In December of last year an Iraqi reporter, Muntadar al-Zaidi, was launched into the spotlight for hurling his shoes at President Bush during a Baghdad press conference. As the shoes sailed through the air, he shouted, "This is a gift from the Iraqis. This is a farewell kiss, you dog! This is from the widows, the orphans and those who were killed in Iraq." He has been in custody since the incident and reportedly tortured. Last week, he was sentenced to three years in prison for assaulting a foreign dignitary.
On the sixth anniversary of the disastrous Iraq War, Al-Zaidi's story highlights the reality of the US-imposed democracy in Iraq. One of Bush's false justifications for the invasion was the need to save Iraqis from a repressive regime and give them the freedom of expression they deserved. Six years later, expressing yourself freely will still get you tortured and imprisoned in Iraq. This is the democracy that over 4,000 US soldiers and over 1 million Iraqis have lost their lives for?
Obama promised to end the war and bring the troops home in 2009 and we will continue to hold him to his word. He deserves to be pushed, we deserve to have our troops home and the Iraqis deserve peace, respect and to have their country back. This morning, in solidarity with our Iraqi friends, we gathered outside the Iraqi embassy in Washington, DC and call for Al-Zaidi's release. Read Medea's piece, "Is Shoe Throwing A Crime?"
Join our Obama's Promises Action Team today in honor of the 6th Anniversary and you will receive action updates on how you can act boldly in 2009!
Join or organize a march, rally or other event in your community this week to mark and mourn the sixth anniversary of the occupation of Iraq. See if there's an event planned in your area or create your own by clicking here. Let's use this grim anniversary to highlight how military spending has crippled our failing economy.
Join us in Washington, DC May 9th and 10th for a 24 hour Mother's Day peace vigil. We'll surround the White House with pink and reclaim Mother's Day as a time to gather as women and work together to end war.
Thank you for refusing to be silent,
Audrey, Blaine, Dana, Deidra, Desiree, Farida, Gael, Gayle, Jean, Jodie, Liz, Lori, Medea, Nancy, Paris, and Rae
PS - Check out our pink presence in yesterday's AIG hearing in Congress! (As you can see, we are never silent…)