Peace House on record supporting Peace and Justice Works letter to OR governor candidates

Dan Handelman
Peace and Justice Works Iraq Affinity Group
Portland, OR
503-236-3065

Dear candidates for Oregon Governor:

We are writing to you to get your opinion on a crucial life-and-death
matter for many Oregonians: The deployment of our National Guard to Iraq,
Afghanistan and possibly Syria, Libya and Yemen* without Congressional
authorization.

In 2011, President Barack Obama withdrew most American troops from Iraq.
In August and September of 2014, he began building troops back up in Iraq,
sending others to Syria, and bombing both countries in an effort to repeal
the self-proclaimed Islamic State (ISIS). While we are peace loving people
and do not support the violent tactics of ISIS, we also believe that the
US presence in the region is feeding the insurgency leading to a
never-ending escalation.

Moreover, President Obama is relying on the 2001 Authorization for Use of
Military Force which was cobbled together after 9/11 to go after those
responsible for the attacks on New York and Washington. It was never
intended as an open-ended “war on terrorism” without borders.

The Congress has been reluctant to vote on a new authorization bill. In
early May 2016, Rep. Barbara Lee led a bipartisan effort to urge a vote on
whether to authorize the war on ISIS.
Rep. Lee, others push House to debate war against Islamic State
< http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Rep-Lee-s-bipartisan-effort-to-open-debate-7465184.php>
Unfortunately the effort to repeal the 2001 Authorization failed 138-285.
http://news.antiwar.com/2016/05/18/house-rejects-bill-that-would-lead-to-debate-on-isis-war-authorization/

One of the most recent American service persons to die in Iraq was a
National Guard member from Washington state who grew up and went to school
in Oregon.
Forest Grove, UP grad dies in Iraq non-combat incident
http://www.kgw.com/news/local/us-soldiers-dies-in-noncombat-incident-in-iraq_/182347795

And, perhaps most significantly, an active duty Army Captain is suing the
US government for deploying him to a combat zone without Congressional
authorization.
Deployed Army captain sues Obama over ISIS fight
<
http://www.armytimes.com/story/military/2016/05/04/deployed-army-captain-sues-obama-over-isis-fight/83942016>

A number of groups from around the state of Oregon have been urging the
Governors of this state to Keep Oregon’s Guard in Oregon, from Gov.
Kulongoski in 2008 to Gov. Kitzhaber in 2012 and Gov. Brown last year.
< http://www.pjw.info/guardhomeletter2015.html>

While several deployments of the Guard have happened in the interim, we
demand that you pledge not to send any more Oregonians into an
unauthorized and ill fated war.

We hope you will let us know your opinion on this matter so we can share a
fact sheet with our constituents. We are non-partisan groups interested in
finding alternatives to war as a solution to the world’s problems.

We look forward to your prompt reply by no later than (July 22, 2016).

Thank you

Dan Handelman
Peace and Justice Works Iraq Affinity Group
and others

* US sends troops to Yemen, steps up anti-Qaeda strikes (AFP 5/7)
< http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/world/us-sends-troops-to-yemen/2764406html>
U.S. establishes Libyan outposts with eye toward offensive against Islamic
State
https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/us-establishes-libyan-outposts-with-eye-toward-offensive-against-islamic-state/2016/05/12/11195d32-183c-11e6-9e16-2e5a123aac62_story.html
The US continues to argue about language to explain how the President is
keeping his pledge not to put any “boots on the ground” in Iraq an Syria:
As More American Boots Hit the Ground in Syria, U.S. Parses “Boots” and
“Ground” (Intercept 4/29)
<
https://theintercept.com/2016/04/29/as-more-american-boots-hit-the-ground-in-syria-u-s-parses-boots-and-ground>
and tries to explain why Americans bombed a hospital in Afghanistan even though
the US has supposedly ended its combat role there.
US military’s hazy “noncombat” Afghanistan role creates confusion in hospital
bombing (Wash Times 5/1)
<
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/may/1/us-militarys-hazy-noncombat-afghanistan-role-creat/print/>