March 18, 2013 - In response to President Obama’s remarks on the 10th anniversary of the Iraq War, a coalition of Iraqi human rights groups and U.S. veterans and service members issued the statement below. Together they launched the “Right to Heal” campaign today and read testimonials from Iraqis and U.S. veterans in front of the White House. They also filed a petition with the Organization of American States’ Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to request a hearing on the U.S.’s responsibility for the human costs of the war.
“If the president really wants to mark the 10th anniversary of the start of the Iraq war, in addition to remembering the 30,000 US service members wounded or killed, he should also acknowledge the hundreds of thousands of Iraqi lives lost and ruined by the U.S. invasion, the poisoned land, the harm to human rights, women’s rights and worker’s rights in Iraq under the U.S.-backed government, and the generation of orphaned children with no one to care for them. And he should make concrete efforts to repair that damage and to provide proper care for not only the Iraqis still suffering from the trauma of the war but for U.S. veterans as well. The war is not over for any of us.”
Federation of Workers Councils and Unions in Iraq (FWCUI) is a national unionist organization for the defense of rights of workers in Iraq, established since 2003, and has representatives in all main cities. FWCUI is known for its continuous positions against the newly introduced neo-liberal economic policies, and the new labor code which the FWCUI describes as “protecting the rights of employers while disempowering workers.”
Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) was founded by Iraq war veterans in July 2004 at the annual convention of Veterans for Peace (VFP) in Boston to give a voice to the large number of active duty service people and veterans who are against this war, but are under various pressures to remain silent. From its inception, IVAW has called for: (1) Immediate withdrawal of all occupying forces in Iraq; (2) Reparations for the human and structural damages Iraq has suffered, and stopping the corporate pillaging of Iraq so that their people can control their own lives and future; and (3) Full benefits, adequate healthcare (including mental health), and other supports for returning servicemen and women.
Organization of Women’s Freedom in Iraq (OWFI). The Organization of Women’s Freedom in Iraq (OWFI), founded in 2003, is a truly pioneering national women’s organization dedicated to rebuilding Iraq on the basis of secular democracy and human rights for all. OWFI has developed innovative anti-violence and political empowerment strategies for women across Iraq. OWFI advocates on behalf of women who are most marginalized, including those who are incarcerated, widowed, displaced or battered.