E-News: Steps Forward and Back to Peace
Posted on 12/06/2011 @ 01:46 PM
When you subscribe to our e-newsletter , you'll get weekly updates about what's happening in Washington and around the country to change federal policy.
December 6, 2011
Success: Senate Supports Quicker Afghanistan Withdrawal
Indefinite Detention and Iran Sanctions: The Ugly Parts of the Military Authorization Bill
Honoring the Promises: Protecting Native American Women
Iran's Growing Isolation: A Dubious Win for the West
Give the Gift of Peace: Donate to FCNL in Honor of a Friend
Advent Reflections from the Churches for Middle East Peace
War is Not the Answer Photo of the Week: Santa Rosa, CA
Good news! For the first time, the Senate has approved legislation calling for an end to the U.S. war in Afghanistan and your support was a big factor in this success. Last week, the Senate added the amendment, offered by Democratic Senator Jeff Merkley (OR) and Republican Senator Mike Lee (UT), to the military authorization bill.
The near-unanimous approval of this amendment shows the significant and growing dissatisfaction with the war in Congress and the power of your action. More than 1,000 of you called your senators, and, writing after the amendment's passage, Sen. Merkley specifically credited FCNL and several of our allies for leading a "smart, engaged, fierce grassroots effort" to see this amendment passed. Find out more about FCNL's work to end the war in Afghanistan and more of our recent successes.
While FCNL supported the Afghanistan amendment to the military authorization bill, we opposed the final passage of the bill. We were particularly disappointed that the bill allows the military to indefinitely imprison people anywhere in the world without charge or trial, and that an amendment to sanction foreign institutions that do business with Iran's central bank passed by a vote of 100-0. Find out more about what this bill contained and what will happen next.
Violence against women is a serious problem in Indian Country. One in three American Indian or Alaska Native women will be raped in their lifetime, and two in five will suffer domestic violence. Read FCNL's letter Congress, signed by 15 other faith groups, in support of adding provisions to the Violence Against Women Act to help tribal law enforcement respond more effectively to this troubling and persistent problem, and find out more about what Congress can do to help.
Want to stay up to date on congressional action on Native American affairs? Sign up for our monthly Native American Legislative Update email newsletter.
"It is becoming harder to talk to Iran at a time when dialogue is more important than ever," writes journalist and Iran expert Barbara Slavin in the wake of last week's takeover of the British embassy. As Congress is ramping up sanctions and trying to limit diplomacy, the government in Iran has done the same and withdrawn further from the international community. Slavin writes that the "escalating intelligence and economic war between Iran and the West over its nuclear program…could spiral out of control at a time that the world economy and an already unstable Middle East can ill afford."
This holiday season, share your joy in FCNL with friends or family members who might want to join us in working for a vision of a better world through legislative action. When you make a gift of $35 or more in the name of a loved one, he or she will receive a card from us and a year's subscription to the FCNL Washington Newsletter, full of updates on how the FCNL community is working to change policy in Washington. You can contribute online, or contact Colin Browne at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-903-2528.
FCNL's Kate Gould is one of the young adults contributing to a series of Advent Reflections published by the Churches for Middle East Peace this holiday season. Read Kate's reflection on "Peacemaking and Peace Art: Keeping Salt in Hebron," and see other reflections on the Churches for Middle East peace website.
Ann Scott (left) and a friend at Occupy Santa Rosa hold up a War is Not the Answer sign. Ann has been engaging with the Occupy movement in Santa Rosa to focus their attention on legislative strategies for cutting the Pentagon budget.