We thank all of you who have contacted the United States Representatives and Senators with important messages supporting Georgia. Please continue to make your voices heard. The US policy-makers are listening to you. We are asking you to help us take advantage of this momentum and offer them more concrete foreign policy recommendations. Below is the letter you can use for this purpose. We are happy to remind you how you can contact your Representatives and Senators.
1) For the House of Representatives go to http://www.house.gov/. Click on "Write Your Representative" in the upper left hand corner (or go here). The next steps are easy and self-explanatory. After you click on "Continue to Text Entry Form" you will be able paste a copy of the letter below.
Feel free to fax the letter to policy-makers if it is easier for you to use this mean of communication. You can find fax numbers on individual websites of your Representatives. Again, go to http://www.house.gov/, and enter your zip code in the "Find Your Representative" search engine located in the upper left hand corner. Choose your Representative from the list and click on their name to see the website. We recommend contacting the DC offices, because most district offices forward foreign policy related requests/inquiries to their colleagues in Washington.
2) For Senators go to http://www.senate.gov/. Click on "Senators", the 1st button in the upper left hand corner. Choose your senator by state or, and visit their website. To send them an e-mail or find a fax number, click on "Contact Us".
Dear Representative Last Name or Senator Last Name:
Russian troops continue to occupy Georgian cities and towns. This is inadmissible. The Georgian-American community has a clear message: the Russian aggression is targeting not only the Georgian democracy and statehood, but also the U.S. and Western interests in this strategically important geographic area. If there is no consequence for Russian actions in Georgia, they will reestablish a long-term presence in Central Eurasia, thus threatening the alternative strategic transportation corridor in the South Caucasus - an important supply option for U.S. troops in Afghanistan.
We urge you to support a U.S. strategic presence in the region, and to guarantee stability through the following foreign policy initiatives:
1) Continue and strengthen support for the territorial integrity of Georgia;
2) Accelerate NATO MAP procedures for Georgia and Ukraine, and if this becomes impossible due to resistance within the organization, initiate a bilateral military treaty with Georgia; Georgia will welcome a U.S. military base on its soil;
3) Increase military assistance to Georgia to develop defense capabilities that would help the Georgian army defend the country from invading forces.
4) Provide strong economic, humanitarian, and democratic support to the Georgian state to restore the damaged infrastructure and confidence of investors.
5) Support the Congressional initiative to revoke the 2014 Olympic games in Sochi;
6) Take diplomatic steps towards limiting private U.S. travel of Russian citizens who have close ties to the Russian government;
7) Consider freezing bank accounts of Russian individuals and businesses associated with the Russian government;
8) Increase funding for the dissemination of objective information within Russia about international developments. Reopen the Russian services of Voice of America (VOA), and strengthen Georgian and other VOA services - the people of Ukraine, Georgia, Russia and others need a voice from Washington.
Unless Russia and the rest of the world see decisive American actions, there will always be a grave threat of similar brutal attacks on other independent states in Russia's near abroad, who are only guilty by association with values of freedom and democracy. As a U.S. ally, Georgia needs immediate bipartisan support from the U.S. Congress.
Octobr 17, 2008 - President Bush Discusses the Visa Waiver Program
Office of the Press Secretary/
White House News
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you all. (Applause.) Please be seated, thank you. Welcome to the White House. I'm pleased to stand with the representatives of seven countries -- the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia, and South Korea -- that have met the requirements to be admitted to the United States Visa Waiver Program. Soon the citizens of these nations will be able to travel to the United States for business or tourism without a visa. I congratulate these close friends and allies on this achievement, and I thank you for joining us here.
I also thank Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Secretary of the Homeland -- Department of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff for working hard to make sure this day has finally arrived. Appreciate other members of the administration here and members of the Diplomatic Corps.
The Joint Baltic American National Committee, Inc.
400 Hurley Avenue
Rockville, MD 20850-3121