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Veterans for Peace
Chapter #114
Sheboygan, Wisconsin

Veterans Working Together for Peace & Justice
Through Non-violence. Wage Peace!

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Iraq Referendum-Manty

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Manitowoc Herald Times Reporter
13 December, 2005 

To the Editor:

On Monday evening, Dec. 5th,  I had the sad experience of attending a meeting of the Legislative Committee of the Manitowoc County Board.  On the agenda that night was a proposed referendum to be put to the county electorate concerning the war in Iraq.  It would ask the people if they felt it was time to bring our troops home from combat, beginning with National Guard and Reserve members.

During the course of the meeting, one individual expressed his opposition to the referendum on the grounds that it underminded support of our troops and would weaken national resolve.  Next, between eight and ten people got up to voice their support of the idea.  They brought up the fact that the war was predicated on lies and poor intelligence, waged in a questionable manner (both morally and logistically), and was a shameless grab for Middle East resources at the cost of Iraqi and American lives.

When all had been said, the committee members had their say.  Each member shared his opinion on the war, patriotism, and the inappropriateness of a county referendum about a national issue.  What happened next was quite disturbing.  The four committee members agreed to table the request with out discussion or a vote.  The voice of the people would be

Stifled by four men who took it upon themselves to speak for the entire county.  What were they afraid of?  Perhaps, that the people were fed up with this war, and would have welcomed a chance to tell the world that this was one county that opposed it and the flawed leadership that got us into it.

How long must we endure gingoistic flagwaving that passes itself off as genuine patriotism?

The Constitution was written in order that the citizens of this country might question the direction itís leaders take us, and referendums to enable the voice of the people to be heard.

Thomas Contrestan


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