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UNITED FOR PEACE OF PIERCE COUNTY

"We nonviolently oppose the reliance on unilateral military actions rather than cooperative diplomacy."

In Commendation of the Sixteen Who Voted against HR 757

September 23, 2004

United for Peace of Pierce County commends the 16 members of the U.S. House of Representatives who voted against HR 757 on September 8, 2004, a dangerously unsound resolution.

On Sept. 8, 2004, the U.S. House of Representatives passed HR 757, an ideologically charged and untruthful resolution (see the text of the resolution at the end) sponsored by Henry J. Hyde (R-IL 6th) that reinforces the widely believed falsehood that the Iraq war was a just response to 9/11, and which proclaims the sense of the House to be that the war in Iraq is part of a "Global War on Terrorism" being waged in response to attacks motivated by "the principles, values, and freedoms of the United States and the American people."

Because this view of the past is false and pernicious, and because those who purvey it are either themselves confused or else deliberately misleading the nation astray with propaganda, and also because the members of the U.S. House of Representatives who voted against it are among the nationís finest public servants and deserve to be commended, United for Peace of Pierce County has adopted the following counter-resolution.

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COUNTER-RESOLUTION

By the membership of United for Peace of Pierce County, commending fifteen members of the House of Representatives who, as the third anniversary of the terrorist attacks launched against the United States on September 11, 2001, approached, voted against HR 757

WHEREAS, on September 11, 2001, thousands of Americans lost their lives in the towers of the World Trade Center in New York City, in the Pentagon outside Washington, D.C., and in a field in Pennsylvania;

WHEREAS, three years later the country continues to, and shall forever, mourn the tragic loss of life;

WHEREAS, a National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, created by Congress and the President, failed the nation by choosing to ìlook forwardî rather than explore the past fully and in depth so as to come to a credible conclusion concerning the events before, on, and immediately after September 11, 2001, not even acknowledging the existence of, much less resolving, many troubling mysteries and unexplored questions surrounding 9/11, thus leaving the nation in need of a new, full-fledged, and untrammeled investigation into those events, by a commission charged with full subpoena powers to take testimony under oath subject to penalty for perjury;

WHEREAS, three years after September 11, 2001, the government of the United States claims to be waging in Iraq a Global War on Terrorism to protect America and her friends and allies, but in so doing is committing what an Army War College study has called a "strategic error of the first order," and which in the view of hundreds of competent experts is making the citizens of the United States less safe as they attend to their daily routines, even as it sacrifices in this misguided cause the lives of many Americans and Iraqis;

WHEREAS, the United States House of Representatives voted 406-16 in favor of a resolution, HR 757, that falsely asserts that the war in Iraq is part of a just response to the events of September 11, 2004;

WHEREAS, the United States was not attacked because of "the principles, values, and freedoms of the United States and the American people" and their ìfundamental values,î as HR 757 asserts, but in large part as a result of certain policies its government has pursued;

WHEREAS, the United States, by what HR 757 calls "reorganizing itself in order to more effectively wage the Global War on Terrorism by transforming the Department of Defense, sharpening the Federal Bureau of Investigation's counterterrorism focus, strengthening the authority of the Director of Central Intelligence to coordinate national intelligence activities, and creating a Department of Homeland Security," appears to us to be subverting the fundamental values of the nation and transforming itself into something resembling an authoritarian republic tending toward empire;

WHEREAS, the pursuit of the Global War on Terrorism is in the view of many expert observers producing far more terrorists than it can ever hope to eliminate, raising the specter of a war without end that redounds principally to the benefit of the military-industrial complex while neglecting the more and more pressing needs of humanity, against which danger Dwight David Eisenhower, as 34th president of the United States and former supreme commander of the Allied Expeditionary Force in World War II, so presciently warned the nation before leaving the presidency in 1961;

WHEREAS, the pursuit of unwise and unjust policies is alienating historical allies whose citizens share common values but whose governments are appalled to see the United States acting in the world in a way that is contrary to the values and traditions the American people have long treasured; and

WHEREAS, the following sixteen representatives of the people of the United States of America, duly elected by their respective districts, recalling their sworn oath to "support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic," voted against HR 757, to wit:

• John Conyers (D-MI 14th), in whose district resides the largest Arab-American community in the U.S.;

• Barney Frank (D-MA 4th), who has been consistently voted the brainiest and funniest member of the House in annual polls of House staffers;

• Alcee Hastings (D-FL 23rd), who moved to impeach Independent Counsel Ken Starr in Sept. 1998;

• Maurice Hinchey (D-NY 23rd), the only member of the House to have worked in a cement factory for five years;

• Mike Honda (D-CA 15th), who is one of only three House members who had the courage to vote against the resolution condemning the Ninth Circuit decision finding the words "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance unconstitutional;

• Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-IL-2nd), who, at the age of 39, is already in his ninth year in the House of Representatives, and was not afraid to stand up in defense of the rights of African workers and oppose the Crane-Rangel bill to relax trade restrictions on Africa;

• Dennis Kucinich (D-OH 10th), who is a proponent of a U.S. Department of Peace and an outspoken leader of the opposition to the Iraq war;

