Why We're Marching on the Pentagon
Statement from the ANSWER Coalition We are organizing a Mass March on the Pentagon on Saturday, March 21, and it is important that you and your family, friends, co-workers and fellow students put on your marching shoes that day. People are coming from all over the country.
Why are we still marching even after the war criminal George W. Bush has left office? Because the people must speak out for what is right. More than 1 million Iraqis have died and tens of thousands of U.S. troops have been wounded or killed.
The Iraq and Afghanistan war will drag on for years unless we act now. The cost in lives and resources is criminal regardless of whether the Democrats or Republicans are in charge of the government.
We must also act to end U.S. support for Israel’s ongoing war against the Palestinian people. The Bush Administration gave the green light and provided the weapons and the money for Israel’s recent war against the Palestinian people in Gaza. More than 5,000 Palestinians were killed or wounded; the majority of casualties were civilians, including hundreds of children, in this high-tech massacre. “We the People” pay the bill as the U.S. provides $2.5 billion a year for Israel’s massive military machine.
Why We Say: Bring All the Troops Home Now Not Later!
If Bush’s war and occupation of Iraq was an illegal action of aggression—and it was—how can the new government say that it can only gradually end the war over a number of years? The Iraqis don’t want foreign military forces running their country. No one would!
The Pentagon has employed 200,000 foreign contractors (mercenaries) and 150,000 U.S. troops to maintain the occupation of Iraq. They have no right to be there. A few thousand are being brought out of Iraq only to be redeployed to occupy Afghanistan, and the fools in the media proclaim “the war is winding down.” That is not true.
President Obama decided to keep the Pentagon just as it was under Bush. He even selected Bush appointee Robert Gates to keep his position as chief of the Pentagon. Gates announced that the new administration would double the number of troops sent to Afghanistan. That is certainly not the “change” most people thought was coming following the end of Bush’s tenure.
These are wars for domination in the Middle East and Central Asia.
The people of the United States want change. We are sick and tired of wars of aggression waged abroad under false slogans of “national security.” These are wars that reap massive profits for corporate weapons-makers with the promise of winning control over the vast oil and natural gas reserves in the Middle East and Central Asia.
Working people may have another definition for “national security.” What really makes the people “insecure?” Ask the 2.3 million families who are losing their homes because they are being foreclosed when they can’t pay their steep debts to the banks. Ironically, when these same parasitic bankers couldn’t pay their debts, the federal government rushed in with a $2.5 trillion bailout using our tax dollars.
Or ask working-class students who are being laid off from their jobs just as tuition costs soar out of reach. What defines “security” for millions of young people whose future is at stake? Do they want tax dollars spent to kill poor people abroad or to finance education?
We will march on Saturday, March 21, the sixth anniversary of the start of the Iraq invasion, to demand that taxpayer dollars be used to meet people’s needs—here and everywhere. This year’s real Pentagon war budget will top $1 trillion.
This amount could create 10 million jobs, provide healthcare and education for all, rebuild New Orleans, and repair much of the damage done in Iraq, Afghanistan and Palestine. We need money for jobs, housing, health care and education, not for wars of aggression.
The occupation of Iraq alone costs $12 billion each month. This amounts to $400 million each day, $16.7 million per hour and $278,000 per minute.
The Pentagon war machine does not act in our interests. Its wars benefit the biggest corporations and banks that seek to control the markets and riches of the Middle East. The people of Iraq, Afghanistan and Palestine are not our enemies. They want to live free from colonial-type domination. Only a people’s movement demanding an end to U.S. wars and militarism can win justice for people here and abroad.
Go to PentagonMarch.org for details about transportation, meetings and to get involved. Buses will be traveling to Washington, D.C. from across the country.