MILITARY and VETERANS AFFAIRS

The War Against Iraq, Afghanistan, etc

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When the US attacked Iraq in 2003, most of today's HELADA members were aghast. Only a few of us were 'anti-war in any circumstance', but most of us saw this war, from the outset, as unwarranted, ill-conceived, and illegal under international agreements. In short:

  • The only justifiable war is a defensive one, clearly defined by an imminent threat.

  • Competition for control of private economic interests does not constitute an imminent threat to the country. 

  • Diplomacy should always be exhausted before military action is taken.

Since HELADA came together, in late 2004, we have consistently argued against the military occupation of Iraq, have warned against the folly of attacking Iran, and have maintained mixed opinions on the best way to conclude operations in Afghanistan. Our views on immediate withdrawal vs a timetable are likewise mixed.

Our stance on these matters was characterized as:

  • The war on and occupation of Iraq was based on lies.

  • Planning and preparation of the attack on Iraq were based on misconceptions of reality.

  • The war in Iraq has neither defeated 'terrorism' nor made the US or other countries more secure.

  • The War on Terror is a catch-phrase for military adventurism, against an undefinable enemy, with no end in sight.

  • Military intervention in the Middle East must be brought to a speedy, if not immediate, end.

  • All due support must be given to bringing about a workable peace between Israel and Palestinians.

  • Any attempt to attack Iran to result in the immediate impeachment of both Bush and Cheney, a view maintained up until the 2008 election.

 HELADA's resolution on this last point was delivered to Democrats Abroad Greece, approved by its board in February 2007, and sent on to DPCA.  

With the election of Barak Obama and his emphasis on diplomacy first, HELADA sees the prospect for achieving some of these goals. They may not come about as quickly as some of us would like, but we see our role as continuing to advocate for rational military policy and a positive presence in world affairs.

Read and view more on war in Iraq, Afghanistan

White House agenda on Iraq, 2009

Athens in Wartime, Brady Kiesling for New York Review of Books, April 2003

Informed Comment, Prof. Juan Cole's Blog, very balanced, informative

IRAQ: The Ethics of Exit, Foreign Policy magazine online, May/June 2005, essays by five leading experts, University of Notre Dame's Kroc Institute
for International Peace Studies, Fordham University's Center for Religion and Culture, and the Fourth Freedom Forum

History lesson: Iraq in Retrospect Downing Street documents

HELADA Resolution

Uncovered: The Whole Truth About the War in Iraq, Greenwald video, 2006, 56mins

The Cost of War Counter in realtime

The Ground Truth: The Human Cost of War, 2006, video 1hr18min 

HELADA views in more detail:

The War in Iraq, Afghanistan etc

Supporting the Troops

The Military-Industrial Complex 

 

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