Tag: Iaq

What did you do to end the war, Daddy?

When your child asks, in 10 years, “What did you do end the war in Iraq, Daddy? (Mommy?), what are you going to say?

“Well, we worked really hard at it for years.  We marched, and wrote letters, and held vigils, and called up Congress, and did a lot of other stuff — oh, and a lot of meetings, too.  

“So did you keep it up until you made them end the war?”

“Well, not exactly.  See, we worked to elect this guy who was running for president and said he would end the war if he got elected.  And he won.

“So he ended the war and then you could quit protesting?”

“Something like that.  More like we quit protesting and hoped he would end the war.”

“Did it end?”

“Yes, but not right away.  It took a few years.  Quite a few, actually.”

“Do you think maybe you quit too soon?”

“It’s getting pretty late.  How about a bedtime story?”

* * *

Friday, Feb. 20, is Iraq Moratorium #18.

It is not the time to opt out of the effort to end the war and occupation of Iraq.  It is a time to turn up the heat, or, at a minimum, to keep things simmering.  Do something, large or small, to show you want US troops home.  

And, whatever you’re planning, please list it here.

Members of Congress are going to be home next week for a recess.  It’s a great chance to tell them face-to-face that we want our troops home.  And talk to them about spending priorities, using the billions we are wasting in Iraq to do something constructive.

From United for Peace and Justice, the nation’s biggest antiwar coalition:

The time is now to mount a campaign to cut the military budget by ending the war and occupation of Iraq and redirect the spending of our national budget.This is also an opportunity for the antiwar movement to work with economic and social justice groups in organizing joint delegations.

Don’t go to their offices alone!  Join with labor and community groups to make the first recess of the new Congress the beginning of a surge to compel them to end the war, cut the military budget and fund human needs.

If your Congressional representatives refuse to meet, or opposes the need for urgent emergency government action to respond to the economic crisis or bringing all the troops home: picket or vigil outside their office and call the press!

The opening of the debates on priorities for the next Federal Budget will follow this Congressional  recess. We need to make our priorities clear! Ending the wars and occupations in Iraq and Afghanistan are the first steps to making larger cuts in the military budget and change the priorities of Federal spending.

That’s just one idea.  There are hundreds of things you can do to observe the Iraq Moratorium.  Need ideas?  Visit the website:   IraqMoratorium.com.

What are you and me gonna do to end the war, Daddy and Mommy?


Making it easy to observe Moratorium day today

Today (Friday, Jan. 16) is the day:  Iraq Moratorium, a day to interrupt our daily routines and do something, whatever it may be, to call for an end to the war and occupation of Iraq.

Here’s one simple thing you can do that only takes a minute:

With the inauguration of Barack Obama just days away, ask Obama, through his change.gov website, to act at once to begin the process of withdrawing US troops. Tell him how strongly you feel about it.

Here’s another simple, warm, indoor activity, while we in Wisconsin and elsewhere (like the people pictured in Rice Lake WI) endure sub-zero temperatures:   Help keep the woefully underfunded Iraq Moratorium alive with a contribution, large or small, one-time or monthly.   Just click here to donate.  We’ll put it to immediate and effective use in the cause of peace

Whatever you decide to do, please send a report (photos or videos, too, if you have them) by using this brand new, even simpler form.

Folks across the country would like to hear about what you do, even an individual action.  You can inspire others to act.

Thanks for whatever you do in the cause of peace.

Iraq Moratorium: Now more than ever

Sometimes we think we should just call it the War Moratorium.

We all want to end the war and occupation of Iraq — but not to free up more troops for Afghanistan.

Violence continues to rage on a daily basis in both of those war-torn countries.

And now Gaza has been added to the mix, with innocents dying on both sides.

A new president takes office in less than two weeks — someone whose candidacy was launched and sustained in its early stages by his opposition to the Iraq war.

He, and other policy makers, need to hear from us, loudly and clearly, that we elected them to follow a path to peace — in Iraq, in Afghanistan, in Gaza, and around the globe.

What better time than Friday, Jan. 16, Iraq Moratorium #17, four days before the inauguration?

The Moratorium offers a chance for people across the country to speak out for peace with a united voice, in their own communities, all across the country.  Since it began in September 2007, it has sparked more than 1,500 local events in 43 states and 260 communities.

Please join us this month.  It’s easy.  You simply have to disrupt your regular routine and do something on January 16 to call for peace in Iraq.  The Moratorium is a big umbrella.  You decide what to do — as an individual or with a group.  Aside from unity on Iraq, there is plenty of room for other messages — to convert military spending to health care or other urgent needs, for example, or to stop the bloodshed in Afghanistan and Gaza.

The main thing is that we all do something — and that we share that information with others, so that it can inspire them and let them know that they are not alone, but truly part of a national grassroots movement that is mobilizing in local communities.

Please check our website to see if there’s an event listed in your community. Here’s the list.

If not, please send us the information on any group or individual action you’re planning for January 16.  Just use this form.

Afterward, we hope you’ll share your experience by sending us a short report, with photos or video if possible.

This is not a time to relax our efforts.  It is a time to renew and redouble them, knowing that we’re no longer trying to speak to a President and Congress with deaf ears on this issue.   There is a lot of talk about hope these days, and we should be hopeful, too — but take nothing for granted.

Thanks for all of your efforts to date, and for whatever you can do this month in the cause of peace.

