A leading anti-war coalition has strongly criticised US President Barack Obama's plan on troops withdrawal from Iraq by the end of 2011, saying it implies "criminal occupation" of the Arab nation for an indefinite period.
Reacting to Obama's address outlining the plan, the Act Now To Stop War and End Racism (ANSWER) said the President's "carefully chosen" words avoided a firm commitment to remove 50,000 "occupation troops" even after 2011.
Besides, Obama is seeking to provide more than USD 200 billion for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars over next two years, it said, adding that the new budget would make Pentagon the world's 17th largest economy if it were a country.
"This new budget increases rather diminishes war spending. Total spending in 2010 would roughly equate to an average of USD 21,000 a second. This is not the end of the occupation of Iraq, but rather the continuation of the occupation of Iraq," it added.
There is only one reason that tens of thousands of troops will remain in Iraq -- this is a "colonial-type occupation of a strategically important and oil-rich country" located in the Middle East where two-thirds of the world's oil reserve can be found, ANSWER said.
The war in Iraq, it said, was illegal based on lies and false rationales.