Iraq: Take Action NOW to End War

Together we can end this war!

We are the people who run this country. We are the deciders. And every single day, every single one of us needs to step outside and take some action to help stop this war. Raise hell. Think of something to make the ridiculous look ridiculous. Make our troops know that we are for them and trying to get them out of there….We need people in the streets banging pots and pans and demanding, “Stop It, Now!”  – Molly Ivins (excerpt from her last column)

Prayer

Please commit to praying daily for an end to the war in Iraq. We invite you to join us in praying the Prayer for Peace in Iraq and the Middle East prepared by Pax Christi UK.

We come to you, God Creator.
You are the source of life and beauty and power.
Your son Jesus is the way of faith and hope and love.
Your Spirit is the fire of love, the fount of wisdom, the bond of unity.
You call us at all times to be people of the Beatitudes,
Witnesses to the Gospel of peace and love and forgiveness.
You call us at this time, when war, and rumors of war,
weigh heavily on the peoples of Iraq and the Middle East.

Their lives are already broken by suffering and violence.

We renew our acceptance of Your call. We promise to work:
 To bring the light of the Gospel to those living in darkness,
 To bring the hope of the Gospel to those living in despair,
 To bring the healing of the Gospel to the lonely, the disadvantaged, the marginalized,
 And to bring the peace of the Gospel to a divided world. Amen.

  • Request that the Prayer for Peace in Iraq and the Middle East prayer be included in your parish bulletin along with an invitation to parishioners to join in reciting this prayer daily.
  • Urge your pastor to include prayers for peace in Iraq as part of the Prayer of the Faithful.
  • Organize a public prayer service at your parish or in your community. Be sure to invite your local bishop, local priests, etc. to participate.
  • Seek permission from your pastor to host a peace Mass at your parish focused on peace in Iraq.
  • Pray for ALL in Iraq who are currently in harm’s way.
  • Pray for ALL family members and friends of those who have lost loved ones in the war or whose loved ones have suffered physical, mental or spiritual wounds as a result of the war.
  • Consider including a prayer for peace in Iraq in your correspondence to family and friends.
  • Consider fasting for peace in Iraq one day per week or organizing a rolling fast (each person covering one day) at your parish, with your peace group or with family members and friends.

War is always a defeat for humanity!     – Pope John Paul II

Take Action!

Please commit to doing at least one action per week…more if you are able!

  • Make copies of this flyer and distribute them at your parish, college, or public events.
  • Join or start a Pax Christi local chapter. For more information, click here.
  • Urge religious and community leaders to voice opposition to the war in Iraq – implore them to provide the moral leadership so desperately needed at this time in history.
  • Develop list of quotes written by religious leaders and others opposing war or calling for peace in Iraq and submit them for use in your parish bulletin.
  • Check the peace links listed on the back of this flyer on a regular basis for activities/events you can support on a local and/or national level. Also check with local peace groups in your area.
  • Initiate or join a vigil for peace in Iraq in your community.
  • Set-up resource tables at your parish or community events – pass out literature identifying the true cost of this war and calling for its end.
  • Join with other peace groups or like-minded people to run a sign-on ad or to buy ad space in secular and diocesan newspapers calling for an end to the Iraq war.
  • Organize or support local educational forums/teach-ins on Iraq.
  • Keep abreast of legislation related to Iraq in the House and Senate and organize a phone-in through your parish or peace groups to let your elected officials know how you want them to vote on these bills.
  • Arrange visits to elected officials while they are in their district offices to express your desire to end the war in Iraq now! For Tips for Meeting with Elected Officials, click here.
  • Organize a petition drive calling for an end to the war in Iraq; present signatures to elected officials.
  • Send weekly postcards to President Bush and your elected officials and tell them to bring the Iraq war to an end and to bring our troops home.

President George Bush, The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20500

Senator ___________, U.S. Senate, Washington, DC 20510

Representative __________, U.S. House of Representatives, Washington, DC 20515

  • Write letters to the editor of your local secular and diocesan newspapers. Keep your letters succinct (maximum of 250 words).
  • Consider submitting op-ed pieces to your local secular and diocesan newspapers.
  • Participate in call-in radio broadcasts.

These are the times for real choices and not false ones.  We are at the moment when our lives must be placed on the line if our nation is to survive its own folly.  Everyone of humane convictions must decide on the protest that best suits his or her convictions, but we all must protest.                                      – Martin Luther King, Jr.

Study Resources

Educate yourself and others! Below are some useful links – listed in alphabetical order- for background information, action suggestions, analysis, statements, speakers, and so forth. Many have email networks so sign up and stay updated.

Additional Resources:

  • Iraq: Living the Nightmare – an estimated 654,965 Iraqis have died as a direct result of the chaos caused by the US invasion in 2003, or 2.5% of the entire population of Iraq. According to the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), an average of 94 civilians were killed each day in Iraq in acts of violence in 2006. To download this informational flyer from American Friends Service Committee, go to: http://www.afsc.org/iraq/documents/living-the-nightmare.pdf
  • Frequently Asked Questions: Iraq and the Iraq War – prepared by American Friends Service Committee. For a copy, click here.
  • 10 Reasons Why the U.S. Must Leave Iraq (AFSC) – http://www.afsc.org/iraq/default.htm
  • Wage Peace Movie – depicts the human cost of war (AFSC) – http://www.afsc.org/default.htm
  • The Declaration of Peace – a Campaign to Establish a Comprehensive Plan for Peace, including: A Rapid End to the U.S. Occupation of Iraq, Support for an Iraqi-Led Peace Process and Money for Human Needs, Not War. Taking Action for a New Course in Iraq. Defund War and Declare Peace! (Voices for Creative Nonviolence) – http://declarationofpeace.org/
  • Cost of War (http://costofwar.com/index.html) – dynamic counter from National Priorities Project
  • The Occupation of Iraq: Winning the War, Losing the Peace by Ali A. Allawi (Yale University Press, 2007, 544 pgs, ISBN: 0300110154) – considered by EPIC to be one of the best books on Iraq. (http://www.epic-usa.org/Default.aspx?tabid=1581)
  • Resources on Conscientious Objection (Pax Christi USA) – http://www.paxchristiusa.org/pc_con_object.asp
  • Iraq Report (Institute for Policy Studies) http://www.ips-dc.org/iraq/index.htm
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