At today's meeting, I was asked
to post the talking points that we used for our meeting with Hastert's
Field Director. Here they are.
Begin by saying something about our groups. Show that we represent significant
numbers (the DuPage Peace Though Justice Coalition averages 40 people at
our working meetings; our November 10 event drew about 200 people; we got
a very favorable response from passing motorists, with people honking and
giving thumbs up and flashing the peace sign, showing that we have support).
Call for an immediate end to U.S. military involvement in Afghanistan.
Argue that the U.S. military actions violate international law; argue that,
under international law, other responses are appropriate (see
which we can perhaps copy and give to Harbin).
Argue against extending the war to other countries such as Iraq or Colombia.
Express support for the thrust of Rep. Ron Paul's letter opposing any attacks
on Iraq (see
which perhaps we should copy and provide to Harbin).
Call for a UN force to guarantee that much-needed aid reaches the people
of Afghanistan. Apparently, the situation has improved, but it is still
grave (see the NYT article "Racing Against Time" below).
Express our concerns about the attacks on civil liberties, perhaps giving
Harbin a copy of the Center for Constitutional Rights' analysis of the
PATRIOT act (http://www.ccr-ny.org/whatsnew/usa_patriot_act.asp) and the
Chicago Committee to Defend the Bill of Rights' summary of recent legislation
and government directives affecting civil liberties (see below).
Those are the main points that we discussed in the coalition. If
during the course of the discussion, there's also a way to work in support
for HR 2459 (which calls for establishing a Department of Peace) and the
AFL-CIO’s and Congressional Progressive Caucus' economic stimulus packages,
I think we should do so.
> > (2) Call for an immediate end to U.S. military involvement in >
Afghanistan. Argue that the U.S. military actions violate international
In discussing this, we should express our concern about the number of
Afghan civilians that have been killed by the U.S. bombings. According
to one study, based on published reports, as many as 3,500 civilians have
been killed (see http://www.democracynow.org/thndtrmb.doc).
Meanwhile, according to a report on NPR yesterday, not one leader of the
Al-Quada network has been captured.
For a report of conditions for civilians in Afghanastan, see "Racing
For an extensive report on the attack on our civil liberties by the
Chicago Committee to Defend the Bill of Rights, see "A
Turn Toward Repression".