Students to Pelosi: immediate withdrawal from Iraq

*** Please forward widely ***

May 8, 2007

Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi:

We are students from Bay Area colleges and universities and part of the Campus Antiwar Network. We are concerned about the state of the war and occupation in Iraq as well as the effect that this is having on our schools and our communities. We are furthermore concerned that the debate about the war has been hamstrung by political maneuvering rather than principled commitments to peace and justice. In that vein, we believe that any meaningful solution in the Middle East requires the following:

1) Immediate withdrawal of all US forces, personnel, and contractors from Iraq
2) Iraqi control over Iraq: no permanent military bases, no control over Iraqi oil, no US intervention in their political process
3) Full funding of veterans’ benefits and health care, including mental health care
4) Reparations to the Iraqi people
5) Ban on the use of depleted uranium munitions in Iraq
6) Redistribution of the war budget towards jobs and education

The current standoff between you and the President brings us no closer to withdrawal. Your House Spending Bill is not a good solution. It would have allowed tens of thousands of troops to remain in Iraq, kept military bases open nearby, and would have authorized the President to intervene again on the pretext of combating al-Qaeda. It appears to us that the Democratic controlled Congress is putting its election hopes above the needs of US citizens and Iraqis. It’s time that you implement legislation calling for a full and unconditional withdrawal of US forces from Iraq. Furthermore, any lasting solution involves that all of our above demands be met.

Speaker Pelosi, you are the representative of a city that overwhelmingly has proven that it not only wants the military out of Iraq, but wants a reduction in US militarism overall. In 2004, over two-thirds of San Francisco voters made it policy to demand that the troops in Iraq be brought “safely home now” by voting for Proposition N. In 2006 San Francisco proved that it wants military recruiters out of our public schools and funds diverted away from war and into education by voting for Proposition i. Not only are your San Francisco voters demanding that you meet the above demands, the nation has turned against the war. Whether you purport to represent your home district or the nation as a whole in your role as Majority Speaker, you can take meaningful action today. We demand that you do so.

Finally, we would like a forum where you address the concerns of students with respect to the war in Iraq at the early part of the fall semester. We would like to work with your office to make sure that such an event can take place and help not only to voice the concerns of students but also to make clear your positions on the war in Iraq. We look forward to your immediate and full response.


Campus Antiwar Network chapters at UC Berkeley, San Francisco State University, and City College San Francisco