THE GREEN PARTY OF CONNECTICUT
For immediate release: Thursday, April 10, 2003
Tom Sevigny, Co-chair, (860) 693-8344
Mike DeRosa, Co-chair, (860) 956-8170 or (860) 919-4042
Justine McCabe, Co-chair, (860) 354-1822
Michael Burns, Vernon, CT (860) 871-7459
Green Party antiwar activists call Bush Administration complicit in the murder of civilians.
The Pentagon's invasion strategy is resulting in numerous casualties among Iraqi civilians, causalities that may promote the aims of the President and war planners, but remain unacceptable and counter productive to Connecticut and national Green Party activists.
On Saturday and into the weekend, American forces in tanks barreled through residential sections of Baghdad, mowing down and shooting at anyone in the way. According to The New York Times, soldiers described it as a "blistering gauntlet of death and destruction that... engulfed civilians as well as Iraqi fighters."
"It is reprehensible to kill and maim civilians as part of a military operation," said Beth Moore Haines, spokesperson for the Green Party of California. "We hold President Bush directly responsible and morally accountable for these deaths."
After the Al Sha'ab market bombing on March 26, Pentagon spokesperson Torie Clarke claimed that the civilian deaths were "a direct result of Saddam Hussein's policies." The Pentagon has refused to confirm or deny whether U.S. forces were responsible. In subsequent briefings, including one after the An Najaf checkpoint shooting of 11 people by U.S. forces, Clarke continued to blame "the climate established by the Iraqi regime" for killings of civilians by U.S. forces. The Pentagon has refused to keep a tally of civilian dead.
Major U.S. news media outlets have de-emphasized Iraqi casualties. The Iraq Body Count Project, tabulating deaths from various reputable sources, has verified over 898 civilians, including 22 killed last weekend in Baghdad, killed in the conflict in comparison with 106 U.S. and British soldiers reported killed as of Saturday, April 5. Tens of thousands of Iraqi soldiers have probably died.
"It shouldn't be a surprise that Iraqi civilians are being killed in the hundreds, maybe thousands. It's worth remembering that the US government has shown little concern for the 500,000 plus civilians they openly concede have died as a direct of economic sanctions over the past 12 years. The liberation line has always been a ruse, now it's just easier to see through," said Michael Burns, Green Party activist from Vernon, CT.
Connecticut Green Party co-chair Tom Sevigny added, "Killing civilians with such reckless abandon is nothing more than a recruiting poster for Osama bin-Laden. This war will only make the world and our country a much more dangerous place".
Iraqi Body Count Project
Green Party Mobilization for Peace
Connecticut Green Party
P.O. Box 231214, Hartford, CT 06123
(860) 524-9448 - www.ctgreenparty.org