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. Demand an exit strategy now!
It is dishonest to admit there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, and then 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 plan for peace, we call on civil society to make our government pay attention. Please sign this petition and demand that Congressional hearings begin to define an exit strategy now.
The question is no longer whether to end the U.S. occupation of Iraq, but how. Peace Action has identified a workable plan based on five simple steps that our government can take to end the quagmire.
We petition our Congressional leaders to take these steps now:
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.
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we signed: A People's Petition for an Iraq Peace Process
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