Why We Are against the Wars
Q: Why are veterans, active duty, and National Guardsmen and women opposed to the war in Iraq?
- The Iraq war is based on lies and deception.
- The Iraq war violates international law.
- Corporate profiteering is driving the war in Iraq.
- Overwhelming civilian casualties are a daily occurrence in Iraq.
- Soldiers have the right to refuse illegal war.
- Service members are facing serious health consequences due to our Government's negligence.
- The war in Iraq is tearing our families apart.
- The Iraq war is robbing us of funding sorely needed here at home.
- The war dehumanizes Iraqis and denies them their right to self-determination.
- Our military is being exhausted by repeated deployments, involuntary extensions, and activations of the Reserve and National Guard.
Q: Why does Iraq Veterans Against the War call for the immediate withdrawal from Iraq?
- The reasons and rationale given for the invasion were fraudulent.
- The presence of the US military is not preventing sectarian violence.
- The occupation is a primary motivation for the insurgency and global religious extremism.
- We can no longer afford to fight this war of choice.
- National security is compromised.
- The world is becoming more dangerous.
- Our national “moral authority” is being undermined.
- The majority of American citizens, Iraqi citizens and US military would like to see an immediate end to the war in Iraq.
- The military is broken.
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A: Why are veterans, active duty, and National Guardsmen and women opposed to the war in Iraq?
- The Iraq war is based on lies and deception. The Bush Administration planned for an attack against Iraq before September 11th, 2001. They used the false pretense of an imminent nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons threat to deceive Congress into rationalizing this unnecessary conflict. They hide our casualties of war by banning the filming of our fallen's caskets when they arrive home and refusing to allow the media into Walter Reed Hospital and other Veterans Administration facilities which are overflowing with maimed and traumatized veterans. For further reading: www.motherjones.com/bush_war_timeline/index.html
- The Iraq war violates international law. The United States assaulted and occupied Iraq without the consent of the UN Security Council. In doing so they violated the same body of laws they accused Iraq of breaching. For further reading: http://avalon.law.yale.edu/imt/imtconst.asp http://www.westpointgradsagainstthewar.org/
- Corporate profiteering is driving the war in Iraq. From privately contracted soldiers and linguists to no-bid reconstruction contracts and multinational oil negotiations, those who benefit the most in this conflict are those who suffer the least. The United States has chosen a path that directly contradicts President Eisenhower's farewell warning regarding the military industrial complex. As long as those in power are not held accountable, they will continue... For further reading: http://www.commondreams.org/headlines04/0714-01.htm http://www.publicintegrity.org/wow/
- Overwhelming civilian casualties are a daily occurrence in Iraq. Despite attempts in training and technological sophistication, large-scale civilian death is both a direct and indirect result of United States aggression in Iraq. Even the most conservative estimates of Iraqi civilian deaths number over 100,000. Currently over 100 civilians die every day in Baghdad alone.For further reading: http://www.nomorevictims.org/ http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0,2763,1338749,00.html http://select.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F70A1EF73C5A0C758DDDA10894DE404482
- Soldiers have the right to refuse illegal war. All in service to this country swear an oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, both foreign and domestic. However, they are prosecuted if they object to serve in a war they see as illegal under our Constitution. As such, our brothers and sisters are paying the price for political incompetence, forced to fight in a war instead of having been sufficiently trained to carry out the task of nation-building. For further reading: http://girightshotline.org
- Service members are facing serious health consequences due to our Government's negligence. Many of our troops have already been deployed to Iraq for two, three, and even four tours of duty averaging eleven months each. Combat stress, exhaustion, and bearing witness to the horrors of war contribute to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), a serious set of symptoms that can lead to depression, illness, violent behavior, and even suicide. Additionally, depleted uranium, Lariam, insufficient body armor, and infectious diseases are just a few of the health risks which accompany an immorally planned and incompetently executed war. Finally, upon a soldier's release, the Veterans Administration is far too under-funded to fully deal with the magnitude of veterans in need. For further reading: http://www.ncptsd.va.gov/ http://www.vets4vets.us/
- The war in Iraq is tearing our families apart. The use of stop-loss on active duty troops and the unnecessarily lengthy and repeat active tours by Guard and Reserve troops place enough strain on our military families, even without being forced to sacrifice their loved ones for this ongoing political experiment in the Middle East. For further reading: http://www.military.com/NewsContent/0,13319,FL_loss_092704,00.html
- The Iraq war is robbing us of funding sorely needed here at home. $10.3 billion per month is spent on a war which could have aided the victims of Hurricane Katrina, gone to impoverished schools, the construction of hospitals and health care systems, tax cut initiatives, and a host of domestic programs that have all been gutted in the wake of the war in Iraq. For further reading: http://www.costofwar.com
- The war dehumanizes Iraqis and denies them their right to self-determination. Iraqis are subjected to humiliating and violent checkpoints, searches, and home raids on a daily basis. The current Iraqi government is in place solely because of the U.S. military occupation. The Iraqi government doesn’t have the popular support of the Iraqi people, nor does it have power or authority. For many Iraqis the current government is seen as a puppet regime for the U.S. occupation. It is undemocratic and in violation of Iraq’s own right to self-governance.
