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Table of Contents

1.0     It's time to do more to end the war in Iraq. Join hunger strike to bring troops back home.
2.0     Will Obama listen to the women of Afghanistan?
3.0     Change Is...Sustaining Peace
4.0     CODEPINK in Pakistan!

It's time to do more to end the war in Iraq. Join hunger strike to bring troops back home.

It's time to do more to end the war in Iraq. Join hunger strike to bring troops back home. by Allison, Dana, Farida, Gael, Jodie, Katie, Medea, Nancy, Rae, Samantha and Tiffany, with CODEPINK. It's time to do more to end the war in Iraq. Join hunger strike to bring troops back home.

When elected officials finally make a positive move, in both the House and Senate, by passing an amendment against permanent bases in Iraq, the amendment is simply yanked from the bill in the conference committee. If we don't do more to stop the US occupation of Iraq, we will be there for DECADES to come, and our children and children's children will live is a state of perpetual war.

Report: Iraqi women under siege by by Allison, Dana, Farida, Gael, Jodie, Medea, Nancy, Rae and Tiffany with CODEPINK. Report: Iraqi women under siege

The report shows that from 1958 to the 1990s, Iraq provided more rights and freedoms for women and girls than most of its neighbors. Though Saddam Hussein's dictatorial government and 12 years of severe sanctions reduced these opportunities, Iraqi women were active in all aspects of their society. After the occupation, with the exception of women in Iraqi Kurdistan, women's daily lives have been reduced to a mere struggle for survival.

Subject: Join Susan Sarandon, Danny Glover, Willie Nelson & Many More...
Date: Thu, 15 Jun 2006 08:45:39 -0400 (EDT)

June 15, 2006

Dear Germain,

President Bush makes a stealth visit to the Green Zone in Baghdad for a quick photo op with Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, while Iraqis are plagued by ongoing violence PROVOKED by the very presence of the US troops. Hillary Clinton, the most likely Democratic presidential candidate in 2008, supports the war and believes we shouldn't set a timetable for withdrawal. And when elected officials finally make a positive move, in both the House and Senate, by passing an amendment against permanent bases in Iraq, the amendment is simply yanked from the bill in the conference committee. If we don't do more to stop the US occupation of Iraq, we will be there for DECADES to come, and our children and children's children will live is a state of perpetual war.

US soldiers have been forced to put their bodies on the line; the lives of the Iraqi people are at risk every day. It's time for us to do something to show the depth of our commitment to bring our troops home and allow the Iraqis to rebuild their own nation. That's why CODEPINK and Gold Star Families for Peace, together with activists across the country, will be starting an open-ended hunger strike, called Troops Home Fast, on July 4th, in front of the White House and around the country.

"We've marched, held vigils, lobbied Congress, camped out at Bush's ranch. We've even gone to jail. Now it's time to do more," says Cindy Sheehan. "While others are celebrating July 4th with barbeques and fireworks, we'll be showing our patriotism by putting our bodies on the line to bring our troops home."

As a sign of solidarity with Cindy, CODEPINK and the other long-term fasters, we are asking you to join us by fasting for at least one day. It could be on July 4, our launch date, or any other time during the summer. You can fast from wherever you are, or better yet, join us in Washington DC. We've already received commitments from hundreds of people, including Susan Sarandon, Willie Nelson, Danny Glover, Dick Gregory, Dolores Huerta, Eve Ensler, as well as military veterans, religious leaders, students, and women's groups. Go to our new website to see who's fasting and to sign up.

Diane Wilson, who has engaged in several other hunger strikes in her history as an environmental activist, says she will not set an end date to her fast. "My goal is to bring the troops home. I don't know how long I can fast, but I'm making this open-ended," she says. "I plan to take this as far as I've ever taken anything in my 58 years. I fear our future is at stake, and I'm ready to make a major sacrifice." Click here to read more about Diane's reasons for making this commitment.

Throughout history, fasts have been used to end wars, gain the right to vote, free political prisoners, improve conditions for workers (click here to read more). With your help, this fast will awaken the public, pressure elected officials and move us closer to peace. Please join us for a day or more as a show of support for the Iraqi people and our soldiers, and your commitment to bring our troops back home-FAST!

In peace,

Allison, Dana, Farida, Gael, Jodie, Katie, Medea, Nancy, Rae, Samantha and Tiffany


Join with us this summer in one of our many travel opportunities, from a New Orleans work camp to Camp Casey in Crawford to a retreat/spa in Austin. Click here for info. Also check out our summer reading list with books to inspire your summer activism.

Sign the Voter's Pledge affirming your dedication to vote for peace candidates by clicking here. Don't forget to forward this message to friends, and please consider making a donation towards our campaigns here.
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Will Obama listen to the women of Afghanistan?

Subject: Will Obama listen to the women of Afghanistan?
Date: Wed, 07 Oct 2009 14:35:15 -0400 (EDT)

October 7, 2009

Dear Germain,

CODEPINK co-founders Medea Benjamin and Jodie Evans recently returned from an eye-opening trip to Afghanistan. Their experiences convinced them even further that sending 40,000 more US troops would be disastrous for Afghan women and children. On October 3, their last day in the country, a US bomb hit a farmer's house, killing two innocent women and six children. That same day, a fierce gun battle in mountainous Nuristan Province left eight U.S. Servicemen dead.

