Gray Panthers of San Francisco
January 2006 Newsletter

War and Peace Committee:
Proposed "withdrawal" plans mean
a bigger air war, "enduring" bases, and repositioning of troops


War & Peace Committee Report

It is heartening to see wide exposure in recent days of Bush administration wrongs—abuse of prisoners, spying on the American public, war profiteering, manipulation and fabrication of the news. And the popularity of the war in Iraq is clearly on the wane: 80% of Iraqis and 50% of Americans want withdrawal of troops. Under cover of allowing the country to “fulfill its own destiny,” the administration has begun to discuss U.S. troop withdrawal.

But it appears the troop withdrawal will be accompanied by a stepped-up air war. “Quick, deadly airstrikes by U.S. warplanes are seen as a way to improve dramatically the combat capability of even the weakest Iraqi combat units,” according to Seymour Hersh in the 12-05-05 The New Yorker. Not that the air war isn’t deadly already. Dahr Jamail writes on TomDispatch that in November, 996 sorties were flown in Iraq. In November 2004, Navy and Marine aircraft dropped over 26 tons of ordnance in Fallujah alone.

And what of the 14 permanent bases and the largest U.S. embassy in the world which are under construction in Iraq? Barbara Lee has introduced a resolution declaring that it be U.S. policy not to have permanent military bases in Iraq (H. Con. Res. 197), but it does not withdraw funding or bind the administration in any other way. Although it has 34 co-sponsors, our own Rep. Pelosi is not among them.

The pressure to get out of Iraq must continue: in letters, emails, phone calls, articles, and on the streets. and other groups have called for January 7 town meetings across the country on the war. How much longer can we keep spending 48% of our national budget on the military? How about a check-off box on our tax forms saying where the money should go? (In your dreams!)

Read the Seymour Hersh New Yorker about stepping up the air war.

Read Dahr Jamail on the air war in Iraq.

Read Dahr Jamail on slaughter of civilians in Falluja.

Read the Friends Committee on National Legislation report on plans for 14 "enduring" bases in Iraq to be left in place after "withdrawal"


(back to January 2006 Newsletter front page)