• Barbara Lee (D-CA 9th), who was the only member of Congress to vote against the Sept. 2001 resolution authorizing the use of force in response to 9/11, for which she endured threats of violence and found herself in need of 24-hour protection of the Capitol police;

• Zoe Lofgren (D-CA 16th), whose mother worked for the Machinists Union, whose father was a Teamster truck driver, and who worked as a law student for a congressman serving on the Judiciary Committee that voted to impeach Richard Nixon;

• Edward Markey (D-MA 7th), who voted on Oct. 10, 2002, in favor of the resolution to authorize the use of force in Iraq, but who said, on Sept. 10, 2004, "The Administration has made a dangerous error by focusing on Iraq, where there was no al-Qaeda threat, and neglecting to follow through in Afghanistan, where Osama bin Laden remains hidden and where the government remains in a precarious state, threatened by warlords intent on reviving the opium economy while the international force is undermanned and under resourced. Americans would understand if 1000 American lives and $200 billion in American tax dollars were being spent to ensure that al Qaeda, Osama bin Laden, and the Taliban terrorist protectors were permanently defeated in Afghanistan. Americans donít understand, however, making those sacrifices in Iraq where there are no weapons of mass destruction, no Taliban, no Osama bin Laden, and, until the US-led invasion, no al Qaeda. Americans think we are on the wrong track in Iraq, that al Qaeda has used Iraq as a source of new terrorist energy, and that we must therefore assume that a new attack on our own soil is just a matter of time";

• Jim McDermott (D-WA 7th), who was the first member of the House of Representatives to criticize the president for acting too quickly in Afghanistan;

• Ron Paul (R-TX 14th), who is one of the few anti-imperialists in Congress and who received 432,000 votes as a presidential candidate in 1988;

• Jan Schakowsky (D-IL 9th), who is an outspoken progressive who has objected to exemptions from the Freedom of Information Act granted to corporate disclosures to the Homeland Security Department;

• Pete Stark (D-CA 13th), who is an Air Force veteran with an engineering degree from M.I.T. and an M.B.A. from Berkeley, and who told the Oakland Tribune in March 2003 that if terrorists directed another 9/11-type attack on the U.S., there would be "blood on Bush's hands";

• Maxine Waters (D-CA 35th), who as a member of the Judiciary Committee led the assault against what she called Ken Starr's "impeachment coup d'état"; and

• Lynn Woolsey (D-CA 6th), who was born in Seattle and is the only former welfare recipient in Congress, and who has co-sponsored legislation to repeal unconstitutional portions of the USA PATRIOT Act;

RESOLVED,

That these sixteen representatives of the American people, serving in the United States House of Representatives, are held by the members of UNITED FOR PEACE OF PIERCE COUNTY, in the State of Washington, to be true patriots who are defending the fundamental values of the Republic and the United States Constitution, passing in these days through a time of great danger.

The text of House Resolution 757 - HRES 757 IH - 108th CONGRESS - 2d Session - H. RES. 757 - Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives on the anniversary of the terrorist attacks launched against the United States on September 11, 2001 - IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES - September 8, 2004 - Mr. HYDE (for himself and Mr. LANTOS) submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on International Relations, and in addition to the Committees on Armed Services, Transportation and Infrastructure, and the Judiciary, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned

