April 20 march for peace

Congress is beginning to show more “signs of life” questioning Bush’s never-ending war policy with Senators Daschle (D-S.D.) and Byrd (D-W.Va.) speaking out. Daschle and Byrd urged Congress to not give Bush a “blank check” for military spending.

The first step was taken by Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), who was the lone vote against giving executive power to conduct a response to the Sept. 11 attacks.

Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) outlined most eloquently in his “Prayer for America” speech (reprinted in PWW 3/2) the patriotic peace aspirations of millions of Americans. Reps. McDermott, Baldwin, DeFazio and a few others have also spoken critically of the Bush policy.

The April 20 march on Washington D.C., sponsored by coalitons of peace, juctice, youth and student organizations is the beginning of the growing peace movement which can win the hearts of the American people to fight for our future. This march on D.C. is a critical step towards organizing a movement of the people who do not support Bush’s never-ending war at home or abroad. Money from social programs and public education here at home is being spend to create new weapons of mass destruction while our communities suffer cuts.

The march can spark the dialogue needed to awaken Congress to challenge Bush’s attempt to close down the democratic process by placing all decisions and power with the executive branch.

April 20 is needed now more than ever. The “war on terrorism” has not made the world safer. And civil liberties are being tossed aside at home.

The Bush administration has set its sights for a war on Iraq and its rationale is not terrorism, but weapons of mass destruction. Yet, the Bush administration is actively considering the use of nuclear weapons which are weapons of mass destruction.

People in every neighborhood, town and city need to know about the march. A turnout of tens of thousands is possible because people want to be heard.

The people of the United States suffered a tremendous blow on Sept. 11, but the only way we can heal is to protect our right to peace, at home and abroad.

Two states for two peoples

Vice President Richard Cheney is on a 12-day trip to Arab nations to drum up support for a U.S. military attack on Iraq, a mission driven by Bush administration oil profit greed. Jordan’s King Abdullah II instantly rejected Cheney’s appeal, reminding him that it could plunge the region into a major war. He called on the Bush administration to resolve their differences with Iraq through peaceful means.

The drive to launch a renewed war against Iraq is getting a cold reception in Europe as well. Only British Prime Minister Tony Blair has joined the administraton’s hysterical claims that a war is needed to wipe out weapons of mass destruction that Cheney claims Iraq is developing.

The U.S. blockade of Iraq has lasted now more than 10 years and has cost an estimated half million Iraqi lives, many of them children. It is time to end it.

Instead of war against Iraq, Cheney should promote the Saudi plan for peace to the West Bank and Gaza by establishing a Palestinian state coexisting with Israel. The Bush administraion has given only lip service to the Saudi proposal widely endorsed throughout the world.

Bush had proclaimed there was little the administration would do to end the mounting bloodshed in the West Bank and Gaza until Palestinian President Yasir Arafat terminated Palestinian “terrorism.”

Bush said nothing about the 20,000 heavily armed Israeli troops, equipped by the U.S. with F-16 warplanes and attack helicopters, killing 1,000 Palestinians in their own lands while 300 Israelis have died.

The Palestinian people have struggled heroically since 1948 to win their national independence and statehood. Now we learn that Israeli troops are writing numbers on the forearms and foreheads of Palestinian prisoners, an echo of the Nazi death camps.

The Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee has called for protest demonstrations in Washington and Los Angeles against this genocide. The call is “End the Israeli occupation! End the

violence! Two states for two peoples!”