U.S. LABOR AGAINST THE WAR
RESPONSE TO WAR ON IRAQ
Despite the enormous effort of many millions of people around the globe -- including many trade unionists -- to prevent this war, the U.S. and Great Britain have launched an invasion of Iraq.
We condemn this military invasion because –
· it will result in the unnecessary death of American soldiers -- many of them our family members, friends and neighbors -- and many innocent Iraqi men, women and children;
· it is an act of aggression in violation of international law and our nation's obligations under the UN Charter, and is opposed by the vast majority of the international community;
· it sets a dangerous precedent, opening the door for other countries to launch unprovoked attacks on one another, and shredding the body of international law that has been created since World War Two to prevent war;
· it increases the likelihood that Americans will be victims of a new wave of retaliatory terrorist attacks;
· it will cost U.S. taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars at a time when our local, state and federal governments face massive budget deficits that threaten vital services such as health care and education.
We believe that the disarmament of Iraq can and must be achieved through diplomatic means and the weapons inspection process of the United Nations.
We call for military action to cease and desist immediately so that American and British troops can be removed from harm's way and brought safely home, and to spare the Iraqi people more death, destruction and suffering.
We call upon Congress to repeal the authority it granted last October for military action and to hold this reckless administration to account.
As citizens and as trade unionists, we intend to participate vigorously in the debate about this war while always making a clear distinction between those policies and leaders who dragged us into it and the young men and women in our military who are being sent to do the fighting by those leaders.
In that debate we assert --
· that war must be a last resort, undertaken only when necessary to defend us from attack or the imminent threat of attack;
· that our country’s role is not to police the world, nor to depose leaders we don't like, nor to dictate to others who should or should not govern them;
· that we must respect and strengthen -- not weaken -- international law and the bodies that enforce that law as an alternative to war;
· that our country’s immense wealth, power and influence must be used to benefit working families here and around the world;
· that the U.S. must be a force for peace, not an agent of war.
We have said from the beginning that we are gravely concerned about our own economy — jobs, health care, pensions, education, housing, and other social needs. This now includes making resources available to care for the veterans of the war on Iraq. We will defend Arab people in the U.S. against racist violence and political persecution that this war may provoke. We intend to make sure that the cost of the war is not used as an excuse to prevent us from meeting these urgent needs or as a basis for eroding civil liberties and trade union rights in the name of national security.
We support and defend the right of the people to protest this unjust war and restore the path to peace, including the actions taken by trade unions and workers around the world ranging from demonstrations to work stoppages. We urge union members in the U.S. to participate in local antiwar events and activities, to make their voices heard, to lobby their representatives, and to take action consistent with their convictions to demonstrate their opposition to this war on Iraq.
US LABOR AGAINST WAR: www.USLaborAgainstWar.org
* PO BOX 153 * 1718 M St. NW * Washington, DC 20036 *