to the continuation of the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars
The Iraq War began on 19 March 2003


Head of the VFP giving speech wth Bill Perry by his side and Col. Ann Wright standng behind them. Yes, it was seven years ago yesterday that "Shock & Awe" began and the Iraq War officially started. And no, as Ralph Nader said a bit later at the same podium, Iraqis are in much worse shape today than they were then.


ANSWER was the sponsor of this protest, as they were of the protests before mid-2003. United for Peace & Justice didn't get started until well after the war began. World Can't Wait started in the summer of 2005.


It was a beautiful, sunny day. We all left our coats & jackets in the bus. [From the UFPJ site:]

With the backdrop of scheduled U.S. troop withdrawals, millions of Iraqis went to the polls on March 7th in an effort to control their country’s destiny.  The Status of Forces Agreement between the U.S. and Iraq calls for U.S. troop reduction from current levels of about 96,000 to 50,000 by August 2010 and all troops exiting with no bases left behind by the end of 2011. However, there is talk from the military, national political leaders and the media that U.S. troops may have to stay longer.

on the lawn

[continued from UFPJ site]

We must not forget the occupation of Iraq. It is not over. U.S. troop presence continues impede Iraqi domestic politics from progressing. The people of Iraq cannot negotiate with each other unhampered under the threat of continued if U.S. troop presence. The Obama Administration must pull out all troops within the agreed time frame or earlier. We must push the Administration to stick to the agreement.  There are powerful people who want the troops to stay. The anti-war/peace movements must counter their influence.

Raed Jarrar provides excellent analysis of the mood in Iraq and the effects of delayed U.S. troop withdrawal possibilities:
Sliding Backwards on Iraq A Military Coup In Iraq

White House


Iran is a country that hasn’t attacked a neighbor in more than 200 years. Even when Saddam Hussein invaded Iran after the 1979 Revolution and, with support from the West, used chemical weapons against both civilians and combatants, the Islamic Republic did not retaliate in kind. And yet the U.S. government claims that Iran represents a serious threat to the Middle East region and the entire world. Without a shred of evidence, the U.S. charges that Iran's program to develop nuclear power for peaceful energy purposes is just a cover to develop nuclear weapons. Never mentioned is the fact that, as a signatory to the U.N.'s Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, Iran's right to develop nuclear energy is enshrined in international law.


Kewl sign on health care.

[ANSWER continued]

Just a few months ago, the U.N's International Atomic Energy Chief, Mohammed ElBardai, the person responsible for monitoring compliance with that treaty, stated that “Nobody is sitting in Iran today developing nuclear weapons. Tehran doesn’t have an ongoing nuclear weapons program. But somehow, everyone in the West is talking about how Iran’s nuclear program is the greatest threat to the world.” (Interview with the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Sept. 2009) Instead, warning of world disaster if Iran should succeed in its imaginary goal of obtaining nuclear arms, Washington argues that Iran must be forcefully brought to its knees, through a combination of increasingly crippling sanctions, taking advantage of Iran's internal divisions and preparing for a possible military attack.


That's fellow Delaware Valley Veterans for America member R.W. Dennen holding the flag.

From World Can't Wait about the battle of Marjah in Afghanistan:

According to NATO, the US was attempting to use its High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HiMARS) to attack some nearby insurgents. The rockets fired from the HiMARS “missed” their targets, and instead hit a crowded home 300 meters away, killing at least 12 Afghan civilians.
Officials were quick to apologize, and the HiMARS has been temporarily barred from service, but after US forces papered the region with leaflets urging civilians to “stay put” during the invasion, the killings have once again drawn uncomfortable attention to the inaccuracy of war inside a town.


Dancing away to the home-made instruments band.