Today is the first Iraq Moratorium Day. For my action, I mailed boxes that contained the names of 20,678 voters across the country who signed Peace Action West’s Iraq pledge to members of Congress. Here is the cover letter that Representative Pelosi and Senator Reid received with their 10-pound boxes of pledges:
On behalf of Peace Action West’s supporters, I am writing to urge you to hold the Bush administration accountable and appropriate money only for a fully-funded withdrawal of US troops from Iraq. While we recognize the limitations of the legislative system, we are looking to you for the bold leadership that will move us closer to our goal and raise the political cost for those members of Congress who continue to support the war.
We have heard repeatedly that the options are limited because of the number of members of Congress who are willing to vote in favor of a timeline. Our members and staff have therefore been dedicated to generating grassroots pressure on swing votes. I have enclosed the names of 20,678 voters from across the country who have made the following pledge:
In the 2008 election, I will NOT vote for, contribute to, or volunteer for any member of Congress who:
• Votes against a concrete timeline for withdrawal of US troops from Iraq
• Votes to fund the war in Iraq without requiring that the funding be used for withdrawal of US troops, reconstruction, and regional diplomacy
• Supports permanent US military bases in Iraq and a long-term occupation
In addition to gathering these signatures in just over two months, we have generated over 700 phone calls and more than 400 handwritten letters to strategically chosen targets in the western states. These numbers are representative of thousands more voters in the US who are prepared to raise the stakes for those members of Congress who have not supported a timeline for withdrawal.
We strongly encourage the leadership to implement a strategy that keeps this momentum going, not one that undercuts the progress that has been made thus far. These voters have pledged to withhold their votes based on the war because they want to see action in Congress immediately—not in 2008. We urge you to allow funding only for the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq, reconstruction and regional diplomacy. There is no reason for opponents of the war to be on the defensive. The leadership can afford nothing less than a principled stand to end the war in Iraq.
Feel free to contact me if you have questions or would like more information. Thank you for your efforts to bring this disastrous war to an end.
Peace Action West
In addition to the message we have sent to the congressional leadership, pledges signed through our website have been flowing in to representatives’ and senators’ offices throughout the summer. You can still sign the pledge on our website, and your message will be automatically sent to your members of Congress before funding for the war comes up for a vote later this fall.