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Documents Presented to Senators Lautenberg and Menendez by Maplewood-South Orange Delegation on September 26, 2007

Documents Submitted in Presentation to Representatives of
Senator Frank Lautenberg and Senator Bob Menendez by
Delegation from Maplewood and South Orange, NJ
On September 26, 2007 in Newark NJ

Groups participating in delegation: South Mountain Peace Action, Seton Hall College Democrats and the Peace, Love, MapSO Club of Columbia High School.

(1) Agenda for Meeting of Residents of Maplewood
and South Orange, NJ with Representatives of Senators
Frank Lautenberg and Bob Menendez
September 26, 2007


Participants:

Nkosi Anderson (South Orange)
Pam Black (South Orange)
Laura Brett (Columbia HS)
Shayla Campbell (Columbia HS)
Jayson Harpster (Seton Hall)
Judith Kramer (Maplewood)
Tim O'Donnell (Seton Hall)
Dan O'Flaherty (Maplewood)
Walt Sampson (Seton Hall)
Steve Spagnolo (Seton Hall)
Paul Surovell (Maplewood)

Presentation:

(1) How Congress Can End the War -- Jayson Harpster

(2) The Senate Needs New Jersey's Leadership -- Steve Spagnolo

(3) Economic Costs of the War -- Dan O'Flaherty, Nkosi Anderson

(4) Opinion in the US and Iraq -- Paul Surovell

(5) The False Link between Iraq and 9-11 -- Pam Black

(6) The views of young people -- Shayla Campbell, Laura Brett

(7) Brief Comments -- Judith Kramer, Walt Sampson, Tim O'Donnell

_____________________________________________

(2) Memorandum to Senators Lautenberg and Menendez
Prepared by the Seton Hall College Democrats.


We would like to encourage you to:

-- First and foremost, vote for a binding timeline to end the war in Iraq in all appropriations bills and Iraq-related legislation.

-- Stand firm against a veto and vote against any Iraq appropriations bill that does not include a timeline for withdrawal.

-- Oppose any bill that encourages military action in Iran.

-- Encourage the reintroduction and passage of the Webb Amendment on troop readiness.

-- Not only vote against any Iraq appropriations bill that does not include a timeline for withdrawal but speak out publicly about your vote.

-- Issue a joint statement about the need for Congress to exercise its constitutional power to end the war.

-- Use your influence in the Congress to convince your colleagues to stand firm in ending the war even in the face of a veto.

-- Encourage the party leadership to force a continuous, unlimited filibuster rather than a procedural filibuster on any Republican-blocked withdrawal bills.

-- Ask the party leadership to end the practice of agreeing to 60 vote thresholds on Iraq-related bills.

-- Continue to cosponsor specific legislation that supports the goal of a binding timeline for withdrawal.

_________________________________

(3) Rocky Mountain News

Salazar back from Iraq, pushes combat pullout

By Alan Gathright, Rocky Mountain News

September 17, 2007

http://www.rockymountainnews.com/drmn/local/article/0,1299,DRMN_15_5700344,00.html


U.S. Sen. Ken Salazar returned from Iraq today and vowed to push legislation to pull American troops from a combat role "to force the Iraqi government and the Iraqi people to secure the peace for Iraq."

Although the surge of U.S. troops has reduced violence, the Colorado Democrat warned that stability in the war-torn nation cannot be sustained unless Iraqi leaders achieve a national reconciliation to halt sectarian bloodshed.

"Otherwise the war will continue endlessly and our brave American troops will be left to keep the top on a powder keg that may explode at any time," Salazar said from Washington in a telephone press briefing today.

Salazar's return from his third Iraq tour in as many years comes as the Senate girds this week for debate on Iraq war funding and a bill to mandate increased home leave for troops worn down by extended combat tours.

Salazar, who visited Iraq as part of a bipartisan group of senators, said believes he has across-the-aisle support for his bill that would mandate shifting the U.S. troops from a combat role to a training, equipping and counterinsurgency role. This would include a "significant withdrawal" of forces.

