[pjw] REPORT BACK/FACTS: Friday rally marking 3 years of war on Syria

Peace and Justice Works pjw at pjw.info
Tue Sep 26 17:51:47 EDT 2017

Iraq Affinity Group supporters

I meant to send this report out on Saturday but, many things have come up 
in the interim. On Friday our "Stop the US War on Syria" managed to double 
the usual size of PPRC Friday rallies, we handed out quite a few fact 
sheets (more info below), and we received many supportive honks/thumbs up 
from vehicles and "thank you for being here" comments from pedestrians.

The text of the fact sheet, which we will use again next Friday October 6 
at the "End the Endless War on Afghanistan" Friday Rally (5 PM, Pioneer 
Courthouse Square- SW Yamhill and Broadway) is pasted in below. You can 
download it and print it out directly from this link:


or find it on the PJW home page, Iraq Affinity Group page, our fact sheets 
page or the event page for the August/September/October Friday Rallies:


Hope to see more folks out next week, especially with more troops heading 
to Afghanistan and more testosterone-fueled exchanges with North Korea.

dan h
peace and justice works iraq affinity group

September 22, 2017

SYRIA: 3 Years (2014-2017) 
IRAQ: 3 years (2014-2017)/ 14 years (2003-2017)/ 26 years (1991-2017) 
AFGHANISTAN: 16 years (2001-2017) 
LIBYA: 6 years (2011-2017) 
SOMALIA: 10 years (2007-2017) / 24 years (1993-2017) 
PAKISTAN: 13 years (2004-2017) 
YEMEN: 15 years (2002-2017) 
KOREA: 67 years (1950-2017)

While the world reacts to Donald Trump's assertion at the UN that the 
United States is prepared to "totally destroy" North Korea, the United 
States is quietly continuing six other wars started under George HW Bush, 
Bill Clinton, George Bush, and Barack Obama.

The US war in Afghanistan has been called "the longest war in US history," 
as it began on October 7, 2001 and continues 16 years later. However, the 
war on Iraq that began on January 16, 1991 never really came to an end; 
the US flew countless missions in a "no-fly zone" prior to the full-scale 
invasion in 2003. Then, although many troops withdrew in 2011, the US 
still had a presence there, which has grown to over 4000 troops in the 
name of fighting the Islamic State (ISIS) since August 2014. So you could 
say the war on Iraq has lasted 26 years. The US also began bombing and 
sending troops into Syria in September 2014.

Meanwhile, the US conducts drone strikes against Pakistan (ongoing since 
2004, though there have only been four in 2017 as of September), Libya 
(since the US acted to overthrow its government in 2011), Somalia 
(including airstrikes and drone strikes from 2007 to the present, though 
arguably the US has been at war there since its botched invasion in 1993), 
and Yemen (ongoing since 2002).

The Korean war never ended, as the UN authorized military action on June 
27, 1950 and an armistice-- not a peace treaty-- was signed on July 27, 
1953. Thus the threats between the two leaders of these countries to lob 
nuclear weapons at each other are part of what is actually the US. longest 
war, 67 years and counting.

The wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria have escalated since the 
inauguration of President Trump. Airwars, a British agency that tracks 
military action and civilian casualties, wrote on September 20:

  August was the third deadliest month for civilians in Syria and Iraq
  since the start of US-led Coalition actions against so-called Islamic
  State three years ago, according to Airwars tracking. Airwars tracked
  128 civilian casualty events in Iraq and Syria in August, by our
  estimate likely killing between 470 and 719 civilians. The sharp
  increase in likely civilian fatalities coincided with a record number of
  munitions released. The Coalition fired ten times more munitions on
  Raqqa alone [in August 2017] than were released by US aircraft across
  all of Afghanistan.
  Likely deaths more than doubled on July's minimum estimates, to their
  highest levels yet-with between 433 and 643 civilians likely killed in
  Raqqa alone, according to our present  assessment.

Foreign Policy reported on September 18 that:

  U.S. planes are dropping more bombs in Afghanistan than at any point
  since Aug. 2012 -- when there were 90,000 U.S. combat troops there -- and
  are hitting more targets in Iraq and Syria than at any point in the
  three-year campaign, fruit of the Trump administration's looser
  guidelines for authorizing strikes on Islamic State fighters in all
  three countries.

In addition to over 10,000 troops in Afghanistan (NBC, August 23), about 
5000 in Iraq (Reuters, September 1) and 500 in Syria (NY Times, March 9), 
there are troops on the ground in Yemen (Washington Post, August 4), Libya 
(Military Times, March 24) and Somalia (Voice of America, April 14).

It is time to call for an end to the warfare, to bring all the troops home 
and spend money on human needs, not war! Perpetuating violence around the 
world as a means to resolve conflict is surely one of the reasons we are 
seeing an increase in violence in the streets of America.

This flyer was prepared 
in September, 2017 by the 
Peace and Justice Works Iraq Affinity Group 
PO Box 42456 iraq at pjw.info 
Portland, OR 97242 www.pjw.info/Iraq.html 
(503) 236-3065 Contact us about our meetings ! 
Meetings usually 2nd Mondays, 7 PM; next one is October 9.

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