Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Early Warning

“Life in this country has become unendurable.” – Baghdad resident.

April’s U.S. military deaths in Iraq are heading for 60-plus.

Daily Iraqi civilian and security personnel fatalities continue to run in the 35-40 range.

According to the Iraqi Red Crescent, approximately 80,000 Iraqis are living as refugees in their own country, with most of these fleeing their homes in the wake of the turmoil caused by the destruction of the Golden Dome mosque in Samarra February 22.

Four months after parliamentary elections, Iraq still has no functioning permanent central government.

By its own reckoning, the Pentagon concedes that at least 40% of Iraq’s population resides in the areas where armed conflict remains prevalent.

Compared to its Vietnam-era equivalent, the anti-Iraq war peace movement has been much maligned for its small size and lack of coherence among groups.

Well, guess what’s coming ‘round the bend! It’s an opportunity to either (1) “express yourself,” (2) “let loose,” or (3) “let it all hang out” – depending on where you feel comfortable along the “formality” spectrum.

As noted in earlier entries, Congress seems to finally be stirring on the question of U.S. policy on Iraq. The House voted last month to restrict negotiations for permanent U.S. military bases in Iraq. This month, a key Senate committee cut out funding for long-term military construction projects that might lead to permanent bases. The action shifts now to the full Senate. But senators cannot represent their constituents – each voter – if all they hear is – silence. However, senators will be able to meet their representational obligations if they know that their constituents want a clear declaration that it is U.S. policy to establish NO permanent military bases in Iraq.

If that’s the what, the “how to” is easy.

Send an e-mail asking your senators to attach a resolution to the Iraq war supplemental that conditions any new funding for the war in Iraq on a clear declaration that all U.S. military forces and bases will be withdrawn from Iraq and the U.S. will initiate the withdrawal this year. Just hit this link: http://www.fcnl.org/landing/iraqcall.htm

If you relish dialogue, you can participate in the Iraq Peace Campaign Call-In Day on Monday, April 24, the day before an expected Senate vote on the Iraq policy amendment to the funding bill. Discover how to get this done and a toll-free number to use by going to .http://www.fcnl.org/iraq/apr24_call.htm

And then to top it all off, send this email to 10 friends you know who are upset about the direction of U.S. policy in Iraq and encourage them to email and call their senators as well.

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