Saturday, August 21, 2010

American opinion firm against Iraq War

More than half the country thinks history will judge the Iraq War to have been a mistake, according to the results of a survey released Friday.
Fifty-three percent of respondents said the conflict will be deemed either a "total failure" or "mostly a failure" -- roughly the same as the 51 percent of respondents who answered that way in 2006, pollsters at Gallup reported.

The above is from Mike Lillis' "Poll: Majority say history will deem Iraq war a failure" (The Hill). Tom Diemer (Politics Daily) adds, "The war, launched in 2003 by President George W. Bush, is viewed as a "mistake" by 78 percent of the Democrats surveyed, while 67 percent of the Republicans questioned say the invasion wasn't the wrong move. Similarly, on the history question, 70 percent of the Democrats say it will go down as a failure, while 60 percent of Republicans think the war will be judged successful." (This poll and the similar AP poll released Friday were noted in yesterday's snapshot.) And the reality is that the Iraq War has not ended. Fort Gordon held a send off (link contains video) for 110 soldiers deploying to Iraq. And Bill Van Auken (WSWS) reported earlier this week:

Despite the growing crisis in Iraq, the Obama administration has continued to tout the troop withdrawals as the fulfillment of the president’s campaign promise to bring the Iraq war to a close and to insist, against the evidence, that security in the country is improving.
Iraq remains “firmly on track,” White House spokesman Bill Burton told reporters on Tuesday. “And we’re confident that we’re moving toward the end of our combat mission.”
He dismissed the acrimonious sectarian divide that the abortive attempts to form a new government are exacerbating. “The fact that there is a lot of competition for who is going to be running that country is a good thing,” said the spokesman.
The reality is that the 50,000 US troops remaining in the country, supposedly to “advise” and “train” Iraqi forces, remain combat ready, and the country’s air space and shores remain under the control of the US military, with no indication that they will be ceded to the Iraqis any time soon.

Earlier this week, an Iraq War veteran apparently took his own life after apparently killing his family. WJFW reports that the late Matthew Magdzas is thought to have "killed his 26-year-old wife April Oles-Magdzas and their 13-month-old Lila" and the families three dogs.

The following community sites -- plus Washington Week, Jane Fonda and Ralph Nader -- updated last night and today:


News Release
WASHINGTON--Today the former head of the Palestinian negotiating team
asserted the rigth of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes.
Dr. Haidar Abdel Shafi, who led the Palestinian delegation to the Madrid and
Washington talks said that Palestinians "evicted out by terrorism and
force" should be allowed back to their homes. "This is a matter that should go
to the conscience of the world--and the democratic world especially."
Saying that "the refugee issue is the heart and the core of the problem,"
Abdel Shafi, a physician from Gaza and widely-respected Palestinian
leader, called on the Palestinian Authority to include "the issue of the
Palestinian refugees on the basis of resolution 194" in the negotiations.
Abdel Shafi was joined by Francis Boyle, professor of International Law
at the University of Illinois, who served as legal advisor to the
Palestinian delegation. He also cited UN Security Council resolution's 194, passed
in 1948 and calling for the return of the refugees at the "earliest
practicable date."
In response to a question, Abdel Shafi replied that the current
Palestinian leadership "will disqualify itself" if it were to sign away the right to
Buttressing his case for the right of Palestinians to return to their
homes, Boyle cited U.S. policy favoring family reunification of Soviet Jews and
compensation for losses resulting from the Nazi holocaust. He also
noted that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights asserts "everyone has the
right to return to his country."
Boyle, who provided legal assistance to the Bosnians and Kosovar Albanians,
also cited the precedent of "Bosnian refugees to return to their homes
in the aftermath of the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia. "The Palestinians
should have the same right to go back to their homes".
Citing Yugoslavia and apartheid South Africa as examples, Boyle warned
that "if Israel refuses to implement resolution 194, it will jeopardize its
membership in the United Nations" and risk various sanctions.
Boyle called the current circumstance "a remarkable opportunity for
peace in the Middle East--if the U.S. and Israel show a commitment to
international law."
Palestinians are the largest refugee population in the world, many
continue to live in refugee camps in Lebanon, Syria and the occupied territories.
Approximately 750,000 were driven from their homes in 1948. Remarks
were made at a news conference organized by CPRR.

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thomas friedman is a great man

oh boy it never ends