Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Sign The Petition; if you agree

.: Sign the Petition :.


We have waited too long. Peace talks now. Bring them home safely and soon.

A People's Petition for an Iraq Peace Process

"For Mr. Bush, questions about an exit strategy in Iraq have become especially delicate as a crowd of anti-war protestors has expanded at the edge of his ranch, rallying around Cindy Sheehan, the California woman whose son Casey was killed in Iraq in 2004." - New York Times, Aug. 12, 2005.

Like our friend Cindy Sheehan, we are tired of waiting for our troops to come home. We are tired of the bloodshed, tired of tax dollar waste, tired of torture cover-ups, tired of contractor scandals, tired of deceit and fabrication. We are tired of elected officials with profiles in compromise rather than courage.

It is dishonest to admit there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, only to invent new reasons for inflicting mass destruction on that country.

It is dishonorable to fix the facts around the policy.

It is unacceptable to admit that going to war was a mistake, only to claim that the mistake must be perpetuated.

Because we cannot wait for our government to lead, we shall become leaders in ending the war ourselves. We shall propose an exit strategy from Iraq and demand that our government listen and follow. Because we cannot wait for our government to plan for peace, we call on civil society to make our government pay attention.

There are simply no military solutions to this bloodshed. The American military presence, threatening to Iraqi nationalism, religion and culture, is the main cause of the violent response from Iraqis. U.S. policies are pushing Iraq toward civil war, with our government funding and arming Shiites and Kurds against Sunnis. Any rhetoric about human rights, including the rights of women, is derailed by the struggle for power U.S. policies have unleashed. Since the invasion and occupation the status and safety of women in Iraq have declined precipitously. The State Department's own internal surveys show that a majority of Iraqis feel less safe in the presence of the American occupying forces.

Iraqis themselves are calling for the end of occupation. At least one third of the Iraqi national assembly has called for "departure of the occupation." One million Iraqis recently signed a petition demanding the withdrawal of foreign forces from Iraq. Initial peace talks among Iraqis already are underway. Our government is deaf to these Iraqi voices for peace.

It is time to shift from a military model to a conflict-resolution model aimed at a peace process and negotiated political settlement.

We propose the following principles as essential to ending the war in Iraq:

First, as a confidence-building measure, the U.S. government must declare that it has no interest in permanent military bases or the control of Iraqi oil or other resources.

Second, as a further confidence-building measure, the U.S. government must set goals for ending the occupation and bringing all our troops home - in months, not years, beginning with an initial withdrawal of troops by the end of this year.

Third, the U.S. government must request that the United Nations monitor the process of military disengagement and de-escalation, and organize a peaceful reconstruction effort. The U.S. must accept its obligation to fairly compensate Iraqis for damages, assist Iraqi reconstruction, cease the imposition of privatization schemes, and end the dominance of U.S. contractors in the bidding process.

Fourth, the U.S. government should appoint a peace envoy independent of the occupation authorities to underscore its commitment to an entirely different mission, that of a peace process ending the occupation and returning our soldiers home.

Fifth, the peace envoy should encourage and cooperate in talks with Iraqi groups opposed to the occupation, including insurgents, to explore a political settlement. The settlement must include representation of opposition forces and parties, and power-sharing and the protection of women's rights as core principles of governance and economic and energy development. We believe such an initiative will reduce, though not eliminate, violence by lessening any rationale for Jihadist or sectarian conflict.

We send this message to all Americans in civil society, to our elected officials, and to the global peace movement. We demand that Congressional hearings begin to define an exit strategy now. We demand that members of Congress, reflecting the will of the people, adopt policy and budget initiatives that call for an exit strategy based on the above principles. We demand a peace envoy, peace talks with the opposition, reconstruction, the closure of U.S. bases, and the safe return home of all U.S. troops.


Sign this petition today by filling out the form below.
The petition will be delivered to Congress on September 15, 2005.

Download a printable version of the petition for taking to events and tabling.
Download a flyer of the five step exit plan from the petition.
http://www.pdamerica.org/petition/iraq-withdraw-petition.php

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