Monday, June 05, 2006

UFPJ: Wednesday: Call for Congressional Debate on Iraq!

National Call-In Day, Wednesday, June 7
Call your Congressional Representative

Call (888) 355-3588 (toll-free) or 202-224-3121

An open debate on Iraq is OVERDUE!

The people of Iraq want their nation back; they understand that the departure of U.S. troops will be the first step toward quelling the violence that has overtaken their country. People in the U.S. want their sons and daughters home. Children want their mothers and fathers home. Most of the U.S. troops think they should leave in the next 6 months, if not sooner. Facing this is a moral and non-partisan challenge.

But, after more than three years, over $300 billion spent and the death of more than 100,000 Iraqis and nearly 2,500 American soldiers, Congress still refuses to debate real alternatives to the President's stay-the-course policy. It is a policy that over 80% of Iraqis, more than 70% of U.S. soldiers stationed in Iraq and a majority of the people in the U.S. say is not only a failure but fails to stop terrorism and creates more hatred towards our troops in Iraq. Even reports of civilian massacres by U.S. soldiers in Haditha and Ishaqi has not moved Congress to act.

We have a unique opportunity to demand that Congress stop passing the buck. So far, 122 members of the House of Representatives have signed a 'discharge petition' calling for immediate debate and consideration of ALL alternatives to the policy of open-ended occupation of Iraq (including an immediate withdrawal of all U.S. troops). All we need is 96 more members of Congress to sign the petition for debate to begin. We need your help.

Call your U.S. Representative on Wednesday, June 7th. Ask your Representative to sign H.Res. 543 OR thank them if they have already signed and ask them to ask a colleague to sign H.Res. 543.

Here are lists of those who have and have not signed:

The pressure we are applying is already having an impact. There have been news reports that some members of Congress, hoping to dodge a real discussion about Iraq, will offer a tightly-controlled debate framed by supporters of the war. This alternative is clearly an election-year effort, rather than a serious commitment to address the failed policy and the need to bring all the troops home now. This alternative won't allow members who oppose the war to offer plans to bring the occupation to an end.

Tell your Congressmember that you demand a debate with an "open rule," meaning that any proposals to bring the trooops home can be introduced, debated and voted on. The surest route to that debate is for them to sign the discharge petition and ask their colleagues to do the same.

Call 202-224-3121, give the operator your Representative's name or go to power search on Congress Merge to find the local district office.

Message for NON-signers of H.Res. 543:

Message for signers of H.Res. 543:

As your constituent, I ask you to sign onto H.Res. 543, a "discharge petition" that calls for open and honest debate on Iraq and consideration of ALL alternatives to the policy of open-ended occupation of Iraq. I will not be satisfied with a limited debate that prohibits the introduction of real alternatives to the President's failed policy in Iraq. It is time to show strong leadership to bring peace in the region.

As your constituent, I want to thank you for signing H.Res. 543. So important is 17 hours of full and honest debate and consideration of ALL alternatives to the policy of open-ended occupation of Iraq that I ask you to ask one of your NON-signing colleagues to sign H.Res. 543. This is one important step in building peace in Iraq and throughout the region.

We feel this is an important opportunity for you to do something personally to help change the course in Iraq. It is an historic opportunity for members of Congress to offer alternatives to war without end in Iraq. See Open Iraq Debate for more information about H.Res. 543. You can check the House Clerk's site daily for new signatures.

Several UFPJ member groups are working on this National Congressional Call-In Day, including: 20/20 Vision,, American Friends Service Committee, Code Pink, Democracy Rising, Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns, Peace Action, Progressive Democrats of America and Women's Action for New Directions (WAND); we are also working with Backbone Campaign, DC for Democracy,, NETWORK, A National Catholic Social Justice Lobby, Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations and Win Without War.

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