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2009 Anniversary of Invasion
On March 20th, we mark the sixth year since the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. Since that day, we have seen over four thousand of our citizens die in battle and thousands more Iraqi civilians caught in the crossfire. We also have seen thousands of injuries to American military personnel and Iraqi civilians alike. Not all are physical or visible.
We have also seen billions of our tax dollars spent on the invasion of Iraq built on lies and false pretenses.
We mourn these lost lives and missed opportunities.
We also celebrate our successes. President Obama may have inherited this war and this anniversary but he has made commitments to end the occupation in a timely and responsible manner. We applaud his efforts.
We especially celebrate the recent announcement that over 12,000 military personnel will be returning home this summer.
On the other hand, the announcement that 50,000 troops will stay in Iraq as "support" is disappointing. We are no longer willing to write a blank check to our commanders without a clear and concrete mission or time line.
See the Unitarian Universalist Association's (UUA's) talking points on Iraq (PDF).
How You Can Act
We encourage you and your congregation to participate in the Iraq Memorial To Life or another local action you may feel called to.
The Iraq Memorial To Life is asking for plaques made of paper or cloth to recognize a lost life in the war. They will be taking the plaques around the country before finally placing them on the National Mall in May. For more information on how to make a plaque or their tour dates, please visit Iraq Memorial To Life.
If you will be in the Boston area for the anniversary, we ask you to join a witness on the anniversary (PDF) and commemorative reading of U.S. and Iraqi war dead. The witness is sponsored by the Unitarian Universalist Association, Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC), Military Families Speak Out, Veterans for Peace, Gold Star Families, and United for Justice with Peace.
Our Struggle Does Not End at Withdrawal
President Obama has already promised a quick and responsible withdrawal from Iraq. But our struggle does not end there. We call for our leaders to stay accountable to the people who served our country in this conflict.We also look for reconciliation and respectful reconstruction of Iraq.
Please join with The Iraq Veterans Against the War to work for physical and emotional support after their return from Iraq. Our veterans deserve full health care—including psychological support for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)—jobs with dignity, and affordable housing.
We also ask you to support the work of Direct Aid Iraq, an organization that works to rebuild Iraq in an accountable and sustainable way, while also practicing reconciliation with everyday citizens of the country.