[The following leaflet was distributed on 4 September 2010 at the regular monthly demonstration by the Anti-War Anti-Racism Effort of Champaign-Urbana IL.]
~ THE WAR IS NOT OVER ~ IT’S EXPANDING INSTEAD ~
OUR GOVERNMENT CONTINUES TO KILL PEOPLE IN THE MIDEAST; PRESIDENT OBAMA CONTINUES TO MISLEAD US ABOUT WHY
Last Tuesday night President Obama gave a speech about the war that his administration is conducting in the Middle East. Unfortunately, his account was so misleading as to amount to a substantial lie:
 The US war against Iraq is not over. President Obama has just changed the names. The war that the Bush administration called “Operation Iraqi Freedom” when it occupied the country, the Obama administration now calls “Operation New Dawn”; what the Bush administration called “brigade combat teams,” the Obama administration now calls “advisory and assistance brigades.” There are still 50,000 US troops and a similar number of mercenaries in Iraq – which has the second largest known reserves of oil in the world; if Iraq produced mainly cabbage, would those US troops and mercs still be there?
 The US is expanding our war against Afghanistan. President Obama sharply escalated President Bush’s war in Afghanistan, although 75% of Afghans are in favor of negotiations including the Taliban, whom the US calls terrorists (or, as Secretary of State Clinton says, “Really bad guys”). There are now more than 110,000 troops under U.S. command in Afghanistan, including more than 34,000 European troops from NATO. The NATO Secretary-General said, “NATO troops have to guard pipelines that transport oil and gas that is directed for the West, [protect sea routes used by tankers], and other crucial infrastructure” of the energy system.
 The US is expanding our undeclared war against Pakistan. The incoming Obama administration sneered that he Bush administration was only taking “baby steps” in targeting people in Pakistan (with which we are not at war) for assassination by drone rocket; the Obama administration has greatly expanded that and other death-squad operations. So the strongest armies in the world are killing people to “stop terrorism” in villages in Afghanistan and Pakistan – even while Pakistan is flooded.
 The US is expanding our “secret” war against other countries in the region. The US is also killing people in Yemen and Somalia. And it continues to threaten Iran. A look at the map will show why – these countries are on the approaches to the Middle East. The US insists on controlling by various means a circle with a 1500-mile radius around the Persian Gulf. “Terrorists,” according to the US government, are those who oppose the US occupation and control of the Middle East.
IT’S NOT “BECAUSE OF 9/11” OR TO “STOP TERRORISM”
The real reason for the Obama administration’s ongoing war seems to be the long-standing US policy of control over the largest energy-producing region of the world. And not because we need the gas and oil ourselves: the US imports very little oil from the Middle East for use here at home; most of the energy resources that we consume in the US come from the Americas and West Africa. But control of Mideast oil and gas gives the US government a powerful bargaining chip in its relations with its real economic competitors in the world – the Europe and East Asia (China and Japan).
Obama’s war will continue until more Americans speak up loudly and reject it. A majority of Americans do reject it – 72% say that the war is not worth the loss of life and other other costs to the country – even though we rarely hear that view expressed in the news. But for the moment our government doesn’t seem to care about our opinions.
If you are appalled that the Obama administration – against the wishes of three out of four Americans – is conducting an unjustified war in the Middle East and misrepresenting the reason for it, call your Congressional representatives. Congressman Tim Johnson, Senator Roland Burris, and Senator Dick Durbin can be reached through the Capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121. Tell them that the U.S. has no business killing people in the Middle East for resisting our invasion and occupation.
(Your protest makes a difference: Congressman Johnson, who voted for the invasions of Afghanistan and Pakistan, now says that he was wrong to do so and refuses to vote for any more funding for war in the Middle East – and he has kept his promise by voting that way.)
Resistance in the military is growing. On August 23 five peace activists – three veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and one military spouse – blockaded six buses carrying Fort Hood soldiers deploying to Iraq. Police made no arrests, but instead beat the activists out of the streets using automatic weapons and police dogs. The action, organized by “Fort Hood Disobeys,” was aimed at preventing the deployment of 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment soldiers to what the veterans termed an illegal and immoral occupation.
You can join a local peace group that is working to end the US war in the Mideast. In Champaign-Urbana, one local peace group is AWARE, the Anti-War Anti-Racism Effort, members and friends of which produced this leaflet for the 4 September 2010 Main Event – our monthly peace demonstration at Main and Neil Streets in downtown Champaign. We meet every Sunday at 5pm in the McKinley Foundation, 5th and Daniel Streets in Champaign, near the UIUC campus. We discuss the war and what can be done against it. Visitors are welcome – and see our Facebook page. AWARE is also happy to provide speakers and/or discussion leaders on the Mideast war and related issues. Write <firstname.lastname@example.org>. AWARE is composed of people opposed to the war, but it is not affiliated with any other group or political party.
AWARE presents AWARE on the Air each Tuesday 10-11pm on Urbana Public Television, cable channel 6. Each week we bring you comments by members and friends of AWARE about the war and the opposition to it, locally and nationally, by Americans who oppose our government’s betrayal of our democratic principles.
END THE U.S. WAR FOR OIL IN THE MIDDLE EAST
BRING ALL UNITED STATES TROOPS HOME
STOP PAYING FOR WAR FROM PALESTINE TO PAKISTAN