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No More Attacks on Iraq - Enough!

Michael Borkson photo

Forty United for Justice with Peace activists stood out in Harvard Square in a hastily-arranged vigil to oppose any renewed attacks by the U.S. on Iraq.  Iraq has been in the news again, as conflict widens across the Middle East.  

Another stand out/rally is planned for 1 PM at Park Street on Boston Common, where we have arranged to join the Committee for Peace and Human Rights which has held a weekly stand out at this location since 1998 (in protest of the sanctions on Iraq).  

As many of us feared, in 2003, the war and occupation waged by the U.S. on Iraq has had dire consequences for Iraq and the Middle East.  

Iraq is in the grip of renewed violence as the Sunni population (5-6 million people) rise up to try to overthrow the Shia-led, Iran and U.S. supported Maliki government.  

To review briefly (most of what follows was said at the bullhorn, kindly brought by "Dan the Bagelman" and emceed with noble impromptitude by a Friend):  

The U.S. has been attacking Iraq since 1991, through successive administrations - both Republican and Democrat.  

U.S. bombing destroyed their infrastructure in 1991.

Sanctions imposed through 2003 killed half a million children, which former Secretary of State Albright said was "worth the price."

Former President Clinton bombed Iraq in 1998.  I recall protesting at the Central Square Post Office.  As part of that protest, members of Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) tried to break sanctions by mailing aid packages and were denied.

Using the terror attacks on the U.S. in 2001 as a springboard, the Bush Administration attacked Iraq again in 2003 with "shock and awe" bombing and subsequently occupied Iraq until 2011.  A Status of Forces Agreement compelled the U.S. to withdraw most troops in 2011.

During the occupation, at least a million Iraqis were killed, many of them Sunni Arabs, as the U.S. military (and our politicians) flailed around, instigating sectarian divisions, in an attempt to control a country we had attacked and invaded with no cause.  

Despite the sorrow and distress, the stand out was lively and engaged with the public.  We were joined at times by a number of people passing through the Square, who held up our signs:  A Green Economy Not A War Economy, History: Tragedy, Farce, Insanity!, U.S. Out of the Middle East, Abolish the Pentagon, Don't Attack Iraq Again! Etc.  

June-Ruth Canonico from Merrimack Valley People for Peace led us in singing "Last Night I Had the Strangest Dream," a great anti-war song, and a singer passing through led a song.  We also heard some poetry from Eric Wasileski of the Warrior Writers, a group of antiwar veterans who gather to read their poetry and writings, and some of Father Daniel Berrigan's poems (recited from memory).  

 

 

 

 

 

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