[R-G] Text of AFL-CIO/TUC Letter
DavidMcR at aol.com
DavidMcR at aol.com
Fri Jan 31 08:31:01 MST 2003
January 30, 2003
Dear Prime Minister Blair and President Bush:
We join in writing this letter in advance of your critical meeting,
historical relationship between our two nations and the central role now
them both with regard to the situation in Iraq.
Our peoples, with common heritage and historic alliance, have always
principles of democracy and freedom that are the fundamental pillars upon
governments are founded. We have stood together time and again to defend
Just as our two nations share a common heritage, so do our two union
The Trades Union Congress is the oldest organized labor movement in
existence today, and was the inspiration for and strong supporter of the
American Federation of Labor when it was founded 120 years ago. Working
people of both nations, often speaking through their unions, have
participated in the great debates of our times, especially debates about war
and peace. Never has that public participation been more important than now.
We share with the two of you the very strong concerns that Iraq has not
responsibility to the world community to rid itself of weapons of mass
destruction and to ensure the world of this. We fully support putting maximum
pressure on Iraq to do so, and believe that the actions taken thus far by
both our nations working through
the UN Security Council to force a renewal of the inspection process and to
that these inspections resolve this issue has been the right course.
We believe that the inspection process needs to be given adequate time to be
able to inform fully the international community in their appreciation of the
threat to world
peace and security.
Today many citizens of the United States and of the United Kingdom are not
convinced that war must be waged now in Iraq. Strong reservations are being
by peoples and governments across the world, including those of our closest
It is vital that a firm and broad consensus be forged and sustained,
particularly between the United States and the countries of the European
Union, to ensure the legitimacy required should any future action be
During the coming weeks, you will be called upon to make decisions that will
enormous consequences for the future of our countries. Those who seek to
destroy our way of life will use an attack on Iraq, especially if taken
without broad international support, to rally opinion against us and win new
recruits to their terror. We may resolve the threat that now exists in Iraq,
but we may well pay the price of increasing the threats we face from
elsewhere. Further, in the new political reality, where terrorism is our
gravest foe, such an attack carried out over the very strong opposition of
our natural allies may well undermine the broad coalition of democracies that
was so evident in the days after September 11.
On behalf of our two labor movements, and on behalf of working people in both
our countries, we urge you to continue to lead the global fight against
and terror through the United Nations to ensure that this fight is carried
out by the
broadest possible coalition, with the strongest international legitimacy.
British and American working people stand ready as always to bear the burden
needed to defend our freedoms. But the goal of our policy now should be to
take every possible step to achieve the legitimate ends of disarming Iraq
without recourse to war, and to win the fullest support of our friends and
allies before the path of war is chosen as a last resort.
As we write to you today, we do not believe that this first path has come to
an end, and urge you to continue to pressure all concerned to find a
resolution to this situation that preserves peace and security for our
countries and across the world.
Trades Union Congress
John J. Sweeney
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