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imperialism & war

Local organizing against an invasion of Iraq

The group "Moveon" is looking for folks to get involved with talking to our
elected representatives. Read on...
Dear friend,

The Bush Administration appears determined to launch a war on Iraq,
regardless of the information presented at last week's hearings.
According to The Guardian, a British newspaper, "senior US
officials have said that a war against Iraq is now inevitable."
This news comes despite the evidence raised at last week's
hearings -- that a war in Iraq will be very expensive, in lives and
in money; that it will take years, thousands of troops, and
billions of dollars to reconstruct the country; that a war could
spark regional conflict. Although many members of the
Administration itself don't support attacking Iraq any more, the
hawks at the helm have blinders on.

That's why we have to convince Senators to be more vocal. Many of
them are concerned that if they speak out on these issues, they'll
be labeled 'unpatriotic.' Nothing could be farther from the truth,
of course: with our troops, our money, and our nation's reputation
on the line, a true patriot would be very reticent to engage in a
massive and bloody war based on so little evidence and such
half-baked theory. As a constituent, you can help to convince them
to ask the hard questions.

We're setting up meetings between all 100 Senators and constituents
who are concerned about the war juggernaut. For you, the meetings
will likely take place in Portland or Eugene, during the last
week of August. They'll only last about half an hour, but such
meetings can have a major impact on a Senator's policy outlook.

Would you be willing to come?

Please let us know at:

 http://www.moveon.org/iraq_meetings.html?id=674-732806-3JCX%2BSq7QRsmp5eB1Tr11Q

If you indicate that you're up for the meetings, we'll get back to
you soon with more details on how they'll be structured and how to
prepare.

Thanks for your help. These meetings can make a real difference,
but they won't happen without people like you.

Sincerely,

--Eli Pariser
International Campaigns Director
MoveOn.org
Thursday, August 8, 2002


BACKGROUND ON A POSSIBLE WAR WITH IRAQ:

* The Bush Administration is planning a war on Iraq. Troop
deployments indicate that it could come in October; a "surprise
attack" could come even sooner. Secretary of Defense Donald
Rumsfeld and other top officials are honing a war plan that will
require up to a quarter million troops.

* The Bush Administration contends that a war on Iraq is needed
because Saddam Hussein possesses or is intent on acquiring weapons
of mass destruction. But no evidence of development of these
weapons or the weapons themselves has been made public, or even
offered to our allies in NATO.

* Bush labeled Iraq a part of the "axis of evil," states which
supposedly back terrorism. But there is no evidence at all that
Iraq was behind the September 11th attacks or any other recent
terrorist activity against the United States.

* Even the top U.S. generals are counseling restraint. They're
concerned that there will be lots of urban fighting and a
probability that if Saddam does have weapons of mass destruction,
he'll use them against U.S. troops or Israel. In the State
Department, Colin Powell and other senior officials have urged a
more diplomatic route -- they don't support a war right now either.

* The Senate Foreign Relations Committee held hearings last week
to determine whether a military campaign to oust Saddam Hussein is
necessary, but they were a whitewash -- none of the people asked to
testify were likely to argue against a war. And even those experts
argued that a war would be costly, long, and difficult.

* According to military and Middle East experts, a war in Iraq
will likely cost hundreds, if not thousands, of American soldiers'
lives; kill many more Iraqi civilians, both through direct combat
and through the eradication of crucial infrastructure; further
destabilize the Middle East; alienate America's closest allies,
almost all of whom (except Great Britain) oppose an attack; commit
the military to a three-to-five year stay while Iraq rebuilds; and
cost in the range of $60-100 billion in taxpayer dollars.

* For the amount that a war with Iraq will cost ($60-100 billion),
the U.S. could double humanitarian aid to poor countries, double
K-12 education funding, increase federal funding for clean energy
and energy efficiency, reduce debts of impoverished nations,
renovate public schools over 10 years, offer health insurance to
all uninsured American kids, fully fund Head Start, provide public
financing of federal elections -- and we'd likely have billions
left over.

* Despite the lack of a strong case for war, Senators are nervous
about asking hard questions because they don't want to be branded
"weak on terrorism." But if they don't push the Bush
Administration for answers soon, the nation could embark on a war
that it will deeply regret. A former National Security Advisor,
Brent Scrowcroft, noted that there's no quicker way to lose the War
on Terrorism than to attack Iraq.

_______________________________
You can help decide the direction of MoveOn.org by participating
in the discussion forum at:
 http://www.actionforum.com/forum/index.html?forum_id=223