Promoting international peace
intercultural communication, public witness,
citizen involvement, and personal choices
Show up for Peace!
Fridays, 4 to 5:30 pm
at the intersection of
Iowa Avenue and Clinton Street
on the University of Iowa Pentacrest
Come together for an hour, or even for a few minutes, to voice your support for peace. It's a critical time for demanding peaceful actions around the globe in Syria, South Sudan, Iran and in our own neighborhoods. If we do not speak for peace, who will? Bring your friends, your family, your coworkers, or just yourself - everyone is welcome.
AREA RESIDENTS MARK 15TH ANNIVERSARY OF TRAGIC, MISGUIDED IRAQ WAR
Iowa City, Iowa — Area residents will mark the 15th anniversary of the Bush administration's 2003 invasion of Iraq with a vigil from 5:30 to 6:00 pm on Monday, March 19 at the intersection of Clinton Street and Iowa Avenue on the University of Iowa Pentacrest. Scott Roser, a veteran of the Iraq War and other armed services veterans will speak, and the names of some of the 4497 US soldiers (including 51 Iowans) and 160,000-400,000 Iraqi civilians killed in the war will be read. The vigil is sponsored by Veterans for Peace Chapter #161 and PEACE Iowa.
Hundreds of Iowa Citians lined Clinton Street on March 17, 2003 in a last-ditch effort to prevent the Iraq War. At the same time, a Peace Camp in front of the University of Iowa's Jessup Hall drew hundreds of visitors each day as students, staff, and faculty educated passersby about the disastrous consequences of a potential war.
These efforts were in vain, and on March 19, 2003 the United States invaded Iraq on the false pretense of its supposed stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction and with the promise of a new order of peace and tranquility in the Middle East.
"Instead," said VFP's Ed Flaherty, "the war killed thousands and left more than 400,000 veterans and countless Iraqi civilians suffering from PTSD. The war that was supposed to bring peace instead left a Middle East in even greater turmoil at a cost of over a trillion dollars."
Writing in the Guardian recently, Middle East expert James Zogby, who will speak in Iowa City on April 11, noted "15 years later we and most especially the people of Iraq and the region are living with the consequences of the disaster they brought down on us all: a shattered Iraq, an emboldened Iran, a weaken, war weary, and wary America, and a Middle East in which multiple regional and international powers are engaged in a number of deadly conflicts."
Although the United States formally withdrew from Iraq in 2011, US troops are still stationed there. "We hope that people will remember that the tragic results of this misguided war at home and abroad are still our responsibility," said PEACE Iowa President Laura Crossett. "Our government's actions destroyed Iraqi infrastructure and Iraqi life in ways that civilians there still deal with today, just as our veterans at home struggle to find treatment for the mental and physical costs they bear from a war that they never should have been sent to fight."
Organizers note that members of both groups have been holding a weekly peace vigil at the site of Monday's event since the Iraq War began. "We hope," said Flaherty, "to bring about a world in which such a war never need happen again."
Contact: Ed Flaherty, Veterans for Peace 319-621-6766
Laura Crossett, PEACE Iowa 319-389-0449
New Years Night, 2018