[pjw] REMINDER/FACTS: Protest 13 years in Iraq, 5 in Libya Today 3/18 5:00 PM

Peace and Justice Works pjw at pjw.info
Fri Mar 18 14:12:03 EDT 2016

I wanted to get the fact sheet we'll be handing out tonight to you all. 
It's pasted in below and is on line as a pdf (with embedded links!) at:
<http://www.pjw.info/Iraq13_Libya5Facts031916.pdf>. It expands on the 
information from the calendar listing we sent out earlier.

When sending info to the media this morning, I added this pithy quote:

/"It's ironic that Pioneer Courthouse Square is hosting remote viewing and 
medal ceremonies for the International Association of Athletics 
Federations that includes athletes from Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, 
Somalia and Palestine while our country continues to wage or support war 
and/or occupation in all of those countries," said Dan Handelman, a 
founding member of the Iraq Affinity Group./

I guess I meant it was irony since Pioneer Courthouse square has been host 
to PPRC Friday rallies for 14-1/2 years. OK, maybe that's not irony.

Anyway, we do have a few expenses associated with putting on the rally so 
if you have a few bucks to donate, please mail them to us (address at 
bottom of fact sheet) or donate on line at

Hope to see you tonight!
dan h
peace and justice works iraq affinity group

No More US Wars in Iraq and Libya
March 18, 2016

March 19 marks 13 years since the US invasion of Iraq and 5 years since 
the US bombing of Libya. The nine(or really thirteen) year Iraq war began 
after congress voted to authorize President George W Bush to use military 
force against Saddam Hussein's government based on false claims that Iraq 
had Weapons of Mass Destruction. The seven-month bombing of Libya came as 
part of a United Nations (UN) mandate to protect civilians who were rising 
up against Muammar Gadhafi; President Barack Obama launched airstrikes 
(including drone strikes) without a specific mandate from Congress. Both 
military interventions led to the dictators being overthrown and killed, 
plunging both countries into chaos and civil war.

It is no coincidence that both dictators had also nationalized the oil 
industry of their nations, creating motivation for the US to intervene-- 
since its policy in the "Middle East" is to control the flow of oil.

Since 2014, the war in Iraq has re-ignited under the guise of fighting the 
Islamic State (ISIS) as the US continues to send advisors and special 
forces, with troops numbering 4450 in early February (Military.com, 
February 3).*-1 The US has been shopping around the idea of new military 
intervention in Libya, also because of the presence of ISIS, prompting 
Glenn Greenwald to write "one of the few benefits of the NATO bombing of 
Libya will [come back] to the... machine of Endless Militarism: It 
provided a pretext for another new war" (The Intercept, January 27).*-2

The US dropped 40 bombs in Libya on February 19, killing 49 people 
including two Serbian diplomats who were being held hostage (CNN and BBC, 
February 20).*-3 The airstrikes were targeted at a specific Tunisian 
militant, reflecting the US' repeated tactic of targeted assassination 
rather than self-defense. The recognized Libyan government objected to the 
strikes (AFP, February 20).*-4

The death toll in Iraq due to the US invasion and occupation has been 
estimated at between 155,000 (Iraq Body Count, March 15)*-5 and well over 
a million (Reuters, January 30, 2008).*-6 At least 3841 were killed in 
February 2016 as part of a war that is supposedly over (Antiwar.com, March 
1).*-7 Meanwhile, military "contractors" have been pouring back into Iraq, 
up from 250 in 2015 to over 2000 in January this year (Defense One, 
February 23).*-8

Both countries also have histories of US military intervention. Iraq was 
initially bombed for 43 days in 1991 by President George HW Bush in 
response to Iraq's invasion of Kuwait (which many people believe was 
"greenlighted" by the US to begin with). This was on top of the world's 
most stringent sanctions that remained in place from 1990 until after the 
2003 invasion. Libya, it's been pointed out, was the focus of the US' 
first foreign intervention in 1801 during the First Barbary War (which is 
where the Marines' Hymn line "to the shores of Tripoli" comes from), as 
well as numerous clashes in the 1980s under Presidents Reagan and Bush 
(New York Times, February 19).*-9

The war against ISIS has now been raging for over a year and a half with 
no authorization from Congress. President Obama is conducting the wars in 
Iraq and Libya (and Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen) based on the 
2001 Authorization which was ostensibly limited to actions against those 
responsible for the events of 9/11. Since ISIS did not exist in 2001, the 
legal ustification does not hold up, and Americans should demand a 
cessation of drone strikes, airstrikes, and military operations. It has 
been nearly 15 years since 9/11 and the US seems to be engaged in a 
perpetual war.

Today, March 18 marks 750 weeks since Portland Peaceful Response Coalition 
(PPRC) began its weekly Friday rally in Pioneer Square, shortly after the 
US invasion of Afghanistan, making this the 751st continuous weekly 

This fact sheet was created by
Peace and Justice Works Iraq Affinity Group
PO Box 42456 * 503-236-3065 * iraq at pjw.info
Portland, OR 97242 * www.pjw.info/Iraq.html
The Iraq Affinity Group is committed to educating the public about the 
effects of US policy on the people of Iraq, and other areas including SW 
Asia, North Africa, and the "Middle East." Regular meetings usually 2nd 
Mondays, 7 PM.


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