
Class Dismissed: Class Conflict in Red State America
John W. Whitehead
Crimes of a Monster: Your Tax Dollars at Work
Kenn Orphan
Whistling Past the Graveyard
Karl Grossman TJ Coles
Opening Pandora’s Box: Karl Grossman on Trump and the Weaponization of Space
Colin Todhunter
Behind Theresa May’s ‘Humanitarian Hysterics’: The Ideology of Empire and Conquest
Jesse Jackson
Syrian Strikes is One More step Toward a Lawless Presidency
Michael Welton
Confronting Militarism is Early Twentieth Century Canada: the Woman’s International League for Peace and Freedom
Alycee Lane
On David S. Buckel and Setting Ourselves on Fire
Jennifer Matsui
Our Overlords Reveal Their Top ‘To Do’s: Are YOU Next On Their Kill List?
George Ochenski
Jive Talkin’: On the Campaign Trail With Montana Republicans
Kary Love
Is It Time for A Nice, “Little” Nuclear War?
April 18, 2018
Alan Nasser
Could Student Loans Lead to Debt Prison? The Handwriting on the Wall
Susan Roberts
Uses for the Poor
Alvaro Huerta
I Am Not Your “Wetback”
Jonah Raskin
Napa County, California: the Clash of Oligarchy & Democracy
Robert Hunziker
America’s Dystopian Future
Geoffrey McDonald
“America First!” as Economic War
Jonathan Cook
Robert Fisk’s Douma Report Rips Away Excuses for Air Strike on Syria
Jeff Berg
WW III This Ain’t
Binoy Kampmark
Macron’s Syria Game
Linn Washington Jr.
Philadelphia’s Top Cop Defends Indefensible Prejudice in Starbucks Arrest Incident
Katie Fite
Chaos in Urban Canyons – Air Force Efforts to Carve a Civilian Population War Game Range across Southern Idaho
Robby Sherwin
Facebook: This Is Where I Leave You
April 17, 2018
Paul Street
Eight Takeaways on Boss Tweet’s Latest Syrian Missile Spasm
Robert Fisk
The Search for the Truth in Douma
Eric Mann
The Historic 1968 Struggle Against Columbia University
Roy Eidelson
The 1%’s Mind Games: Psychology Gone Bad
John Steppling
The Sleep of Civilization
Patrick Cockburn
Syria Bombing Reveals Weakness of Theresa May
Dave Lindorff
No Indication in the US That the Country is at War Again
W. T. Whitney
Colombia and Cuba:  a Tale of Two Countries
Dean Baker
Why Isn’t the Median Wage for Black Workers Rising?
Linn Washington Jr.
Philadelphia’s Top Cop Defends Indefensible Prejudice in Starbucks Arrest Incident
C. L. Cook
Man in the Glass
Kary Love
“The Mob Boss Orders a Hit and a Pardon”
Lawrence Wittner
Which Nations Are the Happiest―and Why
Dr. Hakim
Where on Earth is the Just Economy that Works for All, Including Afghan Children?
April 16, 2018
Dave Lindorff
President Trump’s War Crime is Worse than the One He Accuses Assad of
Ron Jacobs
War is Just F**kin’ Wrong
John Laforge
Nuclear Keeps on Polluting, Long After Shutdown
Norman Solomon
Missile Attack on Syria Is a Salute to “Russiagate” Enthusiasts, Whether They Like It or Not
Uri Avnery
Eyeless in Gaza   
Barbara Nimri Aziz
Iraq Then, Syria Now
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail