Withdraw all troops from Iraq and Afghanistan!

22 April 2010

This resolution on war was passed unanimously at the SEP Emergency Conference on the Social Crisis & War, held April 17-18 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Further resolutions and articles on the conference will be posted in the coming days. (See “SEP Emergency Conference advances strategy for struggle against social crisis and war”.)

This conference condemns the US-led wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, their extension into Pakistan, and the unending threats against Iran. It calls for the immediate and unconditional withdrawal of all American and foreign troops from the region.

We denounce the widespread, daily brutality committed by US and NATO forces against civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The US government and media campaign in support of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan is based on lies. The massive presence of the American military in the Middle East and Central Asia has nothing to do with the so-called “war on terror,” establishing democracy or stabilizing the area. These wars were launched in order to seize the region’s energy supplies in the interests of the same corporate and financial elite that is attacking workers in the US. This is a new colonialism.

The economic crisis is intensifying tensions throughout the world. The capitalist powers are seeking to divide and redivide the world among themselves, to force their rivals to bear the burden of the crisis, with the US the leading aggressor.

The Obama administration, elected by the American people in large part to end the two wars, has taken up where the Bush government left off.

In Iraq, seven years of US occupation have devastated the economy and social infrastructure and destroyed entire cities. More than 1 million Iraqis have died and millions more have been forced into exile. The danger of renewed sectarian fighting remains ever-present. More than 4,000 American military personnel have died in Iraq, and tens of thousands have been wounded.

The US will have nearly 100,000 troops in Afghanistan when the current redeployment is complete, and the total number of NATO and other foreign military personnel will exceed 150,000. The purpose of this army of occupation is to terrorize the Afghan people, impose an American-backed puppet on it by force, and create a launching pad for further US military operations in the region.

Afghan president Hamid Karzai charges Washington with wanting “a puppet government…a servant government.” In turn, US officials and the American media describe Karzai as a corrupt despot, who rigged the most recent election and has no credibility with his population.

US authorities do want an utterly pliant regime in Kabul. Karzai is a wealthy thug and tyrant, and, through his brother, is linked to the narcotics trade and death squads.

According to a recent study, US-occupied Afghanistan is the world’s second most corrupt country, while US-occupied Iraq ranks fourth on the list.

This is what young American men and women are being sent to fight and die for—in the name of “freedom” and “democracy.”

The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will have cost $1 trillion dollars by September 2010. This is money that could have been spent to build hospitals, schools and roads.

US government actions in the Middle East and Central Asia violate the principles established at the post-World War II Nuremberg trials. Aggressive war is a war crime banned by international law.

The murderous drone attacks in Afghanistan and Pakistan; the policy of assassination of political opponents, including US citizens; the continued use of “rendition” (sending prisoners of war to countries where they will be tortured)—all this demonstrates that the American ruling elite has descended into barbarism.

The election of the Democrat Obama has meant the abandonment of serious opposition on the part of the official “anti-war” movement, although popular hostility to the Iraq and Afghan wars is pervasive in the US. For those on the liberal left, the brutal conflicts have now become “good wars,” since these political elements all agree that the Obama administration is “progressive” in both domestic and foreign policy.

This conference encourages mass protests against the Afghanistan and Iraq wars. We call for the immediate withdrawal of all US and foreign troops from the Middle East and Central Asia, the closure of all military bases, and the disbursement of billions of dollars in reparations to the populations of the affected countries.

A peaceful and humane global society is impossible without the dismantling of the US military and CIA, by far the main perpetrators of “terrorism” in the world today.

Opposition to imperialist war can develop now only as a working class movement, linked to an international socialist political program. There is no way to halt the American ruling elite’s insane drive for world domination without ending capitalist rule.

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