United for Peace & The World Can’t Wait – 2005-10-15 09:04:09
2,000 Soldiers Killed in Iraq Is Too Many!
A Call for Peace upon 2,000th US Death
UNITED FOR PEACE AND JUSTICE www.unitedforpeace.org – 212-868-5545
A National Call to Organize an Anti-War Action the Day After the US Announces the 2,000th US Soldier Death in Iraq
How many more US soldiers and Iraqis must give their lives before our government finally admits that the war against Iraq was wrong and it’s time to bring our troops home now?
So far, more than 1960 US soldiers have been killed in Iraq, and more than 15,000 have been wounded. US soldiers are at grave risk in Iraq, and continue to suffer even after they come home.
Troops returning to the US are suffering from post- traumatic stress disorder, and are even turning up in homeless shelters in cities through the country.
The risk for Iraqis is even more severe: Tens of thousands of Iraqis have been killed in the war, and hundreds of thousands of lives have been devastated, even according to the most conservative estimates.
Meanwhile, the war has meant that precious resources are being channeled toward death and destruction in Iraq instead of into programs that could save people’s lives and meet their basic human needs.
If the National Guard troops and equipment from Mississippi and Louisiana hadn’t been in Iraq, the Guard could have responded more quickly and more thoroughly to the devastation wreaked by Hurricane Katrina and lives could have been saved.
The US is pouring more than a billion dollars a week into the Iraq war that could otherwise be spent on health care, schools and infrastructure here at home.
TAKE ACTION: ORGANIZE AN ANTI-WAR VIGIL, RALLY OR OTHER PEACE EVENT FOR THE DAY AFTER THE 2,000th US SOLDIER IS KILLED IN IRAQ
The sad day is coming when the 2,000th US soldier will have died in Iraq. We need to use that milestone to remind people of the human cost of the war and call for the troops to come home.
United for Peace and Justice supports the calls of our member groups — American Friends Service Committee http://www.afsc.org/2,000/, Gold Star Families for Peace http://www.gsfp.org and Military Families Speak Out http://www.mfso.org — for actions on the day after the 2,000th US serviceperson’s death is announced.
We urge to you join the hundreds of peace and justice groups throughout the country as we tell the President, Congress and the world that 2,000 US deaths in Iraq is 2,000 too many.
• We will remember the 2,000 US servicemen and women who have died in Iraq.
• We will remember the tens of thousands of Iraqis — civilians and combatants, men and women, children the elderly — who have been killed.
• We will remember that these deaths did not have to happen, should not have happened.
• We will call for our troops to be brought home now. Don’t ask these men and women to continue to die for politicians’ mistakes and lies. And we want them treated right when they return. Give them the benefits they were promised and give them the help they will need to heal their bodies, their minds and their spirits.
• We will demand an end to the occupation so the Iraqi people can determine their own destiny free from foreign interference and control.
Some Actions You Can Take:
• Organize a candlelight vigil where you read the names of US soldiers and Iraqis who’ve been killed in the war.
• Organize an event that visually represents the number of US soldiers who’ve been killed — 2,000 candles, 2,000 pairs of shoes, 2,000 coffins, etc.
• Organize any event outside of the district office of a Senator or Representative who needs to change his/her position on the Iraq war — a vigil, picket, rally, or sit-in. Demand that the Senator or Representative face his/her constituents at a town hall meeting. * Coordinate with other local peace and justice groups, veterans, and military families.
• Make sure that the media knows what you are doing and invite them to cover your activities.
• List your event at http://unitedforpeace.org/addevent so we can get the word out about these events and give an accurate count to the news media.
www.unitedforpeace.org | 212-868-5545 To subscribe, visit www.unitedforpeace.org/email
Urgent Appeal To All Signers of the
“Statement of Conscience
Against War and Repression:”
Debra Sweet / The World Can’t Wait Coalition
Make November 2 the “Beginning of the End of the Bush Regime.”
“It is our responsibility to stop the Bush regime from carrying out this disastrous coursre. We believe history will judge us sharply if we fail to act decisively.” — So concludes the 2005 Not in Our Name Statement of Conscience.
The nine months since have more than borne out the Statement’s warning that the Bush administration would accelerate and continue a horrific course of unconscionable crimes, and that, therefore, “We cannot, we will not, wait until 2008. The fight against the second Bush regime has to start now.”
I’m Debra Sweet, the national coordinator for the November 2nd demonstrations to drive out the Bush Regime. The Statement of Conscience made a big difference to a lot of people, myself included, in the dark days of Bush’s inauguration. And I’m writing you because it’s time to make good on that pledge.
