Thousands of people have taken to the streets of Washington DC to call for an end to United States' militarism and sanction policy as they marked the 20th anniversary of the US-led invasion of Iraq.
Anti-war protesters gathered in front of the White House and then headed to the Washington Post headquarters carrying coffins wrapped in the flags of countries that were invaded by the US over the past 20 years and demanded to stop the US proxy war in Ukraine.
Protesters demanded cutting funds and halting arms delivery to Kiev, and putting an end to “militarism and sanctions” in affected countries such as Syria, ending aid to “racist apartheid Israel” and avoiding escalations with China. They said the arms delivery fueled the year-long Russia-Ukraine war.
They held banners that read “Feed the People, Not the Pentagon,” “Fund People's Needs, Not the War Machine,” and “Disband NATO.”
The organizers stated that the protest aimed to warn people of the threat of a “global war,” while also raising public awareness of “the human and financial toll of US militarism at home and abroad.”
“We commemorated people who have lost their lives in US wars from Afghanistan to Iraq, Somalia, Palestine, and Yemen and called the US officials to stop funding the endless wars and instead take care of peoples’ needs such as health care, housing livable wages and climate justice,” one of the demonstrators said.
The rally further coincides with the 20th anniversary of the US invasion of Iraq, organizers noted. Many protesters held banners saying “Remember Iraq. No more wars based on lies!”
“The corporate media has decided to boycott the American people when they speak up against the war machine. CNN, NBC, ABC, all the corporate networks are just echo chambers for the Pentagon- nothing else,” Chuk Modi, a journalist, wrote on his Twitter.
“The corporate media has decided to boycott the American ppl when they speak up against the war machine. CNN, NBC, ABC, all the corporate networks are just echo chambers for the Pentagon — nothing else.”— ChuckModi (@ChuckModi1) March 18, 2023
DC Rally @BrianBeckerDC #FundPeopleNotWar #NoUSWars pic.twitter.com/tOkitXWh6v
The US war against Iraq was based on a foundation of lies and through fear-mongering regarding the 2001 September 11 attacks, the US built popular support for the Iraq invasion. Top US officials and journalists came together to tell one of the biggest lies ever told to the US public, that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.
20 years ago, 11mil people in this country protested the US invasion of Iraq in which millions of Iraqis died. Today we’re here in DC to show that the people are building a new movement for peace!#fundpeoplenotwar pic.twitter.com/f37VMDtpoP— The People's Forum (@PeoplesForumNYC) March 18, 2023
While Iraq war death tolls are disputed and often under-reported, under the Bush administration, it is estimated that over 3 million Iraqi civilians died when the US invaded Iraq. To this day, doctors in Fallujah report a steady stream of birth defects resulting from chemical weapons deployed by the US forces, which included depleted uranium and white phosphorus.
There is no end to US’s militarism and warmongering across the world. Since the start of Moscow's military operation in Ukraine in February 2022, although US troops are not fighting on the ground in Ukraine, US weapons and funding are perpetuating the war.
The proxy war in Ukraine has already taken hundreds of thousands of lives, plunged the world into crisis, and will cost the people of the US at least $113 billion in public money.
Over the past year, Washington has supplied Ukraine with military equipment worth more than $50 billion, excluding other types of assistance worth tens of billions of dollars.
The West has orchestrated wars all across the world that have caused millions of children to go hungry, malnourished, displaced, and even killed, including in Yemen where the Saudi- and US-led blockade has caused millions of children to suffer from acute malnutrition.