As Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice goes through the charade of meeting with international leaders to discuss the crisis in the Middle East – while showing her true sentiments with a firm rejection of the “false promise” of a ceasefire – observers of the carnage might reasonably ask: Is there anyone in Washington who wants the killing to stop?
In fact, there are a few dozen brave members of Congress who have leant their names to a call for halting the violence and allowing diplomacy to replace the bombs and bullets that are ripping apart whole regions of Lebanon, Israel and Palestine.
Twenty-four members of the House of Representatives have endorsed House Continuing Resolution 450: “Calling upon the President to appeal to all sides in the current crisis in the Middle East for an immediate cessation of violence and to commit United States diplomats to multi-party negotiations with no preconditions.”
Submitted by Ohio Democrat Dennis Kucinich, the measure resolves that Congress:
(1) calls upon the President to–
(A) appeal to all sides in the current crisis in the Middle East for an immediate cessation of violence;
(B) commit United States diplomats to multi-party negotiations with no preconditions; and
(C) send a high-level diplomatic mission to the region to facilitate such multi-party negotiations…
The resolution also “urges such multi-party negotiations to begin as soon as possible, including delegations from the governments of Israel, the Palestinian Authority, Lebanon, Iran, Syria, Jordan, and Egypt; and supports an international peacekeeping mission to southern Lebanon to prevent cross-border skirmishes during such multi-party negotiations.”
The members of the House who have signed onto Kucinich’s resolution include:
Neil Abercrombie of Hawaii
Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin
Emanuel Cleaver of Missouri
John Conyers Jr. of Michigan
Danny Davis of Illinois
Bob Filner of California
Raul Grijalva of Arizona
Maurice Hinchey of New York
Mike Honda of California
Marcy Kaptur of Ohio
Carolyn Kilpatrick of Michigan
Barbara Lee of California
Betty McCollum of Minnesota
Jim McDermott of Washington
Gregory Meeks of New York
James Moran of Virginia
Charles Rangel of New York
Bobby Rush of Illinois
Louise Slaughter of New York
Hilda Solis of California
Pete Stark of California
Maxine Waters of California
Lynn Woolsey of California.
“Everyday this Administration sits on the sidelines the chance for a peaceful resolution becomes less likely,” says Kucinich. “Every day this Administration sits on the sidelines more innocent civilians on all sides are dying. Every day this Administration sits on the sidelines America’s already poor reputation in the world community gets worse.”
Kucinich is right. But is it not also true that every day members of Congress sit on the sidelines – refusing to pressure the Bush administration to get serious about a ceasefire — they too make the chance for a peaceful resolution less likely.
Two dozen members of Congress are doing something. What about the other 411 representatives? What about the 100 senators?
Peace Action is urging Americans to contact their Congressional representatives to: Demand that they do everything in their power to effect an immediate ceasefire in the current hostilities in the Middle East. For more information, visit their website at www.peaceaction.org
Progressive Democrats of America has launched a campaign to get members of the House to cosponsor the Kucinich resolution. For more information, visit their website at: www.pdamerica.org
Says PDA Executive Director Tim Carpenter: “It is unacceptable to stand and watch as the violence escalates.”
It’s more than just unfortunate – it is tragedy writ large — that Condoleezza Rice does not share this sentiment.