30 Dec 2011
FUMCOG members Anne Ewing, Bill Ewing (With his back turned), Julie
& Dick Cox
Members of the First United Methodist
Church of Germantown (FUMCOG
been joined by many peace groups in
their "Final Friday" vigil many times, but the church has always been
the core group since the vigil began in late 2006.
Brandywine Peace Community
Jeff Harmon, the fellow with the "Honk
sign is the one who started the vigil. He was doing it with his son,
FUMCOG member and Gold Star Mother Celeste Zappala (She lost her son,
Sgt. Sherwood Baker, in the Iraq War, he was the first member of
the PA National Guard to have been killed since World War II) noticed
him demonstrating in front of the Armed Forces Recruiting Center and decided that he had
a good idea
. We joined in on his vigil on September 2006 and just
ended it as of December 2011.
has been a faithful member of the vigil.
So, what's the current status of Iraq,
now that the US has pulled out? In a piece dated September
, the Center for American Progress concluded that the US
presence in that country was making a true conclusion to the war, a
genuine reconciliation impossible. They saw the end of the "Surge" as
essentially having frozen the various internal competitors into place.
The increasing fraction and disunity that's happening now is what would
have happened three years ago and what would still have happened had
the US remained for another five years.
Reverend Michelle Bartlow, FUMCOG's Senior Pastor, who retired a few
Fox News is terribly
that President Obama won't throw a "grand, flag-waving,
red-white-and-blue homecoming" for the troops that are arriving back
from Iraq, but it's kinda hard to enjoy such a celebration when there
really hasn't been any sort of victory. The Iraq War officially ended
(The US "leaves
a very large foot print which is its largest embassy in the
world") and no, US troops weren't chased to the boats and didn't
undertake any sort of frantic evacuation, but with conflicts between
Iraqis simply having been deferred, there's not much point in victory
Young one looks on as Brandywine bell ringer slowly rings the bell.
How have the architects of the Iraq War
fared? How many combined years are they all serving in prison for their
many crimes against humanity? Unfortunately, the answer to that is
goes over how each architect is doing. I agree, the best line
from his retrospective is:
HAYES: Doug Feith, the Undersecretary
of Defense, who Geneal Tommy Franks once called "the f-ing stupidest
guy on the face of the earth," is advising Rick Perry on foreign policy.
How do Iraqis feel about the US departure? Pretty good
Baghdad- Thousands of
Iraqis gathered in the capital Baghdad on Friday to celebrate the
withdrawal of US troops from the country after nearly nine years of
Led by clergy, they chanted slogans
against the 'occupation' that started in 2003 and called the pullout
earlier this month a 'day of liberation and evacuation.'
Two Navy vet peaceniks, Sandy Fulton
& Rich Gardner. Sandy is wearing the sweatshirt for the Delaware Valley Veterans for
How about the Sunnis, an ethnic minority
within Iraq? Erm,
BAGHDAD (AP) — The question was
disturbing: Why do you live here?
Ahmed al-Azami, a Sunni Muslim, has owned a house in Baghdad's Shiite
neighborhood of Shaab since 1999. But when Shiite residents recently
began questioning why he, a Sunni, was living among them, he decided it
was time to leave.
His story and similar tales by other Sunnis suggest Iraqis are again
segregating themselves along sectarian lines, prompted by a political
crisis pulling at the explosive Sunni-Shiite divide just weeks after
the American withdrawal left Iraq to chart its own future.
The Granny Peace
presents Celeste Zappala with an award.
Back in October, Secretary of State
Hillary Clinton put the
on the situation:
“This was an ongoing discussion,”
Clinton said. “At the end of the day as in many discussions, an
agreement was reached that met the needs of both sides. We have
fullfilled the commitment requested by the Iraqis … [and] we expect to
have a continuing strong security relationship for many years to come.”
Celeste Zappala speaks of the long years
at our vigil during which an occasional passing motorist would expres
disagreement with our stand. Over time, the complaints got fewer and
fewer and the signs of support grew and grew. We often counted all of
the supportive honks of horns (We usually got about 400 in the hour)
and yes, if someone passed by on foot or on a bicycle and said "Honk!"
we counted that, too!