"So long as our American troops are there in the huge numbers we currently have, we become the security blanket for the Iraqis," he said. "In my view the Iraqis need to develop their own blanket and they need to do it expeditiously."

Salazar was clearly frustrated that earlier U.S. military assurances that Iraqis were on track to take over their own security -- first by the end of 2005, then by the end of 2006 -- had failed to materialize.

Iraqi leaders have strongly opposed an American troop withdrawal in the past, but Salazar said he felt a change in meetings over the weekend with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister and Sunni leader Tariq al-Hashimi, and Kurdish leader Massoud Barzani.

"I sensed a significant openness among them for us to do something different than what we are currently doing," the senator said.

Salazar said he asked Talabani what he thought of shifting U.S. troops from combat to support and counterterror work.

"(Talabani) said he thought that was a good idea," Salazar recounted.

Salazar, who ventured out on a patrol last night with troops from Colorado's Fort Carson, said some U.S. soldiers candidly favored change in how the war is being prosecuted.

"Some of them believe that they have been there for too long and have been away from their family for too long," he said. "Some of them believe that they need to stay there longer" in hopes of ending the conflict.

"But I will tell you there were some members of our armed forces who ... said to me that it was time for the United States Congress to cut off the funding, because that's the only way that we would be able to end the war," Salazar said.

Salazar said he will support a bill introduced by Sen. Jim Webb, D-Va., to shield war-weary troops by requiring that they have as much time at their home station as they do deployed to Iraq.

Salazar rejected criticism by Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who on Sunday called the Webb proposal a dangerous "backdoor way" to draw down additional forces. Gates said he would recommend that President Bush veto it.

"I think for Secretary Gates to come out and to take that position is not being, frankly, sensitive to the sacrifice of the men and women that we have in uniform on the ground," Salazar said.

"This war is a war that has been fought on the ... backs of our men and women in uniform," he added. "I think when you ask our American troops to go through extended deployments, multiple deployments, it creates problems for them that we are now seeing ... that weakens our American military."

The senator said "the high levels of divorce from the huge absences fathers and mothers are having from their families has a huge impact on our American men and women that we ask to fight the fight. I had lunch yesterday, for example, with a young woman from my state who has been through several deployments, who has now been divorced and lost her family."

Meanwhile, the senator said he remains wary of funding restrictions. Yet, as Pentagon leaders come to Capitol Hill with a request for $200 billion more for the war, Salazar said: "We need to comb through (the funding request) and see whether there are things that we can do differently."

gathrighta@RockyMountainNews.com
_______________________________________________

(4) Charleston Gazette

Byrd says cut funds, end war

'No more blank check for Iraq,' Byrd tells Senate


September 25, 2007
By Paul J. Nyden
Staff writer

Sen. Robert C. Byrd, D-W.Va., one of the earliest critics of the ongoing Iraq war, delivered a scathing speech on Monday, urging the Senate to end the "staggering foreign policy calamity. ...

"History shows the fallacy of thinking that democracy can be force-fed at the point of a gun."

Byrd called on his fellow senators to cut back funds for a war where our "brave men and women have been given a near impossible task, which they have performed with dedication, professionalism, courage, and honor. ...

"The best way to support our troops is to bring them home, and the only way to get them home may be to somehow restrict the funds for this disastrous war. ... This senator will support no more blank checks for Iraq."

Byrd called recent administration testimony and news conferences a "sales job on Iraq that would have made any used car salesman proud.

"We heard the half-truths and rosy visions put forth by authoritative diplomats in dark suits and ribboned and starred generals in uniform."

Byrd said Bush's new slogan -- "Return Upon Success" -- would fit "very nicely on a bumper sticker for the back of the lemon this team of salesmen is trying to peddle."

Byrd dismissed a renewed White House push that a U.S. withdrawal from Iraq would lead to more chaos in the Middle East and new attacks on the U.S. and Israel.

In his recent address, Bush suggested U.S. troops "might" be reduced to 137,000 by July 2008. If that happens, there would still be more troops in Iraq that before Bush began his "temporary surge" in February.

