The gathering antiwar momentum

Louis Proyect lnp3 at
Tue Jul 22 07:19:05 MDT 2003

Antiwar Groups Say Public Ire Over Iraq Claims Is Increasing

By Evelyn Nieves
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, July 22, 2003; Page A03

SAN FRANCISCO -- The letters are pouring in like a water main break --
fast and, yes, furious. From Alabama: "We want to know the truth!" From
Arizona: "If there's nothing to hide, what's the harm in a bipartisan
inquiry?" From Mississippi: "We must get to the truth -- whatever it is!"

About 400,000 people from every state have contacted members of Congress
in the past three weeks as part of a petition that asks
Congress to investigate the controversial claims that led to the war on
Iraq, with more than 50,000 people signing on to the liberal activist
Web site in the past five days alone.

"It seems more and more people who supported the war are signing on,"
said Eli Pariser,'s campaigns director. "They're angry.
People who in the past couple of weeks before the war decided to support
it are swinging back."

For organizations that opposed the war, these are busy days. Not since
hundreds of thousands of people across the country marched in antiwar
rallies in the weeks before the U.S.-led invasion has the rationale for
the preemptive war come under such fire. The groups hope to galvanize a
broad spectrum of the American people, a majority of whom supported the
war, but with reservations. The goal is to persuade public officials to
support an independent, bipartisan commission modeled on the panel
investigating the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. In the week since
the administration admitted that President Bush's State of the Union
speech in January should not have mentioned that the British had
"learned" Iraq had tried to buy uranium from Africa for a nuclear
weapons program, antiwar groups say that more and more Americans have
been contacting them, looking for answers.

"You know an issue has momentum," said Andrea Buffa, co-chair of the
United for Peace and Justice coalition, "when people are coming into
your office to ask if there's a protest planned about it."



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