Stop the Wars! U.S. Out of Iraq and Afghanistan Now!
This position argues for adding the U.S. war against Afghanistan
to the conference action demands.
The most important, single task at this assembly is to unite to stop the U.S. wars against the people of Iraq and Afghanistan. This means solidarity with the peoples under attack, supporting their right to self-determination; telling the truth about who the aggressor is (the U.S. government); struggling to save the lives of the people under attack, and those of the U.S. soldiers by bringing them home immediately; using the resources the U.S. now spends on war to instead benefit people by building schools, housing, infrastructure, environmental protection, disaster relief, medical care; and forging links across borders with the international antiwar movement to end these wars.
The Bill passed by Congress on June 19th continued funding for both wars. Politicians of both parties supported it. And, although many hope that peace can be achieved through the presidential election, the war-funding vote proves that the peace movement, to achieve any step forward, must be totally independent of the political parties and elected officials responsible for these wars. The position raised by politicians running for election, that we must withdraw troops from Iraq so we can send them to Afghanistan, is a mockery of an antiwar position. These wars are two fronts of the so-called War on Terror and the peace movement must oppose both vigorously!
The best example this year of inspiring antiwar action was the May 1 work stoppage by the International Long Shore Workers Union. Twenty-nine thousand workers shut down all west coast ports to protest both wars on Iraq and Afghanistan. This workers’ act of protest and international solidarity set the example for the entire antiwar and labor movements. This conference should emulate the ILWU mass action and spread its message of opposition to both wars throughout the country.
The election has hindered efforts to mount mass antiwar actions. But, united street demonstrations and mass work actions are the only means by which the peace movement can collectively present an alternative to the government war makers. That is why the absence of a united mobilization on the fifth anniversary of the war on Iraq was such a blow. While mass actions are not the only useful tactics in the peace movement, mass demonstrations are the only collective means of bringing the whole peace movement together, and reaching out with a unified voice to the masses of people opposed to the war.
The antiwar movement is up against an administration hell-bent on owning Iraq and Afghanistan; a Congress, which votes war funding; and two political parties sharing power who together represent the same politics of war and militarism. The U.S. has bases the world over and supplies weapons to countries at war, including those at war against their own inhabitants. It has more weapons of mass destruction than any other country, and spends more on military expenditures than the rest of the world altogether! But, the U.S. is sending its own soldiers to shoot at Iraqi and Afghan people. Ending those wars is the single issue that must unite the movement.
U.S. Out of Iraq and Afghanistan! Bring all the troops home now!
Submitted by: Carole Seligman and Bonnie Weinstein, participants in Bay Area United Against War, bauaw.org; Jr. ROTC Must Go! www.jrotcmustgo.blogspot.com; Socialist Viewpoint magazine (organizations for identification purposes only)