Stopping U.S.-Iraq Permanent Bases Agreement Is Top Priority for Anti-War Movement

Washington, D.C. - Council for a Livable World today urged Congress and anti-war organizations to focus their attention for the remainder of the year on stopping the Bush administration from signing a long-term agreement between Iraq and the United States.

With $162 billion in supplemental war funding now approaching final passage in Congress, concrete opportunities to fight President Bush's Iraq war policies are becoming increasingly scarce.

Since both Republicans and Democrats have expressed skepticism about the U.S.-Iraq pact, Council for a Livable World believes there is an opportunity to broaden that skepticism and harden it into strong opposition.

"Democrats in the Senate like Robert Casey, Ted Kennedy, Dick Durbin, and Jim Webb have been consistent and forceful in their opposition to the U.S.-Iraq agreement," said John Isaacs, Executive Director of Council for a Livable World, who has worked with several members of Congress on the agreement. "But now Republicans like George Voinovich and Dick Lugar are starting to express their reservations as well."

Isaacs commended Democratic Representative Bill Delahunt for his series of hearings that have spotlighted flaws in the administration's negotiating strategy.

Iraqis have also not been shy about expressing their opposition to the agreement. For a list of the large number of Iraqis who oppose the agreement, click here.

By keeping the U.S.-Iraq agreement in the headlines, the anti-war movement will raise public awareness about President Bush's long-term objectives, and force Barack Obama and John McCain to speak out on the issue. Since the pact jeopardizes the next President's freedom of action in Iraq, Obama and McCain should vigorously oppose President Bush's aggressive negotiations, which reportedly include seeking 58 permanent bases and control of Iraqi airspace.

Isaacs continued: "Obama would bolster his anti-war credentials by highlighting his previously expressed opposition to the agreement."

"McCain undoubtedly regrets saying that U.S. troops could be in Iraq for 100 years, but Bush's pact is a first step in that direction. If McCain spoke out against the agreement, he could begin to distance himself from the 100-years gaffe," explained Isaacs.

As negotiations over the agreement continue, experts at Council for a Livable World are available to shed light on the latest developments. For more information, or to schedule an interview, contact Travis Sharp at (202) 543-4100 ext. 123 or tsharp@clw.org.