Motivation for the Action Program Guiding the National Assembly to End the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars and Occupations in the Period Ahead

Adopted by the National Antiwar Conference Held July 10–12, 2009 at La Roche College in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

 

  1. More than a year has passed since the National Assembly's founding conference June 29–30, 2008 in Cleveland, Ohio, attended by over 400 activists from across the U.S. This July 10–12, 2009 weekend we meet again, this time in Pittsburgh, to develop strategies and actions that will most effectively confront the warmakers with the mass power capable of forcing an end to their ever-expanding U.S. wars of intervention, conquest and occupation.

 

  1. We insist on the immediate and unconditional withdrawal of all U.S. troops, military personnel, bases, contractors and mercenaries from Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. We demand an immediate end to all U.S. support for the Israeli occupation of Palestine and the ongoing siege against Gaza and the Palestinian people. We oppose sanctions, threats of war, and attacks against Iran, North Korea, Somalia, or any other nation, whose right to self-determination is under assault by Washington’s aggressive drive for hegemony. We strongly oppose interference in the internal affairs of these countries, as well as Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia and any other nation targeted by the U.S. government for political destabilization.

 

  1. The lopsided vote by the U.S. House of Representatives – 368–60 – on May 14, 2009 approving the Obama administration’s request for $97 billion for U.S. military operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan and the Senate’s follow-up vote on June 18, 2009 approving by a 91–5 majority $105.9 billion for the same purpose make clear the bipartisan support for continuation of the wars and occupations. It also underscores why an independent, unified, mass action antiwar movement is needed now more than ever.

 

  1. We support without equivocation the right of all oppressed nations and peoples to self-determination, whether in the Middle East or in other parts of the world, such as Haiti.

 

  1. We stand in solidarity with working people, their unions and allies, and so we demand that the trillions being spent on wars and the military be diverted to the support of homeowners, the opening of plants to create new green jobs instead of seeing them shut down, and preventing the slashing of urgently needed social programs

 

  1. Recognizing the special oppression of people of color in U.S. society, we declare that opposing racism and all forms of national oppression is a fundamental unifying principle of our network. 

 

  1. The 2010 federal budget allocates a staggering $707 billion to the military. This at a time when ever greater numbers of people sink into poverty and the government claims it lacks the resources to meet their needs. The choice of "Guns or Butter!" is not empty rhetoric but stark reality. We demand "Money for Jobs, Health Care, Education, Housing, Pensions, and the Environment! Not One Cent for Unjust Wars and Occupations, Racist Detentions and Deportations, Renditions, Torture, and Attacks on Civil and Human Rights!”

 

  1. We strongly support civil liberties and human rights for all people, including prisoners at Guantanamo and the Muslims who have been unjustly targeted in the name of the so-called war on terror. We oppose all forms of torture and we call for the prosecution, conviction and punishment of those who commit it to the fullest extent of the law. We oppose all executive orders, regulations, and legislation like the Patriot Act that violate our constitutional rights in the name of “national security.

 

  1. We strive to build a united, democratic, broad, inclusive, and independent antiwar movement to achieve the above demands. We do not subordinate this movement and these methods to any political party or politician. We have confidence that we can win the vast majority to our cause and bring them together in massive united actions in the streets to change the course of history.

 

  1. We recognize the difficulties of the times and the enormity of the tasks ahead. We are aware that significant illusions exist wherein a majority opposes U.S. wars, interventions and unprecedented corporate economic attacks but does not yet believe that their organized power can overcome the warmakers and their minions.

 

  1. Our action proposal is aimed at bridging this contradiction by initiating an education and action campaign to counter the government’s propaganda machine. This will help pave the way for the inevitable mass actions to come, when the majority's will is exerted to build a world that works for the masses of people, not to enrich Wall Street and the military-industrial complex.