Bring the Troops Home Now!
By Carole Seligman
Note: This is the text of a 3-minute speech by Carole Seligman, a representative of Bay Area United Against War, at the San Francisco antiwar/anti-occupation demonstration on Oct. 25.
Big news: weapons of mass destruction found! Here in the U.S. nuclear bombs capable of destroying human and animal life on earth. And you and I pay for them.
Weapons of mass destruction were used in Iraq. By whom? By the U.S.! Tons of uranium have been unleashed on the Iraqis and U.S. soldiers. Depleted uranium is classified by a U.N. resolution as an illegal weapon of mass destruction.
All recent U.S. wars were nuclear: Gulf War I, Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, and Iraq again. Urine samples of Afghans show the highest level of uranium ever recorded in a civilian population.
Thirty years ago the U.S.,the Republicans and Democrats,invaded, and committed terrible atrocities against Vietnam. Over 4,000,000 Vietnamese died. Just this week the results of an investigation were published in The Blade, a Toledo, Ohio newspaper. The newspaper said that an elite unit of American soldiers mutilated and killed hundreds of unarmed Vietnamese villagers in 1967 and an Army investigation closed with no charges filed. The atrocities included dropping grenades into bunkers where villagers, including children, were hiding. This report reverberates in Iraqis killed at U.S. checkpoints, and Palestinians killed at Israeli checkpoints. Imperialist war and occupation, fought ultimately for profit, cannot be humane.
These crimes against Iraqis, Afghans, and Palestinians are paid for by our taxes, while health care, jobs, schools, and the environment are cut back. I tell you, as an elementary school teacher: Our schools are worse this year. The children are getting less. More people lack health care. More are unemployed.
Funds that should support human needs support bombs, tanks, helicopters, guns, and uranium-coated ammunition. You cant have a just, free, democratic, and peaceful society (which we all want) and at the same time mow down civilians and make war all around the world.
But war is the priority of both the Republican Bush administration, and the Democratic and Republican Congress. All support the military. All work on behalf of their corporate backers, and none for us. All work to promote an imperialist system where a handful of billionaires (11 of them in S.F.!) have more wealth than half the worlds people! It will stay that way so long as the American people remain locked in the clutches of the rich who control the government and both its political parties.
We must build the antiwar movement, keep it in the streets, not let it divert into the Democratic Party under the illusion that they are less evil. The Democrats are complicit in all the crimes of the Bush administration.
We call upon Americans to unite with the worlds people to oppose U.S. wars and occupations, and to struggle for peace. We call on the government to end the war and occupation of Iraq, Afghanistan, and Palestine! U.S. out of the Middle East! No U.S. funds for Israel! Bring all the troops home now!