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Peace Perspectives Archive

see also: News and Updates archive


Meet Obama's Foreign Policy Adivsors


February 11, 2008

ALLAN NAIRN: Well, Obama's top adviser is Zbigniew Brzezinski. Brzezinski gave an interview to the French press a number of years ago where he boasted about the fact that it was he who created the whole Afghan jihadi movement, the movement that produced Osama bin Laden. And he was asked by the interviewer, "Well, don't you think this might have had some bad consequences?" And Brzezinski replied, "Absolutely not. It was definitely worth it, because we were going after the Soviets. We were getting the Soviets." Another top Obama person.

AMY GOODMAN: I think his comment actually was, "What's a few riled-up Muslims?" And this, that whole idea of blowback, the idea of arming, financing, training the Mujahideen in Afghanistan to fight the Soviets, including Osama bin Laden, and then when they're done with the Soviets, they set their sights, well, on the United States.

ALLAN NAIRN: Right. And later, during Bill Clinton's administration, during the Bosnia killing, the US actually flew some of the Afghan Mujahideen, the early al-Qaeda people--the US actually arranged for them to be flown from there to Bosnia to fight on the Muslim/NATO side.

Another key Obama adviser, Anthony Lake: he was the main force behind...


Read more . . .

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Less Jobs. More Wars.

February 9, 2008



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Could Nader be the Come-Back Kid of 2008?


As a life-long activist in the labor, peace and social-justice movements, I've watched with amazement, wonder, and exhilaration as the American people gave us the most surprising primary races in decades; and that was just the first month! We have eight months to go and undoubtedly many surprises yet to come. The race among major party candidates has provided more highs and lows than a calliope on rocket fuel. However, we've already entered a new phase of the election cycle: the Republicans are putting aside their differences in order to unify around a strongly pro-war position. The Democrats have coalesced on a neck-and-neck race between two "triangulating" Iraq war funders whose differences are more about race, gender and style than substance. And the progressive left has, as usual, fallen into lockstep behind one or another corporate-owned Democrat like some enabling abused spouse. Honest progressives will admit that neither Sen. Hillary Clinton nor Sen. Barack Obama offer us-at this point-a seriously better chance of ending the war on Iraq and turning out attention-and tax dollars-toward desperate domestic needs than Sen. John McCain does.


Read more . . .

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Iranian-Americans Seek Least-Hawkish Candidate

February 7, 2008

BERKELEY, California, Feb 6 (IPS) - Jaded toward their government back home and cynical of the current U.S. administration and the Republicans they historically supported, a new generation of Iranian-Americans appears to be looking to Barack Obama to bring about change, especially with regards to U.S. foreign policy toward Iran.

Many observers believe the refusal by the other leading Democrat for the presidential nomination, Senator Hillary Clinton, to rule out force against Iran in campaign statements, paired with her strong support of Israel, has substantially weakened her support in the community.

What troubles Iranian-American voters is the uncertainty about Senator Clinton's position on employing military force against Iran. At least with the leading Republican presidential contender, the option is clear: John McCain believes that Iran is resolute on the destruction of Israel and favours sanctions and military action against Tehran.


Read more . . .

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Anti-War Candidates Are Top Recipients Of �08 Donations From U.S. Troops


Conservatives opposed to redeployment in Iraq have consistently claimed that U.S. troops are on their side:

President Bush: The [military] families gathered here understand that our troops want to finish the job. [Link]

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ): I want to � and I want to tell you something, sir. I just finished having Thanksgiving with the troops, and their message to you is � the message of these brave men and women who are serving over there is: Let us win. Let us win. [Link]

Yet U.S. troops disagree. Yesterday, the Center for Responsive Politics reported that members of the military donated the most not to McCain, but to two anti-war candidates:


Read more . . .

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Obama: "I want to end the mindset that got us into war in the first place."

February 5, 2008

2008 Campaign provides the opportunity to build a movement for fundamental change away from militarism

The issue on which Sen. Obama scored the most points in the January 31st debate with Sen. Clinton was the Iraq occupation.   While Iraq has been pushed from the front pages, despite continued carnage, it remains a priority for many voters.   Iraq persists to be an area of weakness for Clinton in the primary. 

Indeed, the most recent CNN poll, which has Obama in the lead nationally for the first time, shows Democratic voters trust Clinton more on health care and the economy, but trusted Obama on Iraq.  Iraq is the issue propelling Obama ahead of Clinton.

Obama made a number of points on Iraq in their last debate, finishing  with: �I don't want to just end the war, but I want to end the mindset that got us into war in the first place.�  He followed that lofty goal with a promise: �That's the kind of leadership that I think we need from the next president of the United States. That's what I intend to provide.�


Read more . . .

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Peace Mirage Makes Iraq a Non-Issue in Democratic Primary

January 22, 2008

Veil of Peace Rhetoric Shrouds Intent of Leading Candidates

Senators Clinton and Obama are using the rhetoric of peace candidates but when pushed admit they will be leaving tens of thousands of troops in Iraq.  They have essentially agreed on the same policy along with Edwards, while Kucinich is being excluded from debates. 

The recent Nevada debate, that included Clinton, Obama and Edwards and excluded Kucinich, put the Democratic peace mirage on display.  It remains to be seen whether the veil of peace rhetoric will be sufficient to satisfy voters opposed to the occupation in the general election. 


Read more . . .

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McCain and the Militarist Mentality

Amid all the media-generated hype surrounding John McCain's narrow victory in the South Carolina primary � which portrays him rising, phoenix-like, from the ashes of what many considered a failed last hurrah � one anomaly stands out: he did well among antiwar voters. This seems counterintuitive, at first, especially when one considers that McCain is the candidate of the so-called "surge" and has always been among the biggest warmongers on the block � not only when it comes to Iraq, but even regarding interventions that Republicans opposed, such as in Kosovo. In that case, you'll recall, he urged the Clinton administration to launch a land invasion of the former Yugoslavia: just Google McCain and "boots on the ground," and you'll come up with the one underlying consistent theme of McCain's life as a public figure � he always takes the most belligerent foreign policy stance imaginable, no matter what the context.



