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BEWARE OF AGENDAS


...Normally, I don’t specify any single group in the peace movement. And, not all groups are as remiss in their commitment as those I have mentioned. But, United for Peace and Justice poses some quandaries. If you go to their website, there is much talk about the devastating effect of the deaths of U.S. troops in Iraq. Slogans abound about bringing our troops home so more don’t get killed. However, there is little about the plight of the Iraqis. There was not one word about the illegal government put in power by the U.S. and the plight of the members of the pre-April 2003 government. United for Peace and Justice actually recognizes the Iraqi stooges meeting in the Green Zone as the legitimate government of Iraq (...) To top everything off, in July 2006, the group wanted to meet Malaki to discuss peace in Iraq. They praised him and said what an honor it was for him to visit Washington D.C. And, they wanted to take out an ad in a Baghdad newspaper. Along with the announcement came the obligatory request for money. To me, their actions are similar to those of the TV preachers who ask for money to promote their lamebrain ideas. The following is a plea from United for Peace and Justice to support the ridiculous idea of meeting with Malaki, the same Malaki who is responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands of Iraqis because of his support for Shi’ite death squads...

[30359]



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BEWARE OF AGENDAS

Malcom Lagauche

February 5, 2007

In the 1990s, I and several comrades organized demonstrations against the Iraqi embargo. We demonstrated at radio/TV stations, the U.S. Federal Building, offices of Congressmen, etc.

During this time, there was a glaring absence of peace or anti-war groups. I called all the local organizations and was outright told that they were not interested to "touch the Iraq thing." One activist in a pro-Cuba group told me she was not interested because of the way they treated women in Iraq. When I told her that Iraq was secular, she said, "The still all wear veils."

The ignorance of the "peace" community about the embargo and world politics was stifling.

In my writings, I have lambasted the peace movement in general for not opposing the Iraqi embargo and only coming out of their closets a few days before bombs were to drop.

This past weekend, we saw a massive anti-war demonstration in Washington D.C. that included hundreds of thousands of marchers. The group "United for Peace and Justice" was listed as the sponsor and it gained much publicity. The group claims to have more than 1,400 affiliated members.

What appears to be an umbrella group for the cause may not exactly have altruistic designs. After the march on Washington, various writers accounted how United for Peace and Justice really messed up. Chris Jenks of Traprock Peace Center said:

Unfortunately, United for Peace and Justice (UFPJ) - the primary sponsor - didn’t live up to the standards set by the marchers. Its continuing refusal to work with some other national coalitions, and its focus on celebrities and politicians, was reflected in its botching the start of the march and focusing of media coverage.

Other writers corroborated Jenks’ account. They maintain that United for Peace and Justice was more interested in camera position and the Hollywood celebrities than about the march itself. At one point, the marchers took matters into their own hands and began to act. If they had not, the entire day could have turned into a fiasco that would have embarrassed the participants in the event.

Normally, I don’t specify any single group in the peace movement. And, not all groups are as remiss in their commitment as those I have mentioned. But, United for Peace and Justice poses some quandaries.

If you go to their website, there is much talk about the devastating effect of the deaths of U.S. troops in Iraq. Slogans abound about bringing our troops home so more don’t get killed. However, there is little about the plight of the Iraqis. There was not one word about the illegal government put in power by the U.S. and the plight of the members of the pre-April 2003 government. United for Peace and Justice actually recognizes the Iraqi stooges meeting in the Green Zone as the legitimate government of Iraq.

In addition, there is a large portion devoted to "faith-based" groups and how they should join United for Peace and Justice, who has an entire section about "faith-based" activism. Many anti-war activists have no religious affiliation. In the U.S., atheists, by percentage, well outnumber the general public in their opposition to the war against Iraq. United for Peace and Justice appears to be tossing these people aside.

I am curious to know how many affiliate members of the organization have really looked into United for Peace and Justice actions and ideas. Many would be surprised.

To top everything off, in July 2006, the group wanted to meet Malaki to discuss peace in Iraq. They praised him and said what an honor it was for him to visit Washington D.C. And, they wanted to take out an ad in a Baghdad newspaper. Along with the announcement came the obligatory request for money.

To me, their actions are similar to those of the TV preachers who ask for money to promote their lamebrain ideas. The following is a plea from United for Peace and Justice to support the ridiculous idea of meeting with Malaki, the same Malaki who is responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands of Iraqis because of his support for Shi’ite death squads. Following their plea is the letter I sent to them about this quandary. They never answered me when they had the chance to explain their actions, so I consider it fair game now to expose the group and its egotistical and outright stupid actions.

________________________________________________________

Help us place an open letter from the peace movement to Iraqi Prime Minister Al-Maliki as an ad in one of Iraq's largest newspapers.

For only $1,500, we can reach tens of thousands of Iraqis with our message.
Click here to donate online toward this effort or call 212-868-5545 to make a contribution by phone.

You can also mail a check or money order to:
United for Peace and Justice
P.O. Box 607
Times Square Station
New York, NY 10108

Dear Friends,

This week, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki will make his first visit to the United States, visiting Washington DC and New York City. He will be meeting with George Bush and members of Congress, but don't you think he should also meet with representatives of the peace movement? Don't you think he -- and the Iraqi people -- should know that there is a strong movement in the United States to end the occupation of their country?

We have delivered letters to the Iraqi Embassy in Washington DC and to the Iraqi Mission to the United Nations in New York requesting that Prime Minister Al-Maliki meet with representatives of the peace movement. Now we need you to play a critical role in making this historic opportunity a reality.

