More Photos & Reasons

We want our loved ones sacrifices to be honored by bringing our nation's sons and daughters home from the travesty that is Iraq IMMEDIATELY, since this war is based on horrendous lies and deceptions. Just because our children are dead, why would we want any more families to suffer the same pain and devastation that we are.

Cindy Sheehan
Mother of Casey Sheehan, Killed in Action, Iraq, April 4, 2004.

The up-to-the-second total cost of the war now is $178, 136, 219, 056 (that actually was thirty minutes ago).

That's one billion dollars per week.

These same funds could have purchased:
-nationally, health insurance for 46.4 million people,
or Head Start enrollments for 27 million kids,
or 8.6 million four-year college scholarships,
or 3.5 million new elementary teachers, or seven years of fully-funded global anti-hunger efforts;

Carry these facts to your friends, congressional district offices, PTA meetings and recruitment centers, and there will be effects.
Dr. Martin Luther King once said that peace is not the absence of tension, but the presence of justice. Our job is to continue to fight for peace and justice.

Tim Carpenter
Executive Director of
Progressive Democrats of America.

We must end this war because it was built on lies. Everything built on lies, fails. Life can be beautiful - but not while living a lie. Lies destroy beauty and life. Ending this war and leaving Iraq without building permanent military bases is the way to reveal, admit and end the lie.

This is a NIMBY war - Not In My Back Yard -- as expressed in "Better to fight to them over there than have them here." The moral repugnance of that argument, which demands that others give their lives, homes, family and country for Americans' safety and principles, should be obvious. But Americans do not see it because of the lie.

We cannot undo the damage the lie has done. But we can make reparation. The fact that the Administration insists the occupation's "job" is repair is one reason Americans are confused about withdrawing. "The job" of the occupation is also to establish a secure flow of oil. Until that is admitted, until Americans are allowed to discuss whether or not that "job" is do-able or wise, its completion is dubious. Meanwhile, repair of Iraq's civilian infrastructure is obscured and impeded.

This is the lie: George Bush said on television,early in the war, "We did not choose this war; it was thrust upon us." The exact opposite is true.

After 9-11, it was clear that Saudi Arabia, whose citizens launched the attacks, might not be a future reliable source of oil. At the same time, it was clear that the attacks required an American response. Our nation was thrust into a new situation. But the response of the Bush Administration was war, and that was chosen - not just in Afghanistan, but in Iraq.

The lie said to Americans: We invade Iraq to protect you. The lie said to Iraqis: We invade Iraq to liberate you -- from, among other things, torture and violence.

The blood on our hands is deep and red. We must end this war because it is the moral thing to do, to admit and end the lie and the killing. The moral argument underpins all others: the health of our democracy and our people, our national security, the problem of violence in the world, the future of the world and its children.

Without admission, there can't be forgiveness. And to quote from the title of Bishop Desmond Tutu's book: No Future Without Forgiveness. End the lie and make reparation.

Mimi Kennedy
Activist, Author and Actress

They didn't attack us. We are not their liberators. We are their jailors, we have turned them into targets. Children are dying. We have no right or reason to be there. They don't like us being there.

Carrie Fisher
Writer and Actor

Funding [for cancer] is tough to come by these days. The biggest downside to a war in Iraq is what you could do with that money.
What does a war in Iraq cost a week? A billion? Maybe a billion a day? The budget for the National Cancer Institute is four billion. That has to change. It needs to become a priority again.

Polls say people are much more afraid of cancer than of a plane flying into their house or a bomb or any other form of terrorism. It is a priority for the American public.

Lance Armstrong
Tour de France 7-time winner

The threat posed by terrorism is real. If we are going to be successful in overcoming it, we have to acknowledge the fact that the war in Iraq has made the U.S. and the world LESS safe. After more than $200 billion and thousands of U.S. and Iraqi casualties, we have created a terrorist recruitment camp and fanned the flames of anti-Americanism around the world.

We need to bring our troops home, ensure that there will be no
permanent US military presence in Iraq, and make sure that national security includes economic security through cleaner air, healthy kids, thriving schools and safer communities.

