Resolution Against War on Iraq

Passed by the Executive Council of Local 1199/SEIU
(the New York Health and Human Services Union of the Service Employees International Union)


(This resolution was adopted October 4, 2002)

Whereas, America’s working families have a special stake in preventing another war;

An additional 1.4 million people have no health insurance, making it more than 41 million Americans with no coverage, and tens of millions more are underinsured;

Since President Bush took office unemployment has risen by 35%;

2 million jobs have been eliminated since Bush took office;

From a federal surplus of $281 billion, when Bush was inaugurated, we now have a deficit of $157 billion;

The stock market is down 34% since January 2002, putting at risk the pension funds of tens of millions of working Americans;

The Administration’s military budget—already larger than all the rest of the world’s, and increased this year by an additional $45 billion (the sum of Russia and China’s combined military spending)—will rise by yet another $150–200 billion in the coming year if the U.S. launches a war in Iraq;

Between military spending and tax breaks for the wealthy, there will be almost no money left for job creation, health care, education, and other essential human needs; and

Whereas the “Bush Doctrine” of preemptive war is a violation of international law, the UN Charter (to which the U.S. is a signatory), and of generations of U.S. foreign policy; and

Whereas, the policy would open up the world to international anarchy with no restraint on other nations declaring “preemptive war” on one another, and

Whereas, the Bush Administration has until now offered no credible evidence of an imminent danger from Iraq to our country or the countries of the Middle East (all of which have urged restraint on Washington), and

Whereas the policy of containment of the Saddam Hussein regime has worked well for the past decade, and

Whereas sending women and men in the armed forces to kill and be killed in  war should always be the last resort of government; and it will largely be the daughters and sons of working people who are called upon to make sacrifices while the children of the wealthy and powerful avoid military service, and

Whereas our Union was one of the very first to oppose the war in Vietnam, being at first a lonely voice that became a majority viewpoint as the carnage mounted up, and now we have the opportunity to prevent a catastrophe from beginning,

Therefore, be it resolved that the Executive Council of 1199/SEIU, the elected leadership of New York’s health care union, calls upon Iraq to immediately and urgently destroy any weapons of mass destruction that may be found to exist on its territory,

Be it further resolved that we call upon the Bush Administration to halt its plan for war against Iraq and to instead seek a peaceful resolution of differences within the framework of the United Nations,

Be it further resolved that we call upon the members of Congress to oppose any resolution authorizing the use of preemptive force against Iraq,

Be it further resolved that we call upon the members of our Union, the rest of the labor movement, and working women and men throughout our country to make their voices known through e-mails, letters, and phone calls to the White House and their Senators and their Representatives, and through nonviolent demonstrations against the drive for war.