Carols ask Congress members: Bring our families home

Armed with a guitar, Santa hats and some terrific antiwar lyrics for Christmas caroling, members of Military Families Speak Out sang out on Iraq Moratorium day Friday, serenading two members of Congress and asking them to bring family members and loved ones home now.

The carolers visited the homes of two Republican House members,Ed Royce (R-Fullerton) and Dana Rohrabacher (R-Huntington Beach) and even got a photo and article in the Orange County Register, no easy feat.

The lyrics by Vern Nelson are terrific.  You can find them, for eight different songs, on the Orange Juice Blog  Here’s a sample:

Why the Hell Are We Here?

(tune of Do You Hear What I Hear, Nelson-Alviso 2006)

Said the grunt to his sergeant in Iraq:

Why the hell are we here? (Why the hell are we here?)

Tryin’ to not get shot in the back,

Why the hell are we here? (Why the hell are we here?)

A wife and child wait for me back home,

spending Christmas-time all alone,

spending Christmas-time all alone.

Said the sarge to the Captain in command:

Why the hell are we here? (Why the hell are we here?)

Ev’ry week it seems I lose a man.

Why the hell are we here? (Why the hell are we here?)

A roadside bomb planted in the night

filling ev’ry moment with fright;

There’s no way to win such a fight.

Said the Captain to the Joint Chiefs of Staff:

Why the hell are we here? (Why the hell are we here?)

In this civil war in Iraq?

Why the hell are we here? (Why the hell are we here?)

Each bomb we drop only makes things worse;

and our choosing sides is perverse

in this Sunni/Shia universe.

Said the troops to the Congressman back home

Time to bring us back now! (Time to bring us back now!)

Congressman all comfy back home,

Time to bring us back now! (Time to bring us back now!)

This war, this war, has gone on far too long,

Can you hear the words of our song-

Getting out will make us- more strong!!!

A report from that action, and reports and photos from others across the country, are available at the Iraq Moratorium website.

Today’s the day. Do something

Today is Iraq Moratorium #16.

It is a day to interrupt business as usual and take some action to end the war and occupation of Iraq.

Join a group action or do something yourself.  Write a letter.  Send an email.  Call your Congress members.  Wear a button or armband to work or school. Donate to your favorite peace group.  Or do something more creative.  You’ll find lots of ideas on the Iraq Moratorium website.

Since the monthly actions, on the Third Friday of the month, began in September 2007 more than 1,500 events in 43 states and 260 communities have been listed on the website, and many more have gone unreported.

Be part of it.  The war has to stop, and we have to stop it.

Do something.

Giving Bush the Boot, Marking the Moratorium

Friday’s Iraq Moratorium will offer a mixed bag of activity across the country, from holiday-themed events to footwear-related actions.

Antiwar caroling, mall walks to raise shoppers’ consciousness, and vigiling by Santa are among the plans.

Elsewhere, the shoe-throwing by an Iraqi journalist have inspired actions like a “Give Bush the Boot” footwear-throwing contest in Milwaukee, and plans by others in New York and Connecticut to mail shoes to the White House on Moratorium day, with a note calling for an end to the war and occupation.

It’s all part of the ongoing, growing effort to get US troops out of Iraq by ratcheting up locally-based antiwar activity on the Third Friday of every month.  Friday, Dec. 19, is Iraq Moratorium #16.

Moratorium efforts got a boost last weekend when the National Assembly of United for Peace and Justice, the nation’s largest antiwar coalition with 1,400 member groups, approved an action plan that includes support for the Moratorium’s Third Friday organizing efforts.

Here’s a list of what’s planned this week (that we know of; there are always others we find out about later.): December actions.

You’ll find lots of other information and ideas on the Moratorium website.

Friday’s the day.  The war’s got to stop and we’ve got to stop it.  Please do something,

Counting the teenage dead, bringing the war to campus


Reports from Iraq Moratorium #15, observed Nov. 21, are coming in to the Moratorium website.  This one from Santa Barbara:

Vets for Peace, Chapter 54: A war memorial honoring exclusively the 18- 19- year-old military personnel, men and women killed in Iraq and Afghanistan, was erected on a lawn overlooking the ocean at Santa Barbara City College. The local chapter of Veterans for Peace and students set up the memorial, which currently honors 303 young men & women.

Dr. Gilberto Robledo, former faculty member of SBCC and VFP member along with several other VFP/SBCC students sets up the memorial the third Friday of every month in conjunction with the national Iraq Moratorium. As students, faculty, staff & community members pass by, they’re asked to place a placard on a white tombstone. The military person’s picture, name, unit, circumstance surrounding the death, and birth date is on the placard. This interactive memorial depicts the cost of war, especially to the college age students, who in many cases are in the same age range as the teen casualties of these two current conflicts.

American teenage casualties, of course, are the tip of the iceberg when measuring the costs of the wars.  In Iraq alone, hundreds of thousands of civilians — some estimates say a million — have died.  Even before the war, 500,000 Iraqi children died unnecessarily because of economic sanctions that prevented them from getting the food and medical care they needed.

Reminding college students that young men and women their age are dying is one way to bring the cost of war home.  There are many others, like a “health care not warfare” campaign in Wisconsin aimed at redirecting our tax dollars from killing to life-saving.  You’ll find reports from there, and other actions across the country, on the website, too.

Check it out.