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July 2, 2007
An Open Letter to America:
“Now is the time for us to stand up and stand together”

Rev. Yearwood

By Rev. Lennox Yearwood, Jr. 
July 1, 2007

My Fellow Americans:

The power of our voices against the U.S. occupation of Iraq is reaching the top echelons of the military and the administration.  Our government is persecuting Americans who speak out against the U.S. military presence in Iraq.  The U.S. military has launched politicized attacks on its own military members and moral leaders who oppose the war to discredit their voices of dissent.  Read Rev. Yearwoods full letter...
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June 13, 2007
Lieberman Favors Military Strike on Iran -- Tell Joe His Position is Irresponsible and Counterproductive
Sen. Joe Lieberman said Sunday on "Face the Nation" that "I think we've got to be prepared to take aggressive military action against the Iranians to stop them from killing Americans in Iraq,'' adding that that would include a "a strike over the border into Iran." Read the full article on Lieberman's endorsement of bombing Iran here.

In response to Lieberman's public statement, Thursday, June 14th, a coalition of groups spearheaded by CODEPINK are meeting with Sen. Lieberman to talk about his recent call to take military action against Iran.

Please support this action by calling Senator Lieberman's office at (202) 224-4041 and expressing opposition to his call for attacking Iran. Let him know that such an attack will be counterproductive, create another battlefront in the Middle East at a time when the U.S. is stretched thin and losing in Iraq. Remind him that the U.S. has finally begun negotiations with Iran and diplomacy should be pursued.
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June 4, 2007
What Does It Mean To Be Occupied?

Yesterday VotersForPeace had the honor of meeting Iraqi labor leader Hashmeya Muhsin Hussein, President of the HashmeyaElectrical Utility Workers Union and the first woman to lead a union in Iraq. Hashmeya is here on a speaking tour on behalf of US Labor Against the War to talk about the Iraqi oil law and its implications for Iraq. Hashmeya was unbelievably gracious to all of us hosting her when she said that it is "up to Iraqis" to bring an end to the occupation. She stressed how important it is for the Iraqi Parliament and cabinet to call for an end to the US occupation-- and it looks like that may be closer to reality after an important vote in the Iraqi parliament yesterday that may force the end of the occupation this year.

In an interview with David Swanson, Hashmeya said that withdraw of all US troops out of Iraq is "the only solution for the Iraqi people." Hasmeya emphasized that Iraqis do not want to be occupied, and that the occupation is only doing more harm to the country.

To better understand what it means to be occupied, check out the video link below of a street action organized by Iraq Veterans Against the War. IVAW members re-enacted typical missions in Iraq with the support of civilian volunteers. The action was staged New York City on May 27, 2007, and was meant to show Americans what it really means to be occupied.



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June 1, 2007
Send-Off Rally and Press Conference for Iraq Veteran
Former Marine Facing Punishment for Protesting the Iraq War

Adam Kokesh

When: Friday, June 1 @ 5:00pm
Where:
Union Station, Washington, DC

Iraq Veteran Adam Kokesh is facing a Separation Hearing from the Marines for speaking out against this illegal & immoral war.  Kokesh served in Iraq , received an honorable discharge and is now a civilian member of the individual ready reserve.  The Marines have scheduled a hearing because of his involvement in a protest where he wore his uniform.  You can read about Kokesh's case in this Washington Post article.

The hearing will be held in Kansas City , MO on June 4th at the Marine Mobilization Command.  Adam Kokesh, his attorney, and his witnesses, will be taking the Yellow Rose of Texas Peace Bus from DC to Kansas City .  Come join us as we see him off on his 4 day trip to Kansas City where he dares to speak truth to power regardless of the consequences.

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May 30, 2007
The Real Deal on Iraqi Oil   |   Iraqi Labor Leaders Tour the US to Protest the Theft of Iraqi Oil
The US is forcing an oil bill through the Iraqi parliament which will wrench Iraq's oil resources away from the people and into the hands of foreign oil companies. In response to this and the continued oppression of women and labor leaders in Iraq, US Labor Against the War (USLAW) has organized a Voices of Iraqi Workers Solidarity Tour from June 4-24 with two of Iraq's foremost union organizers and social justice leaders. This is a rare opportunity to hear directly from Iraqi oil workers on these pressing issues.
Visit their website and find an event near you.
You can download a flier here. 

JOIN IRAQI WORKERS TO SAY:  HANDS OFF OUR OIL!  
Put a spotlight on the consulting firm hired by the US Government to write the new Iraq Oil Law

WHEN: Tuesday, June 5 @ 5:00pm
5:30 p.m.- march to the Capitol for a picket line (about ¾ of a mile)
WHERE: Offices of BearingPoint
80 M St. SE – near Navy Yard Metro


Join Faleh Abood Umara, General Secretary of the Iraq Federation of Oil Workers, and Hashmeya Muhsin Hussein, President of the Iraq Electrical Utility Workers Union, when they pay a visit to BearingPoint, the agent of the US government's effort to rob the Iraqi people.

Together we will expose the "Oil Law" for what it is: the bitter fruit of Invasion, Occupation, and Plunder.

For further information go to www.uslaboragainstwar.org or call 301.270.2355

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May 25, 2007
Congress Gives Another Blank Check to Bush for the Occupation of Iraq

In a capitulation to President Bush, Congress has passed an Iraq War funding bill stripped of a timetable for withdrawal.
Please call your member of Congress on the Congressional Switchboard at (202 )224-3121 and let them know what you think about their vote!
Senate voted 80-14 in favor:
Find out how your Senators voted here.
House voted 280-142 in favor:
Find out how your Representative voted here.

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May 24, 2007

It's All About Oil
By Dennis J. Kucinich

Congressman Kucinich's speech before the United States House of Representatives on the Bush Administration's efforts to privatize Iraq oil, and the disastrous implications of it.