Watch the video interview with Dr. Roshanak Wardak, an Afghani member of parliament as she speakes with CODEPINK about the effects of the U.S. presence in Afghanistan and what Obama should do about sending more troops.

"After eight years of U.S. military presence, Afghan women told us more troops will just mean more civilian deaths and more Taliban," Medea reports, not to mention more US casualties, more devastated families in both countries. "Afghan women want peace talks and economic development, not endless war."

Jodie adds, "We were told that most men join the Taliban out of economic desperation; providing jobs will do more for security then spending billions on more troops. It's time to change our military focus to a focus on improving the health, education and welfare of the Afghan people."

Near the end of their journey, the delegation met with women from Afghanistan, Pakistan and India to discuss issues of peace. The women--including members of Parliament, Dr. Roshnak Wardak and Shukria Barakzai; Suraya Parlika of the Afghan Women's Network, and businesswoman Wazhma Karzai, President Karzai's sister-in-law--signed a letter asking Obama to focus on economic needs in Afghanistan, not war.

As Dr. Ghazanfar states, "To fight is not the solution. We have a mouth and a brain, we should talk." Won't you sign on to the women's letter to urge Obama to stop sending troops to Afghanistan? You can use our tools --including a downloadable petition to a United for Peace or AFSC vigil marking the 8th anniversary of the war in your area this Wednesday.

Jodie reminds us "The protection of Afghan women is often used to justify our military presence, but we met an astounding array of Afghan women who said that sending more U.S. troops is not the answer. President Obama should listen to these women."

Thank you for using your mouth and your brain to speak out for peace in Afghanistan,

Dana, Farida, Gael, Gayle, Janet, Jodie, Medea, Nancy, Paris, Rae, Suzanne, and Whitney

Change Is...Sustaining Peace

We entered 2009 with great hopes for change, knowing that instead of waiting for our leaders to change the world for us-we need to create change ourselves. We high-kicked the year off at the Inauguration, performing "Yes we can can end war" dances all around Washington, D.C. as we passed out thousands of pink ribbons to remind Obama of his campaign promises for peace-and we haven't let up. As 2009 comes to a close-a year that saw unrest both at home, with the economic crisis and the chaos surrounding health care reform, and abroad, from the devastating plight of Iraqi refugees, to the destruction of Gaza, to fraudulent (yet mobilizing) elections in Iran and the deepening quagmire in Afghanistan-we want to thank you for being part of our vital movement, our peace family. In 2010, we will continue to urge Obama to truly earn his Nobel Peace Prize and we will continue to model to the world what real change can look like.

CODEPINK in Pakistan!

October 10, 2012

Dear Germain Dufour,

Read "US Delegation's Message of Peace Received Warmly in Pakistan"
By Medea Benjamin and Robert Naiman on Common Dreams

View amazing photos
by delegate Katie Falkenberg

Watch CNN Coverage of CODEPINK in Pakistan

Did you hear the news about our inspiring peace march this weekend to the tribal areas of Pakistan where no foreigners have been permitted to go in a decade? I still can't believe it, but... we did it!!!

As one Pakistani woman wrote to us, "Your coming to Pakistan has touched so many hearts that you cannot even imagine! You were able to do what hundreds of millions of dollars spent by USAID in TV ads to win hearts and minds in Pakistan has failed to achieve!" Read more about how warmly our delegation was received in an article written by Medea Benjamin and Robert Naiman here.

While we were pushing the issue of drones to the forefront in Pakistan, back home in San Francisco CODEPINK activist Kristin Hull delivered your Stop Drones Petition signatures to President Obama. Amazing!!

Our peace march made international headlines on CNN (see video here), the New York Times, the Washington Post, Al Jazeera, the BBC, and over 100 major news outlets.

While we were disappointed that the Pakistani government prevented us from entering deeper into South Waziristan as planned, we feel we've been successful in putting the issue of drone warfare in the international spotlight. ??

Yesterday we organized a public fast in Islamabad to atone for US killer drone strikes. We were devastated to hear news of the Taliban attack on 14-year-old Pakistani girl Malala Yousufzai who is an outspoken advocate for girls to attend school.

After our fast we collected funds to send to Malala's school and we are reaching out to global community to find medical help for her neurological needs. We condemn this violence and understand that American drone attacks increase extremism. We are praying for Malala's quick recovery and return to school.

The world is watching, and we're fired up and ready to keep campaigning to end drone attacks. Members of our delegation are eager to plan speaking engagements back in the US to share our experiences far and wide. Check out the delegate biographies and email Sam to set up an event with one of the delegates. It can be a talk at your local university, place of worship or simply a gathering in your home. We're anxious to share what we've learned and would love your help.

Peace and solidarity from Islamabad,

Alli McCracken
CODEPINK National Organizer

PS It was inspiring to see that while we were on the march, many of you around the country joined protests on the 11th anniversary of the Afghanistan invasion with “Stop Killer Drones” banners. We feel your solidarity here!