"Frankly, that is not much of a drawdown, given all the so-called 'progress' in Iraq cited

Byrd agrees with a growing host of military, intelligence agency and academic experts who point out there is little chance of Iraq developing a strong central and democratic government -- goals promoted by Bush when U.S. forces overthrew Saddam Hussein.

Byrd specifically criticized the vague withdrawal timeline recently touted by Bush and Gen. David Petraeus.

"The pretty six-colored chart that Gen. Petraeus used to show the troop drawdown associated with the transition had no dates on it past July 2008, though it was pretty clear that U.S. troops would be in Iraq for a very long time to come," Byrd said.

Byrd criticized Petraeus for citing misleading facts.

While testifying to Congress, Byrd noted, Petraeus failed to mention "the number of U.S. deaths in Iraq actually increased during the surge period, compared to the same periods in prior years."

Petraeus also did not mention that, while the number of IED (improvised explosive device) attacks on U.S. soldiers decreased between June and August, the number of U.S. soldiers who died increased compared to previous years.

Byrd also noted that direct Iraq war costs will top $600 billion during the next fiscal year.

The indirect costs of war -- including long-term veteran' disability payments, higher oil prices and more interest on our national debt -- will bring the price tag to more than $1 trillion, using conservative estimates.

Byrd said those funds would be better used to repair our bridges, improve our schools and combat natural disasters.

On Oct. 11, 2002, Byrd was one of only 23 senators who voted against funding a possible Iraq war.

Byrd specifically sited the misleading testimony Colin Powell gave to the United Nations about non-existent anthrax, mobile weapons labs and nuclear weapons.

"This war, this draining, desultory, dreadful occupation of Iraq must end," Byrd said.

To contact staff writer Paul J. Nyden, use e-mail or call 348-5164.

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(5) Abizaid: World Could Abide Nuclear Iran

By ROBERT BURNS

http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2007/09/17/abizaid_world_could_abide_nuclear_iran/

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Every effort should be made to stop Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons, but failing that, the world could live with a nuclear-armed regime in Tehran, a recently retired commander of U.S. forces in the Middle East said Monday.

John Abizaid, the retired Army general who headed Central Command for nearly four years, said he was confident that if Iran gained nuclear arms, the United States could deter it from using them.

"Iran is not a suicide nation," he said. "I mean, they may have some people in charge that don't appear to be rational, but I doubt that the Iranians intend to attack us with a nuclear weapon."

The Iranians are aware, he said, that the United States has a far superior military capability.

"I believe that we have the power to deter Iran, should it become nuclear," he said, referring to the theory that Iran would not risk a catastrophic retaliatory strike by using a nuclear weapon against the United States.

"There are ways to live with a nuclear Iran," Abizaid said in remarks at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a think tank. "Let's face it, we lived with a nuclear Soviet Union, we've lived with a nuclear China, and we're living with (other) nuclear powers as well."

He stressed that he was expressing his personal opinion and that none of his remarks were based on his previous experience with U.S. contingency plans for potential military action against Iran.

Abizaid stressed the dangers of allowing more and more nations to build a nuclear arsenal. And while he said it is likely that Iran will make a technological breakthrough to obtain a nuclear bomb, "it's not inevitable."

Iran says its nuclear program is strictly for energy resources, not to build weapons.

Abizaid suggested military action to pre-empt Iran's nuclear ambitions might not be the wisest course.

"War, in the state-to-state sense, in that part of the region would be devastating for everybody, and we should avoid it -- in my mind -- to every extent that we can," he said. "On the other hand, we can't allow the Iranians to continue to push in ways that are injurious to our vital interests."

He suggested that many in Iran -- perhaps even some in the Tehran government -- are open to cooperating with the West. The thrust of his remarks was a call for patience in dealing with Iran, which President Bush early in his first term labeled one of the "axis of evil" nations, along with North Korea and Iraq.

He said there is a basis for hope that Iran, over time, will move away from its current anti-Western stance.

