MAKING A DIFFERENCE? - Peace groups on Middle East conflict

Alert the Israelis and Hezbollah. Peace Action Maine, the state's largest group that draws attention to the human cost of world conflict, has called for an "immediate cease-fire" in the Middle East, in a press release issued today.

Admittedly, at the very end of the announcement, the group "calls on" the state's US representatives and senators, and President Bush, to support efforts toward a cease-fire. But barring an Act of Congress or a US foreign-policy shift, those efforts seem unlikely to succeed.

Is there a point to statements like this one, in which local or state groups condemn actions by foreign powers or terror groups? Do they actually make a difference? Or are there other things the groups could do that would further their aims more directly?

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