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In response to the upcoming 20th anniversary marking the beginning of the Iraq War, MoveOn Executive Director Rahna Epting issued the following statement:
“Few foreign policy decisions in recent history have had more disastrous consequences than the deliberate effort by many in power 20 years ago to mislead this nation into an unnecessary, deadly, and costly war in Iraq. And time and history have only made those lies look worse.
“Today, we honor the lives lost, civilian and military, and we reflect on our role in the public debate about the war effort at that time.
“At MoveOn, we are proud that we were at the forefront of the effort for truth and accountability in this war and that we pushed our leaders to go beyond the conventional wisdom and challenged the lies of those who were war profiteering. Our efforts ultimately forced them to change their approach to the war and helped to spare thousands of civilian and military lives.
“The people-powered movement that MoveOn helped lead was powerful and on the right side of history. But that is little solace when you consider the blood and treasure that was lost due to elected leaders’ desire for war without end. A war that included the torturing and indefinite detention of civilians, as well as other heinous human rights violations, such as those committed in Abu Ghraib.
“From the very moment President Bush, Vice President Cheney, and their allies throughout the Bush administration began manipulating intelligence to fit their ideological desires in their rush to war, MoveOn members from coast to coast mobilized. This wasn’t a movement that lasted a few weeks or a few months. Rather, it was a movement that lasted years and only grew stronger as we aggregated people power to serve as a backstop to an unchecked and overreaching government.
“We organized, we protested, and, most importantly, we voted and changed conventional wisdom about our nation’s appetite for war. Eventually, through our determination and organizing, we elected leaders in Washington who did the right thing and ended the war.
“History will judge those who led this nation into the Iraq War very harshly. At MoveOn, we remain as committed today as we were 20 years ago to opposing endless and unnecessary wars.”
MoveOn is a people-powered force for progress. MoveOn mobilizes the left to elect Democrats and enact progressive change. We are the homebase for millions of members who refuse to accept the status quo and are moved to take action. For more than a generation, MoveOn has been a bulwark against the radical right, channeling our voices to end wars, protect democracy, and advance justice for all.