In early May, the Bush Administration declared the victorious
end of war in Iraq. Yet military violence and occupation by
“coalition forces” continue in many areas. The cost of the war is
still being paid with lives and billions of dollars. To supplement
the $79 billion already allocated, President Bush has asked for $87
billion more for the occupation.
If the war on Iraq is over, then why are Iraqi people and people
in the U.S. being asked to pay more?
The U.S. claimed that the primary intention of the war was “to
liberate the Iraqi people.” Instead, the U.S. has become an
occupying force trying to impose its own interests upon the Iraqi
people. By saying that the U.S. is “rebuilding” the Iraq that was
destroyed by the massive bombing and over a decade of U.N.
sanctions, imperialism is masquerading as assistance.
The installation of U.S. companies as the base of Iraq’s economy
blatantly displays the United States’ goal of using Iraq to profit
U.S. corporations and its shareholders. The U.S. government says
they are working with the Iraqi people to let them create their own
form of leadership but this is not true. The Iraqi people have had
no say in the formation of the post-Saddam Hussein government.
Moreover, Iraqi women have not fared well at all, according to a
report in the Financial Times.
And what about the impact of the war on Iraq, along with the war
in Afghanistan and the general “war on terrorism,” on the domestic
front? Military spending in the fiscal year 2004 federal budget is
nearly $400 billion (well over a billion dollars a day) and
constitutes more than half the discretionary budget.
This increase in military spending is at the expense of funding
for education, health, environment, national infrastructure
improvements, and other necessities. Closer to the Mills campus,
one billion dollars could pay tuition, room and board, and fees for
over 27,000 undergraduate and 37,000 graduate students at Mills
As human casualties mount, money is drained out, and the
environmental impact of war multiplies, we must recognize that war
in Iraq is far from being over.
What then is our role as Mills women and concerned human beings
who care deeply about the future of this planet?
Come find out at the “When Is War Over?” Teach-in at the Suzanne
Adams Plaza, Oct. 23, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Then join our group
to attend the “End the Occupation” march and rally in San Francisco
on Oct. 25.