Petition in Support of Exit Strategy for Iraq
Petition Launched in Support of Exit Strategy for Iraq
-- Congressional Hearings Scheduled for Next Month
Last week, two organizations seeking an end to the Iraq War, began collecting signatures on a petition to Congress calling for an exit strategy. Thus far over 13,000 signatures have been collected on the websites of Progressive Democrats of America (PDA) and Peace Action.
The petition, whose chief author is PDA Cofounder Tom Hayden, can be read at http://www.pdamerica.org or http://www.peace-action.org It will be delivered to members of Congress on September 15.
A growing number of organizations are promoting the petition, including: After Downing Street, National Organization for Women (NOW), Democrats.com, Women's Action for New Directions, Peace Majority, and others.
On May 25, Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey introduced on the floor of the House an amendment that would have called on President Bush to develop a plan for the withdrawal of U.S. forces and a plan for the reconstruction of Iraq. 123 Democrats and 5 Republicans voted in favor of the amendment.
Today Rep. Woolsey said: "Everything about this war has been a ruinous debacle: the way we got into it, the way we've conducted it, the refusal of a plan for disengagement, the high price - in dollars and lives - we've paid for it. It must end as soon as possible. There is only one solution: bring the troops home."
Woolsey has for months requested official bipartisan hearings on an exit strategy, but been blocked by Republican committee chairs. This week she announced unofficial hearings to be held on Capitol Hill on September 15.
The second week of September will witness two opposing events in Washington, D.C., a pro-war march and concert sponsored by the Pentagon on September 11, and the first serious discussion of an exit strategy in Congress four days later.
An op-ed on this issue by
Congresswoman Woolsey is posted
Rally Planned Outside White House Following Hearings
PDA, the After Downing Street Coalition, and Code Pink will sponsor a rally in Lafayette Square Park, across from the White House, at 5 p.m. ET on September 15. Members of Gold Star Families for Peace, Military Families Speak Out, Veterans for Peace, and Iraq Veterans Against the War have been invited to speak.
State Democratic Parties Support Withdrawal
This past weekend, the Arizona
Democratic Party became the seventh state Democratic party
to pass a resolution in favor of bringing all troops home
"The petition was developed as
part of PDA's ongoing effort to build an authentic anti-war
voice inside the Democratic Party. Since its founding at the
Democratic National Convention in July 2004, PDA has
successfully led efforts to pass resolutions opposing the
U.S. war in Iraq at state Democratic Party meetings in
California, New Mexico, and Massachusetts and most recently
at the annual convention of Young Democrats of
PDA director Tim Carpenter
majority of Americans are anti-war and over 13,000 thousand
have signed a petition to Congress with a statement of
principles on how to get out of Iraq. The hearing on an exit
strategy being held by Representative Woolsey is an example
of Congress doing what it was supposed to do—represent the
will of the people of America. After the hearings, the
voice of the anti-war majority will rally at the White House
and make the President think he's back in
Kevin M. Martin, executive director of the Peace Action Education Fund
"The American people
want an exit strategy for George Bush's disastrous war in
Iraq. Rep. Lynn Woolsey and Progressive Democrats of America
are stepping up and providing the leadership the American
people want. It's high time George Bush started listening to
the champions of peace, rather than the champions of
Bob Fertik, President of Democrats.com
"If we continue to build this movement in the coming weeks, it will become harder for members of Congress in either party to have a reelection strategy without having an exit strategy for Iraq. I won't be surprised if some Republicans participate on the 15th. Whether they do or not, the Democratic Party will have moved a large step closer to having an identity for which people can vote next year. Citizens who want an exit strategy should call their Congress Members and Senators and ask them to take part in this event."
David Swanson, Co-Founder
After Downing Street Coalition