Resolution on the U.S. War Against Iraq
This resolution was passed unanimously on October 30, 2002, by the Executive Board of Local 1180 of the Communications Workers of America (CWA), based in New York City.
Whereas, unilateral military action by the United States against Iraq would be a clear violation of the United Nations Charter and all standards of international law; and
Whereas, such military action would bring death and suffering to tens if not hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqis, punishing them and not their dictator; and unilateral U.S. action would also increase instability in the region, become an excuse and a precedent for other nations to also take lawless aggressive actions, and increase the likelihood of future terrorist attacks throughout the world by fueling anti-U.S. sentiment; and
Whereas, there is no credible evidence linking Saddam Hussein to the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks or to Al Qaeda; and there is no evidence to prove that the Iraqi dictator either had or has the capacity to build “weapons of mass destruction”; indeed, to the contrary, weapons inspectors who were in Iraq in the 1990s think it is unlikely that Saddam could have redeveloped such capacity; and
Whereas, the war in Iraq would cost hundreds of billions of dollars (Bush economic adviser Lawrence Lindsey estimated the cost at as much as $200 billion), a cost that will come at the direct expense of the working class; it would divert urgently needed funds from job creation, healthcare, and education; and
Whereas, the sudden urgency to disarm Iraq represents a cynical election-year ploy to distract Americans from the Bush Administration’s abysmal economic record and to help the Republican Party in the upcoming election; and
Whereas, the September 11 attacks and the “War on Terrorism” have become the guise under which Bush has carried out a rightwing, anti-union agenda that has nothing to do with combating terrorism; the “War on Terror” has been invoked to silence critics, stifle debate, curtail civil liberties, scapegoat and round up immigrants; it has further been used as an excuse for union-busting, from the administration’s intervention in the West Coast dockworkers’ struggle to the efforts to de-unionize federal workers in the Department of Homeland Security; the “War on Terror” has perverted the very important task of actually reducing terrorist threats and turned it instead into a political weapon of repression and manipulation; and
Whereas, there is massive and growing opposition to war in Iraq; Congress was flooded with hundreds of thousands of calls and mail opposing the war during the recent debate on the war resolution; tens of thousands of people demonstrated against the war in at least 36 cities and towns on October 6, including 25,000 in Central Park [New York], and 1.5 million in Italy; 100,000 people demonstrated against the war in Washington, D.C., on October 26, while another 60,000-80,000 demonstrated in San Francisco, 10,000 in St. Paul, 8,000 in Seattle, thousands in Denver and Chicago, additional demonstrations in Maine and Vermont, and internationally, 10,000 in Berlin, with demonstrations in 70 other German towns as well, 4,000 in Amsterdam, 1,500 in Copenhagen, 1,000 in Stockholm, and additional demonstrations in Rome, London, Tokyo, San Juan, Puerto Rico, and Mexico City; over 27,000 U.S. scholars have signed an antiwar letter; students have mobilized on college campuses; four U.S. generals have publicly opposed unilateral U.S. action in Iraq; and
Whereas, opposition to the war is also growing within the labor movement; AFL-CIO President John Sweeney recently wrote to Congress expressing concern that “the sudden urgency for a decision about war and peace, an urgency which did not exist a month ago, has as much to do with the political calendar as with the situation in Iraq. It is an apparent contradiction that there is no similar urgency to take action to address the economic crisis that is inflicting immediate suffering on so many of our people” and calling for assurances that “war is the last option, not the first, used to resolve this conflict”; and more and more local unions and central labor bodies are speaking out each day as they consider it their duty to act on a matter that directly threatens their members and families;
Therefore be it resolved, that Local 1180 oppose the current drive for war, oppose unilateral U.S. military action in Iraq, and oppose the Bush doctrine of “preemptive strikes”; and
Be it further resolved, that Local 1180 oppose abuses of the legitimate need and effort to combat terrorism and condemn the invocation of the “War on Terror” to silence critics, curtail rights, and bust unions; and
Be it further resolved, that Local 1180 support the growing antiwar movement and will publicize its opposition to war in Iraq; and
Be it further resolved, that Local 1180 send copies of this resolution to CWA President Morton Bahr, AFL-CIO President John Sweeney, New York State AFL-CIO President Denis Hughes, and New York City Central Labor Council President Brian McLaughlin and urge each of them to take a leadership role in explaining how this war harms American working families; and
Be it further resolved, that Local 1180 send copies of this resolution to Senators Charles Schumer and Hillary Clinton and express dismay at their votes in favor of the war resolution in the face of massive opposition from their constituents.