February 2, 2003 - Email: RPCVs organize to place Full Page ad in NY Times against War in Iraq

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By Admin1 (admin) on Monday, February 03, 2003 - 1:07 am: Edit Post

RPCVs organize to place Full Page ad in NY Times against War in Iraq

Read and comment on this email that was forwarded to PCOL about a group of RPCVs who are collecting $40,000 to place a full page ad in the New York Times against War with Iraq. To date the group has raised $7,500 toward that goal and they need more support from RPCVs as well as non-Peace Corps contributors if they are to reach their goal in the next few weeks. To contribute click on the link at:

Click here for Ad against War in Iraq*

* This link was active on the date it was posted. PCOL is not responsible for broken links which may have changed.

Click here for Ad against War in Iraq

John, Jeff Gustafson forwarded your note to me. Thanks for your offer of help with your RPCV listserv. I am a Thailand RPCV (1968-69) and am senior director for news and westside communications at Washington State University. In early January, I contacted Sam Brown Jr., former ACTION/ Peace Corps Director for Carter (and U.S. ambassador to the OECD for Clinton) about my idea for a full-page ad in the NY Times.

Sam, a former classmate of mine at the University of Redlands, is on board and supported my idea. He suggested an online web-site to raise money for an ad. With the assistance of my Thailand 24 RPCV colleagues, we crafted a short five-sentence statement. Jeff Gustafson, a colleague from CCPI (Citizens Concerned about the People of Iraq) in Seattle helped design the web-site. Erik Gustafson (Jeff's brother), executive director of EPIC (Education for Peace in Iraq Center), a 501(c)3 in Washington D.C. agreed to host the site and is providing pro bono support to design the ad layout.

The ad will cost $40,000 to run as a standby ad in the New York Times. To date we have raised $7,500 toward that goal, and we greatly need more support from RPCVs as well as non-Peace Corps contributors if we are to reach our goal in the next few weeks.

I am also working with Dwight Wilson (RPCV Honduras), president of World Corps, Fred Noland (RPCV Iran), founder of Ploughshares, and other RPCV organizations. In the past several weeks, I and my Thailand 24 RPCV network have sent out hundreds of messages to NPCA and RPCV listserves across the country and contacted Peace Corps directors and former directors. Dwight's father, Donald Wilson, was deputy USIA director under President John F. Kennedy (and served with Edward R. Murrow).

Please share this web-site with your RPCV network and know of our appreciation for your support: http://epic-usa.org/PeaceCorpsAd. If you would like to contact me, my work phone is: (206) 448-1333; home: (206) 782-5802; home email: collintong@hotmail.com.


Collin Tong
RPCV Thailand
Seattle, Washington


The Statement that will run in the Ad in the NY Times

Our Statement: Returned Peace Corps Volunteers Oppose War in Iraq

Since President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps in 1961, more than 165,000 individuals have served in 136 countries around the world as Peace Corps Volunteers.

The current administration is threatening a preemptive strike against Iraq. As former Peace Corps Volunteers who have worked to promote understanding between Americans and the peoples of other countries, we call upon our president and other elected leaders to resist the temptation of war.

A U.S. military invasion of Iraq would cause the deaths of thousands of Iraqi civilians, create an unprecedented humanitarian crisis in Iraq, and heighten political tensions in the Middle East. It would, in fact, pose a grave danger to people around the world.

We, the undersigned Returned Peace Corps Volunteers, refuse to condone any U.S. policy of unilateral military action against Iraq.

Moreover, we call upon our fellow Americans to join with us in supporting a peaceful resolution of the current situation -- one that is respectful of the United Nations, the Iraqi people, and international law.

[ Ed. Note: All the names of Returned Peace Corps Volunteers, or RPCVs, who have signed this statement would follow here, including the photo above of Iraqi children by Bob Haynes. A pdf version of this ad will be posted here by Monday. ]

This ad is sponsored by Returned Peace Corps Volunteers for a Better World.

What else you can do about the War in Iraq

Click the link below and enter your ZIP Code to contact Congress and let them know what you think:

Click here and enter your ZIP Code to contact Congress

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This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Iraq; Speaking Out



By John McAuliff on Tuesday, February 04, 2003 - 1:38 pm: Edit Post

Will there be a contingent of former Peace Corps volunteers in the February 15th demonstration in New York against war with Iraq? Will NCPA be there?

John McAuliff
Peru, 1964-66

By Leon A. Cloutier on Wednesday, February 05, 2003 - 3:51 am: Edit Post

I lived in Iran for 2 years as a PCV and about a year as a private citizen and understand the situation in that part of the world. Sadaam is a ruthless dictator and brutalizes his own people. What does it take another 9/11(killing 3,000 innocent Americans), before we wake up and see the world as it really is. There will not be that many civilians killed if Sadaam gives up the idea of staying in power. As far as destabilization in that area is a laugh. The Arabs have never gotten along with each other for hundreds of years, and they are not going to change as long as they have such a repressive religion as moslem.

By Jack Long on Thursday, February 13, 2003 - 9:17 pm: Edit Post

I am not opposed to a group of RPCV wanting to take out an ad supporting their personal political position. HOWEVER, I am opposed to them doing so under the name of RPCV.
Our Statement: Returned Peace Corps Volunteers Oppose War in Iraq

That statement is FALSE!

How about this:
SOME Returned Peace Corps Volunteers Oppose War in Iraq
A GROUP OF Returned Peace Corps Volunteers Oppose War in Iraq

It is not until the end of the article that the reader is told, "This ad is sponsored by Returned Peace Corps Volunteers for a Better World."

I do not appreciate this group taking the liberties to speak for me.

Jack Long
CAR 1988-1990

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