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January 24, 2007
Despite overwhelming rejection of its policies in the November elections, the Bush administration has steadily escalated its war in the Middle East.
This has meant not only ordering thousands more troops to Iraq and Afghanistan, but arming and financing Israel’s attacks on Lebanon and its increasingly brutal oppression of the Palestinians, launching a proxy invasion of Somalia, and threatening to attack Iran and Syria.
As in all wars of conquest, ordinary people pay the price. In Iraq alone, this war for oil and empire has killed at least 655,000 Iraqis, caused 50,000 U.S. casualties, promoted civil war, and cost $1.2 trillion — with no end in sight.
Meanwhile at home, the administration continues to attack civil liberties, the Arab-Muslim community, undocumented immigrants, Katrina refugees, people of color and labor.
Yet this is a bipartisan war, and as a willing accomplice, the Democratic Party cannot be trusted to end it. Even now, most politicians refuse to cut off funding for the occupation of Iraq, let alone end the war as a whole.
History shows that the U.S. got out of Vietnam only due to tenacious Vietnamese resistance and to the mass antiwar movement, particularly among GIs.
Similarly, U.S. war in the Middle East today has been crippled by overwhelming Iraqi resistance, which deserves the support of a mass antiwar movement in this country.
This movement — which belongs to rank-and-file participants, rather than the leaders of any organization — must join together in all upcoming protests, including those on January 27 and March 17.
To be effective, the movement must be led by those with the strongest need and greatest power to end the war, including GIs, veterans, workers, people of color, and immigrants. It must also oppose the entire war and demand justice — at home and abroad:
U.S. OUT OF THE MIDDLE EAST
- Immediate withdrawal from Iraq, Afghanistan, and Somalia: No war funding, timetables, redeployment, advisors, air-war, or aid to U.S. client regimes. Reparations for U.S. devastation of the region.
- No Support to the Israeli Apartheid State: End the $5 billion annual U.S. government aid to Israel, divest all private investments and union funds, boycott Israel, end the occupation and fully implement the Palestinian right of return.
- No Attacks on Iran and Syria — or Anyone Else.
END THE WAR AT HOME
- Defend Our Civil Liberties.
- End Attacks on the Arab/Muslim Community.
- Full Amnesty for Undocumented Immigrants: No detention or deportation.
- Money for Human Need, Not for War: Rebuild the Gulf Coast for — and under the control of — Katrina survivors. Decent jobs, food, housing, healthcare, education and transportation for all poor and working people.
(Other affiliations listed for identification only):
Former President, NPMHU Local 300
Former President, UAW Local 2325/Assn. of Legal Aid Attorneys
Former President, AFSCME DC 1707; Co-Chair, Million Worker March