NEWS ANALYSIS: Chicago Rally to Thank Obama for Supposedly Ending War in Iraq Turns Up 30 Speakers and 10 Audience Members

By David Swanson
David Swanson
David Swanson

President Barack Obama promised to make ending the war in Iraq his first act in office. Then he did what he could to avoid ending it. Forced by Bush and Maliki and the Iraqis to remove troops, he's keeping troops nearby and filling bases with mercenaries, while expanding ground and drone wars around the region and claiming the power to make war anywhere he likes, including having already done so in Libya. Nonetheless a hearty band of Obama-Right-Or-Wrongers planned a rally in Chicago to praise the president for . . . well, for something or other.

The rally was sponsored by Marilyn Katz and Carl Davidson and "Chicagoans Against War in Iraq," and was promoted as a big national event. I heard about the planning here in Virginia. Among the 30 speakers were the president of the Cook County Board Toni Preckwinkle, Alderman Joe Moore, and Tom Hayden. But an email report I've just been forwarded says the audience was "5-10," and "Dozens and dozens of prepared placards that said 'yes we can' were in a box, untouched."

Meanwhile, "In opposition, holding placards, were some 15 or more from March 19th Anti-War Coalition, Occupy Chicago, Iraq Veterans Against the War, Albany Park, North Park, Mayfair Neighbors for Peace and Justice, and others. The placards included slogans "The U.S. War on Iraq is NOT Over" "Obama Does Mot Deserve Praise," "Obama is Continuing Illegal & Unjust Wars," "Obama Is Threatening Iran and Syria," "Free Bradley Manning," "No War on Iran," "Orambo," "There Is Nothing to Celebrate" and others. Hundreds of leaflets from the March 19th Anti-War Coalition entitled "The Government is NOT bringing all U.S. troops home or ending its wars against Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, or its threats against Iran and Syria and elsewhere" were distributed to passersby as well as those at the rally."

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David Swanson is the author of "When the World Outlawed War," "War Is A Lie" and "Daybreak: Undoing the Imperial Presidency and Forming a More Perfect Union." He blogs athttp://davidswanson.org and http://warisacrime.org and works for the online activist organizationhttp://rootsaction.org

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