I only caught part of the hearings on the Iraq occupation today, but the word “surge” kept ringing in my ears. “Surge” is a made-up word to describe sending more soldiers to a war zone when the American people have said over and over that we don’t want a “troop increase” or a “troop escalation.”
How many different times have we said that we want troops home? Here’s a whole page of polling reports on Iraq from the last two years, showing how little support there is for an increase in U.S. troops in Iraq. Oh, and when U.S. troops were surveyed in 2006, they wanted to leave too, with almost three out of four saying that they thought troops should leave within a year (that was over two years ago).
If so many of us want to bring U.S. troops home from Iraq, then why are there still more troops there than in 2006? The deceptive language of the administration makes it hard to organize people, as does our own lack of language to describe the problems of Iraq and the solutions to these problems.
I like AFSC’s suggestions about how to talk about the situation in Iraq. My favorite points from this article:
- Iraq is a catastrophe
- There is no military solution to the problems in Iraq (which is why troop increases won’t help)
- We have a moral obligation to the people of Iraq
- We must listen to the people of Iraq
Language isn’t everything, but it’s central to advancing our ideas (as we see from the Bush administration). So let’s use direct and honest language to get us on the right course in Iraq — to turn around “the surge,” turn around the catastrophe. Start bringing all of our troops home and making the amends we need to to the Iraqi people.
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