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Far too many of you failed to learn two very important lessons from our country's protracted involvement in Vietnam. [1, 2, 3, 4]

First of all, just as with 1964's Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, both the House of Representatives and Senate rushed to authorize the use of military force "… without fully discussing why, without thoroughly considering the consequences, or without making any attempt to explore what steps we might take to avert conflict." [1, 2, 3]

Secondly, since your hasty authorization of open-ended military intervention four years ago, you have failed to fully exercise your congressional oversight responsibilities regarding the conduct of the war. Such lax oversight encouraged the Johnson and Nixon administrations to persist with unwise policies during the Vietnam War, and it appears to be having the same effect again.

What our country desperately needs now, as it did 40 years ago, is for you to reassert " … the exclusive power of Congress to determine matters of war and peace." [1, 2, 3] The time has come for an honest, open, and lengthy debate about the Iraq War, culminating with legislation that sets a clearly defined goal for the termination of our active military involvement. We therefore respectfully ask for:


a special joint session of Congress devoted entirely to the Iraq War, lasting at least one full week. This session should begin as soon as possible, but absolutely no later than Monday, October 16th. This will allow voters ample time to review and analyze the proceedings prior to the November 7th election.
the Republican leadership to do its best to ensure that a true bipartisan consensus is reached on the wisest policies for our country to pursue in Iraq. At the very least, this should entail granting the House and Senate Minority Leaders (Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi and Senator Harry Reid) two full days in which to present and coordinate debate over legislation advocated by their fellow Democrats in Congress. They have both a right and a responsibility to present the American people with alternatives to our current policies.
Although we may not individually agree with everything written in this petition, we are unanimous in calling for a special joint session of Congress devoted entirely to Iraq. The war is now in its fourth year. Military and civilian deaths, as well as monetary costs, have reached unconscionable levels. Violence has spread to other countries in the Middle East. Both the Senate and House of Representatives are scheduled to adjourn on October 6th, 2006, a full month before the November 7th election. Under these circumstances, we do not think it is too much to ask that you add a week or two to this year's historically brief congressional schedule [1, 2, 3, 4] to address an issue of such vital national and international importance!

[Important: To ensure the correct Representative and Senators are advised of your support, when signing your name please look up and include your ZIP Code + 4.]

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Jacquelyn LunaBy:
Justice, rights and public orderIn:
Petition target:
The United States Congress

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