CODEPINK to Hillary and Nancy: Lead Us Out of Iraq Now!
This morning at the Take Back America conference when Senator Hillary Clinton took the stage CODEPINKers held up pink signs reading "Lead Us Out of Iraq Now!" and pleaded with the senator to bring our troops home now, to be a leader in ending the occupation of Iraq. While Hillary made some great promises about offering universal healthcare and ensuring a preschool education for every American child, and reiterated that she voted no on the last Supplemental spending bill to appropriate funds to the war, without her leadership on actually bringing our troops home with a full and immediate troop withdrawal, it remains unclear where funds would come from for these excellent domestic programs, and how we can move forward as a nation. Hillary's commentary about the Iraq war included a commentary about how the US has liberated Iraq from Saddam, helped hold democratic elections, and installed the Iraqi government. Her commentary seemed to blame Iraq for the ongoing violence, which in turn was met with loud boos from the audience. Hillary walked a careful talk today, but it was not convincing to many in the audience, who feel the only way that trust in Hillary could be restored is through her actions to end the war, not her rhetoric. As an aside, Hillary asserted that the US is the oldest democracy. I seem to remember something about Athens appearing in a school textbook. Hillary also stated that the US has the hardest working population in the world. To me, that kind of hubris does not inspire the kind of patriotism I feel for this country and the global community.
CODEPINK protested at Hillary's talk at the Take Back America conference last year as well. This year our message was a proactive one: Hillary, be a leader and bring our troops home! Take action NOW to end the war!
Nancy Pelosi made some excellent comments about listening to young people in this country, who are agitated, don't believe elected officials will take action, and are fed up with the government. She spoke about meeting with people and having dialogues. I asked her to meet with us in San Francisco, as she has yet to meet with the anti-war movement in district. Because we have not be able to meet with her, we've been camping outside her doorstep! Nancy made some excellent points about green jobs and about the need to bring our troops home, and we would like to believe that she will stick to her word--we know that she, as Speaker of the House, can do more to end the US occupation of Iraq, and that's why we were in the audience today with our pink signs and loud voices for peace, demanding that these elected officials lead us out of Iraq!