WASHINGTON — Today marks the 19th anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, a war now synonymous with unhinged and ill-planned interventionism abroad. Especially with the current war unfolding in Ukraine, it is more important than ever to learn from past wars and push for actions and policies that put an end to them once and for all.

Common Defense’s Executive Director Jose Vasquez released the following statement:

“Today, as we reflect on the nineteenth anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, we first and foremost remember the immeasurable loss of human life that took place. We remember the American service members who bravely served and sacrificed in the battles we were sent to fight, with thousands not returning home, and many others enduring lasting effects from their experiences. We commemorate the tragic loss of life for the people of Iraq and U.S. service members alike, who suffered as a result of a war that was predicated on lies.

“We also remember the falsified evidence of weapons of mass destruction that were used to sell the conflict to the American public. This crime was perpetrated by politicians who prepared the American people to support a violent and brutal conflict that served to destabilize the Middle East and feed into more extremism.

“The pursuit of control over fossil fuel resources frames much of our understanding of the Iraq War, and it is impossible to not see parallels between it and the ongoing Russian Invasion of Ukraine. Both of these conflicts highlight the fact that fossil fuel dependency and building a more peaceful world are incompatible. Recent reporting from the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reinforces the findings that resource-driven conflicts will become more common and more severe as the climate crisis worsens. Climate action is a necessary component to ending forever wars.

“As we look back on the past nineteen years with the gift of hindsight, we are forced to consider the ways in which the military-industrial complex and foreign policy establishment can leverage their power to influence the views of the American public. We recommit ourselves to our mission to allow Americans to choose when this nation’s armed forces are used in their defense and to building a sustainable, progressive movement to end forever wars.”

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