As John Nichols reports in The Online Beat, White House counselor Dan Bartlett has told the press that President Bush will announce tonight that he plans to commit an additional 21,500 US combat troops to Iraq. Bush will reportedly tell skeptical Americans that it was a mistake to not have more forces fighting the unpopular war in the past.
Specifically, according to breakdowns provided by the White House, 4,000 more Marines will be sent to the violence-torn Anbar Province, while 17,500 more troops will be dispatched to Baghdad. These troops will be sent into a chaotic situation with no discernible mission. Top generals have spoken out against the escalation, and recently-removed CentCom commander Gen John Abizaid reported unanimous opposition among commanders to the surge.
In contrast to Bush who seems poised to recklessly waste more lives and resources in pursuit of his ideological mission and the salvaging of his legacy, Katrina vanden Heuvel shows in Editor’s Cut that the new Democratic Congress and peace activists across the nation are crafting alternatives to the president’s misbegotten Iraq plan.
Katrina mentions United for Peace and Justice’s plans for a January 27 march on Washington. The idea is to show Congress that America wants a peace surge and to push the legislators to listen to the voters, not Bush, and bring the war to a close. The weekend’s activities will include an interfaith peace service and a Congressional Education Day on Monday, January 29th. Click here for info on transportation and here for info on housing. And, if you have the time, sign up to be a local coordinator to help mobilize people from your area to come to DC and/or help spread the word by posting flyers, downloading web buttons and sharing videos.
UFPJ is also working with the Win Without War coalition under the banner of “America Says NO to More Troops! End the War!” to launch a wave of local protests within twenty-four hours of Bush’s announcement tonight to send more troops to Iraq. There are currently more than 300 events planned nationwide, including a demonstration at the 31st and Riverside Pedestrian Bridge in Tulsa, OK; a leafleting party in Norfolk, VA and a singing protest in Augusta, GA. Click here to find an event near you.