Communities Nation-wide Gather to Watch Obama’s Speech on Iraq

Contact: Dana Balicki, 202 422 8624,
Medea Benjamin, 415 235 6517,

August 30th, 2010

Peace Movement Responds to Iraq Troop Withdrawal: The Iraq Debacle Is Not Over
Communities Nation-wide Gather to Watch Obama's Speech on Iraq

In light of the withdrawal of combat troops from Iraq, members of the women's group CODEPINK and peace and social justice groups will be gathering to watch and discuss President Obama's Oval Office speech on Iraq, highlighting the true cost of the war in Iraq and the problematic nature of the enduring US presence in the country. 

"The current administration has announced that there are 50,000 troops who will be leaving Iraq. We know that the war still continues in Iraq and more than 75,000 contractors are there," said actor Danny Glover when asked for comment by CODEPINK. "The fact is that [this war] is devastating the country with millions of people who have been displaced, more than a million people have been killed. It is devastating the cultures that represent the birthplace of human beings, of human existence.  What is happening has made the region even more unstable...So if this is a victory, if this is called a victory, then shame on us."

“With the withdrawal of U.S. combat troops from Iraq, the administration, the military and the media are trying to put a positive spin on this grim chapter of U.S. history. It would certainly give some comfort to the grieving families of the over 4,400 soldiers killed in Iraq if their sacrifices had left Iraq a better place or made America safer," Medea Benjamin, cofounder of CODEPINK and Global Exchange, states. “But the bitter truth is that the U.S. intervention has been an utter disaster for both Iraq and the United States."

Nation-wide events are planned for the week, including:

New York City: Film Screening and public viewing of Obama's speech on Iraq
When: Tuesday, August 31, 7 pm (contact 646 723 1781)
Location: Bluestockings Bookstore, fairtrade café, activist center, 172 Allen St. NYC

San Francisco: Bay Area community members gather to watch Obama's speech on Iraq
When: Tuesday, August 31, 4:45-6:30pm (contact, 415 994 1723)
Where: The Phoenix Bar, 811 Valencia Street (btwn 19th and 20th Sts.), San Francisco, CA

Los Angeles: Public viewing of Obama's speech on Iraq
When: Tuesday, August 31,  4:30-6 pm (contact 310 827 4320)
Location: Trip Bar, 2101 Lincoln Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90405

CODEPINK and other peace groups, including Veterans for Peace, Iraq Veterans Against the War, Military Families Speak Out, US Labor Against the War, coordinated a week of actions last week as a peace movement-wide response to President Obama's draw down of combat troops. Read the coalition statement and full list of endorsing organizations here.