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Obama considers “Range of other options”, anti-war activists respond “US hands off Iraq!”

Emergency protests being planned
By Tom Burke |
June 14, 2014
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Chicago, IL—With sectarian militants seizing cities and towns across northern Iraq and threatening war on Bagdad, President Obama announced on June 13, “We will not be sending US troops back into combat in Iraq, but I have asked my national security team to prepare a range of other options.” In response, antiwar leaders in the US are speaking out against US intervention and mobilizing people to protest US war moves.

Jess Sundin of the Minnesota Anti-War Committee said, “Traveling in Baghdad in the midst of the US sanctions regime back in 1998, I witnessed both the devastation caused by the first US Gulf War and sanctions, and at the same time, the resilience of the Iraqi people, who were warm, generous, and united against US intervention at that time. The sectarian conflict, plaguing Iraq today, is borne out of the US invasion and occupation of 2003. US intervention today will only serve to deepen the crisis in Iraq. The Iraqi people have never benefited from any bomb dropped on them by American pilots. They never have, and they never will.”

Sundin spoke directly to President Obama’s announcement, “The anti-war movement is taking the threats of US intervention very seriously. Here in Minneapolis, we have a plan for emergency protests if the Obama Administration carries out any bombing strikes. Now is the time to speak out – stop this war before it starts again. US hands off Iraq!”

In Chicago, where 15,000 people protested the NATO Summit in 2012, Kait McIntyre with the Antiwar Committee Chicago reflected, “As someone who came to the antiwar movement as a student in 2007 opposing the Iraq & Afghanistan wars, I find it horrific how easily the US government has forgotten the damage it caused in Iraq. When Obama says “other options”, does he mean drone attacks and air force bombings that do not differentiate their victims? We need to protest US war threats. For antiwar forces in the US, we must remember not only what our government has done but also what we, as a movement, can accomplish.”

Cassia Laham of People’s Opposition to War, Imperialism, and Racism (POWIR) in Miami said, “The anti-war movement in the US and globally needs to organize and oppose any and all US aggression, whether it is US drone strikes, NATO air strikes, or special forces on the ground. The US already destroyed much of Iraq, killing hundreds of thousands, and does not need to do any further damage. If the US attacks, POWIR will hold an emergency action in South Florida.”