You can watch his press conference here:

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May 15, 2007
Forty People Arrested Protesting War During
‘Mother of a March’ in DC
More than 250 anti-war advocates marched through Washington, DC to Capitol Hill on Monday, May 14, as a part of the "Mother of a March", an action spearheaded by Cindy Sheehan whose son died in Iraq. In front of the Cannon House Office Building the demonstrators formed two circles of peace with 40 refusing to move from the center of the street when ordered by the police.  In the middle of the two circles was an American flag flying at half mast.Mothers' March

As the 40 were arrested the crowd chanted “Arrest George Bush” and “Stop the Funding, Stop the Killing.” Rev. Lennox Yearwood, who was also arrested, pointed out that from the time the crowd marched from the White House to Capitol Hill two more U.S. soldiers were reported dead.

The march kicked off a “Summer of Action” where anti-war demonstrators will SWARM on Congress from today until June 31 advocating an end to the war.  Numerous speakers urged peace voters to put “peace before partisanship”, and reminded voters that thus far the Democrats have not lived up to the mandate of the voters who elected them to end the war.

Tina Richards, a Marine Mom whose son served two tours of duty in Iraq and now has been found by the VA to be 80% disabled, said the purpose of the SWARM is to “bring citizen pressure on Congress so that they fulfill the mandate of the American voters who put the Democrats in power to end the war.” 

Read more about the SWARM on DC below!
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SWARM DC!
Join Tina Richards, Linda Schade, Kevin Zeese, Rev. Yearwood and many more for a summer of action to protest the illegal US occupation of Iraq!

Swarm DC

Stay in DC for a few days or weeks while meeting with members of Congress, attending hearings, conducting protests, sit-ins and media events.
SIGN UP HERE!

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May 11, 2007

House Passes New War Funding Bill
Two Iraq war funding bills were voted on by the House yesterday, resulting in the passage of a new funding bill that would immediately provide $43 billion for the war and mandate another vote by July 24 on another installment of $40 billion.  This bill (HR2206) sets benchmarks for the Iraqi government but does not enforce a firm timetable for withdrawal.  The bill will now move to the Senate.

Another bill (HR2237) introduced by Rep. Jim McGovern called for a withdrawal from Iraq within 9 months.  The bill was backed by Pelosi and Murtha but it was defeated 171 - 255.  This was the best vote yet for the peace movement and it will be offered for another vote in July.  Find out how your Representative voted for this bill here: http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2007/roll330.xml.  If your member voted YES, be sure to thank them!

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Iraqi Lawmakers Back Bill on U.S. Withdrawal
By Joshua Partlow, Washington Post Foreign Service
Washington Post, May 11, 2007; Page A1
A majority of members of Iraq's parliament have signed a draft bill that would require a timetable for the withdrawal of U.S. soldiers from Iraq and freeze current troop levels. The development was a sign of a growing division between Iraq's legislators and prime minister that mirrors the widening gulf between the Bush administration and its critics in Congress.
Read more...
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May 10, 2007
Call your Representative NOW and tell them to vote YES on H.R. 2237!
Rep. Jim McGovern's (D-MA) bill, HR 2237, is being voted on in the House TODAY and we need your calls of support! Call the Capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121 and ask to speak to your Representative. HR 2237 calls for troop withdrawal and to cut off funding for the war. This is a significant victory for the anti-war movement and the anti-war members of congress-- but only if the House passes this important piece of legislation.

The bill would redeploy troops from Iraq quickly and cut off funding for the war. In addition, it requires that all U.S. military bases in Iraq be turned over to the Iraqis. But, some important changes have been made:
- The word 'withdrawal' is replaced with 'redeployment';
- It would go into effect '90 days after enactment' instead of the 30 days in the original bill;
- It would withdraw all US troops except for troops engaged in limited operations against al Qaeda and other foreign terrorist, and for training Iraq troops; and
- In addition to clarifying that economic and social reconstruction aid for Iraq continues, it adds the word 'diplomatic' as well, so that funding for our embassy personnel is not cut off.

This is not the peace movement's perfect bill, but it does mandate a redeployment of troops quickly, and cuts off funding for the war. It also requires that U.S. military bases be turned over to the Iraqis. A stong YES vote on the bill will also send a powerful signal to the Democratic leadership that there is support in the House for cutting funding for the war.

Please call TODAY!
Call the Capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121, ask to speak to your Representative, and ask them to vote YES on HR 2237!
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May 8, 2007

If the Voters Were Represented, There’d Be a Veto-Proof Majority for Iraq Withdrawal
By Robert Naiman, Just Foreign Policy
If Members of Congress voted on a timetable for withdrawing from Iraq based on whether more people in their districts favored or opposed such a timetable, it would pass the House by a margin of at least 418-17, and the Senate by a margin of 98-2.  If only those Members voted yes who represent districts where at least 50% of the public supports such a timetable, it would still pass with a margin of at least 329-106 in the House and 78-22 in the Senate, a three-fourths majority in both chambers. In either case this would be far more than the margin needed to override a Presidential veto.
Read more . . .
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May 4, 2007
Sen. Durbin Publicly Admits Senate Intelligence Committee Knew Bush Was Falsely Leading America to War in Iraq
OpEdNews.com reported on Wednesday that Senator Dick Durbin stood up on the Senate floor and admitted that, as a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, he was privy to top secret intelligence before the attack on Iraq that revealed that the Bush Administration was giving false and misleading information to the American public, Congress and the world to try to justify an attack Iraq. Watch the video here.

Rep. Dennis Kucinich recently introduced articles for impeaching Vice President Cheney on these same grounds. Durbin's admission does not only implicate the Bush Administration of illegal actions, but also the 16 members of the Senate Intelligence Committee which included Presidential candidate Sen. John Edwards and potential candidate Sen. Fred Thompson.

