Larry Kerschner Writes

Ten Reasons

Editor, The Chronicle


      After years of staying the course now the President claims he was always being flexible. He should be flexible enough to bring our troops home from Iraq now.  Here are ten reasons why we should bring these young people home.  The human cost of the war is unacceptable.  Since the invasion and occupation an estimated 650,000 innocent Iraqis have died along with 3048 occupation troops including 2810 Americans.  Hundreds of thousands have been physically and emotionally wounded.  The U.S. military occupation is a catalyst for violence.  The longer our troops are there the more Iraqis will join the resistance.  Conservative estimates say the number of resistance fighters has increased from 5,000 in November 2003 to over 20,000 today. 


      The actions taken by the U.S. have inflamed Iraqi divisions and increased the likelihood of civil war.  Three major mistakes, other than the invasion itself, were dissolving the Iraqi police and military which lead to overall insecurity, violence and looting; failing to disarm the various militias; and supporting the Shi'a demands for regional autonomy.  All of these actions increased the probability of Iraq breaking up along ethnic lines.


       The Iraqis want the U.S. military to leave.  Recent polls show that along with the end of the military occupation the Iraqis want compensation for damages caused by the invasion; the release of Iraqi prisoners; and the establishment of political and military institutions not under the influence of outside forces.   Democracy cannot flourish under a military occupation.


       The U.S. has failed to rebuild Iraq or provide for Iraqis basic needs.  The twelve years of economic sanctions caused the death of a million Iraqis more than half of them children.  Since the invasion and occupation life sustaining systems such as water and sewage plants, electricity and the health care system continue to degrade.  Of the almost $300 billion we have spent on this war so far only about $9 billion has gone toward reconstruction and much of that has evaporated due to corruption and mismanagement.


        The Iraq war and occupation wastes resources that are needed here at home for schools, healthcare, libraries, hospitals and transportation systems.  The skyrocketing Bush debt is the legacy we leave to our children and grandchildren. The U.S. occupation of  Iraq is directly destabilizing the rest of the Middle East.  Even Israel has warned that U.S. actions are threatening to the region.


        Humanitarian aid to those in need in Iraq is crippled by the occupation.  The U.S. military delivers some food and medicine to Iraqis but use those activities to gather intelligence.  This blurs the line between military and humanitarian efforts creating the misperception that aid workers are part of the military structure.


      The vast majority of the global community wants the occupation to end now.  How long will the American people put up with this deadly foolishness? Much of this information comes from the American Friends Service Committee which wants to see our children and Iraqi children have a peaceful future. Let's give peace a chance.


Larry Kerschner  POB 397 Pe Ell WA 98572  (W) 360-291-3232