Veterans and Service Members Respond to President Obama’s April 7, 2009, Iraq speech to service members in Baghdad

Submitted by Quest-News-Serv... on Sun, 04/12/2009 - 19:35.

 Veterans and Service Members
Respond to President Obama’s
April 7, 2009, Iraq speech
to service members in Baghdad

President
Obama made an unexpected stop in Baghdad this week for a photo-op in
which he addressed U.S. service members. What wasn’t unexpected,
however, was the content of the president’s remarks.

He kept his
talk brief, but full of chauvinist language directed at the Iraqi
people, which drew applause when he demanded that the Iraqi people
“need to take responsibility for their country and for their
sovereignty.” The sovereignty of Iraq was stolen by the war of
aggression launched by Bush, and funded by votes of Republicans and
Democrats alike.

Skipping over
this “small detail” makes the Iraqis appear culpable for the U.S.
occupation. At best, this represents a disingenuous presentation of the
actual reality. It also serves as a de facto exoneration of Bush and
Cheney for their criminal war of aggression against a people who posed
no threat to the people of the United States.

President
Obama again praised the military for their handling of the occupation
of Iraq, summing the past six long years up with “every mission that's
been assigned [to the U.S. military]—from getting rid of Saddam, to
reducing violence, to stabilizing the country, to facilitating
elections—you have given Iraq the opportunity to stand on its own as a
democratic country. That is an extraordinary achievement, and for that
you have the thanks of the American people.”

Unfortunately,
what the President has left out and continues to leave out when
addressing service members, or any crowd at all for that matter, is
that as a result of the criminal war on the people of Iraq—a war that
President Obama claims to have never supported—over 1 million Iraqis
have been killed, over 5 million Iraqi children are now orphans, and
over 3 millions husbands and wives are now widowers or widows.

What the
president also refuses to acknowledge is that the war in Iraq—a war the
president called “a dumb war, a rash war, a war based not on reason but
on passion, not on principle but on politics” during a speech at an
anti-war rally in Chicago in 2002—has created one of the largest
refugee crises in history, with 5 millions Iraqis displaced from their
country and homes and in desperate need for humanitarian care.

The Veterans
and Service Members Task Force calls for an immediate end to the
criminal wars and occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan.. The people of
Iraq can never “take responsibility for their country” as long as it is
being occupied by U.S. imperialism.

President
Obama tried to strike a note of compassion for the plight of veterans.
Words are not enough. Flowery words are not what the hundreds of
thousands of homeless veterans really need. They need affordable
housing and decent paying jobs. They need an actual commitment from the
federal government.

We, the
Veterans and Service Members Task Force, call for the immediate
withdrawal of all foreign occupying troops, including war contractors,
from both Iraq and Afghanistan. We call on all U.S. service members to
refuse the illegal and immoral orders to occupy these countries..

This is not our war!

To learn more about the Veterans and Service Members Task Force and our 10 Point Program
please visit:
http://www.thisisnotourwar.org/

____________________________________________

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