Help us place an advertisement based on the following Open Letter to Prime Minister Al-Maliki in one of the largest newspapers in Iraq, Assabah Al-Jadid. This is not only a great way to pressure the Prime Minister for a meeting, but it is also a way to reach out to the Iraqi people to let them know that we stand with them in their call to end the occupation of their country. A poll earlier this year showed that 87% of Iraqis support a timeline for the withdrawal of U.S. troops; another poll showed that only 1% of Iraqis trusted U.S. troops to protect their security.

For only $1,500, we can place a half-page ad that will reach tens of thousands of Iraqis. If, through your generosity, more than that comes in, we will use the money to continue spreading our call for immediate withdrawal from Iraq and to help with the ongoing antiwar work of UFPJ.
Click here to make a donation toward this effort today.

LETTERS TO THE EDITORS
Prime Minister Al-Maliki's visit this week is also a great time to write letters to the editors of your local newspapers, mentioning the peace movement's request for a meeting with the prime minister and bringing attention to the growing calls for an end to the occupation and the reconciliation proposal put forth by numerous Iraqi leaders. You can use text from the open letter as talking points, but please use your own words to make your letter more effective and more likely to be printed.
Click here to send a letter to your local media outlets.

Thank you for helping us to make this critical, direct link with the Iraqi people, and to make the call for peace heard loud and clear throughout the United States. Let's make sure that Prime Minister Al-Maliki, the people of Iraq, and people here in the U.S. don't just hear the voice of George Bush. Let's make sure they hear the voices of the majority in this country, who want to see an end to the bloodshed and the beginning of a true effort to rebuild Iraq and our neglected communities at home.


OPEN LETTER TO PRIME MINISTER AL-MALIKI

Dear Prime Minister Al-Maliki,

On behalf of United for Peace and Justice, the largest coalition of peace and justice organizations in the U.S., which includes more than 1,400 national and local groups united in opposition to the U.S. war in Iraq, it is our pleasure to welcome you in the United States.

We are writing to request a meeting with you during your visit in New York City on Thursday, July 27, 2006, in order to brief you about the U.S. peace movement's efforts to end the military occupation of Iraq and to discuss how to work together to bring about a troop withdrawal, promote reconciliation, and begin the process of reconstruction and development.

We have been heartened by the Iraqi reconciliation plan put forth by numerous Iraqi leaders to end both the occupation and sectarian tension within Iraq. We are dismayed, however, that due in part to U.S. pressure, the plan does not include a demand for a timetable for withdrawing the troops -- a point that is essential for any true reconciliation plan.

A poll earlier this year showed that 87% of Iraqis support a timeline for the withdrawal of U.S. troops. A solid majority of people in the United States agree: a June poll by CNN showed that 53% supported a timetable for withdrawal, and other major polls have found similar results.

We oppose the interference of the Bush administration in your country's domestic policies. We support your recent independent and courageous stand criticizing the aggressive Israeli attacks on Lebanon, and we hope you will continue to take independent stands that prioritize the desires of the Iraqi people over foreign interests.

There is a strong movement in the United States to end the continuing military occupation of your country, and we hope that you will have time to meet us during your visit to the United States. We would, of course, be prepared to meet at whatever time or location is best for you.


Sincerely,

Leslie Cagan
National Coordinator
United for Peace and Justice

Help us continue to do this critical work: Make a donation to UFPJ today.
ACTION ALERT * UNITED FOR PEACE AND JUSTICE
www.unitedforpeace.org | 212-868-5545

____________________________________

Here was my response:

Dear People,

It is with great incredulity that I write to you. I thought my eyes were deceiving me when I saw your appeal for solicitations to place an ad in an Iraqi newspaper addressed to Al-Maliki.

And, your coddling up to him ("It is our pleasure to welcome you in the United States") is ludicrous and disgusting. Al-Maliki is not Iraq's prime minister. He is the appointed head of an illegal government in Iraq and currently the U.S.' "Stooge of the Month." To lend him any credibility is outrageous.

Al-Maliki and his cohorts spent decades in Iran and/or Syria, plotting for the overthrow of the legitimate Iraqi government. If the same situation occurred in the U.S., one would call the person the correct name: traitor.

I notice that you call yourself the "largest coalition of peace and justice organizations in the U.S." Do all your affiliated members know of this letter to Al-Maliki? I don't think so. His actions in the past decades show that he wanted Iraq to be invaded. In other words, he cheered on the illegal March 2003 invasion. You pretend to have opposed intervention in Iraq and now you invite one of the the invasion's biggest supporters to meet you. I am at a loss for words.

I have sent your appeal to a few colleagues in the past hour. Their responses are identical to mine. Al-Maliki is visiting the U.S. to get his trip to the woodshed with Bush. When he comes out, he will say "Yasuh." In Iraq, his movements are limited to a few square miles. He is meeting with the architect of the invasion that ruined 5,000 years of proud history of Iraq as well as about 300,000 Iraqis, and you want to meet with him. The mind boggles.

I am a known anti-war writer and have about a million readers because more than 100 websites pick up my articles. I would like to interview someone on your staff and try to discover what kind of logic you are using. Maybe something is going over my head. Please let me know if you are interested in a dialogue. I will take a no-response to mean you are not. Either way, I will write about this quandary.


Sincerely,

Malcom Lagauche

(P.S. I never received a reply)


:: Article nr. 30359 sent on 06-feb-2007 05:16 ECT

www.uruknet.info?p=30359

Link: www.malcomlagauche.com/id1.html



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