End the US Occupation of Iraq

January 20, 2005     Inauguration day

Citizens of Oregon, including families of soldiers, are calling for Governor Ted Kulongoski to bring Oregon's troops home. According to the Oregon Blue Book, "By virtue of office, the governor is the peacetime commander-in-chief of the militia and may issue lawful regulations for its governance." This means that absent a formal declaration of war, the President cannot call up the National Guard, or the reserves, without his compliance. The war in Iraq was not declared and, as has been proven by the lack of evidence of an Al Qaida-Saddam Hussein link, is not part of the so-called "War on Terror" which has been used to justify the war on Afghanistan and other "emergency" measures.

While polls show a 56 percent of Americans feel the war in Iraq is "not worth fighting" (Washington Post, December 21), 56 percent also feel the troops should stay (Associated Press, December 21).

Here are some reasons that both may be true. See how you feel once you have the facts:

A civil war in Iraq, projected to be along ethnic lines among the Kurds in the north, the Shiites in the south, and the Sunnis in central Iraq, is becoming more likely due to U.S. pressure to hold elections on the arbitrary deadline of January 30. Because several major Sunni groups have asked for the election to be delayed while the U.S. insists on its own timeline, the result may be an election in which a significant minority of the population is not represented.
The Nobel peace prize-winning organization American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) states: "We are convinced that the presence of U.S. troops is a destabilizing force in the region and contributes to the increasing loss of life" (December 22).

In addition to the AFSC, more unlikely sources have begun to call for a U.S. withdrawal. USA Today founder Al Neuharth, a World War II veteran, wrote in a December 23 column that "the best way to support our troops thrust by unwise commanders- in-chief into ill-advised adventures like Vietnam and Iraq is to bring them home. Sooner rather than later. That should be our New Year's resolution."

Republican U.S. Representative Howard Cable of Greensboro, NC, a "close ally of President Bush," voted to give Bush the power to attack Iraq but now says "What we have are Iraqis killing Iraqis and American troops,...a troop withdrawal ought to be an option." Republican Rep. James A. Leach of Iowa stated over a year ago that "the United States should begin a withdrawal that would be complete by the end of 2004" (Associated Press, January 9).

Meanwhile, the "Coalition of the Willing" continues to lose support, as Spain withdrew its troops in April, and Hungary, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania announced plans to take troops out in the coming months (Associated Press, November 4) and the Ukraine's newly-elected leader Viktor Yushchenko stated that withdrawing troops was a high priority for his new administration (Agence France-Presse, January 10).

NO WMDS: One of the major justifications for the invasion of Iraq was proven false when Charles Duelfer officially