Proposed Statewide Resolution for Oregon Legislature
(based on House Joint Memorial 38 [2005] and Portland City Council resolution [11/30/06])

Note: this is the resolution supported by community groups as suggested to members of the Oregon Legislature. The resolution being considered by the legislature is House Joint Memorial 9 (as amended 3/6/07, posted 3/13/07)

Urges Cessation of Combat Operations in Iraq and the Return of US Troops

To the President of the United States and the Senate and the House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled:

We, your memorialists, the Legislative Assembly of the State of Oregon, in legislative session assembled, respectfully represent as follows:

WHEREAS, the Oregon Legislative Assembly supports the men and women deployed in Iraq, and honors the memory of those who have lost their lives in the war; and

WHEREAS, U.S. involvement in Iraq has resulted in the deaths of more than 3,000 U.S. troops, and the wounding and disabling of more than 22,000 U.S. military personnel as of January, 2007; and

WHEREAS, the costs of the call-up of Oregon National Guard members for deployment in Iraq has been significant, as reckoned in lost lives, combat injuries, psychic trauma, disruption of family life, financial hardship for individuals, families and businesses, interruption of careers and damage to the fabric of civic life in many Oregon communities; and

WHEREAS, the war and occupation have also cost at least 100,000 and perhaps as many as 650,000 Iraqi deaths, including men, women and children, according to an October 11, 2006 study by published by the British medical journal the Lancet; and

WHEREAS, countless more Iraqis have been maimed, traumatized and wounded, or have suffered the destruction of homes, schools, sanitation and water treatment plants, hospitals and the environment; and

WHEREAS, more than $343 billion has been appropriated by Congress to fund military operations and reconstruction in Iraq to date, rather than to fund desperately needed education, health care, housing, nutrition and other social services in the United States, and humanitarian assistance abroad; and

WHEREAS, the more than $3 billion spent by Oregon taxpayers as of January, 2007 on the war and occupation in Iraq could have provided health care for 655,850 people or for 909,711 children in Oregon; one year's salary for 53,276 elementary school teachers, 451,240 Head Start programs or scholarships for 542,321 university students in Oregon; 18,842 affordable Housing Units; or outfitted 2,861,424 homes with renewable electricity, according to the National Priorities Project; and

WHEREAS, the Oregon AFL-CIO, in October, 2005 in convention, approved a resolution including, "...because there can be no more rapid return than now, the Oregon National Guard be immediately returned to their homes and families and that the health care benefits they receive while serving their country be continued upon their return home as long as they have no other source of equally comprehensive health care benefits," and

WHEREAS, the cities of Corvallis and Portland have passed resolutions calling for "orderly and rapid withdrawal of United States military personnel from Iraq"; and

WHEREAS, in October 2002, the United States Congress adopted a Joint Resolution to authorize the use of United States Armed Forces in Iraq on the basis of imminent threat of attack by Iraq, possession of weapons of mass destruction by Saddam Hussein and the role of Saddam Hussein in the 9/11 attacks on the United States, all of which have subsequently been disproved; and

WHEREAS, the war and continued occupation have resulted in the devastation of Iraq's physical and social infrastructure and led to widespread and continuous resistance to US occupation that threatens the lives of Iraqi civilians, and the men and women who compose the ranks of U.S. and other occupying forces; and

WHEREAS, the presence of United States forces in Iraq and the torture of prisoners at Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and other facilities have diminished the moral authority of the United States, and inflamed anti-American passions in much of the world; and

WHEREAS, the people of Iraq should not be further punished for the miscalculations of the government of the United States, and it should be finally and clearly acknowledged that only a greater measure of international cooperation can create safety and security in Iraq; and

WHEREAS the United States' military occupation of Iraq has placed significant strains on the capacity of the United States Armed Forces, both active duty and reserve;

BE IT RESOLVED by the Legislative Assembly of the State of Oregon:

That we, the members of the Legislative Assembly, respectfully urge the United States to:

(1) Announce a plan for the withdrawal of all United States Armed Forces from Iraq;

(2) Turn over at the earliest possible date all military operations in Iraq to the elected Government of Iraq and provide for the prompt and orderly withdrawal of all United States Armed Forces from Iraq; and

(3) Initiate a withdrawal of all United States Armed Forces from Iraq as soon as possible; and

(4) To turn over any "permanent" or "enduring" military bases to the country of Iraq;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the Legislative Assembly or Oregon urges the United States Congress to adopt a resolution declaring this the policy of the United States;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the Legislative Assembly or Oregon calls upon the President of the United States and the United States Congress to take the conciliatory steps necessary to restore the standing of the United States in the eyes of the world, protect national security, and induce the cooperation necessary to help bring safety and security to the people of Iraq as drawdown of American troops commences; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the financial resources used to prosecute the war be redirected to address the urgent needs of the most vulnerable portions of our population, including education, health care and full benefits for returning veterans; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That a copy of this memorial be sent to the President of the United States, to the Senate Majority Leader, to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, to each member of the Oregon Congressional Delegation, and to Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski.

List of cosponsors/endorsers of state resolution
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Page posted January 11, 2007, last updated 3/14/07