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May 3, 2007
Democrats Cave In to Bush's Veto

Within just a day after Bush's veto of the Iraq war supplemental funding bill, Democrats already offered thier biggest possible concession: the removal of a timeline for withdrawal. The Democratic leadership claims to be "committed to ending this war", but we have to wonder how this will happen if they are both funding it and refusing to set an end date to the occupation.

At this time, it's absolutely crucial that every voter make their voice heard by calling, emailing, writing, meeting, and occupying their member of Congress. None of us can afford another year in this war.
Please do all you can to let your member know that you want them to stand up to Bush and deliver the mandate for peace we voted for in November.

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May 2, 2007
Stand Up to Bush's Veto!
Congress is about to get a second chance to end the Iraq War and this time . . . do it right.

Last night, President Bush vetoed Congress' $124 billion Iraq War funding bill that also carried with it several restrictions on the use of force and a timetable for withdrawal. In truth, these requirements were mere suggestions that could have been waived by Bush, but still Bush refused even those minimal constraints.

Now Congress has a second shot to cut off funds for war and to put forward a bill that funds a responsible withdrawal and full care for veterans. Some members of Congress, such as Sen. Barak Obama, have irresponsibly promised to deliver a 'clean' bill without any restrictions, guidelines or accountability. At the same time, the few Republicans who have stood up against the war are facing increasing pressure from their party leadership and their base. Fortunately, there are members such as Sen. Russ Feingold who are standing up and saying 'We will not back down to Bush.'

President Bush expects Congress to respond to his veto by giving him funding for the wars without any restrictions, guidelines or accountability. We need Congress to stand up to Bush and say NO to his bullying tactics.

TAKE ACTION NOW to make sure that Congress Stands Up to Bush's Veto!

1. Call your member of Congress TODAY to say
"STAND UP TO BUSH'S VETO!"

Call the Congressional Switchboard TODAY at (202) 224-3121. Ask for the office of your Representative or Senators. If your member of Congress is not available, ask to talk to the foreign policy advisor. If you can't speak to anyone on the phone, leave a voicemail. You can find your member of Congress here.


2. Write a letter to your local newspaper.
We need to show Congress that voters support their stand up to Bush-- help us get this message out by sending your letter today!

3. Plan an action in your community!

For an idea on an action you can host, check out this historic action VotersForPeace participated in last week in the Hart Senate building. More than 100 people expressed their opposition to more funds for war, resulting in 14 unplanned arrests. Letters from military families were read as banners dropped, and a trumpeter played taps as a military chaplain presided over a dramatic reenactment of a military funeral. Keep the momentum building in your community and sign up to host an action today!

April 27, 2007
Senate Passes Bill Seeking Iraq Exit; Veto is Expected
By Carl Hulse, NY Times
The Senate on Thursday sent President Bush a $124 billion war spending measure that he has promised to veto, forcing Democrats to begin confronting the difficult question of what to do after the president acts.
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April 26, 2007
Majority of Americans Support a Troop Withdrawal Deadline
An NBC/Wall Street Journal Poll released this week shows that 56 percent say they agree more with the Democrats in Congress who want to set a deadline for troop withdrawal, versus the 37 percent who say they agree with Bush that there shouldn't be a deadline.

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14 People Arrested on Capitol Hill During Peace Demonstration
A dozen antiwar groups organized today's action in the Hart Senate office building which led to the arrest of 14 participants. The action included singing, banner dropping, reading of letters from military families and a Funeral for the Next Soldier with Rev. Yearwood of the Hip Hop Caucus presiding.


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April 24, 2007
Congress Investigates Military Cover-Up and Deception in the Death of Pat Tillman
When NFL star Pat Tillman was killed three years ago in an ambush attack in Afghanistan, his death was heralded as an act of bravery in the face of enemy fire. The truth of the matter, however, was that he did not die by enemy fire, but by friendly fire from an American convoy.

That truth was inconvenient for the Pentagon at a time when they were facing increasing criticism. So, rather than tell the truth about Tillman's death, the military ordered his fellow rangers not to tell the truth, lied to his family about his death, and lied to the American public. Mary Tillman, Pat Tillman's mother, said pointedly that, "This was an attempt to dupe the public and to promote this war and to get recruitments up, and that is immoral."


At the same time that Congress is investigating the death of Pat Tillman, they are also looking into another allegation of fabrication by the military-- the rescue Pfc. Jessica Lynch. Lynch, who appeared at the committee hearing (watch a video here), said she hoped to "set the record straight" about her rescue and its embellishments by the military.


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April 23, 2007
Conference Committee Agrees on Iraq War Supplemental Funding
David Espo, AP

A historic veto showdown assured, Democratic leaders agreed Monday on legislation that requires the first U.S. combat troops to be withdrawn from Iraq by Oct. 1 with a goal of a complete pullout six months later.

"No more will Congress turn a blind eye to the Bush administration's incompetence and dishonesty," Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said in a speech in which he accused the president of living in a state of denial about events in Iraq more than four years after the U.S.-led invasion. Read more...

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April 17, 2007

"Number 3291"
By Cindy Sheehan, Published on Common Dreams
Cindy SheehanI met the aunt of number 3291 today. I was sitting in seat 11E and a flight attendant gave me a note from a woman in seat 33C: “My nephew was killed in Iraq yesterday. I would like to meet you.”

Seat belt light or not, I headed back toward the rear of the airplane. We held each other and she said: “What can I do? My brother was in the Army and he initially supported the effort. Yesterday, he made a sign with a picture of his son saying: ‘Murdered by George Bush.’” I prayed for the Universe to give the families strength yesterday as I do everyday our soldiers are killed, as I pray for the Iraqis and their families who are also murdered unnecessarily. I don’t often get to meet the people I pray for in such a timely manner. Read more...
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April 16, 2007
If You're for Peace, You Don't Vote for War
By David Cobb, The Times-Standard

David
CobbIn the last general election, the American people rejected the failed policies of the Bush administration, and especially the disastrous invasion and occupation of Iraq. Political pundits agreed -- the election was a clear and unambiguous message. And in only four months time, the new Congress -- led by a Democratic Party majority in both the Senate and the House of Representatives -- ignored that message. Read more...
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April 10, 2007
Iraqis Call for an End to the US Occupation
Tens of thousands of Iraqis gathered in the holy city of Najaf on Monday to demand an end to the US military occupation of Iraq. Marking the fourth anniversary of the fall of Baghdad, Shiite cleric Moktada al-Sadr called for this gathering of Iraqis as he renewed a previous call for Iraqi's to cease working with US military personnel in Iraq.

