Pause in troop withdrawal; No time to pause in antiwar action

Lest we think that the Iraqization of the war is underway and that US trops will be coming home, this blunt reminder. AP reports:

FORWARD OPERATING BASE FALCON, Iraq – In a clear sign the drawdown of U.S. forces from Iraq will be suspended, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Monday he favors taking time this summer to assess security gains before more troops leave the country, an idea President Bush is expected to support.

It was Gates’ first public endorsement of a possible suspension, and it would seem to mark an end to the Pentagon chief’s previously stated hope that conditions in Iraq would permit American troops to withdraw in the second half of this year as rapidly as they are leaving now.

“A brief period of consolidation and evaluation probably does make sense,” Gates told reporters during a short stop at this U.S. base in southern Baghdad. He had just finished private meetings with Gen. David Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, and the No. 2 commander, Lt. Gen. Ray Odierno.

Gates did not say how long the pause might last, noting that it ultimately would be a decision for the president.

Friday is Iraq Moratorium #6, a loosely-knit nationwide effort that asks people to take some action, individually or in a group, on the third Friday of every month to call for an end to the war.  Those actions range from simple gestures like wearing a black armband or button to participating in a large-scale protest.

Since the Moratorium began in September, more than 600 events have been listed with the group’s website,, which has a list of upcoming actions, and reports, photos and videos from previous month’s events.  You’ll also find suggestions on things you can do by yourself.

What are you going to do?  


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  1. as on every Friday, the Baltimore branch of Women in Black will hold a peace vigil from noon to 1:00 p.m. at the intersection of Pratt and Light Streets in the Inner Harbor, and at 830 West 40th Street (Roland Park Place Peace Group) across from the Rotunda.

    See you there!


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