MoveOn Whidbey to discuss Iraq exit strategies

MoveOn Whidbey has stepped up its campaign to persuade the nation’s leaders to withdraw troops from Iraq, and local activists are hoping the special showing of an anti-war movie this week will inspire more people to speak out.

When MoveOn Whidbey formed in July, it called on its members to write letters to its representatives. They did.

Now, members will have an opportunity to help MoveOn members in nearby states. Beforehand, though, activists are encouraging those who want to get involved to see the documentary film “No End in Sight” at the Clyde Theatre in Langley. “No End in Sight” was written and directed by Charles Ferguson in 2007 and won the Special Jury prize for documentaries at the 2007 Sundance Festival.

The theater is showing the movie through Oct. 18.

The hope, said Carolyn Tamler, coordinator for the MoveOn Whidbey Council, is to raise awareness and inspire islanders to help MoveOn in its next outreach effort.

“The idea behind the film is to stimulate some discussion in our people about what they feel we can do to help end the occupation of Iraq,” Tamler said.

“The film, as I understand it, is a potent and powerful film about how we got into Iraq that should really stimulate some discussion about what we should be doing.”

Tamler and fellow MoveOn members want to help others get mobilized politically.

“We are trying to reach further than Whidbey Island, such as folks in North Dakota, Montana and other areas where there are Republican people who are in shaky situations and on the fence about what they should do,” she said.

“We can act as mentors to them by making calls to those people and giving them information about what we’ve done on Whidbey; how we operate, how we are organized.”

While MoveOn has been criticized in recent weeks for its “Betray Us” advertisement in The New York Times that criticized Army General David Petraeus, America’s top general in Iraq, Tamler said the criticism was a red herring.

There has been continued support for MoveOn, she said.

“There were 40,000 new MoveOn members and they received $2 million in donations in the first week following that advertisement,” Tamler said.

“The public didn’t buy into that (criticism). You could disagree with the headline, but the substance of the ad was totally documented. It was designed to distract, which is what keeps happening with this administration.”

Tamler said she wants people to focus not on the ad, but what needs to be done to get the U.S. out of Iraq.

MoveOn Whidbey will talk about exit strategies for the Iraq war in Clinton at a meeting from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 20 at Rockhoppers Coffee House. The morning will include a special brunch with a full breakfast, à la carte items and espresso drinks.

Rockhoppers is located at 8988 Highway 525 in Clinton. People who want to attend the discussion are asked to make reservations by calling 341-4420.

For more information, call Tamler at 222-6820.

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