June 27 was World Refugee Day, and sadly, for the second year in a row, the number of refugees worldwide has increased. Much of the increase, according to the United Nations agencies that work with displaced people, is due to war begun by the United States in Iraq.
Five million Iraqis have fled their homes, and more than 2 million have left the country seeking safety. The U.S. policy on Iraq has created a humanitarian catastrophe.
It is time for a new course in Iraq, starting with announcing the complete withdrawal of U.S. forces and bases. Military solutions have not worked and will not work to solve a humanitarian crisis. Instead, our government should reinvigorate diplomatic and reconstruction efforts to ensure that funding for humanitarian relief, reconciliation and an Iraqi-led reconstruction will begin to fulfill the needs and hopes of Iraqis.
With that course correction, the United States could play a positive, constructive role in the Middle East and help the lives of millions of people around the world.
— Edward Sacco