In just the past month, we’ve all witnessed:
• the outrages in New Orleans, including Bush’s tepid or non-existent response to fascist and quasi-fascist statements by his political allies;
• the upholding of the indefinite detention without trial of US citizen Jose Padilla, strictly on Bush’s authorization, effectively gutting habeas corpus;
• the ongoing criminal occupation of Iraq, with no letup;
• the exposure, by US military personnel, of even more widespread and systematic torture, and the threat of the administration to veto any law that would “bind the government’s hands” in carrying out such torture;
• the placing as chief justice of the court an extremely right-wing justice, and the nomination of another whose principal qualifications seem to be her adoration of Bush and the endorsement of the theocratic kingmaker James C. Dobson.
In short, there is nothing whatsoever in even the recent behavior of the Bush regime that would justify any sort of departure from the urgency you expressed in The Statement of Conscience. To the contrary.
The statement also says:
“We must change the political reality of this country by mobilizing the tens of millions who know in their heads and hearts that the Bush regime’s “reality” is nothing but a nightmare for humanity. This will require creativity, mass actions and individual moments of courage. . .”
“We affirm ordinary people undertaking extraordinary acts. We pledge to create a community to back courageous acts of resistance. We stand with the people throughout the world who fight every day for the right to create their own future.”
Right now, the very sort of effort envisioned in this statement is being mounted by “World Can’t Wait” campaign. We are mobilizing people to come out in all the cities and towns of America on November 2, under the slogan “The World Can’t Wait! Drive Out the Bush Regime!”
I’m appending our call to the end of this letter. But I am urgently asking you to do all you can NOW to make this effort a reality. And I’ll put it bluntly – there is nothing that can justify standing aside. This effort is just the sort of thing that all of you called for last January, and the exact thing that is needed right now to begin to make the stand of the Statement of Conscience a reality.
Look, it’s going to make a huge difference what does – or does not – happen on November 2nd. This call has been put out into society and a certain line has been drawn. A massive showing on that day, something that really launches a movement to not just mitigate but to drive out the regime, could change the whole political calculus in this country. People across the political spectrum – including the tens of millions who’ve been effectively silenced since the election – will think differently about the limits of the possible.
A real chance to change the political direction of society could emerge. Conversely, should this effort fail, the consequences would be very bad.
Three more years of month after month of outrages and depredations, three more years of the further bolting into place of fascist laws, norms and infrastructure, three more years of misplaced hope in Democrats who [a] agree with much of the Bush program (ie: prevailing in Iraq, for one, The Patriot Act, for two), and, [b] will not meaningfully oppose what they don’t . . . this just cannot be allowed to happen!
“The World Can’t Wait” movement has laid a foundation to realize its vision: a million Calls for 11/2 have been distributed, ads have been broadcast on Air America, and there is an active community organizing from our website. But, to be honest, there is an awful lot of ground to cover to put November 2nd in front of the whole country. That’s why I’m stepping to you, saying that it’s time to redeem the pledge you made last January.
In short I’m asking you:
• To use the platforms you have in this society to lend support to this movement, to spread the word on the media, in your communities and organizations, to talk it up and plan to be part of November 2nd.
• To use the access you have to help us get to the most prominent people in society.
• To put your signatures on to the Call for November 2, now.
The “ordinary people” that you pledged to support in The Statement of Conscience have, in fact, stepped forward as the mobilizers for November 2.
The counterparts of the activists of the civil rights and anti-Vietnam war movements – those brave youth that recalled as exemplary in the statement – are on the campuses and high schools today trying to make this movement to reverse the course of society a reality. I’ve met them, and it’s been inspiring. But they need to be supported.
The Call for “The World Can’t Wait, DRIVE OUT THE BUSH REGIME” says:
“Silence and paralysis are NOT acceptable. That which you will not resist and mobilize to stop, you will learn — or be forced — to accept.”
Honestly, this is the reality we live. If you are not actively resisting the torture that your government is openly carrying out — in your name, you have learned to accept it. Do not say it can not happen here. All who signed the Not In Our Name Statement of Conscience can not say, we did not know. You do. Now it’s time to act.
For a future we’d want to live in.
Debra Sweet is the national co-ordinator of the World Can’t Wait campaign. She rose to national prominence at age 17 for standing up to Richard Nixon at a White House Awards ceremony and has been politically active ever since. During the 1990’s she worked on the front lines of the struggle to defend abortion providers and maintain the right to choice.