Tuesday, December 16, 2008

March 21 National Coalition

The ANSWER Coalition is joining with other coalitions, organizations, and networks in a March 21 National Coalition to bring people from all walks of life and from all cities across the United States to take part in a March on the Pentagon on the sixth anniversary of the Iraq war: Saturday, March 21.

The Iraqi journalist Muntather Al-Zaidi spoke for millions of Iraqis and outraged people everywhere when he threw his shoes at George Bush during Bush's publicity stunt "victory lap” in Baghdad yesterday. As he threw his shoes, Muntather said, “This is a gift from the Iraqis; this is the farewell kiss, you dog! This is from the widows, the orphans and those who were killed in Iraq!”

Tragically, the criminal occupation of Iraq will not be over even by the sixth anniversary of the start of the war in March 2009. People around the world will be marching together on the sixth anniversary in the strongest possible solidarity with the people of Iraq demanding an end to the occupation of their country.

Marking the sixth anniversary of the criminal invasion of Iraq, on March 21, 2009, thousands will March on the Pentagon to say, “Bring the Troops Home NOW!” We will also demand “End Colonial Occupation in Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine and Everywhere” and “Fund Peoples’ Needs Not Militarism and Bank Bailouts.” We will insist on an end to the war threats and economic sanctions against Iran. We will say no to the illegal U.S. program of detention and torture.

To endorse the March 21 March on the Pentagon, click here. To sign up to be a Transportation Organizing Center, click here.

While millions of families are losing their homes, jobs and healthcare, the real military budget next year will top one trillion dollars--that's $1,000,000,000,000. If used to meet people’s needs, that amount could create 10 million new jobs at $60,000 per year, provide healthcare for everyone who does not have it now, rebuild New Orleans, and repair much of the damage done in Iraq and Afghanistan. The cost for the occupation of Iraq alone is $400 million each day, or about $12 billion each month.

The war in Iraq has killed, wounded or displaced nearly one third of Iraq’s 26 million people. Thousands of U.S. soldiers have been killed, and hundreds of thousands more have suffered severe physical and psychological wounds. The U.S. leaders who have initiated and conducted this criminal war should be tried and jailed for war crimes.

The idea that the U.S. is in the process of ending the criminal occupation of Iraq is a myth. Washington and its dependent Iraqi government signed a “Status of Forces” agreement, supposedly calling for the U.S. military to leave Iraqi cities by July 1, 2009, and all of Iraq by 2012. But even this outrageous extension of an illegal occupation is just one more piece of deception, as was soon made clear by top U.S. and Iraqi officials.

The ink was hardly dry on the agreement when, on December 12, official Iraq government spokesman Ali al Dabbagh dismissed the idea that U.S. troops would leave by 2012: "We do understand that the Iraqi military is not going to get built out in the three years. We do need many more years. It might be 10 years."

The next day, General Raymond Odierno, commander of “coalition (U.S.) forces” in Iraq, stated that thousands of U.S. troops could remain inside Iraqi cities after July 1, 2009, as part of “training and mentoring teams.”

Government propaganda aside, the reality remains that only the people can end the war and occupation in Iraq. To endorse the March 21 March on the Pentagon, click here, and to sign up to be a Transportation Organizing Center, click here.

The war in Afghanistan is expanding. The incoming administration and Congressional leaders have promised to send in more troops.

Federal bailouts and loan guarantees for the biggest banks and investors, many of whom have also made billions in profits from militarism, are already up to an astounding $7.2 trillion this year. None of that money is earmarked for keeping millions of foreclosed and evicted families in their homes.

Coming just two months after the inauguration of the next president, the March 21, 2009, March on the Pentagon will be a critical opportunity to let the new administration in Washington hear the voice of the people demanding an immediate end to war and occupation, and demanding economic justice. Joint actions will take place on the West Coat in San Francisco, Los Angeles and Seattle.

Again, to endorse the March 21 March on the Pentagon, click here, and to sign up to be a Transportation Organizing Center, click here.

A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition
http://www.answercoalition.org/
info@internationalanswer.org
National Office in Washington DC: 202-544-3389
New York City: 212-694-8720
Los Angeles: 213-251-1025
San Francisco: 415-821-6545
Chicago: 773-463-0311

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