Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Tom Hayden is Right–War could break out in Iraq any time again in the next months and years

Published by Tom Hayden, The Peace Exchange Bulletin is a reader-supported journal, critically following the Pentagon’s Long War in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iraq, as well as the failed U.S. wars on drugs and gangs, and U.S. military responses to nationalism and poverty around the world.

A Strategy Note


In the coming year, peace groups will have to build linkages around domestic economic and environmental issues with the AFL-CIO, the Sierra Club and insurgent movements including Wisconsin and Occupy Wall Street. For the peace movement, the purpose is to build a stronger coalition than between longtime pacifist and religious communities. And domestic movements will have to be convinced that their goals are unattainable without ending the trillion dollar wars abroad. Democrats will have to decide that winning elections requires a platform commitment to rapidly end these wars. And the peace movement will have to build a mandate for peace into the 2012 election.
The Long Wars
Possible Sectarian War in Iraq
Iraq Nationalism May Falter and Divide

The Peace Exchange Bulletin

Another war in Iraq may begin, a sectarian war spurred by Shiite revenge and reflecting the geo-political tensions of the region, Shiite versus Sunni, Iran versus Saudi Arabia. While America bears responsibility for stirring the sectarian cauldron, a next war will not be America’s to fight. Despite global pretensions, the mythic days of Laurence of Arabia, when Kipling’s heroes saved the Arabs from themselves, are over.

With Western imperialism in retreat, Iraqi nationalism may falter and divide. The actual winner of the last Iraqi election was the Iraqiya bloc whose leadership includes Ayad Allawi, a secular Shiite, former prime minister and American “asset”, supported by the vast majority of Sunnis. The Iraqiya leadership also includes Iraq’s current vice-president, Tariq al-Hashimi, and parliamentary leader Saleh al-Mutlaq. Iraqiya won 2.8 million votes (24.5%) and 91 parliamentary seats in the 2010 election, slightly more than Nuri al-Maliki’s Shiite coalition, which won 89 seats and 24.2% of the vote.

Maliki managed to maintain power, however, through consolidation of Shiite organizations, ignoring of parliament, and repression of dissidents – all accomplished under America’s watch, despite ineffective US appeals for unity.

Continue reading…
In Iraq, Peace at Last

America owes a debt of gratitude to the activists who opposed the Iraq war from the start, and who kept the pressure on.

The Peace Exchange Bulletin
A U.S. soldier walks past cables for media use before the start of ceremonies in Baghdad marking end of the American military mission in Iraq. (Mario Tama / Getty Images)
The American war in Iraq is over.

Another war in Iraq may begin, a sectarian war spurred by Shiite revenge and reflecting the geo-political tensions of the region, Shiite versus Sunni, Iran versus Saudi Arabia. While America bears responsibility for stirring the sectarian cauldron, a next war will not be America’s to fight. Despite global pretensions, the mythic days of Laurence of Arabia are over. (SEE FULL ARTICLE)

Four thousand four hundred eighty-seven Americans were killed during the war, and 32,226 wounded. We will never know exactly how many Iraqis died, because the authorities went to great lengths to cloud the numbers. The last of America’s 170,000 troops finally left Iraq under cover of secrecy, not even saying goodbye to their Iraqi allies, on December 18, thus exposing any lingering boasts of military victory as hollow.

Continue reading…
Americans Demand Withdrawal
Polling Reflects Call for Peace

As Obama pulls out of Iraq and considers the same course in Afghanistan, overwhelming majorities of Americans are with him.

On Iraq, 78 percent support Obama’s decision, including 90 percent of Democrats, 81 percent of Independents, and 58 percent of Republicans, while only 33 percent now think the Iraq War was worth fighting.(Washington Post-ABC Poll, November 6, 2011)

On Afghanistan, 62 percent of Americans say US troop levels should be decreased, while only 24 percent favored the same levels, and a marginal seven percent favor sending more troops. 38 percent of that 62 percent want “large numbers” withdrawn in one year, 24 percent want “large numbers” in one to two years. Only 18 percent want the American troops to stay “as long as it takes.” (CBS Poll, October 3, 2011)

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