Abizaid's comments appeared to represent a more accommodating and hopeful stance toward Iran than prevails in the White House, which speaks frequently of the threat posed by Iran's nuclear ambitions. The administration says it seeks a diplomatic solution to complaints about Iran's alleged support for terrorism and its nuclear program, amid persistent rumors of preparations for a U.S. military strike.

Abizaid expressed confidence that the United States and the world community can manage the Iran problem.

"I believe the United States, with our great military power, can contain Iran -- that the United States can deliver clear messages to the Iranians that makes it clear to them that while they may develop one or two nuclear weapons they'll never be able to compete with us in our true military might and power," he said.

He described Iran's government as reckless, with ambitions to dominate the Middle East.

"We need to press the international community as hard as we possibly can, and the Iranians, to cease and desist on the development of a nuclear weapon and we should not preclude any option that we may have to deal with it," he said. He then added his remark about finding ways to live with a nuclear-armed Iran.

Abizaid made his remarks in response to questions from his audience after delivering remarks about the major strategic challenges in the Middle East and Central Asia -- the region in which he commanded U.S. forces from July 2003 until February 2007, when he was replaced by Adm. William Fallon.

The U.S. cut diplomatic relations with Iran shortly after the 1979 storming of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran. Although both nations have made public and private attempts to improve relations, the Bush administration labeled Iran part of an "axis of evil," and Iranian leaders still refer to the United States as the Great Satan.

_________________________________________________

(6) BBC News
US surge has failed - Iraqi poll

http://newsvote.bbc.co.uk/mpapps/pagetools/print/news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/6983841.stm

About 70% of Iraqis believe security has deteriorated in the area covered by the US military "surge" of the past six months, an opinion poll suggests.

The survey for the BBC, ABC News and NHK of more than 2,000 people across Iraq also suggests that nearly 60% see attacks on US-led forces as justified.

This rises to 93% among Sunni Muslims compared with 50% for Shia.

The findings come as the top US commander in Iraq, Gen David Petraeus, prepares to address Congress.

He and US Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker are due to testify about the effects of the surge and the current situation in Iraq.

The poll suggests that the overall mood in Iraq is as negative as it has been since the US-led invasion in 2003, says BBC world affairs correspondent Nick Childs.

The poll was conducted by D3 Systems and KA Research in more than 450 neighbourhoods across all 18 provinces of Iraq in August, and has a margin of error of + or - 2.5%.

It was commissioned jointly by the BBC, ABC and Japan's NHK.

It is the fourth such poll in which BBC News has been involved, with previous ones conducted in February 2004, November 2005 and February 2007.

It was commissioned with the specific purpose of assessing the effects of the surge as well as tracking longer term trends in Iraq.

Between 67% and 70% of the Iraqis polled believe the surge has hampered conditions for political dialogue, reconstruction and economic development, according to the August 2007 findings.

Only 29% think things will get better in the next year, compared to 64% two years ago.

The number of people wanting coalition forces to leave immediately rose since February's poll but more than half - 53% - still said they should stay until security improved.

The survey reveals two great divides, our correspondent notes.

First, there is the one between relative optimism registered in November 2005 and the gloom of this year's two polls.

In between, there was the deadly bombing of the Shia mosque in Samarra, which unleashed a bitter and deadly sectarianism.

The other great divide is the one now revealed between the Sunni and Shia communities.

While 88% of Sunnis say things are going badly in their lives, 54% of Shia think they are going well.

'Good for Baghdad'

Iraq analyst Dr Toby Dodge pointed to the fact that so many Iraqis saw no improvement to their safety since the US deployed an extra 30,000 troops this year, bringing their number up to nearly 170,000.

"I think that's a damning critique and an indication of the pessimism and the violence on the ground," he told the BBC's Radio Five Live.

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki insisted on Monday that the surge had had a positive effect in the capital, Baghdad, at least.

Violence had dropped 75%, he told the Iraqi parliament, without giving figures.

At the same time, he warned that Iraqi forces were not ready to take over security from the US military which had, he said, "helped... in a great way in fighting terrorism".

