Long Island peace activists from the lay Catholic organization Pax Christi, the American Friends Service Committee and LI Alliance for Peaceful Alternatives met last week with Senator Chuck Schumer.
They urged the Senator to take the lead in bringing the war in Iraq to an end. The activists told him that US presence in Iraq was provoking terrorism, that the war is immoral, is driven by the need to control oil resources and that the majority of Americans do not support it. They said that the administration has proven that it is not to be believed on its reasons for going to war.
Senator Schumer spoke about "bad people doing bad things" and about standing up against "terrorism". In relation to the assertions of the activists about permanent bases and US control of Iraq's oil, Schumer said that the tide is turning against plans to occupy Iraq indefinitely and to control the oil resources.
The Senator did not agree that a majority wanted to end the war. He thinks they are confused but that "if things continue continue as they are now" that in three to six months the public will be ready to denounce the war. He intends to press the administration for an exit plan.
This report was prepared with the help of Sheila Croke.