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Over 1,000 active duty military members signed petitions against the war
January 16, 2007

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Several anti-war groups that include members of the military on Tuesday delivered petitions against the war in Iraq to U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich, a Democrat who's long been against the conflict.

Iraq Veterans Against the War, Veterans for Peace and Military Families Speak Out sponsored the "appeal for redress" petition, which was signed by more than 1,000 active duty military members, according to Kucinich's office.

Among those who signed was 24-year-old Sgt. Jabbar Magruder of Los Angeles, a member of the Army National Guard who served about a year in Iraq beginning in late 2004.

Magruder said he was recently promoted and respects the military but does not believe in the war because he believes the United State's presence in Iraq is only making things worse.

"I cannot allow my fellow serviceman to continue to have to fight in Iraq when it's in no way winnable," Magruder said. "This might come at a great moral cost to me, but I'm willing to do that so they may be able to come home."

Active-duty military personnel are allowed to publicly object to the war, as long as they do not wear their uniforms when expressing their opinions.

Magruder said he signed the petition because he wants Congress to know there are some active-duty military members against the war. He said he is worried his unit may suffer because of his speaking out.

"But it's easier to sit back and wait for somebody to do something. I'm not going to wait," he said.

Kucinich, a long-shot candidate for president, said in a statement that "there is a compelling need for a new direction in Iraq." He suggested more use of diplomacy.

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