Mar 7, 2011
The U.S. is “very open to a continuing presence (in Iraq) ...,” U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates stated at a recent congressional hearing. And about the same time, Lieutenant General David Rodriguez, the second highest U.S. commander in Afghanistan, told reporters on a tour there, “We’re never going to get rid of the insurgency (in Afghanistan) in the next three years. We’re never going to finish off the criminal patronage networks.... But we can decrease them all. And we can control them.”
In other words, they intend to be in Afghanistan for three more years! And then, how many more years of war did he think it would take after that? He didn’t say.
In other words, top military men and political leaders are admitting that these wars are not going to be over quickly, as Obama hinted earlier. The bloody slaughter of hundreds of thousands of men, women and children will continue. The horrifying destruction of their homes, fields, roads, bridges and other infrastructure will continue – with no end in sight.
And there is a terrible, if less devastating cost of these wars here in the U.S. Thousands of young working class sons and daughters – and not-so-young mothers and fathers have already been killed. Tens of thousands of others have returned from these wars permanently disabled, physically and mentally. Trillions of dollars are being spent to finance these wars – lately about 700 million dollars a day! This money is being drained from social services and programs that are more badly needed now than ever before.
These wars are clearly against the interests of ordinary people in Iraq and Afghanistan and against the interests of ordinary people here, too. That’s why people over there keep on fighting and demanding the withdrawal of all foreign troops from their countries. That’s why working people here should demand an immediate end to these wars, too. We must make it clear to everyone that we stand with the people of these countries against this madness. We must demonstrate that we do not wish to be implicated in the bloody efforts of U.S. imperialism to continue its stranglehold over the peoples and resources of the entire world.
On Saturday, March 19, anti-war demonstrations are scheduled in Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, Chicago and many other cities. Working people should attend and make our voices heard.