[shniad at sfu.ca: [R-G] CWA Statement on War with Iraq]
ehrbar at econ.utah.edu
Thu Jan 23 19:11:01 MST 2003
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The CWA Executive Board approved the following statement on January 22,
Statement on War with Iraq
The September 11 attacks by al Qaeda brought together citizens in the United
States and throughout the world. The horror and heartlessness of those
events dispelled differences and united us in a demand for justice and in a
promise to ourselves and to next generations: we would support all efforts
to track down those guilty of killing thousands of innocents on that
infamous day; we would support efforts to forge a new multilateral
commitment to oppose terrorism worldwide; and we would, through these
efforts, restore the sense of peace and security to our land and to the
world that was lost during the attacks.
But the laser focus on bringing al Qaeda to justice has shifted even though
that terrorist organization has not been tracked down. Instead, the Bush
Administration has cast the spotlight on Iraq and Saddam Hussein. While
Saddam Hussein is a brutal dictator, he is not an imminent threat to our
country. There is no credible evidence linking Saddam Hussein to al Qaeda,
nor with any imminent attack on the United States.
CWA joins the AFL-CIO, other patriotic organizations, veterans of past wars,
and concerned citizens in expressing our belief that we must defend our
nation's security against any threat or incursion. Our view is supported by
international law which allows a preventive strike when there is clear
evidence that an attack is imminent. But nothing in our history, nor in
international law, sanctions a unilateral, preventive war such as a U.S.
invasion of Iraq would entail. Thus, we urge caution, patience and
deliberation before engaging in war with Iraq. We urge unified, multilateral
action through the United Nations.
History has taught us that we should not act unilaterally in military
matters. The current situation shows that we need not. Following the passage
of a United Nations Security Council resolution, Iraq agreed to permit the
resumption of weapons inspections. This was a major policy triumph for the
United Nations and the rule of law. On January 27, 2003, the United Nations
weapons inspectors will submit their first report, marking, as the weapons
inspectors themselves point out, the beginning, not the end of the weapons
inspection process. Our allies are urging caution, as this process requires
time and patience. We should stand with our traditional allies and support
the United Nations process.
We join with AFL-CIO President Sweeney and others in the labor movement who
believe that our nation's long-term interests require that we assemble a
broad international coalition for an aggressive and effective policy of
disarmament in Iraq and work through the United Nations to the greatest
extent possible to accomplish it.
At home, we have pressing domestic priorities as well. In the previous Gulf
War, our allies shouldered their fair share of the burdens of war both in
assigning fighting forces and funds. If we embark on a unilateral invasion,
the full burden of a war with Iraq and the nation rebuilding that would
follow would fall on the United States with an estimated cost extending to
hundreds of billions of dollars.
War should always be the last resort. The sons and daughters of Americas
workers will be the ones called upon to make sacrifices. Already, many
National Guard members have had their tours extended. Planned military
discharges have been canceled, disrupting families' lives. While we have
answered the call to duty, there is inadequate evidence to support an
invasion of Iraq at this time.
We urge Iraq to give complete access and cooperation to the United Nations
inspection teams and immediately disclose any weapons of mass destruction
that may exist on its territory.
Further, we urge the Administration and the Congress to support an invasion
of Iraq only if it is sanctioned by the United Nations and enjoys the broad
multinational support as existed in Desert Storm.
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