Monday, December 19, 2011

GP RELEASE Green Party welcomes news of troop withdrawal from Iraq, urges further steps for peace‏


For Immediate Release:
Monday, December 19, 2011

Scott McLarty, Media Coordinator, 202-518-5624, cell 202-904-7614,
Starlene Rankin, Media Coordinator, 916-995-3805,

Green Party welcomes news of troop withdrawal from Iraq, urges further
steps for peace

WASHINGTON, DC -- Green Party leaders welcomed the news of the
withdrawal of US troops from Iraq by the end of December, calling the
presidential order more than eight years overdue. Greens urged
President Obama to let the troops come home to be with their families
for the holiday, rather than stationed or redeployed elsewhere.

"We're glad that President Obama is calling all US military personnel
home from Iraq and has ignored Republican demands to prolong the
occupation. The President is honoring a binding Status of Forces
Agreement between the United States and Iraq that President Bush
signed. The US must make every effort now to help US troops return to
their civilian lives, especially those who've been wounded or have
suffered psychological trauma because of the war. We owe the troops a
great debt and an apology for sending them to fight in a war based on
deception and cooked intelligence," said Carl Romanelli, Pennsylvania
Green and member of the party's International Committee

Greens noted that the withdrawal is the result of the Iraqi
government's insistence and that the Obama Administration was
initially reluctant to comply with the agreement

The Green Party opposed the invasion of Iraq since its inception in
March 2003 and demanded withdrawal afterwards. Greens blamed both
Democrats and Republicans for transferring congressional war powers to
the White House in Oct. 2002 despite uncertainty about WMD allegations
(later revealed to have been the product of manipulated intelligence),
forged evidence of nuclear weaponry, and implausible claims of
cooperation between Saddam Hussein and Al-Qaeda.

Greens participated in protests throughout the US against the Iraq
War, and -- unlike many Democrats who claimed to oppose the war --
continued to protest after President Obama's election.

The Green Party called on President Obama to take further steps to ensure peace:

• The Obama Administration must also withdraw remaining personnel from
private US security firms, whose presence in Iraq would constitute a
low-level military occupation. These include thousands of State
Department security contractors, despite the abuses and fraud in Iraq
by firms like KBR and Xe (formerly Blackwater), which are not subject
to the same restrictions and public scrutiny as US military
personnel. (See "Out of Iraq: What Will the War Service Industry Do
Now?" by Dina Rasor, Truthout, Oct. 26,

• The US owes Iraq billions of dollars in reparations for the loss of
hundreds of thousands of civilian lives, many more wounded and
displaced, and destruction of the country's infrastruction in an
unnecessary war.

• The US should cease pressing Iraq to transfer control over much of
the country's oil resources to US and UK energy companies, such as the
hydrocarbon law still stalled in the Iraqi Parliament. The Iraqi
people have consistently opposed the deal and prefer that their
country's oil be developed and produced by Iraqi state-owned

• The Obama Administration must withdraw US troops from Afghanistan,
end air strikes in Afghanistan and Pakistan, Libya, Somalia, and other
countries, and cancel funding for Israel's military assaults on
Palestinians. The continuing US military action in these countries
remains a threat to peace in the region.

• Congress must reduce the bloated military budget and reject the
Bush-Cheney-Obama policy of warfare for preemptive and aggressive
purposes, such as ousting other heads of state. The cost of the Iraq
War for the US has surpassed three trillion dollars, an economic loss
that aggravated the current economic crisis. The human cost includes
nearly 4,500 lost American lives and over 32,000 seriously wounded.
(More information: Costs of War,


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Press conferences, forums, and other events at the Green Party's 2011
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Green Pages: The official publication of record of the Green Party of
the United States (Summer 2011 issue now online)

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