June 13, 2006
Iraq Debate Update
By Perry Willis


Today's Downsizer-Dispatch . . .

Zaqawri is dead. One down, how many to go? That's the problem isn't it? Our occupation in Iraq has been sold as being somehow part of the "war" on terrorism. But there's a very real question as to whether we may be creating more terrorists than we're killing.

One aspect of this relates to how they killed Zaqawri. They did it with a smart bomb, fired long distance. But what if their intelligence about Zaqawri's location had been wrong? It's happened before.

Remember all those smart bombs they dropped on reported Sadamm Hussein hiding places? Hussein wasn't hiding in any of them. So who did those bombs kill instead? Friends or foes? And how many new foes (terrorists!) have we created by accidentaly killing the loved ones of those who had previously meant us no harm?

Two days ago we listed a series of lessons human beings have repeatedly failed to learn. Surely one such lesson is that armed conflicts where friends cannot be distinguished from foes often lead to civilian massacres and are very difficult to win.

It happened to the U.S. in the Philippines following the Spanish-American War, and again in Vietnam. Then it happened to the Soviets in Afghanistan. And now it's happening to the U.S. yet again in Iraq. The recent massacre in Haditha is the latest example.

It seems that the Marines accused of the recent massacre in Haditha may have been seeking revenge for the loss of close friends. But if Americans can react that way, so can Iraqis. How many Iraqis who have lost love ones because of our intervention will now become anti-American terrorists to seek revenge?

It's a crucial question. Are we really fighting terrorism in Iraq, or simply creating new terrorists? And can we really afford a policy where the costs are so high, the risks so great, and the benefits so dubious?

The federal deficit has risen to nearly half a trillion dollars, largely because of Iraq. Is it really clear that we're gaining anything from our investment of money and blood? Congress has a Constitutional responsibility to debate these questions, and not just hide and watch as the costs mount. Fortunately . . .

The number of Representatives who have signed the discharge petition (H.Res. 543) to permit a floor debate on Iraq has risen from 95 to 122. We need another 96. Many Representatives are feeling the pressure to take some kind of action on Iraq. The pressure from DC Downsizers appears to be making a difference. Congress needs to feel more of it. Please send a message to your Representative asking him or her to sign the H. Res. 543 discharge petition. You can do so here.

Thank you for being a DC Downsizer.

Perry Willis Communications Director, Inc.

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