Tag: Iraq Moratorium

Now THAT Is a Letter to the Editor

Or: Taking on McCarthyism with Elvis and Cherry Cokes

(crossposted at Daily Kos)

With barely 24 hour to go before the start of Iraq Moratorium Day #3, I should probably be kvelling about the 100 or so Third Friday events posted on the Moratorium website. But you can check ’em out your own self.

Instead I want to highlight a great piece of political judo in written form, and in doing so, give one more plug to a great Moratorium crew, the folks in Sewanee, TN. A couple weeks ago I diaried their adventures with a heckler calling them “commies” at their Moratorium Day #2 venue in nearby Monteagle.

Later I learned that they had also faced a bit of redbaiting in the letters column of a local paper. The letter-writer caught hell from readers who weren’t even part of the protest, but regular Moratorium participant Pat Wiser took the honors with the following response which appeared in the Tullahoma News on October 28:

To the Editor:

Sometimes I miss the good ole days in 1950’s Coffee County: the Tullahoma-Manchester Coffee Pot game, cherry cokes in the drugstore on the square, Elvis on the jukebox.  I don’t miss the fear and suspicion generated by Senator Joseph McCarthy’s unfounded accusations of “communism,” a tactic that re-surfaced in an Oct. 21 letter, warning of peace vigil participants’ “ties to communist groups.”  

We aren’t communists.  Iraq Moratorium isn’t a communist organization. Our ties?  Farmers, veterans (World War II, Korea, Vietnam), ministers, teachers, home makers — small-town folk. Some donate to Walter Reed Army Medical Center and veterans’ groups; others organize drives, sending items to the troops.  

While friends still enjoy the Coffee Pot game, alas, we no longer stand cheering on the football field.  Now we stand on the corner of N. Jackson and Wilson (or in Sewanee, Monteagle, Winchester) in the heat or rain in vigils of support for our troops — not the “exciting and glamorous,” experience described by the writer.

We stand in sadness.  The Department of Defense confirms the deaths of 3,834 American soldiers in Iraq, 200 since our first vigil in late July.  The old “commies” taunt is insignificant as we honor the brave men and women fighting this senseless war.  

Pat Wiser

Sewanee, TN

[Pat was asked for permission to print this in its entirety, as the Tullahoma News  doesn’t post letters on its limited website and, despite an impressive modesty about her effort, agreed.]

Essay in Response to Buhdy’s “Impeach: A Battle Cry for the People”

I simply can’t wait to try to write something smart, engaging, even very coherent.  Something needs to be done…and soon!  

Yes. Buhdy, we must come together behind a “unified field theory & action” to take back our country, to take back the soul of our country.

Impeachment is a good one.  A high percentage of people are for this.  There is an even higher percentage of people who think we should get out of Iraq.  

The issue is not “finding” an issue.  The issue is how to empower and persuade people to do something, to “yell louder,” to get up, go out and make their opinions heard.  This is what appeals to me about the IRAQ MORATORIUM.  I am also greatly in favor of a General Strike.  

So, I think we can unify and act behind these three ideas:




The Iraq Moratorium was conceived as a platform to bring out massive numbers of people.

Although between 2/3 and 3/4 of people surveyed are now in opposition to the Iraq war, they don’t come out to express their feelings.  The population of the United States is 300 million.  The last major, national demonstration, October 27th, had been planned and organized for months in advance; but only about 80K to 150K people came out to protest.  

While 67% to 75% of the U.S. population opposes the war, only about 5/100s of 1% came out to protest.  The apathy, distraction, or feeling of hopelessness expressed by these numbers should be taken into account.

The Iraq Moratorium takes account of these dismall numbers and has developed an idea to help the voiceless speak out through the simplicity, regularity, and non-competitive umbrella nature of the action.  All P & J groups can join in under the umbrella of Iraq Moratorium.  Power in numbers.  “Solidarity Forever!”  

Hopefully, the Iraq Moratorium can turn into a General Strike!  The Iraq Moratorium (IM)is scheduled for the Third Friday of Every Month.  People who participate in IM take a pledge to do something for peace on the 3rd Friday of each month.  The commitment is easy as there is a broad range of actions to be taken, ranging from wearing a black ribbon or arm band, to buying no gas on that day, to vigils, to informational forums, to civil disobedience.  The main thing is to sign the pledge (numbers are important)

and to

         do something!

The Iraq Moratorium could be combined easily with The General Strike.  Garrett Keizer, a contributing editor to “Harper’s Magazine” had an excellent essay on this in the October ’07 issue “Notebook” section:

       “Specific Suggestion: General Strike”



Yesterday was Today is Iraq War Moratorium Day. It is a day of national individualized action observed the third Friday of every month. Take the pledge.

It’s hard for me to believe that it’s already been four weeks since the first Iraq War Moratorium Day. The time flew by for me. And perhaps for some of you.

Unfortunately, since then, time has just came to a halt, real and metaphorical, for more victims–civilian and military–of the continued occupation of Iraq and their loved ones .

Iraq Moratorium Almost Live Blog

Hi All,

I just wanted to let you know that we have the almost live blog up and running.  After your event please come submit a piece at Iraq Moratorium  You can get to the submissions page by clicking on the Read what others have been doing!And don’t forget to add your news!Click here! link.

We would love to hear what you did, how many people were at your event, if you got any media coverage, and of course your pictures, and videos.

Once you submit, one of us will check it over to make sure you aren’t a war monger posting to annoy everyone, and publish it to the blog.


Pony Party: Moratorium

On the Third Friday of every month, starting this Friday, Take Action! Iraq Moratorium.org

The Iraq Moratorium will be an escalating monthly series of actions demanding an end to the war. Starting on Friday, September 21 and on the third Friday of every month thereafter, we will take the time to show our President and Congress that our troops must be brought home, now!

Sign the pledge, DONATE!!, find an event in your area…..other suggestions

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