Thursday, March 19, 2009

6 Years in Iraq Down 2 to Go?

Today marks the 6th anniversary of the war in and on Iraq. With US forces committed to the country for at least another two years and an escalation in Afghanistan under way, we should not forget the men and women who have had their lives put on the line, nor the hundreds of thousands of civilians who have died during this prolonged conflagration.

With concerns about the economy here at home, we should be doubly aware of the connection between our warring ways and the economic engine that runs it.

Tonight in Iowa City, a Candlelight Peace Walk will commemorate the anniversary of the Iraq War. The walk will begin at 7PM on the sidewalk in front of Old Capitol, on the west side of the intersection of Clinton St. & Iowa Ave. This night we will remember all those who have suffered and died in this humanitarian crisis. This includes U. S. and Coalition soldiers who have died, U.S. and Coalition forces injured, all those who have committed suicide as a result of their experience, as well as innocent Iraqis who have died, been injured, or displaced. And this includes all of their families and friends. Please bring your own candle. The walk will end at Old Brick where refreshments will be served, approximately 9 PM. For more information contact PEACE Iowa - (319) 354-1925.

According to United for Peace and Justice, the war in Iraq has led to:

• at least one million Iraqis killed
• 4.5 million Iraqis displaced and 5 million orphans
• over 4,000 U.S. service people killed, tens of thousands wounded
• more than $600,000,000,000 already spent
• $720 million spent each day
• estimates that in the end we will spend upwards of $3 trillion

The Voice of America probably has one of the more ironic stories stating "As Iraq enters its seventh year of war, he [Robert Gates] predicted the country will emerge much better off by the time U.S. troops finish their scheduled withdrawal at the end of 2011, nearly nine years after they arrived." I'm sure that the facts on the ground do not support that assessment.

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