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ACTION ALERT: No Permanent Basis in Iraq


September 15, 2006
Friends Committee on National Legislation

Talk of permanent US military bases inside Iraq confirms the fears of many people in their country that the US plans to stay indefinitely. This suspicion helps recruit new people to join the anti-US insurgency. Support the STEP (Sensible Transition to an Enduring Peace) proposal to persuade Congress to go on the record opposing a permanent US military presence in Iraq.

We are training Iraqi troops so they can defend their nation. We're helping Iraq's unity government grow in strength and serve its people. We will not leave until this work is done.
— President George Bush, September 11, 2006

WASHINGTON, DC (September 14, 2006) — Publicly, President Bush insists that the US is in Iraq to reduce the violence, strengthen democracy, and unify the nation. After that, the US will leave.

But we have seen in news reports from Iraq over the last few days that the political, economic, and security policies of the US government in Iraq are neither reducing the violence nor unifying the country.

Now the administration is telling Congress that the U.S. should not rule out having permanent military bases in Iraq. This is the worst possible signal policymakers could send right now to people in Iraq and the United States, as the monthly death toll rises to levels not seen since the initial US invasion.

Iraqis tell us this talk of permanent military bases confirms the fears of many people in their country that the US plans to stay indefinitely, helps recruit new people to join the anti-US insurgency, and contributes to the slide toward civil war.

For years, the administration has denied reports that the US is planning a permanent military presence in Iraq. Policymakers have insisted that the US will remain in Iraq only as long as necessary and, as several officials have said, “not a day longer.”

FCNL put forward the Iraq STEP (Sensible Transition to an Enduring Peace) proposal in part to persuade Congress to go on the record opposing a permanent US military presence in Iraq. And Congress agreed.

Thanks in large part to the efforts of the people in the FCNL network, both the House and the Senate have passed provisions declaring the U.S. will not maintain permanent military bases in Iraq. But FCNL lobbyists learned this week that the administration – for the second time this year-- has successfully worked behind closed doors to persuade Congress to delete that language from legislation already passed in the Senate.

Congress has one final opportunity in this session to pass legislation barring the Pentagon from spending money to establish permanent military bases in Iraq. Majorities in both the House and the Senate have voted to approve this language in amendments to the military appropriations bill. Negotiators from the House and the Senate will be meeting in the next two weeks to finalize this legislation in a conference report.

Take Action Now
Write, or email your representative today. Urge her or him to sign the Dear Colleague letter that Representatives Barbara Lee (CA) and Tom Allen (ME) are circulating this week in support of the “no permanent bases” provision in the military appropriations bill.

• You can write a letter using the FCNL website at
http://capwiz.com/fconl/issues/alert/?alertid=9024266&type=CO

• View the Dear Colleague letter at
http://www.fcnl.org/issues/item.php?item_id=2061&issue_id=35

• Contacting Legislators
Contact your members of Congress through FCNL's web site.
Capitol Switchboard: 202-224-3121

Sen. ________
U.S. Senate
Washington, DC 20510

Rep. ________
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515

• Contact the President
George W. Bush
The White House
Washington, DC 20500
White House Comment Desk:
202 456-1111. Fax: 202-456-2461

FCNL | 245 Second Street NE, Washington, DC 20002 | 202-547-6000 | Toll-free: 800-630-1330. www.fcnl.org

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