|Grayland, Vicki (Vgrayland)
Post Number: 5
|Posted on Sunday, July 15, 2007 - 3:55 pm: |
Iraq War Resister Agustin Aguayo speaks Monday July 16, 7 p.m.
at University Friends Meeting, 4001 9th Avenue NE. Free, donations requested. Army medic and conscientious objector Aguayo applied for CO status 3 years ago, later served a full year in Iraq, refusing to load his weapon even though he was in a combat zone. He eventually went AWOL, was convicted of desertion in March and released in April. More info: email@example.com/206.568.7110
|Grayland, Vicki (Vgrayland)
Post Number: 6
|Posted on Sunday, July 15, 2007 - 4:06 pm: |
Interested in Peace? Interested in documentary films?
The producers of the film "Soldiers of Conscience" are seeking help from faith communities to launch a commercial run of their documentary about U.S. soldiers who decided that participating in the Iraq War would violate their religious beliefs. The film was well received at the Seattle Film Festival. If you would like to learn more about how you can help, contact Vicki Grayland, firstname.lastname@example.org.
|Grayland, Vicki (Vgrayland)
Post Number: 16
|Posted on Wednesday, October 10, 2007 - 1:02 pm: |
October 27 Peace March/USCCB letter to Congress, Bush
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops sent a letter September 27 to Congress and the Bush administration stating that they "are concerned that the current situation in Iraq is unacceptable and unsustainable," and they "view with alarm the political stalemate in Washington."
To publicly voice your opposition to this war, you can join with others October 27, starting with a noon rally at Judkins Park which should last an hour. There is then a march to Occidental Park, where a 45-minute program is planned. For more information: www.endthewarseattle.org
Department of Social Development and World Peace
3211 FOURTH STREET NE • WASHINGTON DC 20017-1194 • FAX 202-541-3339
Secretariat Domestic Social Development International Justice and Peace Environmental Justice Diocesan Relations
202-541-3180 202-541-3185 202-541-3160 202-541-3160 202-541-3195
September 27, 2007
(Note: This is the text of a letter that was sent to the Members of Congress,
the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of State and the National Security Advisor.)
As the Congress and our country face important decisions about the terrible dilemmas and realities in
Iraq, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops seeks to draw on our moral teaching to raise
some difficult ethical questions regarding the road ahead.
Our Church ministers among our troops and shares deep spiritual ties to the Church and people in
Iraq. As pastors and teachers, we are convinced that the current situation in Iraq is unacceptable and
unsustainable. In this letter, we reiterate the goal of a “responsible transition” as an ethical
framework for national decisions.
We view with alarm the political stalemate in Washington and urge the leaders of both parties in the
executive and legislative branches to work together to move beyond the current partisan paralysis.
Our country needs a new direction to reduce the war’s deadly toll and to bring our people together in
an effort to deal with the conflict’s moral and human dimensions. Our nation needs a new bipartisan
approach to Iraq policy based on honest and civil dialogue.
The Conference encourages our nation’s leaders to focus on the morally and politically demanding,
but carefully limited goal of fostering a “responsible transition” and withdrawal. The moral demands
of this transition begin with addressing the humanitarian crisis in Iraq and minimizing further loss of
Our nation must now focus more on the ethics of exit than on the ethics of intervention. The grave
moral concerns we and others raised prior to the war now give way to new and difficult questions:
What actions will do the most good and least harm? What elements of a responsible transition are
attainable? How can they be achieved? What actions should be avoided?
Building a just peace in Iraq requires far more than military actions; it requires a comprehensive
political and diplomatic effort. Policy makers should clearly define a limited military mission that
reflects realistic goals and a just cause. Should our policy focus more on improving dire
humanitarian conditions rather than on the more ambitious goal of establishing a pluralistic
democracy? Does a continuing and substantial U.S. presence impede or postpone needed
accommodation and hard choices by the Iraqis? How can decision-makers take into account both the
realities and setbacks in Iraq and the likely human consequences of rapid withdrawal? What are the
financial costs and global consequences of continued war and occupation?
