21
Nov
2004

A Time To Break the Democrats’ Silence on Falluja and the Escalation of the War in Iraq

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Media Contact: Tim Carpenter 877-368-9221

Progressive Wing of the Democratic Party Announces First Policy Statement and Ongoing Mission

Organization Pledges to hold Democrats and Republicans Responsible to 57 Million Voters

Washington, DC — Progressive Democrats of America (PDA) announced its first policy initiative today in its drive to influence the platform and agenda of the national Democratic Party. Citing the slim 2.6% majority vote achieved in the recent election, the new statement released by PDA asserts, “We do not believe that the November election was a mandate to destroy Iraq while saving it nor an endorsement of the President’s management of the conflict.” (See full statement below.)

“Our objective is to demonstrate that the progressive movement is alive and growing both inside and outside the Party,” said PDA director, Tim Carpenter. PDA was established as a counterbalance to the Democratic Leadership Council. Many rank-and-file Party members feel the DLC appeased conservatives and allowed a policy shift to the political right.

High profile thought leaders like writer and journalist Tom Hayden, have endorsed the PDA position statement. “It is George Bush’s mistake now,” said Hayden, “The role of all Democrats and concerned Americans is to make him end his denial, accept responsibility and take significant steps to end the American occupation and leave Iraq to the Iraqis.”

PDA currently has 11 state caucuses with 15,000 registered members. The group has begun to work with its 22 other allied progressive organizations to launch a grassroots effort to influence the Democrats and put pressure on the current administration. In the wake of the November general election, this effort indicates the resilience of the grassroots movement established during the 2003-2004 Democratic Primary is still alive and represents the heartbeat of the Democratic Party. For more information go to //www.PDAmerica.org.

The new PDA policy statement on Iraq reads as follows:

A Time To Break the Democrats’ Silence on Falluja and the Escalation of the War in Iraq

As Progressive Democrats we call on our Democratic Party leadership to break the public silence on the bloodbath in Falluja. Sixteen hundred Iraqi insurgents are said to have been killed and countless others maimed, crippled or injured in a single week. Over thirty American soldiers are dead and several hundred are wounded. Over eighty major attacks have been launched on American positions in several other uprisings from Mosul to Baghdad. Despite military and administration public relations, the US-trained Iraqi forces cannot or will not stand on their own.

America is creating a slaughterhouse in the name of democratic elections. As foreigners, we are dividing Sunni from Shiite and Kurd in the name of a fragmented Iraqi unity. We are ominously alone, abandoned by fifteen of our Coalition allies - so far - and by the United Nations.

This military strike was timed to occur after the American presidential election. While the main responsibility lies with President Bush, the national Democratic Party leadership has supported and encouraged the military offensive in Falluja as well. Both parties have bloody hands.

It is time for the bipartisan collusion in this war to end. It is time for the Democratic Party to become faithful to its faithful rank-and-file through becoming the party of opposition. It is time to declare clearly that this war is a mistake. The conduct of the war is a mistake. America is squandering the lives of its soldiers, the revenues of its taxpayers, and the trust of its people for a mistake.

When will our party leaders join in asking who will be the last American to die for this mistake?

Progressive Democrats will neither wait nor be silent. We will organize locally as voices and voters for peace. We will hold our Congressional representatives accountable if they support a $75 billion blood-stained check for the Iraq war. We will point out the daily cost of the war to our deficits, our cities, health care, housing and anti-poverty programs. We will demand greater candor and respect for our combat soldiers while also honoring those troops and their families who choose to oppose the war in the tradition of the young John Kerry.

During the presidential campaign, we gave one hundred percent for a Democratic ticket that felt compelled to defend a mistake. We do not believe that the November election was a mandate to destroy Iraq while saving it nor an endorsement of the President’s management of the conflict. It is George Bush’s mistake now, and the role of all Democrats and concerned Americans is to make him end his denial, accept responsibility and take significant steps to end the American occupation and leave Iraq to the Iraqis.

"By-laws aren't political. They're how you run your group. Anything else is a result of who you elect or put in charge." -- Lila Hummel- Parlimentarian (Los Angeles KFPK LAB meeting 8-23-03)


Informant: Heidi Chesney
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