Dr. Martin Luther King once said that peace is not the absence of
tension, but the presence of justice. Our job is to continue to fight for peace and justice.

Barbara Lee
U.S. Congresswoman

Ever since 9/11, I have been arguing that the 'war against terror' is immoral and counterproductive. It sanctions the use of state terror----bombing raids, tortures, countless civilian deaths in Afghanistan and Iraq----against Islamo-anarchists whose numbers are small, but whose reach is deadly.

The principal cause of this violence is the violence that is being inflicted on the people of the Muslim world. The bombing of innocent people is equally barbaric in Baghdad, Jenin, Kabul as it is in New York, Madrid or London. And unless this is recognized the horrors will continue.

The real solution lies in immediately ending the occupation of Iraq, Afghanistan and Palestine. These three wars are reported sporadically and mean little to the everyday life of most people in the West, but they arouse much anger and bitterness in the Muslim world and its diasporas. As long as Western politicians wage their wars and their colleagues in the Muslim world watch in silence, young people will be attracted to the groups who carry out random acts of revenge. I've always argued that when you have ugly occupations, you cannot have a pretty resistance.

I foresee a continued struggle until there is a large antiwar movement in the U.S. that puts sufficient pressure on senators and congressional representatives to pull out of Iraq, like what happened in Vietnam. And the notion that the Iraqi people are incapable of determining their own future is a total joke. They are perfectly capable of doing deals with each other - they've done so in the past, and they'll do so again.

Tariq Ali
Writer, journalist and film-maker

Until we leave Iraq; the violence will continue to escalate, our reputation around the world continue to plummet, lives will continue to be stolen from their loved ones, and monies that should go to programs desperately needed in the United States will continue to be used to kill innocent people. Iraqi's cannot begin the long road of rebuilding their country and their lives until we have left and given them the financial support we owe them to help in their rebuilding.

Jodie Evans
CODEPINK cofounder

Many of our policymakers seem resigned to an open-ended occupation. Calls to maintain the status quo echo the same rationale used to keep us in Vietnam. To those who contend that we would weaken our credibility if we withdraw, the nation's standing would greatly improve if we demonstrate the judgment to terminate an unwise course.

Our continuing presence in Iraq feeds the insurgency and gives the insurgents a certain legitimacy in the eyes of much of the world. We know from our own history that armies of occupation are seldom welcome.

The United States should begin the discussions now as to how we can bring our troops home. We should accelerate and pay for the training of Iraqi security forces with the help of Egypt, Jordan, and other Arab allies. We should consult with the current Iraqi government and other Arab nations about the necessity for an Arab-led security force to complement the Iraqis in the short term. We should also work with the United Nations to solicit ideas and assistance from the international community on how we can best disengage.

There are no guarantees that militarily withdrawing from Iraq would contribute to stability or would not result in chaos. On the other hand, we do know that under our occupation the violence will continue. We also know that our occupation is one of the chief reasons for hatred of the United States, not only in the Arab world but elsewhere.

Wars are easy to get into, but hard as hell to get out of. It is time for lawmakers in Washington -- and for concerned citizens across the nation -- to demand that this sad chapter in our history come to an end. The path of endless war will bankrupt our treasury, devour our soldiers, and degrade the moral and spiritual values of the nation. It is past time to change course.

George McGovern, the 1972 Democratic nominee for president, represented South Dakota in the US Senate

The US should end the occupation of Iraq because both Iraqis and Americans want them to. During my visits to Iraq, I constantly heard Iraqis blame the United States for fomenting the violence that plagues their country, subjecting them to daily humiliations at checkpoints, in prisons and during house raids, and using Iraqi oil money to line the pockets of U.S. companies like Halliburton instead of rebuilding Iraq. They often refer to the U.S. occupation of their country as ``the new Saddam.''

A Zogby poll taken a week before the Jan. 30 Iraqi election showed that 69 percent of Shiites and 82 percent of Sunnis want U.S. forces to withdraw ``either immediately or after an elected government is in place.''

The United Iraqi Alliance, the Shiite party that won the most seats in the new constitutional assembly, had a campaign platform that called for the US troops to leave. And in July 2005, 126 members of Iraq's 275-member National Assembly called for the "departure of the occupation forces."