As the mission in Iraq is re-focused, our leaders should reiterate our nation’s pledge not to seek
permanent military bases in Iraq nor control over Iraqi oil resources.
A neglected policy priority is the dire situation of refugees, internally displaced persons, Christians
and other vulnerable minorities in Iraq. The suffering of the Christian community has a particular
claim on our hearts and consciences, but we recognize that Christians are not alone in their plight.
The U.S. should immediately make more substantial commitments to Iraqi refugees by expanding
admissions, eliminating roadblocks to resettlement, and supporting countries in the region burdened
with war-related refugee populations.
U.S. efforts to collaborate with other nations, including Syria and Iran, are critically important for
bringing a measure of stability to Iraq. Recent U.N. initiatives related to Iraq are hopeful signs, but
working multilaterally will require the U.S. to yield a level of control to others. Given how the
conflict was initiated, real international cooperation may be difficult to achieve, yet it remains
indispensable. The work of stabilizing and rebuilding Iraq rests primarily with Iraqis, but the United
States and other nations must help Iraqis when they attempt to move forward. Given the extensive
devastation in Iraq, the U.S. has a unique and inescapable obligation to continue to support
development and reconstruction.
Iraq’s future stability is related to the stability of the region. For this reason, U.S. leadership to
advance a just peace for Israelis and Palestinians is critical. The continuing failure to achieve the
vision of two states living side by side in peace and justice makes everything else in the region more
difficult. Real progress toward a fair Israeli-Palestinian agreement would help stabilize the region
and deprive extremists of a cause they exploit to promote hate and violence.
In all military actions, ethical norms require protecting civilians, using proportionate and
discriminate force, rejecting torture, and fighting terrorism with nonmilitary means and the legitimate
use of force when necessary.
U.S. policy must take into account the growing costs and consequences of a continued occupation on
military personnel, their families and our nation. There is a moral obligation to deal with the human,
medical, mental health and social costs of military action. Our nation should ask: What is the moral
basis for the continuing sacrifices of our military personnel? Who bears the sacrifices and burdens
of this war? How will our nation bring healing and long-term help to individuals, families and
Each course of action in Iraq should be weighed in light of the traditional moral principle of
“probability of success,” i.e. the likelihood that the action will contribute to a “responsible transition”
and withdrawal as soon as appropriate and possible. This principle requires our nation’s leaders to be
more realistic about the difficult situation in Iraq and more concerned about the likely consequences
of a withdrawal that is too rapid or not rapid enough.
In closing we return to our heartfelt plea that the Administration and the Congress begin to work
together to bring an end to this war and occupation at the earliest opportunity consistent with the
limited goal of a responsible transition and the protection of human lives—Iraqi and American.
Most Reverend Thomas G. Wenski
Bishop of Orlando
Chairman, Committee on International Policy
|Grayland, Vicki (Vgrayland)
Post Number: 19
|Posted on Thursday, October 18, 2007 - 3:03 pm: |
October 24, 25 Protests at UW Against Conservatives on Campus
Members of the Arab American Community Coalition of Washington State have invited everyone to join in demonstrations against conservatives they feel are promoting anti-Arab racism. Their email:
On October 24th and 25th, David Horowitz and College Republicans are bringing "Islamofascism Awareness Week" to UW's campus, in an attempt to paint all Muslims as terrorists. This is a conscious fostering of Islamophobia and racism, especially in light of the war in Iraq and the racial profiling of Arabs and Muslims. As concerned students and communities, we cannot meet it without a challenge.
PLEASE JOIN US IN PROTEST AND SOLIDARITY!
* Wednesday, October 24: 6:30pm, picket outside Smith Hall
(“Islamofascism Awareness Week” is having a movie showing in Smith at 7pm)
* Thursday, October 25: 6:30pm, picket, location TBA
(Conservative Michael Medved is speaking on campus at 7pm, location TBA)
We are asking people to wear green tshirts and armbands these days in solidarity with the Arab and Muslim community.
We will be organizing a true Islam awareness event the following week, to provide a forum for discussion and information about Islam.
Stop by our tables in Red Square at lunchtime for more information or contact email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.