International Protests Against Iraq War and Occupation Mark Anniversary of U.S. Invasion
Interview with Leslie Cagan, national coordinator of United for Peace and Justice, conducted Scott Harris
In the months before the Bush administration launched its invasion of Iraq, millions of people throughout the world marched against the coming war. During a global day of protest Feb. 15, 2003, an estimated 30 million people in more than 600 cities marched to oppose President Bush's plan for a "pre-emptive" war against Iraq. Despite overwhelming international opposition and the lack of United Nations authorization, the Bush administration commenced their invasion of Iraq with the so-called "shock and awe" bombing campaign on April 2.
One year later, more than 500 U.S. soldiers have died, 10,000 or more Iraqis have lost their lives with thousands maimed and wounded on all sides. An insurgency fueled by resistance to the U.S. occupation has drawn attacks and terrorist bombings targeting coalition forces and their Iraqi allies.
As the U.S. election campaign heats up, a stream of revelations about the White House rationale for war in Iraq has put President Bush on the defensive. Richard Clarke, the Bush administration's former counterterrorism coordinator, charges in a new book and recent interviews, that the White House failed to recognize the al-Qaeda threat before Sept. 11 attacks and manipulated America into a dangerous war against Iraq. On the one year anniversary of the launching of the war against Iraq, protesters again took to the streets across the world. Some two million people demonstrated in 60 nations on March 20, in cities throughout Europe, Asia, Australia and Africa. In the U.S., demonstrations were held in 300 cities and towns with tens of thousands gathering in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Chicago.
Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Leslie Cagan, national coordinator of United for Peace and Justice, a coalition of anti-war groups. After the New York City rally, which organizers say drew 100,000 protesters, Cagan assessed the achievements of the peace movement since the Iraq invasion.
Contact United for Peace and Justice by calling (212) 868-5545 or visit their website at www.unitedforpeace.org
"Speech for Truth - the First Day of Spring," by Peggy Akers, by CommonDreams.org, Speech to the March 20th Peace Rally in Augusta, Maine, posted March 23, 2004
"Leader of US Anti-Iraq War Coalition Cites Unraveling Of Bush Alliance as Leaders React to Deception on WMD," Win Without War, April 2, 2004. TV ad will begin airing on Saturday calling on Congress to censure the president.
"One Year Later, Not Feeling Safer," by Peter Rothberg, The Nation March, 21, 2004
"The Empire Backfires," by Jonathan Schell, The Nation, March 11, 2004
"Democrats Say Bush Abuses Power in Slamming Critic," by Jackie Frank and Steve Holland, Reuters, March 23, 2004 via www.commondreams.org
"Did Bush Press For Iraq-9/11 Link?," 60 Minutes, CBS News, March 21, 2004
"Ex-Advisor Says Bush Eyed Bombing of Iraq on 9/11," Reuters, April 2, 2004
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