We fervently ask you to use all possible political and diplomatic pressure to quickly and completely end the occupation of Iraq. Though none of us know what the future will bring, we do know this: our service members are tired of an occupation seemingly without end, and they want to return home to their families.
And when our brave men and women return home, they need to be given full benefits, and adequate healthcare (including mental health) to repair their physical and emotional wounds. They deserve no less, and we as a country owe that care to them.
We also call on you not to ignore the humanitarian crises of enormous proportion that the Iraqi people continue to endure. Over four million Iraqis have been displaced or become refugees since the U.S. invasion of their country. Iraqi deaths are most accurately estimated at over 600,000 people, with many hundreds of thousands more having suffered physical and emotional injuries. The Iraqi people will be coping with the aftermath of our unjustifiable invasion and occupation of their country for generations to come. IVAW believes that it is the duty of our country to pay reparations to the Iraqi people for the damage we have caused to their lives, infrastructure, and culture.
We acknowledge the shift in focus from the war in Iraq to the war in Afghanistan. At the same time, Afghan President Karzai is calling for a change in strategy and Afghan families are mourning the deaths of their loved ones who have been killed in U.S. air strikes. We encourage you to listen to the Afghan people and U.S. veterans of that conflict before making any decision to escalate military force there.
Friday, November 07, 2008
IVAW's Open Letter to President Obama