March 20: The World Still Says No To War
In his memoirs, "A World Transformed," written 5 years ago, George Bush, Senior, wrote the following to explain why he didn't go after Saddam Hussein at the end of the Gulf War: "Trying to eliminate Saddam...would have incurred incalculable human and political costs. Apprehending him was probably impossible.... We would have been forced to occupy Baghdad and, in effect, rule Iraq.... there was no viable "exit strategy" we could see, violating another of our principles. Furthermore, we had been self-consciously trying to set a pattern for handling aggression in the post-Cold War world. Going in and occupying Iraq, thus unilaterally exceeding the United Nations' mandate, would have destroyed the precedent of international response to aggression that we hoped to establish. Had we gone the invasion route, the United States could conceivably still be an occupying power in a bitterly hostile land."New York, NY--On Saturday, March 20, upwards of 2 million people took to the streets around the world to protest the one-year anniversary of the invasion of Iraq. People in more than 60 countries throughout the world - from Japan to South Korea to Spain to Australia to South Africa - called for an end to the occupation, which they believe is only increasing violence and insecurity in Iraq. The March 20 global day of protest surpassed the expectations of its organizers, both in terms of the number of cities and countries that organized events and the number of people who took to the streets. Under the banner, The World Still Says No To War, at least 300 U.S. cities and towns held anti-war events on Saturday, as did more than 275 other cities throughout the world. In the United States, notable protests included a 100,000-person march and rally in New York City, and a similar event in San Francisco attended by more than 50,000.
In Crawford, Texas, where President George Bush owns a ranch and often vacations, 1,000 protesters converged to repudiate his militaristic policies and call for a diversion of the billions of dollars that are being spent on war to domestic programs like schools, health clinics, and unemployment benefits. Military families and veterans led a protest that drew 1,500 to Fayetteville, North Carolina, outside the Fort Bragg military base. ï¿½In Rome, one million people took to the streets, in the largest single protest of the day. In Spain, demonstrations took place in more than 40 cities around the country, bringing hundreds of thousands out into the streets for the second time since the terrorist attacks that killed more than 200 Spaniards and injured 1500. London and Tokyo held protests drawing ï¿½tens of thousands of participants. "The unprovoked war against Iraq was a terrible tragedy for the Iraqi people, thousands of whom were killed during the last year, and for the close to 600 U.S. soldiers who also lost their lives and thousands of others who've been injured," said Leslie Cagan of United for Peace and Justice."It's time to hold our government accountable for the chaos it's created in Iraq - and for the fact that the Bush administration lied about the Iraqi threat to convince the American public of the need for war."