21 March 2003
Dear Colleagues and Friends,
The Grenoble Center for the Advanced Study of American Institutions and Social Movements just received this message from San Diego Labor Leader, Fred Lonidier, who is also Professor of Art at UCSD and a Research Associate at CEIMSA in Grenoble.
To keep in mind that the war against Iraq is only one battle in what threatens to become a long protracted war against, against . . . . what? is essential for the Anti-War Movement.
Bush's American martyrs (the only lives that count, as Michael Parenti reminds us) will serve to stir more nationalism/militarism inside the U.S. at election time, but the opposite is true as well.... The Anti-War Movement must grow, and cool debates must be heard. (For a reminder on the ART OR ORGANIZING, we recommend readers visit our web site http://www.u-grenoble3.fr/ciesimsa> and read current Newsletter by Douglas Dowd.)
The tens of millions of Americans against war must influence the thinking
of the hundreds of millions who are silently supporting the war. Ideas
and creative tactics to resist this war must be shared frequently and the
establshment won over to our side. Jean Jaurès was right --war IS
a pathology that serves in the long run the interests of no one.
Francis McCollum Feeley
Professor of American Studies/
Director of Research
U.S. LABOR AGAINST THE WAR, RESPONSE TO WAR ON IRAQ
by Fred Lonidier
Despite the enormous effort of many millions of people around the globe
--including many trade unionists -- to prevent this war, the U.S. and Great
Britain have launched an invasion of Iraq.
We condemn this military invasion because --
it will result in the unnecessary death of American soldiers -- many
them our family members, friends and neighbors -- and many innocent Iraqi
men, women and children;
it is an act of aggression in violation of international law and our
nation's obligations under the UN Charter, and is opposed by the vast
majority of the international community;
it sets a dangerous precedent, opening the door for other countries
launch unprovoked attacks on one another, and shredding the body of
international law that has been created since World War Two to prevent war;
it increases the likelihood that Americans will be victims of a new
retaliatory terrorist attacks;
it will cost U.S. taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars at a time
our local, state and federal governments face massive budget deficits that
threaten vital services such as health care and education.
We believe that the disarmament of Iraq can and must be achieved through
diplomatic means and the weapons inspection process of the United Nations.
We call for military action to cease and desist immediately so that
American and British troops can be removed from harm's way and brought
safely home, and to spare the Iraqi people more death, destruction and
We call upon Congress to repeal the authority it granted last October
military action and to hold this reckless administration to account.
As citizens and as trade unionists, we intend to participate vigorously
the debate about this war while always making a clear distinction between
those policies and leaders who dragged us into it and the young men and
women in our military who are being sent to do the fighting by those leaders.
In that debate we assert --
that war must be a last resort, undertaken only when necessary to defend
from attack or the imminent threat of attack;
that our country's role is not to police the world, nor to depose leaders
we don't like, nor to dictate to others who should or should not govern
that we must respect and strengthen -- not weaken -- international law
the bodies that enforce that law as an alternative to war;
that our country's immense wealth, power and influence must be used
benefit working families here and around the world;
that the U.S. must be a force for peace, not an agent of war.
We have said from the beginning that we are gravely concerned about
economy jobs, health care, pensions, education, housing, and other social
needs. This now includes making resources available to care for the
veterans of the war on Iraq. We will defend Arab people in the U.S.
against racist violence and political persecution that this war may
provoke. We intend to make sure that the cost of the war is not used as an
excuse to prevent us from meeting these urgent needs or as a basis for
eroding civil liberties and trade union rights in the name of national
We support and defend the right of the people to protest this unjust
and restore the path to peace, including the actions taken by trade unions
and workers around the world ranging from demonstrations to work stoppages.
We urge union members in the U.S. to participate in local antiwar events
and activities, to make their voices heard, to lobby their representatives,
and to take action consistent with their convictions to demonstrate their
opposition to this war on Iraq.
San Diego, California
Francis McCollum Feeley
Professor of American Studies
Director of Research at CEIMSA
Center for the Advanced Study of American
Institutions and Social Movements
University of Grenoble-3