This man is walking from California all the way to Washington DC to protest against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Check out his website.
My name is Bill McDannell. I am a father of five and grandfather of
four. I am a Vietnam era veteran and a former pastor of the United
Methodist Church. Despite considerable evidence to the contrary, I
still firmly believe that, as a citizen of the United States of
America, I have a voice in the activities of our country, and that my
voice can be heard and can have an impact.
On Saturday, November 4th, 2006 I began to put that belief to the
test. Mindful of my constitutional right to petition my government, on
that date I left my home in Lakeside, California to begin a walk that
will end in Washington, D.C. I am carrying with me a petition I intend
to present to both the executive and legislative branches of our
government requesting that we, as a nation, declare an immediate end to
the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
I am only one person, and do not pretend to have the individual
wisdom to dictate exactly what actions should take place as a result of
a declaration of the end of the wars. In fact, this is the reason I am
walking to Washington. I expect it will take me nine or ten months to
walk from California to Washington, D.C., and I believe that the
leaders who managed to figure out a way to get us into these wars in
just a few months ought to be able to figure out a way to get us out by
the time I arrive. The details of how many of our sons and daughters in
the military will be brought home and how soon they will arrive home
must be left to those more familiar with the logistics than myself, but
I certainly believe that a declaration that the wars are over must come
immediately and that, with the wars officially over, our sons and
daughters should begin to return home immediately.
The basis for my petition is quite simple. First, regarding the war
in Iraq. We the people of the United States of America have been given
several reasons why we went to war with Iraq in the first place:
1. We have been told that we went to war to liberate the people of
Iraq from the brutal regime of Saddam Hussein. We have accomplished
that. Saddam Hussein has been deposed, tried, convicted and executed.
2. We have been told that we went to war to locate and destroy
weapons of mass destruction and the capability to deliver them. We have
discovered that there were no weapons of mass destruction, neither was
there any means to deliver such weapons.
3. We have been told that we went to war to establish a democratic
government in Iraq. The Iraqi people have voted and there is a
democratic form of government in place.
Since the objectives we believed were the purpose of the war have
all been accomplished, it is now time to officially declare that the
war has ended.
The only possible argument for not ending the war revolves around a
perceived need to establish some sort of stability in the nation of
Iraq. But the evidence is now quite clear that our continued military
presence in Iraq is the primary cause of the continuing instability. As
our continued military presence only serves to further exacerbate the
situation we want to resolve, it is clear that we must officially end
that presence, beginning with a formal declaration that the war is over.
Next, regarding the war in Afghanistan. We went to war with
Afghanistan to depose the rule of the Taliban, whose influence and
support assisted the terrorists that attacked our country on September
11, 2001. Like Iraq, Afghanistan now has a government in place that has
been freely elected by its citizens. We no longer have a grievance with
the leadership of Afghanistan, and the country and its government do
not pose an imminent threat to the sovereignty or safety of the United
States. Therefore, it is also time to declare an official end to the
war in Afghanistan and to immediately begin to remove our military
presence from the country.
Finally, regarding the war on terrorism. War has historically been
viewed as an armed conflict between states or nations in order to
establish boundaries, authority, or power, or to redress a wrong
inflicted upon one nation by another. The war on terrorism does not fit
this definition. It is instead an effort to prevent terrorist
activities, to locate and eliminate those individuals or groups who
engage in such activities, to dissuade any and all nations from
harboring or abetting such groups and to keep not only our country but
countries around the world safe from such activities. It is first of
all obvious that this will be an essentially endless task of vigilance
and intervention. It is also obvious that such an effort does not fit
the definition of war any more than does a war on poverty or a war on
Since the war on terrorism does not fit the true definition of a
war, once our leaders have officially acknowledged that the war in Iraq
and the war in Afghanistan are over, it will mean that the United
States will not be at war with any other sovereign state or nation.
Therefore, along with the official declaration that these wars are at
an end, I will petition the president of the United States to
immediately relinquish the wartime powers ceded to him by the Congress,
and petition the Congress to immediately rescind the wartime powers it
granted to the executive branch. I do not believe the structure of our
democracy ever conceived of a situation where the ceding of wartime
powers by Congress to the executive branch would be a permanent
arrangement, as this would be a significant step toward dictatorial
powers. Therefore, a continuing war on terrorism can neither be viewed
as a war in the historic sense nor a justification for the executive
branch to retain wartime powers in the absence of any authentic war.
I am doing this as an individual citizen – with the help and support
of my loving wife – and not as a member of any group, organization or
political party. I am doing it as a grandfather, in the belief that if
the grandfathers and grandmothers of our nation do not raise our
voices, we will one day see our grandchildren being sent off to a
seemingly endless war.
That said, I welcome any and all individuals, groups and
organizations who believe it is time to end these wars to meet me along
the way and sign my petition, to walk with me for a while, and to
demonstrate our conviction that it is time to take definitive action to
end these wars. I am doing this on faith, hoping that those who feel as
I do will be inspired to lend their assistance to my effort. But
whether or not such assistance comes, I am committing my time, my
energy, my health, and my fortunes to this effort. God willing, I shall
arrive in Washington and I shall present my petition to our country’s
I am calling my effort Walk To End The Wars, and this website will
be the place where you will be able to find a regular journal of my
walk detailing my experiences along the way, a progress report that
will allow you to locate me and join me on the walk or sign my petition
if you desire, and methods of contacting me directly should you wish to
lend support to my effort. I deeply appreciate your support in whatever
form you wish to offer it, and wish you and the generations that will
follow you Peace.