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International labor statement opposing war in Iraq
International Labor Statement Opposing War Against Iraq
Posted Feb 17, 2003 [12:00 AM] (See related report of global labor labor press conference held Wednesday, Feb. 19.)

International Labor Statement Opposing War Against Iraq

February, 2003

On the eve of a threatened war against Iraq, we, trade unionists from around the world, join with U.S. Labor Against the War (USLAW) and the U.S. unions, representing more than 4 million workers, who have opposed this war.

As trade unionists we have the responsibility to inform all working people about issues that affect their lives, jobs and families, and to be heard in the international debate on these issues.

We oppose a US led war against Iraq for many reasons.

There is no evident purpose for this war that we can support. There is no convincing link between Iraq and Al Qaeda or the attacks on Sept. 11, and neither the Bush administration nor the UN inspections have demonstrated that Iraq poses a real threat to Americans and other nations.

It is clear that military action in Iraq will actually increase the likelihood of retaliatory terrorist acts around the world against Western targets.

This action against Iraq by the U.S. military and others nations that may join them, threatens the peaceful resolution of disputes among states, jeopardizing the safety and security of the entire world.

We know that the principal victims of any military action in Iraq will be the sons and daughters of working class families who serve in the military forces and innocent Iraqi civilians who have already suffered so much.

We have no quarrel with the ordinary working class men, women and children of Iraq, or any other country.

We oppose the spending of billions of dollars to stage and execute this war when our nations need money for education, healthcare, housing, and other basic needs.

We oppose the use of this war, and the threat of war, as pretext for attacks on labor, civil, immigrant and human rights in the United States and in other nations.

We believe Bush's drive for war serves as a cover and distraction for the sinking U.S. economy, corporate corruption, and layoffs.

As representatives of the labor movement around the world, we have long had an historic role in fighting for justice. We urge our members to actively protest this war. At the onset of the 21st Century we join with the vast majority of the people of the world who seek a better life and who yearn for a peaceful resolution to this and other international disputes.