[pjw] EVENT: "End 25 Years of Killing: US Out of Iraq", rally & march Fri Jan 15, 2016

Peace and Justice Works pjw at pjw.info
Sat Dec 12 19:48:10 EST 2015

Peace and Justice Works Iraq Affinity Group
   PO Box 42456
   Portland, OR   97242
   (503) 236-3065  (Office)
   iraq at pjw.info

Calendar Item

For immediate Release      December 12, 2015

"End 25 Years of Killing: US Out of Iraq"
Expanded Portland Peaceful Response Coalition Friday Rally and March
Friday, January 15, 2016
4:30-6:00 PM
Pioneer Courthouse Square, SW Yamhill and Morrison

Three wars, millions of lives, and 25 years later, the United States 
continues its military and economic intervention in the country of Iraq. 
Join Peace and Justice Works Iraq Affinity Group and Portland Peaceful 
Response Coalition (PPRC) in remembering the date that "Gulf War Part I" 
began in 1991 with an expanded PPRC Friday Rally on January 15, starting 
at a special early time, 4:30 PM at Pioneer Courthouse Square, SW Yamhill 
and Morrison (tentative location).

In 1991, President George HW Bush gave Saddam Hussein a deadline of 
January 15-- Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday-- to withdraw Iraqi troops 
from neighboring Kuwait. The next day, January 16, the US began one of the 
most intense bombing campaigns in history, eventually driving Iraqi forces 
out of the Emirate (and strafing retreating Iraqi troops on the "Highway 
of Death").  The US continued killing Iraqis directly through enforcing 
"no-fly zones" in Northern and Southern Iraq, and a bombing campaign in 
late 1998 launched while President Clinton was facing impeachment. The 
unprecedented sanctions put in place after Iraq's 1990 invasion of Kuwait 
decimated Iraq, causing the deaths of at least half a million children, 
which Secretary of State Madeleine Albright acknowledged in a CBS 
interview, stating "the price... we think the price is worth it."

The sanctions were finally lifted, for the most part, after the US bombed 
and invaded Iraq starting on March 19, 2003 (Iraq War part II) in a 
mission dubbed "shock and awe." Thousands upon thousands of Iraqis were 
killed not only by the US bombing and invading forces, but by sectarian 
strife triggered by the killing of Saddam Hussein and the dismantling of 
the existing government. These actions led to the rise of both Al Qaeda in 
Iraq and the Islamic State. At least 4800 American soldiers died in the 
effort, which left Iraq in more chaos than it had been in before the 
invasion. Although most American troops were withdrawn in December 2011, 
at least 200 remained, in part to guard the world's largest embassy-- the 
US embassy in Baghdad.

On August 8, 2014, the US began bombing Iraq for the third time in 25 
years, ostensibly to support Iraq's fight against the Islamic State. 
Dozens of Iraqi civilians have been reported killed by the air campaign, 
and despite the promise of "no boots on the ground," at least 3500 
American soldiers, acting as "advisors" and "special operations forces," 
are back in the country. The US began similarly bombing Syria several 
weeks later, the main difference being there is no formal relationship 
between the US and Syrian governments and the US has a stated goal of 
regime change there.

In Portland, the Coalition Against US Military Intervention in the Middle 
East (CAUSMIME) rallied 12,000 people in Pioneer Courthouse Square on 
January 12, 1991, days before the war broke out. CAUSMIME also held weekly 
Friday rallies in Pioneer Courthouse Square for several months before and 
after the war began, an inspiration to the Portland Peaceful Response 
Coalition rallies which have continued weekly since November 2001. The 
Coalition continued protesting the war and putting on educational forums 
after the 1991 shooting war ended in late February, dissolving about a 
year later. At about the same time, Peace and Justice Works was formed 
including its Iraq Affinity Group.

The January 2016 event is endorsed by Portland Close Guantanamo Coalition. 
For more information, to get involved or to cosponsor/endorse the event 
contact Peace and Justice Works at 503-236-3065; this information is 
posted and will be updated at <http://www.pjw.info/gw25yl.html>.

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