Here in the United States, the war is increasingly unpopular, with a majority of Americans now saying it's time for the troops to come home. Six in ten Americans say that the United States is bogged down in Iraq, the war is not worth fighting, it has not made us safer, and the troops should begin to come home.

Democracies are supposed to listen to their people. It high time for the US government to start listening to the American people-and the Iraqis.

Medea Benjamin
CODEPINK cofounder

In less than three months after the April 28 formation of the new Iraqi government, car bombings alone killed close to 1700 Iraqis. The United States has a population at least 11 times that of Iraq, so this is proportionately something like six 9/11's that Iraqis have gone through in just the past few months - without even counting deaths, injuries, and torture inflicted by U.S. and Iraqi government forces.

It's harder and harder for anyone to justify any aspect of the Iraq war. You simply can't argue that Iraqis are better off - the violence far exceeds that of Saddam's later years, unofficial militias intimidate everyone and restrict basic political freedoms almost as much as Saddam did, and, indeed many basic rights that Saddam guaranteed, especially women's rights, are gone now.

It's time to recognize that the anti-war movement was right all along-we should have never gotten into this war and we should end it immediately.

Rahul Mahajan, author of
Full Spectrum Dominance: U.S. Power in Iraq and Beyond

Throughout the 1960s and into the 1970s, a prevailing argument was that removing U.S. troops from Vietnam would be a betrayal of U.S. responsibility to the people of South Vietnam. Today, likewise, opposition to a swift U.S. pullout from Iraq is often based on the idea that the American military must stay because of a responsibility to the people of Iraq.

But most Iraqis want the U.S. military out of their country - pronto. As Newsweek reported in its January 31 edition: "Now every major poll shows an ever-larger majority of Iraqis want the Americans to leave." It's time we started listening to the Iraqis.

Norman Solomon, author of War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death.

A majority of Iraqis voted in the election for a political party, the United Iraqi Alliance. The second plank of their platform was calling for a timetable for withdrawal. Then you have all the people who boycotted the elections because they believed that a clear statement about withdrawal was the prerequisite for having elections, that you couldn't have elections before you had that commitment. Iraqis have expressed this through opinion polls, through protests, through their votes.

And the anti-imperialist sentiment in Iraq is so strong that it actually makes it harder for Iraqis to take on the actual fascist forces in their countries, because there is this feeling that anything that is hurting the occupation has to be in some way supported. So there isn't a clear ability to go after the people who are targeting other Iraqi civilians.

The presence of US troops is abandoning Iraq to violence, to daily humiliation, and checkpoint killings. That is abandoning Iraq.


Naomi Klein
Author

Observing Iraq up close, as I did (that is, without a massive security detail and living with Iraqis and without the filter of an obsequious news media), the overwhelmingly negative consequences of the occupation become impossible to ignore: the 100,000 dead (the majority of them civilians); wide-scale violations of human, political and civil rights; the destruction of the country's health, education and other crucial social systems; the massive unemployment; a violent and destabilizing insurgency that is likely to last a generation or more; the rending of a delicate social fabric that managed to survive a bloody British occupation, several wars, and the even bloodier rule of Saddam Hussein (which we should never forget was made possible in good measure by decades of support from administrations as far back as President John F Kennedy).

In Alcoholics Anonymous, apologizing and making amends for the hurt one has done to others are among the most important steps in the long path toward sobriety. Clearly, Bush, who believes Iraqis should "put the past behind them", isn't about to engage in soul searching about the mission and consequences of our Iraq adventure. But if Americans can admit to - and in doing so, comprehend - the damage our government has wrought in Iraq in our name and with our consent, we will take an important first step in ending our addiction to an unsustainable corporate-led, consumer-driven culture, and the wars and systematic violence it requires world-wide. In doing so we will begin the long but necessary task of building a sustainable and peaceful future, for Iraq, for ourselves, and for the world at large.

Mark LeVine, professor of modern Middle Eastern history
and author of Why They Don't Hate Us: Lifting the Veil on the Axis of Evil.