Broken Campaign Promises; Obama's Tardy Iraqi Troop Withdrawal
Code Pink calls Obama's delayed troop withdrawal a broken promise, after claiming to have ALL troops out of Iraq by the end of 2009. Instead, we now have residual troops in Iraq until 2011, and the majority of troops not leaving Iraq until August 2010.
The latest from Code Pink;
"CODEPINK Calls Obama's Announcement of Timetable, Residual Troops in Iraq a 'Broken Promise'
Americans must continue to push for change
WASHINGTON - February 27 - CODEPINK Women for Peace is disheartened by President Obama's announcement this morning for troop withdrawal by Aug. 2010, later than his campaign promise, leaving residual troops until December 2011.
Americans voted for Obama largely based on his opposition to the war since its start, and his promise to end the occupation in 2009.
"While the move toward withdrawal is positive, this timeline and leaving tens of thousands of residual troops sounds more like occupation-lite than an end to occupation," said Medea Benjamin, co-founder of CODEPINK. "But compared to the past eight years of moving backward, at least there's an atmosphere now where we can continue to apply pressure on the administration to push forward."
CODEPINK women call on Obama and his administration to immediately withdraw all U.S. troops, including residual forces from Iraq. Instead, the U.S. government should increase efforts in diplomacy, humanitarian aid and refugee resettlement. Continued troop presence will only encourage more armed opposition within Iraq and will not force the Iraqi government and Iraqi factions to negotiate power. In addition, with the continued presence of U.S. troops, the international community will doubt the U.S. commitment to withdrawal and will wait to invest in diplomatic and reconstruction efforts.
"Up to 50,000 troops is a big number to leave behind," said Dana Balicki, CODEPINK campaign coordinator. "And there hasn't been any word on military bases left in Iraq that will continue to drain billions of dollars from U.S. taxpayers at a time where that money is very much needed at home. But the withdrawal, and a timeline, is a baby step forward from past policies. As citizens, it's our job to move Obama to take giant strides."
For interviews and more information, please call Jean Stevens, national media coordinator, at 508-769-2138 or Medea Benjamin, CODEPINK co-founder, at 415-235-6517.
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As an individual anti-war protester, i volunteered some brief time for the Obama campaign with the belief that he would indeed withdraw U.S. troops from Iraq by the end of 2009. This promise to withdraw troops by end of '09 was one of the main reasons that Obama won the election, when compared to McCain's "100 years in Iraq" statement..
Am feeling considerable hurt and disappointment in Obama's failure in honoring his original campaign promise to leave in '09, especially since nothing significant has happened for Obama to have any legitimate reason for another two year extension of troops in Iraq..
We all now realize the deceptive propaganda used by the initial invasion of Iraq by GW Bush, that however is no excuse for Obama to force troops to put in another two years beyond his initial promises of withdrawal by '09. The excuse Obama is using is that since he voted against the initial invasion of Iraq, he now cannot be held responsible for anything that happens there afterwards, including dawdling on his promises to withdraw troops by end of '09..
Why not give the Iraqi's the chance to self govern without any U.S. troop occupation, and if after the withdrawal by end of '09 the entire country destabilizes (VERY unlikely scenario!!), then the troops can return if needed. However, if we always follow "the sky is falling" rationale used by pro-war factions to justify the indefinite occupation of Iraq by U.S. troops, we will be there forever with no end in sight! Anytime some extremist plants another car bomb, the U.S. troops will need to be sent in to do the police work that the Iraqi military and police should be able to perform by now without our constant supervision..
Sort of like a lost traveler who stops at a house to ask for directions to get back home, then camps out in their living room for another two years after getting directions! Only difference is that a long term military occupation is far more invasive than lost travelers camping out in someone's living room!!
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