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Posts Tagged ‘Stop the War’

An Open Letter to The Norwegian Nobel Committee

Friday, December 11th, 2009

An Open Letter to The Norwegian Nobel Committee.

On December 10, you will award the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize to President Barack Obama, citing “his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between people.” We the undersigned are distressed that President Obama, so close upon his receipt of this honor, has opted to escalate the U.S. war in Afghanistan with the deployment of 30,000 additional troops. We regret that he could not be guided by the example of a previous Nobel Peace Laureate, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who identified his peace prize as “profound recognition that nonviolence is the answer to the crucial political and moral question of our time — the need for man [sic] to overcome oppression and violence without resorting to violence and oppression.”

President Obama has insisted that his troop escalation is a necessary response to dangerous instability in Afghanistan and Pakistan, but we reject the notion that military action will advance the region’s stability, or our own national security. In his peace prize acceptance speech, Dr. King observed that “Civilization and violence are antithetical concepts…man [sic] must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression and retaliation.” As people committed to end the occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan, we are filled with remorse by this new decision of our president, for it will not bring peace.

Declaring his opposition to the Vietnam War, Dr. King insisted that “no one who has any concern for the integrity and life of America today can ignore the present war…We must continue to raise our voices and our lives if our nation persists in its perverse ways… We are at the moment when our lives must be placed on the line if our nation is to survive its own folly. Every man [sic] of humane convictions must decide on the protest that best suits his convictions, but we must all protest.”

We pledge ourselves to mobilize our constituencies in the spirit of Dr. King’s nonviolent and committed example. His prophetic words will guide us as we assemble in the halls of Congress, in local offices of elected representatives, and in the streets of our cities and towns, protesting every proposal that will continue funding war. We will actively and publicly oppose the war funding which President Obama will soon seek from Congress and re-commit ourselves to the protracted struggle against U.S. war-making in Iraq and Afghanistan.

We assume that the Nobel Committee chose to award President Obama the peace prize in full awareness of the vision offered by Dr. King’s acceptance speech. We also understand that the Nobel committee may now regret that decision in light of recent developments, as we believe that the committee should be reluctant to present an Orwellian message equating peace with war. When introducing the President, the Committee should, at the very least, exhibit a level of compassion and humility by drawing attention to this distressing ambiguity.

We will do all we can to ensure that popular pressure will soon bring President Obama to an acceptance of the duties which this prize, and even more his electoral mandate to be a figure of change, impose upon him.  He must end the catastrophic policies of occupation and war that have caused so much destruction, so many deaths and displacements, and so much injury to our own democratic traditions.

This prize is not a meaningless honor.  We pledge, ourselves obeying its call to nonviolent action, to make our President worthy of it.

Jack Amoureux – Board of Directors
Military Families Speak Out

Medea Benjamin – Co-Founder,
Global Exchange

Frida Berrigan – Witness Against Torture

Elaine Brower – World Can’t Wait

Leslie Cagan – Co-Founder
United for Peace and Justice

Bob Cooke – Regional Coordinator
Pax Christi USA, Pax Christi Metro, DC and Baltimore

Tom Cornell – Catholic Peace Fellowship

Matt Daloisio – War Resisters League

Marie Dennis – Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns

Laurie Dobson – Director,
End US Wars

Mike Ferner – National President
Veterans For Peace

Joy First- Convener
National Campaign for Non-Violent Resistance

Sara Flounders – International Action Center

Diana Gibson – Christian Peace Witness

Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb – Shomer Shalom Network for Jewish Nonviolence

David Hartsough – Peaceworkers, San Francisco

Mike Hearington – Georgia Peace & Justice Coalition

Kimber J. Heinz – Organizing Coordinator
War Resisters League

Mark Johnson – Director
Fellowship of Reconciliation

Kathy Kelly – Co-coordinator
Voices for Creative Non-Violence

Leslie Kielson – Co-Chair
United for Peace and Justice

Malachy Kilbride – National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance

Kevin Martin – Executive Director
Peace Action and Peace Action Education Fund

Linda LeTendre – Saratoga [New York] Peace Alliance

Michael T. McPhearson – National Executive Director,
Veterans For Peace

Gael Murphy – Co-Founder,
Code Pink

Sheila Musaji – The American Muslim

Michael Nagler – Founder
Metta Center for Nonviolence

Max Obuszewski – Pledge of Resistance Baltimore and Baltimore Nonviolence Center

Pete Perry – Peace of the Action

Dave Robinson, Executive Director
Pax Christi

David Swanson – AfterDowningStreet.org

Terry Rockefeller – Families for Peaceful Tomorrows

Samina Sundas – Founding Executive Director
The American Muslim Voice

Nancy Tsou – Coordinator,
Rockland Coalition for Peace and Justice

Diane Turco – Cape Codders for Peace and Justice

Marge Van Cleef – Womens International League for Peace and Freedom

Jose Vasquez – Executive Director
Iraq Veterans Against the War

Craig Wiesner
Multifaith Voices for Peace and Justice

Scott Wright – Pax Christi Metro DC – Baltimore

Kevin Zeese – Executive Director
Voters for Peace

Another $130 billion for war and no exit strategy?

Thursday, June 25th, 2009

Dear UFPJ Supporter,

In the next 24 hours, Congress is set to authorize
$550 billion in FY 2010 defense spending — and with it,
an additional $130 billion for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

This, on top of the $75 billion Congress approved for
continuing the wars and occupations last week. Not to
mention the fact that 6 million jobs have been lost and
our communities continue to face stiffening budget cuts.
To put it plainly, our nation’s priorities are out of whack.

The sole bright spot in this is the McGovern amendment.
House Representatives Jim McGovern (MA), Walter Jones (NC),
and Chellie Pingree (ME) have introduced an amendment to
the 2010 military authorization bill, requiring the Pentagon
to provide an ‘exit strategy’ to Congress by the end of this

That’s why we need you to call your Representatives TODAY
and TOMORROW and urge them to vote for the McGovern
amendment. You can call the Congressional Switchboard at 202-224-3121.

Supporting the McGovern amendment and forcing the
Defense Secretary to submit an ‘exit strategy’ will allow
us to insert our voices into the debate and push for a
complete and immediate withdrawal from Afghanistan.
Before we can do that with success, though, we need
to ensure that the debate happens at all – and this
amendment is a step towards doing that.

So make sure to call your Member of Congress and urge
them to support the McGovern amendment. Call the
Congressional Switchboard at 202-224-3121. Tell them
we need to end the wars and occupations and redirect
spending to our urgent domestic needs!


United For Peace and Justice