CHRISTIAN PEACEMAKER TEAMS
********************** Christian Peacemaker Team in Iraq calls President Bush to withdraw troops, end human rights abuses
The Christian Peacemaker Team in Iraq - currently awaiting news of four team members taken by a group calling itself "The Swords of Righteousness Brigade" - has asked its supporters to contact U.S. President George W. Bush and ask him to withdraw U.S. troops from Iraq.
President Bush will be making a rare address from the Oval Office this Sunday at 9 p.m. EST to describe how he believes the U.S. war effort should proceed in Iraq.
Christian Peacemaker Teams has asked its supporters to contact the President before his speech and inform him about the security crisis for Iraqis, aggravated by the continuing military occupation of Iraq.
"We have received wonderful support from all over the world for our missing colleagues," said CPT Iraq team member Maxine Nash in a phone interview. "But we want to remind people that kidnapping has affected far more Iraqis than it has foreigners. We have neighbors and friends who have been kidnapped. This lack of security is directly related to the ongoing military occupation of Iraq."
The team wrote in a release sent to the Christian Peacemaker Team constituency: "Based on CPT's work in Iraq, the Iraq team would like the President to know what team members have observed and the appropriate steps they and the CPT constituency think he should take toward ending violence and human rights abuses in Iraq."
"The Iraq team has observed the following with respect to the presence of U.S. and multinational Forces in Iraq:
- loss of faith and trust in the United States government by both Iraqis and Americans
- absence of security
- Iraqi and American injuries and deaths
- lack of basic services
- limited reconstruction
- continued bombing of civilians
- kidnapping, torture and extrajudicial deaths
- continued illegal detentions
- continued mass arrests, house raids and theft of personal property
- alienation of Iraqi people and of the Muslim world
- growing number of people in the international community who perceive the United States as the enemy because of its policies and actions in Iraq."
The team then asked its constituents to recommend steps to President Bush that would end violence and promote human rights for Iraqis.
These recommendations included withdrawing troops and military bases, and stopping bombings and arbitrary detentions.
Additionally, the Iraq team believes that the United States must pressure the Iraqi government to respect the human rights of detainees and end extrajudicial killings by commando squads affiliated with the government.
Besides providing President Bush’s and Vice President Cheney’s e-mail addresses to its constituents, CPT has encouraged them to send copies to their representatives, because legislation regarding the Iraq war effort is currently before both houses of Congress.
********************** SPECIFIC INSTRUCTIONS FROM THE CPT WEBSITE:
1) Rep. John Murtha (D-PA).
Rep. Murtha is a Democratic war veteran who has publicly called for a withdrawal from Iraq. He has come under fire from the Republicans.
Email: not available to non-constituents; if from PA, go to web site, click Contact, use the Web form
Washington Office: Phone: (202) 225-2065 Fax: (202) 225-5709 Web Site: www.house.gov/murtha
2) Rep. Nancy Pelosi, House Democratic leader (D-CA).
Ms. Pelosi has joined with Rep. Murtha in calling for a withdrawal, but her position could be stronger. Help her know where to stand by passing on information from CPT Iraq.
(Ms. Pelosi's office was very helpful to CPT last year when a CPTer from her district, Chris Brown, was brutally beaten by Israeli settlers and hospitalized. When you contact her office, please thank her again.)
Washington Office: Phone: (202) 225-4965 Fax: (202) 225-8259 Web Site: www.house.gov/pelosi
Useful Addresses When Contacting Legislators:
In the USA
Congress: http://www.house.gov/writerep Senate: http://www.senate.gov President: firstname.lastname@example.org
Parliament: http://www.parl.gc.ca Prime Minister: email@example.com
Legislators can be contacted in various ways. But not all contacts get the same attention. At times, the urgency of a situation may demand fast action by electronic means, but generally the following scale of effectiveness applies:
Personal letter - Not effective due to anthrax quarantines
E-mail or petition - Little effect (unless you say you are a constituent and put your address right at the top)
Faxed message - More effective
Personal phone call - Much more effective
Personal visit - Most effective