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Tue

05

Dec

2006

Peace Groups Hold “Mandate for Peace” Congressional Call-in Day In Advance of Iraq Study Group Report
Tuesday, 05 December 2006 01:52
Thousands call Congress to remind their representatives that voters issued a Mandate for Peace in the mid-term elections and expect Congress to end the war and bring the troops home now!

Washington, DC – As Democrats prepare to hold a forum on the future of Iraq tomorrow and the Iraq Study Group is poised to release its recommendations on Wednesday, thousands of voters called Congressional offices today as part of a National Call-In Day to remind the new Congress that the November 7th election was a clear referendum against the Iraq war. “American voters sent a clear message in November,” said Linda Schade of VotersForPeace. “Now they want action – to bring the troops home immediately.”

“We did not elect James Baker and Lee Hamilton to come up with the new policy on Iraq – we elected the new Congress to do that. And nothing less than an end to the Iraq war and prompt withdrawal of all the US troops will satisfy the Mandate for Peace that was issued by the voters in the mid-term elections,” said Medea Benjamin of Global Exchange.

The call-in day was organized under the banner of the Mandate for Peace campaign, which is a coalition of veterans, faith groups and peace organizations including United for Peace and Justice, Iraq Veterans Against War, Peace Action, VotersForPeace, True Majority, Progressive Democrats of America, Peace Action, Goldstar Families for Peace, Network of Spiritual Progressives, CODEPINK, Iraqi Voices for Peace, Global Exchange, DemocracyRising.us, After Downing Street, Pax Christi USA, and others. Through a petition, to be housed at www.mandateforpeace.org , press events outside the offices of newly elected Representatives, lobbying, and protests, the groups will hold Congress members responsible to the majority of Americans, who are saying the Iraq war was a mistake and needs to be ended.

“Support for the war is eroding across the political spectrum, and President Bush is increasingly isolated,” said Sue Udry of the anti-war coalition United for Peace and Justice. “The Congress has enormous room to do the bidding of the electorate, stem the bloodshed and stop the flow of funding for a failed policy.”

Numerous pre-election polls revealed that Americans considered the Iraq war to be the top issue going into the mid-term elections. A USA Today Gallup poll conducted in early October showed that 86% of respondents said when it came to the mid-term election, the situation in Iraq was extremely important to them. In a CBS/New York Times poll conducted in late October, respondents said that Iraq was the number one issue they want the new Congress to concentrate on first. They also chose Iraq above other issues when asked which one issue is most important to them in deciding who to vote for this year. In a Pew poll conducted in mid October, respondents also chose Iraq as their most important issue in the mid-term election, over the economy, healthcare and terrorism. Most poll results are available at http://www.pollingreport.com/prioriti.htm

The new Mandate for Peace campaign calls on Congress to restore the bonds of trust between the people, who want a swift end to the Iraq war, and our elected representatives, who have not represented the will of the majority with regards to Iraq. It reads, in part, “We insist that the newly elected Congress act immediately to pass legislation that requires the prompt withdrawal of all US troops from Iraq.” The Mandate also calls on Congress to commit to no permanent military bases in Iraq; support an Iraqi-led reconciliation process to shape a peaceful post-occupation transition; investigate and penalize illegal war profiteering; provide full funding of benefits for returning Iraq war veterans; and prevent future wars with Iran or North Korea.

For the full text of the Mandate for Peace petition and additional information, see www.mandateforpeace.org
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