Vermont Votes No to War
Wed Mar 2, 5:16 PM ET
Congress may not be prepared to hold an honest debate on when and how the United States should exit the Iraq (news - web sites) imbroglio, but the town meetings of rural Vermont are not so constrained. Declaring that "The War in Iraq is a Local Issue," citizens in communities across the state voted of Tuesday for resolutions urging President Bush (news - web sites) and Congress to take steps to withdraw American troops from Iraq and calling on their state legislature to investigate the use and abuse of the Vermont National Guard in the conflcit.
Spearheaded by the Vermont Network on Iraq War Resolutions, Green Mountain Veterans for Peace and the Vermont Chapter of Military Families Speak Out, the campaign to get antiwar resolutions on town meeting agendas succeeded in more than 50 communities statewide. That meant that the issue was raised in more than one fifth of the 251 Vermont towns where the annual celebrations of grassroots democracy take place. Forty-nine towns voted for the resolutions. Only three voted "no," while one saw a tie vote. In the state's largest city, Burlington, the antiwar initiative received the support of 65 percent of electors.
A rural state where wages are low in many regions, Vermont has traditionally had a high level of participation in the National Guard. With Guard units being so heavily used in the Iraq, several studies show that Vermont has suffered the highest per capita death toll of any state since the war began a two years ago.
My homestate makes me so proud.