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Veterans for Peace
Chapter #114
Sheboygan, Wisconsin

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Iraq 3rd Anniversay

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March 17, 2006   THE SHEBOYGAN PRESS, LETTER TO THE EDITOR

On Monday, we Americans will mark a sad milestone, the third anniversary of our invasion of Iraq.

Predicated on a more questionable rationale than the Tonkin Gulf incident, the Bush administration rushed us into war in spite of requests from UN inspectors for more time, the objections and non-cooperation of most of the community of nations and the protests of millions of Americans across the U.S.

Although we were already involved in one war chasing a few hundred criminals living in tents across Afghanistan with a division of soldiers this administration, short on any real military experience, set its sights on Iraq. Iraq, once close ally of the U.S., praised by the Reagan White House and Rush Limbaugh, third largest oil reserve on the planet that Iraq. Erroneous connections were made between Hussein and 9/11, al Qaeda and the existence of WMDs aimed at the homeland.

What have we gotten for three years of war? Over 2,200 GIs killed and tens of thousands wounded physically and mentally. The English medical journal Lancet estimates 100,000 Iraqis killed, mostly women and children. We do not keep a body count this time.

According to the UN, the public health service in that country is "near total collapse," due to lack of facilities (bombed out hospitals), and medical supplies. Since the war began, 50 percent of all rural homes do not have access to potable water, and urbanites are finding their drinking water contaminated with sewage. The World Health Organization tells us that more than half the people in Iraq are subsisting on a "starvation diet," and that child and infant mortality has increased six-fold.

In our country, we have gone from budget surpluses to multi-trillion dollar debt. President Bush seems to be working on an exit strategy, unfortunately it involves going through Iran.

There will be a gathering in Fountain Park on Saturday, from 4 to 6:30 p.m. It will focus on the cost of this war human, financial and moral. It will mourn the dead on both sides of the conflict. A concert for peace will follow, featuring local musicians and students, to be held at the Franklin Haus, off county Highway A, west of Howards Grove and south of Lakeland College. Music will begin at 7:30 p.m.

I thank God, that we can still voice our dissent against the war.

TOM CONTRESTAN

[Ed: To review or add your online comments to the letter while it remains available to a viewing public, click here.]

 
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