ACTION ITEM: no one "succeeds" in WAR

Legislative Action Message

Iraq: Call for Political Change, Not Military Solutions – FCNL

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The president, Congress, and a new independent commission are all offering new prescriptions for “success” in Iraq. In press conferences, newspaper interviews, hearings, and leaks to the media, the leaders of this country acknowledge the political problems in Iraq, but they remain stubbornly focused on military solutions and military “victory.” Military force is not going to end the civil war in Iraq. Military success is a dangerous illusion. The U.S. needs to initiate a new political strategy instead of searching for new military solutions.

Next week Congress will hold hearings on Iraq policy. The policy debate is focused on an easily remembered Pentagon catch phrase, “Go Big, Go Long, or Go home.” These all add up to some combination of military tactics including rebuilding the Iraqi security forces, sending more U.S. troops into Baghdad, or a phased redeployment of troops without any matching political strategy to ease the power struggle that will follow. But the war will go on, and, early next year, Congress will vote to approve more than another $100 billion in “emergency supplemental” funding.

Congress should stop focusing on military solutions in Iraq and should start a bipartisan initiative for political processes to end the escalating crisis in the region. The U.S. has now fought in one little country longer than it fought World War II. Ample evidence stares Congress in the face to prove that war was not and is not the answer in Iraq.

Members of Congress return to Washington next Monday, December 4, for one last week of work before Christmas. The week’s congressional activity will include hearings and public briefings focused on Iraq. FCNL is joining with other national organizations in encouraging people around the country to flood Congress with phone calls on Monday, December 4 calling for a change in U.S. policy in Iraq.

Take Action: Phone Congress on Monday, December 4

Mark Monday, December 4, on your calendar today. On Monday pick up the phone and call your senators. Specifically ask them to speak out in favor of a comprehensive, bi-partisan plan to end the war in Iraq that includes a date certain for withdrawal of U.S. troops. The plan should also include:

* support for negotiations in Iraq and in the region, and

* money for stabilization and rebuilding the country

Write down this number: 202-224-3121 for the Capitol switchboard. You can also use the FCNL website to find the direct numbers for your two senators and recommended talking points. Encourage five friends to take five minutes from their day to help in this effort.

Background: A New U.S. Political Strategy in the Region

FCNL has outlined a four point plan for a new U.S. political strategy to end the U.S. war and occupation in Iraq. The plan begins with a political statement that gives the Iraqis, the people of the region, and the rest of the world a date certain for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq. That statement of a date certain for withdrawal is a necessary and prior condition for all the other steps in a political solution and should be part of a package that includes:

* A date certain for U.S. withdrawal;

* U.S. initiatives for negotiations to bring Iraqi nationalists, who are fighting the government and resisting the U.S. occupation, to a cease-fire and to the negotiations table;

* U.S. participation in a regional peace process that includes talks and implementing actions with all of Iraq’s neighbors – including Syria and Iran; and

* Substantial U.S. financial support for the stabilization and reconstruction of Iraq.

Read more about this plan.

Read updates on the FCNL Iraq Peace Program.

Contact Congress and the administration.

Order FCNL publications and "War is Not the Answer" campaign bumper stickers and yard signs.

Subscribe to other FCNL legislative, policy, and action alert lists.

Friends Committee on National Legislation
245 Second St. NE, Washington, DC 20002-5795 *
phone: (202)547-6000 * toll-free: (800)630-1330

We seek a world free of war and the threat of war
We seek a society with equity and justice for all
We seek a community where every person's potential may be fulfilled
We seek an earth restored.

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