June 11, 2008
NEW CAMPAIGN: Ask the Iraqis
By Perry Willis
Today's Downsizer Dispatch . . . MEDIA NOTICE: Jim Babka will be a guest on two more radio programs today. Details on how you can tune-in are provided below the signature. Quote of the Day: "The points that were put forth by the Americans were more abominable than the occupation." -- Jalal al Din al-Saghir, leading lawmaker from the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq, responding to U.S. requests for a treaty of permanent occupation Subject: Support an Iraqi referendum on the occupation Headlines across America screamed the news this week. The U.S. government is seeking 58 permanent military bases in Iraq. Is this what you want? It certainly seems to NOT be what the Iraqi people want, given the violent protests it has provoked. President Bush thinks U.S. military personnel should stay in Iraq for decades, the way they have in Korea. John McCain says he's willing for U.S. troops to stay in Iraq for one hundred years, assuming, he says, that there's no violence. But if Iraq becomes peaceful, why would U.S. forces even be needed? Shouldn't we finally, at long last, ask the Iraqi people what they want? ABC News polled Iraqis in September of 2007. It found that 79% oppose the occupation, including 80% of Shiites, and 95% of Sunnis. Another poll conducted in February, 2008, shows that 77% of Iraqis remain opposed to the U.S. occupation, including 77% of Shiites and 95% percent of Sunnis. We are continually told that we must stay in Iraq to prevent a sectarian blood bath. But the Iraqi people don't seem to share this fear, and perhaps with good reason. A study of violent attacks in Iraq indicates that the sectarian violence has largely subsided, and that most of the remaining violence is directed at the occupation, and at government officials who are perceived to be collaborating with US. forces. This would seem to indicate that violence in Iraq could dwindle away to nothing, if only we would leave. Of course, no one can guarantee what will happen if U.S. forces depart. But the same is true for the opposite position. It's possible the violence will continue precisely because the occupation continues. It's time to cut through the pointless, circular debate. It's time to ask the Iraqi people what they want, NOT what U.S. politicians want, and NOT even what the Iraqi government wants. Instead, we should request that the Iraqi people be allowed to decide for themselves. Didn't President Bush say he wanted democracy for Iraq? If you agree with this idea, please send Congress a message. Tell Congress to pass a resolution asking the Iraqi government to hold a public referendum on whether or not the U.S. occupation should continue. You can send that message here. Ask your friends to take action too. Please also consider making a contribution to further our work. Generous DC Downsizers have pledged to give $3,600 if others will join together to donate an equal amount. This means every dollar you give up to $3,600 will be worth two. You can contribute by starting a monthly credit card pledge. It could be a micro-pledge of $3, $5 or $8, or a larger pledge of $15 or $25 per month. One-time donations would also help us to earn that $3,600 matching pledge. You can contribute here. NOTE: If you want to forward this message to others (we hope you do!), or post it on your blog, it's okay to cut out the funding portion. In addition, this message is also posted on our blog, and you can leave comments there if you so desire. Thank you for being a part of the growing Downsize DC Army. Perry Willis Communications Director, Inc. MEDIA INFORMATION: At 4:30 PM Eastern (3:30 PM Central, 2:30 PM Mountain, 1:30 PM Pacific) Jim will be on Deadline Live w/ Jack Blood, heard on several stations. You can also listen on the Internet here. One of the topics will be the Revolution Freedom Festival in Sturgis, SD, July 2 - 6, 2008. Both Jim and Jack will be speakers at this event. At 6:00 PM Eastern (5:00 PM Central, 4:00 PM Mountain, 3:00 PM Pacific) Jim will be on The Gary Nolan Show on The Eagle, 93.9 FM Talk in Columbia, Missouri. To listen outside of Missouri, go to Then, click on "Listen Now" in the top right corner of the page (to the right of O'Reilly's picture). The call-in number for the show is 573-874-9390.
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