Meanwhile in Washington DC, Ali Allawi, a senior advisor to Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, spoke to audiences about why American forces need to make a “u-turn” and cease their military actions in Iraq.  A native Iraqi, Allawi spent 30 years in exile in the UK before returning to Iraq in 2003 at the invitation of the coalition government.  A former supporter of the occupation, Allawi served as the Minister of Finance and later as the Minister of Defense.  He kept a journal of the “American project in Iraq” during this time and eventually compiled this expertise as a first-hand participant into a book, “The Occupation of Iraq: Winning the War, Losing the Peace.

Now that the war is in its fifth year with no end in sight, Allawi believes that the war has “unleashed forces that need to be acknowledged, contained, and integrated.”  He asserts that we “cannot tackle it by throwing tanks and missiles at it, nor by throwing at it platitudes about the democratic process.”  Rather, Allawi believes that stability in Iraq is going to require concessions by all parties, countries and ethnic groups involved.  In the end, there is no easy answer, but one thing is certain: continued occupation is no answer at all.
 
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April 6, 2007
Peace Activists Bring the Realities of War to Easter Celebrations at the White House
On Monday, April 9, peace voters will join the Vineeta Foundation, VotersForPeace, and others for a "cluster bomb hunt" on the north side of the White House. "When you look at the message of Easter, it's about life and love and peace," said Linda Schade, executive director of Voters for Peace, another co-sponsor. "We're trying to emphasize how our actions are not in step with our values." Read the full Washington Post article
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April 5, 2007
Peace Movement Takes Action Against Climate Change!
It's time to bridge the divide between the peace movement and the climate action movement! For far too long, our groups have been working on one or the other of these issues, but now is the time to acknowledge the ways in which these issues are linked and take action to end both war and climate change!
Read more...

NoWarNoWarming
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April 3, 2007
The Occupation Continues
Still wondering what an occupation looks like? Check out this video below from March 29, 2007, when peace advocates occupied the Hart Senate Office Building, in Washington, DC.




Your Members of Congress Are Waiting to Hear From You -- TAKE ACTION NOW!


In the past two weeks, both the House and Senate passed Iraq War funding bills that allocate over $100 billion to the continued occupation of Iraq. This was a disappointment for Peace Voters across the nation, but there is still an opportunity to improve the bill and demand a firmer deadline for bringing home our troops.

Congress is now on recess until April 9th for the Senate and April 15th for the House. While your members of Congress are home for the session, schedule a meeting to talk to them about the funding bills. Ask them why they continue to fund this illegal and unjust war-- and demand they take steps to end it once and for all! If they continue to support the funding or refuse to meet with you, consider holding an occupation of their office.

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March 29, 2007
Senate Approves $122 Billion for War in Iraq and Afghanistan

The Senate voted 51-47 today to approve another $122 billion in war funding. The funding package provoked sharp criticism from Senate Republicans and the White House because it includes a non-binding March 2008 withdrawal date. President Bush is expected to veto the bill but Senate Democrats are determined that they will eventually garner the votes needed to override his veto.

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March 26, 2007
Howard Zinn Asks: Are We Politicians or Citizens?
Published in The Progressive, May 2007
 As I write this, Congress is debating timetables for withdrawal from Iraq. In response to the Bush Administration's "surge" of troops, and the Republicans' refusal to limit our occupation, the Democrats are behaving with their customary timidity, proposing withdrawal, but only after a year, or eighteen months. And it seems they expect the anti-war movement to support them. Read more...

Two Out of Three Americans Want Withdrawal of US Troops
On the four-year anniversary of the Iraq war approaches with Congress debating an allocation of an additional $100 billion to fund war, a Zogby poll found that two-thirds (68%) of 1028 Americans questioned favored short-term withdrawal of troops. One year ago, 72% of the troops in Iraq themselves similarly responded that they favored short-term withdrawal from Iraq.
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March 23, 2007
House Passes the $124.1 Billion Iraq War Supplemental

After two months of anticipation about whether the new Congress would use the "power of the purse" to bring US troops home from Iraq, the House has passed the Iraq War supplemental that gives Bush the war funds to continue the occupation until at least August 2008.

The House passed the supplemental in a very close vote 218-212-1.  There were eight Democrats who voted with the anti-war movement against the supplemental for the right reasons.  This included Representatives Dennis Kucinich, John Lewis, Barbara Lee, Mike McNulty, Mike Michaud, Maxine Waters, Diane Watson, and Lynn Woolsey. Republican Rep. Ron Paul (TX) also voted "NO" for the right reasons. Please call these members at 202.224.3121 to say thank you for their resolve to end this illegal and unjust war.

There were also six Democrats who voted against the bill because they wanted it to support the war even more strongly.  These included Representatives John Barron, Dan Boren, Lincoln Davis, Jim Marshall, Jim Matheson, and Gene Taylor. Rep. Mel Watt did not vote but came to the floor after the vote to say he would have voted for the supplemental if he had not been delayed.  Rep. Paul Kanjorski did not vote because he was ill and Rep. Pete Stark voted "present. 
The full roll call vote is available at: http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2007/roll186.xml.

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March 23, 2007
MoveOn Poll Misleads Congress and Misrepresents Its Membership
On Sunday, March 18, MoveOn.org sent a poll to its membership asking whether their members would support or oppose the $124.1billion Iraq war supplemental. The poll asked the question in a way that led their members to support the supplemental plan proposed by Nancy Pelosi. The poll offered no details about the plan, its compromises or the exceptions it gives to the timeline for withdrawal. Read more...

