WNPJ Blog: Finding the right words for Iraq

Last Friday, President Obama announced that the military would begin a withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq, saying, “After nearly nine years, America's war in Iraq will be over. Our troops will definitely be home for the holidays.” Not surprisingly, corporate media chose to highlight the responses of Republican Presidential candidates like Michelle Bachman (who thinks Iraqis need to pay us back for their “liberation”) rather than listening to the people who had struggled to prevent the Iraq war in the first place, and who had spent the past eight years trying to make a U.S. withdrawal from Iraq a reality. Read the rest and comment here...

Berkeley City Council says "Close Guantánamo"

On Tuesday evening, Berkeley’s City Council approved a resolution calling for the closure of Guantánamo Bay Prison and welcoming detainees who have been cleared as posing no danger to the U.S., but who cannot safely return to their home countries. Berkely joins the Massachusetts towns of Amherst and Leverett, which adopted similar resolutions in 2009 and 2010. Nancy Talanian, the executive director of No More Guantánamos, said, "Dozens of innocent men remain in Guantánamo simply because they cannot safely return to their home countries, and U.S. allies rightly question why they must welcome all of them when the U.S. refuses to take any.  Berkeley's resolution is a necessary step toward closing the prison with justice and restoring our country’s commitment to human rights."

Obama promises all troops out of Iraq by Christmas

U.S. troops will be withdrawn from Iraq by the end of this year, as required under a 2008 agreement between the U.S. and Iraqi governments. The Obama administration made repeated efforts to win approval for keeping some U.S. forces in Iraq after the Dec. 31st 2011 deadline, but the refusal by the Iraqi government to grant legal immunity to U.S. troops eventually doomed any such agreement, and forced the U.S. to hold to the earlier withdrawal timetable.

Rep. Tammy Baldwin: 'It's Time to End America's Longest War "

Rep. Tammy Baldwin writes on Huffington Post: 

Days after the attacks on our homeland, I voted to authorize the use of military force against the perpetrators and those who had aided and abetted them. I stand by that vote...

But today, ten years after the war began, the number of al Qaeda operatives in Afghanistan is estimated at less than 100. Our objective is no longer clear, and neither is the rationale for our continued presence. After a decade of fighting, more than 2,700 coalition lives lost, and nearly half a trillion dollars spent (the equivalent of five years' worth of the federal budget for infrastructure), this has become a war without a mission -- and, thus, a war we cannot afford to continue.

We went into Afghanistan for the right reasons, but we are staying for the wrong ones. After ten years, it is time to bring America's longest war to a close and bring our troops home.

Mayors for Peace reaches 5000 member cities

With the addition of 19 new member cities on September 16th, Mayors for Peace reached 5003 member cities, becoming the largest international, direct-membership association of local governments in the world. Mayors for Peace member cities are located in 151 Countries and 188 U.S. Cities, including Wisconsin members LaCrosse, Madison, Milwaukee and Waukesha.  Since 2003, thousands of cities have been inspired to join Mayors for Peace in support of its ‘2020 Vision’ of a world free of nuclear weapons by the year 2020. The total number of citizens represented worldwide by Mayors for Peace is approaching one billion.

Moore, Baldwin ask for end to wars as priority for deficit reduction committee

Wisconsin's Gwen Moore and Tammy Baldwin are among 70 House members who have signed a letter to the six-member deficit reduction super-committee, asking the committtee to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. 

They write:

Welcome Home, Bonnie!

Bonnie Urfer, left, a 25-year staff member of Nukewatch, a WNPJ member group, spent eight months in Federal prison for a trespass conviction stemming from a July 5, 2010 protest at the Y12 nuclear weapons complex in Oak Ridge, Tenn. Her release date was January 6th.  You can mail Bonnie at: NUKEWATCH, 740 "A" Round Lake Rd, Luck, WI 54853, 715-472-4185 or  Bonnie's statement to the court is a powerful indictment, not only of our nuclear weapons complex, but also of our nation's prison-industrial complex. Read and comment at the WNPJ blog, here...

'Iraq war veteran Jason Moon's CD is like a singing diary'

Jason Moon, singer-songwriter and veteran/peace activist, is featured in a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel profile. which includes a video.

He says his Peacemaker of the Year award in 2009 from WNPJ motivated him to do more to help veterans.

Jason will play a benefit for the Homeless Veterans Initiative sponsored by Milwaukee Veterans for Peace on Sunday, Sept. 11, at 7 p.m. at the Coffee House, 631 N.

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