This week marks the 8th anniversary of the official start of the invasion of Iraq. As has been noted on this show many times, Iraq had been under fairly constant bombardment for over a decade prior to that date but this was an official declaration of war. Even though it was unconstitutional since Congress did not declare war, the people most affected by the war – Iraqi civilians – don’t much care about the constitutionality of the war and continue to suffer as a result of it.
This week also marks the 8th anniversary of The Monitor. Tonight’s guests will be Raed Jarrar and Phyllis Bennis.
Raed Jarrar is an Iraqi-American blogger and political advocate. He has just returned from his last trip to Iraq last week where he spent a month in Erbil participating in a conference on Iraqi media. Raed Jarrar was born in Iraq, and he was in Baghdad 8 years ago during the US-led invasion. Raed immigrated to the US in 2005. He is joining us from Washington, DC.
Blog: Raed in the Middle
Phyllis Bennis is a fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies and author of “Calling the Shots: How Washington Dominates Today’s UN.”
Quote: “Libya’s opposition movement faces a ruthless military assault. They have already paid a far higher price in lost and broken lives than activists in any of the other democratic uprisings shaping this year’s Arab Spring. They are desperate. So it is not surprising that they have urged, demanded, pleaded for international help, for support from the most powerful countries and institutions most able to provide immediate military aid. [Thursday night] the UN Security Council gave them what they asked for. Or did it? The legitimacy of the Libyan protesters’ demand does not mean that the decision by the United Nations and the powerful countries behind it was legitimate as well. The Libyan opposition, or at least those speaking for it, asked for a no-fly zone, for protection from the regime’s air force, to allow them to take on and defeat their dictatorship on their own terms. Many of us opposed that idea, for a host of reasons including the dangers of escalation and the threat of a new U.S. war in the Middle East. But whatever one thinks about that demand, the Security Council resolution went far beyond a no-fly zone. Instead, the United Nations essentially declared war on Libya.”
Commentary: UN Declares War on Libya