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Pre-2008 Posts

Code Pink: U.S. Blocking International Community From Calling for Ceasefire in Middle East

July 18, 2006

Dear Cheryl,

The people of the Middle East are suffering once again as militarists on all sides have launched yet another devastating round of violence — this time between Israel and Lebanon. Each bomb dropped, each child killed, represents our collective failure to live together as a human family, and the ascendance of irrational militarism over the values of empathy and compassion.

We are appalled not only by the violence itself but the lack of international leadership to try to stop it. This is especially true for those of us who are living in the United States: While the world is crying out for global intervention to stop the madness, our government is blocking the international community from calling for a ceasefire — confusing Israel’s right to defend itself with the choice to kill innocent civilians and blow up Lebanon’s bridges, airports and power stations.

Despite the Lebanese death toll exceeding 200 and the Israeli count at 24, efforts to turn to diplomacy have been met with extreme skepticism. Last Thursday, July 13th, in response to Israel launching a massive new military assault on Gaza because of the kidnapping of an Israeli soldier, the U.N. Security Council introduced a resolution calling for ALL sides to exercise restraint. This resolution was vetoed by John Bolton, U.S. Ambassador to the UN. On Sunday, a UN attempt to call for a ceasefire between Israel and Hezbollah was once again blocked by the U.S.

Meanwhile, news about Iraq has fallen to the back pages of our newspapers, despite the fact that over 100 civilians have been killed in the past few days. Once again, we find the U.S. government impeding efforts by the Iraqi government and armed opponents to move toward a reconciliation plan that would include the withdrawal of U.S. troops.

When our government fails to act on behalf of those suffering, we-as responsible citizens-must act. Here are some suggestions:

Troops Home Fasters Protesting outside the White House, July 17, 2006.

1. Contact Ambassador John Bolton at the U.S. Mission to the UN by calling (212) 415-4050 or emailing usa@un.int and ask him to call for a ceasefire.

2. Contact UN Secretary General Kofi Annan and implore the UN must show leadership and demand a ceasefire. Email: sg@un.org and/or Fax: (212) 963-1921.

3. Attend local demonstrations and vigils. You can find out more information about local actions by clicking here or by connecting with peace groups working on this issue in your area. Read about one local community’s response to the conflict by clicking here.

4. Join the fast.We are entering our third week of the fast, in which over 4,000 people have already participated.

Today is the 16th day of our fast in DC and around the world. While we continue to focus on bringing our troops home from Iraq, we’re also incorporating the call to end the violence throughout the Middle East into our peace work and specifically into the goals of our Troops Home Fast. It’s moments like this when fasting can deepen our commitment and enhance our vision of the world we want to live in.

With undying hope for peace,
Allison, Dana, Erin, Farida, Gael, Jodie, Katie, Laura, Medea, Meredith, Nancy, Rae, Samantha and Tiffany

Discussion

One thought on “Code Pink: U.S. Blocking International Community From Calling for Ceasefire in Middle East

  1. Helen Thomas tried to get some answers from Tony Snow about this, but as usual, Mr. Snow was not about to give a straight answer, instead thanking her for the Hezbollah view!

    http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=06/07/20/1435201

    AMY GOODMAN: We are talking to former presidential candidate Ralph Nader, leading consumer activist in this country. Ralph Nader, I wanted to play for you an excerpt of Tuesday’s White House press conference. In it, Press Secretary Tony Snow is questioned by veteran correspondent Helen Thomas. Commonly referred to as “the First Lady of the Press,” Helen Thomas is the most senior member of the White House press corps. What many people may not know is that she’s also of Lebanese descent. At Tuesday’s news conference, she questioned Tony Snow about the U.S. response to the Israeli assault.

    HELEN THOMAS: The United States is not that helpless. It could have stopped the bombardment of Lebanon. We have that much control with the Israelis.

    TONY SNOW: I don’t think so, Helen.

    HELEN THOMAS: We have gone for collective punishment against all of Lebanon and Palestine.

    TONY SNOW: What’s interesting, Helen —

    HELEN THOMAS: And this is what’s happening, and that’s the perception of the United States.

    TONY SNOW: Well, thank you for the Hezbollah view, but I would encourage you —

    HELEN THOMAS: Nobody is accepting your explanation. What is restraint? You call for restraint.

    TONY SNOW: Well, I’ll tell you, what’s interesting, Helen, is people have. The G8 was completely united on this. And as you know, when it comes to issues of —

    HELEN THOMAS: And we stopped a ceasefire. Why?

    TONY SNOW: We didn’t stop a ceasefire. Let me just tell you — I’ll tell you what.

    HELEN THOMAS: We vetoed —

    TONY SNOW: We didn’t even veto. Please get your facts right. What happened was that the G8 countries made a pretty clear determination that the guilty party here was Hezbollah. You cannot have a ceasefire when you’ve got the leader of Hezbollah going on his television saying that he perceives total war — he’s declaring total war. When they are firing rockets indiscriminately —

    HELEN THOMAS: We had the United Nations —

    TONY SNOW: Please let me finish. I know this is great entertainment, but I want to finish the answer. The point here is, they’re firing rockets indiscriminately into civilian areas. The Israelis are responding as they see fit. You will note the countries that disagree with the —

    HELEN THOMAS: — bombardment of a whole country —

    TONY SNOW: — that disagree with the government of Israel in terms of its general approach on Palestine, many of our European allies agree that Israel has the right to defend itself, that the government of Lebanon has the right to control all its territory, that Hezbollah is responsible, and that those who support it also bear responsibility. There is no daylight between the United States and all the allies on this. They all agreed on it. This was not difficult.

    ————-

    Yeah, it is not difficult for smooth talker Tony Snow to dodge the issues! Could he be any more condescending or evasive? Is Israel not firing bombs indiscriminately into civilian areas? Oh I forgot, Israel, like the US, takes great pains to avoid targeting civilians! Give me a break!

    Posted by Aletha | July 21, 2006, 5:25 am

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