***UPDATE: BLARRRRRGH!!! This filibustering thing has apparently been circumvented already, damn it! But go do all the relevant stuff advised below anyhow; thye still have to vote and I'd rather make it as comfortable an experience as possible for them to vote for war.***
For those of you who haven't heard already: The White House and leadership of the U.S. House of Representatives agreed yesterday on text which (if passed) will allow Bush to go to war against Iraq. The new phrasing puts a very few limits on Bush (for example, he must "notify" Congress within 48 hours after launching an attack that he has done so . . . yeah, by which time they'll probably have heard it on the TV news anyway!) but still states that Bush is "authorized to use the Armed Forces of the United States as he determines necessary."
Of course, some have argued that the war has already begun, with a sharp increase in U.S. bombing raids that has already taken place in August and September. But it will get very much worse if the new resolution authorizing military invasion passes - and now that the specific text has been decided upon and put before the House for a vote, it looks very likely that Bush will get his war officially authorized within less than a week.
The majority of mail about Iraq that has been received by the U.S. Congress lately has been anti-war, not pro-war. Yet still the Congresspeople express fears that voting against the war resolution will destroy their careers. We need to inform them loudly and clearly that voting for the war resolution is what will cost destroy their careers. And we need to inform them of that within the next few days, because that's when the issue is likely to be voted upon.
Senator Byrd (D-West Virginia) is contemplating leading a filibuster to prevent the war resolution from passing. He has a phone line where people can vote for or against the filibuster. I already called his phone line (it's 202-224-3954) but this is what I got: "Your call has been forwarded to an automatic voice messaging system. *beep* The mailbox belonging to *pause* Senator Byrd *pause* is full. Goodbye! *click*"
So he's been hearing opinions; we just want to make sure that he hears the right ones. You can't reach him by phone now, since his voicemail box is full, but you can still reach him by email. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. Please email him and tell him you support his proposed filibuster. You don't need to write more than one sentence; his assistants will just count how many votes he receives on each side of the issue, and nothing beyond one sentence would probably get read anyway. I emailed him and wrote only two sentences: "Please filibuster against the war resolution. Please oppose war on Iraq!"
Then I looked up the address of my own congressional representative (he's an icky Republican, but oh well), and copied and sent another two sentences to him: "Please support Senator Byrd's filibuster! Please oppose war on Iraq!" (Ha ha, like he's ever likely to even momentarily consider that. Too bad. :p )
Then I looked up the addresses of my two senators and emailed them too, the same two sentences. (At least they're both Democrats; perhaps there's a hope in hell for them.)
Other things you can do to help, if you haven't done them already:
Sign the No War on Iraq Petition
Sign Michael Moore's Antiwar Petition
Sign the Western Antiwar Movement Petition
Remember, this has to be done immediately because the way it looks right now, we're quite likely to be at war against Iraq within less than a week.