WASHINGTON - January 18 - Tom Andrews, the National Director of
Win Without War, the nation's largest anti-war coalition, called
on Senate Democrats today to take binding action to stop the president's
escalation of the Iraq war and begin the redeployment of US troops
out of Iraq. Former US Congressman Tom Andrews (D-ME), said that
the non-binding bi-partisan resolution introduced yesterday in the
Senate could prove to be an obstacle to exerting political pressure
on members of Congress to take binding action on Iraq.
He vowed an escalation of anti-war activism
demanding the action, starting with next Saturday's march on the
nation's capitol sponsored by United for Peace and Justice, a "lobby
day" at Congressional offices in Washington on Monday January
29th and a nationally coordinated "Meet UP with Your Member"
during the first Congressional District Work Period the week of
Tom Andrews issued an open
letter to Senate Democrats, excerpts of which are below.
"The president has bound this nation
to a catastrophic policy and has bound our soldiers to a hellish
nightmare in Iraq. We believe that it is imperative, therefore,
that members of the House and Senate take binding action that requires
the administration to reverse course in Iraq. Our men and women
in uniform and the American people need and deserve Congressional
action that has the force of law, including the exercise of its
power of the purse."
"We will take this demand to the
streets and Congressional offices in Washington and to District
Congressional offices across the country when Members return home
to face their constituents."
"Congressional action should be
as binding on the administration as the orders binding our soldiers
into harms way in Iraq."
"We are concerned that a non-binding
resolution on Iraq is being pursued in the Senate without a clear
linkage to binding Congressional action that would reverse the president's
disastrous course in Iraq. The Congress has an obligation to respect
and to implement the will of the American people."
"Members of the Senate and House
should not be led to believe that their obligation to our troops
in Iraq and to the American people is limited to the passage of
resolutions that can be ignored by an administration that shows
no intention of altering a failed policy."
"From the outset, the Bush administration's
Iraq policy has been rooted in denial and deception and carried
out with a lethal combination of arrogance, ignorance and incompetence.
His escalation of the war in Iraq is in defiance of what American
voters demanded of their government on November 7. It also defies
the views of our military leaders, a majority of our soldiers, and
the findings of the bi-partisan Iraq Study Group."
"Even worse, the additional troops
the president will order into Iraq are not certified as combat ready.
The Baltimore Sun reported last week that they would also be without
the protection of the latest armored vehicles that withstand bomb
blasts. It is an unconscionable failure to support the men and women
that are being sent into harms way in Iraq under these circumstances,
and it should be as unacceptable to the Congress as it is to the
"A demand that Congress stand up
to the administration and reverse course in Iraq was the single
most important reason that Americans cast their votes for change
in the November 7 elections. We are prepared to support congressional
efforts that demand an end to the president's Iraq policy. However,
we strongly believe that these efforts must be as binding on the
administration as the president's disastrous policy is on our troops
and the Iraqi people."