Having again elected a new Congress with a mandate to end the war, activists are determined to hold Congress accountable this time. The Raise Hell for Molly Ivins Campaign is urging contact with members of Congress, in their home offices, on the Third Friday of the month — Iraq Moratorium day — and has produced a video with Vietnam vet Ron Kovic to promote it. (That’s next Friday, Nov. 21.)
United for Peace and Justice (UFPJ) is urging meetings with members of Congress in their home offices between now and Jan. 3, when they are seated. Says UFPJ:
These visits will help communicate our sense of urgency. Our nation is still at war, as well as in the throes of sharp economic decline and a growing global environmental crisis. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are costing us billions of dollars, which are vitally needed here at home, and tens of thousands of deaths on all sides. There is much to be urgent about!
With a new administration and a new Congress coming to power in January, we have an opportunity to advance new priorities and to help restore the proper role of Congress in foreign policy matters. But that means we have to start our work now, we cannot wait for several months…
Issues To Address In Your Meetings With Members Of Congress
At a time of economic crisis, the United States needs a new foreign policy, which emphasizes diplomacy and international cooperation, rather than military power and war. In discussions with members of Congress, it will be helpful to stress that our economy will not recover, and we will not have the resources to create green jobs, health care for all, 21st-century education and rebuild the infrastructure, if the military budget is not reduced. The present level of military spending is outrageous and not sustainable with all the new programs promised during the election campaigns.
1) On Iraq. Congress should insist on the rapid withdrawal of all U.S. military forces and contractors from Iraq. This withdrawal should be accompanied by a new diplomatic surge to stabilize the country and open the political space for Iraqis to decide their own future. Deployment of the National Guard in wars overseas should cease, returning their focus to domestic security.
2) On Afghanistan. Congress should not permit an expansion of the U.S. war in Afghanistan. It should press for a multilateral regional effort at stabilization along with rapid withdrawal of NATO and U.S. forces.
3) On Iran. Members of Congress should make clear their opposition to a new war in Iran. They ought to encourage unconditional, high-level talks to reduce tensions and urge Iran to abandon any nuclear weapons program. If the U.S. truly wants to stop the spread of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction, it will require us to live up to our commitments under Article 6 of the Non-Proliferation Treaty.
Why not work on that on Iraq Moratorium day as well?
If there’s no Congressional office where you are, bring cell phones and contact numbers to your Moratorium event and place calls from there.
Do something. Keep the heat on. It’s got to stop, and we are still the ones who have to stop it.