This month, we in the peace movement can take pride in our nine years of work against the Iraq war. The last uniformed U.S. troops have left Iraq!
With our weekly vigils, our forums, our demonstrations, our election campaigns, and our lobbying, we turned public opinion against the war. Together with the resistance of the Iraqi people, we forced the military to end the occupation.
Confirmation came from an unexpected quarter: “Any future defense secretary who advises the president to again send a big American land army into Asia or into the Middle East or Africa should ‘have his head examined,’” former Defense Secretary Robert Gates told West Point cadets this year.
But our work is far from done. 16,000 “embassy personnel” remain in Iraq; the grim conflict continues in Afghanistan and Pakistan; the drums are again beating for a military strike on Iran; the U.S. is moving to confront China by stationing 2,500 Marines in northern Australia. Congress just passed a $670 billion defense authorization, including new nuclear weapons facilities, $115 billion for the Afghanistan war, and the right to detain terrorism suspects without trial, indefinitely.
Can we count on your support as we enter 2012?
Massachusetts Peace Action is working to unite peace, environmental and progressive groups to confront these challenges. The grotesquely large military budget is squarely on the table for cuts in Washington, for the first time in decades. We worked hard with our coalition partners in labor, community, human service and peace groups to make sure Senator Kerry did not make a bad deal with Republicans this fall – and he didn’t! But stay tuned, because the struggle over the military budget is sure to continue in 2012.
To put nuclear power and nuclear weapons on the agenda, we organized a coalition of groups that sponsored a Festival for a Nuclear-Free Future in Boston last July. We plan to follow up next year with a bigger and better festival.
We need everyone’s help. Please renew your membership for 2012 using the "Donate" button, and include a tax-deductible donation to the Massachusetts Peace Action Education Fund, our educational affiliate.
We need your volunteer energy too. Contact your Representative and Senators, and join a Peace Action group in your community, or if one doesn’t exist yet, we can help you organize one. Join us at our annual meeting in Newton January 28!
Best wishes for a peaceful New Year,