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Letter from America

2007 so far has been a sad episode in the American story of the Iraq war. Last November, the clear result of the mid-term election was a mandate to the president and congress that enough was enough and it was time to disengage in Iraq.

Today, although a majority of Americans believe that we should get out of Iraq and that we’re no safer as a result of our involvement in the conflict, congress was unable to out-maneuver the rhetoric coming from the White House and ended up delivering a no-strings-attached funding bill stretching the surge out to September, at which time the president is to deliver a report to congress. Senator Kerry cynically noted that he could write this report today – it will be full of the same lame platitudes about progress in fighting the war on terror that we’ve been hearing for the past 4 years.

What hurt more was that this was the last straw for popular anti-war protester Cindy Sheehan. In her resignation note on the Daily Kos blog, she lamented…
‘The most devastating conclusion that I reached this morning, however, was that Casey did indeed die for nothing…. Casey died for a country which cares more about who will be the next American Idol than how many people will be killed in the next few months while Democrats and Republicans play politics with human lives.’

But we disagree with Cindy – and she is not alone - a strong majority of Americans (over 2/3) supports her position. Yes, there is a tiny but loud minority still calling anti-war protesters unpatriotic, but the more moderate war supporters have already turned against the war. Yet, despite pleas from the Democratic Party leadership that this is the best they could do, it is terribly painful to accept that realpolitik will cause the deaths of another 300, 400 or perhaps 500 Americans (and Britons and other members of the Coalition) along with thousands of Iraqis.

Cindy Sheehan in more optimistic mood

Joe Falcone & Karri Kaiser
Community activists from Half Moon Bay, California

Nuclear Free Scotland Magazine - June 2007

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