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Voices In The Wilderness Says No to War on Iraq

Dear Friends,

We are concerned that some of our elected officials, in making
statements against an invasion of Iraq, have chosen to argue that the
present policy, "containment," is "working." Certainly we want
congressmembers to oppose an invasion of Iraq, but not by settling for
present policy, which already amounts to war.
We want to draw your attention to "Code Word: Containment" by Jeff
Guntzel, posted today on the Common Dreams website. Jeff brings the
cruelly punitive effect of sanctions out of the shadows, reminding us
that in opposing war we cannot embrace a policy that has afflicted
Iraqi people for twelve years. We hope you'll find time to:
i--read and disseminate the article

ii--contact your congressmembers and senators and demand they oppose war
in Iraq in all its forms, and in the space created by an end to
sanctions, that they then move forward using the tools of dialogue and
diplomacy. We need to be adamant about this.

iii--Please sign on to the Peace Pledge An
immediate step in the peace pledge involves writing letters to the
editor and to community leaders. You might want to lift a quote from
Jeff's article: "instead of threats, we need incentives; instead of
coercion, we need dialogue; and instead of spending billions of dollars
on a war that will only win us more enemies and risk plunging the Middle
East further into chaos, we need to put an immediate end to the failed
policy of sanctions."

The Break Ranks - Build Bridges fast is on Day 13. Already four
representatives of the US Mission to the UN have met with three of the
fasters. The US Mission staff asked that the meeting be "off the
record" and we will respect this. But all at the table were challenged
by a simple observation from VitW member Joe Proulx. Joe had been very
quiet throughout the meeting. At the end, he averred that while much
analysis can be offered regarding the Government of Iraq's
responsibilities to comply with UN resolutions, we all had to recognize
as we sat in a UN office that UN policies had contributed to the deaths
of over a half million children.

Lastly, we have an update on our delegations. A hearty welcome home to
the Twin Cities delegation, which returned from Iraq August 8th, and
which did such effective people-to-people diplomacy (particularly with
Iraqi artists) and media work. The members of this delegation are
available for radio and newspaper interviews. Contact Phil Steger at
info (at)

The next delegation to Iraq, leaving in mid-September, will focus on
setting up logistics for the Iraq Peace Team. More info on this as the
mid-September departure date for the first group of Iraq Peace Team
"long-term" people approaches.

In these very tense times, we count ourselves fortunate to be working
side-by-side with you.


David Smith Ferri and Danny Muller

Voices in the Wilderness
1460 West Carmen Ave
Chicago IL 60640

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