The US peace delegation photographed in Islamabad, Pakistan on October 4th, 2012. (Photo: Flickr /, Pakistan - Many Americans have an image of Pakistan and its people as "teeming with anti-Americanism." Americans see images on TV of angry Pakistani demonstrators burning American flags. Indeed, polls say three of four Pakistanis view the United States as an enemy.

But in the last week, we and thirty other Americans have been blessed with an experience few Americans have shared, seeing a more hopeful side of the relationship of the people of Pakistan to Americans. For the last week in Pakistan's capital, Islamabad, and then in the nation’s tribal areas, our delegation that came to Pakistan to protest U.S. drones has been showered with tremendous hospitality, warmth and friendship.

The tribal area our peace delegation visited last weekend borders Waziristan, which since 2004 has been continuously hit with U.S. drone strikes. According to The Bureau of Investigative Journalism, between 2,500 and 3,200 people have been killed in these drone strikes. A recent report from Stanford and NYU law schools noted that only 2 percent of these deaths were "high-level" targets. The rest were civilians, including women and children, and low-level fighters.

Moreover, as the report highlighted, in addition to those who have been killed and injured, the entire population of Waziristan, especially children,have been terrorized by the drones that have been constantly circling overhead, 24 hours a day, because people don't know who is going to be targeted or when the drones might strike. “The drones have changed our way of life,” we were told by Karim Khan, a Waziri who lost his son and brother to a drone strike. “People are now afraid to attend community meetings, funerals or weddings; some are even afraid to send their children to school.”

Pakistanis we met in the tribal areas last weekend are largely people who haven’t seen Americans in 10 years, since the start of the "global war on terror." This is both because the Pakistan government doesn’t allow foreigners into the region and because of the fear Americans have of the "lawless" tribal areas. The State Department travel advisory says that due to security concerns, the U.S. government restricts travel by U.S. officials in the areas we visited this weekend.

This means that many young Pakistanis in the tribal areas have never seen an American in their lives. All they may know about America is that it is a country that conducts and promotes violence in the region, whether by drone strikes, the war across the border in Afghanistan, or a U.S.-promoted offensive by the Pakistani military that displaced more than a hundred thousand people in South Waziristan.

Our group was invited by political leader Imran Khan to join an anti-drones rally in Waziristan and the special government permission we received marked the first time that the Pakistani government has admitted foreigners into the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) in nearly a decade. Despite rumors that our group would be targeted by anti-American militants, on the journey from Islamabad to Waziristan the delegation received overwhelming support from Pakistanis who held processions along the route. When we arrived in the town of Hatala to spend the night, we were swamped by hundreds of Pakistanis, particularly teenage boys, who rushed to look at this rare species and have their pictures taken with us.

The following day, the government, citing security concerns, closed the road that would have taken us to the planned rally site in Kotkai, a town in the heart of South Waziristan. So the American group held a rally with Imran Khan in the place where we had spent the night.

To the cheers of a teeming group of Pakistanis, we walked on stage holding anti-drone signs and pictures of children who have been killed in drone attacks, and delivered an apology for the death of innocent people. "We want you to know that these Americans you see here have been fighting for years against this drone policy, and will continue to do so until we put an end into to these barbaric attacks. We want to live in peace and harmony with our brothers and sisters in this region," we told the crowd.” Their response brought tears to our eyes. "You are welcome! We want peace!,” they chanted over and over, smiling, waving and cheering.

Our delegation’s call for peace, and the pictures of us with our anti-drone signs, have been carried on the Pakistani television and print media all week long. Millions of Pakistanis have seen us and heard our message. As one Pashtun man told us, putting his hand over his heart, “If you came here to win our hearts and minds, you have won mine.”

We aren't under any illusions that our single delegation will by itself abolish the drone strikes and transform the relationship between the U.S. and Pakistan to one based on peaceful cooperation. But we are convinced that current U.S. policy towards Pakistan, with its emphasis on military might and marginalization of negotiations as a means of trying to address Pakistan's security problems, is dangerously misguided and counterproductive, feeding an endless cycle of violence. Americans and Pakistanis are being taught to fear and distrust each other, instead of being encouraged to seek political resolutions of conflicts. Such a short-sighted policy won't make Americans more safe. It's time to fundamentally re-think U.S. policy towards Pakistan, and an important step forward is for Americans to see Pakistanis in the tribal areas as fully human.

Medea Benjamin (, cofounder of Global Exchange and CODEPINK: Women for Peace, is the author of Drone Warfare: Killing by Remote Control. Her previous books include Don’t Be Afraid Gringo: A Honduran Woman Speaks from the Heart., and (with Jodie Evans) Stop the Next War Now (Inner Ocean Action Guide).

Robert Naiman is Policy Director at Just Foreign Policy. Naiman has worked as a policy analyst and researcher at the Center for Economic and Policy Research and Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch. He has masters degrees in economics and mathematics from the University of Illinois and has studied and worked in the Middle East. You can contact him here.

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