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August 15, 2006

We’re afraid

Today’s Downsizer-Dispatch . . .

We’re afraid. We’re afraid of more war. We’re afraid because war makes government grow and organizations devoted to downsizing government shrink. This is what happened after 9/11. This is what happened when our government invaded Iraq. This could be what happens again if our government attacks Iran.

We’re afraid because we believe Downsize DC is on the cusp of rapid growth, but more war could cause us to implode.

We’re afraid because we cannot Downsize DC without dealing with the war issue. But if we deal with it as we should we may lose so many supporters that we never become large enough to Downsize DC.

Our purpose is to unite, not divide. We want to unite all the liberals, conservatives, libertarians, and anyone else who believes the federal government is too big and too centralized. Ours is a coalition of direction, not ultimate destination. We can agree to disagree on many issues, while moving forward in areas where we have broad consensus. The issues where we agree are so many and so important, but . . .

Is American foreign policy one of them?

We think it is indisputable that when war threatens emotions overwhelm rational thought. How are we to cope with this, and how are we to survive it, if the current violence expands yet again?

We on the Downsize DC Team cannot avoid the fact that we think the greatest threat to American security, the greatest impetus to government growth, and the greatest roadblock to building a downsizing movement, is our government’s foreign policy. It has been for a long time. This threat to American security and freedom has a long history of which most Americans are completely ignorant.

How many Americans know that our problems with Iran began in the 1950s when our government overthrew Iran’s moderate, democratically elected government, and installed a dictator who oppressed and tortured the Iranian people for nearly three decades? The Islamic revolution was a direct consequence of these U.S. policies.

How many Americans know that Lebanon was considered the Switzerland of the Middle East until the CIA destabilized Lebanon’s government? Civil war and the rise of militant Islam in Lebanon were the direct consequence of these U.S. policies.

These are but two examples, out of dozens.

Our government, in the name of American security, has made America insecure. It continues to do so. These are facts of history. But how many Americans would actually change their view of U.S. policy if they knew these facts? We wonder, and we are afraid.

We are afraid of the deep and abiding moral relativism we see in the opinions of many who might otherwise be considered DC Downsizers. This is a moral relativism that says “the bad things other people do are supremely bad, justifying any response, but the bad things the U.S. does are actually good.” How are we to cope with this moral relativism?

We don’t know, but we feel compelled to try. It does us no good if U.S. foreign policy causes government to grow so large that it can never be downsized. It does us no good to build an army of Downsizers that is overly dependent on people who will abandon us when the time comes to squeeze the evil out of U.S. foreign policy. If we are to build an army that can Downsize DC then it must be comprised of people who will hold our government to the same moral standards by which we judge others. And so . . .

We are going to oppose U.S. foreign policy in a major way. This opposition will begin soon, perhaps in a couple of days. We expect to pay a heavy price for doing so. We expect many Downsizers to abandon us, and end their contributions. We will need the help of those who remain to survive the loss.

We are going to oppose an attack on Iran and support a policy of deterrence instead. We will also take other steps to end the threat to American security caused by U.S. policy. Will you support us as we do this? Will you stick with us? Will you defend the principle that the U.S. must live by the same moral standards it seeks to impose on others?

I must stress the fact that we’ll be hated, called names, and that even current financial supporters will drop out of our effort. Should we be concerned with getting ahead or doing the right thing?

It’s not an easy decision. This is our living we’re talking about. And perhaps until now, you’ve held out on supporting us. We can’t afford for you to sit on the sideline. Moral support, while appreciated, just might not be enough here. We’re committing ourselves to a risky, yet principled and crucial set of actions.

In order for us to grow and prosper at this time, we need everyone — all 13,000+ registered Downsizers, all 21,000+ Dispatch subscribers, to give serious consideration to joining us NOW. You can do so here.

We’ve made it sooo easy no one should say, “No.” A monthly micro-pledge of $3, $4, $5, $6, $7, $8, or $9, via credit card, is what we recommend for most first time donors. You can do so here.

And monthly credit-card pledges of $10, $15, $25, $35 or $50 can really add up to a significant amount over the course of the year. If you can afford it, please consider giving at this level. You can do so here.

Of course, each month we need to raise $14,000 and this month is no different. At this point, we still need to raise an additional $7,400 to meet our goal. Maybe you can donate the entire amount. Man, that would help! Maybe you can donate half ($3,700). Perhaps you can contribute $25, $50, $76, $125, or $500. Every amount helps. You can contribute here.

It’s decision time here. Will the Downsize DC movement succeed or will war break us? It’s up to you. You can do so here.

Thank you in advance for your support,

Jim Babka & Perry Willis
President & Communications Director, Inc.

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