TO: The Readers of Women’s Studies Quarterly

March 15th, 2006


TO: The Readers of Women's Studies Quarterly
FROM: Nancy Kricorian, Coordinator, CODEPINK Women for Peace, New York City Chapter
RE: The War In Iraq

Dear Women,
CODEPINK  Women for Peace is a women-initiated, grassroots peace and social justice movement that started at a peace vigil outside the White House in November 2002. The Department of Homeland Security says “Code Yellow for Elevated Risk of Terrorist Attack,” and we say, “CODEPINK  for Peace.”

You might have seen us around. We dress in pink and we make a ruckus. We were at the 2004 Republican National Convention standing on chairs shouting OUT OF IRAQ NOW during President's Bush's acceptance speech. We were also at John Bolton's nomination hearing shouting, “Bolton NO, United Nations YES.” We were outside Patrick Fitzgerald's hearings on Plamegate dressed in large condoms that said, “Fire the Leaker,” with Karl Rove's face on the small condoms we handed to passersby. We were with Cindy Sheehan in Crawford, Texas, as she camped out near Bush's ranch. And we were with Cindy again in front of the White House in September 2005 as she—and we—got arrested.  

The strange thing in this country is that, for a “nation at war”—as Bush calls us every time someone questions his dubious attempts to strip us of our civil liberties and his even more dubious attempts to make torture legal—you could go through a whole day and maybe not once think about the war in Iraq. Don't think about what your government is doing around the world that might make people hate you. Don't wonder about what your tax dollars are doing in far-off countries while poverty is on the rise across America. Do what your president tells you: be patriotic and go shopping.

Well, we women of CODEPINK don't want to go shopping. We want to parade about the streets with signs saying, “2,315 U.S. Military Casualties: HOW MANY MORE?” We carry baby dolls wrapped in blankets dripped with red paint so people have to think about our bombs dropping on the children of Iraq. We bring women from Iraq to this country so they can tell their stories of life and death in wartime, life and death under American occupation.

These Iraqi women make the dangerous voyage to Jordan to request visas, and risk further peril by coming to the U.S. to speak out against the occupation. As they tell us when they decide to come, "It is worth the risks because the only people who can stop this war are the American people."   

That's it, women. This is your call to action. It's not enough to commiserate with your friends over dinner. It's not enough to wring your hands. It's good to sign petitions, but it's not enough. It's good to call your elected representatives and say you want the troops home now, but that's not enough either. It's good to identify yourself as a feminist: it's even better to act like one. You are the only people who can stop this illegal and immoral war. CODEPINK is hitting the streets, and we want you to join us.