RESOLUTION - Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives on the anniversary of the terrorist attacks launched against the United States on September 11, 2001. - Whereas on September 11, 2001, while Americans were attending to their daily routines, terrorists hijacked four civilian aircraft, crashing two of them into the towers of the World Trade Center in New York City, and a third into the Pentagon outside Washington, D.C., and a fourth was prevented from also being used as a weapon against America by brave passengers who placed their country above their own lives; Whereas three years later the country continues to, and shall forever, mourn the tragic loss of life at the hands of terrorist attackers; Whereas by targeting symbols of American strength and success, these attacks clearly were intended to assail the principles, values, and freedoms of the United States and the American people, intimidate the Nation, and weaken the national resolve; Whereas three years after September 11, 2001, the United States is fighting a Global War on Terrorism to protect America and her friends and allies; Whereas since the United States was attacked, it has led an international military coalition in the destruction of two terrorist regimes in Afghanistan and Iraq while using diplomacy and sanctions in cooperation with Great Britain and the international community to lead a third terrorist regime in Libya away from its weapons of mass destruction; Whereas the United States is reorganizing itself in order to more effectively wage the Global War on Terrorism by transforming the Department of Defense, sharpening the Federal Bureau of Investigation's counterterrorism focus, strengthening the authority of the Director of Central Intelligence to coordinate national intelligence activities, and creating a Department of Homeland Security; Whereas of the senior al-Qaida leaders, operational managers, and key facilitators that the United States Government has been tracking, nearly two-thirds of such individuals have been taken into custody or killed; Whereas just as significant, with the help of its allies, the United States has disrupted individuals and organizations that facilitate terrorism -- movers of money, people, messages, and supplies--who have acted as the glue binding the global al-Qaida network together; Whereas Pakistan has taken into custody more than 500 members of al-Qaida and the Taliban regime, including Khalid Sheik Mohammed and Ramzi bin al Shibh, conspirators in the September 11, 2001, attacks, and Kahallad Ba'Attash, an individual involved in the planning of the attack on the USS COLE in 2000; Whereas Jordan continues its strong counterterrorism efforts, arresting two individuals with links to al-Qaida who admitted responsibility for the October 2002 murder in Amman, Jordan, of Lawrence Foley, a United States Agency for International Development Foreign Service Officer; Whereas in June 2002, Morocco took into custody al-Qaida operatives plotting to attack United States Navy ships and ships of other member nations of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in the Strait of Gibraltar; Whereas the United States and its allies in Southeast Asia have made significant advances against the regional terrorist organization Jemaah Islamiyah, which was responsible for the attack in Bali, Indonesia, in October 2003 that killed more than 200 people; Whereas Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, and other countries in Southeast Asia have taken into custody leaders and operatives of local al-Qaida-affiliated terrorist organizations and members of al-Qaida traveling through such countries; Whereas the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and other countries have disrupted cells of the al-Qaida terrorist organization and are vigorously pursuing other leads relating to terrorist activity; Whereas following the attacks of September 11, 2001, the United States Government initiated innovative programs, such as the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism program and the Container Security Initiative, to extend our borders overseas and to secure and screen cargo before it is placed on ships destined for United States ports of entry; Whereas the Department of Homeland Security implemented the US-VISIT border security screening system in December 2003 at all air and sea ports of entry, requiring that nonimmigrant visa holders entering the United States be fingerprinted and screened through various criminal and terrorist databases before entry into the United States, and this system will be expanded to land ports of entry in accordance with congressional deadlines; Whereas since September 11, 2001, the Coast Guard has conducted more than 124,000 port security patrols, 13,000 air patrols, boarded more than 92,000 vessels, interdicted over 14,000 individuals attempting to enter the United States illegally, and created and maintained more than 90 Maritime Security Zones; Whereas following the attacks of September 11, 2001, the Terrorist Threat Integration Center was established, which now fuses, for the first time in United States history, terrorist-related information, foreign and domestic, available to the United States Government for systematic analysis and dissemination to prevent or disrupt terrorist attacks on the United States; Whereas following the attacks of September 11, 2001, the Terrorist Screening Center, a multi-agency partnership, was established to integrate the dozens of separate terrorist databases that existed before September 11th into a single terrorist watch list for use by Federal, State, and local law enforcement, intelligence, and border security personnel; Whereas following the attacks of September 11, 2001, the United States Government has ensured the hardening of cockpit doors on airplanes and greatly expanded the use of armed Federal air marshals to prevent and deter future hijackings that could turn commercial planes into weapons of mass destruction; Whereas having recognized the need to prevent terrorist organizations from using their resources, the Federal Bureau of Investigation has worked closely with the Department of the Treasury to target 62 terrorist organizations and freeze $125,000,000 in assets of such organizations worldwide used to fund terrorist activities; Whereas to date United States Armed Forces and Coalition forces have killed or captured 43 of the 55 most wanted criminals of the Saddam Hussein regime in Iraq, including Saddam Hussein himself; Whereas the al-Zarqawi terror network used Baghdad as a base of operations to coordinate the movement of people, money, and supplies; and Whereas thousands of families have lost loved ones in the defense of freedom and liberty against the tyranny of terror: Now, therefore, be it Resolved, That the House of Representativesó (1) extends again its deepest sympathies to the thousands of innocent victims of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, their families, friends, and loved ones; (2) honors the heroic actions and the sacrifices of United States military and civilian personnel and their families who have sacrificed much, including their lives and health, in defense of their country in the Global War on Terrorism; (3) honors the heroic actions of first responders, law enforcement personnel, State and local officials, volunteers, and others who aided the innocent victims and, in so doing, bravely risked their own lives and long-term health; (4) expresses thanks and gratitude to the foreign leaders and citizens of all nations who have assisted and continue to stand in solidarity with the United States against terrorism in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks; (5) discourages, in the strongest possible terms, any effort to confuse the Global War on Terrorism with a war on any people or any faith; (6) reaffirms its commitment to the Global War on Terrorism and to providing the United States Armed Forces with the resources and support to wage it effectively and safely; (7) vows that it will continue to take whatever actions necessary to identify, intercept, and disrupt terrorists and their activities; and (8) reaffirms that the American people will never forget the sacrifices made on September 11, 2001, and will never bow to terrorist demands. - FINAL VOTE RESULTS FOR ROLL CALL 431 - H RES 757 YEA-AND-NAY 9-Sep-2004 12:08 PM - QUESTION: On Agreeing to the Resolution - BILL TITLE: Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives on the anniversary of the terrorist attacks launched against the United States on September 11, 2001 - Yeas - Nays - PRES - NV - Republican 218 - 1 - 0 - 9 - Democratic 187 - 15 - 0 - 3 - Independent 1 - 0 - 0 - 0 - TOTALS 406 - 16 - 0 - 12

UNITED FOR PEACE OF PIERCE COUNTY

"We nonviolently oppose the reliance on unilateral military actions rather than cooperative diplomacy."