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Scenes from the "March on the Pentagon" Rally


 

 

 

Protesters march to Pentagon, call to end Iraq war

WASHINGTON (AP) — Hundreds of war protesters from across the country gathered in Washington on Saturday to mark the sixth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq.

Organizers from the ANSWER Coalition said more than 1,000 groups sponsored the protest to call for an end to the Iraq war. Holding signs that read "We need jobs and schools, not war" and "Stop the war!" they rallied around noon across the street from the Lincoln Memorial and by 1:30 p.m., were beginning to march across the Memorial Bridge to the Pentagon.

Protesters demanded that President Barack Obama immediately withdraw all U.S. troops from Iraq, saying thousands of Iraqis have died and thousands of American troops have been wounded or killed.

Protesters lined up about 100 cardboard coffins on the ground draped with flags, including the American flag, representing countries where the U.S. has taken military action.

Anti-war activists said even though former President George W. Bush is out of power, they are disappointed with what they see as stalled action from Obama. Several of them said they supported Obama during his campaign, but that his administration has let them down by not ending the war sooner.

"Obama seems to be led somewhat by the bureaucracies. I want him to follow up on his promise to end the war," said 66-year-old Perry Parks of Rockingham, N.C., who served in the Army for nearly 30 years, including in Vietnam. "But the longer it goes, the more it seems like he's stalling."

Obama has said he plans to withdraw roughly 100,000 troops by the summer of 2010. He promises to pull the last of the U.S. troops by the end of 2011, which is in accord with a deal Iraqis signed with Bush.

A small group of veterans and parents of soldiers holding American flags gathered near the Vietnam Veterans Memorial for a counter protest. Ron Kirby, of Alexandria, Va., was one of them.

"We're for victory. When our president and Congress send our men and women to war, they send them there to win or else don't send them at all," said Kirby, a Vietnam veteran.

Kirby said he thought the anti-war protest was sending the wrong message, and added that the country would not be at war unless the government believed it would be victorious. He added that he supported Obama's plan for a gradual withdrawal of troops, because an immediate withdrawal would thwart efforts to restore freedom in Iraq, he said.

James Circello disagreed.

Circello of Washington served in the Army from March 2003 until April 2004, when he said he deserted before his unit was deployed to Afghanistan. Circello, 30, said he left because of what he called the destruction the U.S. caused in Iraq.

"I was forced to remove people from their homes," he said. Circello turned himself in to authorities in 2007 and was administratively discharged, he said.

He said he participated in the Saturday protest to show his solidarity with the troops and the Iraqi people.

"We want to show the Iraqi people that we are not in line with the government, whether Bush or Obama, and we want immediate withdrawal of troops," he said. "Just because a new popular president comes into power, it's not going to stop us from demonstrating."

Among other concerns protesters raised, they criticized continued troop presence in Afghanistan and called for an end to U.S. support of Israel's military.

Taxpayer dollars should be used not for war but for domestic job-creation, health care, housing and education, demonstrators said.

This year, the protest was held on a weekend — a few days after the March 19 anniversary of the war, which began in 2003. Last year's weekday protest was marked by lower turnout than in previous years.

Protests also were held in Los Angeles and San Francisco.

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Thousands of screaming Ottawa citizens take to the streets telling Bush to go home, a Persona Non Grata (a person not welcome) on their soil Link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YwZiWkIaR1U

One George W. Bush, alleged mass murderer/war criminal/deceiver, attacking
Iraq on March 20, 2003, his illegal war of aggression not sanctioned by
the United Nations Security Council, his supreme crime against humanity as
defined at Nuremberg, killing deliberately over 4,100 brave American
soldiers, and over 1,000,000 innocent Iraqi citizens, these unlawful
deaths, each and every one, on his totally false pretenses, and his big
lies about Iraq, spoke in Calgary, Canada, on March 17, 2009, at the
invitation of the Calgary Chamber of Commerce, but because Bush had
already been "credibly accused" of supporting torture in Iraq and
Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Canada did have a legal obligation to deny him entry
under Canada's own Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.

The Canada law says that foreign nationals (George W. Bush) who may have
committed war crimes, crimes against peace, and crimes against humanity,
including torture, are "inadmissible" to Canada. Canadian officials
decided to ignore their own laws and permitted Bush's visit, even joking
with him on stage (Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper) about his
height.

The test isn't whether the person's been convicted, but whether there are
reasonable grounds to think that this person may have been involved.

It's now a matter of the public record that Bush was in charge of setting
up a regime of torture that spanned several parts of the globe and
resulted in horrendous injuries and death.

In view of the above information, Bush can be charged with one or more of four charges: conspiracy to
commit crimes alleged in other counts; crimes against peace; war crimes;
or, crimes against humanity.

Specific charges against Bush include the murders of over 4,100 brave
American soldiers, and over 1,000,000 innocent Iraqi citizens, the
barbaric brutality of his invasion, occupation, and detention centers, and
his use of illegal weapons.

Bush's potential visits to Canada can be banned in perpetuity
now and forever, as well as banning Bush's potential visits anywhere in
the world, precisely because Bush does not and never did represent the
best interests and values of our United States, his imperial
(dictatorship) presidency, which he openly advocated ("as long as I'm the
dictator, ha, ha), a horrifying abomination to a freedom and peaceful
loving nation of Americans dedicated to their Constitution, the rule of
law, and the dignity of a single human life.

Reference:

1. A "hidden global internment network" intended for secret detention and
interrogation and set up by the Central Intelligence Agency under
authority granted directly by President George W. Bush in a "memorandum of
understanding" signed on September 17, 2001..The secret internment network
of "black sites" had its own air force and its own distinctive "transfer
procedures", which were, according to the writers of the International
Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) report, "fairly standardized in most
cases", Link http://www.nybooks.com/articles/22530

2. Former prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi declares, in his opinion, Bush has
gotten away with murder, thousands of murders, and we, the American
people, can't let him get away with it, Link
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=73KIpzrUXI8

3. Bush deliberately and deceptively made 232 false statements about
weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and another 28 false statements about
Iraq's links to Al Qaeda and 9/11 in his orchestrated campaign of
deception on his path to war with Iraq on his false pretenses, Link
http://projects.publicintegrity.org/WarCard/

People who go to war for empire are not brave. Usually they are so dumb or so cowardly that they follow the orders of leaders who are nothing more than criminals. These criminals, if they were engaged in common crime or even "mass murder", would be prosecuted and punished. Instead our mass murderers are egged on by the media and we are told that they have the right to perpetrate their crimes.

Meanwhile, and just to add to the fun, they are bankrupting our country. Don't worry about them though. They have off-shore banks for their money.
4Peace

P.S. I enjoyed the video.

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Speaking Events

January 10 and 11:
Events in Washington DC to present a petition telling president elect to end wars:
https://act.rootsaction.org/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=12501

January 20-21 Occupy the Inauguration
 
January 29 David Swanson speaking in Arlington, Va.
 
February David Swanson debating a war supporter in Boston, Mass.
 
April 21-23 UNAC's annual conference in Richmond, Va.

April 29 possible multi-issue protest in DC.

Find Events Here.

 

 

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