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Prelude to the End of the War: Orlando’s Time to Shine

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As of October 1, the US war with, and occupation of, Iraq has entered its 1,292nd day, with no sign of ending soon. Almost one million Iraqi civilians have died as a result of the conflict as well as over 3,700 coalition troops. In addition, more than 450.7 billion US tax dollars has been wasted, much of it disappearing into the coffers of war profiters.

The situation in Iraq grows increasingly desperate as the civil war wages on between groups divided not only on religious grounds, but into many localized tribal factions. The government of Iraq is equally divided, with government ministries competing against each other with their own autonomous armed forces. The coalition forces are just another faction, that is forced to pick sides. In doing so they pour US wealth, bombs, and blood into the country, further deepening existing divides.

The US has shown a sheer ineptitude at providing reform necessary for providing peace and stability in the region. Our leaders are far more interested in pursuing US military and economic interests, than providing stability and prosperity for the Iraqi people. The US presence has worn out its welcome in the country for several years now, particularly after the latest incident with Blackwater (see the international news section). US military might will not rebuild Iraq, and the continuing bombing and messy political alliances will only make things worse.

Our leaders are incapable of handling this situation, and we have to accept the fact that we are ill-equipped to solve this problem through force. It’s time to withdraw troops, and send aid instead of dropping bombs. In the end, only the Iraqi’s can solve their own problems (even if we helped create them). Is that not what Democracy is all about?

So, how is this a “Local News” item? Well on October 27th, Orlando will see something it has never seen before, a several hundred strong anti-war march right through the heart of downtown. Up till now a march of this magnitude would only have been possible in New York City or Washington DC, but the groundswell against the war has now reached a fever pitch. Polls taken in the last couple months by the New York Times, CNN, ABC, and the Washington Post all show about 60% of Americans are now opposed to the US occupation of Iraq.

The march will include people from not only Orlando and Florida, but people from several other states throughout the southeast. It will coincide with 10 other large marches throughout the United States. These events are being organized by United for Peace and Justice, a coalition of organizations opposed to the US occupation of Iraq. Founded in October of 2002 to protest the then looming conflict in Iraq, the coalition has grown to include 1300 groups throughout the US, and has hosted the two largest demonstrations against the occupation.

We have an opportunity to make a serious change. This will not be another muted march against the Iraq conflict. I would also like to stress to those who have questioned the impact of such rallies that the previous marches, even in Orlando, have proven to be very effective. The best example is the immigrant rights march of May 2006, in which 25,000 people captured the attention of both local and national media. With the help of coordinated marches throughout the country it helped to improve the national dialog even in the notoriously anti-democratic corners of our government and media.

While its doubtful that this march will receive the same level of turnout as mentioned above, it still stands to be an overwhelming improvement to Orlando’s anemic anti-war protests. The effect this demonstration will have on the national debate over the war, and the withdrawal of coalition troops, is up to us. I urge you, dear reader, to spread the word far and wide, and to spend one afternoon with us so we can bring our troops back home. A great deal of responsibility has been entrusted to us. Lets not screw this up.

If you want to be involved in helping to organize the event, contact the editor at (or by telephone at 407-492-4243). You can also visit for more information. In addition to spreading the word about the demonstration, and (of course) being there, we need donations of water, vinegar, medical supplies, and money for permits. Any help you can provide would be most appreciated!


Written by jackofspades83

October 5, 2007 at 7:48 pm

Posted in Iraq