______________________________________________________________

(7) New York Times

September 16, 2007
Op-Ed Contributor

What They're Saying in Anbar Province

By GARY LANGER

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/16/opinion/16langer.html?r=1&th=&oref=slogin&emc=th&pagewanted=print

IN his address to the nation on Thursday, President Bush singled out progress in Anbar Province as the model for United States success in Iraq. The president's claims echoed those made earlier in the week by Gen. David H. Petraeus, the top American commander in Iraq, in his Congressional testimony. And they raised a question worth examining: Do United States military alliances with Sunni tribal leaders truly reflect a turning of hearts and minds away from Anbar's bitter anti-Americanism?

The data from our latest Iraq poll suggest not.

Al Qaeda, it should be said, is overwhelmingly -- almost unanimously -- unpopular in Anbar, as it is in the rest of Iraq. But our enemie' enemies are not necessarily our friends. The United States, it turns out, is equally unpopular there.

In a survey conducted Aug. 17-24 for ABC News, the BBC and NHK, the Japanese broadcaster, among a random national sample of 2,212 Iraqis, 72 percent in Anbar expressed no confidence whatsoever in United States forces. Seventy-six percent said the United States should withdraw now -- up from 49 percent when we polled there in March, and far above the national average.

Withdrawal timetable aside, every Anbar respondent in our survey opposed the presence of American forces in Iraq -- 69 percent "strongly" so. Every Anbar respondent called attacks on coalition forces "acceptable," far more than anywhere else in the country. All called the United States-led invasion wrong, including 68 percent who called it "absolutely wrong." No wonder: Anbar, in western Iraq, is almost entirely populated by Sunni Arabs, long protected by Saddam Hussein and dispossessed by his overthrow.

There are critical improvements in Anbar. Most important have been remarkable advances in confidence in the Iraqi Army and police. In ABC's survey in March, not a single respondent rated local security positively -- now 38 percent do. Nonetheless, nobody surveyed in Anbar last month gave the United States any credit. Ratings of living conditions remain dismal: respondents were deeply dissatisfied with the availability of electricity and fuel, jobs, medical care and a host of other elements of daily life. And the violence, while sharply down, has hardly ended: One in four reported that car bombs or suicide attacks had occurred near them in the last six months. Last week's murder of Abdul Sattar Buzaigh al-Rishawi, an Anbar sheik who had allied himself with the United States, only underscored this grim reality.

Anbar's tribal leaders may have any number of motivations for their alliance with the United States. It's been reported that the United States government has provided them arms, materiel and money, as well as undertaking more than $700 million in reconstruction projects in the province.

But it seems clear that popular sentiment in Anbar is another matter entirely. Indeed, one other result from our poll may be of particular interest to Anbar's tribal leaders and the United States military alike: Just 23 percent in Anbar expressed confidence in their "local leaders"; 77 percent had little or none. That’s better than it was in March -- but still nearly the lowest level of confidence in local leaders we measured anywhere in Iraq.

Confidence in local leaders, as it happens, is lower only in Diyala -- the other province Mr. Bush mentioned in his speech as a focal point of progress in Iraq.

Gary Langer is the director of polling for ABC News.

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(8) Amnesty International Report:
Millions in flight: the Iraqi refugee crisis

http://web.amnesty.org/library/Index/ENGMDE140412007

1. A spiralling crisis

The humanitarian crisis triggered by the mass exodus of refugees from the on-going and widespread violence in Iraq shows little sign of abating. In fact, recent estimates show this to be the fastest growing displacement crisis in the world with the number of those displaced now having reached 4.2 million(1) – 2.2 million internally displaced within Iraq(2) and over 2 million outside the country. The impact of such mass movement has resulted in an increasingly critical situation for host communities, notably Syria and Jordan, which can no longer be ignored. Unwelcome measures are now being taken by these neighbouring states to restrict the entry of Iraqi refugees as they become overwhelmed by a humanitarian crisis to which the world has thus far failed adequately to respond.

