Peace and Justice Works
"End 25 Years of Killing: US Out of Iraq"
Friday Rally and March w/Portland Peaceful Response Coalition
Pioneer Courthouse Square, SW Yamhill and Broadway
Three wars, millions of lives, and 25 years later, the United States
continues its military and economic intervention in the country of Iraq. More info • Flyer
Friday, January 15, 2016
Pioneer Courthouse Square, SW Yamhill and Morrison
Three wars, millions of lives, and 25 years later, the United States continues its military and economic intervention in the country of Iraq.
Join Peace and Justice Works Iraq Affinity Group and Portland Peaceful Response Coalition (PPRC) in remembering the date that "Gulf War Part I" began in 1991 with an expanded PPRC Friday Rally on January 15, starting at a special early time, 4:30 PM at Pioneer Courthouse Square, SW Yamhill and Morrison (tentative location).
In 1991, President George HW Bush gave Saddam Hussein a deadline of January 15-- Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday-- to withdraw Iraqi troops from neighboring Kuwait. The next day, January 16, the US began one of the most intense bombing campaigns in history, eventually driving Iraqi forces out of the Emirate (and strafing retreating Iraqi troops on the "Highway of Death"). The US continued killing Iraqis directly through enforcing "no-fly zones" in Northern and Southern Iraq, and a bombing campaign in late 1998 launched while President Clinton was facing impeachment. The unprecedented sanctions put in place after Iraq's 1990 invasion of Kuwait decimated Iraq, causing the deaths of at least half a million children, which Secretary of State Madeleine Albright acknowledged in a CBS interview, stating "the price... we think the price is worth it."
The sanctions were finally lifted, for the most part, after the US bombed and invaded Iraq starting on March 19, 2003 (Iraq War part II) in a mission dubbed "shock and awe." Thousands upon thousands of Iraqis were killed not only by the US bombing and invading forces, but by sectarian strife triggered by the killing of Saddam Hussein and the dismantling of the existing government. These actions led to the rise of both Al Qaeda in Iraq and the Islamic State. At least 4800 American soldiers died in the effort, which left Iraq in more chaos than it had been in before the invasion. Although most American troops were withdrawn in December 2011, at least 200 remained, in part to guard the world's largest embassy-- the US embassy in Baghdad.
On August 8, 2014, the US began bombing Iraq for the third time in 25 years, ostensibly to support Iraq's fight against the Islamic State.
Dozens of Iraqi civilians have been reported killed by the air campaign, and despite the promise of "no boots on the ground," at least 3500 American soldiers, acting as "advisors" and "special operations forces,"
are back in the country. The US began similarly bombing Syria several weeks later, the main difference being there is no formal relationship between the US and Syrian governments and the US has a stated goal of regime change there.
In Portland, the Coalition Against US Military Intervention in the Middle East (CAUSMIME) rallied 12,000 people in Pioneer Courthouse Square on January 12, 1991, days before the war broke out. CAUSMIME also held weekly Friday rallies in Pioneer Courthouse Square for several months before and after the war began, an inspiration to the Portland Peaceful Response Coalition rallies which have continued weekly since November 2001. The Coalition continued protesting the war and putting on educational forums after the 1991 shooting war ended in late February, dissolving about a year later. At about the same time, Peace and Justice Works was formed including its Iraq Affinity Group.
The January 2016 event is endorsed by Portland Close Guantanamo Coalition.
For more information, to get involved or to cosponsor/endorse the event contact Peace and Justice Works at 503-236-3065; this information is posted and will be updated.
* Historical documents: 25 Years in Iraq:
Article on 1/12/91 March
About Portland's 1991 Coalition
1991 Weekly Friday Rally
Flyer for 2/16/91 Rally and March