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March 21, 2007
ALERT to Peace Voters in Swing States
The House of Representatives is going to vote tomorrow on the $124 billion Iraq war funding supplemental. It is going to be a very close vote and 47 Members of Congress are still undecided. This is a critical vote that has to power to say to President Bush and the Congressional leadership that we want our troops to come home-- and we want them home NOW.

Please call 202-224-3121 today and urge your Representative to oppose the Iraq War Supplemental!
1. Find your member of Congress here: http://capwiz.com/fconl/directory/congdir.tt
2. Find out if he/she is undecided here:
http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/node/19669
3. Ask to speak to your Member of Congress or their foreign policy advisor.
4. Tell them to vote NO on the Iraq War Supplemental

This war supplemental bill is touted as changing the course in Iraq because it requires troops to be out by August 31, 2008, and it implements benchmarks that must be met to receive the funding. But even then there are several exceptions that would allow as many troops as President Bush wants to remain in Iraq beyond the deadline for "capturing or killing" members of Al Qaeda and training the Iraqi military. It even gives President Bush a way to skirt around the bill's requirements to send combat ready troops if he deems it "necessary".This bill does not represent why we voted a new Congressional majority into office in November.

Please call 202-224-3121 today to tell your Representative to vote NO!
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March 21, 2007

Tina Richards Continues Her Call to Congress to vote NO to War Funding
For the past two weeks, VotersForPeace has been walking the halls of Congress with Marine mom Tina Richards pushing members to vote against the $124 billion war supplemental bill. Last Monday, in a follow up to her chance meeting with Rep. Obey, VotersForPeace joined Tina in a closed door meeting with a senior Obey staffer on the supplemental bill where Tina explained that the bill is bad for soldiers, military families and bad for America.

Since then, Tina has been featured on NPR, Newsweek, the Washington Post and many other media outlets. To support Tina's work in DC, please visit her website http://grassrootsamerica4us.org
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March 16, 2007
BraveNewFoundation Launches
Iraq Veterans Memorial

This memorial was conceived as a place to honor the servicemembers who lost their lives over the past four years during the Iraq War.  By watching the videos, you will have the opportunity to learn about these heroes from those who knew them best -- their family, friends, and fellow servicemembers.  
Visit www.iraqmemorial.org for more information or to contribute a video.





Arrest of Three Activists on Capitol Hill Fuels Anti-War Frustration
Capitol Hill police arrested three activists yesterday while they were waiting to attend the House Appropriations Committee hearing on the Iraq supplemental spending bill. The citizens had been waiting at the front of the line since 7am and were told that they would not be allowed into the room once the hearing was about to begin.

March 13, 2007
Peaceful Protestors are Tear-Gassed and Shot at with Rubber Bullets by Tacoma Police


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March 12, 2007

The Iraq Exit Plan That is Likely to Lead to a Bigger Middle East War
VotersForPeace Co-Founder Kevin Zeese explains how the “Democratic Supplemental” fails to deal with Iran and has loopholes that will leave tens of thousands or more troops in Iraq.
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March 9, 2007
The Pressure is Building - Let's Keep it Up!
Earlier this week, VotersForPeace launched a nine-day national call-in campaign in which peace voters across the country are telling their members of Congress: Stop funding the War-- vote NO on the war appropriations! We have received a fantastic response to this call-in campaign and thousands of you have reported back with an update on your call to Congress. We're now on the fifth day of the campaign and the calls keep rolling in to Capitol Hill.

The pressure is building-- let's keep it up!
Please help us continue to put pressure on Congress by donating $25 to VotersForPeace today.


We need your support at this critical time because Congress needs to hear from peace voters every day. For the next two weeks we are focusing our resources on the House by pushing them to vote NO on the supplemental, to fully fund a safe withdrawal of our troops, and to establish a deadline for withdrawal from Iraq. After that, our efforts will move to the Senate. Our constant pressure is paying off. Help us keep it up with your support and by continuing to take action!

And, because we recognize that future military conflicts will be rooted in battles over resources made worse by the climate change crisis, VotersForPeace has initiated a new coalition of peace and climate action organizations. This coalition seeks to unite two vibrant movements along one shared premise: Oil is the critical link between war and climate change. In the coming months, expect to see new actions led by VotersForPeace and the No War No Warming coalition, as well as news and updates from the Peace-Climate Nexus.
Click here to read our first call to action!

VotersForPeace is energized by these new initiatives and by your willingness to call, write and occupy Congress. It's our critical job to provide easy ways for you to take action, but all of our work takes valuable time and money. If you think our work is important to ending this war, please donate $25 or more today. Your tax-deductible contribution will go towards our work identifying and educating new peace voters across the political spectrum, keeping you updated on news and legislation, and of course providing the best ways possible for you to take action. Thank you for your support-- let's keep up the good work!

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March 5, 2007
TAKE ACTION!
Tell Your Member of Congress to Vote NO and Stop Funding the War!

WHEN:
TODAY, Monday, March 5th
HOW:
Call the Congressional Switchboard at 202.224.3121 and ask to speak with your member of Congress or the foreign policy advisor.
Tell Congress to vote NO on the supplemental appropriations!
Find your member of Congress here.

By voting NO on Bush's war funding, Congress can end this war-- a war that has caused a global rise in terrorism, a war that has killed over 655,000 Iraqi and 3,100 American people, and a war that has put our nation into debt for generations to come. The House of Representatives is voting on Bush's $100 billion war supplemental on Wed, March 14th. This is the only way that Congress can end the war and it's the first war funding vote for the new Congress. We need to put constant pressure on Congress to vote NO on the supplemental, so we are working with numerous other groups to flood Capitol Hill with phone calls every day leading up to the vote. VotersForPeace is kicking off the call-in day today and we hope you will help us!