More than four years after the US-led invasion of Iraq, stability and peace remain out of reach for the people of Iraq. The increasingly desperate humanitarian situation of Iraqis who have been displaced inside and outside their country has been largely ignored by the rest of the world, including states whose military involvement in Iraq has played a part in creating the situation from which millions of people have fled. Governments have paid lip-service to the needs of the Iraqi displaced, but real and on-going commitment to support them has not emerged to anything like the extent necessary to address this dire and deepening crisis.

The extreme violence and instability propelling people to flee Iraq has resulted in the largest population movement in the Middle East since Palestinians were displaced following the creation of the State of Israel in 1948.(3) Unsurprisingly, such widespread displacement has had a profound impact within Iraq and for the political, economic and social stability of the main countries hosting these populations. The 1.4 million Iraqi refugees in Syria now comprise at least 7 per cent of the population;(4) in Jordan, an estimated 500,000-750,000(5) Iraqi refugees comprise around 10 per cent of the population.(6) Inevitably, both countries have been severely affected by the influx of Iraqi refugees, and the situation is worsening as the savings brought by many of the refugees run out. With government resources stretched to breaking point and pressure rising internally, measures are being taken that aim to curb the population flows. The Syrian government has recently introduced strict visa restrictions for Iraqis wishing to enter the country. While these have been temporarily suspended until the end of the month of Ramadan, when fully implemented they will effectively sever the last open escape route for Iraqis. The Jordanian authorities, meanwhile, are poised to impose new visa requirements that will regularize the current, already restrictive entry practice whereby the only Iraqis permitted entry are those who hold Jordanian residency permits, those wishing to enter for certified medical reasons and invitees to conferences.

Despite this critical situation, the response of many in the international community, including states that participated in the US-led invasion and can be considered to have a particular obligation to address the humanitarian effects of their military action, has been inadequate. Relief, in the form of financial and other assistance and facilitating the resettlement of refugees, has not readily emerged. States have provided much less assistance than they could and should contribute, and many have not made any contribution to the resettlement of refugees. Worse, the authorities in some states have been prepared actively to put people’s lives at risk, including through forcible returns to Iraq, cutting off basic assistance to rejected Iraqi asylum-seekers while they remain in their countries, and revoking refugee status.

Hope was raised earlier in 2007 when UNHCR convened a major conference in Geneva to make the international community aware of the crisis,(7) but tangible results are still awaited. The need for immediate support for Iraqi refugees and the countries that host them is unquestionable. The international community has a responsibility to assist these host countries in addressing and managing this crisis which is now, day by day, not only an Iraqi crisis but assuming the proportions of a domestic crisis in these countries too. Concrete and realized commitments to providing assistance to countries in the region, and resettling the most vulnerable refugees, are now more crucial than ever.

Amnesty International is deeply concerned that without increased and long-term commitments from the international community, the lives of the displaced Iraqi population will become increasingly desperate as they struggle to meet their daily needs, including housing, food, employment and health care. There is a risk too that if unaddressed, the crisis situation could implode, further destabilizing the region and resulting in further human rights abuses.


______________________________________________________________

(9) Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
October 11, 2006


Updated Iraq Survey Affirms Earlier Mortality Estimates

Mortality Trends Comparable to Estimates by Those Using Other Counting Methods

http://www.jhsph.edu/publichealthnews/press_releases/2006/burnham_iraq_2006.html

As many as 654,965 more Iraqis may have died since hostilities began in Iraq in March 2003 than would have been expected under pre-war conditions, according to a survey conducted by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Al Mustansiriya University in Baghdad. The deaths from all causes--violent and non-violent--are over and above the estimated 143,000 deaths per year that occurred from all causes prior to the March 2003 invasion.

The estimates were derived from a nationwide household survey of 1,849 households throughout Iraq conducted between May and July 2006. The results are consistent with the findings of an October 2004 study of Iraq mortality conducted by the Hopkins researchers. Also, the findings closely reflect the increased mortality trends reported by other organizations that utilized passive methods of counting mortality, such as counting bodies in morgues or deaths reported by the news media. The study is published in the October 14, 2006, edition of the peer-reviewed scientific journal, The Lancet.

