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10 December 2004 @ 11:35 pm
Friends For A Non-Violent World  
I met with Phil Steger today, Executive Director of Friends For A Non-Violent World, a local Quaker organization.

Phil spoke at a Progressives gathering that Greg and I hosted last weekend. He told our guests about "Peace In The Precincts/Roadmap Out of Iraq," the current, main initiatives of FNVW.  I plan to become active in this initiative and invite you to do the same if it seems interesting.

Today, Phil and I discussed how I might contribute to the drafting of talking points that could be used in upcoming hearings before the Armed Services Committee. These hearings will be happening in January.  The point of the hearings will be relative to a request that Shrub will be making for $70+ billion more to continue the carnage in Iraq. The protocol for such requests requires some of the presidents' men to submit to questioning from members of the Armed Services Committee. The committee is Republican controlled, but one of its 12 or 13 members is Mark Dayton, a Democrat from Minnesota who supports the efforts of FNVW.  An on-going project of Phil Steger and company has been to develop talking points -- incisive, well-reasoned and effectively worded points expressing opposition to the war. These points are crafted into questions that are then put to Bush's war makers.

Am I being too obtuse? I'm tired, and I get that way when I'm tired.

OK, here's an example of a talking point:

"The Bush administration strategy means a rising death toll for Guard and Reserve units. The war in Iraq has placed unprecedented strain on our reserve forces. Nearly a quarter of service members killed in action in Iraq since February were from the reserve or National Guard. That proportion is six times higher than it was before President Bush announced the end of major combat in May 2003. " 

So, for example, Dayton or one of his reps would present this fact to one of Bush's military men and ask for a response.

I left with a pile of documents today. I have lots of reading to do before I can get a better handle on all of this. BTW, the development of talking points is not limited to the Armed Services Committee hearings. There will be many other opportunities to put them into action.

On one wall at FNVW is a framed copy of Martin Luther Kings' "I've Been To The Mountaintop" speech, delivered on April 3, 1968, one day before his assassination.  What a beautiful speech it is.

Current Mood: thoughtfulthoughtful