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Feb 27, 2007
Congress Needs to Follow the Consensus of the American Public:

Majority of Americans Want Conditions on War Funding and a Deadline for a Troop Withdrawal

Yet another poll released today in the Washington Post shows us that 53% of Americans want a deadline for a troop withdrawal and 56% strongly object to a troop escalation. Even more interestingly, a clear majority of Americans (58%) support placing conditions on war funding to ensure troop readiness and rest. A plan proposed last week by John Murtha (D-PA) sought to do that very thing but was shot down by his House colleagues after a political entanglement.

The Washington Post reported earlier that, "While the public is fed up with Iraq, there is little consensus over what to do." We suggest that Congress look no further than the poll released today and a series of polls released in January. The American public is in consensus-- now it's up to Congress to put petty politics aside and carry out the will of the people.

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Feb 26, 2007
Will You Join the March on the Pentagon?


Pentagon ProtestMarch 17th marks the end of the fourth year of the disastrous war in Iraq. People from around the country will be coming to DC to March on the Pentagon in protestof the war-- will you be one of them? The march also commemorates the 40th anniversary of the 1967 march on the Pentagon in protest of the Vietnam War (see photo at left).

Support for Iraq War Dropping
Series of polls finds little confidence in Bush or Democrats. Majority want withdrawal.
A series of polls in January have made the message clear: The public wants Congress to use the power of the purse to prevent an increase in troops in Iraq and to develop a time table for withdrawal. The polls find the country on the wrong track with little confidence in the leadership of the country, from either party, to get the United States on the right track.
Read the full analysis by Kevin Zeese.

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Feb 23, 2007
Democrats Seek to Repeal 2002 War Authorization


Moving away from the previously trumpeted proposal to attach requirements to Bush's funding request, the Democrats are shifting gears and will try to repeal the 2002 war authorization that initially led Bush to war.

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Feb 22, 2007
Blair announces Iraq withdrawal plan


British Prime Minister Tony Blair announced yesterday they will begin a troop withdrawal from Iraq. As the largest coalition presence in Iraq, the news came as a blow to the Bush administration which is seeking to increase-- not decrease-- troop levels. Blair plans to withdraw 1,600 troops in the coming months with further cuts in the 7,100 British force ahead.

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Feb 21, 2007
VotersForPeace Survey Results


Alex
ZeeseIn December 2006, we asked our 130,000 email subscribers about the issues they're most concerned about, the tactics they're most likely to employ, and what they would like VotersForPeace to work on. The results are in and you can read the full survey results here.

More than half of the respondents (61%) said they are most likely to get active by emailing their members of Congress. When asked about the issues our supporters are most likely to work on, 42% replied US wars of aggression; an additional 25% said impeachment and 11% said human rights. Outside of issues pertaining to the Iraq war or wars of aggression, a majority of people (65%) replied that they are also involved in global warming issues.


How Well Do You Know the Middle East?
Take this ABC quiz on Sunni and Shiite facts to see if you understand the difference between the two sects.

Global Terrorism on the Rise Since the US Invasion of Iraq in 2003
An exclusive Mother Jones article, "The Iraq Effect", reveals that global "jihadist attacks" have increased 607% since the US invasion of Iraq. The report reveals that the rate of attacks on Western interests and citizens has risen by almost 25 percent, further proving wrong Bush's claim that we are somehow safer today.

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Feb 16, 2007

Breaking News: The House passes a resolution rejecting Bush's proposed troop increase.

Senate Prepares to Vote on Bush's Escalation Plan

It seems that Iraq is suddenly receiving the urgency it deserves. In an unexpected move late yesterday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid scheduled a Saturday "up or down" Senate vote on a resolution to oppose Bush's troop escalation plan.

Members of Congress appear to be increasingly aware of the need to prove their commitment to bringing US troops home-- and they should be. In the past two weeks, anti-war activists have occupied the offices of, among others, Hilary Clinton, John McCain, and Barbara Mikulski (D-MD)-- and more actions are planned throughout the month.

Mikulski ProtestOn Feb 15, VoterForPeace Co-Founder Kevin Zeese and Outreach Coordinator Trina Zahller were participants in the occupation of Sen. Mikulski's office. Mikulski voted against the use of military force in Iraq in 2002 but since then has voted to approve spending on the war and has refused to comment on the upcoming appropriations vote. Mikulski represents a new type of target for anti-war activists: members of Congress who, despite previous votes against the war or war funding, are simply not doing enough to bring an end to the occupation. The message is clear: unless you are willing to say NO to Bush and NO to his war funding, you should assume that you, too, will be occupied.

The House Moves on a Non-Binding Resolution to Oppose an Escalation of US Troops


After three days of debate on the floor of the House of Representatives over whether the Congress supports a surge of US troops, the House is readying for a vote.  The outcome is pre-ordained - the House will oppose the surge - but two questions remain.  First, how many Republicans will join the Democrats? And, second: Will the non-binding resolution be a predecessor to restricted war funding? 

The Washington Post reported that at least a dozen House Republicans are expected to oppose the surge, while others predict the number to be as high as fifty. As for the question of whether the non-binding resolution will trigger further efforts to restrict funding for the war, the outlook is a little foggier. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced her support for special conditions on war funds, but still refuses to deny Bush his requested war funding.

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Feb 15, 2007
Take Action to Prevent a War on Iran

It's becoming clear: the Bush Administration seems committed to another war of aggression – this time against Iran – and they're stopping at nothing to make their case. This week, the administration has been busy making allegations of Iranian interference in Iraq based on flimsy evidence produced by anonymous witnesses read below for more information. High-ranking officials such as General Peter Pace, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, are speaking out against the claims but Bush remains defiant in his accusations.

The situation is urgent, but we still have time to prevent this tragedy. We need to let Congress, the White House and all of our friends and neighbors know that we oppose any military action against Iran. Congress is on break from Feb 19-23, which means they will be back in their home districts. This is a key opportunity to take your anti-war message to their doorstep.

