BRING OREGON'S TROOPS HOME
End the US Occupation of Iraq
January 20, 2005 Inauguration day
Citizens of Oregon, including families of soldiers, are calling for Governor Ted Kulongoski to bring
Oregon's troops home. According to the Oregon Blue Book, "By virtue of office, the governor is the
peacetime commander-in-chief of the militia and may issue lawful regulations for its governance."
This means that absent a formal declaration of war, the President cannot call up the National Guard,
or the reserves, without his compliance. The war in Iraq was not declared and, as has been proven by
the lack of evidence of an Al Qaida-Saddam Hussein link, is not part of the so-called "War on
Terror" which has been used to justify the war on Afghanistan and other "emergency" measures.
While polls show a 56 percent of Americans feel the war in Iraq is "not worth fighting" (Washington
Post, December 21), 56 percent also feel the troops should stay (Associated Press, December 21).
Here are some reasons that both may be true. See how you feel once you have the facts:
MYTH: "WE HAVE TO STAY THERE OR THERE WILL BE CIVIL WAR"
A civil war in Iraq, projected to be along ethnic lines among the Kurds in the north, the Shiites in the
south, and the Sunnis in central Iraq, is becoming more likely due to U.S. pressure to hold elections
on the arbitrary deadline of January 30. Because several major Sunni groups have asked for the
election to be delayed while the U.S. insists on its own timeline, the result may be an election in which
a significant minority of the population is not represented.
The Nobel peace prize-winning organization American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) states:
"We are convinced that the presence of U.S. troops is a destabilizing force in the region and
contributes to the increasing loss of life" (December 22).
MYTH: "NOBODY IS CALLING FOR THE TROOPS TO COME HOME"
In addition to the AFSC, more unlikely sources have begun to call for a U.S. withdrawal. USA Today
founder Al Neuharth, a World War II veteran, wrote in a December 23 column that "the best way to
support our troops thrust by unwise commanders- in-chief into ill-advised adventures like Vietnam
and Iraq is to bring them home. Sooner rather than later. That should be our New Year's resolution."
Republican U.S. Representative Howard Cable of Greensboro, NC, a "close ally of President Bush,"
voted to give Bush the power to attack Iraq but now says "What we have are Iraqis killing Iraqis and
American troops,...a troop withdrawal ought to be an option." Republican Rep. James A. Leach of
Iowa stated over a year ago that "the United States should begin a withdrawal that would be complete
by the end of 2004" (Associated Press, January 9).
Meanwhile, the "Coalition of the Willing" continues to lose support, as Spain withdrew its troops in
April, and Hungary, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania announced
plans to take troops out in the coming months (Associated Press, November 4) and the Ukraine's
newly-elected leader Viktor Yushchenko stated that withdrawing troops was a high priority for his
new administration (Agence France-Presse, January 10).
NO WMDS: One of the major justifications for the invasion of Iraq was proven false when
Duelfer officially ended the search for weapons of mass destruction in December (Retuers, January
MYTH: "SOLDIERS ON THE FRONT LINES BELIEVE IN THE MISSION"
A Military Times poll taken in December shows only 66 percent of combat veterans of Iraq say the
war is "worth fighting," with the overall support among the military at 60 percent (USA Today,
December 27). Incidentally, 75 percent of the military members polled oppose a draft.
MYTH: THE CASUALTIES IN THIS WAR ARE NOT AS BAD AS OTHER WARS
On January 4, the military acknowledged that 10,252 soldiers have been wounded in Iraq, while (at
that time) 1335 troops had died (Associated Press, January 4). This casualty rate is similar to and
perhaps higher than the early years of the war in VietNam, adjusting for advancements in medical and
other technology (Slate Magazine, December 27). The Department of Defense admits that far more
troops have been evacuated from combat for various health-related reasons: "More than 15,000 troops
with so-called 'non-battle' injuries and diseases have been evacuated from Iraq" (CBS-TV, November
Meanwhile, figures for wounded Iraqis are not available, but the number of Iraqi dead due to the US
invasion and occupation is likely between 15,229 (iraqbodycount.org, January 11) and 100,000 (The
Lancet, a British medical journal, October 29).
MYTH: THOSE RESPONSIBLE FOR TORTURING IRAQI PRISONERS ARE BEING
While some of the lower-level soldiers who abused Iraqis in the Abu Ghraib prison have been
sentenced and others are on trial, those who created the atmosphere and/or directly ordered the torture
are not even under investigation. Alberto Gonzales, who wrote the infamous memo dismissing the
Geneva Convention on torture as "quaint," has been nominated by President Bush to rise from White
House counsel to Attorney General.
Documents released to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in December indicated that a two-
page FBI e-mail references an Executive Order in which the President directly authorized
interrogation techniques including sleep deprivation, stress positions, the use of military dogs, and
"sensory deprivation through the use of hoods, etc." The May, 2004 e-mail was sent from "On Scene
Commander--Baghdad" to a handful of senior FBI officials, and "notes that the FBI has prohibited
its agents from employing the techniques that the President is said to have authorized" (ACLU,