Leslie Cagan, United for Peace & Justice
In a little over a month, the U.S. will have been occupying Iraq for 5 years. It's hard to believe.
Even when looking at the awful numbers -- more than 1 million Iraqis and nearly 4,000 U.S. servicepeople killed, 2 million Iraqis living as refugees in other countries, with another 2.5 million displaced within Iraq, more than 1 trillion dollars spent -- I find it difficult to grasp what 5 years really means. What is the full sum of the destruction and suffering that has taken place? And what does it mean for the future of our country and our world?
What I do know is that 5 years has also meant 5 years of vigils, 5 years of marching, 5 years of calling, writing and visiting members of Congress, 5 years of nonviolent civil disobedience -- every single day, by local groups and individuals like you in every community in the country.
The great majority of the people of this country are with us, yet policymakers in Washington have still not used their power to bring the troops home. Every day that war and occupation continues in Iraq and Afghanistan, it becomes ever clearer that we the people are the ones who must compel an end to the war.
That is why we are coming together to mark the 5th anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq in as powerful a way as possible. We believe that the activities United for Peace and Justice is organizing and supporting -- the Winter Soldier hearings, mass nonviolent direct action in Washington DC, and local actions all around the country -- have the potential to make a powerful statement ... but only with your participation and support.
There are some who want to push Iraq off the table until after the elections this fall. We can't let that happen -- there's too much at stake. We must be as active, creative, visible and vocal as possible in order to keep Iraq and our demands prominent in the national discourse throughout the electoral season and beyond. Now is the time to stop funding the war and to bring all the troops home!
Please join us: www.5yearstoomany.org.