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UNITED FOR PEACE OF PIERCE COUNTY

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

THE IRAQ MORATORIUM WANTS YOU!

August 16, 2007

To help the nation out of its present impasse in Iraq, United for Peace of Pierce County calls upon YOU to endorse and support the Iraq moratorium.

To change the political dynamic, we join in this summer’s call for an Iraq Moratorium.  Beginning on Friday, September 21, 2007, and continuing on every third Friday until U.S. troops are out of Iraq, we call on YOU to BREAK WITH BUSINESS AS USUAL and take some concrete action against the war.  This action can be individual, or in concert with others.  On the third Friday of every month, you're encouraged to wear and distribute black ribbons and armbands, buy no gas on Moratorium days, pressure politicians and the media, hold vigils, pickets, rallies, and teach-ins, hold or attend special religious services, coordinate events in music, art, and culture, host or attend film showings, talks, and educational events, organize or participate in teach-ins and school closings, etc.

We've been here before.  In 1969, five years after the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution (obtained from Congress by the Johnson administration with manipulated intelligence), the United States was in a quagmire in Vietnam.  Political power had changed hands, but the conflict dragged on, taking more and more American and Vietnamese lives.

Public opinion had long since turned against the war, but policymakers were unresponsive.  To increase pressure for change, antiwar activists formed the Vietnam Moratorium Committee.  On October 15, 1969, the day of the moratorium (a Latin word meaning an "authorized delay or stopping of some specific activity"), the largest anti-Vietnam war demonstrations yet took place.  They were followed on November 15, 1969, by a massive Moratorium march on Washington, with about half a million demonstrators participating.  Some locations continued to organize moratoria on the 15th of every month.  The Vietnam Moratorium proved to be a turning point, though the conflict dragged on for five and a half more years as Americans were told that dire consequences would follow American withdrawal.  (Well, diplomatic relations with Vietnam were normalized in 1995, and today you can work, invest, or vacation there.)

Present circumstances are very similar.  Five years after the Bush administration persuaded Congress with lies about weapons of mass destruction and international terrorism to authorize military action against Iraq, more than 160,000 American troops are stuck there.  Although many call the decision to invade Iraq the greatest strategic disaster of U.S. history, and although public opinion has turned strongly against the war, policymakers are unresponsive.  As corporations reap enormous profits, spokespersons of the U.S. national security state warn us of dire consequences should the U.S. leave Iraq.

Yes, we've been here before.  Unless we increase public pressure for change, there will be a decade or more of nightmarish urban counteriunsurgency warfare to secure the occupation of a nation we never should have entered in the first place.  And at what cost?  Already 3,702 American military personnel have died in Iraq.  More than a thousand contractors have died.  The number of Iraqis who have perished because of the war is on the order of one million.  More than 2,200,000 Iraqis have fled the country, and between one and two million others have fled their homes.  To believe the sacrifice of thousands more American soldiers and hundreds of thousands more Iraqis can retrieve some "success" in Iraq is madness.

United for Peace of Pierce County joins U.S. Labor Against the War, Progressive Democrats of America, Noam Chomsky, James Carroll, Antonia Chayes, Danny Glover, Tom Hayden, Hany Khalil, Anne Wright, Carlos & Melida Arrendondo, Adam Neiman, Stan Goff, Cindy Sheehan, Susan Sarandon, and Howard Zinn in endorsing the Iraq moratorium.

In the spirit of the moratorium, we call on every citizen to ask:  WHAT MORE CAN I DO TO STOP THE KILLING?  The people of the United States want the occupation of Iraq to end!  Who's country is it, anyway?

 UNITED FOR PEACE OF PIERCE COUNTY

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