Here's how you can help:
- Send a letter to your local newspaper today -
Help us reach our goal of publishing at least one letter to the editor in each congressional district so that Congress will see that their constituents are opposed to a war on Iran. Let's ensure that Bush doesn't start yet another war of aggression in our name!
- Schedule a meeting with your members of Congress - to talk about what they are doing to bring our troops home from Iraq and prevent a war against Iran.

- Send an email to your members of Congress - demanding that they do everything possible to prevent any and all military action against Iran.

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Feb 9, 2007
Congress Starts to Move, Albeit Slowly

The often slow pace of Congress has not limited the number of twists and turns we've seen this week in DC. On Monday, Bush submitted his $2.9 trillion budget to Congress, allocating $717 billion, or 25% of our total spending, to the military. This includes $100 billion more for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan this year. That same day, Senate Republicans blocked debate of a resolution opposing Bush's war escalation, and then came back three days later saying they would do everything in their power to "ensure a full and open debate". Meanwhile, the House finally agreed to debate its own nonbinding resolution to oppose the escalation, which will likely begin on Tues, Feb 13.

The Congressional Progressive Caucus, which includes 71 House members, is still pushing for more effective legislation among their fellow Representatives. On Feb 7, the CP Caucus issued a statement calling for a total withdrawal of US troops and contractors within six months. The plan asks for a fully-funded withdrawal and accepts that Congress has no other choice but to use the "power of the purse" to put an end to Bush's war plan. To support their efforts, please email your member of Congress today, or call them and use our talking points reference sheet.


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Feb 7, 2007
The Occupation Begins


On Monday, Feb 5th activists across the country began their take-over of Congressional district offices. Here in DC, the Occupation Project was launched at Sen. John McCain's Capitol Hill office. Ten peace activists were arrested including Voices for Creative Nonviolence Executive Director Kathy Kelly, who was later interviewed on Democracy Now!

Perhaps you are still thinking about joining an occupation? Search here for a Declaration of Peace Civil Disobedience Action - or - an Occupation Project in your town. Still wondering where your member of Congress stands on the war? Check out your Representative's war voting record, or click here for your Senators' position on the surge and withdrawal.

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Jan 31, 2007
ASK YOUR MEMBER OF CONGRESS:
DO YOU WANT TO BE OCCUPIED?


VotersForPeace is excited to endorse the upcoming acts of civil disobedience and war resistance led by The Occupation Project and Declaration of Peace. Activists across the country are going to stop "business as usual" by occupying the offices of members of Congress who continue to support President Bush's occupation of Iraq.

Please check out their websites for information on actions in your area, non-violent resistance trainings, and to sign up to participate

Peace Voters Unite to Stop War Funding - Bring the Troops Home Now!

Jan27
MarchOnWashingtonThis weekend, people from across the country gathered in DC to rally, sing, march, learn and lobby for an end to the occupation of Iraq. UFPJ, the event organizers, estimate that 500,000 people were at Saturday's rally while 1,000 people stayed in DC for Monday's Congressional Lobby Day. This was no small feat-- and the result was one of the largest events calling for an end to the Iraq war and the largest lobby day in our Capitol's history.

Even with an eye-popping crowd of 500,000, the number of supporters was outshone by the quality of participation and the focus of the message. The peace movement was unified like never before as people of every political stripe, age, ethnicity and social cause came together to demand that Bush "Bring the Troops Home Now".

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Jan 25, 2007
The Anti-War Movement Needs YOU For Three Days

David Swanson of AfterDowningStreet.org gives the anti-war movement a good dose of team spirit as we prepare for the March on Washington in his editorial, Huddle Up!

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Jan 24, 2007
Peace Advocates Respond to the State of the Union


Linda Schade and Kevin Zeese discuss Bush’s State of the Union remarks regarding Iraq, Iran, Israel and global warming. Length: 17 minutes
Click on the image below to watch the video
.
State
of Union Response

Excerpt from the video:

"Most significant was Bush’s statement, “I chose this course of action because it provides the best choice for success.” All his advisors are telling him that the US ‘can’t win,’ whatever that means. Yet Bush refuses to accept the facts on the ground, refuses to understand that the presence of US troops is fueling the violence. He is out of touch with reality. His talk of ‘turning events toward victory’ is at this point delusional.”
- Linda Schade, Executive Director, VotersForPeace

So what is a peace voter to do?

"Sign the VotersForPeace Pledge and make a commitment today that you will only support peace candidates in 2008!"
- Linda Schade, Executive Director, VotersForPeace

“Peace Voters should also sign our Stop the Escalation, Begin the Withdrawal petition and urge your friends to do so as well. We will deliver the signatures to Congressional leadership before any vote on additional funding for Iraq.”
- Kevin Zeese, Director, Democracy Rising

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Jan 17, 2007

Listen to the Voices of Iraq:
DemocracyRising Interviews Dal LaMagna

Dal LaMagnaDal LaMagna, the founder of the Progressive Government Institute and the Iraqi Voices Project, is interviewed here by Kevin Zeese, the Director of DemocracyRising. You can also read a transcript of the interview.




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Jan 15, 2007
Join our campaign:
"Stop the Escalation - Stop Funding the War"

President Bush has again done the unthinkable: at a time when the majority of Americans want a withdrawal of US troops from Iraq, he has announced his plans to escalate the conflict. This is a blatant dismissal of the American people (only 11% support a troop increase according to a Jan. 7 poll) and the advice of his top military advisors-- and it's a critical litmus test for the new Congress.

The Democrats have stated that they will "attempt to derail funding" for Bush's proposed escalation, but they also need to refuse Bush's upcoming appropriations request for $127 billion to maintain our illegal occupation of Iraq. Congress can spark the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq, but it's going to take a lot of work to encourage our members of Congress to vote the right way.

For the next month, we need your help by calling your members' offices, emailing them, and scheduling meetings to get their commitment to refuse further funding for the war. In these meetings or phone calls, try to get them to make a formal statement in support or opposition to Bush's appropriations request. Make weekly calls and emails, and remember to thank those who support our mission. Let them know that you will only grow stronger until you hear a formal answer from them.

 


 

 

 

 

 
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