- Our military is being exhausted by repeated deployments, involuntary extensions, and activations of the Reserve and National Guard. The majority of troops in Iraq right now are there for at least their second tour. Deployments to Iraq are becoming longer and many of our service members are facing involuntary extensions and recalls to active duty. Longstanding policies to limit the duration and frequency of deployments for our part-time National Guard troops are now being overturned to allow for repeated, back-to-back tours in Iraq. These repeated, extended combat tours are taking a huge toll on our troops, their families, and their communities. For further reading: http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-military12jan12,0,7198945.story?coll=la-home-headlines
A: Why does Iraq Veterans Against the War call for the immediate withdrawal from Iraq?
- The reasons and rationale given for the invasion were fraudulent. There were no Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq during the time of the invasion, according to US officials and former Chief UN Weapons Inspector Hans Blix. The idea that Al Qeada and the 9/11 terrorist attacks were connected to Saddam Hussein and the Ba'ath party were proven false in the 9/11 Commission Report. Members of the Bush Administration have admitted that they “misspoke” in the run up to the war.
- The presence of the US military is not preventing sectarian violence. The US occupation of Iraq has proven to be unable to prevent sectarian violence or halt an escalation toward civil war. Despite having an average of 140,000 troops in country since the occupation began, internal violence and attacks against civilians and Iraqi security forces have been on a steady incline.
- The occupation is a primary motivation for the insurgency and global religious extremism. The insurgency can be broken down into many individually named factions with various goals, beliefs, and techniques. However, our membership of veterans believes that the occupation of Iraq is the primary thing encouraging the insurgency and giving it legitimacy in the eyes of many Iraqis. Likewise, other people of the Islamic faith around the world are encouraged to resist America’s policies based on their perceptions of our military operations in the Middle East.
- We can no longer afford to fight this war of choice. The financial burden is destroying our domestic programs that could be used to protect us from natural disasters, provide medical programs, or help improve education. We are jeopardizing the US economy and putting strains on the budgets of important government agencies like the Veterans Affairs Department.
- National security is compromised. Funds that could be used to protect our ports and transportation are being stripped away while our National Guard units are on constant deployments instead of being used to protect and defend us here at home.
- The world is becoming more dangerous. International terrorist attacks have increased, and it has become more dangerous for Americans to travel abroad. Approval for US policy has decreased and the dislike of Americans has increased.
- Our national “moral authority” is being undermined. The US has lost credibility to much of the world as the "defender of liberty and freedom," and our national identity is eroding. We can no longer deploy our armed forces for peacekeeping measures with the good faith of the international community. We need to regain the respect and faith of the global community. This begins by withdrawing our troops from Iraq and helping the Iraqi people rebuild their country and society.
- The majority of American citizens, Iraqi citizens, and US military would like to see an immediate end to the war in Iraq. If we are truly a democracy and we aim to create a democracy in Iraq, our leaders will represent the will of the citizens and lead according to their wishes.
- The military is broken. We are abusing the small population of armed service members with multiple deployments while using inadequate vehicles and equipment. Less than one half of a percent of the American population is serving in the active armed forces, which is the least amount in the last century. Only 25% of the troops in Iraq are there for their first tour, while 50% are there on their second tour, and the remaining 25% are there for the third time or more. We continue to involuntarily extend soldiers with Stop-Loss, recall them repeatedly for additional service using the Individual Ready Reserve, and send soldiers with diagnosed medical problems into combat.
IVAW is open to Active Duty, National Guard and Reservists who have served since 09/11/2001. You are not alone.