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Wrexham Vigil for Iraq - pics

wpjf | 20.03.2008 09:07 | Anti-militarism | Iraq | Terror War

Eight members of Wrexham Peace & Justice Forum and Wrexham Women for Peace held a vigil on Hope Street, Wrexham yesterday afternoon to mark the 5th anniversary of the US/UK-led invasion of Iraq.

Statement from one of those taking part:

"We felt it was important to mark this anniversary to show that we have not forgotten Iraq, that we condemn the violence and destruction which has been visited on the Iraqi people by our government in our name, that we are ashamed of our country's part in this conflict.

"Immediate plans must be made for withdrawal of US and UK troops from Iraq. The occupying forces will always be seen as the aggressors - indeed they are the aggressors - and while they remain peace can never be achieved in Iraq.

"If anyone cannot see why this should be, I would ask them to imagine a scenario in which Britain had been invaded by another country on the pretext of finding weapons of mass destruction that didn't exist [Britain does have these of course, but let's forget that for now]. These invaders have bombed our cities, destroyed our infrastructure, killed a million of our people and set up military bases all over the place. Would we ever accept their claims that they needed to stay to keep the peace? I think not."

Analyst Sharat G Lin has noted that:

"On 13 March 2008, General David Petraeus, the commander of U.S. forces in Iraq, faulted Iraqi leaders for failing to make progress towards national reconciliation and provision of basic public services. Yet the fact is that the Iraqi government cannot make significant progress on these fronts under a military occupation.

"In Iraq every single indicator of violence, instability, resentment, and inability to normalize life in the country is ultimately attributable, directly or indirectly, to the U.S. invasion and occupation. The best way to get out of Iraq is to negotiate a universal ceasefire on the promise of a concrete timetable for withdrawal of all U.S. troops and military bases. There may some transient increases in violence owing to the newly-armed Awakening movements losing their loyalty stipends, and simmering lawlessness as seen in the aftermath of the British troop withdrawal from Basra. While there is always some uncertainty owing to unforeseen undercurrents, Iraqi public opinion and attack statistics strongly suggest that the overall picture will see a reduction in violence by at least 80 per cent in the wake of the U.S. withdrawal. That modest uncertainty is far better than “staying the course” whose only certainty is furthering sectarian divisions, loss of life, and resentment against the U.S." (

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