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  • Montanans Support for Troops and Withdrawal from Iraq

    Posted by Green Party Peace Network on November 11, 2007

    This comes from one of the reddest states in the U.S.:

    November 6, 2007
    Helena, MT

    Voters from Helena and Missoula sent a clear message to Montana’s congressional delegation today by voting to bring U.S. troops home from Iraq now.

    Helena and Missoula voters overwhelmingly approved referenda calling on congress “to authorize and fund an immediate and orderly withdrawal of the United States
    military from Iraq in a manner that is fully protective of U.S. service members.” Helenans passed the measure with 61.8% of the vote, while Missoulians passed an identical measure with 64.1% of the vote.

    “By passing these referenda, the citizens of Helena and Missoula have called the Montana delegation and the President to account for the war in Iraq. We have exercised our right and responsibility, as citizens, to petition our government. It is now time for our elected officials to listen to the voice of ‘we the people’,” said John Mundinger, a combat veteran of the Vietnam War.

    The final tally in Helena was 5,032 and the final count in Missoula was 7,897. Iraq Veteran Casey Elder viewed the vote as supportive of U.S. service men and women in
    Iraq. “Everyone agrees that we need to support our troops 100%. What better way to offer support than to bring them all home in one piece and give them the healthcare they need and deserve?” she said.

    Missoula and Helena are the first cities in Montana to hold a citizens’ vote on withdrawal from Iraq. In early June, the Butte-Silver Bow City-County Council passed a
    resolution calling for an “orderly, rapid, and comprehensive” withdrawal from Iraq. The Butte resolution also urged congress to provide “full mental and physical health, education, disability, and rehabilitation benefits” to returning veterans. In September, the Hamilton City Council also passed a resolution 4-1 calling for an end to the war in Iraq
    and condemning potential war with Iran. A citizens committee in Bozeman is also working with their local city commission to address a similar resolution.

    Dave Coleman is a Butte City-County Councilman, and voted to pass the resolution for withdrawal this summer. His son was injured in Iraq. “The American people have had enough. Montanans have had enough. It is time for this country to recover its moral compass.” he said.

    Since the U.S. invasion or Iraq began in March of 2003, 21 Montanans have been killed and 213 wounded. According to the National Priorities Project, Montana taxpayers have paid $698.5 million to fund the war.

    “It’s clear that Montana cities and towns are feeling the impacts of this war. It makes sense to me that Montana cities and towns are beginning to say no to
    this war, and I hope our congressional delegation does the same very soon,” said Casey Elder.

    George Ochenski in this week’s Missoula Independent
    Emily Darrel for
    The Montana Standard printed the same piece from yesterday’s Bozeman Chronicle

    The votes are also being written about by bloggers across the state and country. Read this example
    by Montana blogger Shane Mason, on the very well known progressive blogging site DailyKos

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