"As we found with our previous survey, the majority of deaths in Iraq are due to violence—although we also saw a small increase in deaths from non-violent causes, such as heart disease, cancer and chronic illness. Gunshots were the primary cause of violent deaths. To put these numbers in context, deaths are occurring in Iraq now at a rate more than three times that from before the invasion of March 2003," said Gilbert Burnham, MD, PhD, lead author of the study and co-director of the Bloomberg School's Center for Refugee and Disaster Response. "Our total estimate is much higher than other mortality estimates because we used a population-based, active method for collecting mortality information rather than passive methods that depend on counting bodies or tabulated media reports of violent deaths. Though the numbers differ, the trend in increasing numbers of deaths closely follows that measured by the U.S. Defense Department and the Iraq Body Count group."

Key points of the study include:

-- Estimated 654,965 additional deaths in Iraq between March 2003 and July 2006

-- Majority of the additional deaths (91.8 percent) caused by violence

-- Males aged 15-44 years accounted for 59 percent of post-invasion violent deaths

-- About half of the households surveyed were uncertain who was responsible for the death of a household member

-- The proportion of deaths attributed to coalition forces diminished in 2006 to 26 percent. Between March 2003 and July 2006, households attributed 31 percent of deaths to the coalition

-- Mortality data from the 2006 study reaffirms 2004 estimates by Hopkins researchers and mirrors upward trends measured by other organizations

-- Researchers recommend establishment of an international body to calculate mortality and monitor health of people living in all regions affected by conflict

The mortality survey used well-established and scientifically proven methods for measuring mortality and disease in populations. These same survey methods were used to measure mortality during conflicts in the Congo, Kosovo, Sudan and other regions. For the Iraq study, data were collected from 47 randomly selected clusters of 40 households each. At each household selected, trained Iraqi surveyors collected data on the number of births and deaths that occurred in the household between January 1, 2002, and June 30, 2006. To be considered a household member, the deceased had to have lived in the home at least three months prior to death. When interviewers asked to see a death certificate at households reporting a death, it was presented in 92 percent of instances. The survey recorded 1,474 births and 629 deaths among 12,801 people surveyed. The data were then applied to the 26.1 million Iraqis living in the survey area.

While the survey collected information on the manner of death, the study did not examine the circumstances of the death, such as whether the deceased was actively involved in armed combat, terrorism, criminal activity or caught in the middle of the conflict. The study outlines other limitations of the survey method, including the hazards of collecting data during a conflict.

The results from the new study closely match the finding of the group's October 2004 mortality survey. The earlier study, also published in The Lancet, estimated over 100,000 additional deaths from all causes had occurred in Iraq from March 2003 to August 2004. When data from the new study were examined, it estimated 112,000 deaths for the same time period of the 2004 study. The new survey also found that the number of deaths attributed to coalition forces had declined in 2006, though overall households attributed 31 percent of deaths to the coalition. Responsibility could not be attributed in 45 percent of the violent deaths.

According to the researchers, the overall rate of mortality in Iraq since March 2003 is 13.3 deaths per 1,000 persons per year compared to 5.5 deaths per 1,000 persons per year prior to March 2003. This amounts to about 2.5 percent of Iraqi's population having died as a consequence of the war. To put the 654,000 deaths in context with other conflicts, the authors note that during the Vietnam War an estimated 3 million civilians died overall; the Congo conflict was responsible for 3.8 million deaths; and recent estimates are that 200,000 have died in Darfur over the past 31 months.

"Mortality after the 2003 invasion of Iraq: a cross-sectional cluster sample survey" was written by Gilbert Burnham, Riyadh Lafta, Shannon Doocy and Les Roberts.

Funding for the study was provided by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Johns Hopkins Center for Refugee and Disaster Response.

Public Affairs media contacts for the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health: Tim Parsons or Kenna Lowe at 410-955-6878 or paffairs@jhsph.edu.

Gilbert Burnhams response to the Wall Street Journal's October 18, 2006 opinion article by Steven E. Moore
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(10) Cost of the War in Iraq

by Dan O'Flaherty, Columbia University
Department of Economics


Highlights:


-- The President reportedly is requesting $200 billion for Iraq and Afghanistan for FY2008


-- This would raise total appropriations for Iraq alone to more than $600 billion

-- This does not include cost of veterans benefits and medical costs which are conservatively estimated at more than $400 billion


-- The US is now spending $13 billion to $14 billion per month, compared with $5 billion per month in first years of the war.


-- An annual rate of $150 billion compares with the estimated cost of $120 billion to eliminate poverty in America.


-- The war currently costs NJ about $500 million per month. The cost to Maplewood is about $2.3 million per month or $76,000 per day. The cost to South Orange about $2 million per month or about $67,000 per day.


-- The Maplewood daily figure is enough to pay the salary and benefits for an additional police officer for one year.

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(11) Memo on Domestic Alternatives for Iraq Spending

South Mountain Peace Action
P.O. Box 42
Maplewood, N.J. 07040
http://www.beaboutpeace.com/

September 26, 2007

SENATOR FRANK LAUTENBERG
324 HART SENATE OFFICE BUILDING
WASHINGTON, DC 20510

SENATOR BOB MENENDEZ
317 HART SENATE OFFICE BUILDING
WASHINGTON, DC 20510

Dear Senators Lautenberg and Menendez:

In this memo I want to detail the cost of the Iraq War, specifically for residents of New Jersey's 8th and 10th Districts. I will also highlight many of the alternate costs/ uses these monies could go towards to better the domestic public sphere. Lastly, I will connect these financial figures to a moral and ethical principle to end the war that cuts across ideological and partisan lines.

Here are some startling figures pertaining to the cost of the War in Iraq:

Note: Figures updated September 23, 2007

-- United States: $454 billion
-- New Jersey: $20.7 billion
-- Maplewood, NJ: $84.9 million
-- South Orange, NJ: $63.3 million

Source: National Priorities Project
Figures represent expenditures already made.

On August 16, 2007 the National Priorities Project released a report on costs of the war in Iraq by Congressional District. The cost to the 8th NJ Congressional District was $1.48 billion and the cost to the 10th District was $1.09 billion.

Here is how the report estimates money spent on Iraq by the 10th and 8th Congressional Districts of NJ could have been spent on alternative uses (adapted from original report):

What Citizens of New Jersey's 10th District Could Have Gotten Instead
of the $1.09 billion spent in Iraq:

-- Health care coverage for 15,148 people and
-- Head Start for 15,514 and
-- 1,991 new elementary school teachers and
-- 14,709 scholarships to make college more affordable and
-- Renewable electricity for 189,862 homes and
-- 539 affordable housing units and
-- 2,489 public safety officers and
-- 1,918 port container inspectors for New Jersey

What Citizens of New Jersey's 8th District Could Have Gotten Instead
of the $1.48 billion spent in Iraq:

-- Health care coverage for 20,615 people and
-- Head Start for 21,113 and
-- 2,709 new elementary school teachers and
-- 20,018 scholarships to make college more affordable and
-- Renewable electricity for 258,387 homes and
-- 733 affordable housing units and
-- 3,387 public safety officers and
-- 2,610 port container inspectors for New Jersey

Regardless of an individual's ideological position with respect to the War in Iraq, these alternate costs figures speak to a moral and ethical principle every American can relate to. Everyone wants to be able to provide the best opportunities for their children, healthcare for their loved ones, attain affordable housing, and keep our streets safe.

While the success or failure of the War in Iraq can be debated, what cannot be debated is the fact that monies allocated for this war, if spent elsewhere, can have tremendous impact in improving our domestic social sphere.

This ethical principle can serve as the foundation for any philosophical approach to ending the war in Iraq. It is an approach that crosses partisan lines and speaks to a common decency found amongst all Americans.

Thank you.

Nkosi DuBois Anderson
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